15/9/99 - Jim Mallinson, 30.0km from Oliver's

Wednesday 15/9/99

TO: Oliver's Castle SU 000 646
LZ: nr. Shalbourne SU 299 624
Glider: Edel Response
Duration: 1:20
Distance: 30.0 km
TO witness: Adrian Thomas; no landing witness.

At about 2.30 Sam Moffett and I climbed out to 5000' under a high layer of stratus. I found it quite disconcerting to be ripping up at 4m/s under a grey sheet and phrases like "embedded cu-nim" were whizzing round my head.

With no sun on the ground and no darker patches in the cloud sheet the only thing to head for was a field on fire next to Paravion's training site. That didn't work so we landed. I rang Adrian who was on his way to Oliver's and he picked us up and took us back to the hill.

At about 4.30 I launched again and soon found myself in a very rough, strong and stinky thermal kicked off by a tractor muckspreading out front. I went with it and worked it till I had enough height to go for the burning field again and this time it worked. The smoke was rough but going up and I drifted with it, reaching about 4,300'.

I kept trying to get Adrian and Sam on the radio but got no answer. Suddenly Patrick, a radio engineer who lives with me, came over on the radio and then I had a chat with Claudia, my girlfriend, while 4000' above Savernake Forest! I got them to telephone some friends who live the other side of Savernake to tell them to put the kettle on but there was no reply so I took a few pictures of their house and blobbed along for a while before landing near Coombe Gibbet.

Meanwhile Adrian and Sam had bombed out. Sam got back to the hill, and had another flight during which a model got stuck in his lines! Adrian very kindly came and picked me up after I'd only managed to hitch as far as Burbage. 2 retrieves from guru Adrian in one day-I've used up my credits I think!

Cheers, Tim.

See you,