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FIRST TIME VISTOR?

If you have ever been a member of the Norfolk Hang (and Para) Gliding Club, and feel you Have something to contribute, Please don't be shy. Go to the JOIN UP page, to create an account. Don't worry about code or anything. Put your content where you feel best suited. I can always tidy it up later for you.

If you would rather email me direct then pleasemoc.liamg|ttehclihp#!em liame

This is an attempt to document the history of NORFOLK HANG GLIDING CLUB.
Started in dec 2006 it is assumed that it will take a fair while to get some interesting material within these pages
.

WHY?
Cos its important! Hang gliding activities in East Anglia have been going on for over 30 years. It will continue one way or another for many years to come. Now is the time to get the history written, before to many people chuck all there bits and pieces in the bin, or pop their cloggs.
to quote somebody or another.. " without history there is no future"
It is important to document the pioneers activities, their names, and their experiences. Some of it wont make "NICE" reading. Conflicts will be described, alongside horror stories. These thing happen. But they pale into insignificance against the joys of flying at 5000ft over the East Anglian countryside, the friendships formed and the shear pleasure of free flight.

It is hoped that members from different eras of the club will summit material.

Time will tell:-)

I suspect that to start off with, it might all be a tad untidy… that can be sorted later. For now, we need to generate some content.
I also suspect that there might be one or two inclusions that some might, well how shall we put it, get up the arse about. life's like that you know.

Oh, yeah. one more thing. sorry about the spelling.. I'll tidy it up as i go along :-)


A random page: (view original)

The Nineties

Ed's first Kiss - 1990

Beeston01-Kiss-Jan1990.JPG

Phil has had to wait an awful long time for this (he had one first, anyway). Reputedly it was a "hot ship" with a reputation also for horrendous oscillation at speed. Nevertheless in January, I took to my new Airwave Kiss with eager anticipation and more or less mastered its wayward foibles. I loved its performance so much that I flew it for the next six years.

More Diversions

Life on the field continued to provide some amusement on windy days. Here's how to test a reserve parachute: get Rob Sinclair and Tony Beckett to hold on to it with Phil hesitantly in command.

Beeston02-Mar1990.JPG
Beeston03-Para-Mar1990.JPG

Dave McEwen did it differently and tied the 'chute bridle to his car bumper before lobbing the packed chute into the air. It opened instantly with an explosive report, ripped the bumper off the car and dragged Dave (supine and shouting) to the far hedge before the retrieve crew got to him. See Stories We Tell for corroboration!

This is Roger Pearse after a failed cliff launch incident. He is looking surprisingly chipper having recovered enough to accompany the NHGC team to an Airwave Club competition in the Peak District. The site is Rushup Edge in Edale, in May.

Rushup-Roger-May1990.JPG

Some of us returned to the Sheffield area on subsequent weekends, but none of us achieved any significant XC's. Whilst we were pretty damn good thermallers, we were not at all practiced in catching thermals in crowded airspace close to a hill launch take off point. In September we took an NHGC team to the South Coast (Devil's Dyke region) for another Airwave Club comp but failed to distinguish ourselves there too. My log book shows rather few winch launches during that summer and mostly we were back at Low Farm, Fransham (the small fields) - not my favorite scene. By the end of the summer I had done only one meagre 10-mile XC from the winch and decided to hibernate for the winter.

1991

Flying Starts

Field01-1991.JPG


By the beginning of March I was dead keen to get back into the air, and flew all the flyable weekends in March and April - which was nearly all of them, and some on both Saturday and Sunday. This was the benefit of combining Lejair school activities and NHGC winching on the same field: there was nearly always a good crowd of people there - essential for the teamwork required in winching, and jolly useful for retrieve drivers if one went cross country and landed in some corner of a foreign field. Declaring a goal destination to land at (or fly over) added a sense of purpose flight planning for the day - and would have scored extra points for the National XC League. This was a typical modest distance declaration of about 10 miles (photographic evidence was required). The wind was pretty strong N-erly that day and the launch took me to 1400' but I 'didn't go nowhere' except to land back on the field, and straight way derigged to race off to West Runton on the coast where I managed 25 minutes flying in clag at 200'. By the end of March I had accomplished only one mini XC of 8.6 miles to Carbrooke and a non scoring 3.7 miler to Holme Hale from 22 winch launches.

Field02-1991.JPG
Field04-1991.JPG

By the end of April (another 13 launches) however my efforts were rewarded with big XCs on successive days: 40.6 miles to Whittlesey near Peterborough on the 27th in 3 hours (from my fifth launch of the day), and the next day 38.2 miles to Lavenham in 2.5 hours (after 3 launches). Ho-ho! I thought, it's all a piece of cake, I'll do big XCs every weekend … but then 27 launches in May yielded only a single successful goal flight to Watton (8.6 miles). There was still an awful lot of luck in being launched just at the critical time to capture a thermal passing near the field.

Tony, as ever, was trying new things and (here) is courageously running a training course for paraplegic pilots (yes - they flew!). The yellow buggy with Rona and Simon was, I think, a grass field version of the payout winch trailer plus car system, and the flying plank was a Fledge - a rigid wing hang glider controlled not so much by pilot weight-shift but by aerodynamic control of tip rudders.

Field05-1991.JPG
Field06-1991.JPG

I think Tony found it in a shed somewhere. Potentially it had better performance than flex wing hang gliders, but I don't think it ever realised it.
Then - ohmigod - what is that thing with a string hanging out the back?! Tony and Rona had heard about the routine aerotow launching of hang gliders. They went to Hungary with a few other adventurous souls to find out how it was done and came back enthused and ready to start. All you needed was an adapted microlight and a 100 foot length of tow rope. You attached the tow rope to your chest bridle; the microlight took off, and wuheeeighhh - you followed!

Field03-1991.JPG


With this arrangement, and with a canny microlight pilot you could be spirited up to 2000' and released into lift - a truly enormous advantage over being winched up at random to half this height, missing the lift and landing to queue again for another launch. There were one or two little difficulties to be overcome of course.
A microlight with aerotow attachment cost about £5000, and (oh, you've guessed already) the BHGA and least of all the CAA were not ready to countenance yet another 'dangerous' activity involving hang gliders. The hair-raising aspect of this form of launching from the hang glider pilot's point of view was that you were separated by a mere 100 feet from what looked like a gigantic meat slicer: the prop on the microlight. Did I want to try it? NO WAY! - they must be crazy. Tony and Rona couldn't get clearance from the British aviation authorities to do anything like it, so - they arranged a trip to Hungary to do it out there. Would I like to join the group? Eurggh … well no, er but maybe … well yes, OK then.

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