30 July 2008


Perfect it was indeed, this day of flying with friends at Kiikala airfield. After Sämpy did a bit of work on a second towing car we decided around noon that it was time to get flying. I planned a out- and return task of approx. 76 km from the airfield to the little town of Pohja and then back. The idea was to fly downwind early in the day and then fight the headwinds when the thermals would be stronger and the cloudbase higher. In addition the sea breeze front might help a bit on the way back.

I took the first tow around 1 pm and quickly got up to cloudbase, which was near 1800 m ASL (Above Sea Level). I waited a bit but didn't see anybody quickly joining me so decided to glide south to the next cloud. There were good thermals to be had on the way south but there were a couple of bands with different winds , causing quite much windshear. So at times it was hard to stick with the thermal all the way up. After a while I got into the right rhythm and got Pohja in sight. The air was quite clear and the scenery as good as it gets: lakes, forests, fields, and the coastline all in one view! (picture above)
And it was possible to see the Hanko peninsula. Flying to Hanko is a wish of many, and I did consider it for a couple of minutes. But I saw that the clouds near the coastline were much lower and moreover that last line of clouds was slowly moving north. So I sticked with our task. I got a bit low just before the turnpoint but there was a good thermal where I expected it and so got high right over Pohja.

The way back was actually easier then expected. There was more lift now and it was a bit more organized in clear lines. So although at some altitudes the headwind was up to 15 km/h after a good 3 hours of flying I was close to Kiikala again (picture below). Only then did I notice some of the other pilots: Jonas, Sämpy and Sebu, who all had flown a part of the route. Around the airfield I had to pull big ears, do spirals and turn in sink in order to get down and land after 4 hours of flying. The others landed within a couple of minutes, all very happy indeed! We all upload our tracks to the XContest (my flight as Google Earth track).

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