Archive from August 21st 2001 untill end 2001.

December 29th – Saturday – 2001: Wing rescue
After the accident on Tuesday it was time to rescue what was left of the wing. The rescue party consisted of Egil Toft, Alf Oppøyen, my father Terje H., and myself; Line (my girlfriend) was responsible for catering, and Knut, a local pilot, joined us during the rescue. (We notified the Police about the wing on Tuesday so that no one should initiate a rescue operation because of a wing hanging from the cliffs).
Egil and myself climbed down the crevice while Alf and Terje H. stayed up and should be responsible for pulling the wing up. But when Egil and I reached the wing, Alf had already climbed half-way down by the help of the ropes. After some back and forth we managed to manouvre the wing so that we could take out the battens while it was still hanging from the cliff. After removing the battens we folded the wing together and lowered it all the way down in the crevice, and packed it together there. We then pulled the wing up using the ropes. All in all, the wing look surprisingly fine. Both wing tubes and one upright were broken, and the sail torn in several places. Still, the keel and the (carbon) crossbar looked undamaged.
The entire rescue process took about 2 hours.

December 25th – Tuesday – 2001: X-mas “not-flying”, iced wings, and accident.
Steinar and meself decided to try out Sundvollen on Christmas Day, and have our first “frozen water” landing for the season. While inspecting the ice (was it thick enough?) two other pilots also showed up. It was about -12 ºC, and 0-wind, but humidity was as high as 90 %. As we were rigging the wings, they where covered with a thin layer of frost/ice.
While I was wiping the ice of the sail of my wing, one pilot prepared to start, and after waiting for a couple of minutes on the ramp he started. The start itself look just fine, but just as he got airborne the wing turned a bit to the left, and then immediately dived. After gaining more speed the wing stopped diving, but it was clearly out of control. The wing was still trying to turn left, and although flying speed looked fine the wing acted as it was about to stall any split second. On its way down one wing tip swept over the pg-start just below and to the left of the hg-start, and before disappearing behind a peak some spectators on the pg-start said that the left wing tip struck a three. The entire flight look really bad, the pilot obviously had no control – it had to be a terrible feeling.
After loosing the pilot out of sight Egil, Steinar, and myself rushed down to look for him. We searched for about 15 minutes without finding him, and he was not responding when we shouting for him. We then discovered him hanging down in a crevice between the cliff and some threes at the bottom of a ravine, about 5 metres below us – it should have been impossible to end up there, still there he was. He had obviously hit the cliff really hard, and been unconscious for 10-15 minutes, further he had broken his left arm. Still, taking everything into consideration, I think he was quite lucky after all, as this could have ended up really bad. The wing is probably totaled, but we was able to save vario and harness. The helmet was broken on both the left and right side. After a painful and difficult climb to the top (with a broken arm), Egil drove the pilot to the hospital. The hospital concluded that he had broken his arm (we had figured that out already) and that he had a severe concussion (not a surprise taken the condition of the helmet into consideration). The fractured arm probably needs surgery, not just a plaster.
What caused the accident is still a mystery, but we suspect that it could have been caused by ice on the sail. The pilot is really experienced, and it is not at all likely that he stalled the wing all the way down. The pilot himself does not remember anything from the flight.
So a word of caution for all winter pilots: Include in the preflight check an inspection of the sail for ice, and wipe of all ice and frost immediately before flying, and do not fly if the ice and frost develops quickly on the sail. Although the cause of the accident is not determined this is an easy and costless precaution.

November 24th – Saturday – 2001: Our students first altitude flight
Finally the weather provided an opportunity for our students first altitude flight. We had originally planed to one more day in the training hill, but all three students that showed up, Bjørn J., Francis, and Agnar, claimed to be very ready for the big leap. This could also be our last chance before the course break before Christmas (at this point in the course both instructors and students alike need a little break, and most of us also need to spend a few weekends with our families as well before another year of hg-ing).
The wind as S-SW so we (the students, Terje Birdman Brønstad, Steinar J., and myself) went to Brandbukampen about 75 km north of Oslo. The launch is perfect for beginners, and there are large fields/LZs just beneath the start. Once we arrived we started to rig the wings, but was interrupted by a shower, nothing much but the rain was “undercooled” and froze once it hit the ground AND ours wings. We managed to save the two Atlas’, but the Clubman was covered by ice. As hgs do not have a de-ice switch we had to drop using the Clubman. After 15 minutes the weather was fine again, and we could rig the Atlas’ and make ready for our students big leap. I was responsible for the launch, and Birdman for guiding them safely down on the LZ. I think everyone was a bit nervous, both instructors and students. But it was no problems, all students started, flew, and landed like they never had done anything else. As we now only had two wings the students only got two flights each. I think this turned out to be a great day, and probably one both the students and I will remember forever – they for their first hg flight, and I as the first time I was responsible for sending out students on their first altitude flight.

November 10th and 11th – Saturday and Sunday – 2001: Yeah – I’m flying!
Saturday: HG course again, my first day as a “real” instructor. Only Bjørn J. and Francis showed up. Both of them got a number of good flights in windy conditions at the new school hill at Kjeller (opposite of the existing one).
Sunday: Tail wind at all three training hills (Årvoll and Kjeller*2) today – it should be impossible, but that is the Norwegian autumn weather. As a result of this, we (Øyvind Ellefsen and me) went out to Sundvollen instead, as we had heard that pilots were soaring there. Øyvind borrowed my “for sales” Amour, as he has sold his Moyes Litespeed before his annual winter trip to Australia – he leaves next week. When we arrived the wind had off course become weaker. Still, it was possible to fly, and we had a nice 5 minutes sledge ride. Anyway, I actually flew for the first time in about 12 weeks. I was a nice feeling. After the flight we had dinner at Vik together with Frode Halse and Christer Bonde. Frode treated me with an ice cream for dessert since I drove him back up to the start so that he could pick up his VW Caravel.

November 3rd and 4th – Saturday and Sunday – 2001: Windy weekend
Tried both days to get a flight from Sundvollen, 25 minutes driving north-west of Oslo. Both days provided strong and skewed wind (too much west for the NW launch). On Sunday we also experienced a few rain showers with additional wind created by the showers. Saturday three pilots, all experienced old-timers, flew. The rest of us chickened out. Sunday I do not think anyone flew, but I gave up early and went home. Maybe someone gave it at try?

October 30th – Tuesday – 2001: Instructor license
Now it is official, my instructor license arrived today. I really passed the training – yeah.

October 26th – 28th – Friday to Sunday – 2001: Instructor course – no flying
Still not official, as I have not received the license, but it looks as if I passed HP/NLFs (the Norwegian hang glider association) instructor training this weekend. This means that I am can organise a hg course on my own, and grant/renew hg-licenses. Quite a responsibility!

October 20th – Saturday – 2001: Desperate flying attempt/Hate the autumn
It is a long times since I have been flying. Consequently, my decision making is becoming more and more irrational. Saturday morning provided fog, nearly 0-wind, extremely low cloud-base, and generally BAD weather. Still, as I had the day off, I had to try, so Steinar Johnsen, Knut Skinnarmo and I decided to make an attempt at Ryghåsen west of Drammen. Naturally, we did not fly. I HATE THE NORWEGIAN AUTUMN. It just is not flyable.

October 18th – Thursday – 2001: Club Annual Meeting/General Assembly
Today at 7 pm we had the annual meeting (general assembly) for our club, Oslo og Omegn Hanggliderklubb. Main tasks this year were to elect new members for our executive committee, and to approve the clubs annual report. I was reelected as chairman, and Jostein Vorkinn was reelected, this time as treasurer. New members were Steinar Johnsen, Roger Korsvik, and Roar Elgaaen.
After for formal part of the meeting, the club treated everyone who came to the meeting with pizza (we were only about 12 people out of a total of 57 or so members). In addition, a number of prizes were awarded for various achievements the last year. Categories and winners were as follows: Most airborne hours, Morten Holo; most flights Erik Vermaas; driver of the year, Terje Brønstad; the dealer-support-prize for worst crash, myself; club member of the year, Steinar Johnsen and Roger Korsvik for the development of a new hg-start near Nesbyen. All received diplomas and a variety of prizes (beer, motor oil [driver of the year], chocolate, and so on).
This years largest surprise was a number of engraved plates with club logo and names made by Steinar. They looked really cool. I got two plates in different sizes, both also with my name engraved.

October 13th Saturday & 14th Sunday – 2001: More HG course & misc.
Not much flying for me lately, instead weekends are used for training our new hg-students. They are by the way soon ready for their first real flight. Saturday we were at the training hill at Årvoll. Øyvind Ellefsen, today’s head instructor, overslept and I had to phone and wake him. Still, we had a nice and effective day in the training hill.
Sunday proved to be one of the really annoying days with tail wind in all three training hills near Oslo – Årvoll, Lahaugmoen, and Kjeller. We even rigged the wings at Årvoll. Here this weekends main entertainment also took place. While Terje “Birdma” Brønstad talked to a potential hg-student (a woman off course), the rest of us de-rigged and put the wings on the roof rack on Terje’s car, all the rest of the equipment in the trunk of his Voyager, including his car keys. Off course we also locked the door. After about 20 minutes of “grand theft auto” activities, one the the hg-students managed to get hold of Terje’s harness containing the keys through a small hole between the passenger seat and the trunk. We then drove to Lahaugmoen, and then to Kjeller – fog and tail wind both places.

October 6th – Saturday – 2001: Checking our course wings
After the course today Terje “Birdman” Brønstad, Alf Oppøyen, Steinar Johnsen and myself checked our course wings (Atlas’) and tried to get an overview of what was in Terje’s garage – our current course wing and equipment storage facility. We threw about a ton of old and damaged equipment, including Terje’s crashed Merlin – he had an unpleasant meeting with mother earth this summer. But we also found a lot of stuff that we did not even knew of, including wires and tubes for the Atlas’.
Our current inventory of course hang gliders now include: one Atlas 14 (needs a total overhaul), two Atlas 16 (OK condition), one Atlas 18 (needs new wires), three ClubMan (two need a check but are probably OK, one needs a total overhaul and probably repair after a crash).

September 29th Saturday & 30th Sunday – 2001: HG course
Two quite successful days in the training hill at Kjeller, a few kilometers north-east of Oslo – for our students that is. Alf Oppøyen was instructor, with me as assistant. We had four students attending Saturday and three on Sunday. Saturday we even had two pilots from last years course in the hill, training starts and landings. One of them, Roger Korsvik, even tried out his Moyes Extralite for the first time. All the students how attended this weekend have had a quick progression and fly fairly well. The last part of Sunday was cancelled because of rain.

September 16th – Sunday – 2001: HG course
The weather has definitely turned bad – really bad – here in Oslo. Wind from the North and and the East, and lots of rain. Still, we were in the school hill both Saturday and Sunday. I helped out as an “assistant instructor” on Sunday. Quite fun, but we had to call it a day after only a couple of hours because of rain and crosswind.

September 11th – Tuesday – 2001: OziEx Maps
A number of maps of Southern Norway calibrated for OziExplorer are now available. Follow the GPS link to the left. Please let me know if you find that some of the maps are not accurately calibrated. Wednesday – today I have even remembered to add the maps 🙂

September 6th – Thursday – 2001: Hand surgery
Looks like Erik Slattum will need hand surgery after his crash May 1st this year at
Sundvollen 🙁 His wrist is not getting any better and the doctors want to take a piece of bone from his leg and build up the wrist again with this. Sounds bad to me. Hope Erik will be OK again as soon as possible.

September 5th – Wednesday – 2001: Intro. for HG Course 2001
Introduction and test day before this years hg course. Five potential pilots turned up, and were told about the mysteries of hg flying and soaring. They also tried out lifting and running with a hg. The result was the ordinary school hill entertainment – people stumbling, crashing, and falling all over the place. Still, all of them seem very motivated and they did actually perform quite well for handling a hg for the first time.
Seems like we are going to have at least 5 students attending this course.

August 25th-26th – Saturday-Sunday – 2001: “Trontreff”
Last main event of the Norwegian flying season, organised by Terje “Birdman” Brønstad.
Trontreff is a social gathering at Tronfjell 350 km north-north east of Oslo, and has become a tradition;
this years gathering was the 11th in a row. This social event is built around a five event competition, including flying Saturday morning, and four other events after BBQ Saturday evening. This year weather was bad and subsequently it was no flying. As a result of this we had five events in the evening. These included: javelin using a crowbar, football (soccer) bowling, “Trontreff” bocha, milk pail (20 kg.) throwing, and this year introducing “test tube” rolling (they are all potential new national sports). The latter event was a kind of hurdle race, starting by being rolled down a hill inside the test tube (see pics. below – or, then the contestants should climb and slide down a children’s slide, and finally run up the same hill they rolled down – great fun, and this year we had no injuries. Earlier competitions have seriously challenged the medical capacity of the local hospital.
Pictures: Knut Vidar Moløkken, Hedemarken HGK.

August 19th – Sunday – 2001: Sail plane
No hg today despite nice weather. A few others went to Trøgstad for tug launching. Instead I called Helge Langehaug to find out if he was going sail plan flying – he was. The result was my first sail plane flight ever. Got about 2 hours over Eggemoen north of Oslo. I hven tried to fly for about 10 minutes, and managed to gain more than 200 meters. Sail plains are indeed awesome flying machines, they have so much more energy than a hg – we had a top ground speed of 201 km/h according to my gps. I was really surprised to feel how much g we experienced, both positive and negative.

Leave a Reply