Archive for January, 2008

Starting up the hang glider course again

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Today Steinar Sverd and I started the 2008 hang glider course season. Ole-Petter was busy this weekend so only Per turned up, in addition to Olav T. who finishes the course with our club. As we arrived it was no wind and conditions looked good, somewhat surprising as it was a lot of wind anywhere else. Still, we started at 1100 as the forecast promised less wind during the day so we were optimistic. But as we got read the wind had picked up and changed direction and made conditions difficult. We did manage to get 5 scooter tows but then it became too turbulent and we had to call it a day. I guess that the sun broke the ground inversion during the day and made way for the wind. Report from Sundvollen that it was soaring there did not make our mood better, but reading the online logbook this evening it seems like conditions there were as yesterday with only periods with soarable wind.

Sled ride at Sundvollen

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Terje “Birdman” phoned me as he drove to Sundvollen, and I could not resist the temptation to fly so I joined him after he reported that the wind was picking up. The forecast predicted lots of wind today, but this morning it was no wind at all where I live. But encouraged by the reports of increasing wind I drove out to Sundvollen and set up. Everything looked perfect. The wind increased, one paraglider soared, the other paragliders got scared by the increasing wind and did not launch. Then Birdman launched as I finished rigging and was getting ready, but the paraglider pilots reported that he fell through and had to land after a sled ride. Then I tried and the same story, sled ride and 5 minutes in the air. Apparently, it died out totally just as I launched. The wind then picked up again and a paraglider got a short soaring flight before it became too strong. I drove  Birdman up again and he got a second flight, this time soaring. But it was turbulent and quite a lot of wind. As I drove home the wind was very strong, and this evening (as I write this) I can hear strong wind outside. Well, this is typical Sundvollen; you only get about 1 % good flights from here.

What do sailplane pilots do in the winter?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

I really do not know being new to flying sailplanes – I have not even gone solo yet. Anyway, this evening Bjørnar, Arvid, and I was polishing one of Sandefjord Seilflyklubb‘s gliders, LN-GPA – DG 300, at Torp airport in Sandefjord. Winter is maintenance time and some club members are putting down quite a lot of effort to get the gliders in shape and ready for the season.

cimg2924-1024-x-768.jpg cimg2923-1024-x-768.jpg

Wax on – wax off.

First flights of the year

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Today I finally got airborne again, as usual this time of the year at Sundvollen. My last flight was as far back as October 7th. The forecast was moderately optimistic but the wind never got strong enough for soaring. Still, this was probably a good thing as it was 45-60 degrees crosswind every time the wind picked up a little. I got two flights, and launched in moderate strength crosswind from the NE (this is as V-NV launch) both times. Both flights were sled rides, but it was better than nothing, and I definitely was a little rusty. On the first flight I missed the landing spot big time, and on the second flight I had to land on my belly after a tight landing approach combined with problems tilting my Tenax harness up quickly enough. Neither the bad spot landing nor the belly landing were very critical as I landed on a frozen lake (impossible not to hit the lake) and the ice was as slippery as any world class hockey rink (see the picture below). Anyway, this is embarrassing when flying a Wills Wing Falcon 2, so I definitely need to get a few more flights soon to practice.

cimg2915-1024-x-768.jpg

The reason why I was out flying on a Monday was that I was being filmed while flying. By whom and for what reason can not be revealed until later. I will come back to this and hopefully also with some footage.

No flying, more Swedish hang gliding video

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Another week without flying. Saturday it was snowing and raining heavily all day, but today the weather was quite good and the expected snow came in later than predicted. Still, I chose to stay at home and work on a paper for my Ph.D. with deadline on Tuesday.

Magnus Söderqvist, a Swedish hang gliding friend, was out flying today at Lysekil-Rixö. Only a short flight but better than no flight at all. He also filmed and made the video below from todays flying. The other pilot is Tomas Söderqvist.

Pets and photos and blogs

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Not much flying. Not much else to report about. It’s kind of dull really. So inspired by hang glider pilot Jeff O’Brian’s nice pictures of his golden retrievers, I thought I should post a couple of pictures of my pets. By the way, I can strongly recommend a visit to Jeff’s blog. Lots of really good photos, and lots of hang gliding related stuff, moreover it is frequently updated.

cimg2911-1024-x-768.jpg

Here is Tobias, a white and cream persian, pictured co-writing this post. Tobias can best be described as a fur faced eating machine.

cimg0298-1024-x-768.jpg

This is Porter, a black persian. Porter enjoys 16 hour power naps and if cuddled he starts to dribble. He definitely has more fur than brain, in addition he has asthma.

Swedish video and language course

Monday, January 7th, 2008

This video is made by Swedish friend Magnus Söderqvist.

“About the video” from the Swede: Trip to Italy in the summer of 2007. We flew at Monte Cucco, Tri Pizzi, Casteluccio and Levico Terme. Awesome stuff.

As Sweden already is in focus, I thought I should give the few people around the world that do not understand Swedish/Danish/Norwegian a quick into to the Swedish language. If you ever go to Sweden these phrases will save you in case of emergency!
– Hungry? Then say “köttbullar”. This is lumps of minced meat, and is served with mashed potatoes and a horrible thing called “lingonsylt”. This latter is a jam made of lingonberries. It is sold at IKEA if you want to test it before going to Sweden.
– Thirsty? Shout, not say, you must shout “burk”. Burk is Swedish for beer can, and if you are lucky someone will offer you to buy a “burk” of “folk öl”. “Folk öl is a shitty bad tasting 3,5 (volume) % alcohol beer. If you want to get drunk you will need about 36 “burk”s.
– Lonely? Then say “gratis”. This means free/does not cost a thing. Swedes are, well, economical, so if they think that you will give away something for free they will follow you for at least a couple of days.
– Angry? Say that the thing that has made you angry or upset “suger älgballe”. For instance: “Lingonsylt suger älgballe”. Directly translated this means suck a moose’s male genitalia.
– Need to find a lavatory/WC? Say “bajs”. This indicates that you would like to take a crap.
– Horny? Say “tuttar”. This is the name for a pair of things that women have but that men are missing.

Woody Valley Tenax 2 review

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

I have made a review of my experiences with the Woody Valley Tenax 2 harness after having used it for a year. See the review HERE.