Archive for May, 2006

Towing weekend at Trøgstad

Monday, May 29th, 2006

This “weekend”, from Thursdag to Sunday, the Norwegian hang gliding compeition committee (Øyvind and me) arranged a towing meet at Trøgstad. In addition we had help from hang glider and tow pilots Truls Schøyen and Alf Oppøyen. The two first days were cancelled because of rain and a soaked runway. So the first day we were able to tow was Saturday.

Saturday: Good turn up with 13-14 pilots and good conditions. First we struggled a little with cross wind, but at about 1200 launch conditions improved and the tows started. Even with this many pilots everything went smoothly and it was the tow plane that had to do most of the waiting, not the pilots. Some pilots new to towing, or with a long time since their last tow, got to borrow a WW Falcon 2 for their first tows. This seemed to work very well, making the introduction to towing much more easy and “uneventfull”. The longest flight today was more than 2 1/2 hour, but conditions were a little tricky and some got sled rides down. Still, then it was just to tow back up for another attempt.

Sunday: The forcast was not too good from the morning so we started quite late today. Øyvind called and woke me at 1045 reporting the weather had improved and I rushed out to the airstrip at Spydeberg, where the tug is located, picked up some towing gear and Øyvind’s Litespeed and drove to the tow strip at Trøgstad. We were few pilots today, with only Ove K., Terje S., and myself. Øyvind and Truls were towing. The tows were somewhat turbulent also today but not too bad. But the problem was finding lift. We only had prolonged sled rides down today. I found a thermal 70 metres above the air strip, and managed to stay up an additional 5 minutes or so, but then lost the thermal and had to start the final right away. Flatland flying is fun! I have never start thermaling so low before or exited so low. When conditions calmed down a little Terje Solberg got his first two tows on the Falcon 2. He tows as he has never done anything else – a perfect intro to towing. In my opinion this shows that anyone learning to tow should start on a Falcon/Fun/Relax or a similar glider.
Ready to go.

Read to go. More pictures from the weekend HERE.

Weekend stats:

# of pilots and tows: Quite a few.

# of first tow experiences: 3 (?)

# of incitents: None.

# of fun: Plenty.

Worlds class 2, 5, and womens

Friday, May 19th, 2006

The Worlds at Quest has startet. Results from the comp can be found HERE. No Norwegians participate, and relatively few participants in each class as well. Class 5 (rigid) has 45 participants, class 2 (Swift) has 6, and 17 women.

Martin Schanke crashes at “our” tow airfield.

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Martin Schanke (61), 5 times European Champion in Rally Cross (last time in the early 90ies or so), crashed his autogiro/gyrocopter during take off at the airfield at Trøgstad today. This is the same air field we use for towing hang gliders. The reason for the crash seems to be a gust of tailwind while taking off. Autogiro flying is currently a test project in Norway.
Read more about this at VG.no (text in Norwegain).
This is not his first hard encounter with mother earth. In 2000 he crashed his helicopter during landing.

Great weekend at Frya – weekend report.

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

Saturday and Sunday proved to be great, and the this weekend will most likely qualify as a “top 3 weekend” this year. I went up to Bøygen camping Friday evening with Morten Holo and Svein Dahl. We all were determined to fly from Frya instead of Øyer, although Øyer with it’s more southern location could provide longer xc-distances. Both days had blue high pressure conditions but it was reatively easy to get up and fly xc.

Saturday I tried a long xc flight N with the SE winds. I easilly got up flew N towards Otta and hoped to get at least to Dovre or somewhere in the Lesja valley. Still, I soon became too impatient, got low after Kvam and did not find any more thermals and had to land just N of Otta after just 36 km (flight log). The longest flights today was flown by Dag Ring with 138 km (flight log) and Trond Olsen with 133 km (flight log).

Landing North of Otta on Saturday.

My landing N of Otta.

Sunday most of us tried more practical task with landing at the main LZ at Frya. Hence, I declared a 53 km task back and forth in the area. Conditions were even better that yesterday and I flew the task relatively easy (flight log). But eager to get the task I flew relatively slow; I should have completed the task much faster. Also today long xc distances were flown. Morten Holo flew S, the opposite way of anyone else, and landed at Rudshøgda and a new person best of 87 km. Dag Ring once more had a long flight with an out and return from Frya to Vågå a distance of 115 km, but did not stop when he came back to Frya and flew another 15 km or so to Fåvang (flight log); he landed at 2000 in the evening.

Pictures from the weekend HERE.

Good weather forecast.

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Finally! The weather looks perfect for soaring and xc-flying. So I will go up to Frya this evening and fly from Frya this weekend.

Bad news for Olav Opsanger. Olav flew very well in the comps in Florida around Easter with new Litespeed 4 S with carbon leading edges. He then shipped it to Norway and yeasterday Øyvind picked it up in Oslo. Appearently the box with the glider looked like an ugly accident; both ends of the glider were broken. So obviously the leading edges were broken, and possibly also the crossbar. When will the transport companies learn?

Frya Cup 2006

Monday, May 1st, 2006

Frya Cup from Saturday to Monday (May1st being a public holliday in Norway) this weekend. The weather forecast for first very good, then turned to horrible with rain and strong winds as the weekend approached. Saturday looked so hopeless that I did not go up to Frya before Saturday evening, arriving at Frya Sunday morning after visiting relatives in Fåberg Saturday evening. Trond “hangman” Skjønsberg was meet director, an ungrateful job in this weather. Sunday morning it was sunny and we drove up to the launch, but feared strong winds. And sure enough, before a task could be set the wind became too strong. Only four pilots not in the competition managed to stat before the conditions became too strong. So instead, Øyvind and I (the Norwegian Competition Committee) and the national team had meeting planing the upcoming season with European Championship and the pre-Worlds in Texas as the main competitions. After the meeting and dinner I had completely written off the and considered driving home, but luckily I drove up to the launch instead after recieving reports of better conditions. Now, conditions actually were good so I speed rigged and launch 1900 straight into rock solid ridge soaring accompanies with thermals and weak waves. After an hour the wind increased again and I flew down to land as most others also did. After the flying we had the compulsory beers and bbq of sausages. The young hard core pilots then drove the to local bar while the rest of us quietly drank a few more beers and then went to sleep. When I woke up Monday morning the rain was pooring down and it was nothing else to do than driving home. End of story.
Log book entry HERE.

By the way, anyone who knows how to link to a destination in Goggle Earth?