Dude News Page

Control Line Duo
Go Fast - Turn Left
Sun and Ice
RAFMAA Slope 14
Circles and Slopes
The Sun Came Out
Three Come Along
Winter Solstice
Sheffield Scale Day
Three Go Mad
Circle of Friends
Frost bite
Towards End of Year
New Beginning-G2
A New Year
Bleak Winter
Now We Are Three
Lleyn Fly-In
2.4 or Not
See What Happens
RAFMAA Slope Comp

Towards The End of Year

When the clocks change and the late afternoons fade into darkness then is the time to seize each and every opportunity to enjoy a spot of glider flying. If this can be arranged in the company of ones friends then the experience is all the better. Both Colin and I had checked our schedules and decided to have a session of soaring over the weekend of 3-4 Nov 12 and as Colin lived within close reach of some very good hills it made sense to accept his kind offer and stay with him.

During the night the rain had cascaded out of the sky and on Saturday the dawn brought rain and overcast skies. The weather looked so bad that the girls departed to inflict damage upon the plastic leaving us contemplating a drab and dreary forecast. However on the assumption that we could always stay in the car we packed up and left. The wind was from the west which dictated that the slope would be Parlick a very good slope requiring a fairly stiff climb. Upon our arrival the rain had stopped and a good amount of blue sky was framing the hill. Therefore with our models, food, refreshments and as much wet weather gear that we could carry we made our way up the hill. Upon reaching the preferred location we were able to store the models and ourselves behind a very convenient dry stone wall. Colin was the first away with his new variant upon the WOTSIT theme, presently unnamed but Spooky may prevail. I joined in with my Weasel after a major refit following its brief encounter with a welsh cliff face. Towards the west whilst Blackpool tower was clearly visible so were two large rain clouds coming rapidly in our direction. Therefore after a good thrash we both landed and sat down behind the wall enjoying a warming drink whilst a brief but heavy rain shower passed through. Colin had recently purchased a good size fishing umbrella which was brilliant at keeping the interior of his garage dry which was where he had left it. Once the rain passed aviation recommenced. I gave the Weasel a rest and launched off my Solange. Colin had brought his Solange and was looking forward to some possible formation flying until he realised that his fishing umbrella was keeping the Solange RX battery company. Colin then fell back upon his trusty Weasel and proceeded to beat up the hill. After about 45 minutes another approaching rain shower was seen so once again shelter was taken behind the wall and lunch was consumed. This time the rain shower turned the hill white as the first snow that I had experienced of the season fell. Suitably refreshed and still dry we continued once the weather cleared. I with the Weasel and Colin with his Spooky. During this session I remarked to Colin that I suspected that the TX battery in my Futaba FF7 was possibly due for replacement when a muted bleeping was heard. A quick check of the TX meter revealed “nothing on the clock but the maker’s name” therefore a landing was very swiftly made. Colin was still flying and as usual enjoying it immensely so what was I to do. After hanging around with a long face for about 10 minutes Colin weakened and I got to fly his Spooky. Mates are great! At about this time the temperature dropped and we made our way down the hill for home, tea and medals.

On Sunday we woke to clear blue skies and a heavy frost. The wind had swung towards the South East which again was Parlick but on a new side to me. The walk whilst slightly longer was certainly worth the effort as the bowl we flew in was large and impressive. Due to the presence of Para-Gliders we positioned ourselves on the right hand edge of the bowl thus ensuring that whilst we had adequate lift we could push out over the plain away from the Para-Gliders if necessary. During the previous evening we had converted my TX so as to enable the battery to be changed on the slope. Whilst being equipped with two batteries I was unwilling to risk “crunchie” models so I was equipped with my Weasel and Wannabe. Colin had his Weasel, Jart and Smart. The weather and lift was brilliant however it was a bit cold. However this was overcome by Colin’s umbrella which once staked down with its sides spread provided respite from the cold wind. I was pleasantly surprised by the landing area which whilst small and on the side of the hill was in fact quite easy and smooth to use. During the flying we were required to maintain a good lookout as not only were the Para-Gliders about, but at several times we had a full size ASK 13 and 18 taking advantage of the “constant thermal” provided by the slope. During the flying now alerted to the problem I watched the battery meter on my TX like a hawk and sure enough after 58 minutes the voltage dropped quicker than a premier division footballer in the penalty box. After exchanging the battery with one kindly supplied by Colin I was able to carry on for the rest of the afternoon. Colin continued to reaffirm his love affair with his jart and I mainly concentrated upon rediscovering how really good fun the Wannabe is. Stan Yeo, if you read this on the net please make this kit available again. I do have a spare Wannabe as yet still in the box so I should be alright for about another eight years or so. As on the previous day once the sun began to settle towards the horizon the temperature began to drop. Therefore once again tired but happy we made our way down the hill.

Whilst that was the end of the weekend and was meant to be the last slope session of the year due to the cancellation of the indoor both Colin and I had a spare weekend leave pass and so as not to waste it the weekend of 15-16 Dec 12 saw us once again in the Lancaster foothills. Rule number one. Never believe the weather forecast. Saturday was forecast as sunny periods no rain with the wind from the south. Totally wrong, Wind from the West rain and overcast with no sun. However on the basis that a bad days model flying is better than a good day shopping with our partners we loaded up and made eventually for Beacon Fell. Me with my happy face on as you can drive to the top. After a brief session at Beacon Fell where it was clearly evident that the wind was not quite right for the hill we departed for Parlick, me with now slightly grumpy face as a long hard slog to the top was going to be required. After waiting for a heavy passing shower both Colin and I made our way to the appropriate spot armed with between us two Jarts, a Dude and a Weasel. Luckily the rain stayed away which enabled us to enjoy a couple of hours flying before the gathering gloom of winter dusk indicated that it was prudent to leave. This also happened to be the moment that the rain returned therefore we retreated bravely for beer and medals.

Remember rule number one. On Sunday the weather forecast was for westerly winds with occasional rain showers. Upon our arrival at Parlick we were greeted by blue skies and a southerly wind that would possibly push a few dandelion seeds along. So out with the light models, in this case two Solange’s, Mini-Milan, Wannabe (hopeful), Weasel and Colin’s O/D flying wing. Once again a slog to the top where we joined a local flyer Ron whom we had seen flying whilst we walked up. Rule number two make an early start. Arriving at the top it was clear that the best of the wind had been and gone. Above us was a large number of grounded Para-gliders with the occasional visit of a ASK13 and a ASW 21 from the local gliding club. Colin managed a few flights with his Solange which whilst being capable of light wind soaring was disadvantaged by passing sink leading to impromptu slope side landing. With a low wing it is essential that you land with the wings level a requirement that was almost impossible in the conditions. This highlighted a problem of flying in the winter. Plastic becomes less pliable in the cold. At one stage Colin was replacing the wing bolt after every landing. In the meantime Mr smooth (me) was fully occupied demonstrating just what a fantastic model the Mini-Milan is with its ability to soar upon the excess flatulence of an earthworm and still perform aerobatics. With Multiplex no longer making this model I can foresee that we will just have to produce our own version. Thus in this vein we proceeded for the rest of the day whereupon once the sun had dipped in the sky the temperature dropped and we called it a day.

Overall a very pleasant couple of weekends. Lots of flying in good company, with beer and food in the evenings. As mentioned at the start the weather was far better than the forecast in that had we gone solely on the forecast we would never have left home. I think however that these will be the last of our little trips for this year. Whilst the odd few hours out, when the weather Gods are favourable shouldn’t be wasted I think that the time for repairs and construction is now upon us. What is new in the workshop? Colin has completed his Genesis 2 so hopefully a test flight will be due in the New Year. For myself I have to produce a couple of F2N control line team race models. For those not in the know I have been known to “relax” pitting in control line events with my pilot Paul Blakeborough. I also must get to grips with a 1/3 scale Lo 100 glider. See you next year if not before.


Neil T


[Home] [Control Line Duo] [Go Fast - Turn Left] [Sun and Ice] [RAFMAA Slope 14] [Circles and Slopes] [The Sun Came Out] [Three Come Along] [Winter Solstice] [Sheffield Scale Day] [Aerotowing] [Three Go Mad] [Circle of Friends] [Frost bite] [Towards End of Year] [Rhossili] [New Beginning-G2] [A New Year] [Bleak Winter] [Now We Are Three] [Lleyn Fly-In] [Parlick] [2.4 or Not] [See What Happens] [RAFMAA Slope Comp]