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Dane Ellards Progress


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Well just a very little progress so far but then it was only day one. :fail: It was surprisingly hard work; in my defence, I am well into my 60's. But enjoyed it a lot. Simon and Colin at Membury made it all possible, for which I thank them. I am sure that I will be trying their patience before long!

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You would have to do well to test our patience mate :-)

And stop using the 60 card.... Or I will introduce you to Patrick Brook who is an active pilot at 77 years old, learnt to fly at 74. :-)

You did well today mate shame you had to bomb out but maybe for the best given the temperature today!! :-)

SW :D

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It occurs to me that being a bit more specific might be appropriate as a blog and more useful to myself at least.

So, guided by Colin:

1) Introduced to the wing; unpacking, laying out, checking lines for tangles and removing any found.

2) Used As & Ds to practice launching the wing and controlling it in the air & on the ground. I can see that wing handling & control will be the focus of practice & learning for some time. It is fundamental & essential after all.

3) Introduced to the motor. Walked around wearing Colin's motor with it running. Experienced its weight, throttle response, thrust and torque. Awesome.

Left feeling that I had definitely made a start, gained some insight and enjoyed myself.

1/2 DAY

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Should have posted here earlier but distracted by PC being screwed up

Colin introduced me to the harness (BDSM?). We went through clipping in, setting up & forward launching the wing. It was a very hot day with little, erratic & variable wind (thermals). For some reason (being thick?) I had problems with the simple act of clipping in; that's learning I suppose. :?

When the wing was up I could feel when it was right but I need to develop a 'feel' to recognise when it is going wrong & how to react to correct it. Technique & sensitivity.

As Simon says elsewhere there were some first time flights taken that day. Watching these from preparation through flying to landing while listening in to the radio instructions was interesting, informative and reassuring. Reminded me of the reason for being there; an appetiser or two.

Day 1 1/2

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Only 1/2 a day today due to an unexpected storm cell heading for the field. :roll::cry:

Firstly some 'wing on the ground' manipulation followed by using my own climbing harness to clip into to practice launching in the reverse launch position. Now I am gaining more control but still the wing 'gets away from me' too often. Very nearly got dragged when I was fiddling with the risers and not attending to the wing nor the strong gust that caught it. :oops: Pleased that I managed to dump the wing before it got too hairy.

Very satisfying when I can keep the wing overhead, albeit too briefly.

As my PC's wallpaper I have a lovely picture of a pair of risers . . . . . . sad? :?

Day 2

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Hot day with fickle, disappearing, little bitsy windypoos. :? It was an 'Off Day' for me. Dunno why; possibly simply tired. :(

Anyway plenty of wall building and a few attempted reverse launches. My spatial awareness is normally very good but for some reason I am still getting muddled with the spaghetti dish of risers and clipping them in.

The two Colins flew who were worth a watch. :coptor::dive:

Two weeks away from it now. Time for consolidation or forgetfulness? Actually I can't wait to get back at it despite having a so-so day.

Day 3

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  • 3 weeks later...

Back in (climbing) harness after more than 3 weeks away; including Devon & Norway.

Another scorching hot day with a very fickle wind; from dragging me to making me wait for ages for anything then backing or veering through 45 - 90 degrees. Still managed loads of reverse launches followed by a near immediate 'drop' to (re_) build a wall. Nothing ambitious but confidence and skill building repetition. Just what I needed after a break. Not too taxing in the scorchio conditions either. Making friends with the wing now! 8)

Day 4

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  • 2 weeks later...

Short session on Sunday. Wind stronger than forecast & very variable (thermic). At first I was not satisfied with my efforts at all BUT I changed to the Dudek wing and . . . it was like, 'hello friend', I know you. Then felt that I was actually learning stuff. But then the weather just got too much. Binned the session. Shame.

Day 4 1/2

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  • 2 weeks later...

Managed to grab 1/2 a day of OK'ish wind. Otherwise it's been way too windy & gusty of late; I've been getting withdrawal symptoms.

Kept with non-clipped in ground handling (as advised by Simon). Actually managed to keep the wing aloft for a (for me) considerable time, several times. As ever of late the wind was building and come midday was becoming too problematical ........ & I was shagged out. So just the 1/2 day again. Felt I'd achieved something though.

Day 5

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  • 2 weeks later...

Best part of a full day; much better than the 1/2 days I've been having. I felt that I was learning. i.e stuff going from conscious efforts to muscle memory whatever. As ever the wind was playing silly buggers. Backing & veering through 90 degrees and strength changing more rapidly than I have experienced; e.g. wing launched lustily in a good breeze and settling overhead only to drop out of a still sky. All part of the learning process but it can conspire to annoy.

Oh for a full day, (not too hot), with a steady, light wind. Then I think I could really progress.

Day 6

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[quote name="daneellard"

Oh for a full day' date=' (not too hot), with a steady, light wind. Then I think I could really progress.

Day 6

If you get that you won't be far away from your first flight, I would think. And the weather looks pretty good for getting a few consecutive days in. I would be surprised if we're not reading about it here within the week! Keep it up. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Missed some good days recently by being away in Edinburgh. Wednesday a nice day except for the thermals; usual wind from nine to nil (whatever) and wobbling through 90 degrees. RAF Simon tried the air above the field and did not like it!

Getting it and keeping it there for longer than before. Control inputs verging on automatic. Next objective is to be facing forward with the wing above me, (running?!?) i.e. reverse and twist and/or forward launch. Getting lighter and fitter and I am very sure that this helps enormously.

Day 6.5

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  • 2 weeks later...

O.K. so the weather and my poor (but improving)fitness level are conspiring to minimise my wing in the air time and what I need now is practice, practice, practice. Knowledge is one thing but flying the wing is essentially a physical skill that needs repetition to get the right muscles and synapses working in harmony. (Steady on there!) :shock::fail:

To date my commitment, apart from the course fee, has amounted to no more than buying some chinagraph pencils, gloves, a helmet and a map! BUT NOW..... . . . . . . . . .

I've gone and bought a motor! A 2nd hand Parajet, Titanium Compact! I know that 'wing first' makes more sense but an opportunity came along and I couldn't (didn't want to) resist. I am not flying yet but this feels like a significant milestone along the way, even if it is a purchase and not an achievement. My enthusiasm has been stoked! :D

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