Sunday, 31 May 2015

Lets go play on the beach!

After a wonderful time up on the cliff tops, we thought (well I did!) it would be a good idea to see if you can soar a model glider from the bottom of the cliff on the beach. Luckily the tide was out and we didn't get wet. Give it a heave next to the cliff face and see if it will climb away. The Traceur did well as its light and very manoeuvrable. The Ninja and the Spectre proved just too heavy for the relatively light winds. You will catch a glimpse of Chris and Bill up on top and my attempt at a top landing from the beach.
All in all I had a fantastic time (yet again) slope soaring on the Island. Thanks very much to Jack, Will and Scott for the superb company as well as Bill, Chris, Peter, Tony and Paul for their local knowledge and enjoyable company. Cheers guys!!

Off to Wales next. Hopefully with some off you ? 

Cruising the cliffs at Compton Beach

We left the Pearl Factory cliffs and moved a mile or so further West. Here we had more landing space with a huge field with long grass to cushion the landings. Very strange wind effect on top of the cliffs. The rotor caused by the cliffs meant that unless you were standing directly on the edge of the cliff you literally felt no wind in your face just a strong wind on your back. A little disconcerting when about to chuck your model off a cliff with a vertical drop below.
Well no need to have worried as the lift was stonking but the strong rota made for interesting landings and some more interesting arrivals. Glad the foamies bounce well.
This place was just beautiful and a joy to fly at. We all had a very good time and hours of flying here.
I really enjoy flying with the model being level or even better below my feet (I know I'm strange) but that's the joy of flying of small cliffs like these.
Will had a classic - thought he had landed (arrived) on top of the cliff but near the edge. His model took as bounce and a skid on landing and fell clean of the cliff and down onto the beach. Luckily for all of us the tide was out. I had loads of fun cruising along with the old Valenta Dragon plus Jack and Bill had a go too. Will & Scott spent nearly all there time airborne beating up the cliff edge.
We all learnt a huge amount today and gained confidence to fly off the cliffs. The burgers from the Ice Cream van was just about edible which meant we could spend more time flying than in a pub eating.
After a long time on top of the cliff, some stupid person (me) suggested we move down to the beach and see if we could soar away from the bottom of the cliff as good as we could up top! To see the results you will have to watch our next (and last) video from our amazing trip to the Island.

And then onto the cliffs near the Pearl Factory

We moved from Stenbury Down and drove about 11 miles West to the small cliffs next to the Pearl Factory. A short walk from the car park was the cliff's about 100ft above the beach. Unfortunately, since I last flew here a fence has been erected which did cause a little issue with landing but due to various mid airs, I didn't need to land there many times. We all had a fly here and I really enjoyed the low level flying below the cliff top. Watch the video for just a classic mid air between mine and Jacks Ninja. Another good reason for choosing to fly at the lower cliffs.
Video loaded in HD. Make sure you watch in HD and full screen for best viewing
From here we moved further West to another cliff top location. Lots more video to come............

The great Isle of Wight Slope Trip - Stenbury Down (Part One)

Will, Jack, Scott and I started our epic Isle of Wight flying trip with a visit to Stenbury Down (near Wroxall). With the wind coming in from the West and the sunshine out, the fun began. We met up with Bill, Chris and Paul and had a hour and a half of sloping on this lovely grassy slope looking out to the sea and chalk cliffs in the distance.
Video loaded in HD. Make sure you watch in HD and full screen for best viewing !!

From there we moved on to the cliffs at the Pearl Factory for some low level flying action. Watch out for the next post to follow with more mega video coming shortly.............

Saturday, 30 May 2015

A Really Good Day

Thanks guys for coming over to the Island today and flying with us, Myself, Bill, Paul, Pete, and Tony really did enjoy it, and the weather was so kind to us.

I have posted a picture of our first flying site, "Stenbury Down" although the wind was not square on the slope some of the time we still had some great flying.

 It was good to see Jacks Mini Vec fly, as I have had one for about a year, still in the box, so I must get it flying now!!

The afternoon session along the coast towards Freshwater at Compton Bay was fantastic, and although I have been on the Island for 40 years I have never flown there before, so will be out there more now after that great clifftop  flying.
I loved your launch down on the beach Paul, then getting some height and landing back on top of the clifftop, right by us, and one of the best landings of the day.

So thanks again guys for coming over and flying on the Island with us, we are looking forward to flying with you again sometime.


Wednesday, 27 May 2015

FPV Slope Soaring

FPV (First Person View) Slope Soaring at South Harting on the South Downs.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Attempt 2 at Ditching Beacon

As I looked out across Hassocks at 6am, it was absolutely motionless. Not a breath of wind. Even the paper-thin leaves on my neighbour's ornamental trees were hanging like lifeless origami statues in the still morning air. Not a murmour.

I almost sent Scott a message to call off our second attempt at Ditching Beacon in as many days but hit delete rather than send at the last moment. And I'm glad I did. When we arrived Les was already there with his Middle Phase cutting some shapes in a surprisingly brisk northwesterly. 

I attempted my first ever hand launch and managed a record short flight time of about 2 seconds - a feeble left-handed lob and not enough back-stick to blame. After a masterclass from Les (and the loan of a neck strap) I achieved my first successful solo launch. Result!

The views from the top were sensational. Crisp, high definition panoramas with stunning colour contrast and saturation. The conditions were challenging for me as a novice, sudden pockets of lift and sink - then lots of sink - then some more lift. The wind was working slightly off the slope and constantly threatening to swing round from more of a westerly direction. 
After some dubious initial attempts at flying figure eights, I managed some that actually looked like the english numeral that I was aiming for! Between launches and fishing my Spectre out of the weeds, I started to slowly gain confidence flying tighter, more controlled circuits closer to the slope. All in all it was enormously fun and rewarding and a great learning experience.

As the wind moved further off the slope, Scott and I teamed up with Ian, a fellow slope soarer and full-sized glider pilot, and meandered round to the more westerly facing bowl on the other side of the car park. Ian was flying a twitchy little German Komet - "no need to shoot these down" Ian exclaimed, referring to the full sized version, "they crashed perfectly well all by themselves!" 
Scott got in some decent air time and managed an impressive landing in what seemed to me like impossibly hostile terrain. Daunted by the near verticle drop and lack of learner-friendly landing site, and clinging to the desire to still have a working intact plane to take with me to the Isle of Wight, I sat this one out and enjoyed watching Scott and Ian tear up the sky. 

Buoyed by todays experience and the weather forecast predicting 20mph sea winds on the Isle of Wight, I say bring on next weekend!!! 

One of the best afternoons flying ever !!!

I'd arranged to meet Steve on the Sunday morning but a rubbish weather forecast meant a change of plan. Bright skies and not a lot of wind temped me up to The Bwlch with a few light weight models (Libelle and the Zulu) plus my new Nan Omega electric mouldy.
I parked up at The Bwlch and was greeted by more wind than forecast. I made my way up the slope to Mickeys (SW) where I plonked myself down on a huge rock and flew on the slopes steep edge. Firstly flying my Zulu......View all the vids in HD and full screen for best results
Then trying out the Omega. What a cracker on the slope. I think this one will gets plenty of flying. Good off the flat but equally as good on those not so windy days on the slope.
Then I met Clayton who had driven up to the top. He gave me a lift round to Mickeys SW proper and on the way he rescued a massive sheep that had got its self stuck in a cattle grate (must be in the Australian blood) we moved to the main slope. Clayton had with him a brand new Willow 2 freshly built and needing its maiden flight. You know I can be a big head and sometimes claim to be reasonably good at this sloping game but this guy is in a totally different league to me. The flying was just awesome and his skill levels made me look like I should be on a buddy lead!
Here is what he can do with a mega F3F racing machine in just marginal lift...........
After its maiden flight the Willow 2 needed a little tweeking and off she went again. Another positively sickening display of skill and confidence left me wanting to get my very own Willow 2 out and give it a thrashing (well at least a fast fly past or two). Maybe I will be tempted to go over to the dark side and try F3F racing?
This place never ceases to amaze me and offers both superb flying and amazing views of the beautiful Welsh country side. I will be making a return trip in the next few months (hopefully with a new Willow 2) and would like to invite you to came along with me.
This place is the dogs wotsits when it comes to slope soaring and worth every one of the 200+ miles drive to get there. Slopes for virtually all wind directions and views to die for (so don't stand too close to the edge, its a bloody long way down!!).

Who's up for a 2015 club expedition to South Wales maybe in July / August? 

Take a look at Clayton's website. Loads of Interesting things on there - Skip Soaring

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Blowing the cobwebs!

I haven't flown for a while, have taken a  couple of hours today to fly three of my gliders... lovely!! May put more video when I have the time. Pls watch in full screen  720 HD.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

I got that sinking feeling

It was always going to be a bit hit-or-miss. The Met Office was predicting NE winds of around 8mph and the hope was we’d gain a few more from the top of Ditchling Beacon – wishful thinking on our part!

Scott and I met up with Les, who was making it look easy with his Parkzone Ka8, a lightweight 2m-wingspan bird giving the local kestrel a run for its money. Andrew, a fellow enthusiast, also managed to successfully maiden a very thermally efficient looking model, with Les providing the oomph needed for the launch (see video below).

A couple of promising gusts made me think I might just be in with a chance with the Spectre. Three launches and three aborted flights later, I’d come to the firm conclusion that there was insufficient wind to keep me aloft and effectively engage my control surfaces.

Scott rapidly came to the same conclusion as the lack of wind prevented his SAS Mamba responding reliably to his inputs. I for one was grateful for the dense undergrowth on the brow of the hill that made my ‘landings’ a bit more forgiving.

The star of the show was an E-Flight UMX Whipit DLG which put the rest of us to shame and soared high as the foamies repeatedly sunk back to earth. At around £60-70 quid all in, these look like a hell of a lot of fun and can practically fit in your glove box!

Still, it was a great little excursion and not only got to experience some very different ‘wind’ conditions to what I’d flown in before, but I got a tutorial in how to programme dual rates with my new Spektrum DX6i  - cheers Les and Scott!

So, same time on Monday – let’s hope for a bit more wind on the bank holiday!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Seagull Pilatus B4

Here is another one Tim has kindly built for me. It's been sitting in its box for a while now and I thought I might take it up to Wales with me.
She has a 3.00m span with spoilers. I think given the span and her light weight it should float in gentle lift.
Sorry to publish a picture of me but wanted to show you some sort of scale. Am I really that skinny now?

Nan Omega Maiden Flight

Tim & I met down the club field in search of the elusive thermal or two. Unfortunately, the wind was a little stronger than forecast and the skies were overcast and grey. Not to be dis-heartened we rigged our models and went and flew. Tim worked really hard to cram all the radio gear into my new Nan Omega 2m span electric mouldy and made a lovely job building her - Thanks Tim !.
It's very similar to the RCRCM Typhoon but with an electric motor up front. Its a cross breed glider that can be used off the slope or used as a not so hot, hotliner on the flat or slow her up and drop the flaps a little and then you have a nimble thermal soarer. The motor produced loads of power with me having to push forward a little as I'm not a fan of vertical climb outs. She needs a little more trimming and maybe some nose weight added to get the glide just right.
The two stage flap was very Impressive with full flap deployed the decent was controlled and stable and gave a very slow and smooth touchdown. She flew using a 1500mah 3s lipo and after 3 good climbs it had only used 548mah so 6 good climbs should be possible per battery.. I think she will make a super flat field mouldy glider.
This is what one looks like being flown properly - AMAZING !!!
Tim flew his Mystique which looks stunning in the air but after a few flights we found the rudder control horn had failed. I then spent half an hour spinning round in circles with my DLG. Which ended in virtually no lift and the air getting very turbulent. So we packed up to go home. Then our latest member of the club - Russell turned up on his push bike with a model stowed away in his side panniers. Russell flew his motor glider very nicely and briefly joined a thermal with a buzzard. Nice to meet you Russell !

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Large scale gliders soaring the sea cliffs of Brittany

Found this video I thought you may like. Looks like an amazing place to fly and the scale gliders look so realistic in the air.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

RC Paraglider

Having seen Paragliders up on the hill many times before, I never knew these where available as radio controlled versions for us to fly off the slope.
What a great idea. Small, compact and looks like lots of fun. Anybody seen these fly or actually got there hands on one before? Might be going on my list for Santa!
I want one of these!!

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Isle of Wight trip - 30th May

Five of us will be travelling over to the Isle of Wight on Saturday 30th May for a day return trip to enjoy the wonders of slope soaring on the Island. This will be our third trip to meet Chris and his friends. All are welcome and the more who come along the better the day will be. Still places available if you would like to join in on the fun. Its well worth the effort !!!
Let me know if you want to join us for the day?

Monday, 18 May 2015

PSS Lightning

Hi guys

Some of you may remember that I bought Paul's PSS Lightning off him back in March. Well I finally got it just about finished and took it out on Meio Common, near Caerphilly yesterday. 

The conditions weren't ideal really with the wind a little off the face and about 15-17mph in the compression zone, but I didn't know what strength of wind would be needed to keep the Lightning in the air. 

The launch went well but I struggled to gain any height. I was able to make a couple of passes along the slope but then as I turned, the nose went up, I pushed the stick forward to lower the nose but she stalled and spun into the ground. Fortunately the damage is minimal and she will fly again at the PSSA meet at the Orme on June 13th & 14th. 
Here is the video.

A steep learning curve (and an even steeper final descent)

Picking my nearly-new Spectre out of a neighbouring cow field was not how I envisaged my day’s flying at Itford coming to an end. But that’s how it ended. Abrupt, undignified and only a few minutes after it started.   

As I sat atop the grassy hilltop afterwards, admiring the sunshine, views and flying skills of many vastly more experienced modellers than myself, I had a chance to reflect on some tough but valuable lessons. The first I’m sure of many.

The Spectre launched easily enough and quickly gained height. After flying into wind for a few minutes, I made a few successful passes along the ridgeline and even a few s-turns. But then, on a southerly beat, I made (at least) three crucial mistakes in quick succession.

Mistake 1: I quickly realised that I’d left it a bit late to turn, and my Spectre was rapidly heading off in the direction of Newhaven harbour.

Mistake 2: Rather than turning into the (at this point westerly) wind and away from the slope, I turned towards the slope and instantly gained some unwanted speed as the Spectre caught the tailwind.  

Mistake 3: In a flustered attempt to pull round hard, I clumsily pushed the controller stick hard left, rather than continuing to nudge to the left and pull back with my thumb. My Spectre was now flying inverted towards the hill.

Grasping the inevitability of the situation, I managed to flip the Spectre back over and guide it over a barbed wire fence away from the footpath. It came down heavily, but the right way up, in the adjacent field – much to the curiosity of its bovine inhabitants.

Other than a slightly dented ego and a broken control horn, there was no harm caused to man, machine (or beast) - a good outcome under the circumstances. With a new control horn on order and my spirits undented, I look forward to my next flight and to putting these lessons into practice.

New contributors wanted for our blog - CAN YOU HELP?

Hi all.
The blog takes a lot of looking after and updating otherwise people just wont come onto the blog to read its content. For this reason I need some others to help me with articles, flying reports, experience, model builds, new video clips etc get the idea!
I know we have a good readership base and have clocked up over 75,000 hits on here so far but I get fed up with hearing my own voice and I assume you guys do too.
So please, if you can help me and want to be part of the blog then drop me an email and I will be happy to make you an author and you can log on and post things on the blog. Its not difficult nor will you be committing yourself to posting every day or week but its nice to get other peoples views and opinions from time to time.
Yesterday, I changed the layout of the blog hoping to make the it look fresher and cleaner. I asked if their where other functions or specific things you would like to see on here but so far I have received not one response. To make this work I need some input from you guys! Just a quick email, a message in the shout box or a text - that's all it takes, its not difficult and we can make this more your blog than mine.
I set up the blog so that everyone could share their experiences and be part of what has grown to be popular blog that I hope you all enjoy. Everyone has a voice and an opinion on the fantastic hobby we share, so please can we hear some other voices than just mine?
email me:

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Beautiful views from the top of Itford

Rob, Will and Myself went to Itford Hill yesterday instead of the field as first arranged. The wind was stronger than anticipated so a change of plan at the last minute. What a lovely day though. Pity more people couldn't come out to play, I know some of you went off to Blackbush Airshow - How was that. Buy anything Interesting?
The trip started well with me seeing how low down I could slope soar going up the hill and managed to soar just up form the gate and to the top. I was videoing the ascent only to find I had left the lens cap on all the way up - What a muppet!
Will launched his Spectre and was left to his own devices and was enjoying himself. Rob was showing us how well his Moth flies and I continued to explore the flight envelope of the Tracuer and managed to land it upside down on more than one occasion. Will tested out the strength and bounciness of his Spectre with his first taste of lost control. I suffer from that all the time but the rubber pants have made all the difference. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, the Impact only broke a control horn but that was the end of Will's flying. Soon be back in the air Will !
There were a group of other modellers up there flying HUGE scale gliders and didn't they look realistic? We moved round a little to the corner of the slope, hoping the slight change in wind direction (WNW) would be better along the hill but it wasn't much better.
After playing for a while we decided enough was enough and we made our way back down to the cars. I thought it would be a good idea to see how far you could fly your model down the hill. Surprisingly, nearly all the way back to the car in fact. Here is a video of how it went.
I took lots of video but the camera was at the wrong angle and you saw mostly sky. Who wants to see  video of just sky? Must get that sorted out for next time.
Thanks for the great company Rob & Will..........

Saturday, 16 May 2015

From one extreme to the other

Here is a great video of a old guy with just a basic 2 channel glider and dated radio gear. No slope or bungee or even a DLG launch but just a good old heave into the air from a flat field. Just goes to show what's possible......
Then we have the other end of the glider spectrum. A hi-tech 3.0m DLG which looks so light and sleek in the air. Modern materials and the latest technology. They both are very impressive.
And here is the top end of flat field flying with just an amazing demonstration of how to fly RC gliders. The control this guy has and obvious flying skills make me envious but that what makes him a World Champion I suppose. Wonder how much this glider costs?
Hope you enjoyed the video's.............

Friday, 15 May 2015

Tomorrow Afternoon Flying

Looking at the weather forecast for the weekend it doesn't look the best with NW  through to WSW winds. Tomorrow morning shows it to be dull and a 12mph NW wind easing off as the day goes on and sunshine will break through by 2.00pm ish.......
Maybe a day to fly down the field. Motor gliders and possibly the winch or bungee.
A few off us will be flying. Lets say meet up at the field for 2.00pm and see what the day brings. We will get some flying in at least.
Let me know if you are coming along?
07834 859018

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Mill Hill (Shoreham) BMFA Statement

Hi all

Here is the statement the BMFA have issued with regard to flying models off Mill Hill (West Sussex).

Further to the recent incident involving a model aircraft and a full size light aircraft which occurred at Mill Hill near Shoreham Airport.
The pilot of the model aircraft has submitted a detailed report on the incident to the BMFA  head office, this has been passed onto the AAIB for investigation.
At this time all indications are that the model flying was taking place in accordance with the local agreements and in a completely lawful manner.
The location is a long established model flying site and model flying takes place with the full knowledge and agreement of Shoreham Airport.
Following consultation and agreement with both the CAA and Sussex Police, we have advised BMFA members that model flying should continue on the site at this time.

Its good to get the 'all clear' from the BMFA, CAA and the Sussex Police and relieved for the pilot of the model and for us all who have flown at Mill Hill but one major point that this incident has highlighted is that we still haven't got a definitive answer to exactly how high you are allowed to fly up at Mill Hill above the slope. The statement above sais that ''you should fly in accordance with local agreements'' Well what are the ''local agreements''? Where does it state anywhere what these are - Anyone got any firm facts i.e. a piece of paper with this information written down.

I have been told its 50' above the hill top. Others say its 400' above the hill top and some say its 400' AGL. So lets get some facts so we all know what height we can safely (and more importantly) legally fly up to, please!!

I am aware we fly visually and its difficult to guess what 50' up in the sky actually looks like but we should have a fair idea. I can certainly tell if my model is at 50' and not 400' above the slope or much higher as I've regularly seen models up there. The Council should clearly display the so called ''local agreement'' for everyone to read, so we can fly within the rules and not guess or be misguided by rumour that has been passed from one person to another while chatting behind the bushes out of the wind.

How can you stick to the rules when no one knows what the rules are?

I welcome your feedback.................

The Scores Are In !

Thank you for the 39 people who voted in our first ever pole on this weeks big question:
Will you continue to fly at Mill Hill ?
The 'YES' vote won with 53% of the vote with 'No' getting 35% of the votes with 6% for both 'Never Flown There' & 'Undecided'.
Well done to the 'YES' voters.

Did you find the poll interesting, would you like to see more weekly polls and if so, what sort of questions would you like to ask? Maybe a poll about having polls - No, that's just stupid!!

Please let me know?

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Flat Field Flying Weds 13th May

Hi All,
Today Paul and I went down to the field we rent in order to take advantage of the sunshine which we hoped would produce some thermals allowing us to fly our DLG models.

When we got to the field at 11:30 we noticed that the posts at the furthest end which we had yet to remove, were gone. There were at least 20 posts left to remove out of the approximately 100 that were there. Paul and I had already removed 80 or so with the help of the owner and his son and expected to be removing the last 20 some time soon.We assume the owner has removed them for us. So, we thank him very much for saving us a lot of further effort.

Today there wasn't a great deal of thermal activity at low altitude and despite numerous DLG launches of both mine and Paul's models, we never managed more than about 1 minute at maximum in the air. Paul also brought one of his electric thermal gliders and once that was up, it soared away to incredible height and could have stayed there all day. There was clearly thermal activity at altitude, but we guessed that the field hadn't had sufficient time to warm up enough for the DLG models.

Our advice for warm days is to go to the field later in the day when the ground has warmed up enough to produce good thermals.

However, after 2 hours of flying, we both agreed that it was a really enjoyable way to pass the time and that the field is a very nice place to be !!

Hope to see some more members down there soon....

Best regards

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Mill Hill - See what the press and BMFA are saying about it!

Here are a some press articles I have found about the recent incident at Mill Hill.

Reading through the various reports I really do wonder where some of these guys get their facts from?


West Sussex Gazette:

The Argus:

Shoreham Herald:
This is the only one that makes sense and has a direct response from Manny at the BMFA Head Office.

Here is what the South East Area BMFA (Facebook page) have published today:

''There was an item on the BBC South East news last night about the incident at Mill Hill last week saying the Police have stopped Model flying from the Hill. This is not the case I have spoken to Manny at head office who is in contact with the CAA who are the authority in this matter not the police and they seen no reason to stop flying from the Hill.''

The big question I must ask all the readers of this blog - Given the current situation are you still planning to continue flying up at Mill Hill?

Please let me know if you will or will not be flying at Mill Hill - Vote on our online poll (top right hand corner).

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

'Willow 2' F3F Glider

Here is a video of the new Willow 2 F3F racer flown by John Phillips flying at The Long Man.
Guess who has one of these mega F3F racers hidden away under the bench waiting for the 'Head of Building' (or Tim as you may know him) to put this beauty together?
I bought mine from Ian Mason (the designer and manufacturer of the Willow) a few weeks ago. Ian has his own blog with lots of Information about the Willow & Merlin gliders: Willow Racing

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Spring Visit to the Isle of Wight

As you may or may not know, we have some good friends based over on the Isle of Wight and we have now made a few visits over to the Island and enjoyed some fantastic slope soaring. The Island offers a vast array of slopes and cliffs to fly from. Well, now it's spring and the weather is improving it's time to organise another trip over to see Chris, Bill and the others for some Island soaring.
We already have four of us who have put our names down to go but I was hoping that some others would want to join us on a day trip expedition on Saturday 30th May.
Myself and Jack have booked our cars onto the ferry leaving at 9.00am to Fishbourne and returning on the 17.30 ferry back to Portsmouth. Good thing is that if you book the ferry now its £63 for a car and up to 4 people and if the weather is rubbish then you can cancel your booking (as long as its less than 24 hours before we sail) and you only lose a fiver!
Why not come along and enjoy the delights there is to be had over there.
I love it and it makes for such a great day out, plus we get to have a smashing Pub lunch !!
Please let me know if you would like to join us:

Mill Hill - A comment from a regular flyer.

As you may or may not be aware, one of the big reasons for starting this blog was to give a voice to RC model flyers enthusiasts and this is still the case. Ralph a regular model flyer at Mill Hill as well as an experienced full size pilot sent me an email with his thoughts and I thought it would be a good idea to get other model flyers idea's and thoughts about model flying at Mill Hill. Feel free to reply to this post (at the bottom of this article) using to 'Comments' link. Any comments are monitored prior to publishing by myself. We must be aware of what we write and publish on the Internet are here for ever and for all to view.

Ralph Writes.......

Hi Paul

Last Thursday morning there was a collision between a foamie and a GRP aircraft approaching Shoreham. I arrived an hour or so after it happened and was given details by another modeller who had been dealing with ATC and the police. Damage was limited to gel coat cracks on the stbd LE apparently. The pilot said he was at 1000' asl and had a video running at the time. Since Mill is 250' asl this means the model was allegedly at 750'.

Couple of thoughts on this before we all assume blame on the part of the modeller.  The height info does not seem credible - I would be surprised of you could even see a foamie at that height. The air was not thermic and the hill lift rarely goes anything like that well. Secondly with a known aerial hazard present why did the pilot route directly over the hill? Lastly models less than 7kg can fly legally at Mill without restriction as per the ANO. The height limit of 400' we have been using is a voluntary agreement with the airport following an airprox last year.
Thank you Ralph for your Input and I look forward to others having some input on how Mill Hill can continue being a popular venue for slope soaring in Sussex.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Butts Brow & Beachy Head

A group of us met up at Butts Brow just outside of Eastbourne. Rob, Will, Jack, David & me. We arrived to see another group of model flyers walking in the opposite direction to another bowl to fly from. We carried on walking to the main bowl at Butts Brow.
Will had his brand new and freshly built Spectre (Very nicely built by Tim) which had its maiden flight. Here is Will with his new toy and a silly hat to boot!
Rob flew his Moth and David flew his Spectre and Middle Phase which both returned home in a few more pieces than they arrived in. I flew my Valenta Dragon and Ninja. After playing silly beggars chasing Jack and after a great mid-air combat crunch I cartwheeled it in and broke the tip off.
Will continued to show of his skills by not needing any buddy lead and flew on his own for probably over an hour in total. Even managing his first launch all on his own. Well done Will !

After we had finished me and Jack went down to Beachy Head to see if the slope there would be working. I flew my Tracuer and Jack his Ninja and we had a whale of a time. Rough and turbulent over the low bushes but smoothed out the further you went. Spent time practising my continuous roles. Getting there I think!

A good mornings flying and a huge thank you to all who made the drive down to Eastbourne. We deffinately had the best weather of the day.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Beachy Head Tomorrow

Update - As we know things change and so has the forecasted wind direction. Now E !! So change of plan and I'm looking to fly ay Butts Brow Instead of Beachy Head but they are just a few miles apart.

Hi all. Looking at the weather for the Bank Holiday it doesn't look the best. With tomorrow morning / early afternoon looking the best of a poor job, I am hoping to go sloping at Beachy Head with Rob. Should be down there for 10.00. There is a nice piece of slope that doesn't have the sea below it and works well in a ESE wind. Here is a video of us flying down there about a year ago.
Let me know if your intending to join us. I can then let you know if there is any change of plan.

Mill Hill (Latest)

Sussex Police have confirmed there was an incident yesterday but did not want to elaborate any further. They also confirmed they have issued a 'Advisory Notice' to all model flyers recommending that they do not fly from Mill Hill. Please be aware that this is a sensitive situation and as responsible model flyers we should steer clear of Mill Hill for the near future.
I will keep you updated If I hear any more.

Ashdown Forest

While trying to find out a little more about Mill Hill. I noticed this Information posted on the South East Area BMFA website regarding model flying on the Ashdown Forest.

Firstly, a bit of background information; the Forest is not public land, such as park or open space would be, and the rules for such are not the same. The Ashdown Forest Conservators were set up by an act of parliament and given powers to run and protect the Forest. The only right the public have is to walk on the forest; all other activities are controlled and governed by Licences granted by the Committee that run the Conservators. The BMFA and its membership have licence to fly on the Forest under strict locations, dates and times. This was negotiated before I became involved with the BMFA and the South East Area committee.

Summary of Licence

Model Types: Free Fight and Radio Controlled Gliders, powered and unpowered
Flying Locations: Old Lodge Valley area bounded by Old Lodge Boundary; and Duddleswell/Nutley Road, Old Lodge Drive, B2026 and Friends Clump.
Flying Dates and Times:
  • Between 1 May and 31 August:
  • Silent models: up to 10.30 am and from 6 pm to sunset on any day.
  • Power Assisted Models: from 8.30 am - 10.30 am and from 6 pm to sunset.
  • Between 1 January to 30 April and 1 September to 31 December:
  • Silent and power assisted models: from 8.30 am to sunset.
Each year we negotiate a number of competition dates that enable us to fly from 8:30am to sunset, and do not clash with other events on the Forest, for example, equine events. The 2015 dates are Sundays: 8 February, 1 March, 22 March, 7 June, 28 June, 12 July, 13 September and 18 October. So the use of Helicopters and Multi-Rotor, 3D models, Gas Turbines, etc. do not fall within the scope of our licence and therefore cannot be flown at all and will be enforced by the Forest Rangers.

Mill Hill Update !!

Our roving reporter Rob Stanley from the 'Slope Soaring Sussex News' was up and about early this morning to cover the breaking story regarding model flying being banned at Mill Hill.
Rob has visited the Mill Hill flying site and has confirmed the only sign / notification that's being displayed regarding model flying is a hand scribbled note on a rubbish bin and doesn't look very official to me!
I will endeavour to get some official confirmation from either Shoreham Airport / Local Council or maybe even the CAA but the decision to fly at Mill Hill must be at the discretion of each individual model flyer. My suggestion would be to steer clear until we know exactly what's going on.
If you can enlighten us more with some facts then please can you email me: