31 July 2010

Summer flight, before the weather changes.

I've been quite anxious to have a flight since I got back from North Carolina, two days ago. The weather is very good, maybe not the best for paragliding, as it seems very stable, but at least the wind is very calm, the sun is shining and there's absolutely no cloud on the horizon.

I wait until mid-afternoon, to avoid the time of the strongest thermals. This will be my second flight this year, so I'm taking everything slowly. I drive to the landing site in Orcier, and meet François, the potter. There are a few pilots on the ground, after what they describe as a very average flight. The consensus is to wait a while longer, so my hunch to take my time was right.

After multiple conversations with the other pilots, catching up on news, I decide to go up with Canaille and we drive to Le Feu, we then walk up to La Chapelle des Hermones. Canaille is very familiar with the site and gives me a few pointers before he takes off.

I calmly finish laying my wing and conducting my last pre-flight checks. The wind is quite variable, and as I pull up, the tip of my left wing gets tangled in the risers. I drop the wing, get out of the harness and redo the layout.
On the second try, my wing is completely sideways, and I'm too slow to walk on the side (there are stinging nettles and I'm trying not to get stung).
The third try is the right one, and I'm airborne, taken up immediately by both the thermal and the dynamic breeze hitting the cliff face on.
It only takes me a few second to climb higher than the take off point. The thermal and the dynamic lift die quickly though, there's a fairly strong Southerly wind coming over the crest of the Hermones, and it gets quite turbulent at that altitude. Canaille has crossed the valley, I suspect he estimates it's not too comfortable or safe here, so I move forward to the crest above Orcier. In the middle of the crossing, I find a little bit of gentle lift, but not enough to warrant staying here.

I even have to accelerate to get out of a downdraft a few seconds later.
These are far from idyllic conditions...
I get to the edge of the crest, and there are a few thermal bubbles, but I only have enough altitude to do a couple of passes. The area isn't great, so I move forward, hoping that with these wind conditions I'll be able to find some lift in the valley.
It's too stable. Aside from a few bubbles, I don't catch anything serious. Time to prepare for landing...

A few "esses" in front of the landing terrain, and I'm on the ground.

Time to put the wing away and drive up to fetch my car. It might be better tomorrow, but the Southerly wind does not augur well...

Technical data: Flight duration 0:35, Take-off altitude: 1550m, Maximum altitude reached: 1650m, Total climb during flight: 490m, Max rate of climb: +3m/s, Max descent rate: -4.5m/s, Landing altitude: 640m.


Blogger 家唐銘 said...

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Blogger ParaScubaSailor said...

While I was trying to make sense of fairly nice, innocuous comments on my blog, I ignored the many links that followed said comments, and it turns out that they all point to sex chat-rooms.
While I'm all for communication, chatting and any form of report between people, particularly when it comes to matters of the heart, I somehow am a little miffed at having been taken for a sucker.
From now on, I shall moderate all comments on this blog.
Have a great day!

Blogger ParaScubaSailor said...

家唐銘 said...

文岳仲君 said...

筱朝宜財 said...

偉曹琬 said...


These were the comments left, I wonder how much the posters get paid...


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