Saturday, 23 March 2019

Jaca 2019 week 2 Day 6

Another day in paradise! All six days of flying. With the best saved for last. John Simmonds flew to the Ordesa gorge twice once with Chris Golding and another with Derek Copeland. All at around 10000ft. The initial climbs were stunning all the way up to 9000ft. Chris Gibson went to Panticosa with the Blundells in the Duodiscus. All expressed great satisfaction with week wishing it would go on forever. Here’s to next year.

Jaca 2019 Week 2 Day 5

Yet another great day! Everyone flew to the top of the Pyrenees and went cross country some going to look at the views of the Ordesa gorge and Panticosa. It was Bill Blundell’s birthday so a great day for him in the Duo Discus. A stunning day with quick climbs to the top. And Saturday looks the same! Blue Skies amazing sunsets. Flying of all types, what could be better?

Jaca 2019 Week 2 Day 4

A thermal day without wave as there was no wind, just the tops marked by small cumulus. Again strong thermals right from stage one got us to the top very quickly and travelling along the top in thermals at nearly 10000ft made for great fun

Approaching the tops in 6kts down

Jaca 2019 Week 2 Day 3

At the start of the day some concern was felt by last nights driver as the gliders were surrounded by the men in blue and an arrest was thought imminent.

Is this your glider Sir......

 In the end we were much relieved that they were just curious about the gliders and so we gave them a guided tour. The pictures may look like an arrest is taking place but John’s lawyers have issued a statement of denial.

This gliding lark sounds like a piece of cake.....
Now the conditions have changed markedly, light winds, blue skies and thermals with no wave forecast. Thermal climbs over stage one to 8-9000ft enabled the fastest forays to the top ever! Where surprise! Wave! It took some  careful searching but it was there and with only 8kts of wind. Those that made it were in awe, the mountain views and how close we were positioned were stunning. Like a blind man with a stick staying in weak wave with blue conditions required sensitive butts, track trace navigation and a bit of guesswork. Bill and Andrew Blundell were surprised how rough the entry into the wave was but loved every minute.

A view from the unexpected wave.

Jaca 2019 Week 2 Day 2

Lots of sunshine with another northerly wind, this time a bit stronger and  again rotor and wave. The strategy changed with tows to the north and climbs in rotor over the second stage and finally at about 8-8500ft  pushing forward into the wave in the classic manner. Running along the top the Andrew Blundell and John Simmonds flew in the K21 reaching maximum FL195 then flying over the Yesa Reservoir to the East and returning in the valley with a very long final glide to the airfield. Morag downed tools and went out with Luis the Airfield big wig!  So we  were left to our own devices and set off to Jaca town centre. Bereft of guidance the evening started off badly with a proposition from a lady of dubious intentions! Then the restaurant was in darkness and finally on our return in the Lasham vehicle on unlit roads there lurked a couple of escaped black sheep which our driver John Simmonds saw at about 25ft! We screeched to a halt but the stupid beasts just stood there, fortunately the impact was slight and neither the sheep or the vehicle were damaged. Derek Copeland sitting in the back hardly stirred.
Sunset on a great wave day!

These lenticulars are all over the place

Jaca 2019 Week 2 Day 1

The day started with a fairly brisk cross wind from the north which played havoc with take-offs. The day was forecast as a wave and rotor day so most elected for a tow to south in front of Cuculo mountain bird reserve, a recent dispensation to gliders now allow us to fly in the area with limited restrictions. This resulted in strong rotor and ridge lift giving climbs to 8500ft with a push into wind hopefully got you into the wave just south of the airfield. Some were successful, others struggled heroically falling back on Cuculo ridge when all else failed. It was a case of finding a line of lift so that you were high enough when you reached the wave line. Conditions were strong and rough but all enjoyed the experience and landings were challenging or sporty. Bill and Andrew flew with Chris Gibson in the Duo made contact with the wave and were up at 18000ft in the gaps in the cloud.
Morag had given us all two days of fabulous meals of Spag-Bol and Roast Chicken on the Monday. Thank you thank you Morag 

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Jaca 2019 Week 1 Day 6

Today's forecast was for another cloudless day but with light winds and the possibility of  higher thermals that might permit access to the main ridge of the Pyrenees which has been out of reach all week due to the strong northerly winds.
Glider ready all we have to do now is wait.
It was much busier at the airfield today with club members and the arrival of a group of Finnish pilots so there was plenty to watch as we waited for any indication that it might be worth launching. It was much hotter on the ground, especially at the launch-point with 25C being indicated by the glider instruments.

Once the decision was made it was slow going, with only one tug and it took 50 minutes to get a launch despite only being 4th in the queue.

The K21 with Charlie and Bob went first with Kevin and Merv in the Duo a short time later. Although there were strong climbs to be had, only the Duo made it up to the higher mountains with the K21 getting close but having to beat a hasty retreat after experiencing some prolonged sink.

The second sorties followed a similar pattern with the Duo fairing better than the K21 (Obviously Bob hadn't learned much from the first flight!)

Week 1 flying finished just need to put the K21 to bed.
After we had packed the gliders safely back in the hanger we retired to the bar for much need refreshment after a long hot day.

The end to a perfect week in Jaca.
Morag was the mastermind behind the excellent evening meal (much of it being prepared while everyone was drinking beer up at the club).

It has been a really enjoyable week for students and instructors alike with good weather,  interesting flying and some great meals. We flew every day for a total of 49 hours and 49 minutes in a mixture of wave and thermals.

Until next year....