A mix of clouds and sun. High 25C. Winds SSE at 25 to 40 kmh.
We are in Hong Kong until April 31. Contact Derek K if you need anything.
FlyBC is hosting a Paragliding Instructor/Tandem Course May 2-7, 2014
Some requirements are going to change this year, including the requirement to be an Intermediate PG Rated Pilot for at least 12 months prior to taking your Instructor's Course, so get finished ASAP.
FlyBC is an authorized distributor for Ozone, Gin, SupAir, Flytec, Nova, ParaJet Paramotors, Paratoys Paramotors, APCO, Wills Wing. Current Demo Gear: Gin Tribe (ML), Ozone Buzz Z4 (ML & L), Ozone Element II (S & M), Ozone Delta 2 (ML & S), Ozone Mantra M4 S, SupAir Delight Pod Harnesses, Ozone Oxygen II harnesses (S & M), Ozone Ozium Harness (M & L).
A mix of clouds and sun. High 25C. Winds SSE at 15 to 25 kmh.
But we have had fun exploring this Island City with almost 8 million folks packed into a small area, yet they have left nice parks everywhere for the skyscaper dwellers to walk around and play in.
Some problems with Google Albums here, but I will figure it out later. I don't think it is the Chinese Government blocking Google, just an Android issue on my tablet I think?
Woodside Report - Easter Sunday was a nice soaring day I actually stayed up and loved it!
Monday a few of us were out and Hammer al was soaring, so I didn't feel energized to fly so Norm flew.
The plan was Norm flew my gear including my helmet and pretend he was me, and off he went of course Norm was top of the stack and then flying with Al later Al top-landed and drove down to the Ranch and was saying "how could I be out soaring him with my Buzz Z4 "!
Then he said he noticed Norm's shoes and that's what gave it away. LOL! I am thinking Al has a keen eye to notice the shoes difference.
Harley Thomm was out watching too, it was a relaxing day sitting at stone henge chatting.
Even when I don't fly it's always a great day at Eagle Ranch. Thank you to you and Colleen for such a wonderful place to visit - Bev
A mix of clouds and sun. High 25C. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 kmh.
We instead went for Dim Sum for breakfast at a street cafe, then on to the closest mall for an ATM.
The mall was ridiculously huge with every high end store available including Colleen's favourite . . . a Starbucks!
At the mall we decided to be tourists and we hit the MTR train for downtown Hong Kong to see the Peak Tram, a cable train that goes up to 550 metres above downtown.
It was a one hour wait to get to the tram as it was Easter Sunday and everyone was out and about.
No one was flying off the Peak, except for a local hawk that would fly out over the city, pick up a thermal and climb over us before heading out again.
We got some tourist pics, then had the most expensive sushi lunch ever before heading back to downtown, where we got on a double-decker tram that goes from east to west on Hong Kong Island. And we got lost a few times, but managed to get back to the MTR which took us home.
Once back to the mall train station. we walked down the river promenade back to the Hotel.
No flying but definitely we had a good tour.
Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 54F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Reports from TJ indicated good soaring conditions at Blanchard with some XC action too.
Andrei also posted that some folks were flying Woodside last night.
Somehow we lost a day as we took off on April 18 and landed on April 19 only 12 hours later due to the International Dateline.
Periods of rain. High 10.
We drove up to launch around 3 pm, but it was drizzling and clouds obscured the view. North winds too vs the forecasted SW flows?
Showers. Temperature steady near 10.
It was cloudy & windy in Merritt, perfect HG weather for Sugarloaf Mtn.
Luke's new house has a nice view of the Dome in Kamloops, and the good news is that the local fliers got permission to fly there again!
Showers. Temperature steady near 10.
We checked the Suams Windtalker and it looked okay at 8 mph SW, the windsocks on top loooked okay and there was no precip . . . so up the mountain we headed.
At about 3 kms, I noticed wind in the trees. At the parking spot, it was windy in the trees too.
When we got to launch there were a few lulls, but the clouds were flying by pretty fast. After a few minutes, we decided that Dan's first flight in a year should be in better conditions and we drove back down.
After Dan left for Harrison Hot Springs, it started to drizzle here. The forecasts were right - higher winds and wet!
Sunny. High 18. UV index 5 or moderate.
We headed up to launch once we saw some action in the windsocks, and JJ & Sasha flew off and had nice extended sledders landing at the Ranch.
We drove down to get Martin and headed back to the Ranch to figure out the rest of the day because it was forecast to be strong all day according to IBIS.
After lunch we headed to Heritage Park for a great kiting session, with good solid SW winds on the slope. and it never calmed down at Woodside even after 7 pm.
Sunny. High 19. UV index 5 or moderate.
Colleen was flying ahead of the students on the Ozone Zero 17 and liked the maneuverability and was able to climb out easily on it. Her expert landing guidance really helped the students on their first landings.
Don M is here from Pemby and he is almost done the P2 Course. Donovan is almost done the P2 Course too, and he and Don were "duking it out" over the outer bumps today with nice skill also logging well over an hour today in 3 flights.
It was an interesting day with outflow in the AM, while we were kiting on the Training Hill at the Ranch, and the experts were waiting up on launch.
Once we saw pilots flying, we headed up and it was crowded on launch with over 20 pilots there.
Some of the pros started going XC but the lift was smooth enough for first flights so the students all flew after 1 pm.
Back on launch for flight #2, we saw Al the Hammer leading the pack west towards Dewdney.
The students flew again and got some thermalling practice in over the flats.
Last flight of the day was around 6 pm, and the students got to hear of the pros coming back over Woodside on their way to Bear, Bridal, Harrison. The last flights were smooth "glass off" flights with Sasha above launch for 20 minutes on the Element II.
Flights today from the Fraser Valley Here.
Later we heard Norm had flown to Hope (and home) but landed short at Hicks.
And then he got a ride from a native fellow, Norm Wales from the Fraser Bridge, at home Norm finds he forgot his radio in the fellows truck, and Norm thought the guy said he was heading to Yale, so we drove all over Yale then Spuzzum, no truck which Norm said was beige. Went back to Hope and Norm drove through our local native reserve, back out and just up the road Norm spots the truck. Except the truck is green, how does one get beige from a green truck? Anyway he got his radio back, and had a good long XC - Bev
Big Johnson WA Report - Followed the local pilots past the otherwise-locked gate so no hiking involved; most everyone who launched stayed up and had high flights.
Wind was all over the place with north, south, and west reported at various locations and altitudes.
Alex, Greg, and Brett flew south past Porter and then turned back north to fly to Black Mountain, turning around at the US-Canadian border to land at Silver Lake.
After enjoying the sun I drove down to save the retrieve while gate key holders were still around. Climbs to 2300m and ~50km flights had by all the Canucks. Brett had his camera today so he's probably got some nice pics of Baker and the Twin Sisters - Nicole
Cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers early this morning. Clearing this morning. Becoming windy early this morning. High 16. UV index 5 or moderate.
We got some kiting in Ashcroft aat the football fields but then it got too gusty and when I checked the forecast there, they changed it to 40-60 kph NE with no reduction in speeds all day . . . wtf?
We headed back to the Ranch and got some good sessions on the training hill until it went west in our field. I checked Abbotsford and it was blowing 22 kph from the West there too so off to Heritage Park.
It was cross and down at Heritage Park so off to Cherry Street where we got about 6 flights each for Don, Ken & Sasha before calling it a day.
Only 500 kms on the odometer today! LOL!
But everyone is ready to launch and land with style & grace.
Bridal Report - while we were getting dragged around in Ashcroft, a group assembled at Bridal and headed up around noon.
Folks had been at Woodside but it was NE there so they bailed over to Bridal as a fallback plan.
After a few hours of waiting Martin N launched first and was climbing so eventually 12 pilots got into the air with the shortest flight over an hour.
Al got the highest at 2500 metres over Mt. Cheam, and reports of rough air near Laidlaw.
Pilots can still park in the same parking area at Eagle Ranch, please walk on the west side of the Barns as the other pathways are getting fenced off.
Mainly cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. High 15. UV index 4 or moderate.
Rain, sun, strong winds, light winds and then rain again as the day OD'ed.
Fortunately, the students got here late so we did not waste any time trying to fly or kite! But I think Heritage Park would have worked mid-day.
A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming cloudy this afternoon with 30 percent chance of showers late this afternoon. Fog patches dissipating this morning. High 13. UV index 5 or moderate.
The first set of tandems we expected nice lift as it was strong on launch and I had a light 110 lb passenger on the Magnum 2 - 41 (big tandem), but oddly despite the stronger SW winds we got little ridge lift.
But it did take a long time to get out to the Ranch. But we made it with lots of height and Timi landed on her feet with style & grace.
Tandem set #2 went just the same, strongish winds on launch but "holes of sink" in the air that ate up any ridge lift? Prefrontal weird air I guess?
This passenger, Mario also landed on his feet even though I was being pushed crosswind on final! Nice! Two for two so far.
Kevin a launched after Denis & I and he managed to squeak out a miserable 20 minutes mostly out over the flats. The third set of tandems we had to wait for wind as it got calm on launch, but Miquel had launched after Kevin and was still in the air an hour later, possible his best flight ever and most of the lift was out by the swamp.
Nikki & I got some climbs near launch, then we headed over to the South Knoll where it was very punchy with the same holes in the air. The new clearcut at the bottom was working nicely, but the real nice lift was out south of the Construction Zone, where I let Nikki fly and she was doing perfect figure-8's and she found a nice thermal and we started 360-ing in it and climbed back above launch, while Denis & Brendan flew right under us low and straight into the Ranch.
Kevin had headed to Agassiz Mountain on his second flight and ended up at Harvest Market LZ later.
When we headed back out to the Ranch this time, I had to pull "big ears" and fly out over the Fraser River and we were still climbing. I found a sinky area just south of the Ranch over the trees and we came in for another stand-up landing even after getting lifted up on final.
What a nice day after all with magical lift out over the flats.
A mix of sun and cloud. High 13. UV index 4 or moderate.
All the wind forecasting tools: IBIS, CanadaRASP and TJ were calling for strong SW winds all day.
Melissa & Peter arrived on time and we were in the Atlas heading up ASAP.
We arrived on launch to see Martin N, Alex R, Nicole, Al, Brett H and a few other setting up but no one had laid out yet, so I jumped the queue and laid out the Magnum 38 after getting Melissa into her harness.
Sam & Morgan had just launched their HGs and were climbing nicely with little penetration.
There were lulls and we took one almost immediately and although Martin was ballasting us, I don't think he had to do much pulling as we had a clean inflation and we were off and climbing and fast!
Denis was up next and he had to wait a bit longer for a lull and this time Martin's ballasting was needed. In fact they pulled back so hard Martin's glove was still in the belly strap of Peter's harness as they took off. It stayed there until Peter put it on to help keep him warmer.
It wasn't turbulence, it was Melissa shivering so hard. Crap, we better go down where it is warmer.
Denis & Peter were about 5 minutes behind us, as was Morgan on his HG.
Bev drove the Atlas down to retrieve us and we all loaded in including Morgan and his Falcon and we drove back to the Ranch to warm up.
During our flights, the winds got much stronger and only Alex & Brett took off and they enjoyed a nice 2+ hours of soaring up to 1800 metres over Woodside later. They too landed at Harvest. Reports of +27 kph of winds aloft according to the GPS.
I took Al up in his truck and he flew off on the Ozone Zero 17, and it was strong and gusty but he managed to get the wing under control and was off & soaring. I retrieved Martin's glove and returned it to him on launch.
As I returned with Al to the Ranch, Derek arrived around 6 pm and we headed back up with Miquel (from Espana), Robin and me.
Conditions had mellowed and Derek was off first, then Robin (on the Delta 2 demo) and then Miquel took off too.
Oddly the winds in the LZ at the Ranch were Westerly which makes for a nice approach into the ProCircle and the landings were smooth despite the high winds aloft.
Blanchard Report - Harry S flew Blanchard and only got a sled ride. CanadaRASP predicted light winds there.
It may have been bad launch timing for Harry as Roger & Roy flew and Roger ended up in Bellingham via the highway route (as opposed to the coastal route), and Roy landed near Big Johnson.
Colima Report - work on La Cumbre Launch in Colima Mexico has been completed. Now we can return with Ramona and she can redeem her last launch crash off nice astroturf.
Cloudy. Rain beginning this morning. Becoming windy this afternoon. High 13.
Next time the X-Alps is going to be 2000 kms!
Cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers near noon then a mix of sun and cloud. High 18. UV index 4 or moderate.
Bev did the "wind dummy" job and flew off first to test the air for us, getting a bit of lift by the Construction Zone but mostly a sled ride.
Joe C had a similar flight even though Derek & Martin were climbing near the South Knoll.
Norm and I took off last and Norm got high immediately over launch, and just as I was ready to launch the cycles died and all the gliders in the air started to sink.
After about 10 minutes it was starting to work again and I took off and started to climb by the South Knoll too.
The thermals down low were a bit ragged and smoothed out higher up, Derek & Martin climbed to 1100 metres, I didn't get much above 1000 metres and then started concentrating on top-landing to adjust my Ozium harness (which had been re-adjusted on the weekend and I forgot to check it in the simulator - next stop the Urologist!).
Nice to have a few flying days where I don't have to worry about students, tandems, and driving but that is all going to end on Wednesday as the tandems start and Friday new students arrive for lessons all next week.
Derek got in the top-landing just in front of me, and it was his truck that was on top.
I flew out after 1:15 and flew out past the Post Office on School Road and did not lose any altitude. Very bouyant air all over the Harrison Mills Peninsula and nice SE winds in the LZ made for nice landings at the ProCircle.
Bridal Gloat Report - Klaus, Monica, Derek, and I flew Bridal.
There was a slight outflow with the odd straight in trickle. We all launched and flew. Monica got a little low and then had to deal with being shaded out. She got about a half hour.
Klaus got to about 3600' around Killarney Ridge. He went to check out launch for a top landing but after a pass he was too low and couldn't get back up.
Derek and I thermalled out together and I headed east. I got to the chute below Cheam. Derek eventually followed. There was an avalanche just below me. A little unnerving until I figured out what the noise was.
I pushed out towards the Lakes a little too low. Derek was higher. Eventually I worked back and decided on landing at Popkum.
Everyone figured I had enough to get to the LZ, but I figured to go safe. Derek worked his way up to the lakes with a lot of effort. Stayed high and got back. He a single pass and top landed with a little running involved. Flight times from 30 minutes to an hour and a half - Martin N.
Brandywine Report - Dale & Kelly went sledding with some pals on Brandywine Mountain and sent back these great shots.
A few showers ending this morning then cloudy. High 13.
Multiple top-landings and Alex R & Peter S put a few hours on the Ozone Zero 17 demo today.
Derek top-landed and drove down the Nissan for me so I could fly some more!
Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers early this morning. Rain beginning late this morning. High 10.
The rains stopped around 9 am, and the winds were lighter than forecasted. When we arrived we could see the ground . . . for a few minutes, but then it socked in solid!
While doing the site survey, I walked in behind the outhouse and found some new "falling boundary" markings and it looks like some very close new logging is going to be happening right behind launch. I didn't walk the entire block but maybe andrei and I can do that soon to find out the impact but maybe we can get some new road improvements.
After coming off the mountain we headed to town to get some cedar trees and happened upon the Chilliwack Plowing Match just off Annis Road. Everything from Horse Drawn Plows to steam tractors, and a big crowd watching.
First step was to dig a trench using the neighbour's backhoe.
Partly cloudy. High 53F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.
Claudia, Nicole and Dimitri also came down from Vancouver to round out the Canuck Team.
We arrived at Blanchard LZ at 1:10 pm, a bit late due to border lineups and stops for gas, food and such but no one was in the air yet and the clouds were well-formed but low.
Derek took a big load up to launch including the Canucks and Tim H (trying out his new Buzz Z4) & Roger.
A few Hangs were setup and did their wind-dummy jobs and took off into nice S cycles.
Kevin followed off after the Hangs, while TJ entertained us with his backside kiting!
I got "hoovered off" and was pointing straight ahead and climbing at a fast rate just off launch and it was beautiful out there.
Some were looking pretty low as the lift shut down after 20 minutes but they avoided the trees. There are some new logging roads east of launch and they were giving off some nice lift bands.
I followed a HGer out to the sun as the mountain shaded out and he was partway to the LZ when I saw his wings shake! Yes, a thermal! He turned once to the left and gave up and continued to the LZ. I was concerned about making the LZ from my altitude in the strong South wind, but there are bailouts. I turned right in the same thermal and hung on to it and the vario (audio only) was singing the happy tune!
Everyone else headed out to my thermal as the mountain was all sinky.
Some came in really low and got nothing and landed in the bailout. I saw Martin N come in and I swear I saw his shadow low over the bridge but he claims he was at 200 feet over when he found the lift. Kevin was higher and he too caught the thermal.
I rode this thermal all the way to cloudbase (Kevin says it was 1200 metres), and into the whiteroom while circling with Kevin.
I flew south toward the Longhorn Pub was almost there when I turned back. Kevin did tag the Pub later. There was lift out everywhere in the fields, even the wet ones?
I was almost finished flying after 1:15 of thermalling around when the last group finally launched, as a lull came through launch about the same time as the sink cycle despite it being strong south in the air. That group waited about 35-40 minutes to get any wind to launch. They all got off cleanly including Nicole who got to 'base fast. If you zoom into the following picture you may see her and 3 HGers near 'base.
I think Martin N logged 2 hours, Derek a similar amount of airtime.
Sweet flying and the Gin Sprint X-Alps was top of the stack many times! Not bad for a 2011 design with an old guy on-board!
Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Periods of rain beginning late this afternoon. High 10.
A mix of sun and cloud. 30 percent chance of showers this afternoon. High 13. UV index 4 or moderate.
Robin, Norm, Bev and Martin N arrived just after noon, and we headed up the mountain after watching 2 un-named pilots on Edel gliders fly and head into Riverside with "big ears".
It was forecasted to get windy mid-day and that was true when we arrived on launch we had lulls but also strong gusts.
Undeterred, Norm set up his Delta 2 and "hucked himself at the ground and missed" and he was off and soaring! It was quite chunky in close to the hill, but smoother out where the birds were soaring.
Norm was getting near 'base and headed over to the South Knoll, and he then disappeared heading backwards I think?
Reports came back later that Norm had landed at Seabird Island, halfway to Hope.
Congratulations to Al T on passing his Advanced Exam later today too. After many 100 km triangles and winning the Willi XC Contest a few times, it was time to get Al his Advanced Rating. He just passed his HAGAR too, so he is all legal now.
Blanchard WA Report - reports from Blanchard WA had pilots booating around for 2+ hours, with some heading out over the water under CUs. Mostly south winds and low cloudbase.
Tapalpa Report - reports came in from the weekend at Tapalpa, with three paragliders in the trees, with one a European Tourist who completely destroyed her paraglider but was unhurt!
It looks like we got out of Mexico just in time before the really strong conditions occur!
Cache Creek: Mostly sunny. High 12C. Winds NW at 10 to 15 kmh.
Don O arrived at 9 am sharp and we started kiting in Ashcroft Park after adjusting a harness to fit him (all 245 lbs).
Don M met us around 1130 am, and he is on his third day of lessons and was doing fantastic as he got one flight at noon at Coyote Hill before it turned SW.
We then headed to Savona as the Kamloops report said SW at 7 kms, perfect for the Oscar's Launch at Savona for Don M. Don O was still wanting more kiting.
We headed up the hill and when we got to the International LZ, I could see the winds were NE and almost soarable, so we turned around and headed to the Dump Ridge.
I clipped in to the big ParaAvis 36 and the winds started to die off so I never flew off but good kiting winds still.
A good student day upcountry, and it sounds like it would have been too strong in the Fraser Valley for students anyway as Derek reported it got very windy later in the day.
A few hundred kilometers of driving is worth the progress these guys made today.
The Fool's of April Report - There was lots of big air and distance to be had in the Fraser Valley today. Launch conditions were good with most XC pilots only needing a few minutes to wait for cycles.
A gang of at least six headed west getting as far as Dewdney (or in Al's case, Benny) before heading back and east to Bear.
Mt Agassiz was, as usual, one of the more turfy places on the route.
Martin and Andrew got a great thermal at Bear and flew to Ludwig and Gloria before crossing to Harvest.
Another group of five, including moi, crossed a half hour later. The winds picked up at about 3 pm, I think mainly caused by some huge cumulus clouds in various parts of the valley. In the late afternoon, a big cloud burst over Agassiz, but everyone was long gone by then.
I had zero radio contact for the duration of my five hour flight because I buried the radio in my jacket and must have turned down the volume knob.
I flew with Miguel, Peter S, Nicole, and Gary from Ludwig to Cheam and then Peter, Nicole and I caught an elevator to 2400 m and had a great view of Cheam which was somewhat marred by noisy snowmobilers roaring up to the summit!
The last push to get to the Elk ridge was full on "Rockn'Roll" but Peter and I were rewarded with a rocket elevator ride back up to 2000 m allowing us to point for Woodside and go. However, reports from Derek indicated that the valley had become very windy so we opted for Harvest which it turns out was the LZ for many pilots, including Nicole who flew from Elk back to Bridal before crossing to Harvest.
I actually landed almost going backwards, a first for a Harvest landing but the air was not bad (better than the ranch where Al landed).
All in all a good day and I was very impressed with the Ozium/Alpina2 combo. The Alpina 2 is the best thermalling glider I have ever flown and the Ozium really handles well. The A2 even seemed a little calmer with the lighter harness, which, although not set up, was very comfortable for this five hour flight.
April Fool's tracklogs from Woodside.
TJ's April Fool's Report - I picked the wrong day yesterday to play hookie!
Tuesday, the real April Fool's day seemed to have panned out.
Box 79, Harrison Mills, BC
Canada V0M 1L0
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