Archive for September, 2007

Bad weather this weekend …

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

… and no flying. Rain, cold (6 C), and lots of wind surely makes you dream of sun, warm weather, the sea, and a nice beach with white sand. Something like this; a nice opportunity to combine a beach holiday and the interest for aviation.


http://view.break.com/350055 – Watch more free videos

More scooter tow hang glider course

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

The weekend weather lately has been unsuitable for hang glider basic training using Condor and scooter towing. So we have used some evenings instead to get our one man course up and running. Yesterday Steinar and Øyvind were instructors and today Steinar and I had duty. Scooter tow training just seems more and more ingenious was the course develops. The progress is much faster, it is safer, it takes a lot less effort than carrying a glider up a training for a short flight, and it is fun. Today Øystein Aa, our student, got 4 relatively short flights of about 150 metres, and 4 longer ones of about 350 metres – all in 2 hours. He is a talented student, but at least some of the progress must be attributed to the training method. At the end of the evening I got a tow and a short flight – fun!

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Øystein Aa being pulled up.


Øystein flying today.

Soon new url for this web site

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I have had my homepage at Øyvind Ellefsen‘s server since I started using WordPress – well actually since Øyvind set up WordPress for me. Equally long I have used the url bjorn.ellefsen.net. I have tried to find a new more hang glider like domain to use, but never could decide on something, and as I now also have also started flying sailplanes a pure hang glider doman name do not seem that good of a choice. So I tried to decide what would suit both hang gliding and sailplanes, did a few searches, and found out that the domain soaring.no was free. According to Wikipedia, “Soaring is a mode of flight in which height is gained slowly by using air that is moving upwards. It arises in the flight of both aircraft and birds.” Consequently, I bought the domain soaring.no and hopefully will have the blog transfered to this domain soon, but the blog will probably still be available on this current url as well. It depends on what it- and hang glider guru Øyvind Ellefsen can arrange (I am too lazy and stupid to figure out these it things).

Content and layout of the blog will probably stay about the same.

Plans for tomorrow afternoon and evening is scooter towing and our hang glider course. Hopefully I will get a couple of flights myself.

Lucky birthday

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

September 22. – my birthday, and today my lucky day as well. First of all, I woke up early, and remarkably not because one of my cats were sitting on my face. So I had plenty of time to have breakfast, make a thermos of coffee and so on. The weather forecast was bad, as usual this year, so I did not have high expectations for the sailplane training flights today. I borrowed my girlfriends new Honda CRV for the drive to Notodden, the sailplane airfield, and really enjoyed the drive in the new car. I was cruising at +90 km/h in a 70 km/h zone when I suddenly saw UP (the Norwegian highway police) at the road shoulder stopping cars. But all the police men were busy and it was no room for more cars so they just gave me “an evil eye” and let me pass. 5 minute later another pilot was not so lucky. He was stopped for speeding, 92 km/h in the 70 km/h zone, and he got a fine of NOK 4900 (about USD 900). Then at Notodden I got one +1 hour sailplane flight in waves, and a second flight of + 1 hours in thermals and ridge soaring although conditions looked totally bad with rain showers all around us and almost no sun. This is the one of the advantages of sailplanes compared with hang gliding, it is possible to fly and soar in conditions that are not flyable with a hang glider. Driving home I kept the speed limits. No point pushing my luck. Now I have just finished dinner accompanied by an insanely expensive French read win. Some days life is just good, the only thing I miss today is a hang glider flight as well.

Man towing video

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Not very interesting, just an illustration of what desperation can drive hang glider pilots to do. After all we WANT TO FLY.

Thursday evening hg course

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Steinar, Aud, and I tried to train our only hang glider student (Øystein Aa) this evening, but it turned out to be too strong winds for the Condor and scooter tow. To get something out of the evening we had the student balance the Condor in the wind. Further we tried man towing, pulling the Condor and student by pulling a rope. It was quite successful, well at least the student flew, so we go something out of the evening.

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Steinar J. is man towing our only student Øystein A.

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Some freight train passing us as we were training.

Waves over Notodden

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

The forecast for this weekend was not promising for our hang gliding course, Saturday strong NW winds were predicted and rain on Sunday. So I decided to fly gliders instead, and to hoped to try flying in waves. When I drove to Notodden (the airport) Saturday morning the wind was very strong and I did not believe that it could be possible for me fly as I am still a student. But it was no problem flying, even as a student even if the wind was very strong also at the ground. I first flew a student flight with an instructor. No waves but we flew for about 1 hour in thermals and in a rotor; the latter an unusual experience for a hang glider pilot. I then got a second flight as passenger with one of the pilots in club (Sandefjord Seilflyklubb), and this time we hit waves and soared pretty high. I flew for about 30 minutes, but it was no challenge as it was just to cruise around and try to stay below controlled airspace. When we wanted to land we tried to speed up and increase the sink, but over Notodden we got 3 m/s lift at 150 km/h, and had to use the airbrakes to get down. A nice day in the air.

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Looping over Notodden 2500 masl.

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View over Notodden from the wave.

See more pictures from the wave flight HERE.

Instructors seminar and intro to hang glider course

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

The instructors seminar in Vågå this weekend was OK (well at least for me, I do not know that the participants think). We got a lot of good discussions, and I presented Steinar’s and our club’s scooter tow project. Hopefully, we all learned a little thus becoming a little better as instructors. Saturday evening we all had dinner at Vågå Hotel, and Sunday we even got a flight after we had concluded the seminar.

Yesterday afternoon and evening (Tuesday), Steinar, Øyvind, and I had yet another intro day trying to recruit more students for our hang gliding course – so far we only have one student. The intro days using scooter tow is a success, and the ones attending actually fly even the first time they try hang gliding. Still, unfortunately this does not help recruiting more students.

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Steinar, Øyvind , or me being scooter towed up. It’s probably not me; I am too heavy for the Falcon 170 to get that high.

A short video from the hg course intro days

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Video showing one of the potential students launching the WW Condor being towed by our scooter.

Intro days for course with scooter tow

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Last weekend we, Oslo Area Hang Glider Club, had two intro days before we start the course this autumn. Initially I had about 30 people that showed interest, but when things got a bit more serious about 12 turned up to try hang gliding before signing on the course. This course, and intro days, is the first using scooter tow so we were very excited about how this would work. It turned out to be a success. First we had the potential students run 3-4 times just with both the Condor and Falcons, then we hooked them and the Condor on the line from the scooter and pulled. The result was that all got a short, low, and safe flight. I will write more about the scooter towing as the course progresses.

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Video from one lauch using scooter + Condor HERE. This is the 4. or 5. time he has lifted a hang glider!

Unfortunately only one signed on the course so we have intro days this weekend as well. I am teaching at an instructors seminar in Vågå this weekend, but we hope to get a few more to sign on to the course and to start the course next weekend.