Archive for April, 2005

Fantastic start of the xc-season

Monday, April 25th, 2005

The forecast for the weekend predicted possible good conditions, but the high air-pressure caused some initial worries that it would be too stable. Still, a large group of pilots from OOHGK travelled up to Gudbrandsdalen hoping for good conditions and nice soaring flights. I drove up Friday evening together with Petter, Lars H., his girlfriend Malin, Erik V., Terje Birdman, Morten Holo, and Trond Olsen. Petter used Friday afternoon doing a b.a.s.e. jump from the vertical cliff just North of the Frya launch (he is definitely a mad man, this cliff is under 60 metres high). Saturday morning we were accompanied by Tor-Inge, and “Team Captain Chaos”; Johnny, Arild, and Geir.
Saturday we split, as Erik V. was going fly tandem with Malin in the morning, and he wanted to do this at Frya. The ones arriving Saturday joined him at Frya, while Morten, Terje Birdman, Trond, Petter, and I went to Heidal/Espesetra, the prime xc-launch in Gudbrandsdalen this time of the year. When we arrived conditions seemed a little weak, so we waited for the cycles to become stronger. They never did, so we launched anyway, and it turned out that the thermals were pretty strong after all and it was easy to soar up to 1800 masl. I got up relatively easy and started to fly South down Gudbrandsdalen in weak tail wind. I never got very high, but hit thermals where I expected to find them and had a relatively easy flight down to Ringebu. But between here and Fåvang I got low, and the conditions seemed to become weaker; probably I should have chosen a route further towards the mountains and not so close to the valley. At Fåvang church I prepared to land, but got a last thermal and gained enough altitude to fly a few kilometres back North to 8-Kanten (a road-side tavern) and landed here. Distance, 50,4 km. As I eat lasagne and drank a beer at the tavern, Petter came with my car to pick me up. Electronic log book entry with track log HERE.

Saturday evening was spent doing the regular post flying activities, drinking beer and talking about today’s flying. In addition, Geir took the exam for SP 3 and is now a pilot (no longer a student), and Lars H. took the exam for SP 2.

Sunday most of us were a little tired, unfamiliar with struggling in thermals again, so we decided to go to Frya instead of Heidalen, which further North and away from home. Erik flew tandem with Malin again, and a few of the students also launched early as they wanted a couple of flights. Erik V and Malin flying tandem
I declared an out and return task to Fåvang, a total of 36 km. Not a long task, but I wanted something I was pretty sure I could manage. Conditions seemed a little weaker than yesterday, but although it was not easy to get over 1800 masl (at least for me) thermals popped up where I needed them, and I completed the out and return task. Fun flying and a good task for an amateur xc-pilot like me. Electronic log book entry with track log HERE.

Pictures from the weekendHERE.

US Open, day 3

Monday, April 18th, 2005

After two blown out days in the US Open it was finally possible to set a task the 3rd day. Paris Williams won the day. Best Norwegian was Jon Gjerde on 14th. Other Norwegian resultats: Olav Opsanger 16th, Olav Lien 40th (the only Helite Topless pilot in the comp), and Øyvind Ellefsen and Arnt-Ola Opsanger DNF.
The official Flytec score does not seem to be 100 % correct as Øyvind Ellefsen got up and away but is listed as DNF in score list. See Øyvind Ellefsen’s home page for more info.

One particularly interesting thing with the US Open is how the new WW T2 will perform. Wills Wing planed to have about 5 pre-production T2’s at the US Open, but no WW T2s appear in the scoring list. Nene Rotor did fly a T2 in the Brazilian Nationals, but is listed with a Talon 140 in the US Open.

No flying Sunday

Monday, April 18th, 2005

The weather forecasts have been predicting about any kind of weather the last week. The only thing the different forecasters have been somewhat able to agree on was the wind direction. Besides this, some promised sun others overcast and rain. Well, Sunday looked quite good, so Alf, Geir, Terje S. and I went to Ringerudkollen accomanied by two potentation hg-students who wanted to see us fly. But did we fly? NO! It started to rain as soon as we started to drive towards Ringerud, and it only got worse so we had to give up and drive home. Looking at the online log book it seems like other pilots have been flying both South and North of Ringerud. Just my kind of luck.

Cool music video

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Warning! Not anything to do with hang gliding, but it is still cool.
I am sick and tired of all the crap MTV is pushing out all the time. Everything sounds the same, and all videos have afro-american girls in thongs shaking their asses like it was the last day of their life – really boring and stupid looking after one video.

The music video from Carpark North, on the other hand, is in my opinion quite charming and different, and the music not too bad either. See the video HERE.

New type of batteries

Monday, April 11th, 2005

Good news for GPS and transceiver users that want longer lasting batteries. Panasonic has launched a new type of battery which claims to deliver twice the durablity compared to the traditional alkaline battery, but at the same price. The new battery type is called Oxyride and is a brand from Panasonic. In Japan this battery has gained a market share of 10 % in just a few weeks after it was launched.
Read more about the battery at Panasonic’s web site.

Meetings and seminars

Friday, April 8th, 2005

Last weekend I attended the bi-annual meeting for the national airsports federations as head of the Oslo og Omegn Hanggliderklubb (Oslo Hang Gliding Club), and this weekend I have to help arrange an hg/pg-instructur seminar in Bergen, western Norway.
In Norway all hg and pg instructurs have to renew their instructors licence every 4th year by attending a two day instructors seminar. As a member of the hang and paragliding section’s management team (no. faglig ledergruppe/fagkomiteen) with responsibility for rules and regulations, I have to help arranging these seminars. I would prefer flying, but someone has to do the dirty work as well.

Hanggliding not that dangerous?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

Frode Halse (pg-pilot) has a link on his web-site to a press release from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine. Here it is claimed the risk of injury from parasports is higher than previously thought. Still, it is nice to see that hang gliding has no reported injuries (N=38).

Read the press release HERE.