Saturday was quite windy, but had very unstable conditions. This resulted in great climbs but also in a strange kind of on/off weather. There were cycles with lots of sun and then suddenly the air lifted everywhere until it almost overdeveloped. This shaded the whole place and shut everything down, so you could only find slow climbs during that time. Every cycle took about an hour. Here's a quick video mash-up of some of the action:
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
I've had a lot of troubles using the WiFi remote on the GoPro camera's. One month ago, a new firmware version was released. It took me quite some time to get it all working today, but both cameras seem to react nicely to the WiFi remote now. Turned them on and off multiple times and the camera's kept getting connected. So let's hope it works just as well on the glider next time too...
Quite a shame it didn't work 2 days ago. The colours with splendid from above, with the blossoming rapeseed and the bright green grass. Next time though...
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I couldn't wait to test-fly my new RX4 and yesterday provided a brief good-weather-intermezzo, so even if I a had to back in time for a games night with friends, I just had to go and test it. The weather was predicted to be overcast until midday but was promised to be very nice afterwards. And indeed, it turned out to be that way. Rigging was done under a clearly unstable, but still overcast sky:
To my surprise, not even a single other Belgian hang glider pilot showed up. The forecast was good, where were they? Whatever, William (a PG pilot and our tug pilot, what a combination ;-) ) and I had a good time in the sun (which appeared from 13h30) and I had the chance to fly my first thermals with the RX.
And what a pleasure that was! Quite a low ceiling, but very enjoyable flying. Both in terms of the weather and in terms of the glider. I had to land after an hour already, because I needed to go... But I had a huge smile on my face :-) Look at that:
I love the way the colours turned out (they combine my curved tip Spyder colours with the red-striped Combat past), I absolutely love the handling of the RX4 and I had a great day out. One to remember!
Come on Covert, make it back across the pond, I need you!
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Last Sunday was a special flying day for me. My first flight over Flanders, my home region. A winch towing club, de Hoekse Vliegers, just North of Flanders, in the Netherlands, already invited me a couple of months ago and now it finally worked out. I set myself a 100 km out-and-return task Hoek - Tielt - Hoek because conditions were predicted to be pretty good, although the sky was grey when I arrived in Hoek. At 11 o'clock, things started to clear out and the sky looked very nice by the time I was set up.
Egbert was a super friendly host and Jan did a great job on the winch. I was towed up just before 1 P.M. with cloud base still pretty low at 800 m. Here's a quick video mashup of the towing action:
The first thermal only took me to 700m and it took me a while to reach cloud base for the first time, but I was on my way and really enjoying the flight. I was surprised to find out that the thermals were pretty turbulent, because the clouds looked nice and there was almost no wind. So I expected nice smooth circles, but the reality was that quite some work was needed.
Didn't spoil the fun though, the view over Aalter, seeing my home town Ghent in one side and the Belgian coast on the other side, was great. Sadly no option to land at the beach, because this is Belgium after all, it's just one big CTR/TMA with a just few spots available to free flyers...
Anyway, I needed a low save at my turnpoint, but after that the flying conditions improved dramatically and I just cruised back to Terneuzen. I was pretty cold after those 4 hours and loved the sun on the towing field. And it was time for a cloud-cooled Red Bull which had gone along for the ride. First 100 km out and return in Flanders on the first attempt. Good fun!