I've been watching the weekend forecast for most of the week. Nothing new there.. On Tuesday the weekend was looking flyable. By Friday night it looked like there was a chance of a fly about in the morning but a tad by mid afternoon.
I mentioned to my son Ruairi that I'd be heading out and asked if he'd like to come along and watch. Maybe even film some flying.
His response was... Can we have a go on the tandem?
Err.. Maybe but we'll see.
Saturday morning. No wind in Lockerbie. Spoke to Tommy and agreed to meet him at Witchieknowe. The earlier the better.
We were delayed. Sorting out Solo, Tandem, Kids harness, Lunch for two and Ruairi took a tad longer than just grabbing the gear and jumping in the car.
Got to the hill. Felt Pretty strong at the car parking. Ged, Tommy and Dudley were on the SW bowl and were flying.
Andrew turned up while I tried to work out what to do. It felt a tad windy but the guys looked ok in the bowl so I repacked my tandem bag and gave the kids harness to Ruairi. Also gave him my jacket as he'd forgotten his.
Logan arrived as we set off to the hill. It felt strong but looked do-able.
Tommy and Dudley landed and gave us a weather assessment. Strong but pretty smooth. Recommendation - a tad strong for the tandem as we're pretty close to the bottom of the weight range. Ruairi wasn't so happy but he knew it was a weather dependant activity. We took a walk up to the top of the bowl. The breeze dropped (or appeared to drop) slightly.
We pondered things for a wee while. I felt it was ok. Dudley seemed to agree. Ruairi was now grinning a bit more.
Andrew had a wee fly about. Ged showed he knew where the point of spin was on his glider.. Then it was out turn.
Setup tandem. Done.
Check Ruairi's harness. Done
Recheck Ruairi's harness. Done.
Wind. seemed ok.
So we hooked everything up. Dudley volunteered to anchor Ruairi and try to keep him on his feet while I launch.
We launched. Tandem came up and off we went.
All felt good but after a while I heard shouting from take off... So checked and Ruairi was not back in the harness. The back protector was sitting on my lap and as a result he was complaining of a bit of a wedgie!
We sorted that and had a bit more of a fly about. Ruairi had a wee shot at the controls. He did really well. We then landed.
"Ruairi. How was that?"
"Good. Can we go again?"
We contemplated lunch but headed back to take off for another go. Tommy and Dudley landed again to assist.
Wind picked up a tad so we stood down for a while. Ruairi was pretty keen to go again. if there was a 2 or 3 sec lull he was turning round and looking at me as if to say.. can we fly now.
Second launch. Same as the first but with extra assistance from Rob and Logan. Nice take off. Sorted Ruairi in the harness a bit quicker. So he was a bit more comfortable. Some nice soaring on the tandem and I think pretty much everyone else was in the air at one point.
We were getting a bit hungry so decided to land. Landed slightly further down the hill than I really wanted (further to walk back) but it was a nice landing and that's what counts.
Rather than help me pack up Ruairi headed up to the car. Some of the grass and thistles were taller than him so he said it was like Indiana Jones in the jungle!
Stephen, Dave and Dudley were still flying as we got closer to the car and it started to spot with rain.
Lunch, a wee bit of a chat then we set off home. I think everyone else went to the pub for a debrief.
A nice 40min of flying with Ruairi and the other guys. Pretty much a bonus day as the forecast didn't look so positive.
Lots of photo's in the gallery too.