Archive for August, 2007

No Trontreff – more “sailplaneing”

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

This weekend, the last in August, is the date for Trontreff, a combined flying, competition, BBQ and party arrangement. The motto of Trontreff is “test-what-your-body-can-take”, I guess you can figure out yourself what is going on (many of those who participate do not remeber).  Still, the weather forecast for the weekend was so bad that most never drove the 350 km from Oslo. I also skipped going up and instead I decided to use Saturday for the sailplane course.

It was a lot of glider activity at the airport as a number of people had ordered “test” or passenger flights. So the instructor was quite busy and I only got one flight. The rest of the time I helped the instructor getting people ready for their flights.

cimg2756.jpg

Gliders and tow planes lined up.

cimg2758.jpg

Gilders waiting to launch, LN-GIA is the school glider I am flying. The glider is a LET L23 Super Blanik, a rugged and solid aluminum glider.

Sunday I did just about nothing. I wanted a weekend day off before we start the hang glider course next weekend, something that will make my weekends this autumn busy as I also need to complete the sailplane course myself. I considered to go to Sundvollen to fly hang glider, but thought that the conditions were too strong. Later Steinar phoned me and told me several hang gliders were ridge soaring. Well, if it isn’t bad weather, it is bad decisions. Probably someone higher up has decided that I should not fly hang gliders in 2007.

Scooter towing at Steinssletta

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

It is a sailplane competition at Notodden this weekend, and no instruction. This suits me well as I need to do other things and to get some training operation the tow scooter before this autumns hang glider course. So Steinar, Terje S., Petter, and I drove to a field at Steinssletta to have some fun scooter towing and to get some practice before the course. But as we arrived at Steinssletta conditions were turbulent and not good for scooter towing. So we only did two tows before giving up because of the conditions and scooter problems. The scooter was a little ill today, it did not pull well and it was difficult to pull out the line again. Steinar delivered it to the scooter doctor in the afternoon and he soon discovered that a disk inside the brake had disintegrated into three parts and made a mess of the brake. Still, it was not worse than that the scooter doctor could mend it. So it is ready for tomorrow, as are we, but the forecast predicts rain.
cimg2751-768-x-1024.jpg
Mikro Terje, hang glider, micro light triker, moped driver, and scooter tow operator (multi talented). Here retreving the tow line with Steinar’s moped.

Sailplane flight 6 to 10

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Last weekend was rainy and it seemed like it was hopeless to fly. So I skipped flying Saturday, but at 1200 Kenneth K. (a ex-hang glider pilot and now sailplane pilot) phoned me to as where I was. Apparently it was flyable at Notodden, while it rained cats and dogs in Bærum, and the news reported of floods and closed roads because of the rain all over Southern Norway. So I decided to drive to Notodden on Sunday no matter what the weather was like in Bærum. As I drove to Notodden Sunday morning, it was fog, rain, and bad weather all the way. I arrived at Notodden 1100 and about 1200 it started to dry up, and soon the sun was shining.

It was relatively few sailplane pilots at Notodden, I guess the weather around us had intimidated them, as it did with me yesterday. Because the tow plane was not too busy and the trainer glider available most of the time, I got 5 flight and 2 hours and 15 minutes of airtime in sunny warm weather. I actually even got a sun burn, while the rest of Southern Norway was drowned by rain.

The flying is going better, and in the calm conditions on Sunday I ended up flying the start, tow, landing approach, and the landing; at least almost without help. It is still some co-ordination problems between the stick and the rudders, but things are improving, I hope.

Last weekend, this weekend.

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Late weekend report as usual. Last weekend was windy and not that flyable for hangglider, but good enough for sailplane instruction. Saturday I got two flights in low cloud base and rain showers. The first tow was to 600 metres, the second to 300 metres when we got waved off by the tow plane. On the first flight I operated the rudder on tow and rudder and air brake in the landing. On the second flight I flew both on take off, tow, and landing, but with more than plenty of assistance from the instructor.

Sunday it was lots of wind and turbulent, but no problem flying, and I got two flight. On both flights I flew both the take off, tow and landing, but also now with quite a lot of assistance from the instructor. Especially the tows were difficult as it was very turbulent. We got weightless a couple of times on both tows so the conditions were far from ideal to learn to fly the glider on tow. Still, fun to fly in such conditions. It is still a lot to learn but at least my sailplane skills are progressing.

The plan for this weekend is to fly more, but the forecast for Saturday is bad with lots of rain. So Saturday is gone, but hopefully it will be possible to fly on Sunday. I hope to take some pictures and video from the flying on Sunday.

Wrist problems + sailplane lessons this weekend

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

I have had problems with my left wrist all summer after a hard landing May 27th. Yesterday I finally went to the doctor and got an x-ray of the wrist. This revealed that nothing was broken, fractured, or dislocated. Kind of good news, but it does not change the fact that the wrist is pretty useless for flying a hang glider. The doctor’s advise was to wait for a couple of weeks more and if the problem is still present to take a MR scan to look for soft tissue damages.

As the wrist can only take about 1 hour in the air on a hang glider, I will instead take some sailplane lessons/flights this weekend.