Flights to Avila

A light NW with climbs to 3000m forecast, although a little weak early on putting us all on the ground a bit sooner than we wished.
Our 2nd attempt was much better, with Magnus, Hans and I going over the Pass towards Avila. At Avila, Marcus and I tried to go towards Segovia but ended up love on the north side of the city, landing near the Avila Cemetery.
Back in time for an evening fight! Here is Marcus in the photo after the evening flight.

Marcus, returned from Avila and landing nr Windmill field after evening flight

Moderate E wind.

Due to the wind we had a short morning flight.  An attempt towards Barco but we got nowhwere near!  The evening was interesting with a lauch for the PN east launch.  We were able to fly to the valley and soar the E face of Cerro la Cruz hill.


The last day of this week for our Belgian group.  Nice conditions, but NE and most of us not prepared to go down the Cherry Tree valley with the altitude we were getting.  However, we should have all gone, since Eric had a good time of it reaching Plasencia.  Good evening conditons.  On Sunday a task was run by the Tres Valles comp.  We returned from airport run for just an eveining flight.

Friday 15th June

Good morning, looks more like a typical XC day. Winds are reasonably light and NW in our valley, but likely to be North in the Avila Valley, Probable climbs to 2600, and maybe reaching around 3000m at end of the day. A good day for pushing towards Avila as far as possible, and maybe getting back. Some valley wide convergence setting up across the Avila valley around Munogalindo later in afternoon. We don’t want to go too early we need conditions to be working and base to perhaps 2600 before crossing the Pass, so we might have a take off as late as 1 pm today, depending on how wind gets up. Let us meet at 10.45 11 am for Briefing, going up soon after.

Not a promising start to the week.

Today we have moderate winds from the west with a risk of storms, more so to the north.  An inversion will probably keep us safe from overdevelopment here, but a layer of cumulostatus is likely to keep the sun away for much of the day.



overall picture

skew t 1 pm

Flying with the legendary Bill Moyes

Back in 1990 I made a trip with Avon club members Mark Haycraft and Chris Jones to Australia where we ended up being invited by Bill Moyes to his weekend home in Newcastle. Bill was very generous with us and took us towing with his equipment: A speedboat with a long length of line and a float and attachment ring at one end joining to a rather battered old Hang Glider. He was amused that we wanted to wear our helmets, the water being soft in his opinion. He decided that Chris, who had long hair and was a vegetarian was unlikely to be much of a pilot so he was confined to the boat. I was first up on the tow. No radios, “just lift your leg when you want to go”. The speedboat would power off and the coiled line would whip away until no slack was left, jolting you off into the air.

Just great, climbing out over the bay with one of the most famous names in hang gliding below in the boat. Unfortunately, when I released the catch jammed in the release mechanism, leaving me with what looked like half a kilometer of line attached to me and the boat. With no radio contact, I believe I agitated my legs a fair amount to convey my dilemma. The likelihood was that as the boat slowed the line would go into the water dragging me down into the ocean. Oh dear!. However, Bill kept on the power taking me out to a sand spit where he gently backed off the power, me keeping the line taught and landing with all that line attached. Phew!

The next day found us at a different launch point with the wind coming in from the side, the longshore drift going another way and the boat speeding off in a different direction with myself watching the line rapidly uncoil on the beach and having to make a rapid decision as to which way to point the glider. I made a rapid calculation of the 3 vectors and pointed where I imagined I should….Wrong!. Chris, in the boat, told me that Bill had actually seen my error, but he thought it best that I should learn the lesson by being dragged a high speed across the beach breaking uprights and patches of skin away.
All this was around 3 decades after Bill’s pioneering flying. If things were hairy then back in the late 80’s one can hardly imagine the risks he was prepared for in the 60s.

I briefly met Bill at an FAI meeting some years ago when he was receiving his award. I don’t think he remembered our stay with him. He has had so many POMs coming through over the years. Mark continues to hang glide and seems to be always winning the French XC league. Chris is also still flying, both Hgs and Pgs. I carried on crashing hang glider for quite a few more years, but now just paraglide.

English Version

Spanish Version

A very flyable week.

Yesterday and today, flights to Barco for some.  A light wind week, though with relatively low climbs yesterday and today and an easterly drift. Only Alister made Barco today, though many of the group managed it yesterday.  A change to NW tomorrow, so hopefully a better XC day.

John Youle. DSC

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John Youle DSC

I have taken quite a few snaps of the DSC members for wintertime scribbling of caricatures.  I don’t really have any time during the summer months, but I thought I saw a likeness in John as a turtle or tortoise, so tried this one of him.

Arrival of Derbyshire Soaring Club

A decent day yesterday with many doing good XCs between the Pass and Barco.  Our group arrived too late for the XC flight by enjoyed a good evening soaring, may doing the full ridge run and Valley flying in the restitution.

Evening Restitution

A reasonable forecast, but gusty strong winds from quite early on.  Only Hans decided to fly, where he found reasonable conditions, though the rest of us decided to leave it until the evening.  Once again, like many evenings this week, a fantastic restitution flight with abundant lift on hill and out in the valley til after sunset.

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