Archive for March, 2008

Knee update and more

Monday, March 31st, 2008

My leg and knee has improved dramatically the last two days (see posts below for why my leg and knee are messed up). Last Friday I got cortisone steroids and Voltaren (non-steroid anti-inflammatory) from the doctor, and I noticed a difference already after two days. So hopefully I will be ready to fly again this weekend.

Job news.
Today I completed a consulting project for a hospital here in Norway through my own company. An interesting project although I did not know a thing about hospitals to start with. But I learned a lot and hopefully the hospital can benefit from my analysis as well. Tomorrow I will start at a new job as employee at Steria as sr consultant in their consulting department. I am really looking forward to being part of a larger firm again, and can’t wait start working on projects for Steria.

Breaking news!
Today I bought my first jeans for at least 12 year. It does not exactly make the world stop spinning, but a pretty dramatic purchase for me. What will come next, sandals?

New vario/gps

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

I have so far flown with a Bräuniger IG Competition GPS and Garmin 12 combination, using a Garmin 60 to record a track log with altitude which is required here in Norway for competitions. I have been more that satisfied this these instruments, although a bit of manual operation is needed in the air for comp flying. But now, I have finally joined company with the integrated vario/gps dudes. Friday I picked up my new Bräuniger IQ Compeo+ at Øyvind Ellefsen. The instrument looks pretty neat, but not that much is new from the previous model, and I would not have changed I had the old Compeo. I look forward to test it in the air, and I guess I have to read the manual to understand what is going on in the display.

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My new Bräuniger Compeo+.

I have already a good working knowledge of how to operate the instrument as I have scored hang glider competitions since the first Gallileo/Compeos, and at that time no one seemed to know how to operated the instrument, so I had to learn the basic stuff to be able to score the comps. The knowledge of how to use the first Compeo’s here in Norway is an interesting story. No one could use them except my master and comander in the Norwegain competition committee Øyvind Ellefsen. He learned me the basics so that I could help him score, and was no problem. The problem, however, was that everyone else had to ask him how to operate their Gallieo/Compeo, often on launch on comps just before the start window opened. As far as I remember, Øyvind, who is really very patient, got pretty annoyed a few times because no one else bothered to read their vario manual, and instead relied on him for support. Hang glider pilots are a lazy bunch!

Bruised and battered.

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

It is 5 days since my crash, and my thighs have felt progressively worse where I got the main impact. Yesterday it pecked as I could not bend my knee without squeaking (pathetic isn’t it), and my left thigh was aching like hell. I tried to get help from the hospital emergency in the evening, but it was at least 4 hours to wait so I gave up. Not a crisis for me, but do they expect people that are really ill to be able to wait for 4 hours to get help? Instead, I used some leftovers from November when I got some anti-inflammatory for my jumpers-knee. Today I am a lot better, and I will try to get hold of a doctor to get a few more of the anti-inflammatory pills for a 1-2 week cycle.

I had hoped to fly again this weekend, but both my legs and the weather is trash so I guess I have to wait another week.

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My thigh 5 days after impact. Strangely it is only the front of the thigh that hurts while the most black/blue parts do not feel that bad. In addition, my knee is swollen and sore.

Bad news about my T2

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

This morning I drove the remnants of the T2 over to Finn Spjeldnæs, Moyes dealer and the glider guru here in Norway, for an evaluation for what to do with my crashed glider. He examined the wreck right away and this evening I got the damage report. The short version is that everything is broken or crushed. So my beloved T2 is officially dead – R.I.P. I am really sad about this, but even more relieved that I did not hurt myself in the crash. I guess that the glider took almost all the impact and saved me. A friend has a one year low airtime T2 for sales for a lower price than the repair price/value of my T2 so I hope that my insurance company accept that I replace my wrecked T2 with this one. I hope to sort this out with the insurance company already this week. Waiting for a stock T2 from Wills Wing is anyway not an option as the delivery date on T2s is June 6th.

Bad judgement, but lucky after all.

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Today, it was time for me to f…. up really bad. I went to Sundvollen to fly even thought the wind was from N-NE (this is a W-NW launch). With winds from N and NE the launch is in lee of the wind and often plagued with rotor. Still, today it was launchable from time to time, and all the other pilots got out. I and another pilot was last out, and as the conditions had deteriorated somewhat, and I first gave up launching, but then the other pilot managed to start so I gave it another go. I waited until both wind streamers was straight in and stable, and then started my launch run. Although it was quite windy the glider did not fly and I had a long run before suddenly the right side of the wing lifted and got me airborne in a turn. I tried to pull in for speed and steer to the right out from the terrain, but because of the turn I flew straight into heavy tailwind and did not get air speed enough to have the glider turn. So I ended up as a very unwilling passenger and crashed straight back into the hill.

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I hit must have hit really hard as I broke this tree in two as I crashed into the hill. Hitting this tree and one more on both sides of the glider probably saved me for more serious injuries than a bruised left thigh. It was the glider that took the beating, and not be. I was lucky after all!

I have insured all my hang glider equipment so the crash will not be a financial disaster, and I am more worried about getting a new sail in time to get enough airtime before the pre-Worlds in Laragne.

I am really embarrassed because of my bad choice, but I guess I just have to try to learn from this (as if I did not know enough not to start in such conditions already).

Nice day at Notodden

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I has been a long time since my last sailplane flight, actually since my birthday September 22nd, but today it was time to start up again. The weather was good, and I really eager to fly again. Although a lot of people here in Norway as a long Easter vacation, starting Saturday and lasting until next Monday, and the nice weather, we were only 5 sailplane students/instructors/pilots/tow pilots at Notodden today. And I was concerned that it would be too busy for me as a student today! Where was everybody? Still, more time and tow capacity for us who turned up. I got 3 flights today:
First a short 10 minutes flight, just towed up and landing.
Second a 1 hour thermal flight up to about 1350 metres. At the end of the flight the instructor did a couple of loops, and made the glider enter spin a couple of times. A fun flight.
On the third flight the wind had picked up a little and it seems like we hit some light waves. Duration here was 40 minutes.

Tomorrow I have to work, and I do not know if it is instructors available at Notodden, but if it is I will probably try to get one or two more days here this Easter. In addition, I hope it will be time and weather for some hang gliding as well, both for me and our hang glider students.

Below is a nice sailplane video form last spring here in Norway, enjoy:

Meeting, Kari Castle, and bad weather.

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

This weekend was the annual meeting of the Hang Gliding and Paragliding section of the Norwegian Airsports Federation. Normally the weather this weekend is excellent and everyone else than us in the meeting is getting good flights. This year, however, the weather was crap here in Oslo, so it was not that bad attending the meeting. I was attening the meeting both representing my club and as responsible for rules and regulations in the Hang Gliding and Paragliding section. We went through the normal things, some red tape and some more applied issues. The meeting is quite useful as a lot of club leaders and operating officers are meeting each other and exchanging information and experiences in addition to the information they are getting from the hang glider and paraglider section. This year we also had a special guest, Kari Castle, three times hang gliding World champion. She held three very interesting talks on her herself, her way to becoming world champion, and on safety issues. Good presentations with lots interesting pictures.

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Kari Castle talking about her hang glider and paraglider experiences.

Sunny day at Sundvollen

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Today it was nice sunny weather and warm temperatures for Norway in early March. The wind direction was North something so we, Øyvind and I, went out to Sundvollen with Sindre and Olaf – two of our students. Øyvind was out earlier than me so as I arrived Sindre landed after his first flight, so he drove back up to the launch with me. At the launch it was nice and warm but almost no wind so I did not even bother rigging my T2. If I had a WW Falcon available maybe I would have flown, but today I focused instead on letting the students get a few flights. Sindre got 2 flight today, and Olaf one as he arrived late. Most or all that had rigged got a sled ride down, but as mentioned, I was not that motivated today. I definitely think I must get myself a WW Falcon 3 for these slow 0-wind days.

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Olaf launching at Sundvollen.

More photos from the day HERE.