Archive for May, 2005

No Köping for the Norwegians

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

The weather forcast for the weekend looked so bad that all Norwegians chose to stay home. Quite a pity as I looked forward to this competition. Still, my elbow is still not healed after a bad landing 3 weeks ago, so in relation to this one more weekend without flying is probably good for my elbow and the rest of the season.

Comp in Köping, Sweden

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

This weekend + Monday and Tuesday I will attend a competition (Ranking Tävling) in Köping, Sweden. I attended this comp also last year, but then we had problems with strong winds and overdevelopment. Hope the weather will be good this year as I really would like to try flat land flying. So far I have only experience from mountain flying. Other Norwegains that will go to this comp is Øyvind Ellefsen and Kjell Keogh. In addition 15 Swedes will participate.

Bad weekend for flying

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

The national team gathering was sabotaged by the weather demons. The only flying I did was Saturday, but it was also possible to fly on Sunday. Instead, we had a really fun and “wet” party Sunday evening.
The weather forecast for the rest of the week is not good. Rain and overdevelopment as long as the forecast go.

Fatal hg accident in Sweden.

Monday, May 16th, 2005

Swedish female paraglider pilot and national team member Lena Alfredsson died in a hang glider accident Saturday 14th May. Apparently she was attending a hang glider course, and the accident happened while winch launching the hang glider. Information from the Swedish paraglider organisation HERE (in Swedish).

National team gathering

Sunday, May 15th, 2005

The first day of the national team gathering was not a huge success in terms of flying. In Vågå it was overcast and not that good conditions at Vole although some pilots got local flights of nearly 2 hours. I made a big mistake just after launching and ended up with 22 minutes or so. Still, an OK flight with some very marginal thermal flying before having to land. In the evening we had a debriefing, hg-videos, and some theory. And even later Øyvind Ellefsen held a mini course in CompeGPS/RACE and scoring for Jon Gjerde and me.

Other places conditions were better. From Espesetra a few pilots got 40-50 km flights, and Trond Olsen flew 98 km from Høljerast to Elverum. Log book entry here.
Trond Olsen, Photo and (C)  Kistian Bording
Trond Olsen and his WW Talon 150. Photo and (C) Kristian Bording.

Today’s most unluck pilot was Bjørn Joakimsen how crashed a borrowed glider at the launch at Høljerast. Luckily he was not injured too bad; except from leg that took some beating he was in one piece. On the glider the carbon speedbar and both uprights were broken.

First Vågå visit of the year

Friday, May 13th, 2005

Finally it is time for Vågå and the national hg and pg centre. I have just arrived for 2-4 days of flying, depending on the conditions. The next 4 days we have an open national hg team “training camp” were we are going to fly tasks and score these as if it was a comp. In addition, we will have briefings and debriefings focusing on charing knowledge and improve our flying skills.

Today I drove from Oslo at 1400, just early enough to avoid the traffic chaos following from 4 days of vacation here in Norway (Monday and Thursday are public hollidays in Norway). Still, I used a long time the trip to Vågå. First, picked up 48 bottles of win for a company my mother works for to help them deliver these to a restaurant in Lillehammer. Then I pick up a data cable for Øyvind Ellefsen in Oslo, and then pick up a hang glider at NorCargo (a transport company) for Jon Gjerde. In addition, Alf came by last evening with a bunch of uprights for pilots in Vågå.

XC duel 2005

Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

Last year I crushed my hg-instructor and tutor Terje “Birdman” Brønstad for the first time in the XC-comp (total number of km from the 5 longest flights). During the winter I have reminded him of this a couple of times, or maybe more. And this year I promised to crush him again. He, obviously, does not agree, and so the bet is on. The loser must buy the winner a 6-pack of beer. The competition will be completed september 31st. So far I am in the lead with 118,3 km, Birdman has 112,8 km.

Terje Birdman Brønstad
Terje “Birdman” Brønstad at Espesetra. Photo, Bjørn Hammer.

Frya Cup 2005

Monday, May 9th, 2005

The weather forecast was not at all promising, but I nevertheless drove up to Frya Thursday morning to participate in the competition.

Day 1, Thursday: Launch: Frya. Overcast and lots of rain showers and snow around us, and the day was cancelled. Instead we arranged a spot landing comp; NOK 20,- to participate. After a 15 minutes flight I managed to land (or more crash) 20 metres from the spot. Not a very impressive effort, but conditions at the landing was turbulent and windy, and 20 metres was good enough for a shared first place. The price money was NOK 73,- for each of the three winners. Late in the afternoon a few pilots got good soaring flights from the Western launch at Frya.

Day 2, Friday: Again we tried the Frya launch (SE), but had to give up due to tail wind. Instead, we drove to Brandstadkampen (NW), where it was launchable – at least now and then. The task committee set a relatively short task to Tretten and back up to the main LZ at Frya. Three pilots launched “early” but did not find any lift and had to land. The rest of us waited an hour or so before I launched, mainly just to get flight, but then flew into relatively strong lift. I was then followed by six more pilots, while the rest of the pilots derigged as the launch conditions were not at all good. I got up 400 metres above the launch but the thermals drifted low towards the terrain so I chickened out and tried to get up using thermals from the further out in the valley. But I never found any thermals there, and had to land. The landing proved to be very interesting. From before I had seen Olav Opsanger crash into the landing, and it was very turbulent above it. To make things even more interesting the farmer owning the landing field was spreading cow manure as fertiliser on the field. I desperately tried to avoid the shit but due to the turbulent conditions I ended up on my face in the middle of the worst pile of shit. An interesting experience. To make the day perfect, I even damaged my elbow in the landing.
Shity landing, photo Trond Skjønsberg
Remnants of the “shity” landing. Photo: Trond “Hangman” Skjønsberg.

Day 3, Saturday: This comps perfect day! After being stuck in tailwind yesterday we went to Heidalen, a S launch but with strong thermals that make it launchable even in strong tailwind. Actually, quite a few experienced pilots mean that Heidalen provide the strongest thermals in Northern Europe. The task committee set a 99 km task from Heidalen South to Tretten, and then back up to the Frya LZ. Already when we started there were rain showers all around us. Because of a large area of rain and/or snow NE of Kvam I chose to fly directly towards and west of Teigkampen. Conditions were good and cloud base was around 2600 metres. It was relatively easy to fly south towards Fåvang, but further south a wall of rain intimidated me and I chose to land at Fåvang after 48 km. I could possibly have turned and flown to the Frya LZ, but my elbow was starting to hurt really bad, and my motivation was also running low. Still, a very nice flight and a good task. A total of 5 pilots flew the task.

Day 4, Sunday: The day was cancelled, so we had an early price ceremony and then we all went home. Johnny Nilssen won, Nils Åge Henden no. 2, and Arnt-Ola Opsanger no. 3. I ended as no. 13. End of Frya Cup 2005.

We were a total of 20 pilots participating in the competition. This must be the largest number of pilots in a competition besides the National Championship for a long time. We even equalled this weekends PG competition in number of pilots; not bad taking into consideration that were are 4 or 5 times as many pg pilots in Norway.

A few pictures from the comp here.

Frya Cup

Thursday, May 5th, 2005

When I landed Sunday 24th I was totally exhausted after flying just a little over 2 hours. I thought I was being ill, and sure enough, I came down with a cold and have been continuously ill thereafter. Still, now I am finally ready for more flying.
Early Thursday morning (in about 5 hours) I am driving for Frya and four days of Frya Cup. I will be publish pictures and a short report from the competition after the weekend (no Internett at Enden Camping at Frya). .