Saturday 28th April
It was a grey old morning as I arrived up the winding, single track road from Pontlottyn to the top of Fochriw, looking in a north easterly direction.
I parked the car on the grass at the side of the road and walked the 30 or so yards to the edge of the slope, this is the kind of sloping we like, park and fly. The wind was blowing about 30mph and that north easterly was bitterly cold, so I walked back to the car and donned a few more layers of clothing, a woolly hat, gloves and ski jacket.
I took the Wildthing out of the car, switched on the TX and RX, checked that everything functioned correctly, walked to the slope edge and gave her the old heave ho, and away she went. The lift was great with smooth air, not quite as smooth as Hirwaun Common, but almost there.
The cold forced me to land after a few minutes and I sat back in the car warming up when Mark phoned asking where I was. As I was explaining, his car appeared coming around the bend.
Mark took out his Ron Broughton designed chevron wing, the Ballistik and gave that a blast. Chris turned up, rigged up his Strega F3F and had fun, carving tight turns and runs along the face of the slope. This was followed by Mark doing the same with his Willow F3F before the rain came in. We sheltered in our cars, taking advantage of the weather to have a coffee.
Once the rain had passed, Chris rigged up his Mini Vec and gave that a fly, however, after several attempts to land it, the plane was almost hovering over the landing zone when it suddenly began rolling uncontrollably before crashing into the ground. On inspection, the glass fibre fuselage had completely split in two behind the wing, and just in front of where he had made an earlier repair. I can only think that maybe there were hairline cracks in the glass fibre from the earlier damage which had been repaired and it was only a matter of time for it to break again through stress.
I had one more flight and then decided to go home and have a cup of hot chocolate, leaving Mark & Chris to carry on.
This was the first time any of us had flown off Fochriw, for me mostly because I know the para gliders fly from there also, but I'll certainly fly from there again on a north easterly.
About A470 Soaring
This is the blog for a few guys who spend their time flying radio controlled gliders, or slope soarer's, from the many and varied slopes around SE Wales.
This usually begins at the northern end of Cardiff, driving north up the A470 up to the Heads of the Valley's and the southern fringe of the Brecon Beacons. But the A470 road continues its windy way all the way to N Wales.
There are many slopes available for most wind directions, the most famous being the area between Nant-y-Moel and Treorchi known as The Bwlch, which has some of the best slopes and flying in Europe with many F3F competitions being held there each year and visited by many fliers from Europe and around the world. At 1500 feet (450m) above sea level, there is usually more wind than not, and certainly more than at sea level.
If you require any further information, are new to slope soaring or are visiting the area, please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org . I look forward to hearing from you.
Take a look at Page 2 (look below and to the left here) for Google maps of our most popular Flying Sites.