26 April 2010

Re-birth...

I had a few flights without creating entries in this blog, but very few: no need to put down that mug of coffee to free more fingers to count. Last year was rather catastrophic, mostly for my inability to juggle my schedules in order to maximise flying time. In addition, Michael's accident put quite a damper on my flying enthusiasm.
So it's with trepidation that I check the weather, listen to the weather beacon and look at the pilots already aloft in the company of a few other pilots at the landing field in Orcier on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.
It doesn't take us much time to pile up in my car (hey, new car! First time use as a paragliding taxi :) and drive to Très-Le-Mont. The drive is rather slow, as the turbo doesn't build pressure adequately (the fault was found on Sunday, that's another story) but we get to the parking area of Le Couteau. It's still covered with too much snow to use, and all other cars are parked on the side of the road, so I find a spot on the side and we're soon all walking to the take off. There are still pilots busy taking off when we get there. Arlette is laying her wing on the grass, and Bruno is just about to take off, followed very shortly by a hang-glider. I let everybody take off before I pull my wing onto the grass. I want to take my time to do all the pre-flight checks thoroughly, it's been way over six months since my last flight, and I need to get everything properly in order. Everything looks correct, and I step into my harness. The wind is a little bit too much from the East, so it doesn't hit the take-off slope straight on, but there are puffs of wind that come straight up the slope at fairly regular interval. I watch the wind-sock for a while, and then pull the risers. I feel the wing rise quickly behind me, pull the brakes as it gets over my head and look up to make sure it looks normal, all the while maintaining pressure in the harness, a few more steps and my weight is supported by the flying machine, we have lift...

I'm flying straight for the clump of trees that is slightly to the left of take off, the one where I had to rescue Roger's daughter a few years ago. My plan is to turn right to face Norht-East and veer to catch the rising flow I guess must be on the right of take off, but I can't get the brake to dip. I lean to the right, but the turn is very slow. I'm in luck, the lift is powerful enough to take me up almost above the clump of trees and I clear it safely. I look at my brake line on the right-hand side, and discover it's tangled with the risers. So much for the thorough pre-flight check...
I calmly let go of the brake, while steering by shifting my bodyweight, and untangle the control line. By the time all is back to normal, I've flown to the front ridge. I'm pretty high already, way above 1500m. I have to guess as I could not recall where I put the variometer last time I flew, so I'm flying without instruments. The thermals are so big and powerful that I manage to rise rather easily. I free my camera, and take a few shots.

Half an hour has already lapsed, I'm thirsty, it's getting a bit late, and I'm quite happy that this "first" flight for the season has been a good one. I do a couple of loops to loose altitude above the neighborhood and line up with the landing terrain. I'm still a bit too high, but I plan on doing a couple of small wing-overs to loose the few extra meters at the edge of the field.

Hmm... the plan doesn't go as planned (do they ever?) and a thermal bubble lifts me by a few meters as I start my landing manoeuver. Oh well, too bad. I'm too low to do another turn, and too high to land on the field, so I land on the other side of the road, much to the rejoicing of much my fellow pilots...

I'm smiling nevertherless, this was a good flight.

Technical data: Flight duration 0:30, Take-off altitude: 1350m, Maximum altitude reached: 1700m (approx), Max rate of climb: +3m/s (approx), Landing altitude: 640m.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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21:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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07:03  
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07:43  
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09:21  
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01:04  
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09:09  
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20:20  
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19:09  
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10:14  
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14:44  
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05:33  
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14:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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06:53  
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00:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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04:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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05:37  
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11:56  
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03:29  
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11:46  
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05:35  
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05:36  
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05:36  
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03:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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16:30  

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