First Vågå weekend of the year

This weekend the national hang glider and paraglider centre in Vågå opened for the season, and as the forecast looked half way promising I decided to drive the + 4 hours to Vågå hoping for good flying conditions. I arrived at Vågå 2330 Friday evening, just in time for a couple of beers. Saturday the forecast predicted relatively strong wind so we drove up to the launch early. At 1130 launch conditions were good, but as I decided to start by 1205 the wind had increased in addition to be cross from the left (SE). So I gave up launching the Falcon 2 170 as this is a relatively slow glider and also not that good launching in a lot of wind. Later Johnny N. and Vegar H. launched with topless gliders, but hit waves and had a pretty rough flight. The wind then picked up even further to 16 mps and the rest of the pilots gave up and went down hoping for better conditions in the evening. In the evening the wind suddenly calmed down so we went up for an evening sled ride. As we arrived it was nearly 0-wind, so I launched as fast as possible fearing tailwind, and got a sled ride down to the landing. In the end about half the pilots got stuck in tailwind and were not able to start.


Johnny N. landing his Airborne C4 Saturday evening.

Sunday looked a little better than Saturday in terms of wind, but today the wind was from W. We went up quite early again, and I rigged the glider as fast as possible to get out before the wind picked up. As I was ready to launch the wind had increased and the W component was dominating, meaning crosswind from the right on launch. But as I was about to launch I noticed that the wind had increased down in the valley; the paragliders had 0 speed in the headwind and the Lake Vågåvatn showed clear signs of lots of wind. I launched in a calm period with good headwind, and flew into relatively good lift but was more preoccupied with getting down to the landing while the wind was manageable than to soar. I pulled through most of the lift and landed after only 16 minutes. After I launched only two hang gliders more was able to launch before the rest of them gave up. So I probably got the most out of the day, and the weekend.

Other news.
Steinar and Terje S. from the Oslo Area Hang Glider Club have taken the week off to fly. Daily reports at Loffdesperados.no (in Norwegian).

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