SMFC Forum

Forum Navigation
You need to log in to create posts and topics.

19th May - Long Mynd

In a break with tradition, some members abandoned Wednesday flying at the field for the windier climes of the Long Mynd for a bit of slope soaring.

There had been some discussion about wind direction on the club WhatsApp group, some saying that it was NW and unsuitable for sloping and others saying it was WNW and worth the effort! There were four members who thought it was worth the effort so we went! I was especially keen as I hadn't been on a slope for nearly two years what with the pandemic and all!

The journey there was unexceptional. I went the motorway route. I believe that motorways are the best way of actually getting somewhere. If you want views - go cross country, but if you are keen to get somewhere - go motorway!

When I arrived, John was already there! We chatted for a short time during which Mel and then Adrian joined us.

Soon we loaded ourselves up with the paraphernalia of slope soaring and set off for the slope!

As suspected the wind was slightly north of west but worth a try. I assembled a glider I call Kev, mainly because it's covered in a what looks like kevlar. It isn't kevlar - it just looks like it!

Kev was only a two channel glider and I had set it up in the traditional way of elevator on the right stick and rudder on the left. This proved to be unflyable - at least by me. At launch Kev veered off to the left and as befits a skilled and experienced flyer like myself, I pushed the right stick to the right to get  Kev to turn right! By the time I had realised why Kev wasn't obeying my command  he had disappeared well downwind and a weak rudder response, when I got around to using it, wasn't enough to regain control. Kev 'landed' quite a long way away!

I spent some time changing the rudder to the right stick and increasing its movement a bit, actually quite a lot.

The second flight was much better! Kev flew majestically for over half an hour before a slightly rough landing tore the tailplane off the fuselage! An easy fix, but not one for top of the Long Mynd!

I got out my WildThing and chucked it in to the breeze. This hadn't flown for nearly two years and during that time the trim had changed dramatically and the CoG had moved! I'm not sure how that happened! I added some weight to the nose and its second flight was classic WildThing!

We had all been flying happily for some time, when the wind stopped! It was eerie! For nearly an hour there was no wind whatsoever. We just sat and put the world to rights, only interrupted by sheep, who were far too familiar for my liking!

Two other flyers joined us and brought with them some large gliders. I think it was Adrian who asked one of them if they sat inside the model! We laughed!

One of them gave us a very scientific explanation about how the wind was going to change soon and that's why they had brought the big gliders! We listened carefully, always willing to learn from higher mortals.

While we were listening, the wind started up again! From that point on the lift was excellent and everyone was too busy flying to chat! It was so good that I even got out a Lightening that Scott had rebuilt as a soarer for me! It was a bit flighty but flew well.

The big glider people were flying quite high! We could tell they were high because their  variometer warning was echoing across the Long Mynd! It was a relief when they landed.

There was even more relief when the leader of the two tried to launch his monster of a glider on his own. It hit the ground about three metres from where he had launched it with a bit of a thud. It was a shame. Mel had gone back to the car so there were only three of us spluttering with sympathy at the unfortunate event. Apparently not much damage was done, but it needed to be taken back to the 'model workshop' for a proper repair.

We carried on flying.

It came as a bit of a shock that it was almost five o'clock!

We packed up the paraphernalia again and walked back to the cars.  More chatting and farewells and we were off!  I followed John down the hill to Church Stretton where he went straight across the A49 towards Much Wenlock, but I turned left to get to the M54. If you need to get somewhere there's nothing like a motorway!

All in all - an excellent day's soaring! I hope all involved enjoyed it as much as I did!

Uploaded files:
  • 20210519_153749S.jpg
  • 20210519_141112S.jpg
  • 20210519_135915S.jpg
  • 20210519_162517S.jpg
  • 20210519_140637.jpg

Good day

Wish I had been able to come.

You have a good point about using the motorway, for me the country route is 20 miles shorter but time spent driving is the same, and that's without getting lost as I did by blindly following the jumped up sat nav that is fitted to my car.