With the promise of a northerly wind and a the end to overcast sky Saturday offered the prospect of some ridge flying. With three club gliders at the launch point by 10 and with 5 private gliders either ready to launch or rigging Chris set off to investigate, only to have the weak link fail on him. Bob had better luck and proved it was indeed soarable. It took a couple more flights before it became clear just how good it was.
On my second flight in the Ka13 I found us climbing back up from 900ft to 1400ft on the ridge where there were others above us including the duo that had managed a 2200ft launch. The best bit was to the east along to Coombe Gibbet though some ventured further. In my book this was the best ridge flying I’ve seen at Shalbourne but there was more to come my next flight was in the Puchacz which Jon launched to 1850ft after which we found ridge lift at 1500ft. Later, and back in the Ka13, I was treated to a launch to 2400ft (where did that come from) and there was lift even higher.
Almost every flight got some soaring, few were shorter than 20 mins and a number were longer than 2 hours. 37 flights in total and a rough totting up of flight time indicates we we collectively did more than 24 hours in the air. Not bad for the end of October!
Why was it so good you might ask. Good question. There was certainly some thermal activity which helped though you couldn’t turn it it for long without disapearing down wind. Wave was mooted but there was no clear evidence of it and it would be very unusual for wave influence to stay in the same place all day in our part of the country. Most likely it is something to do with wind speed and direction from ground to operating heights. It will be interesting to see what the Met men have to say.
Many big grins seen today, it really want something special. Many thanks to those who made it happen.