Flying Journal & Information - Archive 
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Published June 14th 
I 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 
Drove 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 further.  
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 sensible. 
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 else. 



May 29th - June 1st (Saturday to Tuesday): Record days in Gudbrandsdalen 
I 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: 
Saturday 29th: Clear blue day in Vågå, and Different groups try different strategies. A few drove West to Bismo to extend a possible xc-flight 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. 
Sunday 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 km. 
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. 



May 27th - Thursday: Steinar in Hallingdal + weekend plans 
Steinar 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. 



May 25th - Tuesday: Pictures from Köping 
HERE are a few pictures from the comp in Köping. 



May 19th to 24th - Wednesday to Sunday: Sponsor and report from the comp in Köping 
Tuesday 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 VG. 
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 windy. 
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. 



May 18th - Tuesday: Pictures, sponsor and Köping 
HERE 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. 



May 17th - Monday: Weekend report, 3830 masl in sailplane 
As 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. 



May 14th - Friday: Weekend plans 
I 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. 


 
May 11th - Tuesday: Pictures from Sunday + ants + more 
HERE are a few pictures from Sunday. The delay are caused by some initial download problems. 

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 flight.  

Egil 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 :-)

Short 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. 



May 10th - Monday: Ringerud on Sunday 
Finally 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. 

At 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 comp. 



May 6th - Thursday: New Icaro helmet - the Iguana 
Icaro 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
I 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. 



May 3rd - Monday: Frya Cup competition 
The 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



April 26th - Monday: National Team "training camp" in Vågå 
This 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.



April 19th - Monday: Much delayed Easter report 
The 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



April 2nd - Friday: Easter plans 
Today 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 Oslo. 


March 30th - Tuesday: Wrapping up the speedbar "case" 
Yesterday 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 acceptable margin. 
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 "zoom". 
=> 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. 



March 28th - Sunday: Soaring at Sundvollen + too long speedbar this time 
Yesterday 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 ice. 

Today, 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 log cabin) 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 dangerous, but 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. 



March 25th - Thursday: Specifications on the speedbar 
There 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. 

First 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. 

Publication 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). 

So what was this all about?
In 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. 



March 24th - Wednesday: Short Moyes speedbar 
I 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. 



March 18th - Thursday: Wills Wing Sport 2 
It 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



March 17th - Wednesday: The Moyes dealer on cracks and speedbar angle + Wills Wing Sport 2 
The Norwegian Moyes dealer responded to my questions about the cracks and the angle. 
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. 

Wills 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. 



March 16th - Tuesday: Moyes speedbar cracks and angle 
The 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). 
 



March 15th - Monday: Meeting, no flying 
No 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). 



March 12th - Friday: Nothing much going on 
Not 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 place. 
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 (in Norwegain).  



March 7th - Sunday: Course duty, Sundvollen once again 
I 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



The two entries below are both published March 4th due to PC break down. 

March 1st - Monday: Perfect day at Sundvollen 
With 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. 



February 29th - Sunday: Another weekend report 
Øyvind 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 flying. Amasingly, 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.  


February 22nd - Sunday: Weekend report 
Saturday 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 my life. 



February 20th - Friday: Club meeting and new helmet 
The 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 the left. 
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 4fight helmet. 



February 19th - Thursday: Photos and club meeting 
I 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 and beers. 



February 17th - Tuesday: Soaring at Sundvollen 
This 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 WEATHER DEMONS!
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 
Nice 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 course. 
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



February 11th - Wednesday: Operations committee hg/pg and Nordic HG Open 2004 
It 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 PG section. 
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. 



February 10th - Tuesday: Short video from Sunday 
Terje "Birdman" Brønstad launches his Seedwings Vertigo 15. <removed>. 



February 8th - Sunday: Good flying at Sundvollen 
Finally 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 Gudbrandsdalen. 
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.  


 
February 2nd - Monday: Weekend report, no flying 
Saturday 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



January 26th - Monday: No flying - more pictures 
I 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. 



January 20th - Tuesday: Pics from Sundvollen 
HERE are some pics from Sundvollen Saturday. 



January 17th-18th - Weekend: Sundvollen 
I 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 hg-student 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. 


 
January 8th - Thursday: Instructor duty but bad weather forecast, Bautek Spice  
I 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 Christmas break. 

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary for my nose breaking flight at Sundvollen. Here is a reminder of how it looked <pic>. 

Bautek 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 (published before). 



December 23rd - Tuesday: Wills Wing fastest growing brand in Norway + misc. 
It 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). 

I 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 savers). 

Dramatic 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!



December 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.  



December 7th - Monday: Lots of wind and no flying for me 
Both 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 early. 



December 5th - Friday: Ph.D course all week 
I 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 weekend. 



November 29th - Saturday: Training hill course duty again 
I 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. 



November 24th - Monday: Training hill course duty and search 
Saturday: 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 Ski,  about 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 work as 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. 



November 21st - Friday: Exam day + weekend plans 
Yesterday 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. 

Due 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. 



November 17th - Monday: Training hill course duty 
I 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. 



November 14th - Friday: Rescue chute exercise 
Lier 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 sometime. 



November 12th - Wednesday: Some product news 
Icaro2000 - 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.  

Bautek 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 Johansen

Woody 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. 

Guggenmos has developed a new high-end kingpost glider called Rebull. Guggenmos does not have any Norwegian dealer. 

La 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



November 10th - Monday: Weekend report - course duty 
Course 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. 



November 3rd - Monday: Theory day for the course and more 
Rain 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 flights. 



October 31st - Friday: Viper review, dealer comments 
Here 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. 

Knut: 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. 

Knut: 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. 

Knut: 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. 

Knut: 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. 

Knut: 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 issue. 

Knut: 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. 



October 30th - Thursday: Aeros Viper harness review after one year of use 
After 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. 



October 28th - Tuesday: Steinar Sverd Johnsen vs. Bjørn H. flying comp 
Steinar, 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 27/10) Steinar  Bjørn 
Airtime 50 h 24 min 35 h 52 min
# of flights 50 51
Longest xc-flight 58,3 km 39,8 km
XC-league, position and km 117,4 km 79 km
Comp results Nothing worth mentioning Nothing worth mentioning

To make things worse, he got a 45 minutes of ridge soaring at Brandbukampen yesterday. But I will be back next year. 



October 27th - Monday: No flying this weekend + Robin and Erik fly tandem 
I 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. 

On 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 experience. 



October 19th - Sunday: Course duty weekend 
Saturday: 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 altitude flights. 
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. 



October 13th - Monday: Dragonfly emergency landing and bad course weekend 
Alf 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. 

The 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. 



October 9th - Thursday: Course duty also this weekend 
One 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.  



October 6th - Monday: Perfect course weekend + Dragonfly to Kongssvinger 
Steinar 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). 

The 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 ride. 

It 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. 


October 3rd - Friday: Instructor duty, comp results, and Garmin series 
I 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. 

There 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



September 30th - Tuesday: Weekend summary and Litespeed test flight 
It 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. 

On 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. 

At Trøgstad Jostein Vorkinn also got his first flights on his Litespeed (Kenneth Karlsen's old). Jostein did his first two flight on the glider aero towing.  



September 26th - Friday: Meeting in Vågå + misc. 
I 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. 

Not 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 updates.  



September 21st - Sunday: Hg-course and some gossip  
I 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. 

Saturday 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. 



September 17th - Wednesday: Few hg-course students 
I 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. 

It 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.  



September 16th - Tuesday: Otto Baste, Aeros Spirit, new hg home page 
Saturday 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. 

Franz 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 Franz. 

Øyvind 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



September 15th - Monday: Breaking news!!! - New glider 
I 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 duty. 



September 14th - Sunday: Cross wind at Brandbukampen 
After 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. 


September 13th - Saturday: Aero towing at Trøgstad 
The 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. 

Øyvind 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. 



September 11th - Thursday: New addition to the Norwegian Moyes-boys  
Some 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. 


 
September 8th - Monday: Tronfjell report - accident, no flying but good party 
Terje "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 time. 

The 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. 



September 3rd - Wednesday: Cracked bracket pic. + plans for the weekend 
May 28th (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. 

Thursday 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. 



September 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. 
Sunday 31st:
Only 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. 
Saturday 30th:
Intro 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:
Not 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. 
Wednesday 27th:
Drove 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 
It 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. 

Brasilia 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 sailplane 
Trontreff 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 
Saturday: 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 with 85,1 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 for 2003. 
> 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 thought! 
> 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 
The 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. 


Glider choice - poll result (n=65) 
Thanks 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. 
Bautek Spice (21) ****************** 32%
Wills Wing Talon (13) *********** 20%
Wills Wing U2 (13) *********** 20%
Aeros Discus (10) ******** 15%
Aeros Combat 2 (4) *** 6%
Laminar MRX (4) *** 6%
 

August 5th - Tuesday: Aeros Spirit L, new hang glider? 
German 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. 

For DHV test report see HERE (English version). 



August 3rd - Sunday: Bautek Spice test flight and more 
Saturday 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 also flew.  
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 
- Frode 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 "popping" sound. 


 

July 19th to 26th: National Hang Gliding Championship 
This 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 tomorrow. 
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 final. 
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. 


 

July 12th to 18th: Week one in Vågå - Fantastic flying 
I 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 conditions.
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 home. 


 

July 11th - Friday: I am off to Vågå 
The 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 
Yesterday 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 
And 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 
Ref. 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 EVERYONE." 

It 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 the OzReport forum for discussion on the U2 and other gliders. 

My 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 
I 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 
The 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!!!


 
June 27th - Friday: Wills Wing U2 and Z5 
I 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. 


June 26th/27th - Thursday/Friday: Good, bad (and ugly) 
Someone 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. 


 

June 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 more patient. 

Insurance reimbursement: 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. 



June 17th - Tuesday: Day trip to Flatagrov - Hallingdal, rain problems, and winglets 
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. 


 

June 12th - Thursday: Update and weekend plans 
As 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 weather. 



June 6th - Friday: No flying for me this weekend 
The 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 exercises.  



June 4th - Wednesday: Misc. including a update on the Moyes brackets 
1) Cracked 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 bulletin. 
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? 



June 3rd - Tuesday: Bad weekend for me 
This 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 above Vågå. 
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 for my. 
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. 



May 28th - Wednesday: Cracks in Moyes a-frame brackets 
There 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 anything. The 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. 

It 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. 

What 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 pilots). 


The 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. 


May 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. 



May 23rd - Friday: Desperate flying attempt 
Desperate 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 to Fåvang. 



May 19th - Monday: Some good flight this weekend, more elbow, and some rumors 
Saturday 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. 

Today 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. 

Rumors 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.


May 16th - Friday: More about my elbow 
I 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. 



May 12th - Monday: Weekend in Hallingdal 
The 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 at 2300. 
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 day.  
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. 



May 5th - Monday: Correction - car key rescue - Aeros Viper review 
It 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 frame. 

Saturday 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!

I 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 more comfortable.  



May 4th - Sunday: Frya Cup and much more 
Here 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 handling. 
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 Espesetra. 
- 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 for meh. 

So 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. 

Car 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


April 30th - Wednesday: WW news, off to Frya for four days 
No 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). 

Later 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 weather. 



April 23rd - Wednesday: Easter report # 2 - A few good flights 
The 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 these conditions. 
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 significant lift 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. 



April 22nd - Tuesday: Misc. 
Here 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. 



April 18th - Friday: Easter report # 1 - Lots of driving, few flights 
Here 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 launch. 
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 hours. 
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. 



April 11th - Friday: Easter holiday and (hopefully) lots of flying 
The 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 of flying. 



April 10th - Thursday: Viper sew job - Off topic Kroma  
I 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. 

Kroma, 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). 



April 4th & 6th - Weekend: Sunny but windy 
Lots 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. 



April 2nd - Wednesday: Steinar Johnsen strikes back - Harness sew job - New Icaro helmet  
My 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 Easter. 

I 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. 

The new full face protective faired helmet from Icaro 2000 is launched. Take a look here for info and pics. 



April 1st - Tuesday: New hg-mobile 
I 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. 



March 31st - Monday: Marginal thermals 
The 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 more. 



March 30th - Sunday: Too much wind 
Today 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 up). 



March 27th - Thursday: New Bautek tandem - discussion forum 
Knut 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 released. 

I have added a link to Davis Straub's new discussion forum (see link to the left). Not much activity yet, but hopefully traffic will increase. 



March 23th - Sunday: Bombing - Magic day at Sundvollen 
As  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 bomb raid. 

Sunday: 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 site. Log book entry with track log



March 19th - Wednesday: Stig Kilvik upgrading his equipment 
It 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 xc-flight. 



March 18th - Tuesday: Accident pics from my crash in January 
All pics. are viewed at your own risk, and should not be viewed by anyone under 18 years of age. 
What 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. 



March 15th and 16th - Saturday and Sunday: Winch launching at Lake Mjøsa 
Hedemarken Hangglider Klubb had their annual "winch launch get-together" at Samuelsstuen at Lake Mjøsa this weekend. As Øyvind Ellefsen volunteered (?) to 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 stabilizers). 



March 12th - Wednesday: Soaring at Sundvollen 
Finally 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. 


March 7th - Friday: Log It, Garmin 12, and bad weather forecast 
> Øyvind 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. 



March 4th - Tuesday: PG-video + dealer rumors 
This 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).

Dealer 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. 


 
March 1-2 - Weekend: No-fly weekend for me 
Weekend 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. 



February 27th - Thursday: Sundvollen 
After 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 me. 
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.  


February 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". 



February 25th - Tuesday: Bautek review 
In my series of hang glider manufacturer reviews I have come to Bautek of Germany. 

Bautek
“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?
Here is a review of the Twister by Dennis Pagen - a Spice review is not yet available.  
> 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. 

Conclusion: If 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.


February 22nd - Saturday: 21 course flights 
Saturday 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 myself. 



February 15th and 16th- Saturday and Sunday: Lots of flying - Keel -  Atlas flight - hg-course 
Lots of flights this weekend. All the flight cover more than 3 pages in the online log book
I 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. 



February 14th - Friday: WW U2 - Promising weather forecast -  keel arrived  
New - 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). 

The 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). 

I 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 tandem. 



February 10th - Monday: Review of Moyes product line 
No flying this weekend due to rain, snow, and fog. I hate the Norwegian weather. 


One 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. 

Moyes  
It seems like Moyes continuo making new glider models. They have just released one new model, and two more are forthcoming.
> 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 Ultrasport). 
> 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 flying.
> 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 web-page.

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. 


February 7th - Friday: Misc. + Avian hang gliders 
> It has been snowing and unflyable the last week here around Oslo so it is nothing much to report on. 
> If 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.
> I 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 then. 
> 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. 

Avian
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 n
ew 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 from 1999. 
> 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 from 1996.
> 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
> News 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.


February 3rd - Monday: I HATE SNOW - HG-product info WillsWing 
As expected no hg-course this weekend due to heavy snow. I hate snow. 

Wills Wing
> 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 solid.
> 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 section.
> 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 flown it.
> 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.
>
News 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.


January 31st - Friday: HG-product info, today Icaro2000 
The 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. 

Icaro2000 - Laminar
> 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 pilots/student. 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 
Garmin 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 (in English).

If you want to buy a Geko Normap has favorable prices (Norwegian web shop), but I guess also others will have good introduction prices.  .



January 29th - Wednesday: New helmet 
After 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. 



January 27th - Monday: Steinar soaring at Sundvollen 
Steinar 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. 



January 26th - Sunday: Promising forecast, but not good conditions, WW Talon 
Erik 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 Norway. 



January 25th - Saturday: Changing web-provider 
I 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. 



January 24th - Friday: Fri Flukt spørreundersøkelse (text in Norwegian) 
Beskjed 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?

Gå 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 

Takk for hjelpen,

Med vennlig hilsen

Redaksjonen i Fri Flukt



January 21st - Tuesday: No surgery + pg accident 
I 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 hour. 
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. 



January 20th - Monday: Free nose job 
I 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. 



January 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. 



January 16th - Thursday: Finally a flight from Sundvollen - test of new Viper harness - hospital visit. 
The flight: Steinar 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 landings. 


January 14th: Better safe than sorry + new guestbook 
Today's 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 this? 

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. 



January 13th - Monday: Report from a frustrating weekend 
Short 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 Saturday. 
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. 



January 7th - Tuesday: Aeros Target test flight 
Sunny, 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 our hg-course. 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. 
As I 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. 


January 5th - Sunday: Aeros Viper harness + Aeros Target hang glider 
Johannes 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 hg-course. 
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 harness.  
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 wing.
I will post a "test report" once I have test flown it. 



January 3rd - Friday: My new harness has arrived 
My 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 Monday. 



December 27th - Friday: New Norwegian Wills Wing dealer - no flying - Øyvind E. in Australia 
-> 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
 



December 20th - Friday: Finally airborne again 
After 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 day. 



December 12th - Thursday: Desperate attempt 
Because 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. 



December 11th - Wednesday: Still no news - metal vote 
I 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? 

Please 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 



December 1st to 5th: Nothing new, just bad weather 
No 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. 



November 23rd - Saturday: HG-course at Flesberg 
Erik 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 day. 



November 16th and 17th: Weekend: Almost flying 
Steinar 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. 



November 12th - Tuesday: Glider doctors 
On 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. 



November 11th - Monday: Div. 
NB! 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. 

No 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 :-)



November 6th - Wednesday: "Birdman" and driving 
Seems like Terje "Birdman" Brønstad, current holder holder and multiple winner of our hg-club's driver of the year award*, has started the 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 Frya. 


  
November 5th - Tuesday: Not even a sledge ride 
As 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. 



November 4th - Monday: Aeros Viper - not Rotor Vulto 
Looks 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 here: 
http://www.justfly.com/harnesses/viper.htm 
http://www.davisstraub.com/OZ/index.php?Ozv6n225.shtml 

Dealer in Norway is Johansen Produkter


November 2nd and 3rd - Saturday and Sunday: NE winds and bad conditions 
NE 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 properly. 



October 26th and 27th - Saturday and Sunday: Our students first altitude flight! 
- Lots 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. 



October 21st - Monday: My top 3 and bottom 3 flights of 2002 
As 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): 
1) First XC flight and first flight in Laragne - France
2) First XC flight in Norway from Frya
3) Hydnefossen - spectacular nature and 3 hours flight

-1) Vågå - 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.  
-3) Påverud - 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. 



October 19th - 20th - Saturday and Sunday: Still waiting for the first altitude flight 
I 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. 



October 13th - Sunday: No course, no flying 
Bad 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 ........



October 9th - Wednesday: HG-harness + Log It + novice flying equipment 
Hg-harness: 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. 
bjorn@strategy-consulting.no
 



October 5th & 6th - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: No flying 
No 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. 



September 29th - Sunday - 2002: Towing and more  
Today 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. 

Today's rumors: 
- 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  
I 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. 


September 25th - Wednesday - 2002: Pictures 
Finally 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 more.  



September 21st & 22nd - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: HG course 
No 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. 



September 14th & 15th - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: Sundvollen 
Saturday 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 weather. 



September 9th - 2002: Season summary 
As 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).

Goal :                Achieved:

# of flights:              60                    65 (59 foot launched)
# of hours:               60                    36
# of new launches:     5                     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.

1) Psychological factors.
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. 

3) Flight preparations.
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 convenient ones.
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 before flying.
Third, I have been too preoccupied with good launch conditions instead of worrying about good flying and thermaling conditions, and started in weak periods.
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.



August 31st - September 1st - Saturday to Sunday: HG course starts + more 
This 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 you know. 

My 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. 


August 23rd to 25th - Friday to Sunday: "Trontreff" 
The 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. 



August 17th and 18th - Saturday and Sunday: Perfect weekend 
Finally 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 community :-)



August 10th - Saturday: Not sea breeze at Grøtterud 
Attempt 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 
Afternoon 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. 



July 29th to August 4th  - Monday to Sunday: More Hallingdalen 
After 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 night). 
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 (nice excuse). 
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 borrowed glider). 


July 26th to 28th - Friday to Sunday - 2002: Hallingdalen 
The 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 Dragger.  
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 the wing. 


July 21st - Sunday: 430 km of driving - 7 minutes of flying 
After 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. 



July 12th to 17th - Friday to Wednesday - 2002: Vågå 
Steinar 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 today.
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 disappointment. 
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. 



July 7th - Sunday: Aero towing at Spydeberg 
As 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 record. 



July 5th - Friday: Hallingdalen once again 
A 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. 



June 25th to 30th: Paris vacation 
The 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 vacation. 



June 21st & 22nd - Friday & Saturday: Hallingdalen 
Weekend 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 unfortunately. 
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). 



June 19th - Wednesday: Nice soaring at Brandbukampen 
The weather 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. 



June 14th - Friday: Friday flying and Birdman's expedition 
Friday 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. 

I took the Saturday and Sunday off from flying. 



June 6th - 9th - Thursday to Sunday - 2002: Good quantity, bad quality 
This 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 follows: 
Thursday: When we arrived at 2000 conditions were still quite good at Tronfjell, and I got a nice evening flight in calm conditions. 
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 day.  
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 - never again! 
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. 



June 6th - Thursday - 2002: No-fly and off to Tron 
Tuesday 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. 



June 1st - 2nd - Saturday and Sunday 2002: Wrong place 
This 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. 



May 26th - Sunday - 2002:Weekend off from flying 
It 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 Omegn HGK. 


May 17th - 21st - Friday to Monday: Limited success  
I 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 otherwise. 
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 aluminum tape. 
Sunday: 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 batten repair. 
Monday: Rain - the weather demons last triumph. 



May 13th - Monday: 100th altitude flight  
After 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 landing. 



May 9th- 12th - Thursday to Sunday: Lousy weekend 
Short 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). 



May 4th- 5th - Saturday and Sunday: Not my best flying weekend 
There 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 Gudbrandsdalen. 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 this launch. 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 needed. 



May 1st - Wednesday: New OziEx maps 
No 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 Consulting). 
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 map. If 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. 



April 20th & 21st - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: The season has started! 
The 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 best 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 away.  
Weekend summary: 4 hours 5 minutes of flying, 18 km XC, 800 km of driving, 3 (!) beers, and two junk-food dinners. 



April 13th Saturday - 2002: First flight from Ryghåsen 
The 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). 



April 9th Tuesday - 2002: Redesigned GPS page, check it out 
I 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. 


April 6th & 7th - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: Weekend in Kristiansand 
No 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. 



March 22nd - April 1st - 2002: Easter vacation and flying in Laragne 
I am back from Laragne - France. Here are the highlights from the vacation: 
-> 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. 



March 21st - Thursday: Sundvollen once again + no journal during Easter 
Once 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. 



March 16th - Saturday: Long drive, short flight. 
This 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. 



March 9th - 10th - Saturday & Sunday: Excellent Sunday at Sundvollen. 
Due 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 last weekend.
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 driving. 



March 2nd - 3rd - Saturday & Sunday: Another lousy weekend for flying. 
Another 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 back to 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. 



February 28th - Thursday - 2002: Club meeting. 
This 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. 



February 23rd & 24th - Saturday & Sunday - 2002: Windy weekend 
Saturday: 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 strong. 
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. 



February 22nd - Friday - 2002: Pic's from last Sunday 
My wing (Fussie) and me. 


Winch launching. 
 -
Both photos: Line Hagen. 



February 19th - Tuesday - 2002: Sundvollen once more 
Today 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 Millennium. 



February 17th - Sunday - 2002: Static winch launching 
After 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. 


February 13th Wednesday - 16th Saturday - 2002: A bad week for flying 
This 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 happen. 
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. 



February 4th - Monday - 2002: Easter vacation to Laragne(?) + flying goggles 
Rain 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 instead.  
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. 



January 27th - Sunday - 2002: Finally airborne again 
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 the LZ. 
-*-
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 
At 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. 



January 23rd - Wednesday - 2002: Good weather forecast 
The 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. 



January 20th - Sunday - 2002:Bad weather and no flying 
It 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



January 5th and 6th - Saturday and Sunday - 2002: First flight of the year 
Saturday 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). 

Florian launching - his first altitude flight (Sundvollen, January 6th). 



December 29th - Saturday - 2001: Wing rescue 
After 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 H., 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 undamaged. 
The entire rescue process took about 2 hours. 



December 25th - Tuesday - 2001: X-mas "not-flying", iced wings, and accident. 
Steinar 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 frost/ice. 
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 flight. 
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. 



November 24th - Saturday - 2001: Our students first altitude flight 
Finally the 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 flight. 



November 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 Kjeller*2) 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.  



November 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? 



October 30th - Tuesday - 2001: Instructor license 
Now it is official, my instructor license arrived today. I really passed the training - yeah. 


October 26th - 28th - Friday to Sunday - 2001: Instructor course - no flying 
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!



October 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. 



October 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. 



October 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 hill. 
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. 


 

October 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). 



September 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. 



September 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.


September 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 :)


September 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 possible. 


September 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 time. 
Seems like we are going to have at least 5 students attending this course. 


August 25th-26th - Saturday-Sunday - 2001: "Trontreff" 
Last main event of the Norwegian flying season, organised by Terje "Birdman" Brønstad.
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 new national 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 local hospital. 
Pictures: Knut Vidar Moløkken, Hedemarken HGK. 


August 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 and negative. 


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