4/4/2006 - Mike Andrews, 50.3km from Leckhampton

Hi Tim

4 April NE 15-17 mph Aspen.

A good, breezy day at Leckhampton. I had to re-clip and examine my canopy which had had a service by The Loft so I was late in the queue of about a dozen pilots at TO. Ken got away early and soon went over the back. I flew for 35mins and I and the gaggle never got above 330 ft ato so landed to warm up and wait for some sun. Huge cloud-streets but not over Lecky. Lots of Pilots. Soon after the second vertical take-off from behind the edge I got a better thermal and followed the edge of the Cotswold escarpment, just to east of Nympsfield, over Wooton, all a new route for me but well clear of airspace. At one point I got to 4500 feet but base was about 4000. I followed a cloud street and seldom got below 2500 tho I had to hunt for the lift under rather a lot of cloud. Then I had to decide which side of Yate to fly. The wind was taking me to the SSW and I was in a cautious mode as this was only my fourth flight of the year. So I headed round the W side and then had to fly cross-wind to avoid Bristol city and airspace. I had to jump cloud-streets and tho I did a reasonable job I only found scrappy small lift. I made it over the M4 with about 350 feet - horribly noisy, but extended my glide as far as Shortwood Hill, to the E of Mangotsfield. I had some last-minute lift but again decided to go for a big field in the brisk wind. I was a couple of hundred yards from a bus-stop and in 20 mins was on a bus home. Free too because I had a pensioner's travel-card! Brilliant day!

Leckhampton SP955186 to Shortwood Hill ST676762 It was 50.5 km on the GPS so a good way to start the new season!

Too bad I shall be in Cornwall and not flying at Easter.

Best regards