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rough flight


Guest leoibb
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hello last night i decided to fly to my friends field aprox 11 mile. lovely still calm , the time was about 630 in eve and it was lovely smooth, landed at friends field spent half hour there and decided to head back as it was gettin late, set off and headed home thinkin it would be lovely and smooth, but it wasnt it was horrible i was thrown all over vrtually the full journey, i couldnt understand how it can change so quick and it got me thinking was it because the sun had dropped? same rout there and back so why such a hugh change it was still the same still weather but very very different flight there than coming back, anyone any ideas as to why this happened id love to know?

i had plans to go out today flyin but im happier on the ground for now

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Hi,

It would be interesting to know what height you were at and what ground features were below you, valleys, hills, and which way they face?

You may have been caught out by Katabatic wind. (see pics below.)

gr_ff_katabatic_wind.gif

Katabatic winds occur at night when cool air sinks down mountain slopes and valleys. Anabatic winds occur when sun-warmed air rises and gently flows up mountain slopes and valleys.

gr_ff_anabatic_wind.gif

Have a think about it, and see if this fits in with your flight events.

SW :D

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yes seems interesitin, the take off height above sea level was 383ft and the height at my friends farm is 845ft so the ten mile trip is full of valleys and but gently slopes up to my friends farm, as i say lovely didnt feel anything going there but comin back was a total different story.

the other thing is once i left my friends field and got my direction i was at aprox 2000ft, i was hit by bumps and all sorts so i decided to drop my height, i released the throttle and i wasnt losin height, i was consistently hittin bad stuff all way home but the strange thing about it is i finally started to lose height when i was aprox one mile away from my field and i came down fast full throttle and i was still sinkin, there was the thought i was gonna land out, it started climbin again at aprox 400 foot, at this point i was only a couple of fields away from home. its certainly put the heeby geebies up me lol, im very carefull when i fly and it just shows, ya just never know do ya.

but yes the ground bellow was full of sloping fields and valleys, so any thoughts on this would be great cos i really do not wanna go through that again

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Bumpy at 2000 ft

maintaining height when power is off

sinking when on full power

Sounds like it was thermic, considering the time of day, it could be caused by a sudden drop in air temp, then warm air that has built up during the day in trees and crops and things releases, but I would expect this to be relatively smooth, but then maybe it was, if you are not used to flying in thermic conditions it may scare you a bit at first.

Paul D

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no not greatly experienced but the difference in going was brakes clipped up and me relaxed , coming back was consistently being thrown about , all i can say is it was terrible and i never wanna go through it again lol, amazin how things can change so much in half hour tho. also cant understand why i travelled for aprox 6 miles without losing height and throttle was on tick over

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yes i did pay attention to the clouds but it was more the haze clouds nothin big and black . it was a lovely eve nice clear skies when i set off but on way back it looked pretty light sky thin layer of cloud over the whole sky, im amazed how it can change so suddenly , few times the wing was pullin me in one direction and i leaned away to steer it but nope it was goin that way so i didnt argue i let it have its own way lol. another thing when i took off to my friends field in to a 6mph wind ground level travelled in to wind to my mates field, it took 23 mins and 3 litre of fuel.

coming back same wind behind me , it took me 30 mins and used 1 litre fuel, so i am so baffled lol average speed 18 mph and fastest speed 40.5 mph , i didnt check the speed going

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I thought 'Magic lift' as we get it in the Lambourn Valley, but.........

Thats as smooth as silk 99% of the time and then only a little bit bumpy the other 1%.

SW :D

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I thought 'Magic lift' as we get it in the Lambourn Valley, but.........

Thats as smooth as silk 99% of the time and then only a little bit bumpy the other 1%.

SW :D

Think I found the 1% last time I was there :lol::lol:

Me too, plus a load of sink that nearly saw me hit the ground downwind on full power and yet the socks were hardly fluttering!

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Bumpy at 2000 ft

maintaining height when power is off

sinking when on full power

Sounds like it was thermic, considering the time of day, it could be caused by a sudden drop in air temp, then warm air that has built up during the day in trees and crops and things releases, but I would expect this to be relatively smooth, but then maybe it was, if you are not used to flying in thermic conditions it may scare you a bit at first.

Paul D

Hi Leoibb

Sounds like it could have been wave. Is/was there a mountain range up wing of you?

Also often inversion layers create bumpy conditions but normaly only a 200ft ish layer of rough air.

Perhaps your just a bit of a girl really. :lol::lol::lol:

Whitters. :D

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Leoibb

If you have someone more experienced to fly with, send him/her up first as a wind dummy (if they are willing.) If you dont like bumps, check to see if there's a cold front on it's way. you can get some pretty spikey air ahead of them but smooth after they've gone through. I dont mean bumps that you can enjoy using like thermals either. I've been up expecting a nice flight an got a seat rocking around and wingtips rustling and popping.

I was also going to recommend you get used to a few bumps and therms so you know what to do if they "unexpectedly" present themselves but I thought better of it. :idea: That would be your call. It's enough to say I'm glad I do because it makes flights more enjoyable when you're not constantly soiling your linen.

I think Whitters is cruel too. I dont think you're a girl. He used to be scared once. I bet he was last August over Scotland ! :shock:

Dave

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well girl or no girl them big bumps aint for me lol , i was so surprised how things can change so much in half hour, there was a thought i had as to why, i got thinkin with it being a hot day and still cold nights still. maybe with the sun going down maybe there was a large difference in air temperature cold air coming down on to warm air? maybe this is what could have been going on. i always am very carefull when i fly, normally nill wind evening or early morning and it is very smooth, the same flight i have done a few times evening and morning with no problems, anyway glad i went through it didnt enjoy it but it was an experience.

i must admit i am considerin chuckin the towel in with it due to the fact that it is extreemely limiting and flight speed slow. it remind me a bit of gettin a dirt bike when ya a kid, you go round and round the field and cant really get anywere worthwhile and you soon grow out of it, not sure if anyone else feels like that or just my strange thinkin

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Leoibb,

Dont chuck the towel in mate!! You just had a bad experience................which lets face it comes along every now and then?

I just a had a flight wind was about 5-6mph when taking off. There were clouds in the distance but I thougt I would get a flight in before they arrive...........boy was I wrong!!

I took off at about 12.30

It was bumpy...very bumpy!!! I was lifted, dropped, pulled back and then with a gust blown forward.

When landing I cut the engine only to notice I was rising 50-60 feet then i was spat out and continued to land but two thirds into the field :? . I thought I might end up on the stables but came down and a was blown a bit off course and landed in a pile.....safely!!

Thing is I still had a smile and thought to myself....................'early morning flights or evenings for me'.

But I know I will get back up there and fly midday if the weather is suitable.

Just keep at it mate.

Mike

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Agreed,

Stick at it chap, now you have had a 'bumpy' flight, the next will not seem as much so. Ask yourself, did your kit fail? did your wing collapse? if the answer is no, it is likely that you are interpreting some 'nice thermals' incorrectly and that you are flying well inside of your kits flying window. Flights like the one you describe above, will open 'your' flying window in the future and they wont seem so 'bumpy'

SW :D

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I agree with the above, my last flight was a similar nightmare, but the way i looked at it is, that it goes with the territory :D

its something that would have happened at some point and will probably happen again, only next time you will have more confidence in what you are doing and your kit, forget it and move on, just think of the best flight you had, is it really worth giving that up?

Dave.

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  • 2 months later...

dont be fauled by the view of an dead windsock, remember if u are sinking faster than u expect, the air is pushing the windsock down to, giving the impression of carm conditions. on the subject of magic lift if there are many hills in a vacinity they will trigger at different times causing some turbulance but nothing that a pg pilot would not enjoy or indeed welcome to make the flight more fun. sooner or later all ppg pilots will encounter turbulance thats why 1 or 2 days with an instructor pg hill flying in mild thermicks learning active flying is a must and will give u the right tools, come the time, then you will no what to do,and not panic in the knowledge that everything is ok.

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I would go with the wave theory.

Particulary if there are lots of slopes. It could have been that the wind was out of sync on your outbound flight but then the wind need only change a little to bring the slopes in sync and give you wave formation. The lift in wave is very handy but the sink can be pretty drastic.

You often get lenticular cloud at the top of the wave which would normally be clearly defined but if the conditions where weak then you may not get them or they may not be as pronounced.

As said though, if you study met you can get a fair idea of what is likely to happen but you can still get caught out. Even the expert weathermen get it wrong (and I'm no expert).

One of the ways of combating this kind of event is to turn it into a positive. For instance if you catch strong lift (thermal?) it's free lift! Let out an excited shout YES!!! and go with it (believe me it does work). Look on it as a white knuckle ride which will also save you fuel.

A reflex wing will handle this very well so once you have got your head around it, it can be quite a thrill.

The downsides to thermals are if you are heading upwind and you stop to thermal you will end up downwind again. Also along with big lift there is normally big sink so just be aware of this. The lift will normally outweigh the sink though as you don't 360 in sink but fly straight through it.

If you are flying downwind and you see a line of fluffy cumulus (cloud street) then you can pretty much turn your motor off and fly under the clouds and make substantial distance for free!

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