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The Journey Begins... (Again)


manny
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2 hours ago, Hodders said:

Sounds like a productive day. I remember being told that it is just about impossible to do too much ground handling. Having had a variety of conditions over my 10 or so launches I can totally agree. Knowing what the wing is doing by feel is so useful.

I agree, the fact that I can kite the wing without a harness, and step under it quickly, when I need to, served me well today. See my next post...

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Summary Day 4 (Wednesday 7th. of Dec. 2016) 

So, 8am start. We meet at the Eagles Nest in 'Algo', Marcus brings up the van and we load up our two V3s and the Miniplane. We chuck in some wings too. I have been using the Paramania Revo 3 / 29, my fellow trainees Paddy and PJ are on a smaller wing (26 I think) and both use the Miniplane for shove.

We set up and go over some theory and what we want to achieve today, also to give the sun some time to dry out the site a bit. The lake shore at Bornos is still pretty waterlogged after all that rain.

By about 10  we set out to complete our aborted launches, which go off without a hitch. Marcus seems impressed with us and asks no more of those from us.

So, now it is on to the business end of things. Going through the launch sequence, flying a circuit and landing again. Marcus goes up once, to demo the drill, flying two circuits, followed by a debrief. 

Now it's time for us to become pilots! PJ is up first. The wind is a nice gentle 5 knots, from the south/south-west. A change in wind direction does not matter in Bornos. We have a full runway in every direction. PJ puts on a perfect launch, running into the sky, as he was taught to do. Textbook! He flies two perfect circuits and lands under Marcus' calming voice instructions.  Next up was Paddy, also delivering a perfect launch... we seem to all be doing well, according to Marcus. Again, a good circuit and his landing-approach is quite smooth. Paddy flares a bit too much on the first stage and so gains a little more lift, so his final 'hands all the way down' flare does not have that much effect and the old 'undercarriage' takes a bit of a stomp, but he stays on his feet.  And then, finally, after years of dreaming about it, it is my turn to take to the skies again. The wind has dropped off almost all the way. So, forward launch also for me. One large goose-step forward, bringing up the wing, and I move quickly to the right, as it wants to get away. I manage to get under the wing and the pile the power on. Marcus must be on the radio, but I don't remember what he said, or whether I heard him. The V3 Moster scoops me off my feet within just a few paces, with my legs still running. Nice clean climb out towards the lake, then a cross wind turn. I need more brake input than I remember, but the Revo 3 turns gently onto the downwind leg. I complete the first circuit, in such a short time, barely a few moments to take it all in. Not only am I flying, but I am flying on the shores of a lake in beautiful Andalusia. Thankfully the flight-plan allows for a second whip round. So, I turn into wind again. This time I have a full length of my upwind leg, looking out at the lake, and I have also gained a good bit of height. Now I am really flying! Too soon it is time to turn down the cross-wind leg, but I have a little more time to take it all in.

As I turn onto my final approach, I come off the throttle, as instructed. The clutched V3 goes to idle and the props just spins in the wind. I lose height quickly and Marcus is happy with my approach. I get the command to kill the engine. Without the noise of the motor, I hear just Marcus in my headset. Only gentle corrections are needed, as I come down the final approach line. As the ground rushes closer, Marcus calmly gives me my 'rotate hands' and 'hands all the way down' commands and I land on my feet. Awesome!

So, there we have it. For the second time I got my first flight done. We do the same again, in the same order, and the second flight is as smooth as the first. On my turn onto final I am a bit too high, so Marcus has me performing an S-turn. I am still somewhat high, but Marcus does not want to risk more manoeuvring as I am now not that far from a tree-line behind me. So, I turn back onto the landing approach I set up for the glide and kill the engine. I seem to be gliding on a bit... and on a bit... and on a bit. I see Marcus walking backwards, as I tells me to head straight for him. He runs backwards as fast as he can, but I glide and I glide... as I am just about to catch him up, he comes onto the radio, totally out of breath: "you will overfly me, but don't worry, keep going straight and listen to my voice. I touch down in the more boggy part or the peninsula, but I stay on my feet. The hang-glider-people, who have set up next to us, come over and comment to Marcus: "that wing doesn't half glide!' Seems better than our gliders...

I am assured that this was not my fault. There just seemed to be a lot of extra lift around... Anyway, what a nice end, to an absolutely awesome first flight day. One more circuit tomorrow, and then on to 15-minute-long off-circuit flying. I simply cannot wait!  Mine (and PJ's and Paddy's) first take offs were recorded by co-instructor Nick, on his phone.

 

Signing off, freshly baked pilot,

Manfred

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On 07/12/2016 at 23:21, cas_whitmore said:

Well done manny' also to PJ and paddy ' not sure if you two are members on here if not you should be . The weathers that good here you'll get off the plane and go straight to your flying field and fly .

cas 

Thanks Cas, I will pass it on to PJ and Paddy. They are Irish, and not members yet, but I will direct them.

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Casting my mind back a few weeks ago , to exactly the same scenario  .   Bornos .... a paradise of wide open flat land in every direction , no trip hazards , and the sun shining !

Happy days ! Now waiting for our fickle British weather to show leniency and give me a few days to practice the black art .   

Enjoy the training , food and weather 

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Great details for a 'Summary'.  Can't wait for the full story to come out. :-)

FlySpain should be paying half you fee for writing this, because it must encourage other newbies to go over there and be flying within a week and then maybe getting additional mentoring when you get back.

I done a PG hill over there and really enjoyed it.

Well done

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8 hours ago, asquaddie said:

Maybe Flyschool should sponsor someone to write a 'Summary' on here too.

Then again if it is sponsored it may be in favour of the school - depends on the student really

 

Thanks for the good feedback. Really encouraging. I can honestly say, this has been a great experience so far. Really the weather and the environment play a very big part, but to have a variety of wings and (two) motors to choose from, is pretty handy. What I wrote is from the heart! No back-handers, I promise! :-)

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Summary Day 5 (Thursday 8th. of Dec. 2016)

Sorry, if 'Summary' is a misnomer.  This is all you're getting... but ask if you want more details! ;-)

A slightly later start, because it takes a while for the field at Bornos to dry out and we do not have that much theory to go through. All three of us need to complete a third circuit, for the BHPA syllabus. We set up and got everyone flying our circuits. This takes a little while, with three students and so it was nearly lunchtime, when we wanted to move on to off-circuit flying. (two 15 mins flights required) Then the wind disappeared completely. Another Paramotor guy and our regular companions, the hang-glider-tow-people, rocked up to and joined the fun game of parawaiting. It was not getting any better and so we decided to go for some lunch instead. Chancing a new restaurant was a mistake! Today being a public holiday, they were very bus, plus being Spanish did not help. It took us over two hours to get fed. Eventually we said to the waiter: skip the menu, bring us 6 burgers with chips and the bill! :-)  That should go straight on Trip-Adviser! LOL.  Arriving back at the field the wind had picked up. It was now not flyable because of too strong and changing winds. Eventually we got the ground handling gear out to practice our reverse launches. That did the trick! No sooner had Marcus shown us what to do, the wind dropped and it was time to fly. Target - all of us to get at least one of the off-circuits in. PJ was up first. He aced the take-off, did a circuit, then circled the far side of the peninsula and did two 360-turns in opposite directions. Perfect! On his way back he passed over head and explored the the other side of the field, all nicely in visual range and on the radio. Then he came back, joined another local circuit and showed a perfect feet-first-landing. Next up was Paddy. He got off a bit wonky in the nil-wind conditions and aborted his launch. All by himself, he killed the engine and controlled the wing. Awesome! This was the first aborted launch since our training started. He went straight back to the start-line and aced the take-off this time.  He completed the same circuit and 360 exercises as PJ and landed perfectly into the little wind that was available. Then it was my turn. I have to say, I have been feeling a bit under the weather all day. Mainly sore muscles and other aches and pains, but nothing bad. I just needed a good rest - or a proper flight. When it was my turn, the sun was on it's way down over the hills in the west. My takeoff was perfect (in all modesty - I was told!) I flew the circuits did my 360s and exploration far and wide and, after 20 minutes, I landed textbook, on my feet, turning around, controlling the glider, dropping it on its trailing end. What a perfect end to this day!

I am totally and utterly knackered and will surely go to sleep after this is posted.  

I am still having some trouble getting to the video of my launch, which was supposed to be posted by Nick on the FlySpain - Facebook page, but I am drawing a blank.

I will ask him tomorrow. Also, tomorrow I might take my Apeman (poor man's GoPro) camera on my second off circuit... And then we will see what else we have time for,. :-) on this last day.

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23 hours ago, noddyc said:

I am in South Africa on a flying holiday ,doing my basics for the 3rd time ,  will meet at the next bore chase !!!!!!

Casey

Awesome, I bet there is some great flying in SA. Enjoy. I look forward to meeting you guys.

M

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Hi Manfred,

I have really enjoyed reading your training report - brilliant!  I did EP/CP early this year with FlySpain, and in fact Nick and I were room mates for two weeks.  He got the bug so bad he went back to be a trainee instructor! I think I saw his posting of your launch on my facebook feed - great!  Like you my progression has been a bit on an off, I live in the wilds of Zambia (literally) and with no club scene/others nearby to fly with I have struggled a bit.  A nasty experience with rotor (that cost me an entire cage and a brand new carbon prop on my nirvana rodeo and some aches and pains) on takeoff put quite a dent in my confidence.  So I have booked two weeks in Feb with FlySpain. Hopefully Markus and Nick will be there then.  Plan is to re-do CP and then a guided week.  Anyway I hope the last few days went well and look forward to the conclusion of your report. 

Like you I have nothing but praise for Rob's operation out there.  Ric W, Niall, Markus were outstanding. 

 

 

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On 10/12/2016 at 05:48, Gilmour Dickson said:

... so I have booked two weeks in Feb with FlySpain. Hopefully Markus and Nick will be there then.  Plan is to re-do CP and then a guided week.  Anyway I hope the last few days went well and look forward to the conclusion of your report. 

Like you I have nothing but praise for Rob's operation out there.  Ric W, Niall, Markus were outstanding. 

Well, you will have a great time anyway, but i believe they should be back in Feburary (both have left for extended breaks).

Good luck with you flying. If I ever hit a big pocket of money, I would come and see you in the deepest Zambia! (the African continent is still on my travel-list) :-)

Please let us know how the retraining goes!

Manfred

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Events of the final day, no. 6 (Friday 9th. of Dec. 2016)

Please accept my humble apologies, for the tardy posting of this my, but for now, last instalment, of my tales. I was struck down  -  by an illness! A mighty Man-Flu felled me, at the roots... like a tree in it's prime, it wiped me out... incapacitated me, it was terrible...!    :D

(So, I beg yours, and my fellow trainees', forgiveness, if this account is not entirely accurate, in all it's details, because it was written more from memory, than the others, because I spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in bed)

OK. So, I came down with a bug on Thursday night. You may have noticed, my slightly more succinct report on the day's events. By that time I was already shaking like a leaf. I took off my trousers, but was too cold to take off any more and went to sleep at 7:30pm. Waking up a few times during the night, I was thinking how to manage the last day of flying. We had at least one more 20 mins off circuit flight to do, to satisfy the BHPA syllabus. I was going to send the guys off to the field by themselves and see if I could join them later in my hired car. (NOT a great idea, because the hire agreement forbade off road use, and the surface to and on the field, is distinctly off road. I dragged myself out of bed and made some coffee. A fellow PuT had a blister of Ibuprofen, and 20 minutes later I felt almost human. :-) With the help of said substance I managed to keep with the training. We had low to no wind in the morning, but we all got our flight in. I wish I could present to you, an unblemished record of perfect take-offs and on my feet landings... alas, it was not to be. (please bear in mind, I am diseased at this point! ;-) ) I fluffed the first zero wind forward launch, but the engine is killed quickly and we just reset the wing and I had a perfect launch. The flight itself was awesome. Coming back, I came in very high and Marcus directed an extended base leg and couple of S-turns to bleed off some of that height. Then I set up a perfect line for him and came in nice and straight. Good glide, Marcus gave the "kill the engine" command followed not much later by "roll hands forward" and a well timed "and-hands-all-the-way-down".  It looked right to me and I was happy, until it occurred to me, that I may be a little bit too high still for the full flare. But too late now, so, with a bit too much thud, I came down and a combination of the slightly muddy field and my impact, I was not able to run it off, but face-planted into the damp field instead. I lay there for a good 20-30 seconds, wondering what had happened, and checking whether I was hurt or not. Also, the 30kg of V3 Moster, pushing down on me, made moving somewhat difficult.

Here is the good advice you've been hoping for:

A) Another argument for a lighter motor!  

B) A bit of feeling with the flare could have prevented that. The Pilot in command makes the decisions, Marcus could not feel the wing, not see the ground with my eyes. Maybe if I had felt the wing, checked my height and speed and judged the flare, rather than just followed the instructions, it might have been a better landing. Experience will be a good teacher.

C) Performance limitations (The P in WHIPS) includes limitations of the PiC. Maybe without the cold I would have performed better (that's a note to self!!!)

Anyway, Marcus and the others came to my rescue and I was soon back up, pretending that it never happened. Un?-fortunately I had the ApeMan 'GoPro' strapped to my chest, so you lot can see the version with this landing, while I will prepare a 'sanitised' version for my family! ;-). 

Since the forecast was the same, that it had been all week, we broke for lunch, planning to come back for some slightly better winds and some easier flying. So, after lunch from about 13:00 to 14:30, maybe, we returned to the field.  Much to our surprise, the wind had totally picked up. The only visible change in the sky, was : no cloud above the mountains over Algo to the S/E. Marcus estimated the winds gusting to about 20 mph and got out the smaller 'training' wing to demo some reverse launching and kiting. Even with the small wing, he was doing good hops off the ground and leaning way back into the harness to counteract the wing. Nick joined him with a second wing. Marcus suggested that we wait until the wind drops a bit, which took quite some time. When the wind had settled to a more manageable strength, we newbies all tried our hand on the training wings and later our full size wings. I am glad to report all three of us did well with the GH'ing. Reverse launching and kiting came quite naturally to both my 'co' - pilots. I, myself, can say that the hours (and hours and hours) I have spent with my wing, in a field, have served me well. I could handle my 29m wing in the lively winds and managed to walk it around the field and put it down, where I wanted it. And kiting the wing, just holding the As and Ds is also fun.

The sun was rapidly disappearing behind the hills to the west, when the wind finally dropped enough. I sensed that Marcus was frustrated that we only got one flight in on our final day. He jumped up and into action. "Nick, let's get these guys up" he said. And with that we all at once started to lay out our wings and setting up helmets with radios and our respective motors. He WHIP'ed and MACE'd  Paddy through the checks and had him in the air within a few minutes. The light headwind made for a perfect launch.  "OK, Manfred, get ready" , I was called up, next, as Paddy and PJ were using the same wing and motor. Hooked in and checks done, I waited a couple of minutes until Paddy had finished a couple of circuits and was on final. As soon as he was down (perfect landing into wind, of course), I launched my wing and was up with a few steps. While I was doing my own two circuits, PJ was pre-flighted and ready to go. I also had a good landing, into wind, nicely on my feet, as one hopes. As soon as I was safely back on the ground, PJ launched, to use the last few rays of the setting sun. We literally used the 30 minutes after sunset, allowed, to the last moments. With PJ down after his two circuits, we packed up and went back to the Eagles Nest.  We completed the paperwork, Marcus signed off the last tasks and we signed our BHPA CP - Power card applications.

This week has been awesome. The rain at the beginning gave us time to whip through the theory. Thereafter the weather was great and the site has been perfect. When we did have wind, it was nice and steady, so even the ground-handling was easier than in my home field (old London Airpark (now Hanworth Park). The school and the staff come highly recommended: a couple of weeks ago Marcus trained Ben Fogle here in the same field at Bornos! 

I will post the missing video clips of my take-off and the epic flight (and face-plant) when I have the spliced together and worked out where to stick em, so you can get to them.

Here is the (long time coming) video - use the mute button and hum your own music to it! LOL  

I hope a dropbox link works.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gkjaxqh3r16hnul/My Movie.mp4?dl=0

I hope you enjoyed reading my account. Thanks to those, who have left comments and please drop me a pm, or leave a comment, if you haven't yet. It is very encouraging for a blogger, to know that he has an audience.

See you out there. Stay safe and don't forget to say your WHIPS & MACE!   ;-)

Manfred

Edited by manny
finally added video of my second to last flight.
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Great write-up Manfred. I'm going out there in March for my power conversion as I've struggled for a few years free flying in Leicestershire due to the lack of hills. I had a week with Flyspain in March this year and it's definitely a great place to learn and fly with great like-minded people. 

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3 hours ago, admin (Simon W) said:

We have a high pressure hitting the South (UK) tomorrow for 4 days of solid flying for those who want it :-) 

Spain on the other hand is rain for the next 3 days :P

SW :D

 

 

Well, that's what I would call: 'getting the best of both worlds', since I am back in Blighty. 

Unfortunately I have to report the untimely departure of my dear friend the FreshBreeze Silex L :sad:

The Loft wrote to me:

Quote

Just checked a few things on your glider.

Porosity still okay,

I have done a few line strength checks. Main and mid A’s are just okay, but close to the minimum strength

Main and upper C lines failed.

We don’t think that it is worth to spend more money on this glider

So, I am on the lookout for a new pony to ride. I fancy some reflex action. Not sure the Silex had that feature.

I would gratefully receive any advice on what would be best for me. I quite liked the  Revo 3, I flew in Spain. Any ideas?  (I am 91kg in my birthday suit and 6ft tall)

Thanks 

Manfred

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59 minutes ago, cas_whitmore said:

Manny I didn't think your wing had much use ' even before you had it . 

Cas . 

Yes, that is what I was told and it still looks fresh, but I think FB started making the Silex in 1998. Not sure when mine was made, but I will try to find out. The plate does not really show much, but I think there is a serial no. I will speak to Dan Burton, to see if he can tell how old it is. Whichever way, it may have lived out it's lifespan in the bag. :-(

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  • 3 weeks later...

A quick update:  Ozone Roadster 2 is on order. WooHoo!  (Delivery time is forecast to be 4-6 weeks!  BooHoo...O.o

But the video is almost ready for posting... just some post-production background music to be added to remove the 20 minutes of droning from the V3.

Manfred

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