09 June 2007

A tricky day at EFHV

Today I went to Hyvinkää airfield (EFHV) with the hope of getting some good thermal flying before the Nordics commence next week. Hyvinkää is the towing fields that is closest to the Helsinki region and hence popular. However it is also a popular field for sailplanes, ultralights, autogiros, etc.

Today the main upper level winds were very cross and as usual the thermals bubbled off the center of the field, so we encountered the usual tailwind on all starts. Of course there were short but good start moments, but these tend to occur when a plane is landing or taxiing, and one cannot start a tow...

Nevertheless I managed to make use of some of those moments, albeit that I sometimes had to wait more than half an hour. Standing in the blistering sun, dressed in flight suit and with my helmet on. I guess that was also good preparation for the Spanish heat! Actually we had "Spanish" weather, almost 30 C, clear sky and dry thermals, at times quite strong approx. 5 m/s. Due the closeness of the Helsinki-Vantaa airport EFHV has a ceiling of 2500 ft MSL which with the Northerly winds did not allow for any XC flying. But I got in some good practice picking up thermals low, every time a bit lower. Once managed to get up from some 80 m, but when I later tried that from 50m didn't succeed. All in all a good 2 hours of flying and 7 hours of heat and sun exposure, so I think I'm getting ready for Piedrahita!

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