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Bruinehaar 16 august 2002
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About 3-4km away I can see a cloud forming and I fly off to go and meet it. I nearly end up on the ground as at 250m I finally get some patchy lift and stick to it like glue. It gets me up, thank god and at 1000m I can finally take in the view and relax a little. The drift had taken me downwind a little and I decided to go behind the Veen to avoid flying in the same sink on the way back to the field. More sink again and whats worse I was getting drilling flying into wind. Behind the marshy Veen and a long walk back if I sink out I connect with a thermal which takes me up to the inversion level and slightly above, so I take a few photos and unintentionally (by pressing the wrong button) the movies.

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View from behind the Veen

View looking across the border into Germany

Look hard and try and spot the tow field

The tow field is in the middle of the picture!
A view of the Veen looking south

With 1200m height and a position I was high enough to think about what to do next, choices were a downwind glide to Robs house 60km away, crosswind to a winchfield 35km away or stay in the area and attempt a triangle of sorts. I chose the last one as I couldnt see any signs of lift downwind (no clouds) and the thought of going down after 10km would mean a day ruined. So off I went towards Hardenberg, north of the field by 15km or more. Easy with a light crosswind, I didnt lose much height to my suprise. By this time I had spent 1,5hrs in the air and I felt pleased with myself after a few weeks flying lay-off. Just as Im getting to the canal near Hardenberg I see a shadow on the ground approaching me fast, I look around and can see nothing when suddenly I hear the roar and the flash of grey metal, a F-16 speeds by above and to the left, about 1000m away. Shit, Im near the low fly route which the fly boys use when they fly back to their base at Enschede. I turn tail and run but it feels like Im standing still as another one goes past heading towards the winch field. All of a sudden I feel very vulnerable

Dutch Airforce protecting the skies
let's be careful out there!