31.8.2012 Excitement at Lappohja!



Friday looked good for a visit to Lappohja again after almost two years absence. Now I felt confident in having a try at really flying there. We arrived just after 9 o'clock in the morning and the wind looked just right. Jeppe got away quickly  to a nice start - at this time the wind was about 10 -12 kt, and I felt pretty sure I could handle that. Heikki was next in the air, making the start look rather easy.

Heikki gets some air-time

Now my turn.

The wind had slightly strengthened and both Jeppe and Heikki were ready to give me a hand. How the adrenaline raced through my body - this was the real thing at last! Lifting the wing is critical: it must be sure, straight, controlled. Mine wasn't any of those things - after a wild and uncontrolled twist in the air (how undignified!), I was taken by the wind back and up into the forest, ripping the wing's fabric on the trunk of a mighty pine tree.  The end of my day's flying.

But not quite. After all, I could safely do a bit of ground handling, couldn't I, provided that I stayed right near the water, away from the trees?
Here is Jeppe's video, showing how to fly safely and stylishly. Included near the end is a shot showing how my "controlled" ground handling went.

Jeppe's view of things.

Note the large rock, towards which I could momentarily glimpse myself rushing head first, without being able to do anything to stop. Fortunately a gust lifted me over it and dumped me unceremoniously on the ground in the relative safety and shelter of the forest - again. Somebody might well ask "Aren't you getting a bit too old for all this?".

Maximum wind was about 15 - 18kt.
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