Monday 25 November 2013

Paramotor rack and new GoPro position

I was sick and tired of disassembling and assembling my paramotor after every day out. Buying and fitting towing bar was too expensive for me so I decided to buy bicycle rack which can be mounted on almost every car so it should fit my Astra Holden (Open).

Test drive proved that paramotor stays in one place and doesn't want to go anywhere. Going flying should be much easier now:

Also I put my new GoPro3 in new place - on top of the cage. Vibrations are not too bad and the images comes out pretty still and sharp.

Test image - the angle looks alright:


Friday 22 November 2013

Canungra Task 5

The sky looked great in the morning. The last day of the competition and everybody was hoping to fly short, fast task. Task committee had different idea and set up 79km headwind task. I didn't believe that I can make it. During the flight XCSoar was showing the message "Expected arrival after sunset"... pretty funny ;)
It was gusty on the launch and some pilots had problems when bringing the wings up. First few kilometers were very very slow, I didn't really want to go forward because of huge blue hole on the way to the turnpoint. Most of pilots did the same and we hanged out together at the cloudbase. Then the task did speed up and the gaggle split into 5 smaller ones. I was lucky again having 2 low saves. Amazing scenery along the dam on the way to Boonah.
The last climb which I took was over Mt. French (9km to the goal). When GPS showed that I am above the final glide I still didn't believe that. I took the last thermal all the way to the base and went on the long, 8km final glide. Sun was getting low, beautiful colors and mountains around me. Amazing final glide of glory. Very enjoyable. This was a long fight but I made it.
When I landed I was dehydrated, hungry and extremely happy. The flight was 5h30min. I learned a lot. I am hooked.

Monday 18 November 2013

Canungra Task 4

Beautiful day. We were launching from Beechmont, the task had two turnpoints, 69km calculated by my GPS.
I launched in the open window to see how it feels in the air 45 minutes before the task was started. Very nice thermals took me al the way up four times before the countdown ended.
Plenty of gliders in the air heading in the same direction at the same time. Beautiful view. I decided to play safe that day. I took every thermal to the cloudbase. Despite this I had 3 low saves during. Once I saved it from 50m AGL. Very nice scenery (I wish I had my camera with me...) on the final glider before the goal.
About half of the pilots made the goal today, I came as one of the lasts. But it did not matter. What mattered was that I made it to the goal. Amazing feeling. Goal buses were full on that day so we had to wait 3 hours for another one. There were 8 pilots left waiting with me. Adam from Adelaide bought icecreams for all of us. What a gesture!
Amazing day. Amazing people and me very happy with making it to the goal.

Friday 15 November 2013

Back to the roots...

My adventure with aviation started with models of the airplanes in 2002. Now after 11 years I decided to come back to it. On the windy and rainy weekends and during the evenings instead of watching TV, here is what I do:

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Canungra Cup task 3

Task 3 didn't look good from the beginning. We were meant to launch from Hinchies. The sky was overcasted with almost no sunny patches at all. Grey cloud cover and strong wind gusts were a bit worrying and there were a couple of moments when task committee was close to cancel the task. I took off late when I decided that there is no hope for more sun.

Surpassingly the clouds were working and we were able to climb. Unfortunately I was too focused on trying to break through the inversion and I missed the leaving gaggle. For the next 30 min I was trying to catch up with them but they were much further and higher. After the plateau behind the hinchies there was a deep valley and another ridge line. Because of the strong wind soaring this ridge was quite challenging - the whole hill was on the lee side of the plateau. Very turbulent air, couple of collapses and wing literally dancing above the head made me try even harder to get out of there.

When I was about 100m above the ridge line I decided to go downwind. In this way with gliding ratio at about 20 I avoided another lee and went for a glide to look for the thermal. I was alone. Somewhere over the flats I found thermal and managed to gain more altitude. This was the last climb of this flight and I landed safely in the Beaudesert. Interesting 16km flight.

A couple of pilots made it to the goal (41km). Respect.

Wind dummy:

Site briefing:

Ready to fly!

The gaggle:

Getting ready to launch:

Here we go:

In the air:

And waiting for the retrieve:

Friday 8 November 2013

Canungra Cup task 2

Task Committee decided to set up 66km task with two turn points. Most of the way was with side/down wind component.

We launched from Beechmont. First few kilometres I stick with  Skywalk Cayenne sharing thermals and looking for them on the glide. The beginning was across few small valleys then long flatlands, another ridge line and flats again. I decided to stay conservative, fly high and slow. After first turn point I made a mistake and I went for a glide of hope over huge shadow. I should have gone more off the course but to the sunny place.

Firstly the clouds were working and I was pretty happy with it but when I get below 1300m AGL I hit sink which put me on the ground.  The cloud bases were at 2300m ASL and the airspace was at 2590m ASL. After safe landing I didn't have to wait long for the retrieve bus. Well organised service and beautiful scenery to fly in.

I didn't make the goal but I was pretty happy after the flight.Personal best up to this day - 55km and 2h 40 min in the air.


Guys are getting ready for the task:

And one by one we are launching:

Waiting for the retrieve:

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Canungra Cup Task#1

After over 950 km drive  to Canungra on Thursday night I was ready to fly first task in my life on Saturday. Task looked short, only 41 km but all the way into the head wind. I was granted with number 83 for starters and this was my order number during first day. Almost last one.

Unfortunately the wind was picking up as the day was progressing and I had to face 15knots headwind. After launch I easily found a thermal and climbed to the top of it. It was a blue day with no clouds. With gliding ratio between 2.5-3 on the full bar I was trying to get somewhere. Every time I made some distance I had to drift back with the thermal in order to climb again.

After two hours I made 15km and the wind picked up even more. I was basically parked over the ridge. Finally I landed next to the retrieve bus waiting for me for over 30 min.

This is how my flight looked like:

Wind dummy:

Passion ready to fly:

Camp site:

And delicious dinner in local pub: