Over the hill at 74



Monday was a no-fly day for most of us - a few had a nice evening surprise at Gourdon when the conditions calmed down. During the day we visited St.-Paul.
But Tuesday - that was a day to remember. We climbed up our home slopes at Gréolieres, and all got into the air without incident. Again, like Sunday, thermals everywhere, but a fraction more difficult. Soon conditions at the landing-field (and in the air too) began to get too rough - at least for beginners like myself - and our vigilant instructors ordered us down in good time. Over half an hour in the air! Unfortunately I blotted my copybook by not keeping a good lookout in the air - very dangerous both for oneself and for other pilots. For this I received - deservedly - a right rollicking, which immediately resulted in "better behaviour" on subsequent flights.
During the afternoon we visited Antibes, on the coast, and had a pleasant few hours in the old town. Then back to Gourdon, where I had had my scary take-off on Sunday. This time I found myself properly in the driver's seat, rising and rising after take-off into the company of the faithful, so to speak. The evening was clear and the view to the coast magnificent. At the southern end of the ridge is a weather radar at the highest point, and little by little, cruising back and forth along the craggy ridge, we rose to that level, before it was time to reluctantly descend to the landing field that now looked so small (the pic shows the L-shaped field). On the way down the air was still rising in places, even though the whole ridge was in shadow. The message from the landing place was that the wind had changed to light westerly, which meant landing from an unaccustomed direction: the good thing was that the landing would be uphill instead of downhill. Thanks to the helpful advice from the instructor at the field, the approach and landing turned out well. 35 minutes in the air. A wonderful day's flying, and a birthday to remember!
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