Back to Normal, at last

By Brian Stewart on  October 13, 2021 10:55

The winter social season got off to a cracking start at the Sea View on Monday, 11th October. It was great to see a couple of dozen old faces and plenty of new ones eager to get together, talk parabollox over a couple of pints and to listen to John Westall describe “A Year in the Life of a Hike and Fly Pilot”. John gave us a run through 2020’s programme of gruelling hike-and-fly challenges he’d done with his flying mate Keith ‘Bud’ Patterson. He had us all on the edge of our seats with his descriptions and pictures of the sketchy take-offs and dodgy conditions which are ‘normal’ for these exploits. From our local hills, via Wales, the Lakes and Dales, to the grandeur of the Eiger, we enjoyed vicariously the thrills (and spills) of his year.

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John shared with us that his own inspiration to take on this challenging aspect of our sport came from attending a PSC winter social night with Steve Nash. Maybe some of our keen young pilots will get similar inspiration to follow John’s rapid progress. Certainly they will need to follow his examples of meticulous planning, preparation and goal-setting if they want to get close.

Thank you for a great evening, John, we’re already looking forward to hearing about next year’s achievements.

 

Safety Notes August 2021

By Brian Stewart on  August 19, 2021 19:11

Strong Winds

Are we experiencing stronger than normal winds recently? Hard to say but there have been many days of marginal conditions, with the evening shift workers on Parlick having to wait until late for a safe flight. Strong winds bring a whole new suite of problems for foot-launched flight – with take off and landing speeds limited to running pace at best, our wings are trimmed for relatively low speeds so straying outside these boundaries makes for difficult launches and landings where precise and swift control actions are essential. In flight, the problems of increased turbulence and lack of penetration add another layer of stress.

So why do it? In the UK it is part of our sport: it’s a windy country. You can of course opt to only fly in gentle winds but sooner or later you will find yourself launching just as the strong gust arrives; landing backwards, possibly in turbulence behind trees or buildings when the wind strength increases suddenly; unable to penetrate as you drift back over the ridge. It’s definitely worth practising on the ground in stronger than flyable winds – choosing a safe place with soft downwind options for when you get dragged. There are plenty of online videos to find tips for safely controlling your wing – Greg Hamerton and Mark Leavesley have some very good examples (other providers are available). I find that having a ‘strong wind routine’ for getting set up on the hill takes away some of the stress; trying to wrestle 25 sq m of flapping nylon while you’re struggling into your harness is not a good way to start a flight.

One of our members recently had a serious crash on Parlick – getting blown back over the saddle from the west bowl and was dumped hard behind the wall. Fortunately he’s making a good recovery from his injuries. He was rescued by the Air Ambulance after some excellent on-the-ground support and coordination by the pilots on the hill, benefitting from Paul’s mountain rescue experience and the presence of a doctor. John has bravely put his helmet-cam video on YouTube, both as a warning to low airtime pilots and to invite constructive comments from the more experienced, and has stated that this was a completely avoidable accident – he should have known better but for some reason went to the venturi in the saddle to find lift. He also sends his apologies to the club for causing such a fuss!. The video link (https://youtu.be/YBNQEZ69y5s) is also posted on Pennine Flight Club, so please contribute if you spot something that would help the analysis: how could it have been prevented and how could it have been handled to avoid the outcome. Positive comments only please, I’m sure John feels bad enough about crashing already.

X - Dales '21 Challenge

By Carl Fairhurst on  August 13, 2021 10:17

The X - Dales '21 Challenge will run over the extended weekend of the 10,11,12th September to coincide with the DHPC social event.  All the relevant details relating to entry, format, rules, safety, task, and scoring etc are available via the link below. New information may be added as necessary.

For more details, go to https://www.xcflight.com/x-dales-21-challenge/

Please Do Not Fly Pendle East

By Andy Archer on  July 19, 2021 13:38

I have just had an email from the Land Agent for Pendle Hill (see copy below).

There were reports of paragliders flying the East Face of Pendle on Sunday 18.07.21.  This area is out of bounds for flying at the landowner's request and does not form part of our licence agreement. 

Pendle is one of our best sites and we would not want to lose use of the main face due to pilots flying the east.  We have other easterly sites that can be used.

Please re-familiarise yourself with the sites guide here:

http://www.penninesoaringclub.org.uk/sites/pendle/

Pendle

Area marked in red is ‘Out of Bounds’ for paragliding & hang gliding

Dear Andy,

I trust all is well with you.

I noted that gliders were taking off/landing from ‘big end’ Pendle yesterday afternoon – directly above Hookcliffe plantation and further along towards Barley.

I know we have raised this previously and clearly you cannot control non-members but are you able to put a note out to your members reminding them that this is out of bounds.

The existence of the gliders relies on all parties working together and it is frustrating when a few let the side down’.

Thanks for your cooperation and adherence.

Andy

Sites Officer