Archive 2002


June 6th – 9th – Thursday to Sunday – 2002: Good quantity, bad quality
This weekend provided flights every day, but unfortunately each flight could have been more successful. Also the hg competition arranged by my club and me could have been more successful. A short report from each day follows:
Thursday: When we arrived at 2000 conditions were still quite good at Tronfjell, and I got a nice evening flight in calm conditions.
Friday: The last waypoints for the competitions (the three LZ) were marked and recorded, and I got the message that our meet director had backed out and that Øyvind Ellefsen had to step in. Today’s flying also proved to be a limited success. We tried to launch from the south launch hoping for the thermal to turn the Northern winds a the launch – it never happened. But instead of accepting this we tried to wait, and wait. Finally I had enough sense to accept our blunder, hooked in and carried the wing and harness 860 meters to the other launch. By now, however, conditions were not to good here either as the sun was gone from this launch, and I only got a prolonged sledge ride down to Tylldalen. The drawback with this landing is that it is a 80 km drive to pick up pilots because you have to drive around entire Tronfjell (the mountain we start from). The day was complete when one of the two responsible for scoring also backed out, and quite a few of the ones that had promised to come to Tron also backed out.
Saturday: First day of the competition. Well, it is safe to say the things were not very organised. Conditions were quite good, but unstable and it quickly overdeveloped. Still, during the afternoon conditions became quite good again, and if we had been quicker starting the competition it could have been better than what it turned out to be (that is at least my opinion). Another problem was that I had to take a much more active role in the organisation of the competition than I had foreseen and had competence to do, and this really ruined my flying today as I had to start late because I had to be available most of the day.
Sunday: Basically the same story as yesterday.
Conclusion: One experience richer and a quite aggravated pilot (me) after a competition that turned out as badly organised combined with what turned out to be quite bad flying for me as well these two days. The reason is that I had to take responsibility of something I had very limited (actually non-existing) experience with. Further, this took focus and the time available away from my own flying. What a weekend – never again!
On the positive side quite a few of our freshest hg-students and pilots turned up and had a number of excellent flights – they got by far more airtime than me and many even reached cloud-base several times. Also a great thanks to everyone who helped plan and organise the competition, especially Jostein, Steinar, Alf, and Øyvind. Further Roger, Knut, Pål Øyvind, Truls, and Stein all provided valuable support.

June 6th – Thursday – 2002: No-fly and off to Tron
Tuesday 4th I tried to improve my so far terrible flying season by a Wflying guaranteed” expedition to nearby Grøtterud near Hvittingfoss (1 hour driving). The disadvantage with the launch is that it takes 10 minutes to carry the equipment to the launch – with a 37 kg WW Fusion that is a looooong way. And off course, the day was not that safe after all – there were very strong cycles, cross-wind and no flying (aaaaarrghh), and I had to carry everything back (aaarrghh again).
Today I am off to Tronfjell to organise the fourth round of the Norwegian Hang Glider Cup (NC). We are four who are going to Tron today, while the rest of the “organising committee” arrive Friday. The weather forecast looks quite promising. So then there is nothing else to to than pray to the weather demons, and hope that I have prepared everything that needs preparation. Report of the calamities will follow on Monday.

June 1st – 2nd – Saturday and Sunday 2002: Wrong place
This weekend I decided to try to fly locally, meaning near Oslo. The weather forecast was not that promising and I am really feed up with driving. We tried to fly from Ringerud both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday it overdeveloped and I only got about 15 minutes flight. I had a bad landing, flew to slow and had no energy left to stall the wing, and broke the connection between the instrument pod and the clamp. A few other pilots also got prolonged sledge rides, while some managed to stay up 45-60 minutes.
Sunday: Crosswind at the launch and quite strong winds. Westerly winds are no good at all at Ringerud. A couple of pilots flew, and Sverre B. got a short XC flight. The rest of us de-rigged and went home.
In Gudbrandsdalen the conditions were quite good both days – I had definitely chosen the wrong weekend to stay home.



May 26th – Sunday – 2002:Weekend off from flying
It has been a rainy week and no flying. Today, Sunday, it was possible to fly but I never bothered to drive for one and a half hour in the risky conditions – overdevelopment and rain showers. Instead I drove to Knut Johansen (largest hg dealer in Norway) to get some hg-equipment as prizes for the upcoming hg-competition organised but my club Oslo og Omegn HGK.


May 17th – 21st – Friday to Monday: Limited success
I had really high expectations for this long weekend. All four days had been devoted to flying, and I hoped to get at least two XC flights and quite a few hours of flying. Still, the weather demons wanted it otherwise.
Friday: The Norwegian national day (equivalent to the US 4th of July, but even more “Holy”). The winds were too strong, but me and Alf together with our girlfriends did quite some hg-waiting at Brandstadkampen in Gudbrandsdalen before giving up.
Saturday: Totally blue conditions and light northern winds. As a result of this we decided to start from Espesetra, a prime XC site on light northern winds. Conditions were, however, difficult and I even had problems getting much above the start. After about 35 minutes of struggling one thermal finally took me up to 1950 meters, and I immediately headed for Torgeirkampen taking advantage of the tail wind. Torgeirkampen is a hill which is the next safe thermal generator on the route south. Today, however, this safe thermal generator proved to fail, and I stranded at Kvam after only 12 km. In addition, I had a quite rough landing and I broke the far left batten. Later that evening/night I managed to repair the batten using a small steel tube, super epoxy and aluminum tape.
Sunday: After having dropped of my girlfriend at our home near Oslo and sleeping for a few hours, I rushed to Hallingdalen and our new club site at Nesbyen. I hoped to get my first XC flight from this place, but once again the weather demons wanted it otherwise. With lot of clouds and cross wind we had to go to Flatagrov further north. Here we “enjoyed” a prolonged sledge ride. A very bad pay-off considering that we had to drive more than 400 km. The wing went as straight as always after the batten repair.
Monday: Rain – the weather demons last triumph.



May 13th – Monday: 100th altitude flight
After this weekends lousy performance I decided to the give it a try at Brandbukampen this afternoon. I hoped to get a nice, easy and uncomplicated flight on the sea-breeze to celebrate my 100th altitude flight. Still, the weather demons wanted it otherwise, and provided almost 0-wind conditions. The sun was, however, shining and I got my 100th flight, so the day turned out to be quite nice anyway. My 100th flight included a perfect launch, a prolonged sledge ride, and an OK landing.



May 9th- 12th – Thursday to Sunday: Lousy weekend
Short report from this long weekend: 900 km of driving, 16 minutes of flying. The flight was on Thursday, a day where Werner J. flew 182 km from Øyer to Åndalsnes, and 2 pilots flew from Vågå to Åndalsnes (101 km). And where was I – at the main LZ of course, after my 16 minutes flight. The rest of the days the winds were too strong for any good flights. What a horrible weekend. The only consolation was that I spent the weekend with some really nice pilots (and drank quite a few beers).



May 4th- 5th – Saturday and Sunday: Not my best flying weekend
There are two main reasons this was not a good weekend for flying 1) wrong place (and time) and 2) bad flying. Due to a relatively negative weather forecast a few of us decided not to drive for 3 1/2 hours to Gudbrandsdalen. Saturday we tried our new club site near Nesbyen in Hallingdal. The forecast indicated NE-wind, and we trusted the thermals to it launchable at this SE start. Sure enough, it was possible to start, but it proved difficult to soar. Egil and Morten got up, and Morten flew 38 km to the NW, landing at Ål. The rest of us just got 10-15 minute in the air. I started between Morten and Egil, and really have no excuse for not getting up, I just flew really bad – again. Lesson learned (again): In marginal conditions, you only have one chance to get up – use it!
Sunday I and Anders from Lier Hanggliderklubb tried to fly at Ryghåsen, but we could not get hold of the key to the bar blocking the road to this launch. Therefore we tried our luck at Solbergåsen although the wind direction was wrong. Still, as we arrived the thermals made this place launchable. Before we were able to rig our wings the nice Cu’s overdeveloped and we were stuck with 0-wind at best and tailwind. Fearing consistent overdevelopment and tailwind, we decided to launch in one of the occasional 0-wind cycles. The result was a sledge ride done to LZ for both of us. 1 1/2 hours after we started/landed the sea breeze swept up the valley and made it soarable at Solbergåsen. Just what we needed.



May 1st – Wednesday: New OziEx maps
No flying last weekend. The rain was splashing down. Still, it suited me just fine, as I had both an exam at a doctoral course to deliver and a deadline on a consulting project I am work on (Strategy Consulting).
Tuesday I received a number of calibrated maps from Robin Strid. They are all posted on the OziEx site. I have not checked the calibrated thoroughly, but judged by waypoints they seem very accurate.
For the time, my aim is to publish as many maps as possible. Later on I will hopefully have enough maps to be able to select the best ones, both in terms of format/size and calibration. Still, for now everything calibrated will be published. Therefore, please send me (calibrated) maps, and feed back on how accurate the different maps are calibrated. To check the calibration you can for instance record a track log as you are driving, and see whether this track log correspond with the road on the map. If you find a map that needs recalibration, it would be nice if you either sent me a recalibrated map, or if you included a few waypoints I can use to recalibrate the map myself. Use for instance easily identifiable road-crosses, bridges, or other objects that are easy to find on the map. It would also be nice if you also included the track log you used when identifying the inaccurate calibration.



April 20th & 21st – Saturday and Sunday – 2002: The season has started!
The weather forecast looked very promising for this weekend, and as most of the snow is gone in Gudbrandsdalen Alf and I, and lots of other pilots, decided to try Frya (for non-Norwegian readers: Gudbrandsdalen is a valley and the No 1 flying and XC place in Norway, and Frya one of the best launch sites during the spring and early summer). Finally, we experienced a very good weekend for flying – sun, and not much wind. After a a couple of hours waiting for the best possible conditions I started at 1500. Even thought the conditions looked perfect it was difficult to get very high above the launch, and after struggling for about 1 1/2 hour I nearly gave up. But then I finally managed to catch a thermal than took me from launch level and 900 meters up. I then flew south heading first for Ringebu, and then for Fåvang. Near Fåvang I saw a wing at a field and decided to land here as well. This was my first XC flight in Norway. The pilot that had landed before me was Geir Markeng. After de-rigging Knut Skinnarmo picked us up and drove me back up to the launch to get the car. I then had to go and pick up Alf, who had flown north to Lesja and had covered 85,8 km in his Bright Star Millennium (the only one in Norway). We ate dinner on the way back from Lesja, drank 3 beers back at the camp, and went to sleep. Robin had the longest flight of the day: Frya-Lesjaskog – 114 km. Terje “Birdman” Brønstad had the come-back of the year with 67 km in his first flight after the bad crash at Christmas Day.
Sunday looked equally promising as yesterday. Still, conditions were quite difficult and it was even more difficult than yesterday to get very high above the launch – for me at least. It was some consolation, however, that it was quite easy to hang 100-300 meters above the launch. Actually, I flew as long as I wanted. A final bonus was that saw my old wing in the air for the first time. It was good to see that it is flown and not stored away.
Weekend summary: 4 hours 5 minutes of flying, 18 km XC, 800 km of driving, 3 (!) beers, and two junk-food dinners.

April 13th Saturday – 2002: First flight from Ryghåsen
The weather forecast for today varying from very promising to really quite bad depending on source. It was the ARL (Air Resource Laboratory [see also Frode Halse’s weather links]) that proved to provided the best forecast, as usual. Needless to say, this was the “quite bad” forecast with 100 % cloud cover. Anyway, I wanted to fly so I joined Lier Hanggliderklubb at Lierkroa at 0900 as I wanted to have the possibility to fly from Ryghåsen, a “Lier only” launch. When we arrived at Ryghåsen conditions actually looked promising as the wind seemed strong enough for ridge soaring. Werner and Rolf started first and got up reporting that they got up using thermals! I started as number three and had to give up after 10 minutes. It was definitely possible to get up, but I just did not fly good enough today – I definitely need more more practice in marginal conditions. The only consolation was that also Øystein had to land after about 10 minutes. Still, I got airborne, and I got 10 minutes more experience in marginal conditions, AND I got a really good excuse for taking a beer or more this evening (not that I need one).



April 9th Tuesday – 2002: Redesigned GPS page, check it out
I have redesigned the GPS page (top left link). The changes are mainly that I have split Southern Norway into regions, each with maps, waypoints, selected track logs, and so forth. I have also linked each individual map, and not just one big Zip-folder containing all maps. So now even those with a slow Internet connection should be able to download maps. There are still a few links that should be added, but the most important element, the maps, are as complete as in previous GPS page. The design itself is not too great, but I am only an amateur hacker and my main aim has been to make it easy to upgrade and use. Hope everyone is satisfied. If not – too bad, check out some other sites instead. Do you have suggestions for improvements, corrections, or if you have OziEx calibrated maps you want me to include – please to not hesitate to mail me.


April 6th & 7th – Saturday and Sunday – 2002: Weekend in Kristiansand
No flying this weekend. It is pay back time since I left my girlfriend alone all Easter, and I have to build goodwill for the rest of the spring and for the summer. I have a really kind and patient girlfriend that let me use so much time on flying.



March 22nd – April 1st – 2002: Easter vacation and flying in Laragne
I am back from Laragne – France. Here are the highlights from the vacation:
-> 5 flights and about 5 hours.
-> 3 different sites; Chabre, Mt. Colombis, and Aspres.
-> My first XC-flight (16,8 km).
-> 8.000,- Norwegian kroner ( 1.000,- Euro) poorer.
-> About 30 beers and a few litres of win consumed.
-> About 55 hours of driving (10 Red Bulls consumed).
All in all, a normal hg vacation.

The number for flights was as expected although we hoped for more. The largest disappointment was the airtime, 5 hours is not that much. Still, conditions were quite difficult with high air pressure. Also better flying would have increased my airtime, but with this training I am definitely well prepared for the Norwegian thermal and XC season. All in all, it was a great hg vacation and a superb vacation – many thanks to Alf O., Kenneth K. and Anders R. for nice company.



March 21st – Thursday: Sundvollen once again + no journal during Easter
Once again the weather forecast looked promising for Sundvollen, 6 m/s N winds and some sun. But what did I find? 1-2 m/s N-NE winds and only marginal conditions. I managed to extend the sledge ride with about 5 minutes before I had to head for the LZ. Not exactly what I hoped for, but at least I got short flight, and the marginal conditions provided good training. Frode Halse and 4 other pg-pilots also flew today.

Tomorrow I am heading for France and Laragne for the Easter. Therefore, the journal will not be updated before April 2nd at the earliest. Hopefully, I will then be able to post a long report from a number of outrageously good flights in Laragne. So long – happy Easter.



March 16th – Saturday: Long drive, short flight.
This weekend’s flying expedition went to Hallingdalen and our club’s flying site at Fekjan/Påverud. This is about 160 km north of Oslo, a 2 hour drive. The weather forecast was quite promising, but Saturday morning there was no sun. Well, we (Bjørn J., Francis [students] and myself, Steinar had been there since Wednesday) decided to give it a try anyway as it is important for the student to get as many flights as possible before conditions become more demanding with stronger thermals. When we arrived at Fekjan/Påverud the wind was a bit from the right, but it was definitely possible to start, but no hopes for anything else than a slegde ride. We all got a nice slegde rides down to the LZ on the frozen river. I then drove the other three up for a second flight. A long drive, but a nice day after all with a total of 7 flights from our club site.



March 9th – 10th – Saturday & Sunday: Excellent Sunday at Sundvollen.
Due to extremely much to do at the doctoral programme I attend at the Norwegian School of Management there is only a very brief report from last weekend.
Saturday: Alf and I tried to get a flight from Jondalen outside Kongsberg, 75 km or so NW of Oslo together with Knut J. og Torstein B. from the local hg-club. The weather forecast promised lots of wind though, and this proved to be correct. Up to 18 m/s at the ridge above the launch. No flying today.
Sunday: Quite good weather forecast, which proved to be correct also today. I got nearly 2 hours of ridge- and thermal soaring, max. altitude about 1200 meters, best lift 4,4 m/s. Finally a nice flight, I really needed this after the last weeks failed attempts and lots of driving.



March 2nd – 3rd – Saturday & Sunday: Another lousy weekend for flying.
Another bad weekend for flying. Report follows: Saturday – 1000-1600 waiting for the wind to decrease, it never did (well actually those how waited until 1700 got an hour long flight). Sunday – 1000-1230 waiting for tailwind to turn at Sundvollen, it did not. Then we tried Åsa, were we rigged the wings before the tailwind caught us here as well. Then we got message that it looked promising at Sundvollen. Johannes managed to start while a thermal passed us at the start at Åse. Then three of us gave up, while Steinar and I rushed back to Sundvollen trying to get at least a sledge ride. Here it was 0-wind, but by the time we had rigged our wings (again), it was tailwind (again). It seemed like all the weather demons in Norway were after us this weekend. I will NEVER GO HANG GLIDING AGAIN – at least not before next weekend.



February 28th – Thursday – 2002: Club meeting.
This evening we had one of our rare club meetings; we have not been very good at taking care of this aspect of flying in our club. Still, by the initiative of Steinar J. and Roger K. we finally managed to organise a meeting. The meeting was held at the premises of the MRO department of SAS at Gardermoen International Airport. The program for the evening included hg-videos, a “lecture” on how to use GPS and OziExplorer, while “the grand finale” was a tour of the MRO facilities, held by club member Agnar T. At Gardermoen SAS have the MRO of their MD-80 fleet. It was fascinating to see the MD-80’s striped all down to the aluminum body. It seemed like everybody had a great time, at least I had.



February 23rd & 24th – Saturday & Sunday – 2002: Windy weekend
Saturday: Finally! Really good flying conditions at Sundvollen. Conditions were perfect for ridge soaring, mixed with gigantic smooth thermals. I have never experienced such good conditions at Sundvollen before. Here, it often seems like it is either 0-wind or extremely strong wind. Anyway, today it was perfect. The wind varied between 4-6 m/s, the direction was almost 90º on the ridge, and as mentioned, we had large thermals as well. I flew for 2 hours and 20 minutes, and reached 1020 meters above sea level/960 meters above the landing and 640 above the launch. It was quite cold, about -4ºC at 1000 meters, and I had to land because I was so cold that I was shaking, and I could not feel my toes. Today we were hang gliders, para gliders, and sail planes in the air at the same time. Agnar, one of our students got one flight before conditions became too strong.
Sunday: After last day’s success I was hungry for more flying, and when we arrived the conditions looked really promising. First, Agnar got a flight, his forth. The conditions were quite calm, but on the edge of what a student should fly in. But Agnar had a nice flight. Bjørn J., the other student that showed up today, came later, and then conditions definitively was too strong, and he did not get any flights today. But then, neither did any others. As we were ready to launch in what seemed like perfect conditions, the wind increased substantially. The wind speed was measured between 45 and 60 km/h at the launch ramp. A bit too much, and we decided call it a day. The sail planes above us seemed to enjoy the conditions though.
All in all, the weekend was quite a success. At least I am satisfied with 2 h. 20 min. in February. And now it is just a few weeks until the “thermal-season” starts for real.



February 22nd – Friday – 2002: Pic’s from last Sunday
My wing (Fussie) and me.

Winch launching.

Both photos: Line Hagen.



February 19th – Tuesday – 2002: Sundvollen once more
Today the weather forecast promised relatively strong NW winds, ideal for rigde soaring at Sundvollen. Alf Oppøyen and I decided to give it a try, hoping for a couple of hours nice winter ridge soaring. But once again Sundvollen proved to disappoint us; the wind was not strong enough for soaring. It was sunny, however, so we waited and hoped for a few weak winter thermals instead. But the thermals only provided reasonable launch wind and not soaring. Still, the day was quite successful, no work and nice sunny weather – Norwegians do not demand more in than that in February. Alf had his first flight of the year on his Bright Star Millennium.



February 17th – Sunday – 2002: Static winch launching
After the last days misfortune, I decided to try out something completely different – as you may imagine, I have had enough of Sundvollen/Åsa for a while. Instead I phoned Knut Johansen to find out whether he and Torstein Båsen were winching near Bolkesjø this weekend. Knut phoned me be back on Sunday morning and told me and confirmed that, and I drove the 110 km SW of Oslo, hoping to get a few flights. The weather was fine, and everything looked promising, maybe my bad luck had changed? But no, here we go again. As I was rigging Knut was winch launching a LaMouette tandem glider. In his second launch the dolly got caught in the wire and the tandem wing lifted the dolly as it was ascending. Knut released the wire and landed safely, but the dolly took a 3-4 meter fall, and one of the three wheels was put out of business. Using a dolly is the ordinary way of winch launching in Norway, and we were a little insecure of what to do next, but we (well actually Knut) decided to try out a foot launched start. The foot launched start proved to be better and more comfortable than using a dolly, at least in 0-wind conditions like today. My problems, however, were not over. When winching I use a dual shoulder release, and my two first launched were aborted after I had released the first release/bridle because it system seemed to auto release the second release/bridle. What was happening was that the shoulder release was too close to the bottom-bar and as it came in contact with bottom-bar the last release was deployed. Then, after these two launches our communications system broke down (out of power), and we had to start the winch launch using our mobile phones. Then finally, some luck. My third launch was perfect and I gained about 500 meters on 1600 meters of wire. Not too good, but I was happy. On my fourth and final launch the wing started yawing and I chose to release at about 100 meters to be on the safe side. Anyway, I was quite pleased with this conclusion of a otherwise bad week for flying. I got airborne and tried out foot launched winching for the first time. Static winch launching is a nice way of getting airborne. At Åsa they only got sledge rides today.


February 13th Wednesday – 16th Saturday – 2002: A bad week for flying
This flying week started at Wednesday when Steinar and I tried to get a morning flight from Sundvollen, but the winds came from W-SW despite the W-NW forecast. Friday, it was the same story, but now we stayed most of the day hoping for a more favorable wind direction. It did not happen.
Saturday looked kind of promising with stronger winds, but from the SW. Still, this is ideal for Åsa, a few kilometers west of Sundvollen – we land on the same forzen lake. This day we were a total of 7 pilots, 6 from Lier HGK and me. Conditions looked promising for ridge soaring. Johannes launched first and went strait up. Then I started followed by two others, and of course it was a weak period with weak winds, and we only got about 11 minutes before standing at the LZ. The three next pilots waited for a while, and got up and were soaring for more than two hours – not amusing for us on the ground. Still, my flight was not good in any respect, bad start and my harness zipper opened as launched. Then my leg got caught in the zipper lines, and this distracted me so that I flew very slow and lost manouvreing speed and was quite close to some trees. The rest of the flight I flew like a novice, while the flight was concluded with white-out and a hard landing at the frozen lake. Not a good flight, and my mood did not get any better at the three other pilots managed to soar for more than 2 hours.



February 4th – Monday – 2002: Easter vacation to Laragne(?) + flying goggles
Rain and fog during the weekend. Spent the time daydreaming and planning a hg-holiday to Laragne, France, during Easter instead. This year Easter comes early so there is not much hope for good conditions in Norway, so we (Alf Oppøyen, Kenneth Karlsen, Anders Rolseth, and myself) hope to go to France instead.
Saturday I finally received the “flying goggles” I ordered in December. The goggles are made by Blueye, has a soft rubber frame and impact resistant interchangeable lenses with anti fog coating. The goggles fit inside the helmet, and feel really comfortable. They come with two lenses; I chose yellow and smoke tint (they also come in blue/clear, mirror, and rose). Blueye claim the goggles look really cool, but I don’t know about that – my girlfriend thought they looked ugly. Still, I don’t mind, as they seem to be perfect for flying, and I can always use my ordinary ugly sun glasses when not flying. Take a look all the way down on the equipment list to the right for a picture of the goggles. The goggles are sold by Knut Johansen – Johansen Produkter – in Norway.



January 27th – Sunday – 2002: Finally airborne again
Again the forecast looked quite promising, and Alf decided to take the students to Sundvollen. When we arrived the wind direction was OK but it was almost 0-wind. Anyway, it was good conditions for the students, but only Francis and Bjørn J. showed up. Bjørn got 3 flights and Francis 2 1/2 after one questionable start. Still, my own start was not too good either. The nose of the wing is still popping up as I get airborne. I really must work on and concentrate on shifting grips from the uprights to the speed bar while launching. Everyone just got sledge rides down to the LZ.
-*-
This photo from 1999 should give a fairly good picture of today’s conditions, although it is three years old (same time of year and same weather). Photo: Line Hagen.



January 25th – Friday – 2002: More driving
At about 1300 pm I just could not hold it back. I had to give it another try at Sundvollen. The original forecast look somewhat like Wednesday, but looking out the window, conditions seemed much more promising. Even the weather station at Tryvann promised NW and 5 m/s.
So off course I had to drive to Sundvollen, and guess how the conditions were. NO WIND. AAAAAAAAARRGGHHH! Still, as I had ruined so much of the day I determined at least to get a sledge ride down so I rigged the wing. While rigging the wind increased, and it started to look promising after all. I hooked in, and walked to the ramp, and guess what – now the wind had turned and came from W-SW, and was coming in at about 5-8 m/s. So strong wind from this direction makes this launch very turbulent. I stood on the ramp for about 30 minutes trying to find conditions calm enough to start, but finally I had to give up. Now it was even starting to get dark – the sun sets at 1617 pm here in Southern Norway these days.



January 23rd – Wednesday – 2002: Good weather forecast
The weather forecast for Wednesday showed W-NW winds – ideal for Sundvollen with it’s 2-3 km NW ridge hang. Steinar J. and myself decided to give it a try, but at Sundvollen it was almost O-wind, and even Eastern winds a few km north of Sundvollen (smoke from a paper mill). We didn’t bother rigging for a sled ride, and decided to go back to work instead. To be able to take these midweek trips is a definite advantage of been a doctoral student. The pay is not too good, it is lots of flexibility and the work is off course extremely interesting. If only the weather in Norway could improve! Today (Thursday) it is snowing.



January 20th – Sunday – 2002:Bad weather and no flying
It has been really bad flying weather here in Oslo lately. Rain, fog, and the wrong wind direction. So there is not much to tell. While I am waiting for better conditions, here is a nice (?) memory from two years ago – well may be it is not nice, but it definitely proves that it is not only hg-pilots that get turned on by a good hg harness.

-*-
April 22nd 2000 in Vågå. Photo: Bjørn Hammer



January 5th and 6th – Saturday and Sunday – 2002: First flight of the year
Saturday Alf and me were in the training hill at Årvoll, so that the students could brush up their starting and landing skills are a long Christmas holiday. Fransic and Florian showed up, Bjørn J. is still on holiday and Agnar somewhere else. Everything went ok, and both students were obviously ready for some real flying at Sundvollen the next day.
Sunday: The weather forecast look quite promising with NV winds. Still, it turned out to be almost 0-wind at Sundvollen. Alf and I were instructors today as well (actually mostly Alf, as I hoped to get a flight myself). Today Florian got his two first altitude flights and Francis three, and as he flew before Christmas he now has 5 altitude flights. As the day progressed the conditions became more difficult with cross wind or completely calm. At the end of the day, after waiting and hoping form some wind and soaring, I finally started in 0-wind and had a nice sledge ride down to frozen lake we us as LZ.
Sundvollen is a perfect start for hg-student’s first altitude flight, with a two starts, one nature start mostly used by the pg-pilots but good as a “first-altitude-flight” start, and a quite steep ramp for hg. Further the frozen lake we use as LZ is big enough to land a jumbo jet (and with the low temperatures we have had lately, the ice is probably strong enough to support a jumbo as well).

Florian launching – his first altitude flight (Sundvollen, January 6th).

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