2307/04 - Jim Mallinson, 90.6km from Cherhill

Hi Tim

Here are the details of my flight on friday:

Date 23/7/04
Glider Gradient Avax RSE 26
Take off Cherhill SU 049 696 1430 hrs (Lyneham permission given!)
Landing Next to A272 near Midhurst SU 828 233 1700 hrs

Distance 90.6km

Witness for both Sean Cunningham

After a frustrating and rough couple of hours during which we almost gave up, thinking that the wind must be rotoring over a spur to the west, we (Eddie C, Sean Cunningham, Ross Summerville and I) climbed out in a very punchy 5m/s climb. Eddie didn't quite connect with it and fell out of the bottom. I felt for him, especially as he had been trying the hardest of us all to get up. Base was only about 4000' at this point and we glided from the first cloud to the next eager for the street that had set up beyond it. Sure enough we then pretty much straight lined it for about 30k, stopping to turn only when it was going up fast. The tailwind was very strong and the first 40k of the flight took an hour.

With the help of my newly airmap-enabled GPS (thanks Tim - it's amazing!) I realised that my track was a bit northerly if I wanted to go a long way, so I climbed about 800' in one particularly lifty cloud and jumped south to another street. After I'd done the same again and just squeaked around the temporary Farnborough airspace I turned the map over and realised that my track was taking me towards airspace with ceilings of 3500' and then 2500'. Not what I wanted, so I went crosswind again but ended up in a patch of blue downwind of a peachy cloud, cursing. I worked some weak lift but it didn't come together and I landed next to the A272. Ten minutes later Sean came overhead. He continued for another 25k, landing on the South Downs, just short of Devil's Dyke. If I'd just realised a bit earlier that I needed to go south again...

I packed up and walked over to the busy A272. After about a minute, a car stopped. The driver asked where I wanted to go. "I'm trying to get back to Wiltshire." "Really? Where in Wiltshire?" "Well, I live in Chippenham." "I live in Chippenham too. Hop in." He took me to my door!

See you soon