Our Blog is an up to date record of what we have been up to both in the school and out of it. We endeavour to update it as regularly as possible and include a sample the days pictures when available.

You can scroll back through the
Blog and follow various students progress through their training and get a good idea of how the school operates.

You will also find records of our trips abroad which will give you a good idea of what to expect should you wish to come on one with us.

Please visit it on a regular basis and feel free to add comments.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Celebrations, Delegations and Complications- Mexico Day Six

We were up early, well at least some of us were and out not the yard for a final bit go glider checking and tuning before the official opening ceremony which was due to start at 10.00.  Some spots went up, some went down and some no one was quite sure went where?

"Fiddling" from the roof

09.30 we donned our team T shirts, kindly sponsored by Cloud 9 (oh that will be us then) and team jackets (kindly sponsored) by .............. and promptly started to sweat!  Off up to the square where there was a good gathering of not only the pilots but also the locals who were out in force to celebrate the competition.  We found our standard bearer Leonardo who as with the rest of the children was turned out immaculately making us look a little scruffy.

Gathering in the square

Leanardo and the Team, steady Gordon ....

A few photo shots then we were off following the band for a march around the streets which seemed to be lined by cheering (yelling) school children at every turn, maybe they knew some short cuts.  Ending up at a huge tent where yet more children surrounded us chanting and waving at any opportunity.  Finally things quietend down a little and the formal presentations were given by the officials, most of which we had not got a clue were about but we clapped with the rest of them.

Cheering Children :))

'buff said :)))))

Oh, the moment

Next came a spectacular display be some Aztec dancers in the most amazing costumes who despite the tempter leapt around the stage in a scary manner. A bit more chat then some more traditional Mexcican dancing which got the pilots involved before we headed off for lunch.

picture does not do it justice :(

Pilots get in on the act

Wayne developed a "bit" of a pain early afternoon and was soon not looking too good at all (thats an understatement), the paramedics confirmed his self diagnosis go kidney stones and he spent the afternoon in the local hospital accompanied by Kaz not returning till mid evening dosed up with pain killers by still pretty rough.

The rest of us spent the afternoon chilling out and watching the Paraglders flying from the hill behind the town in a never ending stream.

at the old peoples home

The competition evening meal was nice and looked good enough that Carl and myself risked the Salad, we shall see what happens.  Some nice gifty things from the tables and good to see some "old" faces from the past, still does not make me feel any younger!

best meal yet :)

village idiot, which one ??

Official practice day tomorrow .............

Quote of the day "would you like me to rub it"

Friday, February 27, 2015

Will I won't I and lets get started - Mexico day Five

Some wanted to fly some didn't but finally Gordon, Grant Wayne and myself climbed into the truck and were off up the hill to practice climbing out from launch and a start then a quick boat about and a visit to the "Piano" field which I had not yet landed in.

the car park starts to fill up with gliders

A little more overcast well it's all relative a tiny bit of higher cloud to be fair.  We all got off in quick order and after a bit of scratching around climbed out in a "nice" thermal which Wayne kindly searched out.  We met up just short of cloud base and explored the lift before grouping up for the start......tick tick tick off we went crossing the line 30 seconds late, that will be about a kilometre then!

We blasted across to the plateau in formation before finding a climb over its flat top and a very consistent field.  Wayne went for a little wander whilst the rest of us climbed out then glided back to the "G" spot in a hurry, the prog adjustments have paid off, not only sweeter to fly but glide is with the rest of them.  Bang up we go over the "G" spot in what was actually a very smooth thermal indeed, whats going on ??

The Piano field with El Penon in the background

and with launch behind

Grant and Gordon go back to find wayne and I go for a cruise around the valley before heading into the Piano field.  Good time to practice the drouge, out it pops and down I come. Hooray I land sweet as you like on my feet, hopefully the first of many;)  All that practice in the UK on the tow paid off.

The guys all come in one by one with everyone safe and sound.  A few beers from the "bar" and some gorgeous Oranges then its back home for a mandatory pilot briefing.  traffic slowed us down but we make it just in time.  Usual stuff but also a long talk on the Flymaster Live units we will be using for the comp". Hope I can get it onto my mount as will provide a spare vario and gps.  Ask me when I get back what I think of it .....

Mandatory pilots briefing where someone fell asleep ......


Quote of the day "I only want a short one"

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Umpalumpas and goals in the Goal - Mexico Day Four

This going to sound pretty much the same each day I am afraid. breakfast on the balcony .... fill the water bottles pick up the lunch roll, thanks Kaz, then into the truck and off up the hill. past the Police check point now with not just Assault rifles but automatic shotguns as well ;) at least it makes you feel "safe".

Tandems get going as we arrive

It's starting to feel like a comp'

Big debate on launch as to the "task" today with varying opinions, we arrive at a compromise which seems pretty fair to me.  Bouncy climb out at 1100' per minute on the average, glider feels good and still nice and pitch stable, thats a bonus.  We form up at 12,000' and glide off into the bad lands where Rob g came to grief last year.  Glider is gliding nicely and bar pressure is nicer, Steve and gordon point out "the field" and I can see that it was very much the best of a bad job with very limited options, this is not a place to get low.

run run run then run a bit more

Up and on the Mesa launch on left shoulder el Penon by right foot

gliding over the bad lands, those files may look good but .......

We glide onto turn point and climb out steadily making sure we have plenty of height to get back across. Steve b and myself head a little further to the south towards a cloud and the others find a nice climb off to the north!  Still we all make it back to launch and climb again before heading north.  The guys get a jump on me and i have to take a climb over yesterdays goal field, don't want to land there at this time of day!  The guys push on to the next turn point out into the flat lands and stable air and start to struggle.  I slow up and get a stonker taking me close to 13,000' allowing me to glide in over them to turn point and then back to goal with out a turn, nice.

as low as you want to be the only safe bomb out is over the hill, it would be a long retriev

Goal was actually four football fields one with a game going on complete with Mexican band including a guy with a giant horn.  Still space down the outside, coming in straight and level plenty of speed, keep the speed, keep the speed, get ready to flair, FLAIRE, done........ well at least not as big a dork as yesterday!  In come the others with varying degrees of success, Steve b get fined by the lady that owned the potato field after destroying half a bags worth.

Retrieve arrives with Kaz and Wayne on board and it beers all round. Glider is flying great will try again tomorrow before final adjustments.

Quote of the day "Hooray I got up on Gordo's knob"

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Goal field arrivals and spogs - Mexico Day Three

Goal fields and sprogs - Mexico Day Three

Still waking at 03.30 but this time a cat wailing not loud bangs, dont know who was was doing what to the cat.

Breakfast on the Balcony

decisions decisions oh what to eat ?

Feeling a little better it was off up the hill after breakfast on the balcony with a full crew and all in good spirits. Nice rigging in the trees with a few more gliders than yesterday. We set up a 90 k task over a similar area to yesterday as we expect it to play a large part in the comp'.

Everyone got away fine and the climb out was as predicted strong and bouncy fine on your own but with 90 other gliders ? We shall soon find out.

The glide across to the “Three Kings” was good and then onto first turn point, around it then we were searching over the town, working as a group we soon found it and on our way again. Up onto the Plataue and with yesterdays knowledge we took a route into the middle and climbed well. Off again with the group splitting in two, grant and myself on the west side and getting a superb view of the Lake and Valle de Bravo. Into next turn point on the high ground (which I landed at the base of yesterday) and straight back into a booming climb. At 12500 we wind up the trimmers and off, well thats what I thought, radio going down just as Grant and Carl deide to do another 360 and find more lift to 14'500 ! Long glide into final turn point then off towards goal, one more climb and its a glide in.

Big (ish) filed with guys cutting the grass ready for use as a goal field. In I come hot fast and straight, keep the speed ,keep the speed, get ready for a hard flare, FLARE, donk …........

A bit of entertainment as more came in makes me feel a little better. A chance to do some sprog setting with the help of Gordon saw some resetting so we shall see how the glider flies tomorrow.

A fun day out and a lesson learnt on landing, well hope so …....

Sorry about the lack of piccies hopefully more in the next one.

Quote of the day “ thats high”

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Thin air and over there - Mexico Day Two

Never experienced Jet lag like this before, slept like a log until 03.30 wide awake listening to fire works (well thats what they said they were) until 05,00 then awake again at 07.00. Hope can sort it out soon.

Feeling not much better but decided to go up the hill with the option of flying if possible.  Normal pilot mayhem as we got our kit sorted in the digs and a total mess up as we inserted new sim cards into phones all getting the wrong ones, still caused a laugh and at least we could ring someone.

Jaimes (Hi-me) our driver arrived on time and gliders and kit were soon loaded and with a full team, Gordon Rigg, Wayne Thompson, Grant Crossingham, Steve Blackler, Carl Wallbank and myself along with Kaz headed off to launch.  The drive takes about and hour or so and takes you past the local Police checkpoint where it looks like you could start a small war if you wanted to, all very re assuring I am sure.

Nice and shady rigging at El Penon

The facesof British Hang Gliding .......

At launch it was nice to see toilets, shade and a lovely take off into wind along with a good number of gliders already rigged and some flying, mainly Tandems and intermediates.  Temperature was just nice not too hot with a breeze sleeping the edge off it but then we are at over 7000 feet already.  I decided tho rig to check the glider after assembly and make a decision on flying after that.  Glider looked all good, conditions looked all good, briefing by Gordon and Steve seemed all good I felt not so good but not too bad, lets do it.

Set to go with Jaimes our ever ready driver 

Stood at take off you feel you could just float off but when you watch the launches you soon realise that is not the way to do it, despite a fair breeze the gliders take a bit of running to get flying and run you must.  The guys were all off when I launched and it was good to get in the air to join them.  The glider felt fine and the lift was good, bit like a rough day on Carn Brea but with plenty of ground clearance.  Settling I felt ok so decided to climb out and gone on the task we had set to learn the area  a little.

Winding it up with El Penon below left

Some bits look a bit like England ...... but looks can be deceiving

An hour and a half later after some nice scenery, high plateaus and low saves I arrived in a field at 8500' hmmm what looks big from the air turns out not to be so big and you can use a lot of it up very quickly.  The  local kids arrived to help de rig and in our pigeon language we got the glider in the bag and they carried it over to the road where we joined a couple of Japanese pilots and a Frenchman.

The carry out crew, always around when you want them :)

It was not long before Hime arrived along with Kaz and Steve B who had landed a little earlier and after sorting the kids out we were on our way to collect the others.  Road closed, if detour, Kaz and I jumped ship In Valle de Bravo and saved another four hour retrieve. Ate out in the square, met some locals, watched the local life and finally caught up with the others before hitting the sack.

Quote of the day "oh no I'm going down on Gordo's knob again!"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sun Fun and Guns - Welcome to Mexico :)) - Day One and a bit

Been a bit jet lagged so only now finding time and energy to catch up but here goes :-

Baggage handlers and Hang Gliders at Heathrow

Self service handlers 

All went well at Heathrow where four of the team and Kaz met up with a large bundle of bags. Aero Mexico were extremely helpful and gliders soon dissapeared and we headed to the plane. Flight was good and 12 hours later we arrived in Mexico City and were reunited with four straight looking undamaged bags, nice.

we wait and wonder ......

then out they pop!

HG Transport system at Mexico City Airport

Eric picks us up for the trip to Valle de Bravo

Onto roof of van and we were soon heading west to Valle De  Bravo.  It was early morning when we dropped off at the accommodation and very nice it is too with a super view of the lake, comfy rooms and a swimming pool to relax by. A good number of the other teams are staying in the same complex so there were already gliders in various states of assembly around.

Kit in and we assembled the gliders in the courtyard as the day grew hotter.  Still feeling pretty rough from something that has been going on for a week now I opted to give it a miss whilst the the others opted to head off up the hill for a first flight, all bar Wayne.   an hour and a half later and Wayne was in a taxi armed with a Base bar for Steve B and Battens for Gordon R ..............

The guys had a fun fly whilst we checked out the pool and the town before a call came in to say Steve B was mislaid.  With darkness approaching things got a little tense but finally with the help of a potato lorry Steve made his escape and was reunited with the rest. It made for a late retrieve and the guys were knackered on their return after a 36 hour day.

Sunset view from the Apartment over the Lake

Chill out after a longggggggg day

Quote of the day "have you all got big ones?"

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Two to the Top and a bit of a drag!

These boys are keen, Chris H and Wyn D were ready in the field when we arrived and wasted no time in rigging the Falcon. As they bussed themselves I popped my T2 C  together for some final practice before packing it for shipping Mexico.

How easy is that :)

The winch set and we were ready to roll, a demo flight then Wyn was in the harness and soon polishing off his release flight and tighter turns before heading to the top.  He did a fine job and by the end of play had put away 8 flights and was looking sweet as he converted to the baseball before popping in a nice prone flight.

Wyn d returns from a high flight

 a man on a mission

Chris was not far behindhand also polished off his tighter turns looking much better with the addition of just a little more speed.  Then he was off to the top and just loving it as he turned from passenger to pilot, nice.  Chris rounded off the day by experiencing and line break giving him his first taste of stalling a hang glider, he took it all in his stride and if anything built his confidence as well :)

a bit of light relief .....

..... then back to work ......

In between the guys flying I popped up on the T2 C to practice with a drouge chute and by the end of play was feeling a lot happier should it be needed ................  Kaz and Peachy did a fine job keeping things running and it was nice to see Phil and Adie drop by on their way back from Godrevy so Adie could change his pants :) and Richard K in his pants .......

don't ask

Quote of the day " Oh I've put it in the wrong hole again!"

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Old timers and new gliders

It was off to Sennen Cove bright and breezy to hopefully catch the slot as the wind eased back before dropping away. 09.00 on site and it was breezy to say the least but in readiness Adam K (Dorset) who was down to pick up his shiny new U2 160 rigged his Calypso and Nigel S (Helston) ready for a return to flying after six years the Falcon.

Another shiny new Wills Wing U2 arrives for assembly :) 

A shelter in the van as a bit of dampness drifted through then as the wind eased a little Adam was off and away to get his hand in and used to the site before flying his new wing.  A couple of nice flights saw him smiling big time and rigging his new wing.  Nigel S stood ready to go for the first time is six years and was soon off climbing away in the lift.  Looking very at home he enjoyed a cracking flight before popping back in on top and celebrating in fine fashion.

Adam gets me refresh flying in on his Calypso


Nigel S takes off for the first time in 6 years on the Falcon

Next up was Lin who had come along for a Tandem flight and despite her nerves clipped in and got ready to go.  We had a super flight and with her nerves gone we played with the gulls swooping and diving over Sennen before coming in for a tip toe landing.  Well done Lin it was great to fly with you.

Take off with Lynn

And back again and looking happy

With the wind easing bit by bit I took adams new toy up for a test fly and guess what it flew perfectly and saw me climbing nicely over the village before coming in for a lovely landing.  The wind continued to drop in fact so quickly that combined with it veering by the time Adam was ready the lift was marginal.

Nice colours Sir, and you can ground handle like a pro!

Peachy broke out his crispy new Ozone Buzz Z4 and after a quick ground handle was up there and loving it.  a couple of flights and he let me have a go, very nice ;).  the wind dropped further so we called it a day and headed home as the sky turned blue.  A good one just a shame Adam did not get to fly his new wing, next time .

Quote of the day "that was so good"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

In the Spotlight

Following daughter Jenny Wren doing little publicity on our forthcoming trip to Mexico the phone rang on Wednesday and the BBC local news section asked if they could film some flying on Thursday.  An explanation as to how weather dependant it would be did not seem to deter them and at 09.00 on Friday we agreed to meet at Vault Bay on the off chance it would be on.......

Arriving on site the gods must have been shining on us, the wind was perfect direction of fast flying along the road and the strength was just right, what did we do so right??  Glider rigged and ready we waited for the BBc to arrive ........... a flight on the Zero got me high enough to be spotted and soon with a little help from Kaz John d the reporter arrived laden with kit.

Peachy charms the snake

then gets in on the action, nice stance ....

Not wishing to miss the conditions camera's were attached (thanks to Peachy for his patience) a rough "plan" made and all was set.  20 minutes of hooning around and trying to fight the lift to stay in shot went by very quickly before popping in for what fortunately turned out to be a lovely landing in shot and big grins all round.

Perfect conditions to play

and play we did

as well as soaking up the view

Then came the "interviews" with me trying to look cool and Kaz trying to get the sign writing on the truck into shot!  It all worked out very well and despite being frozen to the core we all went home pretty chuffed.  Thanks to Peachy and Jill for helping out and to Steve (farmer) for his consideration.

not a landing to cock up!

The final result got aired on friday evening and can be found on i player or by clicking here, have to say john d did a great job not making any mistakes and most importantly not calling us Hand Gliders!

it's a wrap

Check out the video here 

Quote of the day "wooooooooo bl**dy H*ll"  the woo bit stayed in but the later was cut!