Flying at Flå

August 1st, 2009

After a disastrous July for flying, today I made a last desperate attempt to get some airtime at the end of my vacation. So after a few phone calls and sms’ yesterday evening, a bunch of us (Steinar, Stein SP Fossum, Truls S, Petter P, Vegar H, and me) decided to give Flå a try. As we arrived at 1030 conditions looked quite good, but it seemed like it could be overcast. So we drove up to the launch as fast as possible, but it turned out that the shades kept away and we had nice sunny conditions until almost 1700. The conditions proved to be quite weak but enough to provide safe and easy soaring, mostly ridge soaring from weak thermals, and it was difficult to get over 950 masl. Still, we could at least fly as long as we wanted. I got a nice 2 hours 14 minutes flight.

Below, a bad video filmed with my photo camera – hand held.

Flå 1. august 2009 from Bjørn Trygve Hammer on Vimeo.

More bad weather and no flying

July 27th, 2009

This must have been one of the worst summer vacations I have ever had in terms of flying, and also this week seem totally wasted when it comes to flying.

Last week Vågå Paraglider Open was arranged, but they were only able to fly two tasks because of the weather. Bad luck, as Vågå in July can proved some of the best flying in the world.

So in the mean time, as it is not much flying to write about, here is a short documentary about Norway, this is Norway:

Updates from July 2009

July 25th, 2009

My blog went down just as the main flying season started, but nothing much has happened here in terms of flying. Actually I have only flown 3 flights in July, this must be an all time low for me. Still, I have one more week of vacation so I hope to get a few more flights next week.

Last week I flew for the first time from Flå, a new site Steinar Sverd Johnsen has explored and developed. This site seems very promising. Hopefully I will get a few more flights here this summer.

Erik V. launching from Flå from Bjørn Trygve Hammer on Vimeo.

Flying from Hydnefossen July 18th. This is one of my favorite sites to fly with spectacular nature (have a look at the pictures – link below).

Terje S. landing at Hydnefossen from Bjørn Trygve Hammer on Vimeo.

Pictures from July HERE.

Blog back up

July 24th, 2009

This blog was down because of a failed server harddisk. Should be OK now again. I’ve added a twitter feed in the sidebar.

Sorry for the downtime!

Ringerud once again

June 27th, 2009

It has been spectacular weather in southern Norway the last week, but also high air pressure and challenging conditions for flying. Basically you need a high altitude launch to find “safe” conditions. I have, however, work a lot the last week and the closest high altitude launch is at least 4 hours of driving away, so I decided to try my luck at local sites this weekend. After a few phone calls Alf, Gunnar, and I decided to give Ringerud a try.

The day started pretty interesting as we meet a jammed toll bar (no: vei bom) blocking us from getting up to the launch and the residents in the cabins up in the mountain to get out. But as hang glider pilots always bring with us lots of tools we just unbolted the bar and had free access (we talked to the owner of the bar later on and he had no problems with what we did). Up at the launch conditions seemed slow with weak thermals, and I was expecting a short sled ride down.

Mobile phone picture form the launch at Ringerud. Stabile contitions.

I launched first at about 1230 and to my surprise I flew straight into a strong 3-4 m/s thermal that rocketed me from the launch at 700 masl to 980 masl in no time. But after that 2-3 m/s sink was all that I could find, and after 17 minutes I was back on mother earth. Alf launch after I landed, found a thermal that got higher than mine and had 34 minutes in the air and landed at a micro light air field a few km to the south. Gunnar was last out and was not lucky with this timing and only had a prolonged sled ride down on his first flight in new Wills Wing Falcon 3 195.

Gunnar landing at Ringerud from Bjørn Trygve Hammer on Vimeo.

Gunnar landing his brand new Falcon 3.

As we picked up Alf at the micro light air field we found him standing next to a trike and talking to Ole Jakob Reicheld a previous hang glider pilot. He had flown from Lillehammer down to Hønsefoss (I think) and landed near Ringerud to have something to eat and drink and to refuel before flying back to Lillehammer. We had a nice chat before we drow back to Bærum.

Ole Jakob Reichelt’s Apollo trike at the micro lite landing site at Ringerud.

Nice day at Ringerud

June 21st, 2009

Northerly winds and possibilities for ovedevelopment mean ideal conditions for Ringerudkollen about 1 1/2 hours drive north of Oslo. Today we were 4 hang glider pilots; Øyvind E., Benedicte, Gunnar, and myself. Later on also 4 paraglider pilots joined us. The launch is facing East so it is early conditions here and we were at launch about 1030, well at least most of us, I was a little late. The conditions looked great and due to the N-wind we chose to launch from the N-launch (surprised?). The main launch is facing East at Ringerud. Benedicte, this year’s student, was first out and did very well in the not too easy thermals and got herself a + 30 minutes flight. Then Gunnar (an old-timer returning to flying), me, and Øyvind launched. It was easy to stay up as the wind and thermals provided nice ridge soaring in front of the launch, but it was quite difficult to get high – I was not above 980 masl while the launch is at 700 masl. Øyvind flew low in over the mountains on his Litespeed 3,5RS, found better thermals, and ended up flying to Sundvollen about 45 km to the South. I did not want to go that far in on my Falcon 3 so I stayed closer to the landing and safe grounds. After flying for 40 minutes or so I got bored with the short ridge and I tried to find better lift a bit to the South but found only sink and had to return well below the launch and never got up again after this, slowly lost altitude and had to land. The landing was not very graceful as one of my legs got entangled in one of the lines for the harness zipper, making me land on my face after both attempting to flare and then run the glider down failed. Everyone else also got nice + 1 hour flight today at Ringerud.

Nice clouds and view from the N-launch at Ringerud today. The clouds looked better than they worked.

Wills Wing team pilot profiles and blogs

June 9th, 2009

Checking Jeff O’Brian’s blog I found that he has moved his blog to a Wills Wing team pilot profiles and blogs page. Team and blogs so far include Dustin Martin, Jeff Shapiro, and Steven Pearson in addition to Jeff O’Brian. This site should be worth visiting now and then.

Weekend in Hallingdal

June 5th, 2009

The four days of (expected) flying last weekend were cut somewhat short by bad weather, and turned out to be one day of flying and one day lost because most of us were too late to launch. Anyway, we were at least a bunch that turned up hoping for good flying conditions in Hallingdal; 3 Swedes and 4 Norwegians (5 on Saturday).

Saturday most of us launch too early in the blue high pressure conditions and only got sled rides, but the two last launching got up as the rest of us rigged down the gliders at the landing. So then it was a race back up to perfect conditions and everyone got to fly as long as he wanted.

Sunday we expected similar conditions but all but two were stuck in crosswind and rotor. Steinar J. launched first and got a nice XC-flight of + 60 km to Bagn, while one other pilot only found sink and had a wet landing in the river next to the launch – everything went OK.

The following day I went home to work while some of the others stayed hoping for flyable conditions during the week.

Flying from Liagardane in Hallingdal from Bjørn Trygve Hammer on Vimeo.

Four days of flying ahead!

May 29th, 2009

I am on my way to four days of flying. We, a bunch of Loffdesperados, are first heading for Hallingdal, then whereever the conditions are the best. Some has reserved the entire week for flying, but I have to work Wednesday to Friday, but will go out again next weekend. I will probably not bring with me my PC so no blog updates, but maybe on Twitter.

A bad day at Eggekollen

May 21st, 2009

Terje S., Øystein Aa, and I tried to fly at Eggekollen near Drammen today. The launch requires about 30 minutes of carrying the equipment from the parking up to the launch so it is quite struggle to fly from here.

To sum up the day, we were to late, had lots of rain, hail, and thunderstorms, and ended up carrying our hang gliders, harness, and equipment back. The pilots coming earlier had nice one hours flights before they rained down.

Summer in Norway from Bjørn Trygve Hammer on Vimeo.

Carrying 50 kg of equipment up and  then down again, the latter in pouring rain! Carrying for almost an hour! Not flying!I am not in a good mood now. Need alchol.