High Hopes in the French Alps

Valley Vol

Jason, heading off into the sun!

We had a free day, so went to have a fly. It was looking interesting from the start with the Megève Balloons already floating over the house. We thought we’d go earlier than usual to be ready at the right time. It was beginning to show promise around midday when other pilots were arriving, and one or two were beginning to climb out.

CEP arrived at launch and asked Dennis to watch a couple of their students take off.. which he did, whilst I was getting kitted up. We both launched around noonish and although the thermals were all broken up, splintered, and hidden in fragments within a temperamental inversion after much perseverence we both got a climb out. I marked the thermal for Dennis which, he took up, and I lost it somewhere… so I flew over towards the shale at Varan, and tried to get out there, still no luck, back to the Butress and hung around for a while, when I spotted a Mantra ahead of me screaming up! I thought… that’s it! so I took it,  to 2200 meters ish, it was the highest I’ve been for a while and although it was a lot of work to start with it was well worth it.

I saw Dennis heading towards Le Quatre Tête, but the cloud was a bit low… and Pointe Percee was in cloud too, so it wasn’t the best. I decided to take my glide towards Combloux and try to get ’round the valley that way, did ok but didn’t make it over the Church… so hooked ’round and tried to climb out but the thermals weren’t having any of it, sink all the way.  Flew over the Lodge, and thought about a nice cup of tea… so that was that! Landed back at home… Dennis meanwhile, managed to get a really low save and almost got round, the bus was in Chedde but the thermal drift was flat and very low as the wind started to strengthen, so it was a Batistock landing for him. Non the less, it was good flying and good to fly the gliders in stronger conditions.

The Delta is a funny wing, in all the strong stuff it felt like I was going to lose it, but nope… not once, maybe the odd flutter but nothing more than that. It’s very eager to launch but obedient when it’s flying. It does what you ask it, and very precisely. I’m really enjoying this glider the more I fly it… as is Dennis.

Dennis got back to Chedde, where he collected the bus, came back to pick me up to collect the other vehicle, at launch. Back up at Plaine Joux we saw Jason flying around some 500 meters above and then gliding off into the sun.. apparently, he landed at Lac Passy in some substantial wind.

It was a good day, all in all.

Just a few more in Daily Pics.

April 17, 2011 - Posted by | Flying

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