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Buizerd Aerotow 15 June 2002
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MapSource Benelux
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The first Buizerd aerotow weekend at Moergestel was the first of the year after the first date was cancelled due to the state of the field the grass was too high.

Still, the forecast for the Saturday was good. A strong cold front had passed over the night before giving a few thunderstorms on its way. The morning was bright and cumulus started building early, the wind was West-southwest at 25kts, quite gusty. A high pressure ridge was due to move in behind the front meaning the wind would become more westerly and ease, but when?.

The beginners group had tried flying at 11pm but a nasty looking accident by Maurice Lemmens stopped any further flying for beginners. It looked like Maurice popped his nose up too much and was turned downwind, mercifully he escaped with just two broken uprights, it could have been much, much worse.

Everyone else took their time rigging, the first launches were at 2pm. The wind was still quite gusty which made for an interesting aerotow to say the least. I released at 500m but quickly had to make the decision whether to stay with scrappy lift or return to the vicinity of the field. I chose to return. Other pilots were launching in the meantime and Martin van Helden, Chris Weeke, Andre van Distelhorst, Rob van Rijnbach + another ? had all managed to connect and quickly left the area. Another aerotow after half an hour and the wind was easing, unfortunately I was dropped off in a blue hole with no thermal nearby so scurried back to the field, third time lucky?.

I relaunched at 4,45pm and asked to be released at 750m. By this time it had started to overdevelop with high altostratus covering up the sun, almost no sun on the ground. Still the extra height helped and I was under a cloud patch which took me to 1250m, time to go on glide. Below me I could see Paul Engelen below me, I decided not to wait for him to join me and set off on a long glide to Boxtel and a cloud which was developing. I nice 1m/s thermal was waiting and I was back upto 900m, Paul came over and we worked weak lift above Vorstenbosch before going on glide again. I continually called Paul on the radio but his batteries were flat, unfortunately as we couldnt share strategy.

Volkel view

Rob van Rijnbach hitched back to Moergestel and picked us all up, it was a late evening and whilst you can fly the route directly driving is another matter, it was midnight before we were back at the field. No matter it was worth it, a nice flight 59km across the southern  part of the country in marginal weather conditions.

route

flight statistics from SeeYou

brauniger trace

Cloudstreet forming at 5,45pm

As we approached Volkel the runway was clearly to be seen, I thought it better to take a track north of the runway whilst Paul took a southerly route towards a developing cloud. The conditions during the flight were gradually improving and at 5,45pm I got a nice lazy 1,0m/s thermal from 580m which took me back upto 950m. Above me a weak cloudstreet had formed and I flew to the end of it, looking back towards Volkel I took a photo as well as one ahead. In the distance I could see the river area and large expanses of water and decided to take a more easterly direction following the motorway A77. I could see that there were few crossing places over the river so I settled for a landing at Oeffelt, just over the river from Gennep. Just as I was setting up my circuit I could see Paul thermalling above, oh no!. Sure enough he was still high and cruised over and onto Kleve where we later picked him up, I landed at 6,15pm and Paul at 7pm.