Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jonny loops it once more

And I have the feeling that I need to take his message personally. Have a look at 6m40:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Failed wingover analysis

For those interested: I wrote a personal analysis of the incident on due to a discussion which was started there. There are more interesting facts and videos about wingovers/loops to be read/seen in the discussion.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Failed wingover

I put this online because it should serve as an informational video to anyone doing wingovers or loops. I felt very comfortable doing wingovers and never had any scares before. For this one, I was planning to do a wingover to the right. I had enough speed but immediately after initiating the wingover (which I did a little to abrupt), my body was swung to the left which stopped the wing from turning and sent me more into a loop than into a wingover. I didn't have enough speed for that, or didn't realize my error quickly enough and the result is what you can see.
I'm not proud of this. I probably was overconfident and made a stupid error, which I didn't correct fast enough. I didn't even release the VG when I already knew I was in trouble. Second error in my opinion.
A big thank you to Metamorfosi and Woody Valley, the chute-harness combination worked very well.
And a very big thank you to Chris, who's a tree surgeon. He managed to get my wing out of the trees without any extra damage. Thank you, Chris!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tail and dolly: watch out!

Last weekend I was flying the Dutch Flatlands, a towing comp. The organizers preferred dolly take-offs above foot launches. Personnaly I like foot launches, especially with my Aeros with tail. I don't want to break the tail on the dolly or get stuck with it on the dolly during take-off. So I had a good look on the geometry and had the keel position on the dolly placed as low as possible. This to make sure that the tail would rise significantly before taking off. You can see that I had quite an angle:

As I was very cautious on the first launch, I held on to the dolly quite long and took it off the ground while launching. The result was that the tail was well clear of the dolly:

This was confirmed by people watching my launch. I had asked them to pay attention to the position of the tail. My second launch I was more at ease with it, because of this. The result was that I released when I felt sure that the glider was going to fly, instead of having a big speed margin to make sure the tail was well up. The result is that the tail probably came very close to the dolly (there's already forward movement compared to the dolly):

Who has already done a large number of dolly starts with a tail? Anyone else with experience regarding this topic? Any suggestions to make sure the tail will never hit the dolly?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dutch Flatlands, day 2, task 2, task win :-)

Sunday had more wind and a very low cloudbase to start with. But the predictions were looking good. A 53 km task was set with a short crosswind leg followed by a tailwind leg and then a headwind leg to return to base.
We were towing upwind of a sailplane winch area which we couldn't cross beneath 700 m. But we were promised to be released on the upwind side of the field. That didn't happen when I got towed up. I was released at 500 m, right on the border of the restricted zone. So I immediately had to fly away against the wind, to find a thermal. Luckily, it worked out and I had 750 m when I crossed the border. That was a relief.
The thermal brought me to cloudbase at 1300 m. The view over the flatlands, woods and rivers of the Netherlands was magnificent!
I never got particularly strong climbs, but did have consistent ones and never got strong sink. I had nice final glide with a max speed of 112 km/h because I had to burn of some altitude. This resulted in a 1h20m flight and victory for the day.
Less good was that I had very painful arms during the flight because of a harness modification. I had cut off the blood and it was very hard to find some force to steer the glider. Luckely my thermals weren't rough. After landing my arms started shaking for a few minutes and they feel pretty sore today. But more on the harness modification in a later post.

In the general classification, Andre Disselhorst is on top, so he won the 2010 Dutch Flatlands. Congrats! Congratulations also to Koos de Keijzer who's the Dutch Champion for the 7th time! The Dutch Championship is the combined result of the Dutch Open and the Dutch Flatlands, so you have to be an allrounder to win it. And Koos did it many times now...

Dutch Flatlands day 1, task 1

Saturday was the first day of the Dutch Flatlands competition. The day looked very good from the beginning, but after the first starts it was soon clear that the day was more difficult than it looked.
I had a disaster day. Not a single thermal in my first tow. Restarted and got towed through a thermal at low altitude. I hesitated to release and when we hadn't encountered anything else a minute later, I decided to release at 350 m and return to the spot. I couldn't find anything decent anymore and was forced to land a second time. Very bad decision. I wasn't in a thermal, so I shouldn't have released before I got to release height. It's as simple as that.

I took a third start, but the trike had an engine failure at 100 m. I was disappointed in myself and gave up, because I thought the day would come to an end soon, it was 16h30. That was the second big mistake, because the sky looked good until 18h30. I felt more and more stupid by the minute...
So, that was a minimum distance day.
Thanks to Sander van Schaik for the picture. By the way, Sander produces a very nice hang gliding calendar every year.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Busy weekend and Brazilian thermalling

This weekend is going to start with one or more tandem flights on friday evening. Followed by a party in Gent and then on saturday and sunday I will participate in the Dutch Flatlands competition. You will surely be able to follow it on the site of the Dutch federation. So the weekend will be busy.
Yesterday I found a very nice video by Erick Vils, a Brazilian hangie, which really nicely shows the fight for position in a thermalling gaggle. It is an aerial battle/dance. You want to get up there first but you have to respect the others for everyone's safety. I love being in this partially synchronized, rapidly changing environment, so I thought I'd share it with you...

New month

A new month is a new poster babe at work (september's babe is called Oriana), but also a new world ranking. And I've climbed up to 87th, into the top 100! In may I didn't yet belong to the top 500. You can see the evolution here. No need to say I'm happy about this :-)