08 April 2007

Easter flight

I can't recall when I last flew, and I even wonder wether it was this year. The weather has been warmer than usual for the whole of winter, but the wind conditions haven't been too good.
There's a bit of Northerly wind at home, so I guess it's going to be quite good in Très-Le-Mont, I just hope it's not going to be too strong.
Gisèle wants to go for a walk in the mountain, so I have a driver to take me to the take off, life is wonderful!
We drive past the landing, and there are two cars parked there, but nobody on the ground or in the air, we assume they're still on their way up.
It doesn't take long to get to Très-Le-Mont, the road only has a couple of patches of snow left and quite a few cars have made it to the parking lot. There is quite an Easterly component to the wind, so I decide to take off from Le Couteau. When we get there, a bunch of pilots are getting ready, and we haven't had a siesta, so Gisèle and I go lie down on the side of the take off field to enjoy a nap. The weather is beautiful, the sight of the pilots in the air quite heart warming.

The nap is short, and a few other pilots arrive at the take off as I get up, including Alex, and then Arlette and her husband Philippe, who still flies a hang-glider.
Arlette and Philippe
It doesn't take me long to unfold my wing, the wind is not strong but ther are long regular gusts coming from straight ahead. I don't have to wait for long after Alew has taken off, and my wing takes off evenly as I pull on the risers. A quick look to check that everything is in order as I start running, and I'm airborn. Aaaahhhh.... The satisfying feeling to fly again. I search for lift in front of the take off, but it's too irregular, and I decide to go to the front of the hill, where most of the other pilots are bunched up. There's quite q bit of instability, with lots of thermals bubbling up, but not too strong, so it's a pleasant flight. After a while, I start getting cold. I did not plan for a long flight, and dressed rather light. I go towards the landing field, and I see Alex also takes that direction. I look at him doing a few 360s and since I have a lot of spare altitude, I pull big ears and do a couple of 360s to keep in practice.
Muck in the valley
My landing is a bit short, as there's a very strong wind and a steep downdraft just on the edge of the landing terrain.
Technical data: Flight duration 0:40, Take-off altitude: 1330m, Maximum altitude reached: 1440m, Total climb during flight: 1114m, Max rate of climb: +4m/s, Max descent rate: -5m/s, Landing altitude: 640m.


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