Seems like it was yesterday I looked at the snow outside, now it’s late summer, what happened?
Well.. Flyingwise it’s been a bleak season at home so far. We had our Nationals in Vågå as usual one week in July, I think these pictures tell the tale of the weather we had;
We did not fly a single task in the nationals, weatherdemons vs hanggliding – 8:0 The nationals ended on Saturday, and on Sunday it was flyable and taskable again… I took some pictures from flying in Bøverdalen that Sunday;
The week after our nationals was my XC flying week this summer, but even though we got some good flying, the conditions were too stable for any real XC attempts. I did get to try out my new GoPro camera boom from Instinct Windsports, works great! A few examples from a late evening flight over Vågå (We took off at 19:00). So not a single good XC flight at home this summer so far, and it’s getting late into the season now.
After that week I headed back south to Elverum and Starmoen airport to run a beginner course in Hanggliding. The course went really well with 8 students, we had really nice weather most days, and flew 8 out of 9 days with really good progress and great students. It was a scootertowing course, and we did around 250 tows that week with great results. Some pictures; (Some images by Morten Heller and Frederic Bakken)
Workwise it’s been quite busy spring and summer, I did the next big Cisco certification – CCDE in April and May. (Which involved 3 trips to London in 3 weeks), then flew to Miami, had a week vacation on South Beach in Miami, and Long Island in the Bahamas, before heading up to Orlando for the yearly Cisco Live conference.
I also did a quick trip to the North of Norway, to meet family and also meet classmates from highschool 25 years ago, which was great fun! Weather was “interesting”;
I did not get much out of that comp, got sick and lost all motivation. I went home early and did not miss out much.
On a more positive note I am running two intensive beginner courses in hanggliding the next two weeks. We still have capacity for a few more students, so please spread the word. Go to http://oohgk.no/kurs for more information in Norwegian. Contact me if you have any questions. The course will use scootertowing as primary method, and the course fee includes hotel for the week, all transport and equipment.
We were certain it would be good conditions for the students this weekend, northerly winds made it cold the whole week, and we expected frozen lakes to land on at Sundvollen. But it was open water and just hints of ice in shallow areas when we got there today. Combined with gusty and turbulent winds and snow squalls it was unsafe for the students today. I had a testflight to check out the conditions, it was OK at takeoff, but rock&roll over the LZ, I even managed to break one upright on the Falcon on landing when I got hit by a gust from the side just as I was ready to flare.
Today our beginner course had their last planned day of the course, we wanted to get their first footlaunch high flights done before the winter break in December and January. I met up with Terje Solberg at Lier and we both brought our gliders along. We drove to Hjartdal and met up with the students and instructors there, but it was foggy at landing and tailwind at takeoff. It was a very pretty view above the fog though, but I did not bring my camera to takeoff. It looked like it would clear up a few times, but in the end we had to pack up.
Terje S and I were desperate to fly so we drove to Flesberg in hope of better conditions there, the fog was not as thick in the valley, but it was still not possible to fly. We sacrificed two burgers with chips and salad to the weather demons, and drove home.
My new moyesmobile with depressing winter conditions in the background.
Tomorrow we start the first intro days to our beginner course this fall, the intro days are free and gives the potential students a chance to see and try to fly a little in the training hill. After this they can sign up for our beginner courses if they want to learn how to fly. The course will be run as a scootertowing course, making it very efficient and safe.
On monday we had an instructor meet, to teach all the instructors how to use the scootertowing system. All 7 instructors were there, and we had a good afternoon of towing with me acting as a student making all the normal mistakes we see among the students.
Today Terje and I sat down to make new bridles for the student harnesses, as our old and worn out bridles are getting unsafe. Since this was a lot of work we had to fly in some foreign labour from Germany to help us finish in time;
Fall is here, which signals the end of the season for thermal and XC flying. As usual I’ve been busy with running a hanggliding course for the Oslo club, we have a nice scooter tow operation to train new students. We have 9 students in our course, 7 new, one PG pilot, and one HG pilot that have been out of flying for the last few years.
This year it’s been me doing most of the instructing and organizing the course, Bjørn is working himself to death in his new healthcare job, and Steinar have started playing heavy metal again in addition to building a cabin and fixing MD 80’s for SAS. Luckily I’ve had Benedicte, Terje, Gunnar, Harald, and a few others helping out, so the course have been efficient despite lots of cancelled weekends due to bad weather.
I’ve squeaked in a few afternoons to get some quality time under my Litespeed, but I’ve been unlucky with the conditions at Sundvollen with too much wind on the last two days I tried to fly. Looks good again this week, hope I might be able to get a soaring flight in soon.
Yesterday we actually trained the students in rain, I’ve never flown in this much rain before, but the Falcon’s flew very nicely even soaking wet, so it was actually a good day for the students. The wind was very laminar and smooth, it helps a lot for takeoffs and landings.
Last weekend we did the final high flights of the course, where the students towed up high and did the full landing round. Very good conditions, and even some wind on Sunday (Which gave a few weaklink breaks) Next weekend we’ll do the footlaunch if conditions permit, and then some high flights from mountain takeoff.
NASA’s Cassini space probe reached Saturn in 2004, and is kept very busy gathering science data and pictures. The images of the moon Enceladus are really cool! Here’s one shot of Enceladus, with Saturn in the background. You can see the shadows of Saturn’s rings on the surface of Saturn.
Since I changed the layout of the website last spring I’ve had a really nice header image, but I made a small error when changing the image, and it did not show as it should in Internet Explorer. I testet the new layout in many browsers, but I made a small change to the header image after all the tests. (Doh!) I only use Firefox, so I only saw it by accident when browsing my site on a colleague’s computer.
More than 60% of you use IE, but not a single person commented or complained, I must have really polite readers :-)
Anyway enjoy Oslo in fall colors in the header image.
Browser statistics for last 9 months
Internet Explorer – 63.02%
Firefox – 31.02%
Safari – 2.48%
Opera – 1.77%
Mozilla – 1.17%
Our course is running well, despite some bad weather lately. Looks like we will have a nice new afternoon tomorrow.
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