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French Adventure


rob_jones
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Well guys I dont claim to be an inspiring author or even that good at spelling but I thought some of you might appreciate my tales from France.

I am currently 1/2 through a 2 week holiday camping round France, when I say "round" I pretty much mean anywhere I can fly.

I spent last week in Pyla le Dune on the Atlantic coast, for any PG enthusiasts its somewhat of a mecca for mucking around with wings. I have a car packed with three wings (Fusion, Apco Karma & Gin Nano Speedwing). Sadly what I didnt realise is that the whole region is nothing but forests and launching my Bailey 175 off the Dune is a no no. I was planning on soaring my Fusion but if anyone whom has flown in sandy conditions will tell you the bloody stuff gets everywhere and its a nightmare to get out, although by then end of my week having watched the locals whom ground handle and turn the wing upside down, I can now pretty much get the sand from the cells without the painstaking task of tipping each cell. So phase one of the holiday consisted of free flying along the 100m sane dune in my flip flops and no motoring........yet!!

Today I drove from Pyla to Lake Annecy, well the plan was to get to Annecy but after 8 hours in the car the three kids had enough and forced a break in the drive, we are now @ a motel in Lyon and about 2 hour drive from the Alps.

My Plan..........well I love the free flying and will be launching from the Col de la Forclaz which sits above the lake. I will do a combo of Fusion (just to see how good its reputation as a dual wing stands up to my Karma).

I am also planning a morning assualt on Mt Blanc and will launch from St Gervais (not sure where yet) I have no idea how far up I will make it but the plan is to just gun the engine for as long as my fuel lasts and see how high I get.

I have a pretty decent cam corder now instead of my dodgy Action AKT 4 one so should get some good footage.

Will post anything I can as I go along

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So we set off from Lyon this morning for the short (ish) drive into the alps, as I crossed into the ever growing hills I noticed the familiar site of wings floating in the sky, itching in my seat to get there and get up there.

Of course first things first, unload the car, the boat (little 2.8m Dinghy 5hp) that we use more as a toy trailer than anything else. Then it was to take the kids swimming for the compulsary 1 hour dip, all the while the clock is ticking and I see the sun dip behind the looming mountains around me. Enough is enough and I pack the kids and chick into the car with orders to take pictures and film me. I had recced a field earlier in the day and had a potential launch site in mind, it is about 500m to the side of the standard PG landing site but shielded by trees, nice short grass and zero breeze, I had to constant stream of PG floating over my head.

Set up - normal pre flight checks, dug out my new HDD camcorder that I planned to use to film the event. Forward launch was required as not a breath of wind.

3,2,1 and run run run - could feel my ass scrape the ground but climb I did, turning above my new found launch site and passing the PG on the way to landing.

So this was nothing more than a discovery flight, averging 3 up climb rate and very smooth (not a patch on UK boomin thermals of late) I flew up to Col De Forclaz launch site and waced to the white faces looking up, I then flew out along the lake to the castle things now @ 4500ft I decided to kill the engine and glide silently back to launch and the kids running round.

Was touching 4 down on my vario and nice and silent, landing was without incident.

Tomorrow I plan a 2 hour explore

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Maybe someone could give me some instructions as to how to paste images in here

Rob, firstly upload your images to a 3rd party hosting site, such as Photobucket, then copy the direct link of the image you want to post onto your clipboard.

Open a posting on PMC, click the IMG tab, paste the direct link in then click the IMG tab again. Done :D

Cheers, Alan

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You can post any image from anywhere, all you need is 'point' at it on the internet and tell the forum software what it is (an image).

p><p>I need to change the character here

http://img.skitch.com/20090824-mww44mk4b6xf1bdexmjmrjkm4n.jpg' alt='20090824-mww44mk4b6xf1bdexmjmrjkm4n.jpg'>

You can 'right click' and 'copy the location' of ANY image on the internet and bring it to the forum by referring to it as above.

Like this from this very page...

20080110-qpf5m9jtum9261xd88t1un29f6.jpg

Images bring posts to 'LIFE'. LOL

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You can post any image from anywhere, all you need is 'point' at it on the internet and tell the forum software what it is (an image).

p><p>I need to change the character here

http://img.skitch.com/20090824-mww44mk4b6xf1bdexmjmrjkm4n.jpg' alt='20090824-mww44mk4b6xf1bdexmjmrjkm4n.jpg'>

You can 'right click' and 'copy the location' of ANY image on the internet and bring it to the forum by referring to it as above.

Images bring posts to 'LIFE'. LOL

Is this you after a good night out Norman :lol::lol:

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Pretty much yes, I drive around and find the "perfect" launch then just get out and go for it.

Last night I was preparing for the Mt Blanc flight and was using Google Earth to look for decent fields but to be honest its not much use and I think when I get to Chamonix/St Gervais I will find a spot.

We had storm out here last night and the forecast is not looking to good untill Saturday, although I am standing by the pool right now and it looks fine and dandy to me.

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Well the predicted storms have arrived and its pretty much rained all day and night. Not to be outdone I convinced the crew (3 kids and a bored chick) that we should explore the Chamonix valley and its surrounding fields in the shadow of the might Mt Blanc. Some things I learned from what was cleary a recce. Chamoix is in a very deep and narrow valley and not a field suitable for launch can be found 2 miles either side of it. Second thing - Mt BLanc is very bloody big.

I did spy a few potential launch sites in Megeve but its quite far from the mountain and in paticular I want to fly over the ice fields which look amazing in the shining sun.

I will have to wait and see what tomorrow brings, for now it looks like a shopping trip to Annecy :<

MtBlanc.jpg

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The glacier in your pic looks like the Mer de Glace. Looks nice and smooth from way up there, but down close it is incredibly rough, with huge blocks of ice as big as houses, and chasm's you could drop a truck into.

Phil

Agreed, in my limited Glacier time... (mt Cook New Zealand) I can vouch 100% for the above.

I think you should consider it a 'glide clear'

Looks like your having loads of fun!! Making me buzz even more about our Frnace trip!

SW :D

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