am sorry for not updating my log more frequently, but I have been very
busy lately and have not been able to write any log. Still, here is a
summary from last two weeks events - and it has been some spectacular
flying. Both articles below are published today, June 14th. Pictures
will be published later.
June 5th to 12th
(Saturday to Saturday): XC-seminar in Vågå
up Friday evening and arrived 0100 in Vågå, had one beer and went to
bed. XC-seminar instructors were Werner (hg) and Frode Halse (pg),
and 11 hg pilots and 6 pg pilots participated. The schedule each day was
something like this: breakfast, morning briefing and chose of launch,
preflight briefing and advise, flying, retrieval i f necessary, and
debriefing in the evening. My club, Oslo og Omegn HGK, was heavily
represented with Arne Karstensen, Axel Sauter, Atle Nilsen, Bjørn
Joakimsen, and myself.
Day 1 - Saturday 5th: Overcast the wind increased and turned west during
the day. We were at Vole and about half of the xc-seminar participants
started. The rest of us rigged down in strong wind.
Day 2 - Sunday 6th: Strong western wind in Vågå, so Werner and
Frode (instructors) decided that we should give Brandstadkampen, further
south a chance. And sure enough, here it was almost 0-wind and pretty
good thermals, or so it seemed. As we arrived at the launch it was nice
launch conditions. But as we rigged our gliders, the crosswind from SW
increased (sea breeze from Lake Mjøsa) and made the launch somewhat
challenging at times. I had a horrible launch. As it was little wind and
crosswind and a short and a not too steep launch, I wanted to accelerate
as fast as possible resulting in a high angle of attach as the glider
popped up as I started to run. Following from this error I dived down
and through a couple of three tops before gaining a safe altitude. As
conditions were not too easy, todays task was to fly to Frya and the LZ
there. It seemed to be pretty easy, but proved to be challenging enough,
at least for me. I flew away quite low, and had a nice and low flight to
Frya. I have always resented leaving the launch/LZ area if not very
high, and used this at an opportunity to get some practice with low
altitude flying. All in all, a nice day, although it was a short flight
- 47 minutes. Also 78 others managed to fly to Frya or
Day 3 - Monday 7th: Not the most interesting day in the world. I
woke up by the rain hammering on the roof of my car. After breakfast we
had a little meteorology theory before we drove up to the local launch
(Vole) hoping at least to get a short flight between the rain showers. I
was ready to launch twice when it started to rain; pretty annoying but
better than flying in rain. I finally launch after waiting for about
three hours and was awarded with a 30 minutes flight. Can't say I
enjoyed it, because rain shower came down all around us and I do not
want to test the Litespeed in rain. In the evening about half the
seminar pilots drove to Bøverdalen and Juvass, but I thought it looked
too overcast and hopeless so I stayed "back home". And sure
enough, it was not flyable.
Day 4 - Tuesday 8th: Overcast and NE winds in the morning, but improving
conditions and S winds during the day. The day, however, remained dark
for me. With the expected S wind during the day we drove down to Frya.
Here it was launchable but the daily rain showers visited us also here.
I was number 4 out, and to make a short story even shorter - I bombed
out. In addition, I managed to have tailwind landing. I hit so hard that
the a-frame got stuck in the ground and I and the glider was flipped
around, and I ended up in the sail. It was a comfort that most others
also bombed out, but Olav Lien Olsen, whom I launched after, flew all
the way to Lesja - 90 km. Two Exxtacy pilots, Werner J. og Harald
Nielsen flew to Vågå (60 km), and and Michael (pg) flew to Holongsøy (3 km
short of Vågå). Not my lucky day. The material damage of the day: One
upright (the right one with the VG-rope off course), the radio head set
was torn in two, and the nose wire made a deep cut in the harness.
Day 5 - Wednesday 9th: Today it was Western winds, and Frode
and Werner decided that we should give prime xc-launch Bismo a try. This
is a challenging place to fly away from because you have to cross a long
section over really desolate mountains without roads for retrieval. Lot
of pilots were struggling after launching, but I was lucky and launched
straight into a strong thermal and soar directly to about 1800 masl.
Then I struggled a little before getting up to about 2200 masl, before I
flew towards Horrongan; two mountain tops to find more lift before
crossing the mountain to Finndalen, a valley with landings and retrieval
possibilities. Still, I was approached Horrongan I got thought that I
was too low to fly over the top and gain more altitude. This was today's
big mistake as I had enough altitude. But I thought the landings
in valley we flew from was a long way out, and did not feel comfortable
with the situation. After this I made two more attempt to reach
Horrongan, but had to give up the xc-attempt. Instead I flew locally.
Still, it was a nice flight, and I learned a lot. Next time I will cross
over to Finndalen - I hope.
Day 6 - Thursday 10th: Rain and bad weather. I didn't do anything
Day 7 - Friday 11th: Today we had the seminar's only bad day.
Werner decided that the hang glider should go to Juvass-Bøverdalen,
while Frode and paragliders chose Vole. The result was that only Werne
got up and flew to back to Vågå (40 km) but the rest of us only had
prolonged sled rides. I didn't even bother to set up my glider. The day
didn't become any better when we heard that all the paragliders at Vole
had got up and flew between 40 and 70 km. At the same time Otto Baste (hangglider)
was completing a 50 km FAI triangle from Vole.
Day 8 - Saturday 12th: Finally, perfect conditions and new personal
best with 71,2 km, and possibly a new national record for speed to 50 km
declared goal, 43,48 km/h average.
Thanks to Werner and Frode for excellent instruction and to Arne
Hillestad for driving all week, serving us breakfast, and everything
May 29th - June 1st (Saturday to Tuesday): Record days in Gudbrandsdalen
did not have very high hoped for this weekend, but it proved to the best
I, and many others, have had in Gudbrandsdalen. At least 4 new national
records were set, and I both set a new xc-record
and altitude record. Here is a short report from each day:
29th: Clear blue day in Vågå, and Different groups try
different strategies. A few drove West to Bismo to extend a possible
down the valley, and Robin Strid and Jon Gjerde drove to Bjorli to be
towed up here. Øyvind and I tryed the main launch in Vågå, while most
go down the valley to Espesetra. Both in Vågå and Bismo it soon became
tailwind, and everyone, except the ones in Bjorli, had to drive down to
Espesetra. I and Øyvind had luck as Kristian Bording, one of our
hg-students, came to Vågå and was appointed as today's driver as
conditions were to strong for him. When we arrived at Espesetra lots of
pilots had already started and we rigged as fast as possible and launch immediately;
me after declaring Faavang as goal (52 km). After some initial
struggling I left the launch area in 2200 masl and flew southwards down
the valley as most others. I almost had to land after 12 km but managed
to get up and straight into really strong lift which took me to 3200
masl, a personal altitude record. Still, up there it was freezing cold
and I had to struggle hard to avoid further lift to prevent me fingers
to freeze totally (wisely enough I had changed to my summer gloves
today). I flew at about 90 km/h to get out of the lift and into warmer
air, but still soared with up to 8 m/s. After this I glided for 40 km
without doing one single curve. Unfortunately, when I arrived at Faavang
and my declared goal I could not find any lift and had to land. Still,
it was a new personal best for me (51.6 km).
Records and other good flights this day: Nils Åge Henden, the first
flight over 200 km in Norway - Espesetra to Skarnes, 201,6 km. Other
long flights: Olav Opsanger 168,9 km, Jon
Gjerde 142,3 km and og Robin Strid, 140,2 km.
30th: Another perfect day. We started from Vole and it was
easy to get up and high. Still, it was a lot of sink in between, and
this stopped to xc-attempts from my side. I tried to fly south early in
the flight, but had to return because of lots of sink. I then decided to
fly locally and to exercise on thermal flying and getting to know my
Litespeed a little better. I thought this was better and more useful
than risk falling down after a short while if I flew away on a xc-trip.
Records and other good flights this day: Robin Strid, 100
km FAI triangle.
Monday 31st: Today I was supported to be back in the office, but
chose to fly instead in these perfect conditions. I had to drove home
early though so I could not risk landing out after a xc-flight, so I
flew locally also today. It lifted everywhere and it was so frustration
not to be able to fly away that I landed after only one hour.
Records and other good flights this day: Jon Gjerde, new national free
distance record, Bismo to Elverum, 206,5 km. Olav Opsanger and Øyvind
Ellefsen, 150 km out and return, Vågå - Ringebu, Robin Strid 176
Tuesday June 1st: I am back in the office grading strategy exams. At
the same time Frode Halse sets a new national free distance paraglider
record - Vole-Rena, 153,6 km. Johnny Nilsen flies the same distansce and
route with hang glider and reaches 156,4 km.
27th - Thursday: Steinar in Hallingdal + weekend plans
Johnsen reports of cloudbase of 2700 masl and excellent conditions
in Hallingdalen today. He and Robin flew from Flatagrov and south
towards Flå. Also tomorrow the weather forecast is good. Still, I have
to work, and in addition I have got a cold after the windy weekend in
Sweden so I would not have been able to fly anyway.
The forecast for the weekend is, however, also excellent, and I will
drive to Vågå Friday evening and fly Saturday-Monday (which is a
public holiday in Norway. I hope to get one or two nice xc-flights, one
free distance and one FAI-triangle would be perfect. Also some of this
year's hg-students will join us.
25th - Tuesday: Pictures from Köping
are a few pictures from the comp in Köping.
19th to 24th - Wednesday to Sunday: Sponsor and report from the comp in
morning and afternoon was spent attending the doctoral dissertation of
Gisle Henden and the evening it was a party to celebrate his
dissertation. And late in the afternoon I found out the Proteinfabrikken
wanted a meeting about a sponsor/co-operation agreement with the
National HG Team and the Nordic HG Open. So Øyvind and I had to make a
few last minutes agenda changes before driving to Köping.
Wednesday 19th - Sponsor meeting and driving to Köping: Øyvind
arrived at my place at 0730, put all his gear (and if you are on a hg
tour it is a lot) in my car and off we went
to Sandefjord (100 km away) and Proteinfabrikken. The meeting with
Bjørn Kenneth Hansen at Proteinfabrikken was very positive. They did run their business in
a very professional manner and did not want to give us any fast and easy
money (sensible enough). Instead, we reached an agreement where the national team
and the Nordic Hang Glidng Open got a promotion agreement and the
national team free nutrition products. In addition, Bjørn Kenneth had
lots of good ideas for how to promote the national team, and it is
really up to us to take advantage of Proteinfabrikken's network.
After the meeting Øyvind and I took the ferry from Sandefjord to
Strømstad, bought some tax-free products, and drove to Köping.
Thursday 20th - First comp day: As this was my
first tow comp, and the first time I have towed with trikes, I was a
little nervous this morning. The day overdeveloped early and we spent
for ever at the airstrip waiting for improving conditions, which never
came. At 1700 the day was cancelled. After the comp was cancelled
everyone was starving so Øyvind, Olav, Arnt-Olav, and I drove to
Köping town and had a viking kebab, which was the biggest kebab I have
ever seen or eaten, it was the mother of all kebabs. I was so full that
I had to lie down for over one hour before I was able to fly after this
dinner. After we
came back from the kebab expedition many was rigging down, but I wanted
to try to tow to get some practice, and got one tow followed by a sled
ride down. The tow went all right and my new small shoulder fixed
release worked just fine - I have used a Moyes "bicycle brake"
release before. The Litespeed was a little nervous on tow, but I
think that I did not pull enough VG as I used a little 1/2
Friday: 21st - Second comp day: Øyvind and
I started the day with coffee at McDonald's. As we arrived we saw a
old-style American police car and as we walked out of the car the Blues
Brothers came out of McDonald's; one big and fat guy and one small and skinny
one, both in black
suits. Well, over to the comp. Today's task was around two TPs and back
to the airstrip - a kind of out and return plus a little more, a total
of 89,4 km.
The day seemed pretty good and the wind was not as strong as yesterday.
I was quite early in the tow line but broke the weak link at about 150
meters and had to land and ended all the way back in the tow line. After
waiting for about 1 1/2 hour looking at the sky overdeveloping, I
got a new tow. This time the tow went without problems. Still, now the air was
totally dead and I only got a prolonged sled ride. After that it was not
possible to get up, and the day ended with rain showers and strong wind.
The Norwegian team did pretty well today. Olav Opsanger turned two TPs
and Jon Gjerde missed goal by just a few km. Also Robin Strid and
Øyvind Ellefsen got away by fell down saround the first TP.
Saturday 22nd - Third comp day: Early overdevelopment and rain
showers all around at 1100. Still, the comp organisers did set a task,
but most pilots were reluctant even to set up their gliders, and as far
as I know only 6 or 7 pilots did fly. During the worst rain 6 sailplanes
came down and landed on the airstrip, but by then no one even considered
to tow so they has a clear runway. As the forecast for the rest of the
day and Sunday was pretty bad most of the Norwegians decided to drive
home already Saturday afternoon.
Sunday 23rd - Forth comp day: I do not know what happened to the
comp today, as I am back in Oslo. Here it is nice and sunny weather but
I just got a SMS from Terje Birdman Brønstad. He got a 1 hour 40
minutes flight from Tintoen, an old hg launch at Dokka. Erik Vermaas got
a 3 hour flight.
18th - Tuesday: Pictures, sponsor and Köping
are the pictures from the sailplane flight on Sunday.
Tomorrow Øyvind Ellefsen and I will visit a potential sponsor for the
Norwegian national team in hang gliding and the Nordic HG Open. The
company is Proteinfabrikken, which logo and link you can already see on
these pages. They are very positive and I hope we are able to work out a
deal both parties can benefit from.
After the meeting Øyvind and I will drive directly to Köping and the
comp there from Thursday to Sunday. A long drive but the weather
forecast looks much better for Sweden than for Norway so going to
Köping was not a difficult decision to make.
17th - Monday: Weekend report, 3830 masl in sailplane
I predicted, the NW winds made it impossible to fly in Hjardal both
Saturday and Sunday. Bad luck for the comp organisers; they had deserved
better weather. On Sunday I drove to Notodden, close to Hjartdal, to fly
sailplane as passenger instead. This proved to be a wise choice as the
conditions were really good with thermals and waves. We towed to 1000
meters and after some struggling the pilot then found a thermal that
took us up to about 1500 masl, and into light wave
conditions. After that we easily soared to 3830 masl in calm 2-4 m/s
lift. The wave lift went even higher, but the clouds started to close beneath
us so we flew out of the this area and straight into steady sink, which
only stopped at 1300 masl or so - 2500 metres of sink! After that we
flew in weak thermals for a while before landing, flying a total of 2
hours and 45 minutes. This was indeed a spectacular flight, and one of
my best flying experiences ever.
I will post a few pictures from the flight tomorrow - it is a few very
nice pictures of impressive wave clouds (only of interest for glider
freaks of course).
Today it may have been flyable somewhere, but I has been grounded by my
girlfriend. May 17th is the Norwegian equivalent of the US 4th of July
and I had to do a lot of "family thing". Still, it is not too
bad, I am only grounded by me girlfriend about 2 or 3 days a year so I
am not complaining.
14th - Friday: Weekend plans
am not sure what to do. It is a competition Hjartdal, but this is a
S-launch and the forecast predicts quite strong NW-W winds both Saturday
and Sunday. I am keen to participate in the comp but I do not want to
drive there and not fly. The problem is that it is few NW launches now
that Sundvollen is closed. I just have to make a decision tonight after
having reviewed the last forecasts.
Most likely I will participate at the competition in Köping Sweden
next weekend. This is a 4 day towing comp.
11th - Tuesday: Pictures from Sunday + ants + more
few pictures from Sunday. The delay are caused by some initial download
One more thing from Sunday's flight. A few minutes after I launched my
face started to itch and it felt like something was crawling around in
my helmet. I did not figure out the problem before two ants suddenly
were marching across the visor on the inside. As they had neither a
ticket nor paid launch/landing fees, I opened the visor and vented them
out, but I think at least one of their sisters joined me for the entire
Toft, one of the pilots who flew on Sunday from Ringerud, flew to
Vikersund (+40 km) with his Flight Design Axxess+. Egil started a little
later than Øyvind and me and may have have had slightly better
conditions. Still, Egil is mr. Ringerud in terms of experience with this
launch so maybe he just out flew us (sounds incredible or what :-)
firsthand report from Kenneth Karlsen (see below):
Saturday: Kenneth flew a little over 50 km and ended in 3rd place, but
the task was not valid because of too few km flown.
Sunday: A 168 km task which was flown in 2 hours and some minutes.
Kenneth and two more sailplanes had a joint 10 km final glide in speeds
of + 250 km/h.
10th - Monday: Ringerud on Sunday
a nice warm and sunny day. With a forecast predicting NE winds a bunch
of us, Erling, Erik V., Øyvind, and I drove to Ringerud hoping for good
thermal conditions. At the LZ the local farmer had spread poultry guano
the field we use as landing. The smell was pretty, well, challenging. As
we arrived the launch cu's were building all around us, but over the
Ringerud the sky was clear and conditions on the launch was surprisingly
calm. The first two pg's who started fell through but soon two or three
other pg's at least managed to maintain launch altitude, and at about
1300 most of the hg pilots started. I was lucky and launches straight
into good lift and rapidly soared to about 400 meters about the launch
(1100 masl). But then it stopped. I then cruised around from a while
searching for lift that could take me higher, but found none. It was no
doubt where some of the thermals came from, however, the smell of the
guano followed us up with the thermals. After a while I decided to try
to glide away at about 1000 masl to see if I could find thermals here
that could take med higher. Still, here I ended up at between 600-800
masl and after a while here I decided to try to find lift in the valley
itself, but fell through and landed at a micro-light airstrip 7 km or so
away from the launch. All in all, a nice flight. I got to practice
flying in thermals with the Litespeed and landed out.
Notodden, Kenneth Karlsen a former hg-pilot and flying companion, got 6
hours and 180 km on his sailplane (indoor sport) and became no. 4 out of
8 in this first sailplane comp. Well done. Still, I will take some of
the credit as I was his GPS "help desk" and advisor before the
6th - Thursday: New Icaro helmet - the Iguana
seems to have been very busy this winter as they are popping out new
products all the time. One the hang gliding side they have developed and
launched the Relax, a trainer/floater, and a new version of the topless
comp glider. In addition, they have released a two new series, or
development of previous series, of helmets; the Skyrunner and 4Fight
series. And now they are launching a completely new helmet, the Iguana,
a light aerodynamic helmet mostly for paraglider pilots. Still, I guess
that also some hang gliding pilots will use it. Take a look at Icaro
Iguana pictures HERE.
have been flying with a 4Fight Integral helmet since February, and I am
very pleased with it. I will soon write a summery/review of my
experiences with this helmet pointing out strong and weak (to most
dealers dislike) sides of it.
3rd - Monday: Frya Cup competition
first hg-comp this season took place at Frya this weekend. I
participated in the comp, but did not expect to do very well as it is
almost 8 months since I last soared in thermals. In addition, this year
has been the slowest and worst season start I have ever had in terms of
flights and hours in the air.
I drove up to Frya Friday evening and had a couple of beer in company
with the gang from Hedemarken HGKM; comp organisers before going to
sleep. The first comp day on Saturday was blue and conditions quite
difficult. In addition, I flew like a drunk gorilla and was at the LZ
after 15 minutes or so. Rusty and with glider I have flown only once in
thermals was no good in these conditions. Still I was not too disappointed
as I really need some refreshing in thermals and need to get to know the
glider better (just wish I had had a chance to to this earlier this year
but that's life). Sunday we had problems due to strong winds and
crosswind at all launches in the vicinity. But we finally managed to
start from Frya West. The first pilots out fell through and reported
about turbulent conditions at the LZ. But the conditions improved during
the day. I started quite late and quickly soared above the launch, but
after a while I chickened out of the strong thermal and had to land soon
after. Not the best performance, but I really needed these flights to be
back in business.
Frya Cup was won by Nils Åge Henden, Robin Strid was second (one point
behind), and Olav Opsanger third. I was 13 out of 16 participants.
For a more thorough report from the competition see Øyvind Ellefsen's
Norwegian Hanggliding page HERE.
Pictures from Frya Cup HERE.
26th - Monday: National Team "training camp" in Vågå
weekend we had an open "training camp" for the national hg
team and other interested competition pilots. The forecast for Saturday
was very good, but Sunday looked little more dodgy. Saturday started
with a briefing at 1000. Here national team member and national team
organiser Øyvind Ellefsen defined a 50 km FAI triangle as today's task
while Nils Åge Henden and Olav Opsanger, also national team members,
gave advise to the less experienced of us for how the task should be
approached. Then we drove up the launch to fly. Unfortunately, a front
with clouds and rain came in extremely fast and already 1200 it became
overcast and it became crosswind at the launch. Still, most pilots
managed to launch, but I ended up being stuck in crosswind and did not
start. Really irritating, but only my own fault. I was ready quite early
but then was too slow. I also chose to carry my glider 150 meters to
another launch, and when I was ready to start here my emergency chute
got caught in keel wires, and I had to unhook to check it before
starting. Well, the end of the story was that I did not fly. Most others
got fairly good flight, but the conditions soon died out because of the
cloud cover. In the evening we had meeting wrapping up the experiences
from the day and looked at track logs from those who tried to fly the
task. So with the briefings and nice company the weekend was not totally
wasted. Actually the format of the "training camp" seemed to
work very well, and I think it would have been a huge success with a
little better weather. So I will advise every comp pilot to participate
in the next training camp in Vågå June 5.-6.
19th - Monday: Much delayed Easter report
reason is that it is really not much to report. Friday 2nd I and one
student, Terje S. drove to Vågå and was joined by Johnny, Arild, and
Geir from last year's course. Still, Saturday was too windy in Vågå so
we drove down to Øyer and got a good flight here. HERE
are a few pics. from the launch in Vågå before we drove to Øyer.
After the flight we drove home as the weather forecast was not too
promising for the next days, and remained so for the rest of the Easter
holiday. It turned out to be some good days in Vågå and other places,
but the forecast was generally so bad that I did not bother going out.
In Hallingdal Frode Halse flew two + 50 km flight with pg, so it was
maybe a mistake not to try Hallingdal. The pilots that went to Bassano
(Italy) generally had crappy weather, while Steinar, Agnar, and Tor-Inge
had reasonably good conditions in Laragne (France). Steinar got a little
over 6 hours in 2 weeks.
Instead of flying hang glider I drove to Notodden to get a sailplane
flight will former hg-pilot Kenneth Karlsen. I got a 45 minutes flight
on Friday, and was quite pleased. Still, I was unfortunate and chose the
worse day on Notyodden this Easter. Both the day before and Saturday
they had excellent conditions. Still, it does not matter, I will come
back and have another flight later. Pics from the day HERE.
2nd - Friday: Easter plans
I am off to Vågå at least for the weekend. The weather forecast is not
that great so I will stay as long as it is possible to fly. It seems
like only Terje S. of the hg-students will join me. After Vågå I will
most likely be only be going on day trips and fly in the vicinity of
30th - Tuesday: Wrapping up the speedbar "case"
I finally got a speedbar with the right length - actually it is the one
I originally had. What happened? After receiving the first speedbar I
went to visit the dealer because I had lost a tube attaching the flying
wire to the zoom a-frame corner. At the same time I asked him to take a
look at the "cracks" in the speedbar and to see if the angel
of the speedbar was correct as it was more downward sloping than what I
was used to. I had at that time not flown with the new speedbar. While
comparing the angel of the speedbar with another one, the dealer noticed
that my speedbar was shorter than one other, and that this other
speedbar was marked "zoom". Hence, we thought that the first
speedbar was too short, but we never actually accurately compared it
with the carbon speedbar, as we thought the speedbar marked
"zoom" was for me. But Moyes had not given any information or
explanation for the difference in length. Nevertheless, the angel was
correct, and the "cracks" in the original speedbar were just
marks in the coating and a result of the speedbar being bent while cold
and after coating. So these things were not a problem. I do not like the
"cracks", but they are a finish/quality issue and not a safety
issue. I then test flew the glider with new speedbar this Saturday, but
it felt strange, and when measuring the difference between the carbon
speedbar and the round speedbar I found the the round speedbar was 1,8
cm longer than the carbon one. Since I thought that the first speedbar
was about the same distance too short, I deduced that I was right in my
first claim that the overall difference of a difference of almost 4 cm
was correct after all (the first one being too short the last one too
long). Still, it was one wrong assumption here; the dealer and I never
measured any difference between the carbon speedbar and the first round
one the first time. When visiting the dealer again on Monday we made
measurements of all speedbars, and found that the first round one was
the right one after all, and that the difference between the two round
speedbars was 1,5 cm. Hence, making the difference between the correct
round speedbar and the carbon one to no more than 0,3 cm, well within an
To sum up:
=> What was the problem? The dealer thought that the speedbar marked
"zoom" was for my zoom a-frame, but it was not. And Moyes had
not provided an explanation for why they sent one longer speedbar marked
=> Lengths: The round speedbar I flew with was 1,8 cm too long
compared to the carbon one, and 1,5 cm longer than the correct round
speedbar. My first estimate of a difference of 4 cm was wrong.
=> The downward angel on the speedbar was correct and felt pretty
comfortable. A little unfamiliar at first but definitely something I can
get used to and like.
=> The "cracks" in the speedbar was cosmetic and not
dangerous or a safety issue at all. Still, as a consumer I am not
satisfied with this quality. For $ 100 I expect a little more from a
bent aluminum tube.
28th - Sunday: Soaring at Sundvollen + too long speedbar this time
I was out with three students for a last weekend of flying at Sundvollen
before the ice melts and make this launch unsuitable for hg-students.
Unfortunately, the wind increased just as the students started to set up
their gliders, and they had to derigg. The more
experienced pilots on the other hand rigged in a hurry. It was very
turbulent at the launch, however, because of the wind was from W-SW
(this is a W-NW launch), so most pilots had two wire-men helping them
out. In the air waves and the ridge provided good and stable lift, but it was a little turbulent, especially in front of the
launch. But I did not
feel to good today, and the glider felt a little strange (something I
attributed to the conditions; both my own condition and the wind/waves,
but see further down for an alternative explanation).
So I flew rather conservative and landed after only 45 minutes. Over the
LZ it was quite windy and turbulent, and with a distinct wind gradient,
and I, as most others, landed pretty ungraciously on my stomach as the
glider stalled as I flew into the gradient 2 meters or so over the
when it was not possible to fly, I decided to check my hang gliding
equipment to be prepared for the Easter holiday and the start of the
thermal season. So I sprayed silicon on all zippers, the VG, and the webbing
holding the crossbar on to the keel. I also wrapped my two spare zoom
downtubes in a protective layer of "bubble plastic" (or
whatever this is called in English). I then took all of the hang gliding
equipment out of my car (Ford Galaxy - combined car, hang glider hangar, and
to clean it. While carrying the the carbon and the round speedbar from
the car into the garage, I noticed that they appeared to be of slightly
different length, which should be impossible as I just have changed to
the "right" speedbar from the one that was too short. Still, I
did compare the two speedbars and found the that new round one was 1,8
cm (measurement points - pip-pin where the flying wire is attached) longer than the carbon one. So it seems like I was right when stating
that the difference between the two round speedbars was about 4 cm (see
publications the last days for an elaboration of this issue). The first
round speedbar was about 2 cm too short compared with the carbon speedbar, and
the last round speedbar was 1,8 cm too long compared with the carbon
one, this should add up to about 4 cm of difference
(entry March 30th - this
proved to be wrong again, read entry for March 30th for an explanation
of why this 2+2 issue turned up again). Probably it is not
it is definitely not correct.
I do not know if the 1,8 cm caused the glider to behave differently
yesterday, or if it was the conditions and me not feeling that well.
Still, I am not interested in flying with a speedbar that is almost 2 cm
longer than the original one.
I phone the Moyes dealer this afternoon, and he asked me to bring
speedbars and the glider on Monday so that he could do a few measurements
to see what was going on.
25th - Thursday: Specifications on the speedbar
have been a few reactions on my writings about the speedbar. Finn
Spjeldnæs (Moyes dealer in Norway) phoned me as he have had
phones/e-mails from both Norway and Australia asking about the issue.
Here are a few specifications and comments.
of all, the first speedbar I received was not 4 cm too short, this was
me remembering wrong and I am sorry about this mistake. It was 1-2 cm
too short, and it would not have been dangerous to fly with. This latter
was also stated below, as it was that Finn told me (I got this right).
Secondly, the "cracks" in the speedbar was only in the coating
and due to the type of process in which the speedbar was bent. This
information was also published the day after I first published
information about the speedbar. Third, if anyone has found any negative
statements about the Norwegian dealer please tell me where. I have not
made any negative statements about Finn Spjeldnæs, he is providing
excellent service and has helped me a number of times.
of questions or facts?
One of the reactions I got from Finn was that I should publish facts and
not questions or issues on which I have limited knowledge. When it comes
to hang gliding I am more than willing to trust Finn with my life as he
is an expert in this area. But on the issue of publishing facts rather
than questions I would respectfully disagree. As an example, I have
spent the last 3 years of my life doing research for and writing on my
doctoral dissertation (Ph. D.) and I will continuo doing this for
another year or so. Still, even here I will not claim to present facts
or absolute truths. I will write what I hope to be as close to the truth
as possible, but it would be impossible to claim absolute knowledge of
the problem. A further issue it that nature of facts and truths will
differ from person to person (ontology and epistemology in the philosophy
of science). One of the arguments from Finn for not publishing questions
was that other pilots could be worried. Well, I was worried when seeing
the "cracks" in the speedbar, and I was definitely
disappointed with the product quality, as I perceive and define this
concept. Further, maybe pilots should be
a little more concerned. It is at least an open question whether pilots
in general are too concerned, or not concerned enough. In addition, due
to the publication of the information and picture of the
"cracks" I immediately got a couple of suggestions of
explanations, and I published one of these the day after together with
the explanation of from the dealer. Hence, I got triangulated data, and
I and hopefully someone who read about it acquired new knowledge (or laughed
of me because I did not know this already).
what was this all about?
my mind this is down to two issues: 1) Moyes sold me a speedbar with a
finish I am not satisfied with. Actually, I would not have bought a $
100 bicycle with such "cracks" in the handle bar. Would you?
Still, I supposed to accept this on my + $ 6.000,- hang glider. 2) Moyes
did not provide information to the dealer about the new speedbar,
resulting in me getting the wrong length. In this case it was not
dangerous, but it is not good enough.
24th - Wednesday: Short Moyes speedbar
did not fly this weekend because one tube in the a-frame corner bracket
holding the flying wire fell out and was lost. Actually, both have come
loose. Extremely irritating.
Yesterday I went to the Norwegian Moyes dealer to have him look at the
"cracks" in the speedbar, to look at the angle of it, and to
get a replacement for the missing tube for the corner bracket. While
comparing the angle of the speedbar with two other speedbars Finn, the
dealer, noticed that one speedbar was longer than the rest. Strange! A
further look at this speedbar revealed a handwritten "zoom
s-bar" mark. After some head-scratching we compared the length of
the round zoom-marked speedbar with a carbon zoom speedbar, and sure
enough, my first speedbar was 4 cm too short (March
24th - correction = 1-2 cm). Quite a surprise. And this
was not something Moyes had informed the dealer about! I am not
impressed. It would probably not have made much difference, but these
things should be correct. Well, everything is fixed now, and I hope to
fly again this weekend.
18th - Thursday: Wills Wing Sport 2
seems like Wills Wing has further strengthened it's position as the most
offensive hang glider manufacturer. With the Sport 2, WW is now offering
6 hang glider models ranging from the training hill only Condor to the
topless competition glider Talon. The Sport 2 is positioning itself
between the no-VG Eagle and the kingpost performance glider U2. The
Sport 2 has curved wing tips, VG, and one internal sprog in addition to
only one reflex bridle! Further, it comes standard with the Litestream
control bar, including streamlined aluminum speedbar, and lever batten
tips!!! I would be surprised if it is not very competitively priced
compared the competition, taken into account what is included as
standard. In addition, it is my experience that WW is the manufacturer
that is the most professional. Fast and reliable service, high quality
of both airframe and sail, comprehensive manuals and good service.
Read more about the Sport 2 HERE.
17th - Wednesday: The Moyes dealer on cracks and speedbar angle + Wills
Wing Sport 2
Norwegian Moyes dealer responded to my questions about the cracks and
First, the downwards sloping of the speedbar is correct, it is supposed
to have an downward angel. => To the best of my memory I can not
remember seeing such a downwards sloping speedbar on the Litespeeds have
have seen, something which seems to be confirmed by photos I have of
Litespeed. So, this sounds strange, but if this it how it is designed I
will try it and see how it works.
Second, the cracks are a result of the the speedbar being shaped while
the aluminum is cold. So apparently it is no cause for worries. =>
The main concern is that it is safe, but I really expected a better
finish on the speedbar. My old Wills Wing speedbar is smooth and
"glossy" even in the bent sections.
Tormod Helgesen, hg-pilot and aviation mechanics, writes: It seems like
the tube has been bent after it has been coated. Ideally it should
either been coated after being bent, or that the coating should have
been of a softer type.
Anyway, I could visit the dealer and let him inspect the speedbar.
Wing is introducing a new glider to fill the "gap" between the
Eagle and the U2. The new model is called Sport 2, has curved wing tips
and VG. This seems to have been a surprise launch - even the Norwegian
WW dealer had not heard about this new model before it was announced the
OzReport. Nothing about the Sport 2 on WW's own pages yet.
16th - Tuesday: Moyes speedbar cracks and angle
Litespeed I am flying is equipped with a zoom a-frame with a carbon
speedbar. This carbon speedbar is quite expensive, and difficult to put
wheels on. So I have ordered and received a ordinary round speedbar
which I have put wheels on for winch- and aero towing launches and for
breaking as little as possible while getting used to landing the glider.
As I assembled the round speedbar and the zoom corner brackets and put
on the wheels, I noticed one or two cracks in the speedbar just
under the rubber coating. I then pushed the rubber coating further back
and saw lots of quite deep cracks all over the section where the
speedbar has been bent. This can't possibly be correct? It is at both
sides of the speedbar at the bent sections towards the middle of the
speedbar. I have not inspected the two bent sections towards the ends of
the speedbar, as I have to cut of the rubber coating to get to them. At
least I will talk to the Moyes dealer first. Another problem with the
speedbar, however, is that it seems to be angled slightly downwards, and
not slightly upwards (have they drilled the holes for the corner bracket
in the wrong place?). I have not yet assembled the glider with the round
speedbar so I have to do this first to verify it, but it does not look
right. (Click on the picture for a larger view).
15th - Monday: Meeting, no flying
flying for me this weekend. Saturday I attended the national hang- and
paraglider association's annual meeting. The meeting was actuall quite
interesting, and we had a lots of good discussions. The meeting was in
an auditorium in the military aeroplane museum at Gardermoen, and during
a break we had a guided tour of the museum.
Sunday the weather was really bad with fog and rain. Not a surprise; it
was the annual Holmenkollen ski jump competition (the Norwegian
equivalent of the Super Bowls). One way or another, it is always bad
weather this day. Normally, the problem is fog, but also strong wind or
rain is normal. This year it was fog and rain combined.
Pictures from the aeroplane museum HERE
(no pics. from the meeting - all the representatives, me included, are
too ugly for pictures).
12th - Friday: Nothing much going on
much flying for me lately, and this Saturday I must attend the annual
meeting in the national hang- and paragliding association. Still, the
weather forecast is not all that great, which is a surprise as the
weather always is perfect for flying when these meetings take
Latest news -
this is cancelled.
This weekend Robin and Åge will aerotow at Samuelsstuen on the ice at
Lake Mjøsa, so I guess that some pilots will try this. It is mainly for
those pilots that will participate in the aerobatics seminar later this
spring. Here they will be launched by aerotowing so everyone needs to be
have an aerotow licence.
Jon Gjerde got some good soaring at Voss in Western Norway yesterday.
Flying in wave conditions he reached 2400 masl and flew for over 2
hours. A perfect day except for a bad launch, where he and glider ended
upside down with Jon lying in the sail. Still, no damage done. His own
conclusion: "Remember to run even in windy conditions". Read
more about it HERE
7th - Sunday: Course duty, Sundvollen once again
had course duty this weekend, but I still hoped to get a flight myself
as well. Saturday looked a bit dodgy according to the forecast, but we
still made a try. As we arrived at Sundvollen it was periods with 0-wind
between cross and tailwind and possible to launch the first hour or so.
But then the tailwind gradually grew stronger and no one got more than
one flight today. In the end the tailwind grew so strong it even almost
made several of the gliders ground loop.
Sunday, the forecast was better, and as we arrived it was up to 4
m/s wind and perfect conditions, and I rushed the students get ready in
case the conditions became stronger. But what happened was that it
became totally calm, and 0-wind or weak tailwind once again. The
students first launched in these conditions, but during the day the sun
and the subsequent weak winter thermals gradually made a good 1-2 m/s
launch wind, but no lift. Most of the students got 2-3 flights, and even
I got a flight (thanks Øyvind for sending out the students for their
last flight). Still, the weather demons must have noticed that I was
ready to launch, because it was almost 0-wind when I started, while
conditions were much better both before and after.
During this course some of the students have had problems landing too
accurately. Luckily, we have mostly landed on a frozen lake, so the it
has not cause any problems, expect from the students having to carry
their glider back to the LZ (sometimes quite a few hundred meters). This
weekend I put up a landing mark and made the students aim at this. The
prize for best landing was a waffle at local roadside cafe, while the
one landing furthest away from the landing mark would have to bade nude
in a hole in the ice in the frozen lake. Kjell Olav with his Airborne Fun almost
hit the landing mark three times and was the winner, while otherwise
skilled student Terje Solberg seems to be looser today as he flew way
passed the landing mark every time. Still, both student managed to sneak
away without collecting their prize :-)
Pictures from Sunday HERE.
two entries below are both published March 4th due to PC break
1st - Monday: Perfect day at Sundvollen
a broken PC and a perfect forecast for soaring at Sundvollen I could not
think of anything else to do than to go flying, and so I did. When
Fredrik and I came to LZ on the frozen lake it was almost 0-wind, but at
the launch it was stable 6-8 m/s. So we rigged as fast as we could to
get airborne as fast as possible, but before launching I declared an out
and return task using the outer edges on the ridge as turn points. This
gives a 11 km one way task and 22 km out and return. In the air it was
nice and stable soaring, and not too much wind or waves. It was not
problems flying the declared task, but it turns out that I flew through
the turn point 400 meter circle without getting a track point within the
circle. The reason is that I have my Garmin 12map at 20 second logging
intervals, and my main logger, a Garmin12/Log-It (2 seconds logging
intervals) combination, did not register any track points lying in the
tail section of my harness. I guess that the fabric is to thick for the
signals to reach the GPS. Anyway, I did at least get a 12,1 km free
distance ridge soaring flight. See flight HERE.
This was my first long flight with the 4Fight helmet. It was really
comfortable flying with visor, and the helmet itself is comfortable. I
also got to test the Litespeed a little for the first time, and used the
flight to get more familiar with the glider, and tried to fly it in
different speeds with different VG settings. I am just getter more and
more pleased with the Litespeed for every flight.
29th - Sunday: Another weekend report
Ellefsen had instructor duty this weekend, and as the forecast was
not too promising I used Saturday to put up a couple of lamps I had
promised my girlfriend to put up for the last two year or so instead of
I did not electricute myself as I
use to when working with the electric wring - maybe because I have realised the need for
removing the fuses
before starting to work on the wiring (I am a slow learner).
Sunday. The forecast was pretty good for Sundvollen, but it turned out
to be long periods with tail wind, so the students only got one flight
each. I was indecisive for what to do, but finally rigged to at least
get a sled ride, but as we started the nil/weak tail wind turned into
heavy tail wind, and we had to derigg without flying.
Pictures from the day HERE.
I had a hard drive
break down Sunday evening, hence the
lack of updates.
22nd - Sunday: Weekend report
was nice and sunny, but the wind direction was no good for any launch in
the vicinity, so we took the day off from flying.
For Sunday the forecast was very promising, with sun and NW winds -
perfect for Sundvollen. But as I woke up today it was snowing heavily
and it was a lot of wind. Still, I had made a deal with several students
and pilots that I was going out today, so I drove to Sundvollen hoping
for better weather later in the day. And sure enough, after some
waiting, looking at Christer Bonde rigging and trying to launch his
Blowkart, and the compulsory coffee and cake at the cafe at Vik, it
stopped snowing and the wind decreased somewhat. Then a bunch of use
drove up to the launch and rigged. I was the last man out as I was
somewhat nervous after my experience on Tuesday. Conditions were cold, a
little turbulent, and to wind came in at an angel against the ridge so
the pilots that launched before me landed quite quick, and after a call
to Werner (hg-guru), he assured me that conditions were all right and
that I should launch. And so I did. It was quite OK flying but not great
conditions, so I landed after only 20 minutes. I used to time in the air
to experiment a little with different VG-settings and speeds, and got a
lot out to the day, at least not some confidence after the last flight.
I also flew for the first time with my new Icaro2000 4Fight helmet. It
seemed great to fly with and the visor worked well. While I rigged down
the glider, Kjell Olav, a hg-student that did not get to fly today
because of the wind, retrieved my car - thanks. All in all a good day in
20th - Friday: Club meeting and new helmet
club meeting y esterday was very nice, with about 20 pilots turning up.
I was reelected as chairman as no one else wanted to take over. Pictures
from the meeting in album 11, follow the "Pictures" link to
Svein Dahl, Icaro2000 dealer in Norway is a club member. He attended the
meeting and brought with him a 4fight helmet, which I could not resist.
So, I am now the proved owner of a Satinized Titanium / Metallic black
19th - Thursday: Photos and club meeting
have collected all photo albums in in page - see link to the left. 10 albums so far, but many more to come.
It is my clubs annual meeting today, and as chairman I'm in charge of
the meeting. Still, I guess most come because of the after-meeting pizza
17th - Tuesday: Soaring at Sundvollen
was going to be a perfect day; after struggling with hg-course for 5
months, almost no flying, this being my 200th altitude flight, and a
forecast promising soaring. What could possibly go wrong? Answer: THE
Yesterday I decided to go flying at Sundvollen as the
forecast was very promising in terms of soaring possibilities, and Terje Solberg (student from this year's
course) and Fredrik Hoffman wanted joined me as well. Terje S. and I was
at Sundvollen at 1130 and Fredrik was to come later, and while we were
rigging the gliders also Frode Halse (pg-pilot) showed up. At the launch
conditions were calm and suitable for a fresh SP 2 student to try ridge
soaring from the first time, so Terje launched early in case conditions
would become stronger. He got a prolonged flight down, and decided to
come up again with Fredrik for a second flight if conditions did not
pick up. A while after Terje landed the conditions did became stronger, and I
decided to fly while Frode decided to stay on the ground with his pg. At
the launch I guess the wind was about 5-8 m/s, so I checked both the
cloud drift and waves on the water of the lake to see indications of
increasing or too strong wind, but found no reason for worries. So, I
launched and found good but not too strong lift just in front of the
launch. But as I came about 150-200 metres about the launch it felt like
something hit my glider, and both the wind speed and lift increased
dramatically. From then on I had more than enough trying to get positive
ground speed, while at the same time trying not to soar any higher. The
problem was, however, that this was my third flight with the Litespeed
and I had problems keeping it from oscillating/turning at such high
speed. After a while I realised that it would not be possible to fly out
from the ridge, and I just had to let myself drift over the plateau
behind the ridge. The problem here is that this plateau is covered by
high trees. But it is two small waters not too far into the woods, so I
aimed for those and managed to land on the larges (frozen) water after
some advanced acrobatics. Still, both the glider and I came down in one
piece. Terje S. and Fredrik had seen me drifting behind, and came to the
water just a few minutes after I landed and helped me carry out the
glider and harness - thank you both of you. Afterwards Frode, Fredrik,
and I had dinner at Vik restaurant/cafe.
So what did I learn today? Sundvollen has been and still is an extremely
unpredictable flying site.
Pics. from the day HERE.
February 16th - Monday: Course duty and Sundvollen
warm weather with lots of sun this weekend, but almost 0-wind both days
and some tailwind at the launch. Still, it was possible to launch, and
especially Saturday turned out as "productive" with 3 flights
for each hg-student. Lots of hg-students turned up
this weekend; Anna, Linda,
Terje, Kjell Olav, John U, in addition to two students from last year's
course, and lots of other hg and pg-pilots. I was quite busy sending out and driving the student back up
to the launch, so I did not get any flight, but I was nevertheless not
too keen on starting the Litespeed time in 0-wind conditions as I
only have two launches on this glider. Further, the students were very enthusiastic
about getting so many flights, and it is fun helping them instead. Best of all
though is that they are soon finished with the
With the 0-wind conditions, most pilots were a little skeptical to
launch, and on Sunday one pilot crashed while launching from the ramp.
He pushed the a-frame out while launching and stalled the glider and
ended up on the road below the ramp. A 0-wind launch here gives no room
for mistakes. He was very lucky though and got away with a bloody nose
and one less upright.
Pics. from the weekend HERE.
11th - Wednesday: Operations committee hg/pg and Nordic HG Open 2004
has been a lot of meetings lately. Monday I participated in my first
meeting the operations committee (fagkomiteen) in the HG and PG section in the national
aviation organisation. My main responsibility is rules and regulations,
while two others are responsible for training/education and safety. This
committee is meant to act as support to the head of the national HG and
Tuesday evening we had the first meeting planning the Nordic Hang
Gliding Open 2004, which my club, Oslo og Omegn Hanggliderklubb, is
organising. As head of the club and the one taking the initiative for
organising the comp, I am in charge. But lots of club members have volunteered the help both planning and arranging the comp so it seems
like the comp will be a real club effort.
10th - Tuesday: Short video from Sunday
"Birdman" Brønstad launches his Seedwings Vertigo 15. <removed>.
8th - Sunday: Good flying at Sundvollen
a good day at Sundvollen. After weeks of bad weather we had a really
nice Sunday at Sundvollen. Øyvind had instructor duty, but I joined the
course to fly myself. Only Anna and Linda of the hg-students showed up
(100 % females - thus must be the first time the club's history!?!). As
I arrived at Sundvollen the wind as a bit strong for the students, but
it was stable so Øyvind and I decided to let them start. Both Linda and
Anna got their first experience with soaring, although the flights was
no longer than 10 minutes or so. The got three flights each today. I
even got a short flight today, the first since late September. It felt
really good being airborne again. The flight was only a prolonged sled
ride as the wind had calmed down, but it still felt great. This was my
second flight on the Litespeed, and I am getting just more and more
pleased with the glider, and I can't wait for the spring thermals in
Today, Terje "Birdman" showed up and got his first flight
since breaking his upper arm at Tronfjell in August. He looked a bit
nervous before launching, but had a perfect flight. In addition, Pål
Øyvind turned up at a launch for the first time since an unfortunate
launch at Brandbukampen in July. Seems like lots of club members are
crawling out of their caves as the day is getting brighter and longer
and the temperatures are getting closer to 0 Cº again.
Pics. from the day HERE.
2nd - Monday: Weekend report, no flying
was not flyable in the vicinity of Oslo so I took the day off. Sunday I
had course duty and I managed to lure with me four hg-students; Terje
S., Anna, Kjell Olav, and Linda (50 % girls - not bad). We tried our
luck at Sundvollen, but as we arrived it was fog over the frozen lake we
use as LZ. Still, hoping that it would clear during the day we drove up
to the launch to clear the launch area for snow. This proved to be quite
a job as snow was about 50 cm deep. The students made most of the work,
while I provided admin and moral support. After a couple of hours we
finally realised that the fog would not disappear and we drove home
demoralised and bitter.
Pics. from the day HERE.
26th - Monday: No flying - more pictures
had instructor duty this weekend but the weather demons had found out
about this and sent snow and fog to prevent us from flying. Instead I
used to weekend to scan pictures from the last year. HERE
are some pics from the 2003 season, and HERE
are a few pics from the current hg-course.
I got a digital camera for Christmas so I will be publishing lots of
more pictures in the future.
20th - Tuesday: Pics from Sundvollen
are some pics from Sundvollen Saturday.
17th-18th - Weekend: Sundvollen
did not have course duty this weekend, but joined Øyvind to help out as
we needed, or at least preferred, instructors both at launch and landing because we had one
that only had one altitude flight from before. In addition, I hoped to be
fly myself. But with 0-wind conditions and lots of frost that quickly
covered the gliders, I chose not to fly. Stein Edgar did fly his WW
Fusion 150 with mylar sail, but he experienced steady 2 m/s sink and the
glider behaved somewhat strange. Still, our hg-students did fly as it is
no problem with ice or frost on their type of gliders. Terje S. and
Linda got 3 flights each and Jan Erik Jæger got one flight.
Terje Birdman had three students in the training hill Saturday; one student
from last year's course to refresh launches and landing after a bad
crash one year ago, one student with a half-finished course from Brazil,
and one pilot testing her glider after repair.
On Sunday the forecast promised more wind from the South, but, during
the day the wind should turn W-NW after some light snow. So Øyvind,
Terje S. and I went out to Sundvollen once again. The payoff today,
however, was coffee and cake at the local roadside cafe at Vik, as we
never saw anything to neither snow nor the NW winds. We went up to the
launch a last time about 1345, and found that also Johnny R. and Arild
from last year's course were there, but the weather demons did not care
about our efforts, and we had to drive home again without flying.
8th - Thursday: Instructor duty but bad weather forecast, Bautek
have instructor duty this weekend but the forecast is really bad with
snow, rain, lots of wind, and probably fog as well. So I guess we will
have to wait another week before starting the course again after a
is the one year anniversary for my nose breaking flight at Sundvollen.
Here is a reminder of how it looked <pic>.
has released information in English about the new topless Spice - to
replace the Twister. Read more about the Spice in English HERE.
The Spice is a completely new design, but the main difference between
the Twister and the Spice is that the latter does not have SPS. Still,
the Spice have a spring that will tighten the fly wires with the VG off
(good for ground handling). The main reason for not including SPS on the
Spice was that it reduced the max speed to below 100 km/h. HERE
is a short review of the Spice from my even short flight on the glider
23rd - Tuesday: Wills Wing fastest growing brand in Norway + misc.
seems like Alf Oppøyen, WW pusher since one year, has marketed his
products well. One WW Eagle and one second hand XC have just arrived to
Norwegian pilots, and two U2 160 and one Talon 140 are on their way. In
total 8 new gliders, and a number of second hand ones. Alf even claims
that his web-site will be up during or just after Christmas - http://www.airfun.no
(well he has been claiming that for quite a while now).
changed from Wills Wing Fusion to Moyes Litespeed at the end of the
season but I have only had one flight on the Litespeed. Still, I hope
that it will be possible to get a flight or two during Christmas. I have
also ordered an additional round speed-bar for the zoom a-frame on the
Litespeed, as it is impossible to fit wheels to the carbon speed-bar.
And I definitely wants wheels while becoming familiar with the glider,
and for aero towing and static winching (wheels = inexpensive cost
saving of an unlucky pg-pilot. Read a fairly well written and accurate
article about the accident HERE
- in Norwegian but the article also contains a few pics. Actually the
article states that the pg-pilot launched and not jumped - amazing!
15th - Monday: Not much going on ...
these days, at least not "fly-wise". Jostein Vorkinn go a sled
ride on Friday at Sundvollen, and Frode
Halse had a nice (?) soaring flight in strong conditions on Sunday.
It is about time for me to get out of hang gliding hibernation and start
flying again after a 3 months HG vacation.
7th - Monday: Lots of wind and no flying for me
Saturday and Sunday was windy, in addition to me being quite exhausted
after one week of lectures, so I decided to take it easy this weekend.
Another problem in Norway theses days is that is it getting dark already
at 1500 (3pm) so if you wants to fly it is necessary to be out
5th - Friday: Ph.D course all week
have attended a Ph.D. course in Philosophy of Science all week, hence
the lack of updates. Still, now the course is finished and all I have to
do is to write a paper about this stuff, which is pretty heavy.
The weather forecast for his weekend is quite good with sun and N to W
winds; the only problem is that it could be too much wind. Further, our
hg-course has Christmas holiday so maybe I will fly myself this
29th - Saturday: Training hill course duty again
could not find any other instructor to take today's course, so I had to
take the course today. It was fog and overcast, but perfect conditions
at the training hill at Årvoll. During the day the fog became less
dense and the wind picked up so much that the students could not launch
from the top of the training hill. Today I could not resist flying, and
I had one flight on the course Atlas 16. Not the ultimate flight, but at
least I got airborne - it is 2 months since my last flight. At the end
of the day Terje Birdman came by and assisted the last hour or so.
Tomorrow the weather forecast predicts rain and strong wind, and I
expect the day to be cancelled.
24th - Monday: Training hill course duty and search
The main wind direction today was N-NE but at our main training hill at
Årvoll, which is heading S, it was 0-wind, so we spent the day here. Tom
and Odd were training to get ready for altitude flights. Terje was
training launches and landings on his own Finsterwalder Funfex, and Jan
Erik Jæger was perfecting old skills as he is about to renew his hang
glider license after 8 years or so. Anna turned up to train landings as
well so we were quite a crowd today.
Sunday: Rain, snow and windy day. I did not have course duty today, but
I guess the course was cancelled anyway.
Instead I visited Terje Solberg, one of this years course students, to
see if we could find a few more training hills near his farm in
25 km south of Oslo. In the area around Oslo
it is difficult to find suitable training hills so it would be very
interesting to find some additional hills. We found one or two hills that could
training hills. One short and small hill heading N-NE suitable for the
first days in the training hill and one NW hill. This latter hill is
quite challenging and only suitable in the absolute last days in the
training hill before the altitude flights.
21st - Friday: Exam day + weekend plans
I had an "exam day" for everyone how was qualified for and
wanted to upgrade their license to a higher/more advanced SP level, or
to renew expired licenses. All in all, five pilots took the test, and
almost everyone passed the exam.
to shortage of instructors I have instructor duty again this weekend.
But the weather forecast looks really bad so I think that Saturday will
be our only chance of flying.
17th - Monday: Training hill course duty
was responsible for the two students who are still in the training hill
this weekend. Saturday I cancelled due to rain and bad weather. Sunday
we got a reasonable good day in the training hill at Lauhaugmoen. The
problem with this training hill is that it is not all that steep, but it
good for training launches. I could need some launch training myself,
but I still have a cold and chose to take it easy.
14th - Friday: Rescue chute exercise
Hanggliderklubb had organised an club evening dedicated rescue chute
training, and I joined them as I was about to have my rescue repacked
anyway. Only four from Lier turned up, but we all got to try to pull and
throw our chutes. Really good training in case we should need it
12th - Wednesday: Some product news
- Laminar now have a full range of sizes of their school/fun glider
RelaX. It is now available in sizes 14, 16, and 18; all DHV approved.
The RelaX is a floater with curved wing tips, and; I guess, should be
considered as a high-end school/fun glider. Dealer in Norway is Svein
Dahl, mobil 909 12 384.
has their new topless glider Spice approved by DHV. In addition, Bautek
has also developed a new tandem called Bico in co-operation with DHV.
Bico is especially designed for aero towing school training, in order to
increase the recruitment to hang gliding in Germany. I have test
flown the Spice - it was a nice glider to fly, but I only have one
flight on it. Bautek dealer in Norway is Knut
Valley has redesigned their home page also made a revision of their
line of hang glider harnesses. For instance their have introduced the
Cosmic as a streamlined mid-range harness, Cabrio an open harness with
stirrup, and Vertical a harness made especially for the training hill
(it is not possible to fly this prone). Dealer for the hang glider
harnesses in Norway is Alf Oppøyen, mobil 908 21 134.
has developed a new high-end kingpost glider called Rebull.
Guggenmos does not have any Norwegian dealer.
Mouette. It seems like La Mouette has terminated the production of
the Topless and the Top Secret/Tsunami rigid wing, and now only continuo
production of the Atlas and the Sphinx. Apparently a company called Helite
will take over production of the Tsunami and possibly also the Topless.
For more info see the Ozreport.
10th - Monday: Weekend report - course duty
duty for me this weekend together with Bjørn J. In addition to having
my own clubs students, I also made an agreement with Kongsberg to be
responsible instructor also for their student (they had no instructors
available this weekend). The weather forecast predicted NE both Saturday
and Sunday, so I decided to try Flesberg (120 km west of Oslo), which is
a NE launch. Still, at Flesberg we had tailwind both day. As it was
sunny and weak wind, we instead tried our luck at the Jondalen launch
(SW-direction). The sun and thermals made it launchable here and the
students got one or two flights each both Saturday and Sunday. I did not
fly as I prioritized to get the students flying, and I also had cold and
light fewer both day.
3rd - Monday: Theory day for the course and more
and bad weather today. So I had a theory session for two of our
hg-students. The topic was the first altitude flights and laws and
regulations related to hang gliding.
Saturday evening my girlfriend and I went out to celebrate her birthday
at Bagatelle, Norway's only restaurant with 2 stars in the Michelin
guide. Extraordinary food, win, and bill.
After last evenings celebration, I would have been a very poor
instructor, so luckily Alf Oppøyen had volunteered to be instructor
Sunday. It was perfect conditions at the training hill at Årvoll, and
Terje S. got is first flight on his new Funfex. He liked this glider so
much that he immediately sent me a sms asking when if we could fly next
weekend. Also a rusty ex-pilot showed up wanting to renew his license.
He had not been flying a hang glider since 1995, but flew very well. One
day more in the training hill and he will be ready for altitude
31st - Friday: Viper review, dealer comments
are a few comments from the Norwegian Aeros dealer Knut Johahsen related
to my Viper "review" yesterday. Apparently he is a little
worried that the "negative aspects" section would discourage
potential buyers. So just to be 100 % clear - the Viper is a first class
harness and as I stated in the first place, I would have bought it again
- no problem. I have also promoted the harness to anyone that has
bothered listening to me. The section "negative aspects" has a
number of points, but if you look at them most of the issues are
details, but still I think they were worth mentioning. Further, I am
sure that also any other make or model of harnesses would have an
equally long or longer list of details that would be listed as
"negative aspects". But instead of focusing on the
"negative aspects" I would advise everyone to take a closer
look at the "advantages" section. Here you will find a number
of very convincing arguments for buying the Viper.
Below are Knut's comments and my response to these.
There are 7 Vipers in Norway, and only one has complained about problems
with the comfort related to the T-shaped leg strap. This pilot both got
an offer offer to replace the harness and to have Oleg have a closer
look at the problem. Still, the pilot chose to return the harness and
did not pay anything for it.
My comment: I did not experience this problem with my harness and have
not hear of anyone else that have had this problem. On the contrary, the
Viper is an unusually comfortable harness.
I have had Aeros harnesses for 10 years and have never had any problems
with either comfort or sewing. My first harness bag only fell apart
after 10 years.
My comment: Everyone I have spoken with has been pleased with their
Aeros harness. The sewing problem on my harness was related to the
finish on my outer skin, hence it is not a safety issue, and the stitches
do still hold. But my Viper bag, and a few others, is already falling
apart. The suggestion for a long harness bag was just as an additional
option and not related to the quality of the existing bag.
I have spare main zippers (with velcro) here in Norway, but have not
sold anyone yet.
My comment: One pilot had to change his main zipper quite early. That
the zipper is available from from Norway is a big advantage. If you
order from Knut you will have the products in 2 or 3 days.
The misunderstanding with the colour of the outer skin should be
attributed to the introduction of a new product.
My comment: Agree, and it was not Aeros that gave my the additional
outer skin free of charge, it was Knut. Thanks, excellent service.
The hang strap should have had the right length.
My comment: It cost me NOK 200 to have it shortened, and was not a big
I have sold about 70 Aeros harnesses and only one has been sent back to
Aero because of problems.
My comment: Seems to be a very good quality record.
30th - Thursday: Aeros Viper harness review after one year of use
flying with the Viper for one season I have tried to summarise my
experiences with the harness. The summary became so lengthy that I
decided to put it in a separate document. You can read it HERE
if you are interested.
28th - Tuesday: Steinar Sverd Johnsen vs. Bjørn H. flying comp
in the Norwegian hg-community also known as Barron, and I have the last
two years had a very serious flying competition going on. Competitive
categories have been airtime, number of flights, longest flight, and
basically everything it is possible to compete on. Last year I won most
categories as Steinar had surgery on his shoulder and lost most of the
winter and spring season. This year, however, it was my time to
experience problems as my "tennis-elbows" have been troubling
me most of the season. Well enough excuses - I just have to admit it.
This year Steinar has beaten me in every competitive category worth
mentioning, and I hate it. The worst blow was that he out-flew me the
same day we both set our personal xc-distance records. Here are some
highlights, or lowlights from my perspective:
|Category (1/1 to
||50 h 24
||35 h 52
|# of flights
make things worse, he got a 45 minutes of ridge soaring at Brandbukampen
yesterday. But I will be back next year.
27th - Monday: No flying this weekend + Robin and Erik fly tandem
did not have course duty this week. In addition, I lectured at NSM in
Bergen Thursday and Friday. So I decided to take a weekend totally
off from flying and just rest and do what normal people do
in the weekend.
Friday Robin tried to learn Erik V. to fly tandem hang glider. They set
up at the "pg-launch" (nature start) at Sundvollen, but only
had a very weak headwind. So they decided to wait for better conditions,
but instead the wind calmed down even more making it 0-wind. Still,
eager to fly they decided to try to launch. This proved to be a hazardous
attempt which was made even worse by Erik stumbling during the launch.
The result was a totally stalled glider and a dive out from the
launch. According to Erik V. it was a true near death
19th - Sunday: Course duty weekend
We cancelled the altitude flights for Saturday on Friday because of the
wind direction, but I hoped to be able to fly in the training hill with
the two remaining students. But Friday evening I learned that Tom, one
of the two students, had burned his hand badly earlier in the week and
that he could not fly this weekend. Odd and I met at Årvoll, our main
training hill, but we decided that with only one student and
forecasts of a rain during the afternoon, it was not worthwhile trying
to fly. So I cancelled also the training
hill for Saturday. As the situation would be almost the same on Sunday,
except no rain, I cancelled the training hill on Sunday already Saturday
evening, and instead joined Øyvind and Steinar to help them during the
Sunday: The forecast predicted NE winds and we decided to try Flesberg (120 km west of Oslo) today as this
is the only NE site appropriate for hg-students in the proximity of
Oslo. We were quite a crew that drove from Oslo: Øyvind, Steinar, and I
were instructors, and we were joined by Terje from the course, Kjell
Olav from this summers intensive course, Anna and Bjørn Henrik who are
"rusty" pilots, and finally Fredrik Hoffman a pilot who just
wanted to fly. In addition both Kjell Olav and Anna had brought with
them their spouses. Flesberg has a ramp launch, but the ramp is short
and a little challenging in calm conditions. And calm conditions it was,
with a few short good periods and lots of cross wind. Still, all
students/rusty pilots and Fredrik got two flights each, and Øyvind got
one flight. Kjell Olav had his two first flights on his brand new
Airborne Fun 190. The glider looks really good and it is a marvelous
glider according to Kjell Olav; good handling while at the same time
stabile and predicable. Steinar tried to get a flight at the end of
the day, but as usual the weather demons spotted him and made the
periodical crosswind permanent.
Anna was responsible for today's excitement. On her first flight she was
a bit slow to turning as she was making her last turn before landing, at
the same time she was a little low while trying to turn into the final. The result was that
she hit the top of a tree - a real high one, about 18 metres. The
branches slowed her decent down through the tree and she was not
injured, but the glider took some beating and broke at least one leading
edge tube. From the launch it looked quite dramatic, and I guess also
for her husband watching at the LZ. Still, after a couple of hours or so Anna launched again on another
glider. This time for a perfect flight down to the LZ.
13th - Monday: Dragonfly emergency landing and bad course weekend
Oppøyen experienced quite a drama when flying hg-slep's dragonfly to it's new
base and location in Kongsvinger. Alf expected a smooth and easy flight
from Spydeberg to Kongsvinger, with a short stop at Sørum to refuel.
But just after take off at Sørum, and at only about 50 meters above the
air strip, the engine stopped and Alf had to make an emergency landing
at a field adjacent to the air strip. The engine failure was probably
caused by bad engine oil. According to Alf the cheaper oil is
thicker than the more expensive and does not blend very well with the
petrol. So what appeared to be an easy flight extended into a two day
project. Tug pilot and instructor Bjørnar Ryeng even flew up from
Vestfold in another microlight to assist. Still, everything went well and the dragonfly is now
in a permanent hangar in Kongsvinger.
hg-course this weekend was not a huge success. Saturday we hoped to get a
few altitude flights with some of the students and "others".
Erik Vermaas and me were instructors and we were joined by Terje S.
(fresh student), Linda (took the course in Bergen last year but miss 9
altitude to complete the course), Anna and John U. ("old" pilots
wanting to renew their license). In addition, Arild and Johnny from last
year's course also joined us. We decided to fly from Vikersund, but
as we arrived it was a weak tail wind so we had one or two or three cups
of coffee while waiting for better conditions. After a while it started
to look promising and the students rigged their gliders and prepared to
launch. During a good period Terje S. launched for this first altitude
flight together with two students from the Kongsberg club. But just as
they landed, the wind picked up and turned making crosswind. Arild managed to launch after this, but then conditions became
too bad, and we had to cancel the rest of the day.
Sunday Erik and Magus N. were responsible for a day in a training hill
with two of the other students from this years course; Odd and Tom. But it was almost
no wind on Sunday and the only training hill available on this wind
direction was not steep enough for a 0-wind launch so they had to give
up also today.
As this training hill was in Lier 40 km from Oslo, and
Vikersund is 75 km from Oslo, this weekend provided lots of driving and
not much flying.
9th - Thursday: Course duty also this weekend
of the students from the course is ready for his first altitude flights,
and so are the ones that are going to renew their license, plus one
for the intensive course in Vågå in August and one student from Bergen. The problem
is that we are only two instructors available this weekend. The solution
seems to be to divide the course and take one day flying altitude
flights (Saturday) and one day in the training hill (Sunday). That is at
least the tentative plan.
6th - Monday: Perfect course weekend + Dragonfly to Kongssvinger
Sverd Johnsen and I had instructor duty this weekend, and both
Saturday and Sunday provided perfect course conditions at Årvoll, our
main training hill. One of our students made 12 flights each day - a
very good effort as you have to carry the glider back up the steep hill
for each flight. Also Erik "the flying Dutchman" Vermaas, a
non-duty instructor this weekend, came by both days and snatched the
gliders from our hg-students to fly himself. On Sunday he had 8 flights
(some enjoy flying more than others).
weather this weekend looked perfect for flying, but the payoff was not
that good around Oslo. At Trøgstad Alf Oppøyen had a one hour flight
in marginal conditions on Saturday after being towed up. On Saturday
Erik Vermaas tried his luck at Sundvollen but only got a sled ride.
Steinar rushed up to Brandbu after the course on Saturday, but did not
fly as conditions were not good here. It was possible to get a sled
ride, but he did not bother rigging the glider for a sure sled
now seems certain that the only Dragonfly tug in Norway will have
Kongsvinger as its base next year. Kongsvinger is a perfect launch site
for long xc-flights up Østerdalen towards the North. Will we see an new
national xc record next year - the old one is 189 km, and should be
possible to outdistance.
3rd - Friday: Instructor duty, comp results, and Garmin series
have instructor duty this weekend so I will not fly myself, maybe except
a training hill flight or two.
I have added a page summing up my (very humble) competition results so
far. Hope to improved the results next year - it should be too
difficult. HERE is a link to the page,
and there is an additional permanent link to the left.
are rumors that Garmin is planning to replace the popular eTrex series
(or is it an additional series). The new (?) series is called GPS60, and
consists of four models, three of which have a map function. See pic. HERE.
30th - Tuesday: Weekend summary and Litespeed test flight
was a long and boring drive to Vågå this time, lots of traffic and no
real prospect of flying. The meeting itself, however, was interesting
and useful. New and or usefull information from the national hg/pg
organisation, and 15 club leaders/safty officers discussing how we could
improve safety in our sport. Also the dinner and subsequent "night
club" visit a success, but the following morning seemed to be
challenging for some.
Sunday afternoon, a miracle happened as the strong tailwind the the
launch suddenly turned and made perfect conditions. As we were (almost)
done with the meeting programme, we were given the rest of the day off,
and most of us rushed to the launch to get a flight before heading home.
For me it would be my first flight on my new Litespeed 5, so as you may
imagine I was a bit nervous. At the launch the wind was light and from
SE (this is a S-SW launch). As I was unfamiliar with the broad zoom
downtubes I decided to start from the "pg-launch" 100 meters
of so from the main launch. The "pg-launch" is steeper and
longer and more forgiving, and on Sunday the thermals even created
direct headwind here and perfect conditions. The launch proved to be
easy - the Litespeed lifted immediately and it was no problems keeping a
proper angel of attach through the entire launch (with the Fusion I
have had problems with having the nose popping up). In flight the
speedbar was in front of what I am used to from the Fusion, but both
trim speed and balance seemed to be perfect. The first thing I noticed
with the Litespeed was the light and accurate handling. In addition, I
could turn at a lower speed compared with the Fusion, but this was not a
surprise as the Fusion is 141 sq f while the Litespeed is about 155 sq
f. The Litespeed also has significantly more energy/speed than the
Fusion, and also the Bautek Spice I tried some time ago. While flying
the glider felt a little nervous just like the Fusion, but I guess this
is natural characteristic of a modern high performance glider. Actually,
the Spice felt more stable. The Litespeed also glides very well, but it
was no problem landing near the spot at the LZ. The landing itself,
however, was not too elegant. I could not decide how and where to hold
on to the zoom downtubes, waited too long as I was afraid to flare too
early - and every hg-pilot knows what happens then. Well, at least I did
not break anything, but it was not an elegant landing.
Trøgstad Jostein Vorkinn also got his first flights on his Litespeed
(Kenneth Karlsen's old). Jostein did his first two flight on the glider
26th - Friday: Meeting in Vågå + misc.
am off to Vågå this weekend for a meeting in the national HG
organisation (HP-NLF) for club managers/safty officers. Hope to test
fly my new Moyes Litespeed as well, but the weather forecast does not
look too promising.
much is happening now as the autumn has killed the last good thermals,
and I expect that it will be a lot of rain in the coming weeks, so I do
not expect much flying. Still, in the coming weeks I will keep
publishing information about the hg course, a few stories from this
summer, and a review of the Aeros Viper after having flown with it
almost a year. So feel free to visit this page now and then for some
21st - Sunday: Hg-course and some gossip
had course duty this week end and did not fly myself. The course was not
that successful this weekend as three of our four hg-students were quite
reduced by injuries (one leg, one elbow, and one more leg). The
highlight of the day was one student landing in a tree. Fortunately,
neither he nor the glider was injured/damaged, and according to student
it was his softest landing ever. Sunday the course was cancelled due to
heavy rain in the morning.
a few pilots got this year's last good (?) thermal flights. For instance
Bjørn Joakimsen got a one hour test flight on a Laminar ST 14 he is
considering to buy - is current glider is a LaMouette Profil. He has
written an extensive story about the flight, and how he crashed during
landing (one less down tube on the world). Read about it HERE
(in Norwegian). Also in Vågå conditions were good, but in Hallingdalen,
Steinar and Tor-Inge only got a couple of sled rides.
17th - Wednesday: Few hg-course students
will be lecturing in Bergen tomorrow and Friday, and in the weekend I
have course duty. So no test of the new glider this week.
seems like the course activity is quite low in SE Norway this year. My
club only have 4 students, Hedemarken 2, and Lier does not have a course
this year. I have no information about the courses in Kongsberg and
Sportwing/Gudbrandsdalen, but I hope they both have courses with lots of
participants so that we can recruit new pilots to the sport, and
maintain or increase the number of pilots.
16th - Tuesday: Otto Baste, Aeros Spirit, new hg home page
Otto Baste sent a mail to the Norwegian hg-community informing that his
bone marrow cancer (mylomatose, multiple myeloma) had
returned after four years. He will start the treatment this week, and
Otto is sure he will fight it off also this time. Still, he will have to
postpone his planned tour to Oz and the comps here this winter. I sure
everyone in the Norwegian hg-community wish him a rapid recovery, and
hope to see him back in the air as soon as possible.
Krainer writes: "The (Aeros) Spirit-L is identical to the (Aeros)
Discus with one difference: It uses Aluminum 7075 instead of Aluminum
2024. This explains the different weights (30 kg for the Spirit-L and
31.7 kg for the Discus)." This was in response of my question
August 5th if anyone know anything about the Spirit - thanks
Ringkilen, from whom I bought my Litespeed, has develop his own hg home
page (in Norwegian). Nice design and a few good pictures so far, and he
will be updating the page regularly. Take a look HERE.
15th - Monday:
have just bought Øyvind Ringkilen's Moyes Litespeed 2002 model with
zoom a-frame and carbon speed bar. The glider has no more than 25 hours
and is as new. I can't wait to try it, but has timed the purchase bad as
I have no time to fly during the week, and next weekend I have course
14th - Sunday: Cross wind at Brandbukampen
the two flights yesterday I was hungry for more flying although I really
have ended this season's flying. So I and Johannes Moger drove to
Brandbukampen, and joined Bjørn J. and Arne Karstensen. Later also
Morten Ottesen and Peter Boman also showed up - it must have been three
years since I last saw them out on
a flying site - and John U., one of the rusty pilots from yesterday. He
also fly paraglider and showed up with his pg. It was, however, cross
wind and turbulent at the launch. After a while Johannes started and got
an one hour flight, but the rest of us chose not to fly. Still, a nice
day in the field in the company of fellow pilots.
13th - Saturday: Aero towing at Trøgstad
forecast for today predicted shifting winds, so I decided to aero tow
from Trøgstad as this is less dependent of the wind direction. At
Trøgstad we were only a few pilots; Alf, who flew the tug, Werner and
Johannes (both "frequent tuggers"), Trond Olsen, and finally
Tor Haugnes and Jon Inge all the way from Trøndelag (8 hours of driving). The
latter two wanted to try out aero towing as they plan, or dream of, aero
towing in Trøndelag. The conditions were a little on and off with a cloud cover coming and going through the day, and with periods of
crosswind at the airstrip. As I have not been aero towing since last
autumn, I was very conservative with the launch conditions and only flew
two flights in calm conditions. Consequently, I lost the two good
periods today, but that does not matter as I primarily wanted to get
more experience in towing. The others also got two or three flights each
and some soared for up to an hour or so.
Ellefsen and Steinar Johnsen had course duty this weekend, and Øyvind
even managed to recruit one more for the course. In addition to the
three + one new course students, also two "rusty" and unlicensed
hg-pilots turned up to practice a little in the training hill before
joining the course for the altitude flights later on.
11th - Thursday: New addition to the Norwegian Moyes-boys
may remember that I had a poll for which glider I should choose next, as
my good old Fusion has become too small for me. Moyes Litespeed was not
listed as an alternative, but it seems like it is this glider that will
be my choice after all. I have not yet bought the glider, but I have an
informal agreement to buy a Litespeed 5 2002 model with a zoom a-frame
and carbon speed bar. The glider has 25 hours or so in the air, so it is
as good as new. I will have a look at the glider on Monday, and will
then (more than 99,99 % probability) buy the glider.
8th - Monday: Tronfjell report - accident, no flying but good
"Birdman", Trond Olsen, Steinar Johnsen, and Geir
Hynne drove to Tron early Friday morning as this day was the most
promising this weekend. I, however, had to lecture in Bergen and could
not join them. But as I was waiting for the plane in Bergen for
the return to Oslo I got a SMS reading that Terje Birdman Brønstad had
crashed while launching at Tron and broken his left upper arm. This was
really bad news as Terje broke his right upper arm just 18 month ago in
severe crash, and he was also injured in a crach 6 months prior to this.
Fortunately, the fracture this time is not that complicated, and will
heal in 6 to 8 weeks. But it is nevertheless not good news at all, as it
must be difficult to come back after three such crashes in a short
turn up for this years postponed Trontreff (eng. gathering) was not very good, but a hard
core from Hedemarken and my club Oslo og Omegn turned
up. Unfortunately, the wind was too strong for flying both days, with
winds up to 20 m/s at the launch. Still, the party and the traditional
competitions in the evening (crow bar javelin throw and equivalent) was a
success, as always. No one was even close to sober and we (or at least some of the
pilots) completely took over the local disco.
3rd - Wednesday: Cracked bracket pic. + plans for the
(see archive) I wrote about a-frame brackets with cracks used by among
others Moyes, but I did not have a picture of the bracket. The pilot who
had the Litesport with the cracked bracket found pic. today, however, and HERE
(40 kb) it is.
I will be lecturing here in Oslo, and Friday I will be in Bergen
lecturing all day, and this weekend it is the annual flying and social
gathering at Tronfjell some 320 km North of Oslo. I will probably drive
to the airport North of Oslo Friday morning, and fly to Bergen 0730, be
back about 1730, and then drive directly to Tron. Hopefully for a couple
of days of good flying - probably the last opportunity for good thermal
conditions on this side of Christmas here in Norway.
2nd - Tuesday: Lots of gliders for sales
The second hand market is currently flooding with 2-4 year old topless
gliders. At least four Litespeeds, a couple of Laminars and my Fusion.
In addition, a two or more Litespeeds were sold earlier this summer, and
I guess that at least one or two more will be up for sales as some pilots
probably are going to Australia this winter, and will most likely buy
new Moyes gliders down there instead of shipping them around the world
and back. The common denominator for all gliders is bargain prices. Two
year old gliders with less than 50 hours go almost for half price, and
older ones are practically given away.
Jostein Vorkinn from my club took advantage of the favourable second
hand market and bough a Litespeed 2000 model from Kenneth. This is quite
a leap from his old ragged Airwave K 4, which he crushed in a
"tugging incident" some months ago.
September 1st - Monday: HG-course and summary Wed.-Sun.
four of yesterdays candidates showed up today - quite disappointing as I
expected at least three more. The wind direction was the same as
yesterday and today we drove to Kjeller. Even here it was not all that
favourable conditions, but most the candidates got a few good, but short
flights. In the end three sign up for the course - three fewer than we
hoped for. Still, all three seem to be both motivated and capable, and
with three school gliders the course should be easy and quick to
complete. Further, we also need to follow up and arrange the + 10 altitude
flights for three students from the one week intensive
course in Vågå arranged by the national HG/PG section. In addition, we are going to do the same
for one student from the club in Bergen, and we also hope help a few
"old" and rusty pilots getting their flying license back after
a few year without flying. So I guess the instructors will have enough
to do also this autumn after all.
day and first
day of the clubs new hg-course, and the second with me in charge. About
25 had indicated that they were interested, but we we did not expect
more than maximum half of these to turn up. In addition, we only have
three course gliders, and only wanted 2 on each glider, so
we had set a maximum of 6 hg-students. The problem, however, was not
that too many showed up, only about 9 interested candidates showed up,
an in addition the conditions at the training hill was bad with shifting
winds and mainly crosswind. Still, all got to try how it is to balance
and run with a hang glider on their shoulders.
Thursday 28th and Friday 29th:
much interesting going on. Thursday I held a lecture in Oslo from
0800-1045, then rushed to the airport and flew to Bergen (we had a
tailwind landing, but the MD-80 coped quite well) for a new lecture at
1415-1700. Friday I lectured from 0915-1400 and flew back to Oslo, and picked
up the course equipment on my way from the airport in order to be ready for
Saturday and our course intro day.
to our course storage at Strømmen and then to Aeros (and much more) dealer Knut
Johansen at Kongsberg to pick up the conversion kit to training hill
down tube for the clubs Aeros Target. For those not into hang gliding, the conversion kit makes it
possible to replace only a short section of the downtube when the
hg-students have a less than good landing, something they frequently
have. Further, it is quicker to replace than an ordinary down tube and
it is cheaper. On my way back home I stoped at my parents home in
Drammen to replace the ordinary down tubes with the conversion kit while
it was still daylight - and my mum helped me!
August 23rd - Saturday: Working + Brasilia 2003
did not look too proming early today so I decided to work instead of
flying. It may have been a mistake as the clouds cleared and the wind
picked up. Still, I am nevertheless not too keen on flying from
Sundvollen before it is possible to land on the frozen lake - I find the
LZ we use during the autumn and spring challenging, at least if the wind
is from NW to N (W is better), and much wind makes it very turbulent. I
am also lecturing all next week here in Oslo and Bergen so I really
needed to work as well. Next weekend our hg-course will start so I guess
that it will be some time before I will fly again.
2003 (Worlds): The Norwegians have not performed very well in the
worlds, but yesterday Øyvind Ellefsen
was number 28th of 112 (76 reached goal), well done. For complete
results for each day and in total see HERE.
August 22nd - Friday: Tronteff cancelled, Kenneth switches to
this weekend is cancelled because of the bad weather forecast. But we
will try again September 6th and 7th.
Kenneth Karlsen, who started flying hangglider the same year as me and
whom I have flown a lot together with, is selling his Litespeed and
buying a sailplane. Hence, he will retire from hang gliding, at least
for now. Too bad, I will miss Kenneth in the hg-community, but best of
luck with your new toy.
August 18th - Monday: Weekend report
Tor-Inge and I decided to "open" Sundvollen for the season, as
the grain field which we use as autumn and spring landing just had been
harvested - we are not allowed to land here between sowing and
harvesting, and there is no other landing besides the frozen lake during
the winter. The forecast was not that promising, but at least we hoped
to be able to launch and get a flight. The wind, however, was too much to the North/NE
and we did not even start rigging our gliders. In addition to the
crosswind, it started to rain at about 1300 due to overdevelopment, but
by then I was already home.
Sunday: Today the forecast was more promising and we hoped that it had
dried up a little since yesterday so that it would not overdevelop, at
least not that early. So Tor-Inge and I decided to give Sundvollen a try
also today. My alternative was to aero launch at Trøgstad. Still,
Saturday evening was spent with a few friends over a dinner and with
plenty of alcoholic beverages, so my internal "gyro" was not
all that co-operative in the beginning of the day so I decided to try
something less challenging and closer to home. At Sundvollen we also met
Egil Toft, a local pilot, Harald Nielsen, both rigid wing pilots, and two pg-pilots. In the
beginning it was no wind or thermals going up in front of the launch,
but plenty of development all around us. Tor-Inge and I therefore used the first hour to saw down the bushes that had grown
up around the ramp during the summer. Egil was already at the launch when
we arrived, and he had left his moped down at the LZ to have transport back up to his car. He was also the first to launch as he
did not expect the day to develop into something better, while the rest
of us wanted to wait and see if conditions improved. While
on final and landing, Egil saw someone sitting on his moped with his
helmet on and was trying to start the moped. After landing Egil shouted
to the thief, who jumped up and ran away, still with the helmet on this
head, but leaving his Nike cap. Too bad I did not witness this for
myself, it must have been quite a sight. Well, soon after Egil landed
the wind picked up and the rest of us started to rig our glides, but
just was we were finished, it became totally calm, before the wind
turned to cross- and tailwind from SW and SW. To make matters complete, it
even started to
rain as we derigged. So what did we learn today? Rig your glider and be
ready when conditions improve, do not wait for better conditions and then
rig. But will be remember this? Most likely not.
Weekend summary: Sundvollen 2 - me (and Tor-Inge) 0.
August 13th - Wednesday: Misc. facts and rumours
Frode Halse, Norway's most dedicated xc free distance pg
pilot, had until last Friday the longest pg flight in Norway this year
km. But on Friday Arne Kristian Boiesen managed to fly from Vågå
til Tretten, a distance of 90,8
km, pretty impressive. Frode also flew from Vågå this day, but
failed to take full advantage of the conditions, and had to land after
53 km. Still, Frode is still in the lead of the Norwegian free distance league
> Jostein Vorkinn, who crushed his Airwave K4 in a tugging incident
earlier this summer,
was initially looking for an old and cheap glider to replace his not
very airworthy K4. Still, the latest rumours have it he is considering a
brand new WW U 2. K4 => U 2, could it be he has a "one letter -
one digit" fetish when it comes to hang gliders names? Just a
> Steinar Sverd Johnsen, also known as Barron, intended to use the
last two weeks of his vacation to practice with his band Arcturus before
concerts this fall. But it ended up flying instead. According to
himself hang gliding has messed him up (in the head?) for life. He
just can't get enough. I know how he feels.
August 11th - Monday: Tronfjell weekend
forecast promised high air pressure and stable conditions, so Steinar,
Tor-Inge, Line, and I decided that Tronfjell was the right place to be
this weekend, as the launch is at 1320 meters asl. We drove up Friday evening and were joined by
semi-local pilot Agnar Trøen. In addition, Trond Olsen and Terje
Birdman, drove the 330 km (one way) on Saturday on a day trip - those
guys are not sane! The launch is heading SW-SE but often works on all
wind direction due to the strong thermal activity below the launch.
Saturday the wind direction was NW and we were hoping to fly down
Tylldalen/Østerdalen in tailwind. Still, as we prepared to launch
conditions looked really stable, and sure enough, even with 4-6 m/s
start wind it was not possible to soar and only Trond found one thermal
which took him up to 1800 meters asl - 500 meters above the launch. The
rest of us glided down the 820 meters and 6 km to the LZ in 10-20
minutes. The decent became exiting for most of us as we were flying in
head wind and in the le-side of the ridge. Tor-Inge was so low as he
approached the LZ that he only had time to do one small s-turn before
landing. I had to fly over the lowest sections of the terrain in order
to get out in the valley, but here the sink alarm (set at 3 m/s) finally
stopped after sounding constantly for 4 minutes, and I even had time to
do one 360 around the LZ before landing. An interesting and exiting flight as here are no
landings once you start gliding towards the valley. After landing I also
found out that the sprog on the right side of my Fusion had swung back
up along the leading edge - I must have forgotten to lock the sprog in
it's flight position. Still, I did not notice anything while
flying, but it is a good thing that it was not strong conditions.
On Sunday we had the same conditions, except SE wind, so today we had no
worries about reaching the LZ. But we had worries about soaring, and
these worries proved justified. Tor-Inge and I had one sled ride down,
Steinar had two, while Agnar had one sled ride, but on his second flight he
found what must have been the only thermal in the area and soared to 2100
meters asl and flew for one hour. He even glided out his altitude to a 8
km xc-flight. "Thanks" Agnar, this really ruined our day. The
worst thing is that I Thursday checked him out for the license step SP 4
(advanced soaring and xc-flying) - and this is how he thanks me!
Nevertheless, Tronfjell is still my favorite launch, and we will be back
in two weeks for Trontreff and more flying.
choice - poll result (n=65)
everyone that voted and "helped" me in my glider choice.
Bautek Spice miraculously jumped from last to first place in just a few
days. Maybe someone, like for instance Knut Johansen, the Norwegian
dealer, has been extensively generous in his voting? I am not accusing
anyone - it was just a thought! As of now, I have still not made up my
mind, but here is at least the result of the poll.
Wing Talon (13)
Wing U2 (13)
Combat 2 (4)
August 5th - Tuesday: Aeros Spirit L, new hang glider?
DHV has tested and approved Spirit L from Aeros. Still, neither Aeros
nor US Aeros (Justfly) have anything on the launch of this hang glider.
It seems to have the same characteristics as the Discus, with a DHV 2
classification. Does anyone know anything about this new glider? A
development of the Discus or a new make? Feel free to send me an e-mail
with information if you know something.
DHV test report see HERE
August 3rd - Sunday: Bautek Spice test flight and more
proved to be quite good a number of places, but I did not bother to go out
because it was overcast in the morning. Saturday afternoon, Knut Johansen,
Norwegian Bautek dealer, called and offered me to test fly the new
Bautek Spice, and this was off course an offer I could not turn down.
Also Truls Schøyen joined me, and a number of pilots from Kongsberg
Below is my "test report" for the Bautek Spice. The Spice is still not DHV
certified and hence is not yet for sales in Germany (as far as I know), buy as
Norway has no requirements for hang glider certification the Norwegian dealer
Knut Johansen received one Spice as early as June. Knut is raving about the
qualities of the glider, and I am quite impressed as well. Still, I have only
flown the Spice for 12 minutes/1 flight, and my "topless" experience is
limited to my own WW Fusion 141, so have that in mind as you read the
following Spice review. Launch: The Spice is less tail heavy than the
Fusion, it is quite neutral, and is easy to balance and seems easy to launch.
Flight: Good handling, but not better than the WW Fusion 141, which I fly at
max hook in weight (100 kg). Still, the handling seems more smooth than on the
Fusion. On my Fusion I feel as if I must constantly steer the glider,
especially in thermals, and it is demanding to fly straight at high speeds.
The Spice, however, seems to be less "nervous", but it still seems
to have very good handling while at the same time being stable and
predictable. My biggest problem while flying was the position of the
speed-bar, which was way in front of where I have the speed-bar on the Fusion.
Still, here it is the Fusion that is particular and not the
Spice. Furthermore, it felt natural with the position of the Spice speed-bar.
I only tried to tension the VG for a short time; the VG operated quite light
and easy, and the speed-bar immediately wandered back as I pulled the VG. From
one dive turn and from pulling on speed once, it seemed like the glider
has lots of energy, but I had no time testing the speed potential.
Landing: The flare window seems to be quite wide, and glide on final was long.
But according to Knut Johansen you need to be determined when flaring the
glider. This is probably true as I was a bit cautious and had to run a few
steps and put down the nose in order to stop. Glider finish and details: The
entire glider looked first-class. The sail seemed to be well sawn and
extremely tight, and the frame seemed well manufactured (as far as I with my
limited technical skills could tell). In addition, I liked how Bautek has
solved a lot of details. For instance the zippers on the mylar leading edge at
both sides of the nose so that the sail should not be wrinkled in the nose
section when packing the glider, the mylar extension on the keel from the
sail, covering all mechanisms on the keel for tensioning the glider. I also
liked the locks for tensioning the glider and the attachment of the nose wires
- they were both small, neat, and "fool-proof" (small devises with
spring locks) - real German craftsmanship. All in all, to conclude, the Spice
seems like a very impressive glider, and I would love to test it more.
A special sled ride: One pilot from my club, he will remain anonymous here,
gave the word sled ride a new meaning at Brandbukampen today. Instead of doing
a sled ride down to the LZ, he inadvertently ended up using his almost new
glider as a sled after a less than perfect launch. For indigenous readers,
this is also called to do an "El-Loco launch", named after El-Loco's
(Audun Etnestad) famous launch from Vole some weeks ago - it ended up the same
way. Apparently what happened with this pilot was that he got turn while
launching and got his a-frame corner caught in a bush, nosed in and ended up
upside-down. All my sympathies for the pilot, I have had my fair share of bad
launches, and it could easily have been me. Still, one positive thing is that
the pilot was not harmed.
Other pilots today: At Brandbukampen everyone got prolonged sled rides, and Geir Hynne, student from last year, soared highest and and the
longest flight - well done. Tyin: Erik Vermaas got one hour, but Steinar only
got a sled ride. He test flew my old Airwave Race 2 harness, and was a bit
distracted by flying a new harness. Espesetra: Tron Olsen (WW Talon 150) flew
85 km, crossing over from Gudbrandsdalen to Østerdalen and Koppang.
Tronfjell: Agnar Trøen got a long flight - 2 hours 35 minutes, and 20
km. I think this is his first xc-flight.
July 30th: More tales and rumors from Vågå 12th - 26th
Halse, Norway's most dedicated free flying xc pilot has been living at
the "Centre for hang- and paragliding" in Vågå most of the
summer. Romours have it he has developed a Vågå-dialect this summer.
He has been chasing long xc-flight, preferably those over 100 km all
summer. The reward it the longest xc-flight with pg in Norway this year,
but it was not over 100 km. Maybe next year Frode.
- The exploding soap container. After loosing control over my glider due
to rain earlier this summer, I followed the advise from
another Fusion pilot of having liquid soap available to smear on the
mylar leading edge to improve the gliders ability to withstand rain.
Before traveling to Vågå I bought a small travel soap container with a
dosage pump and lock to prevent it from leaking, filled it with liquid
soap and put it with a piece of cloth into a plastic bag and stored it
in my harness. While flying the first week I heard some strange
"popping" sounds in the tail container of my harness while in cloudbase.
I did not think much of it at first, but later in the week when it
looked like it could start raining, I checked if the soap container
still was stored in the harness. It was, but the soap was no longer
inside the container, it was all over the inside of the plastic bag. I
guess what happened was that the pressure inside the container became
too big compared to the air pressure when flying 2500-2800 meters asl.
As a result of this, the soap was forced out of the container with a
July 19th to 26th: National Hang Gliding Championship
was my first Norwegian Championship for me, both as contestant and
organiser. Here are short reports from each day:
Saturday 19th: Overcast in the morning and rain showers during the day.
By 1400, however, it started to clear and it was decided that we should
have the next briefing at 1530 at Salknappen today's launch. Salknappen
is 1400 meteres asl and when we arrived cloud-base was approx. at this
altitude, and it was quite much wind. Conditions were not taskable and
the day was cancelled at 1545. Most of the pilots flew down and landed
in strong wind at Sørum the main LZ. I had a short 20 minutes flight as
I feared it would start to rain.
Sunday 20th: Good weather and a 82 km task was set (Vole, Kvam, Otta,
Vågå bru, Sørem). 10 pilots made goal, and Øyvind Ellefsen won the
day because of his "early bird" points, but Tor-Erik Moen was
fastest. As I am not good enough for even an average result in the comp
I decided to fly locally and have nice long flight instead for flying
away risking to bomb out after an hour or so 15 km from the start. I
was rewarded by a nice flight of 2 hours 45 minutes.
Monday 21st: Overcast and rain, and the day was cancelled at 1400. I
used the day to run from Vole to Salknappen to get some exercise, and watched
a DVD at my PC in the evening.
Tuesday 22nd: Overcast and rain, and the day was cancelled again. This
time at 1200. It cleared somewhat during the day, and several pilots
went up for evening flights. I did not bother to fly as it first looked
like it could start to rain, and later it was turbulent conditions at
the LZ. This was, however, obviously a mistake as most flew for one or
two hours in light wave conditions. Well at least my elbows have got two
days rest, and are hopefully ready for some serious flying
Wednesday 23rd: Overcast in the morning, but we went up to Vole
for a briefing at 1330. It started to look more promising and the
task committee called a task from Vole to Frya (61 km). As the start
window opened the wind picked up a little and after a while it became
crosswind. Steinar and I was too late and ended up being stuck in
crosswind, and missed the start window. After waiting for another 2-3
hours it became launchable again, but as I started the wind increased
and the entire flight was a struggle in quite hard wind. As I flew I saw
three pilots having extremely exiting landings down in the valley - one
ended up in the field beside the LZ, one was tossed around before being
dumped on the LZ, while the last just flew straight ahead and landed on
a field closer to Vågå. When I saw this I decided to try to top land,
but was one meter to high and had to make an extreme low pass over Vole,
flying slalom between rocks and trees on my way out. It was as close as
its gets without crashing. I then had to land down at the main LZ.
Luckily, the wind was quite calm while I landed, but it was
turbulent and I had problems controlling the flight direction on the
Thursday 24th: Basically the same story as yesterday, but worse
conditions. Still, it was taskable. The task was Salknappen - Kvam -
Sørem, about 81 km. Today I launched within the start window, but
was late out as it was strong wind and I did not feel too comfortable
flying. The first part of the task was in headwind, and I soon realised
that it would not be worth while for me trying to go for the first turn
point, so I flew down to Sørem, the main LZ. It took me just 5
minutes to get 200 meters above Blåhø, but I saw no reason to glide
out this altitude towards Nord-Sel and landing out. Unfortunately,
we had this championship's only accident today. Robin Strid crashed
while landing out, and broke his jaw in two places.
Friday 25th: Rain and no flying. I used the day to run/walk from Vole
to Skagsnebb and back. Good exercise.
Saturday 26th: Overcast, lots of wind, and rain. The day was
cancelled at 1200, and I chose to drive home instead of attending the
dinner and party in the evening. It has been two nice weeks in Vågå,
but now I am tired of Vågå and want to go home.
12th to 18th: Week one in Vågå - Fantastic flying
drove up to Vågå Saturday evening hoping for two weeks of good flying.
The first week was dedicated to xc- and "recreational" flying,
while the second week was dedicated to the Norwegian Hang Gliding
Championship. Here is a short summary from the first week. This week was
spent with lots of pilots from my club, including three of our
hg-students from the last course. The flying was as good as it's get in
Norway with cloudbase above 2500 meters asl, and easy soaring most days. I total this week I got about 9 hours in the air, and I could
have gotten more if I wanted, but I chose to take it a little easy to
save my elbow. In addition, I set a new personal best with 40 km xc-flight,
and new altitude record with 2800 meters asl. Steinar also set a new
personal best xc-flying with 58 km, and to of our hg-students, Johnny
and Tor-Inge, got enough hours/flights to become pilots (SP 3 licence). Below
are short reports from each day.
Sunday 13th: Nice flight in blue conditions. Flew for 2 hours and 32
minutes, and came 2270 meters asl. Should have tried a short xc-flight
but I needed this flight to get back "the good flying
feeling". The forecast for tomorrow promise somewhat equal
Monday 14th: Today I was finally able to scientically prove that I
have a personal weather demon chacing me. Here is a short report from
today: High air pressure so we expected late conditions. A lot of us
took the 1200 bus to Salknappen and was ready to launch at about 1300.
The cycles that come in over the launch was weak and as this launch is
not very steep most were waiting for better launch conditions, but
conditions seemed to becoming worse rather than better. After a few very
exciting launches, Steinar, Knut S., and I decided to give Blåhø, 300
meters asl higher up at try. Steinar even drove to make sure conditions
were good before we derigged and drove up. As we arrived at Blåhø it
was a steady 3 m/s wind, but as soon as we were ready to launch it was
0-wind, and this launch is not 0-wind start, at least for me (you
basically start over an area with large and sharp rocks). 0-wind in 1617
meters asl is in itself quite unique, but nothing we appreciated. In
addition the entire mountain top ended up in the shade. Around us they
launched at Salknappen , which we left, and even at Vole further 600
meters down they launched and soared and pilots were flying over us.
After waiting for 1 hour or so we managed to launch and we got prolonged
sled rides down in calm conditions. As I was flying out from the
mountain after about 20 minutes, I saw Blåhø shining in the sunlight.
We should obviously have waited for 20 minutes more – if would have
been safe soaring. To make it a really perfect day I had a bad landing,
and found out that several pilots have been flying for hours, and some
over 100 km. I am going to call my personal weather demon Helmoth –
for no particular reason what so ever.
Tuesday 15th: Finally, a perfect day and I was able to take advantage of
it. After almost bombing out, I found lift below Gråhø (for those who
know the area) and followed a thermal up to 2300 meteres asl. Here I
found myself in company with Trond Olsen and Erling Mæhlum, two very
experienced pilots, and hung on to them as long as I managed. I lost
them over Lesja, and flew into a "blue hole". I tried to keep
on but as this also marked to ending of the good landings I ended up
chicken up and land. Still, it was a new personal best with 40 km, and I
was more than pleased. Steinar Johnsen, my main flying companion and
rival, did obviously have bigger balls than me and flew into the area I
did not want to fly over, and he set a new personal best with 58 km.
Humm, he has become a better pilot than me - horror!!
Wednesday 16th: First, we had a nice flight from Salknappen. Almost
as good conditions as yeasterday, but I chose not to try for a new xc-flight
(I did not stand to wait several hours to be retreived). Instead, I flew
locally, and tryed to fly small tasks I made up while flying. In the
evening Steinar, Agnar, and I had a nice flight from Blåhø (launch
1617 meters asl). In total about 3 hours in the air.
Thursday 17th: Overdevelopment quite early, but our
hg-students, Steinar, and I got a short flight before the rain and
strong winds made conditions unflyable. In the evening a few have driven
up to one of the launched for an evening flight - I did not bother. I am
tired and my elbow desperately needs some rest.
Friday 18th: Short flight from Vole. I do not remember more
from this flight. Johnny and Geir, two of our hg-students went
July 11th - Friday: I am off to Vågå
next two weeks I will be in Vågå flying. The second week is the
national championship, and I will both attend and be responsible for
scoring. For reports from this period see the link above.
July 10th -
Thursday: Åsa flight
looked very promising for good flying, but it proved to be too stable
and difficult conditions for me. Werner, Johnny, and I decided to give
Åsa a try as this seemed to be the best alternative without driving for
hours. The weather was just perfect, but as we arrived at Åsa it
looked very stable with no cu's around the launch. In addition, there
were only weak and short cycles of thermals. But we carried out
equipment to the launch (about 1000 meters) and rigged. Werner launched
first in his Exxtacy and he managed to get up. Johnny and I decided to
wait for a while hoping for better conditions but it never happened. So
the result for Johnny and I was prolonged sled rides. My flight
became more exiting than planned. The launch at Åsa is quite tricky
with only a marginal distance to some tree tops. I launched in a cycle
but the nose of the glider popped up a little and I was airborne very
early and with low ground speed - then the cycle died. The result was a
dive towards the trees, which I just missed. When flying it became
apparent that it would be difficult to get up, I became kind of
desperate and tried to catch a thermal very close to the ridge. The
thermal was hard, fast, and short, and threw me out towards the ridge. I
then had a "near pine tree experience"; as I turned out from
the ridge I heard a "swuzsch" sound from my left wing and I
looked up at the top of the pine tree. After this I decided to give the
thermals further out from the ridge a try.
July 7th - Monday: Bad judgments and no flying
I was my fault only. Saturday looked very good, and Truls, Tor-Inge, and
I drove to Ringerud. It was warm and nice cu's over the mountains round
the launch, but at the launch itself conditions were blue and stable. The wind
was N, but we decided to rig on the ramp, which is NE-SE, expecting
thermals to make it launchable. Still, due to
the calm conditions it continued to be crosswind most of the time.
Tor-Inge and Truls managed to launch, but due to a certain sled ride I
decided not to fly and derigged. A bad day!
Sunday the forecast was as yesterday, but in the morning it rained and
was overcast until 1130 am, so I decided not drive to Ringerud. Instead,
I went to the gym to work out and to do some exercises for my
"tennis-elbows". When I left the gym (which has no windows) I
expected to go out to rainy or at least overcast conditions, as
forecasted. But no, in the mean time the sky had cleared and it looked
like perfect conditions. Øyvind Ellefsen and I considered to go to
Solbergåsen to fly on the sea breeze, but we cancelled the project.
Instead I comforted me self with pizza and a bottle of red wine (Valpolicella
Classico Zenato - a highly recommendable win).
July 3rd - Thursday: Preliminary WW U2 review from Fredrik
news June 27th - Fredrik, proud owner of a U2 160 writes:
"The U2 is better than anticipated. The handling is the best I and
Olav Opsanger (one of the top three pilots in Norway) have experienced.
It definitely is a high performance glider. The VG works equally light
even near fully tensioned. This is a glider that will suit
seems like WW has a developed a sure winner in the U2 - everyone has
nothing else than positive reports about the glider. See for instance the OzReport
(use the search function to the upper right) for a number of comments, reviews, and comparisons of the U2, Discus, and other gliders, or see
forum for discussion on the U2 and other gliders.
problem related to the U2 is the sizes available. IMy
weight is about 80 kg
and hook in about 100 kg. This makes the 145 a bit small, and the 160 a
bit too big. I am currently flying a Fusion 141, and this has become too
small for me after changing to the Aeros Viper harness, which is quite
heavy and ads at least 5 kg compared to my old Airwave Race 2 harness.
Still, the Talon 150 seems perfect though.
June 29th - Sunday: Aero towing at Trøgstad
decided to try aero towing today. The towing turned out to be more
exiting than expected and wanted. The first pilot out had to release low
twice, and the second time he ended up in a small but deep trench with a
small stream, which goes parallel with the tow strip. The last pilot out
was caught by a strong gust of crosswind while still at the dolly, and
he ended up landing/crashing before he was able to get out of the turn.
Both gliders had one broken leading edge tube in addition to (the
compulsory) broken uprights. Luckily, none of the pilots were injured.
In between these incidents several pilots got a few good tows, but
conditions were not that good. At the end of the day the wind turned
thus making crosswind at the air strip. This made conditions a little
turbulent, and I decided not to fly.
June 28th - Saturday: Strange weather and no flying
weather forecast predicted good conditions early and overcast and rain
showers during the afternoon, wind direction was something with east. So
Tor-Inge and I decided to drive to Ringerud. The problem was that it was
totally overcast this morning and as we arrived at Ringerud it rained!
As a result of this we gave up and drove back home. But as I am writing
this this afternoon the sun is shining that the weather is perfect. I
hate weather forcasts!!!
27th - Friday: Wills Wing U2 and Z5
joined Wills Wing dealer Alf and Fredik (U2 buyer) as they unwrapped the
glider from the WW factory in the US. I was curious on how the new U2
looked - it looked great! The glider, in total and in every detail, looked
great and well thought through. Further the new wheels to the
Slipstream/Litestream speed bar also looked really neat. If this glider
flies as well as it looks I want one for my birthday. It will be exiting
to hear from Fredrik how the glider performs. Still, as he had to attend
a friends wedding tomorrow, he was not able to test fly it immediately (I
would have dropped the wedding).
One of the hg-students from last year have bought a new Z5 harness, and
this arrived with the U2. The Z5 harness also looked great, and had lots
of well though through details. For instance, the zippers are attach by
velcro, and there were lots of pockets and storage rooms. In addition,
WW had supplied the tail section with a piece of plastic to reduce the
wear of the harness. WW even supplied a ready made 2-3 cm plate to put
in the end of the harness if it was bit too long. The harness has no
back plate or aluminum tubes to stiffen it up, but instead comfort and
rigidity is secured by multiple hang point from the harness.
26th/27th - Thursday/Friday: Good, bad (and ugly)
once told me good pilots have good luck and bad pilots have bad luck.
Well, in that case I am a bad pilot (and ugly as well). The last two
days I and Steinar have tried our luck in Hallingdalen. Steinar went up
earlier in the week but I drove up Thursday morning. Conditions did not
look very promising, but we decided to give Påverud a try. As we were putting
Steinar's equipment on my car in order to have one car at the LZ, Robin
came by on his way to Ekstremsportveko
(the Extreme Sports Week) at Voss. In addition to his
hangglider, he also brought with him his trike. As Steinar and I
drove up to the launch it was overcast, but it cleared as we rigged.
Steinar was first to launch and started straight into a thermal. It was,
however, quite some crosswind at the launch, and I had to wait for about
45 minutes before being able to start. By then it was mostly shadow over
most of this side of the valley. I managed to scratch low for half an
hour, and Steinar also fell through in the same period, but flew for over 1
1/2 hour. So I guess my short flight was my fault alone.
Friday looked very promising, and we decided to drive to Flatagrov since
this launch lies in a hill that is facing south (Fekjan is heading
towards east and thus only provide safe thermals until about 1330). But
today it overdeveloped early and we both only got flights of 20 minutes
or so. We could have and considered to launch earlier as we saw that it
overdeveloped. Still, before it overdeveloped conditions were very weak,
so we took a chance and waited. Maybe we should have chosen Fekjan
instead today? Still, my bad elbow(s) felt really bad during this
flight, and it is not sure I would have been able to fly for long
anyway. It felt like the devil and several of his cousins were nibbling
at my elbows while flying and a few hours afterwards. I just hate
tennis-elbows. Due to this I decided to drive home this evening.
Strangely enough both elbows calmed down during the evening, and made me
plan flying at Ringerud on Saturday.
23rd - Monday: Weekend report - 50 % success, insurance
Saturday: The day started with overcast and light
rain, and if I had not promised our hg-students that I was going out, I
would most likely have stayed home today. We drove to Ringerud, and
carried our equipment to the NE ramp launch, but had move on the the N
launch (5 minutes longer to carry). As we rigged our gliders the weather
improved dramatically, and by the time we was ready conditions were
good, but it was a little late in the afternoon as the ridge is heading
to the East, thus making it an early launch. Johnny started first and
managed to soar for a few minutes before losing the lift. Same story for
Arild and Axel. Last out of the "students" was Magnus, who
have flown before, but had his last flight 8 years ago! Magnus launched
straight into a thermal and was soon high above the launch. I launched a
few minutes after Magnus, and soon joined him. The first 15 minutes or
so was quite good, but then conditions became weaker, and it became
difficult to stay up. After 50 minutes in the air we both had to land.
The landing is a bit tricky and today it claimed lots of hardware. Axel
broke one upright, Magnus one upright, the keel and got a nasty scratch
in his brand new helmet. I did not brake anything, but was way to late
to flare and fell ungraciously on my face. If I had flown away and
crossed the valley to the sunny side after the first 15 minutes I could
possibly have gotten a longer flight and a short xc distance, but the
flight was nevertheless nice.
Sunday: Due to the extensive wing trashing yesterday, and excessive
partying for Johnny, we were only three pilots today; Arild, Truls, and
myself. As the forecast promised SW decided to give Åsa a try, but as
we arrived the rain was pouring down, and it did not look promising at
all. But as yesterday it cleared and started to look promising so we
drove up to the launch. As it is over 1 km from from the parking to the
launch, we first walked up with our harnesses to study the conditions.
After waiting and doubting for over an hour we decided that it was
likely to overdevelop and we walk back and drove home. This was,
however, a wrong decision - it actually improved towards the evening.
Conclusion: We should either have tried Ringerud also today, or been
Friday I got NOK 6500 from my insurance company (if) after my crash in
January. I got the money only one week after sending my claim to the
company, swift and good service! So far I am leading over if, I have
paid about 6000 in insurance and have received about 12000. Hang gliding
insurance can not be a good business.
17th - Tuesday: Day trip to Flatagrov - Hallingdal, rain problems, and
Today looked as the last good day in a few days, so Alf and I decided to
drove the two hours to Hallingdal, desperate for flight. Steinar had
driven up already Sunday evening and yesterday he got sled ride from
Fekjan/Påverud. Conditions at Flatagrov were quite good, but it was
some over development of cu. Alf started first and got up, and was
followed by Steinar, I started last. The thermals were quite weak, but
was supported by soaring conditions on the ridge. After working the same
weak thermal for 15-20 minutes I reached 1500 meters asl (1200 meters
above the LZ). On my way up I both felt and heard a few rain drops on my
face and on the sail. Still, I did not give it a second thought as I
have previously flown in rains without encountering any problems. As I
lost the thermal at 1500 masl, I was hit by a rain shower. First the
glider became difficult to manoeuvre, and the entire glider started to
behave strange. Then suddenly the glider just went crazy. Out of the
blue, the speed-bar/a-frame wandered violently backwards, only stopping
as it hit the harness and my hips. I tried to pull it up to a more
normal position, but once I pulled it up just a bit the glider stalled. I tried to pull the speed-bar all the way up to normal flying
position, but this took a lot of effort and the glider stalled
violently. Even with the speed-bar all the way back it was, however, not
possible to steel the glider much. Strangely enough, neither flying
speed nor sink picked up significantly during this, but the glider did
not want to fly. Still, I was flying along the ridge so I guess that at
least the lack of strong sink can be explained but lift over the ridge.
My problem, however, was that I had a glider that was not possible to
land the conventional way because of the combination of stalling and absence
of handling. At that time the situation looked so bad, especially
as it continued to rain, that I decided that I had to prepare a possible
use of the reserve chute. But first I tried to fly up the valley away
from the rain, unzipped the harness, and made sure that I had the
deployment handle of the reserve easily available. I decided to throw the emergency at
300 meters above the ground if the glider did not dramatically improve
its flying characteristics. Luckily, I was 1200 meters above the LZ when
the problems occurred so I have plenty of time. After losing only 500
meters in 4 minutes the glider became more manageable, although it was
still difficult to handle. But by now I was out of the rain, and I
decided to follow the ridge up the valley hoping for some lift while
drying the glider enough to be able to land the normal way. This
succeeded, but as the rain past there was no more lift to find and I had
to head for the LZ. As I was not sure if the glider had totally
recovered, it still felt a little wobbly, I decided to land using the
wheels instead of trying to fleer the glider. Not a
gracious landing, but safe.
One bonus today was that the elbow felt
fine all the time in the air, but then it was light and relatively easy
conditions, except for the rain. Tonight as I write this, however, the
elbow is quite sore and stings but not much. Hopefully I will be ready
for some more serious flying in a week or so.
Today I was also flying with winglets
for the first time in a long time. The small Fusion (141) has, as far as
I can tell, a tendency to yaw a little. This is especially annoying
during landing, but has no real implications elsewhere (maybe except on
tow). With winglets
the wing felt a little more stable, but it also took a little more
effort to turn the glider as it felt more "stiff". I have not
decided whether to continuo flying with winglets or not.
12th - Thursday: Update and weekend plans
my elbow has grounded me it has not been much to tell lately, hence the
lack of news.
Wednesday I got the result of the MR examination of the elbow. Luckily,
no injuries to the joint itself was found, but an area on the outside of
the elbow had some retention of liquids related to the ligaments from
triceps and the wrist extensors, thus indicating an inflammation. The
remedy, exercise and time.
Nevertheless, as I am better I will try to fly this weekend and possibly
also Monday to Wednesday, but this latter will depend on the
6th - Friday: No flying for me this weekend
forecast for this weekend is fairly good, but I will most likely not
fly. Instead, I will try to give my elbow some rest hoping that it will
be ready for flying next week.
I had a MR examination of the elbow on Wednesday, but I will not get the
results before next Wednesday. I hope the MR shows no joint injuries. In
that case my problems are almost certainly caused by a "tennis
elbow", which is easy to fix - it just takes some rest and
4th - Wednesday: Misc. including a update on the Moyes brackets
Moyes a-frame brackets (see story from May 28th): According to Øyvind
Ellefsen, national team member and Moyes pilot, the reason for Moyes
inactivity is that they are waiting for the cracked brackets. Until they
have examined these brackets themselves they will not issue a technical
2) Crash: One of my most frequent flying companions (no name mentioned)
had a bad launch yesterday at Frya. The pilot is OK, but his Litesport
needs one new upright and one new half of the crossbar. It is really not
fair as he is a good starter, but sometimes things just go wrong.
3) More from my bad weekend: Sunday I flew together with my old glider,
an Avian Amour. It was nice to see the glider in the air again, but
rather humiliating to be out-flown by it. Audun Jensvoll, who bought my
old Amour, flew better than me today, and even managed to get nice
second flight while I was too late back up to the launch for a second
time. Humm, maybe I should consider another leisure activity?
3rd - Tuesday: Bad weekend for me
turned out to be a horrible flying weekend for me; that lots of other
pilots got good flights did not make things better. My tennis-elbow is
partly to blame as it is painful to fly, further the motivation and
concentration are not on top in such a situation. Below is a short
summary of the weekend:
Thursday 29th: Drove to Vågå.
Friday 30th: First day of "Milslukern" xc-comp. We spent most
of the day at Heggelihaugen in crosswind. I did not start, and instead
Steinar, Bjørn J. and I drove to Brandstadkampen for a late evening
flight. Here we all go prolonged sledge rides in calm and nice
conditions; I started at 2200 in the evening. But already here my elbow
gave the first indications of that it was probably not a good idea to
fly at all.
Saturday 31st: NW strong wind and the comp task was set to Bøverdalen,
but conditions did not look too promising for a xc-flight, at least not
for an amateur like me, so I decided to take the day off from flying as
Sunday look quite promising. Instead I walk for 2 hours in the mountains
Sunday 1st (June): High pressure conditions with distinct short cycles
and small and difficult thermals. Several pilots managed to take
advantage of the conditions, I did not and got short 17 minutes flight.
Same story for Steinar, and we went up again for an evening flight, but
missed the launchable conditions with 5 (!) minutes. In addition, my
elbow was very painful after the first flight - this was not a good day
Monday 2nd: Same story as yesterday. But today I did not even think of
flying a second flight as I had to drive to Oslo (4 hours) in the
evening. The elbow was surprisingly fine after the flight, but it took
revenge in the evening. I was eating pain-killer all night, and did not
fall asleep before the morning. As a perfect end of the weekend the AC
in my car broke down as I started droving home - needless to say is was
off course a hot day.
Well, new possibilities next weekend.
28th - Wednesday: Cracks in Moyes a-frame
have been at least two separate incidents of Moyes a-frame brackets with
cracks in Norway lately, but Moyes has been unwilling to issue a safety
warning concerning the issue. Furthermore, they appear to have tried to
cloud these cases by asking the Norwegian dealer not to issue even a
national safety/technical bulletin.
The brackets in question are for the
standard Moyes a-frame, and is as far as I know used on a number of
Moyes models. According to Moyes the cracked brackets were from one
batch (source, the Norwegian dealer), but the two gliders in Norway with cracked brackets are a
Litespeed from 2000 and a Litesport from 2002. This indicate that
Moyes either should review their logistics, or that more batches could
have the same problem (but this is off course just speculations from my
side). Moyes also have questioned weather the cracks are deep enough to
be a safety problem. But to the best of my knowledge they have not done much
of an effort to find out if the cracks are deep and potentially
dangerous or not - at least the pilots in question has not heard
Norwegian dealer, however, advised the second pilot who discovered the
cracks not to fly the glider before changing the cracked bracket. It is
my understanding that the Norwegian dealer also has offered free new
brackets to the two pilots in question. He has also notified a
number of Moyes pilots on a one-to-one basis (word of mouth).
According to the Norwegian dealer also other hang glider manufactures
are or have used the same type of brackets (Airwave?). If this is so, this just
underlines the need for getting this information out to other pilots.
is possible that the cracked brackets are perfectly safe, and that the
cracks are only a cosmetic problem and not a real safety issue. Further,
I have never heard of such brackets actually cracking in two. What I am
questioning in this case, however,
is how Moyes has handled, or not
handled, this issue. I definitely think that two such cases should have
lead to safety/technical bulletin from the manufacturer, and a thorough
investigation of the problem. Instead, the two pilots with the cracked
brackets have had the impression that Moyes has tried to conceal the
issue. Weather this is an intentional strategy from Moyes or if they
just have a poor communication strategy I do not know, but maybe this
little note will make things clearer? It is anyway strange, as
Moyes in the past has published a number technical alerts, as the
current one on the Zoom frame.
is my motive for publishing this (if anyone cares)? I am the
safety officer in my hang glider club,
and I feel that this is information that the pilots in my club should be
aware of. Therefore, I have also posted a short version of this story at
our clubs home page. Further, if you wonder if I have commercial
interests in other manufacture I can assure you that this is not the
case. I am not a dealer, and no other hang glider manufacturer is stupid
enough, unfortunately, to sponsor me (I am not exactly one of the top
Moyes bracket roughly resembles this WW bracket - I did not find an
online assembly diagram on the Moyes home page, therefore the substitute
picture. I had a picture of one of the cracked brackets, but lost it. I
hope to publish this later.
27th - Tuesday: Milsluker XC-competition
The weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, it the "Milslukern" xc-competition
in Vågå. This is a competition where the only goal is to cover as many
km as possible during the competition - the one with the most km win.
Only restriction is that the launch site is determined and everyone
attending must start from here. I originally planned to go to Vågå
Tuesday evening, but cancelled this plan as the weather forecast for
Wednesday and Thursday did not look to promising. Instead I will drive
up Thursday and fly from Friday and onwards to Tuesday next week.
23rd - Friday: Desperate flying attempt
pilots seems to be irrational decision makers - at least I am. Following
from the consistent bad weather lately and my elbow problems, I definitely
made the wrong decision on Wednesday. First of all, my elbow felt
better, and then Thursday looked as the only promising day this week.
The result was that Trond Olsen and I drove to Frya (2 1/2 hours drive)
Wednesday evening hoping for a nice long xc-flight the following day.
But, to make a short story even shorter, the day turned out not to be
good with overcast and rain showers around Brandstadkampen. Still, this
was nevertheless of no importance to me as I had overestimated the
elbow's recovery and was unable to fly. All in all another totally
wasted day for me. Trond Olsen got a 40 minutes flight 10 km or so down
19th - Monday: Some good flight this weekend, more elbow, and some
17th provided a few good flights, and it was really hard to be home
unable to fly. The longest flight was Alf
Oppøyen's one from Frya to Åndalsnes a distance of 166 km. This is
also the longest flight in Norway this year. Also Audun
"El Loco" Etnestad had a long flight from Frya with 101 km
to Bjorli. As far as I know this is a personal best improvement of 65 km
for El Loco.
I went to see a specialist for my elbow. As the pain is reduced he
thought it was difficult to give an exact diagnosis, but most likely it
is a "tennis elbow" (or in this case a hang glider elbow). In
addition I am going to take a MR x-ray of the elbow to eliminate
possible injuries in the joint itself. This was actually quite good news
as exercise and training can eliminate this problem. If it is the elbow
joint, I am in bigger trouble. I hope to fly again next weekend.
have it that Johnny R., student from this years course, had a bad
landing at Flatagrov Saturday. Apparently it is one less Clubman upright
in the world and one bruised face and nose. Well, most of us (at least
I) have been there and done that.
16th - Friday: More about my elbow
went to see a physician (GP) yesterday hoping that he could help me find
out what caused my elbow problems. He asked a few questions, pulled a
few times in my left arm, and concluded that my elbow was quite painful
(I had already figured that out myself so I was not all that chocked
about that conclusion). He then wrote a prescription for a ton of
anti-inflammatory pills and painkillers, and gave me a requisition to a
specialist in sports medicine at NIMI (Norwegian institute for sports
medicine). Here I have an appointment on Monday. I just can't wait
hearing them too concluding that my elbow hurts, and charging NOK 600,-
for doing this.
12th - Monday: Weekend in Hallingdal
weather forecast indicated a 50/50 chance for good flying, and on
Steinar and my initiative a few pilots decided to give Hallingdal a try
this weekend. Steinar and I drove up from Oslo at 1430 hoping for
evening soaring from the Nesbyen launch. When we arrived at Nesbyen,
thermals and wind made conditions at the launch very strong. In
addition, it was crosswind most of the time. I tried to launch, but gave
up after struggling for 10 minutes or so. Then Steinar had a try and
managed to launch, and I followed him soon after. The flying was
unusually calm and pleasant with a combination of ridge soaring and nice evening
thermals. We launched just before 2000, and landed about 2130. After we
landed Atle Zeiner and Kenneth Karlsen came to the LZ on their way to
Pg-Berget, which we had booked for this weekend. Jostein Vorkinn drove
directly to pg-berget and was enjoying a beer as the rest of us arrived
Saturday was very windy and in addition we probably chose the wrong
launch and at the wrong time. First we tried Flategrov, but here it
was both strong wind and crosswind. We then drove to Nesbyen, joined by
Tor-Inge how had driven up from Oslo in the morning. Still, at Nesbyen it
was 55 km/h wind at the launch in the strongest cycles, and after some
waiting we decided to go back to pg-berget to see if conditions calmed
down in the evening. As the conditions did calm down we drove back to
Nesbyen and set up our gliders. It was still strong conditions and
periods of crosswind, but it was launchable when we arrived. Steinar
started first at about 2100, but apparently launched into a weak cycle
as he had a dive after launching, followed by high-speed yawing as he
pulled in hard to gain safe flying speed. Then Atle launched into a weak
crosswind thermal and scared the shit out of the rest us by doing
advanced involuntary aerobatics just over the trees surrounding the
launch. The flying itself was as pleasant as yesterday, but the launch
discouraged the rest of us and we derigged our gliders and hoped for
better conditions tomorrow. I really wanted to fly but this was actually
not a bad solution for me as I was having problems with an inflamed
elbow, just as last weekend. Instead, I hoped that one day of rest would
make me and the elbow even more ready for some real soaring the next
Sunday proved to be an disastrous day for me. We once again went to
Flatagrov and here conditions looked really good. Still, as I lifted my
glider down from the car roof I knew that flying today would be out of
the question as my elbow was extremely painful. I had take anti-inflammatory
medication from Friday evening, but it did not help much and it made
me nauseous. Today I even tried more anti-inflammatory pills and pain
killers, but only became more nauseous, so I gave up flying today. The
others all launched, but only Atle and Jostein, both started early, got
a longer flight, and they both landed past Gol flying 13 km. Also
Tor-Inge got a nice flight, but Steinar and Kenneth both had to head for
the LZ after soaring for a short while after launching. Alf, who drove
up from Oslo this morning and started last only got a prolonged sledge
ride down. So, all in all I may not have missed a very good day. But I
am very worried about my elbow. If this problem keeps on, it will not be
much flying this summer.
Tonight I was not able to sleep because of the elbow. Think I must see a
doctor today and see if something can be done. It would be a disaster if
I can only fly once a week this summer because of the elbow.
5th - Monday: Correction - car key rescue - Aeros Viper review
seems like Johannes Moger, who injured his elbow Friday (see below for
more info.), flies with a standard Moyes a-frame and not a zoom
I managed to drive off from Frya without retrieving my second set of car
keys which I use to hide in the secret place inside the back
bumper/spoiler. Naturally the key fell out, but I did not realise this
before I was home again. Luck for me "the Olsen brothers"
drove up to the launch on Sunday to fly, and after I phoned them and
told about the missing key they initiated a search and rescue operation.
After some searching they found the key. Thanks for the help!
am becoming more and more comfortable with Viper harness. It has been
comfortable all the time, but it has taken me a few flights to sort out
some details. First of all, the harness has improved my landings as it
is easy (after practicing a little) getting in a very upright position
before flaring the glider - in my old harness I never got so upright. It
also took some time to get used to zipping and unzipping the harness,
mainly related to getting used to the position of the zip/un-zip lines.
The biggest surprise was that it was not possible to open the zipper
just by pushing it open using my knees, you actually need to pull the
zipper all the way down using the zipper lines. I also had to refit my
parachute in the harness' container a couple of times before is felt
comfortable, and it was possible to zip the harness fully. The
"butt-lever" pitch adjustment mechanism feel natural and easy
to operate from the first flight. The replaceable outer skin and the
velcro attached zipper are ingenious features. So what about negative
features? Due to the large and long back plate and the rigid materials
used the Viper is more difficult to launch, and ground handling hooked
in is a small nightmare. Still, this is a natural trade-off for having a
streamlined and comfortable comp harness. The only thing I consider a
weakness and would have changed on this harness is a locking mechanism
on the pockets on the side of the harness - the ones you reach from the
outside. These pockets are open in the sense that the set of pockets are
only locked by the zipper on the outer skin. This makes it possible for
things stored in these pockets to start wandering around between the
main harness and the outer skin. Currently, I have one sports bar and
one tube of energy gel lost somewhere between the out skin and the main
harness. Still, this is only a minor detail. When it comes to
streamlining and drag, I have no idea of how the Viper performs relative
to the other comp harnesses. The Viper looks wider than for instance the
Skyline Zero Drag harness and the new Moyes harness. Further, the
butt-lever mechanism makes it a little bit higher. Also the end section
of these two competitor harnesses looks more narrow. But I have, as
mentioned, no idea of how this influence the drag. An additional
advantage related to this is that the Viper seems to have much more
storage rooms than the other comp harnesses, and looking at the padding,
or lack of padding, in the other harnesses, the Viper at least looks
4th - Sunday: Frya Cup and much more
is a short summary of last days events. First of all, I chose to go to
Frya Cup and fly instead of a free 4-day vacation in Copenhagen this
weekend. Needless to say, I hoped for very good flying as a compensation
for not choosing the free vacation. But to start with the conclusion -
my expectations were not meet.
Thursday 1st: First day of the comp, but as it was overcast the
comp was cancelled today. Still, most drove up to the Frya launch for
short flight. I chose to fly with the club's Aeros Target floater since
it was "safe" sledge ride conditions. I was a bit slow to
start and had to wait through a long rain shower before starting. Flew
down in light rain. The Target is fun to fly, and has amazingly good
Friday 2nd: This turned out to be the best day, and the only comp
day. The wind was NW and we chose to start at Brandstadkampen. The
day did not look too promising, but after a while conditions improved.
The comp task was set to Lillehammer, 41 km to the south. I did not
participate in the comp, but had planned to try to fly the task. First
out of the comp pilots was Robin, but he did not get up and had to land
a the main LZ. He managed to get up to the start again and launch once
more before the start window closed. Of the 10 comp pilots 8 reached
goal and Øyvind won with an average speed of almost 60 km/h.
- Erik Vermaas chose to fly on after reaching goal, and set a personal
best of 105,7 km landing south of Hamar.
- Johannes Moger had a bad landing at Lillehammer and injured his elbow.
He had a hard landing and held on to the uprights as he was tossed
through the a-frame. He has a Moyes zoom a-frame with a very sharp edge
on the back of the uprights, and this edge probably made the injury
worse than if he had standard Moyes uprights. I have never thought about
the risk of having such narrow and sharp uprights, but it seems like
this risk should be considered as part of the decision to buy these
streamlined a-frames or a standard a-frame.
- Trond Olsen had his xc debut on his new WW Talon, and flew 113 km from
- So finally, how did I do? I did not get up and had to land after only
13 minutes. This was definitely this years worst flight for me - I was
really disappointed. I had to have started in a weak period, because I
found almost no lift, and in addition I did not fly very well. It was
some comfort that I was not the only one having a bad day, but not much.
In the evening I had to drink two huge glasses of wine and three beers
to overcome the disappointment. In addition, I developed an inflammation
in my left elbow during my short flight. This is a problem I have had
repetitively the last years. Sometime I develop an inflammation in this
elbow even after light exercise or clam and easy flights. This could
become a major problem over time.
Saturday 3rd: Gray and overcast day. No competition task was
called today, and instead we had a spot-landing competition. As we
rigged our gliders we could see rain and snow slowly creeping up on us
from the south, but we all launched before it reached us and got sledge
rides down. The spot-landing comp was won by Robin and Trond Olsen. I
landed 20 metres short. My elbow was even worse today, and I do not
think I would have been able to fly for long today even if conditions
had been good.
Due to bad weather forecast for Sunday and the inflamed elbow I chose to
drive home Saturday evening. All in all, quite a disappointing weekend
what was positive with this weekend? 1) Nice to meet lots of pilots. 2)
I only used about 1 % of the batteries in my GPS. 3) I did not break
anything. 4) More flying would have made my elbow even worse.
crash: I found out from Øyvind that Johnny Nilsen and Robin had been
involved in a car crash on their way home from Frya. Luckily, Robin was
not injured, and Johnny only got some minor injuries. No reports on how
their gliders made it through the crash. Pics. from Robin HERE.
30th - Wednesday: WW news, off to Frya for four days
flying last weekend due to rain and bad weather, but a few pilots got
good flights from Solbergåsen on Friday. Among them were Trond Olson on
his brand new WW Talon 150, and Anders Rolseth on Trond's old WW Fusion
150. Both had their first flights on their new gliders, and both were
pleased (no a surprise really - we are talking about Wills Wing).
this evening I will drove up to Frya for four days of Frya Cup (Thursday
to Sunday). The weather forecast indicate 50/50 chance of good
23rd - Wednesday: Easter report # 2 - A few good flights
second half of the Easter provided better conditions than the first half
I was rewarded with a few good
flights. Below is a summery of the highlights.
Friday 18th: Went to Solbergåsen near Drammen together with
Kenneth, Jan Henning, Johannes, Atle Z., and Werner from Lier HGK.
Conditions looked promising and we all got quite good flights. All,
except Johannes and Jan Henning, got about 40 minutes of soaring, but we
did not get any higher than about 600 metres asl. As I flew away from the ridge
we launch and soar on, I had only 180 metres above the LZ. This proved to be
quite low as the LZ is across a large river and quite a distance away. I
reached the LZ without problems, but could not have been much lower. Jan
Henning managed to soar for 1 1/2 hours, while Johannes flew for more
than 3 hours and flew away for a xc flight. Impressive in
Saturday 19th: Truls Schøyen and I drove back up to Vågå in
the afternoon. We were hoping for an evening flight, but it was
tailwind and impossible to fly. Late that evening/night Geir and Johnny
from this year's hg-course also drove up to join us.
Sunday 20th: Finally conditions both looked great and also turned
out to be great. After sending out the two hg-students I launched into
good conditions. After struggling a while I got up to about 1600 mas
before catching a thermal over Gråhø that took me from 1400 metres asl to
2060 metres asl in steady 4 m/s lift. Still, this was as high as I got today.
After reaching the top of the thermal I flew to Blåhø and waited for a new strong thermal.
Together with Truls and pg-Mads I soared at Blåhø for 20 minutes
waiting for a thermal that could provide safe altitude to cross
Gudbrandsdalen - the thermal never came. I then decided to try a head wind xc-flight towards
Lalm and then Otta. I got to Lalm still high, but never found
and had to land here. Not a long xc-flight, but challenging for a xc-novice
like me and I learned a lot. Johnny picked me up and drove me back to
Vågå. At about 1800 we, Truls, Johnny, Geir, and I drove back up to
the launch for an evening flight. Again conditions were perfect and we
all got nice soaring flight. It lifted everywhere up to 1400 metres asl.
For the two hg-students this was their
first experience with soaring and they got two soaring flights at the
same day. They both seemed very pleased - and even more exhausted.
Monday 21st: In the morning, conditions looked the same as the day
before and I had high hopes for a new xc-flight. It proved to be
very strong and violent thermals, but they never took me higher than
1200 metres asl. After 40 minutes of "rock'n'roll" I decided
that I have had enough, and landed. Still, it was nice run-through in
strong and uncomfortable conditions. Now I am ready for more xc-flights
later this spring and summer.
22nd - Tuesday: Misc.
is a short summary of my Easter flying: 7 flights, 7 hours and 35
minutes of air time, 2 different sites, and 1 short xc flight. All in
all a nice Easter holiday. I hope to publish "Easter report #
2" tomorrow with a few more details. In the mean time take a look
at my flights by following the link "My log book" (link to
the left - in Norwegian).
Here is a special greeting to Stephanie, who kindly wrote a message and
left a few links your web pages in my guest book (also called spam). You seemed to be a very nice girl,
but you did not have much cloths on. Actually, on most pictures you were
almost totally naked. But as this is a hang gliding page I felt that it
was necessary to delete your message.
18th - Friday: Easter report # 1 - Lots of driving, few flights
is a brief report from the last week.
Sunday 13th: Drove to Vinstra last Saturday evening and stayed the night
at Bøygen Camping together with Tor-Inge (hg-student from this years
course) and Morten Holo. We were planning to fly from Frya the following
day, but on our way up we got the message that the Frya launch was
closed all Easter.
Monday 14th: This day was a total failure. First we drove to Vågå,
but then desided to try Heidalen and launch at Espesetra. But as
the road was full of ice we where unable to reach the launch, and
conditions were perfect (naturally). Then we drove back to Vågå and
the launch at Vole, but was too late and we were not able to
Tuesday 15th: This day almost turned out to be a disaster. My first
flight was a 30 minutes flight in weak conditions. Soon after I landed
every pilot launching soared high over the launch. After a desperate
hour I finally got lift up, rigged as fast as possible, launched and
soared - nice. Conditions were safe and predictable, but it was
impossible to got more than 1600 mas, and with quite strong Eastern
winds it was impossible take off for xc-flying. Still, it was a nice 2
hours 15 minutes flight. Tor-Inge got his first soaring flight today. He
started with a sledge ridge, but his second flight was almost 2
Wednesday 16th: A long day at Vole in cross- and tailwind. A similar
forecast made us decide to drive home.
Tuesday 17th: About 12 pilots chose to try Norefjell today. To make a
long story of lots of waiting short - crosswind and deep rotten snow
made it almost impossible to launch. Still, two pilots chose to launch,
both hg-dealers. Finn Spjeldnes launched and almost crashed on a new
Moyes Litesport 4. Alf Oppøyen launched on a WW Falcon 2 tandem and got
lots of help from a low wing load. Both got high grades for technical
skills (they saved their launches), but very poor grades for performance
(both were just cm from crashing). In Vågå they got quite a lot of
good flights, and it was definitely a mistake to go home. Right now I
hate hang gliding.
11th - Friday: Easter holiday and (hopefully) lots of flying
clock is about 1800 and I am ready for Easter holiday. Last Easter was spent
in Laragne, but this year I will have home here in Bærum-Norway as base, while
driving to the sites in Southern Norway that seem most promising for xc-flying. When
the weather is not suited for flying I will work instead. So, I hope the
weather demons will stay away this Easter and grant us a few good days
10th - Thursday: Viper sew job - Off topic Kroma
got my Aeros Viper harness back from Ronny
Helgesen yesterday. Ronny refitted the harness for me because it was
too wide. He had done a great sew job and the harness fitted me perfect.
Seems like it is a good tip to order the harness extremely tight around
the chest, if not it tend to be too wide. I have also hear of a couple
of others that have received Viper harnesses that are too wide around
the chest. Still, as described below, it is not a big job to have it
refitted due to the design of the harness.
a web video production
firm in which I am a member of the board, won the "Gulltaggen"
award for best Internet advert yesterday. We were up against all the
leading marketing and PR bureaus in Norway, so we are very pleased. Read
more about Kroma HERE (in Norwegian),
and see the advert HERE
(scroll down a bit and look for the advert for Bokkilden.no).
4th & 6th - Weekend: Sunny but windy
of sun this weekend and perfect wind direction for Sundvollen. Too bad
it was so much wind. When I phone the weather station at Sundvollen
Friday it reported peeks of 26 m/s, and steady + 15 m/s. Also Saturday
was too stormy, but Sunday was a little bit better. Still, I chose to
say home. Next weekend my Easter holliday starts, and I have planned 2
weeks of flying.
2nd - Wednesday: Steinar Johnsen strikes back - Harness sew job - New Icaro helmet
main flying companion and rival Steinar has been and will be busy with
his band Arcturus this year. The band released an album January 2002 and
they are going to hold a series of concerts this year.
Consequently, he will be busy parts of main flying season, something I
have hoped to exploit to my advantage in our fierce flying competition -
competitive categories include airtime, # of flights, xc, and basically
everything it is possible to compete about. Due to Steinar's band
activities I expected an easy victory this year, but Steinar has
initiated some counter actions. First of all he is flying
when I am at work, then he is going to Bassano Italy during
handed in my new Aeros Viper to Sky
Design in Oslo today for some adjustments. The harness proved to be
too wide around my upper chest, and consequently it was
"sagging" a bit behind my neck making drag. Hopefully it will
be just perfect after the adjustments. The harness is quite easy to
modify as both the replaceable outer skin and zippers are attach with
velcro. I especially like that the zipper is attached with velcro as
this makes it easy to replace - you can do it yourself in 5 minutes
compared with the 2 hours and X $, £, € or Kroner it takes to replace
the zippers that at sewed on.
new full face protective faired helmet from Icaro 2000 is launched. Take
a look here for info and
1st - Tuesday: New hg-mobile
sold my highly appreciated Ford Mondeo today, and bought an almost new
Ford Galaxy to replace it. Exciting with a new car, but sad to say
goodbye to my reliable and faithful Mondeo. Still, the Galaxy will be an
especially convenient hg-mobile as it only has two seats and the rest of
the car is just for storage (no. varebil). Actually the storage is about
200 cm long so it is possible to sleep in the back of the car. Further,
it is off course lots of room for tons of hg-equipment.
31st - Monday: Marginal thermals
forecast for today was quite promising. But today it was no wind
(someone had spent it all yesterday), and although is was sunny thermals
were really weak and marginal. Anyway, the day started with Steinar and
Terje driving to Sundvollen at about 1000. I and Øyvind also had
decided to fly but wanted to wait until later hoping for better
conditions. At about 1130 Steinar and Terje reported that it was
crosswind at Sundvollen and that they drove to Norefjell. Øyvind and I
arraived at Sundvollen at about 1315 - Steinar reported from Norefjell
that they were ready to launch. Øyvind and I arrived at the Sundvollen
launch 1345. Conditions were not very good, but it was possible
to launch, and the weak thermals gave us faint hopes of soaring. 1430
Steinar and Terje reported that it was crosswind and impossible to
launch at Norefjell, and they were derigging. At Sunvollen Øyvind
launched first and struggled for about 10 minutes before getting up.
Then I launched and struggled for 5-6 minutes before I had to give it
up and head for the LZ. My excuse is that Øyvind is at the national
team. Øyvind reached 950 meters asl, and soared for 45 minutes. Steinar
and Terje came by on their way back from Norefjell, they were not as
pleased as us with the day. So, all in all, a quite successful day with
good training flying in marginal conditions. And, Steinar, I have warned
you about Terje haven't I.
This is probably the last week it is possible to land on the ice on lake
Steinsfjorden. The top of the ice is really rotten, and as we walked
ashore we were wading in a 10 cm mixture of ice and water. The ice
beneath appears to be both thick and solid, but to be on the safe side I
would not recommend landing here for more than one or two days
30th - Sunday: Too much wind
looked really good, and I was hoping for a repetition of last Sunday. As
I drove to Sundvollen I fantasized about cruising around for 3 hours
dangerously close to the altitude limit at 1300 meters asl. As I arrived at
1130 the wind had just increased and before I even had the chance
start rigging my glider most of the others had their
hands full trying to derigg in 15-17 m/s. After that a few drove home,
while the most stubborn ones, me included, had a coffee at nearby
Kleivstua while we waited for conditions to calm down. Then most of the
others also drove home, while a few decided to wait for a hour more.
Soon conditions became weaker, and I rigged. But by the time I was ready
to launch the wind had increased once again. I had two attempts to
launch, but conditions just were too strong. I owe a huge thanks to Jan,
Harald, and one more from Lier HGK who patiently waited and assisted me
during my two attempts (and Steinar who "instructed" me to give it
27th - Thursday: New Bautek tandem - discussion forum
Johansen, Norwegian Bautek dealer, reports that Bautek
is about to launch a new tandem glider. This glider was made in
co-operation with DHV with the aim of
developing a tandem glider especially suitable for aero towing. This
co-operation between Bautek and DHV is initiated by DHV's desire to
increase recruitment to hang gliding. This initiative is relying on
tandem instruction using aero towing, and they apparently felt the need
for a German tandem glider suited for aero towing. The glider is
currently undergoing DHV testing, but I do not know then it is to be
have added a link to Davis Straub's new discussion forum (see link to
the left). Not much activity yet, but hopefully traffic will
23th - Sunday: Bombing - Magic day at Sundvollen
I had to work one day this weekend (well, I should really have worked
the entire weekend), I decided to give Sunday a try. In hindsight this
proved to be a good choice as Saturday only provided sledge rides.
Kenneth "bomber" Karlsen who got a sledge ride from Åse
seemed to be inspired by the bombing in Iraq, and joined the party by
dropping his mobile phone from the air - no wild life is reported
injured. It seems like Kenneth has developed a bad habit of dropping
things while flying. A couple of years ago he also dropped a camera
while flying in Laragne, France. We all wait in excitement for his next
As Sundvollen is heading NW I decided to wait a while before driving the
25 minutes to this sites (the sun does not shine on this ridge before
late afternoon). But when I phoned Alf and got reports of good
conditions, I just could not hold it back, and 1207 pm I was at the LZ,
picking up Terje Birdman Brønstad how had had a sledge ride down. When
arriving at the launch conditions were good, and while I rigged
conditions improved further. As I got ready to launch Egil Toft, Stig
Kilvik, Trond Olsen, and Terje Birdman launched. Egil, Stig, and Trond
got up, but Terje busted. Conditions then became weaker and the rest of
us decided to wait. But after an 1 1/2 hours conditions improved once
again, and I and a few others, including Terje Birdman (for the 3rd
time), launched and got up without problems. Later also Alf joined us on
an old LaMouette Profil 17 that he is going to sell to one of our
hg-students. The soaring was incredibly smooth and easy, and it just
became better and better. The last hour I was all alone on the ridge. I
just can not understand why the others landed. Still, after more than 3
hours the car park started to empty and I decided to fly down hoping for
lift back up to the launch where my car was parked. Luckily, Tor-Inge
waited for me and drove me back up to my car - thanks. While I derigged
the glider Frode Halse came back from dinner at nearby Vik in case I
need a lift, thanks for having me in mind. To conclude - a magic and
perfect day at Sundvollen, probably the best I have had from this
book entry with track log.
19th - Wednesday: Stig Kilvik upgrading his equipment
seems like Stig
Kilvik, two times National HG Champion in the late 80ies and winner
of the "2002 longest
xc-flight by a pilot in Oslo og Omegn HGK", is better prepared
than ever for the upcoming 2003 season. He has purchased a new glider (Seedwings
Viagro 14 Race!), GPS, new vario, and a streamlined instrument pod. This
is not good news for anyone eager to capture the 2003 trophy for longest
18th - Tuesday: Accident pics from my crash in January
pics. are viewed at your own risk, and should not be viewed by anyone
under 18 years of age.
happens if you crash during (a high speed) landing? You knock the keel
flat with your helmet, and rip the
bottom bar in two. You smash your face in the ground,
break your nose, and ends up looking
pretty ugly - (some commented that it
actually was an improvement, others claimed they could not tell the
difference from before). Click at the underlined words for pics.
Pic size between 180 and 590 kb.
15th and 16th - Saturday and Sunday: Winch launching at Lake Mjøsa
Hangglider Klubb had their annual "winch
launch get-together" at Samuelsstuen at Lake Mjøsa this weekend.
As Øyvind Ellefsen volunteered
course duty, and chances of soaring at Sundvollen seemed minimal, I used
to opportunity to join Hedemarken's get-together. Saturday, however,
turned out be be one of those days nothing feels or turn out right.
First of all, it has been almost one year since I winch launched last,
so I was quite rusty. Still, even the flying itself seemed awkward, it was
as if I was flying a new and unfamiliar glider. I got four flights, but
only one felt fairly good. Today's low was double release at about 100
metres (we use a two-step releases at static winch launching), and instead of
flying straight forward and securing a good landing I tried to fly back
to the launch site ending up with a low turn and one wing tip in the ice
- it did not look too elegant. Sunday everything felt better, and I got
three nice flights. All in all a nice weekend. Thanks to Hedemarken HGK
for a great get-together.
I flew Fussie (Fusion 141) both without winglets and Delta Dragger this
weekend. I have done this often before, but previously I have always
used winglets and/or DD when towing or winch launching. Fussie
definitely become more unstable and nervous without stabilizers during
winch launching (not a surprise - that why they are called
12th - Wednesday: Soaring at Sundvollen
a good day at Sundvollen. So far this year I have only had one soaring
flight from this site, but today Sundvollen showed itself from it's (almost) best side. The forecast promised quite a lot of wind, but
diminishing during the afternoon. The direction predicted was northern, which is not the
best as the ridge is facing NW. As Alf and I arrived at the start, Stig
Kilvik and Terje "Birdman" launched and were soaring above us
as we and Jan Henning rigged. Alf and I did not rush it as it was sunny
and the forecast predicted a change in wind direction against NW during
the day. Just before we launched the wind decreased a little, but it
was no problem getting up, but we had to soar over "Kongen" a
short ridge to the left of the start instead of taking advantage of the
4 km main ridge to the right of the start. I flew "safe" in
order to secure some airtime, and only had one serious attempt to soar
alone the long NW ridge, but I was slowed by headwind and weak thermals.
Still, both Stig and Terje flew quite a distance down this ridge, but
that was before Alf and I launched. After a while Stig, Terje, and Jan Henning
flew down and landed, but I was determined to get as much as possible
out of the day and stayed up in increasingly marginal conditions.
After a while also Alf flew down after a sweep up the NW ridge. In the
mean time two more hg-pilots had arrived and rigged frantically. The
first launched as I lost the last of my excess altitude (above launch),
and after unsuccessfully trying to catch a few weak thermal we both had
to head for the landing. Still, I flew for 1 hour and 48 minutes so the
day was a success nevertheless. After we had derigged our gliders the
wind picked up again, and I drove Frode Halse, pg-pilot, up to the
start. Then conditions were almost perfect, NW and about 4 m/s. As I
drove Frode's car down I saw him high above the launch, and when I drove
home at about 1815 after parking Frode's car at the landing, he was
hanging higher than any of us had done previous today. My best guess is
that only landed after it was getting to dark to fly. (Reading his log
book entry Thursday morning it is obvious that conditions were not
that great after all - up to 14 m/s wind higher up - quite a lot for a
pg, even an Advance Omega 5 [not
Omege 3 as I wrote yesterday - thanks for the correction Frode])
Today's most exiting moment was when a helicopter made a low
pass just in front of me over the ridge. The pilot must suddenly have
noticed me because he/she made a violent roll and turned just in front of
me. I became aware of the helicopter just before it turned. We were not
on a direct collision course, but we could have been quite close.
7th - Friday: Log It, Garmin 12, and bad weather forecast
Ellefsen has updated his equipment to a Bräuniger Galileo and is
selling his old Bräuniger IQ Comp GPS/Garmin 12 configuration, which
also included a Garmin 12 backup with datalogger. I
bought the datalogger and is now the owner of a Log
It datalogger (for a pic. take a look to the right under
accessories). Log It store about 33k trackpoints at a 2 second interval. This should mean that I can fly about 216
sledge rides from Sundvollen before having to download the tracklogs to
the PC - Log It stores about 18 hours of flying. A nice feature is that
Log It also is recording the altitude, something the
Garmin 12 series does not.
> Garmin 12: Davis
Straub claims that Garmin has decided to discontinue the production
of the 12 series. 12 CX (colour display) and 12 Map (the 12 version of
the Garmin III) have already been discontinued. Still, Garmin's
homepage has no notice on discontinuation of the 12 and 12 XL, but
it seems plausible as a number of new models have recently been
released (i.e. 72/76/76Map and Geko 101/201). I guess lots of
hg-pilots will have to update their instrument pods in the future - or
buy a Bräuniger Galileo.
> The weather forecast for the weekend is not promising. I fear I
will be working instead of flying.
4th - Tuesday: PG-video + dealer rumors
is a hardcore hg-site, but I could not resist this pg-video I found at
Oslo Paraglider Klubb's (OPK) homepage: Video HERE.
NB! Best viewed with sound.
If you are a paraglider pilot I can recommend OPK's
homepage (texts in Norwegian).
rumors: Seems like Alf Oppøyen, WW dealer, is taking his dealership
seriously. As a result, it seems like a number of old wings are changing
owners, one or two old wings are purchased by our current or former
hg-students, and that at least one new WW is on its way to Norway. It is
good to see that WW is on its way up again in Norway, we need more US
hardware in the air over Norway.
1-2 - Weekend: No-fly weekend for me
summary: Friday - party, Saturday - hangover, Sunday - lazy. Steinar and
Tor-Inge got a flight from Norefjell Saturday. I had planned to drive to
Follsjø and winch-launch, but the hangover effectively stopped that.
Nice with a weekend free from flying as the hg-course has taken a lot
time, focus, and effort lately.
27th - Thursday: Sundvollen
three floater flights I finally got a flight with Fussie (Fusion 141)
again. This flight was more of a test flight as I had to replace the
keel after my last flight. The glider worked perfectly, and so did the
VG as well after it jammed last time - it only took some silicon to
lubricate all the VG pulleys. An additional bonus today was this year's
first thermal pips from the vario.
I was the only hg-pilot at Sundvollen today, but was accompanied by
Fredrik J. and Zoran - pg-pilots. While I waited for better conditions,
it was light crosswind, I volunteered as driver for Fredrik and Zoran,
who got two flights each before conditions were good enough for
Also Øyvind Ellefsen, Knut Løndal and Terje Brønstad were out today,
but chose to go to Norefjell instead. This site is about 45 minutes
driving further North of Sundvollen, and I did not bother to drive these
extra minutes for what I expected to be a slightly longer sledge ride.
Lucky for me, it turned out not to be soaring at Norefjell.
Further, all three that started had problems with "rotten"
snow causing them to stumble as they launched.
26th - Wednesday: Theory exam for SP 2
Four of our hg-students had the SP 2 theory exam this evening. Two
passed the exam, and have consequently completed the course. Two others
must read a bit more on "selected topics".
25th - Tuesday: Bautek review
my series of hang glider manufacturer reviews I have come to Bautek of
“Our philosophy is to built perfect gliders for
97 % of the pilots, but not for 3 % competition pilots”. Harald
Zimmer, owner and CEO of Bautek GmbH. As a doctoral student in strategic management and business
administration, I would claim the this is one of the best missions
statements I have ever seen, furthermore, they actually manage to do
business accordingly. But enough business talk - below is an overview of
Bautek's glider models.
> Spice/Twister: The Germans have made a development of the Twister
called Spice. New features are new winglet design, new sail cut, new
a-frame corners, and more. For more information see the Bautek
homepage. The old Twister had aluminium crossbar and was therefore
quite heavy. As far as I know a carbon crossbar is not among the
updates on the new Spice – not even as an option.
Still, also the
Spice will be supplied with Bautek's unique SPS - a system for
preventing the glider to tuck. One disadvantage with the Twister (and
the Spice as far as I know) is that it is only available in one size
only - 155 sq. ft./14 sq. metres.
If the Spice is better than the Twister I fear that Knut Johansen, the
Norwegian dealer, will quit his job and just fly. At least he claims
that the Twister is the best hang glider in the world, and what now if
the Spice is even better?
a review of the Twister by Dennis Pagen - a Spice review is not yet
Sunrise: This is Bautek's conventional kingpost (and
crossbar) intermediate glider. I do not know much about this glider, and
as far as I know only a few of the earlier version, the Milan, has been
sold in Norway.
> Astir: This glider is the last in a long series of bowsprit gliders
- earlier versions are Fafnir, Saphir, Zephir, Zephir CX, and Pamir.
These gliders "trade mark" is the lack of a crossbar; instead
the glider is tensioned by the bowsprit. Every Astir/Pamir/etc. pilot I
have talked with have been very pleased with their bowsprit Bautek. This
glider can be flown by hg-students with only a few altitude flights, but
is also a perfect choice for recreational pilots.
you ask Knut Johansen (dealer for Aeros, Avian, Seedwing, La Mouette,
and Bautek) what glider you should buy he will most likely first suggest
a Bautek. This should indicate one of two - he either has a better
margins on Bautek or these gliders are actually really good. My best
guess is the latter. Knut argues that they are a pleasure to fly, and
are made according to the highest German standards - real
craftsmanship. > Dealer in Norway is
Knut Johanse - Johansen
Produkter, phone 32 73 68 81, mobile 906 32 191.
22nd - Saturday: 21 course flights
did not look too promising with fog and low clod base. Still, at
Sundvollen we had 0 to 1 m/s headwind, making it a perfect day for
training flights for our hg-students. They all got between 2 and 4
flights, a total of 21 flights, and they seemed pleased with that. The
day was effective thanks to lots of help from Alf and Steinar. Further
news from the day: Robert finally got his first altitude flight as well
as a second flight, while Geir got one Atlas flight and two on the
Funfex he will buy from the club.
Sunday: Cancelled - in hindsight a wise decision as most flying sites
near Oslo were covered by fog in addition to tailwind most places.
Still, all in all a good weekend - if only I had got a flight
15th and 16th- Saturday and Sunday: Lots of flying - Keel - Atlas flight -
of flights this weekend. All the flight cover more than 3 pages in the
replaced the broken keel Friday, and rigged "Fussie" Saturday
at Sundvollen to check one more time that everything was done correctly.
I did not, however, test fly it. Instead I test flew one of the course
Atlas' that Terje repaired after it was almost totaled in November. This
was my first flight on an Atlas in exactly 4 years. The glider was
surprisingly easy to launch, but was a nightmare to steer. Still,
although it has bad handling it is at least stable.
We had relatively OK weekend for the course. Saturday Johnny and
Tor-Inge got three flights each in 0-wind conditions, and Sunday Johnny,
Tor-Inge, Axel, and Jose got a few flight.
14th - Friday: WW U2 - Promising weather forecast - keel arrived
- here are a few more pics. of the new U2: Pic1,
pic2, pic3, pic4,
pic5. (NB! the pics. are relatively large
(300-1000 kb). If you want a new U2 I suggest that you contact Alf
Oppøyen (mobile: 908 21 134).
new Wills Wing intermediate/high performance kingpost glider is named
U2. It will come in two sizes 145 and 160. The U2 160 is due to be
released in a few days - in the US that is. The U2 is reported to be 3
kg lighter than the Litesport, but I do not know if differenses size is
taken into consideration. Further, it is without reflex bridles - the
Litesport has one. The glider will also come with a new a-frame called
Litestream as standard. This a-frame should have almost equally good
performance as the Slipstream a-frame. (Sources: Davis
Straub, Alf Oppøyen).
have been really busy with a doctoral course in Strategy this week. It
has been lots to read and I have been working from 0730 to 0100 every
day. Seems like next week will be equally busy. So no flying for a few
day, maybe except Saturday.
This weekend's weather forecast looks promising for the hg-course. Erik
Vermaas has instructor duty, and I hope to join him and the course
Saturday. My new keel from Wills Wing has arrived, and I hope
to replace the broken one Friday evening. So a test flight Saturday
would be perfect. In addition, Alf Oppøyen has threatened to use me as
a passenger (crash test dummy) on this first flight in his new WW Falcon
10th - Monday: Review of Moyes product line
flying this weekend due to rain, snow, and fog. I hate the Norwegian
the most successful producers of hang gliders has been, and is, Moyes of
Australia. So in my "series" of hang glider producer reviews, here are a few facts and news from down under.
It seems like Moyes continuo making new glider
models. They have just released one new model, and two more are
> Litespeed, Moyes’ ultimate racer has only undergone few minor
changes before the 2003 season. Small adjustments on the sail for
tighter trailing edge, and for easier rigging. The glider is also
supplied with a new type of tip wands (problems with broken or damaged
wands lately). Further, a new nose cone is developed. In, addition,
Moyes has added a colour picker at their homepage making it possible to
preview your preferred colour combination for your glider. Will Wing
have had the same system for a couple of years.
> Litesport: Moyes high performance kingpost glider. Will also be supplied with the tip wands. My flying
companion Steinar Johnsen is really pleased with his Litesport - the best you can buy for money he claims.
The Litesport has established itself as the reference in this class, but
other brands have or is about to launch similar gliders (Aeros Discus,
and rumors have it that Wills Wing is soon to release the successor of
> Litestep (new):
New addition to the Lite familiy. Released fall 2003 at the earliest. It
will be supplied with VG. This will be a beginner/intermediate glider.
Does this mean that the Sonic and Max will go out of production?
> Sonic: Beginner and intermediate glider, and the successor of the
XT. There are a few Sonics in Norway. I have not flown one, but reports
claim that it is a really comfortable glider with good handling.
> Max: The "old" intermediate glider from Enterprise Wings,
which was bought by Moyes some years ago. None sold in Norway, and I know nothing
about this glider.
> Malibu (new):
A glider made especially for coastal ridge soaring. I have no
information on when this glider is ready for market, but I guess it will
not a huge success in Norway as this country is not well suited for such
> Ventura: Moyes single sail floater.
> Moyes has also developed a new top end
harness, the Matrix in two versions: competition and xc. According to Øyvind
Ellefsen this harness is of the famous Moyes quality, with a good tilt
system, easy to land, and lots of storage possibilities. NB! Øyvind is
a a fanatic Moyes supporter, but I think he would have reported any
problems with the harness anyway :-)
> Thanks to Øyvind Ellefsen for information about
Moyes, most of the above have him as source.
Dealer in Norway is
Moyes Norge/Finn Spjelnæs phone 22 49 48 34,
mobile 982 82 590. Moyes Norge does not have a
After having read a draft of the text above, Øyvind Ellefsen e-mailed me and claimed not to be fanatic Moyes fan. He
stated (paraphrased): I'm
not a Moyes fanatic - Moyes just have the best hang gliders.
7th - Friday: Misc. + Avian hang gliders
has been snowing and unflyable the last week here around Oslo so it is
nothing much to report on.
you are interested in (or annoyed by) rechargeable batteries, Davis
Straub has had a discussion on different types of batteries on his homepage
- see issue 32-34.
am going to attend a doctoral course in strategy the next two weeks so I
hope for continuing bad weather as I will not have time to fly this
period. In this period this web-page will only be updated now and
> In my series of hg-manufacturer reviews I have come to Avian, the
last remaining UK manufacturer. Furthermore, Avian was my first love in
hang gliding as my first glider was an Amour 159.
I guess most pilots remember and favour the brand
of their first hang glider, at least of they were pleased with it. My
first glider was a Avian Amour, and therefore Avian has a special place
in my heart. Below are some information on the current hang glider
models by Avian.
> New Cheetah 150. This glider is totally new although it has the
same name as the 140 and 160 versions of the Cheetah. New features are
two sprogs on each side, new sprog design, new sail cut, and so on. Read
a review of the wing in XC-Magasine. It
will be interesting to see how this glider will perform in competitions.
Unfortunately I fear that most pilots will chose other brands of
competitions gliders, but I hope that the new
Cheetah will be given a change by some good competition pilots.
> Java Comp: Avian's first topless glider. According to the homepage
it is still produced. Still, why buy this glider if you can buy a new
Cheetah? Here a review from Skywings
> Java: An aging kingpost competition glider still available as far
as I know, but I do not know anything about this glider. It has been
given very good reviews, for instance in Skywings
> Amour: This model has also been on the market for quite a
few years. I flew an Amour from my third altitude flight and I had it
for two years. A perfect beginner glider which I liked a lot,
and I can recommend it for any new or recreational pilot. Further, the
wing's finish was outstanding, good old English craftsmanship.
Still, if you are flying the 159 size, a pilot weight of + 75 kg is
recommended for improved handling and speed.
Rio: I do not know anything about this glider, but Avian claims it is
the perfect beginner or recreational wing. If it is better than the
Amour, I can believe it. Read Skywing's review from 2000 here.
and rumors: None as far as I know.
> Other information: Although it is not explicitly stated it seems
like Avian's "trademark" is very light hang gliders. Most of
Avian's gliders are among the lightest in its class. Still, at least the
Amour seems perfectly solid so it this has not resulted in poorer glider
quality of any kind. Rather, the Avians I have seen all seem to
especially well engineered and assembled.
> Dealer in Norway is Johansen
Produkter, phone 32 73 68 81, mobile 906 32 191.
3rd - Monday: I HATE SNOW - HG-product info WillsWing
expected no hg-course this weekend due to heavy snow. I hate snow.
> Talon: According to Alf Oppøyen (Norwegian
dealer) it has been only minor changes to the 2003 version of Talon. The
2002 version of the Talon seems to have matched the performance of any
other brand of high performance glider. It is so far no Talon in
Norway, but one 150 size may be on its way.
> Fusion: Out of production, but as it is my current glider I will
say a few words about it. The 141 was given DHV 3 certification, while
the 150 was given DHV 2-3. I fly the 141 and I weigh about 80 kg. This
gives good handling, but does not make me the best climber – most
gliders and pilots outclimb me in thermals. This, and the glider low top
speed, is the main drawbacks with the Fusion. Still, for the xc (none
competition) pilot the Fusion more than good enough, and it is extremely
> UltraSport: This is WW’s kingpost intermediate to advanced
glider. The ones that fly it in Norway are very pleased with it. It seem
like the UltraSport is about to be replaced - see news and rumors
> Eagle: None sold in Norway and I do not know anything about it.
> Falcon 2/Tandem: WW’s training and fun glider, and it has
external crossbar (floater type). The #2 version was released a few
months ago, and this version is an almost new glider compared with the
old Falcon. It is also available as in a tandem version. The tandem can
take higher wing loading (heavier payload) than any other tandem on the
market. Alf Oppøyen (dealer) has just taken in one, but has not test
> Condor: A pure training hill glider. An interesting concept, and I
would love to test it, but know nothing about it.
> Rotor: WW make their own Z5 harness, but for competition harnesses
they co-operate with Brazilian Rotor. I was only one day away from
ordering a Rotor Vulto, but then the Aeros Viper was released and I
chose that instead. It seems like lots of competition pilots use Rotor
harness, but as far as I know it is no one in Norway.
and rumors: Rumors have it WW is about to launch a
replacement of the Ultrasport. It seems like this model will have curved
wing tips. It will be a high performance kingpost glider in the Moyes Litesport/Aeros Discus class. Further, WW is also
about to launch wheels for aero towing the Falcon Tandem. This will make
the Falcon take of and land with its own wheels.
> WW Dealer in Norway is Alf Oppøyen, phone 67 15 62 67, mobile 908 21
134. No web-page so far.
31st - Friday: HG-product info, today Icaro2000
weather forecast indicate no flying this weekend. So instead of flying
you can read about Icaro2000. I plan to post information on all major
hg-manufacturers in the coming weeks, in order to have something to post
when there is no flying to write about. My report for each manufacturer
will focus on news, as well as presenting an overview the manufacturer's
main products. If I have any firsthand experience with the products I
will also add a few comments of my own. First out is Icaro2000.
> Their top wing is now called Laminar MR/MRx (700 is removed from
the name), and in addition the wing has a few updates. Icaro have a list
of updates and news at their homepage.
High speed airfoil and lots of carbon (speedbar and a-frame, battens,
and leading edge inserts) seems to the main updates.
> Laminar has also released a new school wing called Relax. It has
floating crossbar and curved wingtips. The latter sounds like an
expensive gadget to me on a trainer/school glider, but the glider looks
really good though.
> Svein Dahl (Norwegian dealer) also points out that Laminar R is
still a good and affordable (NOK 35.000) alternative for pilots who do
not want topless performance, and that Laminar Easy is ideal for new
Still, these gliders have not undergone any significant changes the last
years, but are far from outdated. Added 2/2: Forgot
to mention that a tandem version of the Laminar Easy also is available.
It is called Laminar Bip, and has also curved wing tips.
> Icaro2000 has also first class helmets.
I have just bought a SkyRunner Carbon Optic myself (carbon optic
is just the colour). It looks great, is comfortable, and visibility
is first class although it is a full-face helmet.
> Icaro2000 does not have their own harnesses, but co-operate instead
with Woody Walley. Still, the
Woody Walley MR Tenax, a special version of the Tenax is only sold
through Icaro2000 dealers.
> Forthcoming products and rumors: No one as far as I know.
> Dealer in Norway: Svein Dahl, mobile phone 909 12 384. The dealer
has no web-page.
January 30th - Thursday: New Garmin GPS models
has introduced two new handheld models, Geko 101 and Geko 201. Both are
waterproof, but the main improvement for hg/pg pilots is probable
increased storage of trackpoints - Geko 101 store 3.000, Geko 201 store
10.000. Still, as only Geko 201 is reported to have a down/upload
functionality I guess 101 is not all that interesting for pilots. Geko
is powered by two AAA batteries, which should last for up to 12 hours. I
have so far no information about down/upload compatibility between Geko
201 and OziEx/CompeGPS. Also cable connections look different from both
Garmin 12 and the Etrex series.
=> Geko 101 specifications
(in Norwegian) specs (in English).
=> Geko 201 specifications
(in Norwegian) specs
If you want to buy a Geko Normap has
favorable prices (Norwegian web shop), but I guess also others will have
good introduction prices. .
29th - Wednesday: New helmet
my sudden encounter with the ice at Sundvollen my good old helmet was
somewhat reduced. Scratches and bruises and the fact that I knocked the
keel flat with the it, forced
me to buy a new helmet (and keel). I chose an Icaro2000 SkyRunner
Carbon Optic helmet. It looks great and is really comfortable. At the
same time I ordered a Braüniger Sonic backup vario.
27th - Monday: Steinar soaring at Sundvollen
got a rough soaring flight at Sundvollen today. Waves, strong wind, and
turbulence from the western winds sent him down after only 30 minutes
though. Quite understandable as such conditions make this site nearly
unflyable - and definitely no fun.
Result of the Steinar vs. Bjørn extremely serious flying
competition so far in 2003: 3 vs. 1 in # of flights and 1 h 52 min vs. 30 min
of air time, both in my favor.
26th - Sunday: Promising forecast, but not good conditions, WW Talon
V. and Bjørn J. had course duty this weekend, and I joint as well today
with Line as driver. Yesterday it rained, but today it seemed
promising. Still, the wind was too much W-SW for Sundvollen (NW launch), and the
wind too strong for our students. I guess they start getting frustrated
because of the bad conditions lately, but so are we instructors. I got a
sledge ride down on the club's/hg-course's Aeros Target. I did not have
a very good a launch as conditions were turbulent with very shifting
winds, and I was too quick laying down and getting into the harness. It
was also turbulent on the way down, but it was 0-wind that the LZ. Egil
T., who started after me with his Axxess +, actually got up and flew for
about 45 minutes, but he was the only one how soared today as far as I
know. As I drove
home the rest of the pilots came gliding down in calm conditions as the
wind had decreased.
Rumors have it that the first Wills Wing Talon is on its way to
25th - Saturday: Changing web-provider
will change web-provider from Telenor to Uniweb http://www.uniweb.no.
This site may therefore be down a few days next week. There may also be
some design changes.
24th - Friday: Fri Flukt spørreundersøkelse (text in Norwegian)
fra Fri Flukt/Karin Hornfelt:
Redaksjonen i Fri Flukt ønsker å høre din mening om bladet. Hva liker
du? Hva er kjedelig? Hvilke artikler savner du? Hvordan kan Fri Flukt
bli et bedre blad?
inn på FF's hjemmesider og svar i dag!! Da blir du med i trekningen av
en vindmåler (Flytec Windwatch). http://www.nak.no/hp/sider/FriFlukt/pub.html
i Fri Flukt
21st - Tuesday: No surgery + pg accident
was at the University Hospital (Rikshospitalet) at 0900 this morning
ready for a free nose job. But the surgeon did not think that my nose
needed to be corrected. Maybe he thought I was to ugly in the first
place? The nose is a bit skew but to straighten it I would need major
surgery. Felt quite lucky as walked out of the hospital after just one
Long time hg-pilot and relatively fresh pg-pilot Erik "Flying
Eagle" Bergseter had a bad crash this weekend. The accident
happened while winch-launching. Erik broke both arms, his pelvis (no:
bekken) and fractured a three sections of the vertebra. Still, it is
expected that he will recover fully. Read more about this at Hedemarken
HGK's homepage (click at the button "Oppslagstavle" - in
Norwegian). Erik is one of the most enthusiastic and positive pilots in
Norway, and I hope he will be airborne again as soon as possible.
20th - Monday: Free nose job
have just been to a doctor specialising in ear, nose, and "facial
issues". My nose is broken on the right side, and I am in for surgery
tomorrow. Well at least I get a free nose job, but I would still have
preferred to avoid surgery. I am not in the best mood right now.
18th - Saturday: Face - Course duty - Falcon 2 Tandem
I have had quite a few comments on my face the last couple of days after
my crash. Not a surprise considering that it looks like a combination of
Michael Jackson and Frankenstein. Some think it looks really bad, other
however claim that they can't see anything different, while others again
think it is a definite improvement.
> I had course duty this weekend, but the weather only allowed us a
visit to the training hill at Årvoll. Conditions were not ideal with
strong winds. But at least Robert, who injured his arm in October,
finally got himself a couple of flights and is now ready for his first
altitude flight. The last part of the afternoon was spent helping Terje
Birdman Brønstad putting together one of our course Atlas' that where
crashed in November. The inner leading edges we were missing arrived
from LaMouette this week.
> Alf Oppøyen, new Wills Wing dealer, got his new WW Falcon 2 Tandem
this week. As far as I know, this is the first Falcon tandem in Norway.
He showed up at Årvoll to unwrap the short packed glider. The plan was
to test fly the tandem with me as crash test dummy tandem passenger. But
today it was too windy. The glider looked great though, but huge. It
will be exiting trying it as a tandem passenger.
16th - Thursday: Finally a flight from Sundvollen - test of new Viper harness -
and I decided to give Sundvollen a try today although the forecast
promised lots of wind. As we arrived at about 1015 the wind was clearly
too strong, but the direction was perfect. Steinar had to work this
afternoon so he gave up and drove home while I decided to wait and see
if conditions improved. At about 1300 the wind had decreased somewhat
and I rigged the glider and was airborne just before 1400. Conditions
were not too good, but at the launch the wind was laminar and it was
easy to start. The first 30 minutes of the flight I had to fight strong
wind and waves, something that made this part of the flight not that
enjoyable. During one period of wave lift I had to cross half the fjord
(frozen during the winter) before it I hit sinking air. I also had some
problems penetrating during the strongest cycles. After this I chose to
stay lower, that is at about 600 metres above the LZ. Conditions were
manageable but not fun. The next 30 minutes was a pleasure with perfect
ridge soaring conditions. Finally, the during the last 30 minutes of the
flight the wind direction changed to W, and conditions became quite
turbulent, as they often do at this sites on strong W-SW winds.
Aeros Viper: I flew with my new Aeros Viper for the first
time today. The harness was as good as it looked. First of all, it has
all the storage capacity you can possibly need. I put my xc-bag and a few
other things in the tail section, and it was still room for at least an
average sized Norwegian village more (well, at least quite a lot more).
Wing padding and the harness bag fit perfect in the internal storage.
The Viper was a rigid as stiff as expected, and this made it more difficult
to manoeuvre on the ground. The launch characteristics is difficult to
describe as I just adjusted the angel of attack and was airborne, no
running needed, but I guess that a 0-wind launch would be
demanding because of both the dragging tail section and the rigidity of
the harness. Well up in the air the harness felt really good.
Actually it was as comfortable as laying home in bed. The
"kick-ass" mechanism worked well and made the harness easy to
tilt. It was a new experience to lay so horizontal or even with the head slightly
down because with my old harness I was flying a bit upright with a
slightly sagging harness tail. Still, I was also probably hanging 2 or 3 cm too
low today as my arms got quite tired, but a shorter snap hook will take care
of that problem. All in all the harness felt great.
Hospital visit: This was the result of an unusual bad landing.
The air above the LZ was quite turbulent but at the ground it seemed to
be 0-wind. I landed into the assumed wind direction if the wind should
pick up during landing. I tilted up quite late and was surprised by how
upright I was able to get compared with my old harness. Further, I held the a-frame in the same
position as I used to do with my old harness - here if was necessary to
pull in quite a bit in order to secure safe flying speed while landing. The CG on the viper is
obviously further in front compared with the old harness. The result was
that as I tilted up the wing accelerated and sank quicker than expected, and and before
I was able to push the a-frame a little bit out, the a-frame got caught
in a pile of ice and made 50 km/h to 0 km/h in a split second while
putting the nose into the ice at the LZ. So the wing stopped while I continued
knocking a big bump in the keel with my helmet before falling face down
on the ice. The full face helmet I where was pulled down during the
impact and the top section of helmet was pushed down and into my nose.
The result was one broken nose (I only have one), and there was a deep
and wide tear in skin on my nose. As a result of this, I now (2100) have two
black eyes, a swollen pair of lips, and lots of bruises in the face -
nice. The impact was so hard that the speedbar was torn in two, and even
the safety wire inside it was pulled out.
Needless to say, this entire accident was very embarrassing as I should
have more than enough experience to have saved this landing. Anyway,
while I wait for spare parts from Wills Wing I wish everyone else happy
14th: Better safe than sorry + new guestbook
forecast promised strong NW winds, and sure enough it was a strong NW
wind. As some of you may have guessed, I have spent another day at
Sundvollen waiting for better conditions. This time it was way too much
wind for this launch - at least for me. During the weaker periods it was
possible to launch, during the stronger periods it would not have been fun flying, and during the really strong periods (waves?) it
would have been problems penetrating. So I chose to be a live and
kicking chicken instead being bold and risk ending up as the hg-equivalent of a road
pizza (flat and red). By the way, is there an established word for
I have added a guestbook (link to the left) so if you feel like writing
a few words, please do so. You can write anything you like as long as it
is relatively civilized, and please write in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish,
English of any kind, or German as these are the languages I understand.
Although I guess some of you native English speakers have serious doubts
of whether I really can read and write proper English.
13th - Monday: Report from a frustrating weekend
report: Hg-course, no flying, 9 hours of waiting, aaaaaaaaarrgh.
Longer report: Alf and Knut S. had course duty this weekend, and I
joined both days. The weather forecast was quite promising and we had
high hopes for this weekend. Saturday we started in the training hill at
Årvoll as this was the students first flight in more than 6 weeks, and
as they should try out a couple of new wings. At Årvoll is was
crosswind, and we only got a few flights before Alf and I decided to
drive to Sundvollen, as the pilots there reported promising conditions.
Still, as we arrived, the wind had increased and it was crosswind from
SW (this makes this launch very turbulent). So, no flying
Sunday we tried again as the forecast promised lighter winds from W. But
even today it was crosswind all day, and only Pål Øyvind managed to
start for a first flight (see his log book entry HERE)
with his brand new Aeros Discus. Well, on the positive side, two of our
hg-students bought their own wings this weekend. Both bought Bautek
Saphir/Pamir/Astir type wings. I am not sure which models they bought as
it was Alf, who have flown these wings himself, helped Ståle and
Tor-Inge with their purchase. So now 5 of 8 hg-students have their own
wings. So now we hope for better conditions next weekend.
7th - Tuesday: Aeros Target test flight
warmest day in weeks, and NW winds = Sundvollen. With this
weather I just could not stay in and work all day, so I worked a few
hours in the morning, went flying in the afternoon, and now I am
back working. I used the opportunity to test the new Aeros Target for
Conditions at Sundvollen were not all that great, really cold down that
the ice/LZ, but warmer at the launch. Still, the largest concern was
0-wind with a new wing. But as it was launchable, so I rigged the Target,
adjusted the hang strop and was ready to launch. Once the wing started
to fly and carry my weight, the nose popped up and the wing almost
stalled. I guess I did not look too elegant as I dived of the ramp, but
the following dive towards the lower start and the trees must have
looked pretty spectacular (for those who know this launch - I was well on
my way into "Brønstad-sluket"). I am not the best hg-starter
in the world, and I have a tendency to let the nose pop up abit, but here it
was clearly some additional issues. As I started to glide down towards
the LZ the problem was evident; the hang-point was too far back. Flying
hands-off the speedbar was about 10 cm in front of my helmet. Still,
this is easy to fix. Besides from this, the wing was a pleasure to fly.
Soft and easy handling, surprisingly low pitch pressure, no yaw tendency
what so ever, and it actually glides quite well. Further, the sail was
perfectly tight and there was no tendency to sail flapping. Largest
surprise was that the wing's stall was quite distinct, but the
following dive was short and the wing did not pick up a lot of speed/energy.
Further the stall speed was a bit higher than I expected, so I waited
too long before flaring,
but even then it was possible to save the landing by
running a few steps. Still, the flare window seems quite wide and also
hg-students should not have problems landing.
flew two pg-pilots drove into the parking lot next to the LZ. They were
waiting for one more pilot and gave me a ride up.
5th - Sunday: Aeros Viper harness + Aeros Target hang glider
Moger and I drove to Kongsberg and JoProd to pick up our Aeros Viper
harnesses, as well as Alf's harness. In addition, I also picked up our
hg-clubs brand new Aeros Target, which is going to be used for our
The harness look really great, and appear to be as well designed as we
hoped. The replaceable outer skin (optional cloth or matrix) is an ingenious
feature, the "kick-ass" tilt works well, and most import of
all - the harness fits really well. Further, the harness has lots of
storage containers and is very-very streamlined. The harness appears to
have one drawback though, it is extremely rigid. Still, I guess this is
the price to pay and trade off for having a streamlined
Unfortunately, the hang loop was 11 cm too long, although Aeros had
been given all measurements. Luckily, Ronny Helgesen from Termikk
& Rotor was working today and was able to shorten the hang strop
while I waited. So now it is just to wait for a bit warmer weather so
that I can test fly the harness.
The Aeros Target hang glider we have bought for our club's hg-course
looked like a standard floater/beginner wing. Loooong inner battens
(distinct arrow shape), huge sail reflex due to "tight" luff
lines and fiberglass sections in four batten on each side. The sail and
the wing's finish looked good. Further, the wing was easy and quick to
set up and derigg. All in all, it seems like a perfect school/beginner
will post a "test report" once I have test flown it.
3rd - Friday: My new harness has arrived
new Aeros Viper harness has arrived together with the Aeros Target
training wing for our hg-course. Hope I will have the change to test
both harness and wing this weekend. If so, test-reports will be posted
27th - Friday: New Norwegian Wills Wing dealer - no flying - Øyvind E.
Alf Oppøyen is the new Wills Wing dealer in Norway. If you need (and
who doesn't) a new WW hang glider, a Rotor/WW harness, or spare parts
(up-rights!) phone Alf at 908 21 134. Alf is one of my most frequent
flying companions, and is highly reliable. Humm, maybe I just have to
buy myself a WW Talon soon?
-> X-mas and relatively bad weather has resulted in no flying for me
so far, and the forecast does not look too promising, so I guess that it
will be a x-mas without flying.
-> Øyvind Ellefsen and a few other Norwegians are in OZ, and will be
flying the comps down there for the next month or so. Reports from
Øyvind can be found on his homepage.
20th - Friday: Finally airborne again
an autumn with lots of instructor duties I finally got airborne again.
Steinar and I decided to give Sundvollen a chance after a promising
weather forecast. Following from the forecast, ridge soaring was almost guaranteed,
but Sundvollen showed itself from its usual unpredictable side. I was 1
1/2 hours earlier at Sundvollen than Steinar, and as I arrived
conditions were perfect with 6 m/s. Still, as I was almost finished
rigging Fussie, someone "turned the switch" and the wind
decreased to almost 0-wind in matter of seconds. I then decided to wait
for Steinar and pick him up at the LZ so that we had a car down there.
Then Steinar had rigged his Litesport conditions had become ever worse -
the only wind was light crosswind. Finally after about 30 minutes on the
launch I started in a 0-wind period and was quickly followed by Steinar.
I had a nice sledge ride (sledge rides are nice when it is over 8 weeks
since the last flight), and everyone agreed that it had been a nice
12th - Thursday: Desperate attempt
of the cold weather and fog yesterday I had no hopes of flying today.
But about 1200 I found out that it was not that cold, light winds from
NW, and no fog in Sandvika. Humm. Well, so I decided to give it a try.
So I put my harness in the car and Fussie on the roof rack and started
on the 25 minutes drive to Sundvollen. I had originally no hopes for
anything more than a 5 minutes sledge ride, but as I drove closer to
Sundvollen it seemed like the wind increased, and my upcoming flight
started to take on gigantic proportions, I should at least fly a couple
of hours, and it was not going to be cold even in -10 C. Well right, as
I passed Sollihøgda and started to drive down towards the lake we use
as a LZ I drove straight into fog, lots of it. As I arrived at
Sundvollen I noticed that it was S and tailwind (probably cold air
sinking down from the plateau behind the launch). Further, an inspection
of the ice on the lake showed that it was very thin. I just scratched
the ice a few times with a knife and the water flowed up, and I made
hasty retreat to safer grounds.
Conclusion: Fog, tailwind, and insecure ice - aaaaaaaaarrgh.
11th - Wednesday: Still no news - metal vote
considered driving to Sundvollen today as the forecast predicted NW and
since the lake finally seems to have frozen (ice landing). It was quite
cold (-13 C) this morning in Sandvika, and and probably below -15 C at
Sundvollen. Further, it was lots of fog, so I decided not to give it a
try, and stayed home working instead. Maybe I will go flying at
Sundvollen tomorrow instead?
support my flying companion and heavy/metal rocker Steinar Sverd Johnsen
by voting for his band Arcturus in this poll. Just follow the link and
click on ARCTURUS and then on the yellow button with the text
"Stem" (eng.: vote): http://www.alarmweb.org/nyheter/index-03metal.html
1st to 5th: Nothing new, just bad weather
flying = no news. It has been easterly winds the last weeks, and this
means bad weather here. Moreover, the forecast predict the same weather
for at least another week. I hate the Norwegian winter.
23rd - Saturday: HG-course at Flesberg
Vermaas and I had instrucor duty this weekend. With NE winds we decided
to drive to Flesberg. We had 4 students that showed up today, and 4 that
were busy elsewhere. As a consequence of this, we had one wing per
student, and this made the day very effective. All 4 students got 3
flights and were, needless to say, very pleased with the day. Also
Kongsberg HKG had 3 students from their course at Flesberg today, so it
was swarming (at least almost) with gliders today. Only negative thing today
was that the Funfex had a hard landing, with a broken a-frame bracket as
the result. So unfortunately, this wing is grounded at least a couple of
weeks while we are waiting for spare parts.
Sunday the weather forecast indicated that a warm front and rain/snow should
pass the south of Norway, so we cancelled the day. This turned out to
have been a wise decision as it has been snowing and raining heavily all
16th and 17th: Weekend: Almost flying
and I had instructor duty this weekend. Saturday 16th we cancelled
because of bad weather. Sunday we decided to give it a try although the
weather forecast was not all that promising. Winds were NW and we tried
our luck at the giant ski jump hill at Vikersund. When we arrived the
fog made it impossible to see the LZ from the launch, so we drove down
to Tyrifjord Hotel of a cup of coffee and some hg-theory (the laws and
regulations section) while waiting for better conditions. After one and
a half hour we drove back to the hill and found that mr. Fog had
withdrawn somewhat. So we drove up, rigged the gliders just to have mr.
Fog returning as we were ready to launch. In addition, the wind changed
between 0-, cross- and tailwind. As a result of this we decided not to
take any chances, de-rigged the gliders and drove home. Well, at least
we gave it a try. Thanks to Steinar for picking up and delivering
gliders and course equipment and saving me a few hours of work.
12th - Tuesday: Glider doctors
Øyvind's initiative, Terje, Alf, and I meet trying to save the totaled
Atlas from last weekend. It turned out that the sail was undamaged, but
both inner leading edges were broken, along with both sections of the
crossbar. Also the nose section and the fitting for the uprights were
damaged. In addition, a few battens were bent. All in all, a hard crash,
but it seems like we can save the wing.
11th - Monday: Div.
The OziEx map
Hallingdalen 200.000 was not accurately calibrated. The map is removed.
Thanks Frode Halse who made
me aware of this. I hope to update the map/waypoint page soon. I also
plan to add maps calibrated for CompeGPS.
flying for me this weekend. My girlfriend celebrated her 3... ehh 29th
birthday with a party on Saturday. As a consequence of this I had to
help organising the party Saturday, and Sunday I was not flyable.
Hg-course: Øyvind and Erik took care of the hg-course this weekend,
which proved to be an expensive one. Saturday one LaMouette Atlas was
totaled after a crash, and one Funfex up-right was broken. Luckily, no
injuries on our students. Sunday Øyvind and Ståle used 3 hours
rescuing the crashed Atlas. Besides this, the students at least got a
few flights from the Flesberg launch.
Miraculous recovery: Tuesday evening my hand started to hurt and by
Wednesday morning was really painful. It was evident at I had got an inflammation
in my right forearm. Actually it was so painful that I could not even
tie my shoelaces. Friday I visited to doctor and got Ketoprofen pills
and Orudis gel. But after just one day (Saturday) on the medication I
woke up Sunday with a bad handover and a healed forearm. Strange, maybe
pills and alcohol is not such a bad combination after all :-)
6th - Wednesday: "Birdman" and driving
like Terje "Birdman" Brønstad, current holder holder and
multiple winner of our hg-club's driver of the year award*, has started
training before next season. Today, he drove to Brandbukampen although
the wind was S-SE (this is a SW-W launch) and even though it was
expected heavy rain. This was clearly an even more desperate attempt
than mine yesterday.
*The driver of the year award is an award that is given to the Oslo og
Omegn HGK club member that has embarked on the most unmotivated and
absolutely hopeless drive in hopes of flying - without getting airborne.
In our club we also call this award the Brønstad award, as he is
totally without competition.
Birdman's driving skills is only equaled by his legendary ability to
launch too early and before conditions are strong enough to soar, hence
his second nick name - First-Go Brønstad. A couple of years ago he even
managed to be both the first and second to launch at a competition at
5th - Tuesday: Not even a sledge ride
I have not flown since Sept. 29. the extreme desire for some air time
blurred my brain and I drove to Sundvollen today to fly with Steinar,
who came down from a visit in Hallindalen. What I had forgot since
last winter, however, was that mr. Fog is even more fond of Sundvollen
than me. Conditions actually seemed quite good with the right wind
direction, but it was an inversion layer about 150 meters above the LZ
with fog covering the launch. This is typical of Sundvollen during the
winter. So I drank a cup of coffee instead and drove back home.
4th - Monday: Aeros Viper - not Rotor Vulto
as I will cancel the order of the Rotor Vulto harness, and instead go
for the Aeros Viper. Also Alf, who also considered the Vulto, seems to
favour this harness. The Viper appears to be really well engineered -
the Ukrainians have for instance utilised the Antonov wind tunnel for
optimising drag reduction. For an overview of other features take a look
Dealer in Norway is Johansen
2nd and 3rd - Saturday and Sunday: NE winds and bad
winds and few suitable launches for our students. Saturday we cancelled,
and I used the day looking for training hills for different wind
directions (today we only have Årvoll [S-SW] as an established and good
training hill). Except from becoming familiar with Lier HGK's training
hill at Egge (NE), I did not find any suitable training hills in the vicinity
of Asker and Bærum. Sunday, I found out that the day turned out to
be a lottery hg-wise; the students from Kongsberg got one flight, but
the ones from Lier were victim of tailwind (weather demons). At
Trøgstad Alf and a few others aero towed in nice calm conditions.
Sunday: Alf and I decided to try to get our students airborne today
despite the same weather as yesterday. Lier HGK and their instructors
let us use their club site Ryghåsen and even helped us getting the
wings up to the launch. This helped us a lot as you need a 4-wheel drive
to get all the way to the launch - thanks for all help. The LZ, however, was plowed
and frozen hard so only 2 students how were confident of their landings wanted to
start - actually all wanted to start, but three of them did not want to
land at the LZ, a decision strongly supported by Alf and me. A
plowed frozen landing field spells disaster if you do not land
26th and 27th - Saturday and Sunday: Our students first altitude
of effort, and not all that much pay off, but this weekend Øyvind and I
finally managed to get our hg-students airborne at Brandbukampen for
their first altitude flight. Two students got their first flight
Saturday before conditions became too strong, and four more on Sunday
during a favorable period. Both day provided bad flying weather.
Saturday we had crosswind and later also strong winds. Sunday, we first
had crosswind from SE (Brandbu is a SW launch) then a short good period
and then crosswind from N/NE. Our course now only have two students that
have not had their first altitude flight. Both are ready, but one has
injured his hand, and one did not show up Sunday.
- Our club has one more hg-instructor. Erik Vermaas passed the
instructors seminar this weekend.
This addition is very welcome. Erik is a very good and enthusiastic
pilot and I am convinced he will be an equally good instructor.
- Seems like October becomes the first month this year without flying
for me. Bad weather and the hg-course are to blame.
21st - Monday: My top 3 and bottom 3 flights of 2002
the Norwegian thermal season is more less over and it snowed yesterday,
I have been day dreaming and re-lived this season's best flights. Below
are links to the my 3 best and most memorable flights this year and the
3 worst (Norwegian comments):
XC flight and first flight in Laragne - France
XC flight in Norway from Frya
- spectacular nature and 3 hours flight
- 15 minutes flight, 700 km of driving and lots of other pilots flew +80 km (aaaaaaarrrrggh).
-2) Vågå - 5 days and 8 flights in Vågå. Not all that good
conditions, and this was the last of the 8 flights - and I was really
fed up with Vågå and bad conditions.
- mostly because I crashed and broke one up-right during landing/crashing. The
flight itself was not all that bad.
To conclude: No really bad flights, and no really exhilarating ones,
maybe except the three mentioned above. All in all an average season,
may be more quantity than quality. For an overview of all my
flights click on the "My log book" link to the left.
19th - 20th - Saturday and Sunday: Still waiting for the first altitude
had really high hopes for this weekend as the weather looked quite
promising, maybe the hg-students finally could get their first altitude
flight. Saturday started of well enough with a short visit in the
training hill for a couple flight for each of the student to refresh
their skills before their
first altitude flight. The weather forecast promised SW, ideal for
Brandbu just 60 minutes drive north of Oslo. But when we arrived at
Brandbu it was
crosswind and not possible to start. Still, the forecast promised SW
also Sunday, and we hoped for better conditions. During the night,
however, it snowed quite a bit and as we had problems getting up to the
launch at Brandbu even yesterday we decided to cancel the day. This
proved to be a mistake as two of the students went up to Brandbu, and could
tell that it was not much snow there, and perfect conditions. Anyway, at
least now everyone has put winter/snow tires on their cars and is ready
for next weekend. I really hope we have better luck next week.
13th - Sunday: No course, no flying
weather this weekend, and we cancelled the course. As a result of this I
spend Saturday at work preparing the doctoral course in Organisation
Science that I attend. I have also added a few new pictures, for
instance from the hg-course. Only hg activity this weekend has been
selecting colours for the Rotor Vulto harness I will order next week. My
current favorite colours are red body with black sides, or maybe black
body with red or white sides, or possibly blue and white, or ........
9th - Wednesday: HG-harness + Log It + novice flying equipment
I am strongly considering buying a new Rotor Vulto harness, and has
received an offer from Airwave (European distributer) of Euro 1.000,-
including shipping to Norway. Still, this offer is only valid if I (we)
buy 4 harnesses. Therefore, if you are interested in a new Rotor Vulto
harness, please contact me. This also means that I am considering
selling my excellent, but not extremely streamlined, Airwave Race 2
harness. This harness is really comfortable and has lots of pockets for
storage. Info. on the Rotor harness: http://www.willswing.com/
Thursday 10th, 1800 hours -- The Rotor deal is closed! -- If you are
still interested in a Rotor harness contact the new Norwegian dealer Johansen
Produkter. NB! the price above was an unique introduction offer and
not the retail price.
Log It: Same story with the Log It - if we buy 5 or 10 we will get
better conditions. Log It is basically an external large capacity memory
extension for GPS receivers, and store about 33.000 track log points. A
Garmin 12 store between 1000 and 2000 such track log points. So again,
if you are interested in joining this deal, please e-mail me. Info about
Log It: http://www.gps-logger.ch/
Novice flying equipment: Our hg-students are looking for suitable
harnesses, wings, varios, and helmets. If you have such equipment for
sales contact me.
5th & 6th - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: No flying
flying and only a theory session on Saturday for the hg course this
weekend. Our hg-students are ready for their first altitude flight, but
there is no appropriate launches/LZs available at the current wind
direction (N and NE). Sunday I spent at the office reading and preparing
for the upcoming doctoral course in organisational science - 5 sessions
and 1500 pages to read. Luckily the articles and book chapters on the
curriculum are quite interesting.
29th - Sunday - 2002: Towing and more
I started quite early hoping for another day of ridge soaring at
Sundvollen, or Brandbu. At 0900 the meteorological station reported
NW and 5 m/s - pefect. But as I arrived there at 1100 the wind had
dropped to 0-2 m/s and turned SW - not good at all. As a result of
this I drove back home to Sandvika (25 min. drive) and picked up Morten
Holo before driving to Trøgstad and HG-slep's aero towing operations (1
hour drive away). As we were half-way to Trøgstad we got reports that the
wind had increased, and that both Sundvollen and Brandbu looked
promising for ridge soaring. We, on the other hand, could not make up
our mind whether to drive back to Sundvollen or to continuo to Trøgstad.
The final decision was made by tossing a coin (scientific decision
making) - Trøgstad and aero towing won. Both at Sundvollen and Brandbu
they were soaring, but at Trøgstad we had to rely on thermals instead.
Unfortunately conditions were too weak to get anything else than
prolonged sledge rides. Still, hg-slep's operations once again worked
really well, and most got 2-4 tows. My first tow was quite a rock'n'roll
experience as I started to yaw and oscillate quite violently and had to
release at about 100 m. I even lost one winglet in the air. Then Werner J. (national hg-guru) advised me to
pull more VG, a lot more VG, and gave instruction on how to behave and fly
behind the tug. Sure enough, the next two tows went without problems of
any kind. Once again, a nice day at Trøgstad with hg-slep. So although
they ridge soared other places, I feel that towing at Trøgstad was
a good decision after all. Today's bonus for me was three good landings
- finally, I have had a series of bad landings lately. Conclusion: Every hg-pilot in the Oslo area should try
hg-slep's aero towing
operations, it is fun and safe and it is possible to get a lot of
flights without rigging your hang glider for every flight.
This weekends hg-course:
It turned out to be an expensive weekend. Two leading edge tubes and one
sail. Also, 6 out of 8 students did not pass the SP 1 exam, and that
after 2 theory sessions, hummm. Well, at least the students are soon
ready for their first altitude flight.
- Stein Fossum, creator of the Safe Pro system and instructor, forgot to
hook in while demonstrating how to fly in the training hill for our 8
hg-students. No physical injuries.
- Steinar "Barron" Johnsen got his first two flights on his
new Moyes Litesport. An incredible hangglider according to Steinar.
- Bjørn Joakimsen had his first experience with hill side landing at
Brandbu. It was not a success.
September 28th - Saturday
- 2002: HG course and Sundvollen
started the day by visiting the hg-course at Årvoll. Then Steinar and I
drove toward Brandbu, an ideal launch and landing for a first flight
with Steinar's new Moyes Litesport. On the way up to Brandbu (a SW
launch) we saw that the wind direction was more NW, and we went to
Sundvollen instead. In hindsight, this was probably a good decision as
no one logged any flights from Brandbu Saturday. AT sundvollen the wind
was quite strong it was very turbulent at the launch, and probably even
more so at the LZ, which has a bad reputation in strong wind. After a
couple of hours of waiting Morten H. and Øyvind E. started in a weak
period. I was a bit slow and missed this period and had to wait for
about one and a half hour before launching. But by then it was so late
that I just had time to soar 100 meters above the launch and then go
down to land. I had promised my girlfriend to be home at 1930 because of
a dinner appointment with friends, and risked to loose lots of personal
"frequent flyer miles" if I was late. The landing was quite
exiting. The wind at the LZ was not too strong, but it was turbulent
nonetheless and I almost flew strait into the surrounding forest.
Further the wind gradient at the LZ was strong and I had less than
successful landing. And yes, I was late to the dinner appointment.
25th - Wednesday - 2002: Pictures
some feedback on my hg page. Tibor Stern reported that with it took a
long time to download the page using as slow Internet connection (thanks
for the feedback). The reason for the slow download was the "many
k-byte" pictures. Consequently, I have added a link to an external
picture gallery instead of adding pictures here in the journal. I have
not added many pictures so far, but I will soon include
September 21st & 22nd - Saturday and Sunday -
2002: HG course
flying for me this weekend as I was instructor for the clubs hg-course.
It was not all
that good conditions this weekend. Saturday we had a quite good session
at Lahaugmoen, and the students got a few flights before had to quit for
the day due to crosswind/0-wind. Lauhaugmoen is not all that steep so
you need good head wind to get airborne. In 0-wind Lahaugmoen is only
suited for launching and running exercise, and as our 8 students are
almost ready for their first altitude flight they need to exercise speed
adjustments and turns, not launches. Sunday it rained and we had a
theory session instead of flying.
14th & 15th - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: Sundvollen
was to windy for me, and in addition it was cross wind at the launch and
turbulent at the LZ, so I decided not to fly. Sunday, it was no wind at
all and Steinar N, Trond (one-way) Olsen, Johannes, Robin, and I waited
all day hoping for improving conditions. It never improved and we got a
sledge ride down. I had a bad start as the nose popped up, and I never
gained proper airspeed before I was airborne. But I pulled in and got
adequate airspeed after a small dive, and saved the situation. Seems as
if I have to focus better for these 0-wind launches. I have become
spoiled after a number of launches in plenty of wind. Nice
9th - 2002: Season summary
the flying season in Norway is more or less over it is time sum up the
season and to draw a few conclusions. Before this season I made
some very ambitious goals for myself. At the end of the season, the
conclusion is that some were reached, while others were far from being
achieved. Here is a short summary, and a few of my own conclusions on how to
improve my flying (if you disagree or have other and better advise, please
send me an e-mail with your comments).
# of flights:
65 (59 foot launched)
# of hours:
# of new launches:
13 (three in France)
- Participate in one
Norwegian HG Cup => No
- Participate in the national hg-championship => No
- SP 5 within May => No, and I still lack 2 xc-flights to qualify.
- Five xc-flights => No, only three.
- 6 aero-towing flights => on my way, but still have only 1 tow.
There has not been
anything wrong with my efforts this year, but as the lacking hours and xc-flights
indicate, the quality has not been all that great. As I see it, I have
to improve several areas (actually all, but some are more important than
others) in order to become a better pilot. I think a division into three
categories is useful for clustering my most needed improvements:
1) Psychological- and 2) technical factors and 3) flight preparations.
First of all, I need to get tougher. In several cases I have
“chickened out” in conditions and situations I knew I could master,
and should have taken advantage of.
Further, I have demanded perfect conditions before going on xc flights,
in stead of just giving it a try.
2) Technical factors.
This has basically to do with how well I fly. Too often I end up on the
ground in weak conditions, or fail to take full advantage of the
conditions. To sum up – I have to improve my thermaling skills.
First, before leaving home. I have not always chosen the best launch
site, but instead tried out new launches and travelled to launches
closer to home instead for driving one or two hours more and to a launch
that seemed better. => Drive to the best launches not the most
Secondly, in at least one case I hesitated to go xc because I did not
feel I knew the area well enough. => Investigate the areas better
Third, I have been too preoccupied with good launch conditions instead
of worrying about good flying and thermaling conditions, and started in
Finally, I need to be more patient.
So lessons learned
and main issues to focus on next year:
- Be tougher and have more
confidence in myself.
- Continuo to improve the technical
sides of my flying, especially in marginal and rough conditions.
- Seek the best sites/launches, not
the ones that are more convenient.
- When on site, fly when
conditions are best for flying not for launching.
And finally and most
important, have fun or do not fly.
31st - September 1st - Saturday to Sunday: HG course starts + more
weekend our club started this years hg-course. This year I am head
instructor. A great honnor (no one else would take the job). It looks as
if we will have 8 students at this course. A perfect number since we
have four Atlas' as school wings. This year we will try out an intensive
schedule, and be in the training hill four times a week - Saturday and
Sunday as well as Tuesday and Thursday evening. If the weather demons
are kind with us, this should make the students ready for their first
altitude flights early in October. Still, you don't know before you know
main hg-rival and flying companion, Steinar Johnsen, has bought a brand
new Moyes Litesport 148, the first one in Norway. A big leap from his
current Fistenwalder Funfex.
23rd to 25th - Friday to Sunday: "Trontreff"
last weekend in August has for the last 11 consecutive years been synonymous
with Trontreff. It has become the traditional "end-of-season"
gathering, and is a combination of an unformal combined hg and
"athletic" (athletic events in the evening) competition, BBQ, and
party. This year's gathering was, as always, organised by Terje "Birdman"
Brønstad. This year the flying itself was so successful that both BBQ
and the athletic events were somewhat reduced as many pilots used most
of the evening to return from long xc-flights. Robin flew 151 km, setting
a new Hedemark record (Hedemark »
county), and many more flew between 50-80 km, something that is
extraordinary for Norway in August. I, on the other hand, concluded the
season by not flying very well at all although the flying itself was
great. Friday we arrived late and only got a prolonged sledge ride in
nice calm conditions, but Saturday it was possible to fly as long as one
desired. It was great ridge soaring and good thermals. Sunday, it was
quite windy and it looked like it would overdevelop, which it did but
not as much as we expected. Since the flying on Saturday was so
successful, most did not feel for challenging these conditions (maybe
the party also was to blame) and most decided not fly fly. My problem, and disappointment,
this weekend was that I was not able to gain all that much altitude (bad
thermaling), and as a result of this did not go XC-flying. I really did
not feel all that motivated for flying, and did not fly as aggressive and
focused as I should have done. I think that more than half a year of
quite dedicated flying has worn me out. Still, this suits me well, as my
club and I
start a hg-course next weekend. Then, we will have to put focus on
teaching others to fly safely, and put less emphasis on our own flying. I
guess that my flying this autumn will be limited to some aero-towing.
The autumn is anyway the "no-flying" season in Norway, as it
is mostly rain and bad weather.
17th and 18th - Saturday and Sunday: Perfect weekend
a weekend that turned out as a really perfect one; I both got a quite a
lot of airtime and finally faced one of my remaining fears related to
flying hanggliders. The airtime was collected Saturday at Solbergåsen.
Here a combination of sea breeze, wind, and thermals provided excellent
conditions for a nice, long, and uncomplicated flight. It was the first time I
have soared at this place, so I managed 3 hours and 3 minutes of ridge
soaring on the 1 km ridge. Nice. Sunday I decided to trade more airtime
at Solbergåsen for a real adrenalin booster. After a less than
successful attempt to aerotow last year I was out of business for about
6 weeks, and after that aerotowing has not appealed to me. Still, now I
felt that it was time to face this fear. The first launch attempt
was not all that successful, as I his had not tied the weak-link
properly. Consequently, I got about 10 seconds in the air (not what I
needed . At the next
attempt I let Paolo tie my weak-link, and this time it was no
problems. I towed up to 470 meters above the LZ before I released, and
got a 20 minutes flight. A big step for me, a minimal step for the hg
10th - Saturday: Not sea breeze at Grøtterud
to ridge soar on the sea breeze at Grøtterud. The sea breeze never
came, and all of only got sledge rides.
Taking into consideration that we had to carry wings and equipment
for 10-15 minutes, this can hardly be classified as a successful day. On
the positive side we got a lot exercise, and back problems (Fussie
weights about 37 kg.)
August 7th - Wednesday: Sea breeze at Brandbu
trip to Brandbukampen with Øyvind Ellefsen. It turned out that it was
no sea breeze, and one large cu nimbus shaded for Brandbukampen. As a
result of this, Øyvind got a 30 minutes flight but chose to land
because of "strange air" below and near the nimbus. I started
a bit later than Øyvind and just
made it above the launch a couple of times before condition became too
weak. Still, quite a nice flight.
29th to August 4th - Monday to Sunday: More Hallingdalen
a short, very short, Monday back at work, flew at Brandbukampen Monday
afternoon, on my way to Hallingdalen once more. Brandbukampen was not a
big success; Steinar and I hoped for some sea breeze, but encountered
crosswind and no sea breeze. I had a "near big bang" launch in
what turned out to be almost tailwind just a few metres down the slope
we launch from. Steinar and I then proceeded to PG-Berget, Termikk &
Rotor's place in Hallingdalen (cheap lodging kr 75,- [= $ 10] per
Tuesday provided both success and failure in excess. Alf never flew, I
got one sledge ride, and Steinar one sledge ride and one unbelievable
flight from Flatagrov. After his sledge ride Steinar decided to fly
one more sledge ride, and stubbornly waited for a possibility to launch
in the crosswind. Finally, he managed to get out, and flew straight into
nice 1-2 m/s lift all over the valley. After a while conditions became
rougher and he experienced 8 m/s thermals at 8 30 pm, and flew straight up
to cloud base. Nice for Steinar, and needless to say Alf and me were not
that pleased. Alf drove to Vågå that evening.
Wednesday: In short - one sledge ride from Fekjan/Påverud, one bad
landing, and one less upright in the world.
Thursday: Magic at Hydnefossen. Finally a superb day. Both Steinar and I
could fly as long as we wanted. Plenty of thermals combined with ridge
soaring made this a fantastic day, and I flew for nearly 3 hours.
Regretted later that I did not got XC, but with SE winds I had to fly to
the North, an area I am not all that familiar with. Further, cloudbase
was only at 2000 meters, and it was difficult to get higher than 1800
Friday to Sunday: We hoped for a repetition of Thursday's success, but
these days Hydnefossen only offered prolonged sledge rides. From Friday
Erik Vermaas (the sax playing Dutch-Norwegian) also joined us. Sunday
quite a few from our hg-club came up from Oslo, but conditions were very
stable. Still, Terje "Birdman" Brønstad got his first flight
on his brand new Seedwings Vertigo 15 (full race version). Nice to see
that he finally got his new glider, but next year I fear that he will be
even more difficult to beat in the XC-league (this year he humiliated me
by out-flying me with a recently broken overarm [humeral], flying a
26th to 28th - Friday to Sunday - 2002: Hallingdalen
weather forecast looked quite promising, and the idea was to try out our
club launch near Nesbyen in good conditions. The weather demons,
however, wanted it otherwise. Steinar had been in Hallingdalen since
Monday, and I drove up Thursday evening. Friday, it was tailwind
but the thermals made is possible to start, and I got about 17 minutes
of ridge soaring created but thermals - quite strange since it was not a
sunny day. Saturday, and Alf and his Bright Star Millennium also joined
us. Conditions were blue with pressure, and still tail/crosswind.
Steinar launched early and only got a sledge ride. Alf and I waited for
a while for stronger thermals. I launched first, probably at the best
possible time, but due to the tailwind and the high air pressure
thermals were very violent, and frankly I chickened out as conditions
were rough. This resulted in a 15 minutes flight. Unfortunately, the
main wind direction reached the launch and made it impossible for Alf to
start. Sunday we tried our luck at Flatagrov. Rain showers and cloudy
conditions, but strong enough wind for ridge soaring. Steinar started
first and flew through a series of showers but stayed up and got a nice
flight in quite rough conditions. Also Alf on his Millennium got a nice
flight. I, on the other hand, started straight into a rain shower, and
chickened up again, and landed. The decision to land was really to
hasty, and I should have ridden this shower off. Only highlights of this
flight for me were two diving spirals (6 m/s sink), a max speed attempt
(93 km/t), and landing training on a small LZ using the Delta
Conclusion: I really need to get quite a bit tougher. Saturday it was
definitely possible to utilise the rough thermals, and Sunday the
decision to land because of the rain shower was definitely wrong. Fussie
(Fusion 141) definitely can take quite a lot of rain without
dramatically, or even slightly, altering the behaviour or performance of
21st - Sunday: 430 km of driving - 7 minutes of flying
3 days without flying and reports from Steinar of a perfect launch at
Hydnefossen, I decided to take my chance on a one-day tour to this
launch. The reward was 7 minutes of flying - yeahhhhh. Conditions were
quite bad, the only positive thing was that it was possible to launch.
The negative things were that the winds were not strong enough to
support ridge soaring, and there were rain showers all over the place.
As I launched I flew straight into a rain shower and was quite nervous
for how the wing would cope with so much rain. However, Fussie behaved
perfectly even with lots for water on the sail, but the flight was not
all that pleasant in such conditions. Still, this launch was really
spectacular and I will definitely try it out in better conditions.
12th to 17th - Friday to Wednesday - 2002: Vågå
and I has traveled to Vågå in search for optimal conditions after
about 4 weeks with rain and bad weather. We will stay as long as the
conditions are good. Friday 12th: Today we got a nice evening flight from Vole, the
main start at Vågå, after first having to give up an attempt to fly
from Frya. We got about 40 minutes in nice calm and marginal
conditions - a perfect start on this hg-vacation. The only problem is
that the main LZ is currently flooded, so we had to as a farmer for
permission to land on his field. Still, as we flew, we could see the
water retracting from the LZ, and tomorrow we can most likely land
there. This is however not the goal, tomorrow I hope for a nice
long XC flight.
Saturday 13th: Not all the good conditions with rain showers and
overdevelopment. Steinar and I got two flights from Blåhø, the
highest of three launches. Not very good contitions, but with a
altitude difference of 1100 metres it nevertheless takes time to get to
the LZ. Flew together with Steinar and Knut S. how came up from Oslo
Sunday 14th: We, Steinar, Knut, and myself, got to prolonged
sledge rides from Vole. Difficult thermals made the day a challenging
one in terms of anything else than prolonging the flights. Very good
training on marginal conditions though.
Monday 15th: Finally a good day for flying. Starting from Vole I
got a 2 hours and 36 minutes flight, and could have flown longer. The
only problem was that an inversion made it difficult to go above 1700
meters. I managed to get to about 1750, but that was it, and I thought
that was a bit to low for starting a XC flight so I only flew locally.
Unfortunately, Steinar had to work today, but Knut S. got a really nice
flight as well. Knut went back to Oslo today.
Tuesday 16th: Conditions looked good today, but neither Steinar
nor I had any chance of getting anything else than prolonged sledge
rides today. We tried to times, but we hardly heard the vario
"bib" more than a couple of times. This was a real
Wednesday 17th: It started to rain during the night, and we left
Vågå about 1200 as the weather forecast did not look to promising.
Strangely, the weather was quite good from Otta and southwards. Strange
as Otta is just a 20 minutes drive east of Vågå. I stopped at
Brandbukampen on my way home, and got a 25 minutes flight on the sea
breeze from Randsfjorden.
7th - Sunday: Aero towing at Spydeberg
the day did not look too promising for "ordinary flying", I
joined HG-slep (only aero towing operations in Norway) at their new
launch site at Spydeberg. Well, this is actually where they store their
Bailey/Moyes Dragonfly, later the aero towing will most likely take place at a
site near Askim. There were two tug pilots and 4-5 hg-pilots. Most of
the hg-pilots only got one or two flight because the wind increased
quite a bit as we started to tow. I, on the other hand, did not launch
partly because a thought conditions were too strong for me and partly
because of nerves. The latter was caused by an unfortunate experience
while aero towing one year ago - I crashed quite bad, resulting in a
visit to the hospital, 6 weeks away from flying and extensive repair on
my hang glider. Still,
I will definitely try this later. The towing operation has more than
1300 tows, and has only 3 incidents - actually a very good safety
5th - Friday: Hallingdalen once again
one-day trip to Hallingdal to try out the two launches possible to use
at western winds - pg-berget and Nesbyen. Steinar J. was already in
Hallingdalen, and recommended pg-berget as a first attempt. Still, here
we only got prolonged sledge rides. Steinar managed to follow one
thermal to about 200 meters above launch, but from then on there was no
lift. We then tried our luck at Nesbyen. Here I was the lucky one and
stayed up for 21 minutes, while Steinar got about 10 minutes. Today's
thermals were short-lived, were narrow, and difficult to catch. Nice
flight training in marginal conditions though.
25th to 30th: Paris vacation
unthinkable has happened - vacation without my hang glider. I and my
girl friend (actually we have lived together for about 6 years) spent a
nice short vacation in Paris, France. For once the weather demons lost
track of me and remained in Norway. Thus, it seems that the vacation was
timed perfectly; nice weather in Paris and really bad weather in Norway.
Actually, I did not miss one good day of flying. In Paris, on the other
hand, nice cu's popped up about 1000 am), and conditions stayed good
until at least 2000 (1000 pm). So my girlfriend looked at Paris'
architecture while I looked up at the cu's. Also drank a lot of
wine and eat a lot of cheese. All in all, a perfect
21st & 22nd - Friday & Saturday: Hallingdalen
expedition to our club site in Hallingdalen. Well, it was a small
expedition, Friday only Steinar J. and me, Saturday Alf, Erik V. and
Terje Birdman joined us. The flying was not all that great
Friday: With N-NW winds we decided to try our luck at Flatagrov, a
S-launch, but we hoped for the thermals to make it launchable. The
problem was that the mountain behind us triggered lots of thermals that
drifted out in the valley and blocked the sun from our launch. I managed
to start in a weak cycle, but with tailwind pushing down from the
mountains behind I had 2-3,5 m/s sink all the way to the landing, thus
effectively ruining my plan of getting to the sunny opposite side of the
valley. After I launched conditions became even worse with permanent
cross- and tailwind, so Steinar was not able to start.
Saturday: Overdevelopment and rain showers. Got a short sledge ride
between the showers from Fekjan/Påverud (actually I flew through a couple of small showers
on my way down to the LZ).
19th - Wednesday: Nice soaring at Brandbukampen
forecast promised soaring at Brandukampen so Steinar J. and I decided to
give it at try. For once, the forecast was quite accurate. The wind was,
however, more southern than south-west and this means that it is only
possible to ridge soar for about 200 meters. Still, both Steinar and I
were eager to get some quality air time so we did not complain, and
enjoyed the nice conditions. The only negative element was that the
winds were so strong that the thermals drifted so much that they were
difficult to catch. Nice training though.
14th - Friday: Friday flying and Birdman's expedition
looked somewhat promising so Steinar and I decided to try out the
northern launch at Ringerud as this site is only about one hour away.
Conditions looked very good, but it proved difficult to win much
altitude. Both Steinar and I only got about 200 m above the launch
(inversion?). There were plenty of good thermals but also large areas
with "sinking" air as well. Steinar had to give up and head
for the LZ after 15 minutes, while I managed about 45 minutes. Strange,
there were lots of cu around. Still, our expedition was very successful
compared to Terje Birdman Brønstad's one. Birdman wanted to try out a
one day expedition to Tronfjell. He even managed to lure Trond Olsen to
participate (even though he as late as last week claimed that he would
never joint Birdman on his most extreme and hopeless expeditions again -
it is two years since the last one). Robin S. also joined them. So what
was the pay off from this endeavor? Too strong winds at Tronfjell and no
flying. Driving back south via Rendalen (no flying), crossing the
mountains to Gudbrandsdalen and Heggelihaugen (Lensmannsvangen) and 5
minutes of flying. Then back to Oslo. To sum up: About 700 km of driving
(9 hours?) and 5 minutes of flying.
took the Saturday and Sunday off from flying.
6th - 9th - Thursday to Sunday - 2002: Good quantity, bad quality
weekend provided flights every day, but unfortunately each flight could
have been more successful. Also the hg competition arranged by my club
and me could have been more successful. A short report from each day
Thursday: When we arrived at 2000 conditions were still quite
good at Tronfjell, and I got a nice evening flight in calm
Friday: The last waypoints for the competitions (the three LZ)
were marked and recorded, and I got the message that our meet director
had backed out and that Øyvind Ellefsen had to step in. Today's
flying also proved to be a limited success. We tried to launch from the
south launch hoping for the thermal to turn the Northern winds a the
launch - it never happened. But instead of accepting this we tried to
wait, and wait. Finally I had enough sense to accept our blunder, hooked
in and carried the wing and harness 860 meters to the other launch. By
now, however, conditions were not to good here either as the sun was
gone from this launch, and I only got a prolonged sledge ride down to
Tylldalen. The drawback with this landing is that it is a 80 km drive to
pick up pilots because you have to drive around entire Tronfjell (the
mountain we start from). The day was complete when one of the two
responsible for scoring also backed out, and quite a few of the ones
that had promised to come to Tron also backed out.
Saturday: First day of the competition. Well, it is safe to say
the things were not very organised. Conditions were quite good, but
unstable and it quickly overdeveloped. Still, during the afternoon
conditions became quite good again, and if we had been quicker starting
the competition it could have been better than what it turned out to be
(that is at least my opinion). Another problem was that I had to take a
much more active role in the organisation of the competition than I had
foreseen and had competence to do, and this really ruined my flying
today as I had to start late because I had to be available most of the
Sunday: Basically the same story as yesterday.
Conclusion: One experience richer and a quite aggravated pilot
(me) after a competition that turned out as badly organised combined
with what turned out to be quite bad flying for me as well these two
days. The reason is that I had to take responsibility of something I had
very limited (actually non-existing) experience with. Further, this took
focus and the time available away from my own flying. What a weekend -
On the positive side quite a few of our freshest hg-students and pilots
turned up and had a number of excellent flights - they got by far more
airtime than me and many even reached cloud-base several times. Also a
great thanks to everyone who helped plan and organise the competition,
especially Jostein, Steinar, Alf, and Øyvind. Further Roger, Knut, Pål
Øyvind, Truls, and Stein all provided valuable support.
6th - Thursday - 2002: No-fly and off to Tron
4th I tried to improve my so far terrible flying season by a Wflying guaranteed"
expedition to nearby Grøtterud near Hvittingfoss (1 hour driving). The
disadvantage with the launch is that it takes 10 minutes to carry the
equipment to the launch - with a 37 kg WW Fusion that is a looooong way.
And off course, the day was not that safe after all - there were very
strong cycles, cross-wind and no flying (aaaaarrghh), and I had to carry
everything back (aaarrghh again).
Today I am off to Tronfjell to organise the fourth round of the
Norwegian Hang Glider Cup (NC). We are four who are going to Tron today,
while the rest of the "organising committee" arrive Friday.
The weather forecast looks quite promising. So then there is nothing
else to to than pray to the weather demons, and hope that I have
prepared everything that needs preparation. Report of the calamities
will follow on Monday.
1st - 2nd - Saturday and Sunday 2002: Wrong place
weekend I decided to try to fly locally, meaning near Oslo. The weather
forecast was not that promising and I am really feed up with driving. We
tried to fly from Ringerud both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday it
overdeveloped and I only got about 15 minutes flight. I had a bad
landing, flew to slow and had no energy left to stall the wing, and
broke the connection between the instrument pod and the clamp. A few
other pilots also got prolonged sledge rides, while some managed to stay
up 45-60 minutes.
Sunday: Crosswind at the launch and quite strong winds. Westerly winds
are no good at all at Ringerud. A couple of pilots flew, and Sverre B.
got a short XC flight. The rest of us de-rigged and went home.
In Gudbrandsdalen the conditions were quite good both days - I had
definitely chosen the wrong weekend to stay home.
26th - Sunday - 2002:Weekend off from flying
has been a rainy week and no flying. Today, Sunday, it was possible to
fly but I never bothered to drive for one and a half hour in the risky
conditions - overdevelopment and rain showers. Instead I drove to Knut
Johansen (largest hg dealer in Norway) to get some hg-equipment as
prizes for the upcoming hg-competition organised but my club Oslo og
17th - 21st - Friday to Monday: Limited success
had really high expectations for this long weekend. All four days had
been devoted to flying, and I hoped to get at least two XC flights and
quite a few hours of flying. Still, the weather demons wanted it
Friday: The Norwegian national day (equivalent to the US 4th of
July, but even more "Holy"). The winds were too strong, but me
and Alf together with our girlfriends did quite some hg-waiting at
Brandstadkampen in Gudbrandsdalen before giving up.
Saturday: Totally blue conditions and light northern winds. As a
result of this we decided to start from Espesetra, a prime XC site on
light northern winds. Conditions were, however, difficult and I even had
problems getting much above the start. After about 35 minutes of
struggling one thermal finally took me up to 1950 meters, and I immediately
headed for Torgeirkampen taking advantage of the tail wind.
Torgeirkampen is a hill which is the next safe thermal generator on the
route south. Today, however, this safe thermal generator proved to fail,
and I stranded at Kvam after only 12 km. In addition, I had a quite
rough landing and I broke the far left batten. Later that evening/night
I managed to repair the batten using a small steel tube, super epoxy and
After having dropped of my girlfriend at our home near Oslo and sleeping
for a few hours, I rushed to Hallingdalen and our new club site at
Nesbyen. I hoped to get my first XC flight from this place, but once
again the weather demons wanted it otherwise. With lot of clouds and
cross wind we had to go to Flatagrov further north. Here we "enjoyed" a
prolonged sledge ride. A very bad pay-off considering that we had to
drive more than 400 km. The wing went as straight as always after the
Monday: Rain - the weather demons last triumph.
13th - Monday: 100th altitude flight
this weekends lousy performance I decided to the give it a try at
Brandbukampen this afternoon. I hoped to get a nice, easy and
uncomplicated flight on the sea-breeze to celebrate my 100th altitude
flight. Still, the weather demons wanted it otherwise, and provided
almost 0-wind conditions. The sun was, however, shining and I got my
100th flight, so the day turned out to be quite nice anyway. My 100th
flight included a perfect launch, a prolonged sledge ride, and an OK
May 9th- 12th - Thursday to Sunday: Lousy weekend
report from this long weekend: 900 km of driving, 16 minutes of flying.
The flight was on Thursday, a day where Werner J. flew 182 km from Øyer
to Åndalsnes, and 2 pilots flew from Vågå to Åndalsnes (101 km). And
where was I - at the main LZ of course, after my 16 minutes flight. The
rest of the days the winds were too strong for any good flights. What a
horrible weekend. The only consolation was that I spent the weekend with
some really nice pilots (and drank quite a few beers).
4th- 5th - Saturday and Sunday: Not my best flying weekend
are two main reasons this was not a good weekend for flying 1)
wrong place (and time) and 2) bad flying. Due to a relatively negative
weather forecast a few of us decided not to drive for 3 1/2 hours to
Saturday we tried our new club site near Nesbyen in Hallingdal. The
forecast indicated NE-wind, and we trusted the thermals to it launchable at
this SE start. Sure enough, it was possible to start, but it proved
difficult to soar. Egil and Morten got up, and Morten flew 38 km to
the NW, landing at Ål. The rest of us just got 10-15 minute in the air. I
started between Morten and Egil, and really have no excuse for not
getting up, I just flew really bad - again. Lesson learned (again):
In marginal conditions, you only have one chance to get up - use it!
Sunday I and Anders from Lier Hanggliderklubb tried to fly at Ryghåsen,
but we could not get hold of the key to the bar blocking the road to
Therefore we tried our luck at Solbergåsen although the wind direction
was wrong. Still, as we arrived the thermals made this place launchable.
Before we were able to rig our wings the nice Cu's overdeveloped and we
were stuck with 0-wind at best and tailwind. Fearing consistent
overdevelopment and tailwind, we decided to launch in one of the
occasional 0-wind cycles. The result was a sledge ride done to LZ for
both of us. 1 1/2 hours after we started/landed the sea breeze swept up the valley and made it soarable at Solbergåsen. Just what we
1st - Wednesday: New OziEx maps
flying last weekend. The rain was splashing down. Still, it suited me
just fine, as I had both an exam at a doctoral course to deliver and a
deadline on a consulting project I am work on (Strategy
Tuesday I received a number of calibrated maps from Robin Strid. They
are all posted on the OziEx site. I have not checked the calibrated
thoroughly, but judged by waypoints they seem very accurate.
For the time, my aim is to publish as many maps as possible. Later on I
will hopefully have enough maps to be able to select the best ones, both
in terms of format/size and calibration. Still, for now everything
calibrated will be published. Therefore, please send me (calibrated)
maps, and feed back on how accurate the different maps are calibrated. To
check the calibration you can for instance record a track log as you are
driving, and see whether this track log correspond with the road on the
you find a map that needs recalibration, it would be nice if you either
sent me a recalibrated map, or if you included a few waypoints I can use
to recalibrate the map myself. Use for instance easily identifiable
road-crosses, bridges, or other objects that are easy to find on the
map. It would also be nice if you also included the track log you used
when identifying the inaccurate calibration.
20th & 21st - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: The season has
weather forecast looked very promising for this weekend, and as most of
the snow is gone in Gudbrandsdalen Alf and I, and lots of other pilots,
decided to try Frya
(for non-Norwegian readers: Gudbrandsdalen is
a valley and the No 1 flying and XC place in Norway, and Frya one of the
launch sites during the spring and early summer). Finally, we experienced a very
good weekend for flying - sun, and not much wind. After a a couple
of hours waiting for the best possible conditions I started at 1500.
Even thought the conditions looked perfect it was difficult to get very
high above the launch, and after struggling for about 1 1/2 hour I
nearly gave up. But then I finally managed to catch a thermal than took
me from launch level and 900 meters up. I then flew south heading first
for Ringebu, and then for Fåvang. Near Fåvang I saw a wing at a field
and decided to land here as well. This was my first XC
flight in Norway. The pilot that had landed before me was Geir
Markeng. After de-rigging Knut Skinnarmo picked us up and drove me back
up to the launch to get the car. I then had to go and pick up Alf, who
had flown north to Lesja and had covered 85,8 km in his Bright Star
Millennium (the only one in Norway). We ate dinner on the way back from
Lesja, drank 3 beers back at the camp, and went to sleep. Robin had the
longest flight of the day: Frya-Lesjaskog - 114 km. Terje
"Birdman" Brønstad had the come-back of the year with 67 km
in his first flight after the bad crash at Christmas Day.
Sunday looked equally promising as yesterday. Still, conditions were
quite difficult and it was even more difficult than yesterday to get
very high above the launch - for me at least. It was some consolation,
however, that it was quite easy to hang 100-300 meters above the launch.
Actually, I flew as long as I wanted. A final bonus was that saw my old wing in the air for the first
time. It was good to see that it is flown and not stored
Weekend summary: 4 hours 5 minutes of flying, 18 km XC, 800 km of
driving, 3 (!) beers, and two junk-food dinners.
13th Saturday - 2002: First flight from Ryghåsen
weather forecast for today varying from very promising to really quite
bad depending on source. It was the ARL
(Air Resource Laboratory [see also Frode Halse's weather links]) that
proved to provided the best forecast, as usual. Needless to say, this was the
"quite bad" forecast with 100 % cloud cover. Anyway, I wanted
to fly so I joined Lier Hanggliderklubb at Lierkroa at 0900 as I wanted
to have the possibility to fly from Ryghåsen, a "Lier only"
launch. When we arrived at Ryghåsen conditions actually looked
promising as the wind seemed strong enough for ridge soaring. Werner and
Rolf started first and got up reporting that they got up using thermals!
I started as number three and had to give up after 10 minutes. It was
definitely possible to get up, but I just did not fly good enough today
- I definitely need more more practice in marginal conditions. The only
consolation was that also Øystein had to land after about 10 minutes.
Still, I got airborne, and I got 10 minutes more experience in marginal
conditions, AND I got a really good excuse for taking a beer or more
this evening (not that I need one).
9th Tuesday - 2002: Redesigned GPS page, check it out
have redesigned the GPS page (top left link). The changes are mainly
that I have split Southern Norway into regions, each with maps,
waypoints, selected track logs, and so forth. I have also linked each
individual map, and not just one big Zip-folder containing all maps. So
now even those with a slow Internet connection should be able to
download maps. There are still a few links that should be added, but the
most important element, the maps, are as complete as in previous GPS
page. The design itself is not too great, but I am only an amateur
hacker and my main aim has been to make it easy to upgrade and use. Hope
everyone is satisfied. If not - too bad, check out some other sites
instead. Do you have suggestions for improvements, corrections, or if
you have OziEx calibrated maps you want me to include - please to not
hesitate to mail me.
6th & 7th - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: Weekend in Kristiansand
flying this weekend. It is pay back time since I left my girlfriend
alone all Easter, and I have to build goodwill for the rest of the spring and
for the summer. I have a really kind and patient girlfriend that
let me use so much time on flying.
22nd - April 1st - 2002: Easter vacation and flying in Laragne
am back from Laragne - France. Here are the highlights from the
-> 5 flights and about 5 hours.
-> 3 different sites; Chabre, Mt. Colombis, and Aspres.
-> My first XC-flight (16,8 km).
-> 8.000,- Norwegian kroner ( 1.000,- Euro) poorer.
-> About 30 beers and a few litres of win consumed.
-> About 55 hours of driving (10 Red Bulls consumed).
All in all, a normal hg vacation.
The number for flights was as expected although we hoped for more. The
largest disappointment was the airtime, 5 hours is not that much. Still,
conditions were quite difficult with high air pressure. Also better
flying would have increased my airtime, but with this training I am
definitely well prepared for the Norwegian thermal and XC season. All in
all, it was a great hg vacation and a superb vacation - many thanks to
Alf O., Kenneth K. and Anders R. for nice company.
21st - Thursday: Sundvollen once again + no journal during Easter
again the weather forecast looked promising for Sundvollen, 6 m/s N
winds and some sun. But what did I find? 1-2 m/s N-NE winds and only
marginal conditions. I managed to extend the sledge ride with about 5
minutes before I had to head for the LZ. Not exactly what I hoped for,
but at least I got short flight, and the marginal conditions provided
good training. Frode Halse and 4 other pg-pilots also flew today.
Tomorrow I am heading for France and Laragne for the Easter. Therefore,
the journal will not be updated before April 2nd at the earliest.
Hopefully, I will then be able to post a long report from a number of
outrageously good flights in Laragne. So long - happy Easter.
16th - Saturday: Long drive, short flight.
weekend's flying expedition went to Hallingdalen and our club's flying
site at Fekjan/Påverud. This is about 160 km north of Oslo, a 2 hour
drive. The weather forecast was quite promising, but Saturday morning
there was no sun. Well, we (Bjørn J., Francis [students] and myself,
Steinar had been there since Wednesday) decided to give it a try anyway
as it is important for the student to get as many flights as possible
before conditions become more demanding with stronger thermals. When we
arrived at Fekjan/Påverud the wind was a bit from the right, but it was
definitely possible to start, but no hopes for anything else than a
slegde ride. We all got a nice slegde rides down to the LZ on the frozen
river. I then drove the other three
up for a second flight. A long drive, but a nice day after all with a
total of 7 flights from our club site.
9th - 10th - Saturday & Sunday: Excellent Sunday at Sundvollen.
to extremely much to do at the doctoral programme I attend at the
Norwegian School of Management there is only a very brief report from
Saturday: Alf and I tried to get a flight from Jondalen outside
Kongsberg, 75 km or so NW of Oslo together with Knut J. og Torstein B. from
the local hg-club. The weather forecast promised lots of wind though, and
this proved to be correct. Up to 18 m/s at the ridge above the
launch. No flying today.
Sunday: Quite good weather forecast, which proved to be correct also
today. I got nearly 2 hours of ridge- and thermal soaring, max. altitude
about 1200 meters, best lift 4,4 m/s. Finally a nice flight, I really
needed this after the last weeks failed attempts and lots of
2nd - 3rd - Saturday & Sunday: Another lousy weekend for
bad weekend for flying.
Report follows: Saturday - 1000-1600 waiting for the wind to decrease,
it never did (well actually those how waited until 1700 got an hour long
flight). Sunday - 1000-1230 waiting for tailwind to turn at Sundvollen,
it did not. Then we tried Åsa, were we rigged the wings before the
tailwind caught us here as well. Then we got message that it looked
promising at Sundvollen. Johannes managed to start while a thermal
passed us at the start at Åse. Then three of us gave up, while Steinar and I rushed
Sundvollen trying to get at least a sledge ride.
Here it was 0-wind, but by the time we had rigged our wings (again), it was
tailwind (again). It seemed like all the weather demons in Norway were after
us this weekend. I will NEVER GO HANG GLIDING AGAIN - at
least not before next weekend.
28th - Thursday - 2002: Club meeting.
evening we had one of our rare club meetings; we have not been very good
at taking care of this aspect of flying in our club. Still, by the
initiative of Steinar J. and Roger K. we finally managed to organise a
meeting. The meeting was held at the premises of the MRO department of
SAS at Gardermoen International Airport. The program for the evening
included hg-videos, a
"lecture" on how to use GPS and OziExplorer, while "the
grand finale" was a tour of the MRO facilities, held by club member
Agnar T. At Gardermoen SAS
have the MRO of their MD-80 fleet. It was fascinating to see the MD-80's striped all down to the aluminum body. It seemed like everybody
had a great time, at least I had.
23rd & 24th - Saturday & Sunday - 2002: Windy weekend
Finally! Really good flying conditions at Sundvollen. Conditions were
perfect for ridge soaring, mixed with gigantic smooth thermals. I have
never experienced such good conditions at Sundvollen before. Here, it
often seems like it is either 0-wind or extremely strong wind. Anyway,
today it was perfect. The wind varied between 4-6 m/s, the direction was
almost 90º on the ridge, and as mentioned, we had large thermals as
well. I flew for 2 hours and 20 minutes, and reached 1020 meters above
sea level/960 meters above the landing and 640 above the launch. It was
quite cold, about -4ºC at 1000 meters, and I had to land because I was
so cold that I was shaking, and I could not feel my toes. Today we were
hang gliders, para gliders, and sail planes in the air at the same time.
Agnar, one of our students got one flight before conditions became too
Sunday: After last day's success I was hungry for more flying, and when
we arrived the conditions looked really promising. First, Agnar got a
flight, his forth. The conditions were quite calm, but on the edge of
what a student should fly in. But Agnar had a nice flight. Bjørn J.,
the other student that showed up today, came later, and then conditions
definitively was too strong, and he did not get any flights today. But
then, neither did any others. As we were ready to launch in what seemed
like perfect conditions, the wind increased substantially. The wind
speed was measured between 45 and 60 km/h at the launch ramp. A bit too
much, and we decided call it a day. The sail planes above us seemed to
enjoy the conditions though.
All in all, the weekend was quite a success. At least I am satisfied
with 2 h. 20 min. in February. And now it is just a few weeks until the
"thermal-season" starts for real.
22nd - Friday - 2002: Pic's from last Sunday
wing (Fussie) and me.
Both photos: Line Hagen.
19th - Tuesday - 2002: Sundvollen once more
the weather forecast promised relatively strong NW winds, ideal for
rigde soaring at Sundvollen. Alf Oppøyen and I decided to give it a
try, hoping for a couple of hours nice winter ridge soaring. But once
again Sundvollen proved to disappoint us; the wind was not strong enough
for soaring. It was sunny, however, so we waited and hoped for a few
weak winter thermals instead. But the thermals only provided reasonable
launch wind and not soaring. Still, the day was quite successful, no
work and nice sunny weather - Norwegians do not demand more in than that
in February. Alf had his first flight of the year on his Bright Star
17th - Sunday - 2002: Static winch launching
the last days misfortune, I decided to try out something completely different - as
you may imagine, I have had enough of Sundvollen/Åsa for a while.
Instead I phoned Knut Johansen to find out whether he and Torstein
Båsen were winching near Bolkesjø this weekend. Knut phoned me be back
on Sunday morning and told me and confirmed that, and I drove the 110
km SW of Oslo, hoping to get a few flights. The weather was fine, and
everything looked promising, maybe my bad luck had changed? But no, here
we go again. As I was rigging Knut was winch launching a LaMouette tandem glider. In his second launch the dolly got caught in the wire and
the tandem wing lifted the dolly as it was ascending. Knut released the
wire and landed safely, but the dolly took a 3-4 meter fall, and one of
the three wheels was put out of business. Using a dolly is the ordinary
way of winch launching in Norway, and we were a little insecure of what
to do next, but we (well actually Knut) decided to try out a foot launched
start. The foot launched start proved to be better and more comfortable
than using a dolly, at least in 0-wind conditions like today. My
problems, however, were not over. When winching I use a dual shoulder
release, and my two first launched were aborted after I had released the
first release/bridle because it system seemed to auto release the second
release/bridle. What was happening was that the shoulder release was too
close to the bottom-bar and as it came in contact with bottom-bar the
last release was deployed. Then, after these two launches our
communications system broke down (out of power), and we had to start the
winch launch using our mobile phones. Then finally, some luck. My third
launch was perfect and I gained about 500 meters on 1600 meters of wire.
Not too good, but I was happy. On my fourth and final launch the wing
started yawing and I chose to release at about 100 meters to be on the safe
side. Anyway, I was quite pleased with this conclusion of a otherwise
bad week for flying. I got airborne and tried out foot launched winching
for the first time. Static winch launching is a nice way of getting
airborne. At Åsa they only got sledge rides today.
13th Wednesday - 16th Saturday - 2002: A bad week for flying
flying week started at Wednesday when Steinar and I tried to get a
morning flight from Sundvollen, but the winds came from W-SW despite the
W-NW forecast. Friday, it was the same story, but now we stayed most of
the day hoping for a more favorable wind direction. It did not
Saturday looked kind of promising with stronger winds, but from the SW.
Still, this is ideal for Åsa, a few kilometers west of Sundvollen - we
land on the same forzen lake. This day we were a total of 7 pilots, 6
from Lier HGK and me. Conditions looked promising for ridge soaring.
Johannes launched first and went strait up. Then I started followed by
two others, and of course it was a weak period with weak winds, and we
only got about 11 minutes before standing at the LZ. The three next pilots waited for a while,
and got up and were soaring for more than two hours
- not amusing for us on the ground. Still, my flight was not good in any
respect, bad start and my harness zipper opened as launched.
Then my leg got caught in the zipper lines, and this distracted me so
that I flew very slow and lost manouvreing speed and was quite close to
some trees. The rest of the flight I flew like a novice, while the flight was concluded
with white-out and a hard landing at the frozen lake. Not a good
flight, and my mood did not get any better at the three other pilots
managed to soar for more than 2 hours.
4th - Monday - 2002: Easter vacation to Laragne(?) + flying
and fog during the weekend. Spent the time daydreaming and planning a
hg-holiday to Laragne, France, during Easter instead. This year Easter
comes early so there is not much hope for good conditions in Norway, so
we (Alf Oppøyen, Kenneth Karlsen, Anders Rolseth, and myself) hope to go to France
Saturday I finally received the "flying goggles" I ordered in
December. The goggles are made by Blueye, has a soft rubber frame and
impact resistant interchangeable lenses with anti fog coating. The
goggles fit inside the helmet, and feel really comfortable. They come
with two lenses; I chose yellow and smoke tint (they also come in
blue/clear, mirror, and rose). Blueye claim the goggles look really
cool, but I don't know about that - my girlfriend thought they looked
ugly. Still, I don't mind, as they seem to be perfect for flying, and I
can always use my ordinary ugly sun glasses when not flying. Take a look
all the way down on the equipment list to the right for a picture of the
goggles. The goggles are sold by Knut Johansen - Johansen
Produkter - in Norway.
27th - Sunday - 2002: Finally airborne again
the forecast looked quite promising, and Alf decided to take the
students to Sundvollen. When we arrived the wind direction was OK but it
was almost 0-wind. Anyway, it was good conditions for the students, but
only Francis and Bjørn J. showed up. Bjørn got 3 flights and Francis 2
1/2 after one questionable start. Still, my own start was not too good
either. The nose of the wing is still popping up as I get airborne. I
really must work on and concentrate on shifting grips from the uprights
to the speed bar while launching. Everyone just got sledge rides down to
This photo from 1999 should give a fairly good picture of today's
conditions, although it is three years old (same time of year and same
weather). Photo: Line Hagen.
January 25th - Friday - 2002: More driving
about 1300 pm I just could not hold it back. I had to give it another try at
Sundvollen. The original forecast look somewhat like Wednesday, but
looking out the window, conditions seemed much more promising. Even the weather station at Tryvann promised NW and 5 m/s.
So off course I had to drive to Sundvollen, and guess how the conditions
were. NO WIND. AAAAAAAAARRGGHHH! Still, as I had ruined so much of the day I
determined at least to get a sledge ride down so I rigged the wing.
While rigging the wind increased, and it started to look
promising after all. I hooked in, and walked to the ramp, and guess what
- now the wind had turned and came from W-SW, and was coming in at about
5-8 m/s. So strong wind from this direction makes this launch very
turbulent. I stood on the ramp for about 30 minutes trying to find
conditions calm enough to start, but finally I had to give up. Now it
was even starting to get dark - the sun sets at 1617 pm here in Southern
Norway these days.
23rd - Wednesday - 2002: Good weather forecast
weather forecast for Wednesday showed W-NW winds - ideal for Sundvollen
with it's 2-3 km NW ridge hang. Steinar J. and myself decided to give it
a try, but at Sundvollen it was almost O-wind, and even Eastern winds a
few km north of Sundvollen (smoke from a paper mill). We didn't bother
rigging for a sled ride, and decided to go back to work instead. To be
able to take these midweek trips is a definite advantage of been a
doctoral student. The pay is not too good, it is lots of flexibility and
the work is off course extremely interesting. If only the weather in
Norway could improve! Today (Thursday) it is snowing.
20th - Sunday - 2002:Bad weather and no flying
has been really bad flying weather here in Oslo lately. Rain, fog, and
the wrong wind direction. So there is not much to tell. While I am
waiting for better conditions, here is a nice (?) memory from two years
ago - well may be it is not nice, but it definitely proves that it is
not only hg-pilots that get turned on by a good hg harness.
April 22nd 2000 in Vågå. Photo: Bjørn Hammer
5th and 6th - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: First flight of the year
Alf and me were in the training hill at Årvoll, so that the students
could brush up their starting and landing skills are a long Christmas
holiday. Fransic and Florian showed up, Bjørn J. is still on holiday
and Agnar somewhere else. Everything went ok, and both students were
obviously ready for some real flying at Sundvollen the next day.
Sunday: The weather forecast look quite promising with NV winds. Still,
it turned out to be almost 0-wind at Sundvollen. Alf and I were
instructors today as well (actually mostly Alf, as I hoped to get a
flight myself). Today Florian got his two first altitude flights and
Francis three, and as he flew before Christmas he now has 5 altitude
flights. As the day progressed the conditions became more difficult with
cross wind or completely calm. At the end of the day, after waiting and
hoping form some wind and soaring, I finally started in 0-wind and had a
nice sledge ride down to frozen lake we us as LZ.
Sundvollen is a perfect start for hg-student's first altitude flight,
with a two starts, one nature start mostly used by the pg-pilots but
good as a "first-altitude-flight" start, and a quite steep
ramp for hg. Further the frozen lake we use as LZ is big enough to land
a jumbo jet (and with the low temperatures we have had lately, the ice
is probably strong enough to support a jumbo as well).
launching - his first altitude flight (Sundvollen, January 6th).
29th - Saturday - 2001: Wing rescue
the accident on Tuesday it was time to rescue what was left of the wing.
The rescue party consisted of Egil Toft, Alf Oppøyen, my father Terje
and myself; Line (my girlfriend) was responsible for catering, and Knut,
a local pilot, joined us during the rescue. (We notified the Police
about the wing on Tuesday so that no one should initiate a rescue operation because
of a wing hanging from the cliffs).
Egil and myself climbed down the crevice while Alf and Terje H. stayed up
and should be responsible for pulling the wing up. But when Egil and I
reached the wing, Alf had already climbed half-way down by the help of
the ropes. After some back and forth we managed to manouvre the wing so
that we could take out the battens while it was still hanging from the
cliff. After removing the battens we folded the wing together and
lowered it all the way down in the crevice, and packed it together there. We then
pulled the wing up using the ropes. All in all, the wing look
surprisingly fine. Both wing tubes and one upright were broken, and the
sail torn in several places. Still, the keel and the (carbon) crossbar looked
The entire rescue process took about 2 hours.
25th - Tuesday - 2001: X-mas "not-flying", iced wings, and
and meself decided to try out Sundvollen on Christmas Day, and have our
first "frozen water" landing for the season. While inspecting
the ice (was it thick enough?) two other pilots also showed up. It was
about -12 ºC, and 0-wind, but humidity was as high as 90 %. As we were
rigging the wings, they where covered with a thin layer of
While I was wiping the ice of the sail of my wing, one pilot prepared to
start, and after waiting for a couple of minutes on the ramp he started.
The start itself look just fine, but just as he got airborne the wing
turned a bit to the left, and then immediately dived. After gaining more
speed the wing stopped diving, but it was clearly out of control. The
wing was still trying to turn left, and although flying speed looked
fine the wing acted as it was about to stall any split second. On its
way down one wing tip swept over the pg-start just below and to the left
of the hg-start, and before disappearing behind a peak some
spectators on the pg-start said that the left wing tip struck a three.
The entire flight look really bad, the pilot obviously had no control -
it had to be a terrible feeling.
After loosing the pilot out of sight Egil, Steinar, and myself rushed
down to look for him. We searched for about 15 minutes without finding
him, and he was not responding when we shouting for him. We then
discovered him hanging down in a crevice between the cliff and some threes at the bottom of
a ravine, about 5 metres below us - it should have been impossible to
end up there, still there he was. He had obviously hit the cliff really
hard, and been unconscious for 10-15 minutes, further he had broken his
left arm. Still, taking everything into consideration, I think he was
quite lucky after all, as this could have ended up really bad. The wing
is probably totaled, but we was able to save vario and harness. The
helmet was broken on both the left and right side. After a painful and
difficult climb to the top (with a broken arm), Egil drove the pilot to
the hospital. The hospital concluded that he had broken his arm (we had
figured that out already) and that he had a severe concussion (not a
surprise taken the condition of the helmet into consideration). The
fractured arm probably needs surgery, not just a plaster.
What caused the accident is still a mystery, but we suspect that it
could have been caused by ice on the sail. The pilot is really
experienced, and it is not at all likely that he stalled the wing all
the way down. The pilot himself does not remember anything from the
So a word of caution for all winter pilots: Include in the
preflight check an inspection of the sail for ice, and wipe of all ice
and frost immediately before flying, and do not fly if the ice and frost
develops quickly on the sail. Although the cause of the accident is not
determined this is an easy and costless precaution.
24th - Saturday - 2001: Our students first altitude flight
weather provided an opportunity for our students first altitude flight.
We had originally planed to one more day in the training hill, but all
three students that showed up, Bjørn J., Francis, and Agnar, claimed to
be very ready for the big leap. This could also be our last chance
before the course break before Christmas (at this point in the course
both instructors and students alike need a little break, and most of us
also need to spend a few weekends with our families as well before another
year of hg-ing).
The wind as S-SW so we (the students, Terje Birdman Brønstad, Steinar
J., and myself) went to Brandbukampen about 75 km north of Oslo. The
launch is perfect for beginners, and there are large fields/LZs just
beneath the start. Once we arrived we started to rig the wings, but was
interrupted by a shower, nothing much but the rain was "undercooled"
and froze once it hit the ground AND ours wings. We managed to save the
two Atlas', but the Clubman was covered by ice. As hgs do not have a
de-ice switch we had to drop using the Clubman. After 15 minutes the
weather was fine again, and we could rig the Atlas' and make ready for
our students big leap. I was responsible for the launch, and
Birdman for guiding them safely down on the LZ. I think everyone was a
bit nervous, both instructors and students. But it was no problems, all students started,
flew, and landed like they never had done anything else. As we now only
had two wings the students only got two flights each. I think this
turned out to be a
great day, and probably one both the students and I will remember forever
- they for their first hg flight, and I as the first time I was
responsible for sending out students on their first altitude
10th and 11th - Saturday and Sunday - 2001: Yeah - I'm flying!
Saturday: HG course again, my first day as a "real"
instructor. Only Bjørn J. and Francis showed up. Both of them got a
number of good flights in windy conditions at the new school hill at
Kjeller (opposite of the existing one).
Sunday: Tail wind at all three training hills (Årvoll and
today - it should be impossible, but that is the Norwegian autumn weather.
As a result of this, we (Øyvind
Ellefsen and me) went out to Sundvollen instead, as we had heard
that pilots were soaring there. Øyvind borrowed my "for
sales" Amour, as he has sold his Moyes Litespeed before his annual
winter trip to Australia - he leaves next week. When we arrived the wind
had off course become weaker. Still, it was possible to fly, and we had
a nice 5 minutes sledge ride. Anyway, I actually flew for the first time
in about 12 weeks. I was a nice feeling. After the flight we had dinner at Vik
together with Frode
Halse and Christer Bonde. Frode treated me with
an ice cream for dessert since I
drove him back up to the start so that he could pick up his VW Caravel.
3rd and 4th - Saturday and Sunday - 2001: Windy weekend
Tried both days to get a flight from Sundvollen, 25 minutes driving
north-west of Oslo. Both days provided strong and skewed wind (too much
west for the NW launch). On Sunday we also experienced a few rain
showers with additional wind created by the showers. Saturday three
pilots, all experienced old-timers, flew. The rest of us chickened out.
Sunday I do not think anyone flew, but I gave up early and went home.
Maybe someone gave it at try?
30th - Tuesday - 2001: Instructor license
Now it is official, my instructor license arrived today. I really passed
the training - yeah.
26th - 28th - Friday to Sunday - 2001: Instructor course - no
Still not official, as I have not received the license, but it looks as
if I passed HP/NLFs (the Norwegian hang glider association) instructor
training this weekend. This means that I am can organise a hg course on
my own, and grant/renew hg-licenses. Quite a responsibility!
20th - Saturday - 2001: Desperate flying attempt/Hate the autumn
It is a long times since I have been
flying. Consequently, my decision making is becoming more and more
irrational. Saturday morning provided fog, nearly 0-wind, extremely low
cloud-base, and generally BAD weather. Still, as I had the day off, I
had to try, so Steinar Johnsen, Knut Skinnarmo and I decided to make an
attempt at Ryghåsen west of Drammen. Naturally, we did not fly. I HATE THE
NORWEGIAN AUTUMN. It just is not flyable.
18th - Thursday - 2001: Club Annual Meeting/General Assembly
Today at 7 pm we had the annual
meeting (general assembly) for our club, Oslo og Omegn Hanggliderklubb.
Main tasks this year were to elect new members for our executive
committee, and to approve the clubs annual report. I was reelected as
chairman, and Jostein Vorkinn was reelected, this time as treasurer. New
members were Steinar Johnsen, Roger Korsvik, and Roar Elgaaen.
After for formal part of the meeting, the club treated everyone who came to the meeting with pizza (we were only about 12 people out of a total of
57 or so members). In addition, a number of prizes were awarded for
various achievements the last year. Categories and winners were as
follows: Most airborne hours, Morten Holo; most flights Erik Vermaas;
driver of the year, Terje Brønstad; the dealer-support-prize for worst
crash, myself; club member of the year, Steinar Johnsen and Roger
Korsvik for the development of a new hg-start near Nesbyen. All received
diplomas and a variety of prizes (beer, motor oil [driver of the year],
chocolate, and so on).
This years largest surprise was a number of engraved plates with club
logo and names made by Steinar. They looked really cool. I got two
plates in different sizes, both also with my name engraved.
13th Saturday & 14th Sunday - 2001: More HG course & misc.
Not much flying for me lately, instead weekends are used for training
our new hg-students. They are by the way soon ready for their first real
flight. Saturday we were at the training hill at Årvoll. Øyvind
Ellefsen, today's head instructor, overslept and I had to phone and
wake him. Still, we had a nice and effective day in the training
Sunday proved to be one of the really annoying days with tail wind in
all three training hills near Oslo - Årvoll, Lahaugmoen, and Kjeller.
We even rigged the wings at Årvoll. Here this weekends main
entertainment also took place. While Terje "Birdma" Brønstad
talked to a potential hg-student (a woman off course), the rest of us
de-rigged and put the wings on the roof rack on Terje's car, all the
rest of the equipment in the trunk of his Voyager, including his car
keys. Off course we also locked the door. After about 20 minutes of
"grand theft auto" activities, one the the hg-students managed
to get hold of Terje's harness containing the keys through a small hole
between the passenger seat and the trunk. We then drove to Lahaugmoen,
and then to Kjeller - fog and tail wind both places.
6th - Saturday - 2001: Checking our course wings
After the course today Terje
"Birdman" Brønstad, Alf Oppøyen, Steinar Johnsen and myself
checked our course wings (Atlas') and tried to get an overview of what
was in Terje's garage - our current course wing and equipment storage
facility. We threw about a ton of old and damaged equipment, including
Terje's crashed Merlin - he had an unpleasant meeting with mother earth
this summer. But we also found a lot of stuff that we did not even knew
of, including wires and tubes for the Atlas'.
Our current inventory of course hang gliders now include: one Atlas 14
(needs a total overhaul), two Atlas 16 (OK condition), one Atlas 18
(needs new wires), three ClubMan (two need a check but are probably OK,
one needs a total overhaul and probably repair after a crash).
29th Saturday & 30th Sunday - 2001: HG course
Two quite successful days in the training hill at Kjeller, a few
kilometers north-east of Oslo - for our students that is. Alf Oppøyen was instructor, with me as
assistant. We had four students attending Saturday and three on Sunday.
Saturday we even had two pilots from last years course in the hill,
training starts and landings. One of them, Roger Korsvik, even tried out
his Moyes Extralite for the first time. All the students how attended
this weekend have had a quick progression and fly fairly well. The last
part of Sunday was cancelled because of rain.
16th - Sunday - 2001: HG course
The weather has definitely turned bad - really bad - here in Oslo. Wind
from the North and and the East, and lots of rain. Still, we were in the
school hill both Saturday and Sunday. I helped out as an "assistant
instructor" on Sunday. Quite fun, but we had to call it a day after only
a couple of hours because of rain and crosswind.
11th - Tuesday - 2001: OziEx Maps
A number of maps of Southern Norway calibrated for OziExplorer are now
available. Follow the GPS link to the left. Please let me know if you
find that some of the maps are not accurately calibrated. Wednesday -
today I have even remembered to add the maps :)
6th - Thursday - 2001: Hand surgery
Looks like Erik Slattum will need
hand surgery after his crash May 1st this year at
Sundvollen :( His wrist is not getting any better and the doctors want
to take a piece of bone from his leg and build up the wrist again with
this. Sounds bad to me. Hope Erik will be OK again as soon as
5th - Wednesday - 2001: Intro. for HG Course 2001
Introduction and test day before this years hg course. Five potential
pilots turned up, and were told about the mysteries of hg flying and
soaring. They also tried out lifting and running with a hg. The result
was the ordinary school hill entertainment - people stumbling, crashing,
and falling all over the place. Still, all of them seem very motivated
and they did actually perform quite well for handling a hg for the first
Seems like we are going to have at least 5 students attending this
25th-26th - Saturday-Sunday - 2001: "Trontreff"
Last main event of the Norwegian flying season, organised by Terje
Trontreff is a social gathering at
Tronfjell 350 km north-north east of Oslo, and has become a tradition;
this years gathering was the 11th in a row. This social event is built
around a five event competition, including flying Saturday morning, and
four other events after BBQ Saturday evening. This year
weather was bad and subsequently it was no flying. As a result of this we had
five events in the evening. These included: javelin using a crowbar, football
(soccer) bowling, "Trontreff" bocha, milk pail (20 kg.)
throwing, and this
year introducing "test tube" rolling (they are all potential
sports). The latter event was a
kind of hurdle race, starting by being rolled down a hill inside the
test tube (see pics. below - or http://studenter.hig.no/knu_molo/tron2001/index.htm), then the contestants should climb and slide
down a children's slide, and finally run up the same hill
they rolled down - great fun, and this year we had no injuries.
Earlier competitions have seriously challenged the medical capacity of the
Pictures: Knut Vidar Moløkken, Hedemarken
19th - Sunday - 2001: Sail plane
No hg today despite nice weather. A few others went to Trøgstad for tug
launching. Instead I called Helge Langehaug to find out if he was going
sail plan flying - he was. The result was my first sail plane flight
ever. Got about 2 hours over Eggemoen north of Oslo. I hven tried to fly
for about 10 minutes, and managed to gain more than 200 meters. Sail
plains are indeed awesome flying machines, they have so much more energy
than a hg - we had a top ground speed of 201 km/h according to my gps. I
was really surprised to feel how much g we experienced, both positive