Three of us arranged to meet up at around midday ish at Fochriw for a flying session. As I was driving along the road towards Pontlottyn, with the steep slope on my left I could see a para glider in the air, which made me happy because that made me think that the access gate to the top of the hill was still open. My friend, (who lives locally), had contacted me the previous day to say that she had driven past and the gate was open. But upon my arrival the gate was firmly shut and locked with several vehicles parked outside the gate. So I checked the Slope Soaring in Wales group page on Facebook to see if there were any comments about this, and if not then I could warn the others about the closure. Nick had already beaten me to it, had seen the locked gate and driven down to the slope at Manmoel, near Ebbw Vale instead. So I messaged Phil to let him know and I headed off to Manmoel.
Nick was there as I walked the 200 metres from the car to the slope edge. The wind was blowing more easterly than the NE that had been forecast and around 10 mph, which was enough to fly a light foamie model, and that model for me was the Genesis chevron wing which I had built specifically for flying combat.
The air was smooth with no turbulence, which was nice as sometimes the air at Manmoel can be very turbulent and horrible to fly in, but not this day. It was a day for cruising back and forth along the slope as there wasn't enough wind to perform big aero's, but it was just nice to get on the sticks again.
Phil turned up with his youngest son Tom in tow and Phil launched his Spectre foamie wing and together we cruised the slope. I decided to syncronise my passes with Phil's, turning together at each end of the pass until we collided when I came up from behind and below. Phil's model went down and I managed to recover mine and continue flying, and there were no obvious control issues with my model, unlike Phil's who had a elevon control linkage break.
So that was that. Nick and I continued to fly for a little while until that chilly easterly wind got the better of Phil and I and we decided to head back to the warmth of our cars and head home.
Check out the video where I did manage to capture the collision.
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.