Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Morning Glory Vid

Some more Photos from This is the first cloud that I was towed into by Leeroy in the Dragonfly. I could not resist the temtation to do some loops once I gained my confidence flying the Glory.
High speed trying to keep up with the Glory.
This is a short Video that they call a VNR which was released yesterday to mainstream TV. It goes for 10 mins and is not really edited and is more for TV to take parts of and use on Tv. You still get a sneak preview of some of the footage that was taken up there especially if you missed the News last night. I will be on channel 7 sunrise thursday at 8:15am if you want to tune in and watch. Also will be on Wide World of Sports on sunday and Saturday Disney in a couple of weeks. Check out this link on youtube for a sneak preview. Red Bull Glory Glide Also some other links are. MSN
Monday, September 21, 2009

UN F...ING Believable

Well after having my dream come true yesterday I woke up this morning and looked straight on my computer for the weather. I saw the biggest line of Morning Glory on it's way towards us. I knew we had to be fast as it was close and with it's size it was moving fast. We raced out to the salt flats and on the way we drove into fog. This is the best sign you can have for a Morning Glory. All the big ones they have ever seen start with fog and lots of humidity. Leeroy was unable to takeoff for sometime even after first light as the fog was to much at the airport. It cleared up on the salt flats and then soon Leeroy was on his way out to pick me up. He landed hooked the rope on and then when I put my visor down I could not see. I quickly had to take off my visor as it was all fogged up. We were now almost on the abort stage as the Glory was nealry overhead. I said go go go as leeroy was keen to go right then and there. As soon as we started towing the fog came out of knowhere again and soon I was barely able to see the end of the tow rope. I just followed the tow rope and soon we had clear vision again and when I looked to the right I saw the biggest wave of cloud I have ever imagined. It was some of the most heart beating moments I have ever spent in my harness. I was now towing against this cloud bank that looked like a 3,000ft high ski jump. The ground in front of us now was completly fogged over and I was starting to get a little scared. I knew there was a forest coming up so I just flew as fast as I could to the south to ensure when the fogged cleared that I had landings below me. I rode the cloud for 68kms and flew the cloud for 1hr and 40 mins. I had the time of my life and to experience it with my whole crew was just amazing. There was leeroy in the Dragonfly, Kieran in his Lancair and big Jon was up with Billo in the trike. I landed out in the middle of knowhere on a small dirt road where Leeroy was able to land the Dragonfly. The helicopter landed soon after to get some footage of us soaking up the glory moments on the ground. I then packed up and tied the glider to the helicopter skids and flew back to the Burketown. It was so awesome I had the best flight of my life followed by a helicopter retrive.
Leeroy and I in front of my retrieve
I arrived back at the airport to meet big Jon and the rest of the crew. It was huge smiles all around on my return.. Tomorow may be another one then it looks like a SE wind will be back to stop the Glories...
Soon I will be able to show you some pics from Red Bull but untill here are some more from Kieran.
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Morning Glory..

Well how do I start.. I woke up this morning with a good feeling the weather was feeling humid and and different from other days. We arrived at the salt flats at 5am and was set up and ready by 5:30am. Once the first light appeared we could see a huge cloud coming for us.. I was so excited and we had to wait for about 45-1hr before we towed up. Once I started towing towards the coast line to get the cloud it was breath taking. I was speachless in the air and once I released I had the flight of my life. I got comfortable with the cloud for 5 minutes then I could not resist and started doing some loops just to see what it looked like upside down. I rode the wave cloud for 45kms before landing safely next to the main dirt road that heads SW out of town. Leeroy was soaring the Dragonfly two up for at least 60kms before returning to the airport in Burketown. Their was big smile all around the camp and the whole crew said they had never experienced anything like a Morning Glory.. These pics were all taken by Keiro in the Lancair.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Film Crew Arrives.

Well all the film crew arrived yesterday including a big helicopter with a cineflex camera on the front. We had a meeting last night to discuss all the logistics that can occur with Morning Glory and how we will shoot the Glory.
Red Bull camp as first light arrives.
We had crew call at 5am this morning and I was up at 4;30am checking the weather. I uploaded the infared satelite pic and I could see a Morning Glory stretching about 800kms wide. There was lots of excitement so we raced out to the salt flats to setup.
Once we got all the camera's setup on my glider and rigged it the first light was just starting to appear. We looked out on the horizon to see this cloud that stretched from horizon to horizon.
The Glory on the horizon behind me.
It is such an amazing site to see such a cloud formation like this one. The cloud was slowly getting closer and bigger. Keiran was up in his lancair reporting the location of the Glory for us to give us the best chance of catching it.
It appeared to stop so we waited on the ground for about 1 hour before giving up on the Glory. All the sailplane pilots were coming back already so it was quite a bad sign even though there was still a big cloud bank out there.
We decided to go for a tow and check out all the camera positions to ensure that everything is set for the Glory when it comes. I towed for 25 mins towards the cloudbank and realeased at 5500ft agl. It was very broken and was not the Glory that we had hope for earlier on when the sun came up.
I did some loops and spins and a low level pass before arriving safely back on the ground with all 5 cameras unscratched.
The wind has picked up today just after I landed so that could mean that tomorrow could be the day...
I hope to give you some good news soon...:-)
Keiran managed to catch a Barramundi yesterday fishing and was very excited..
Monday, September 14, 2009

First Morning Glory.

Well after arriving last night to late to set up the Dragonfly we thought we would wake up anyway to see if there was a Glory.. I could see a dak line on the horizon so we all jumped out of bed and raced out to the salt flats to have a look. Sure enough there was a big Morning Glory coming right for us..
The sunrise Glory..
With no dragonfly we were unsure what to do. Leeroy was keen to roll out the ground tow setup and pull me into the glory that way.. I ummed and ahhhed a bit before returning to the camp to get the harness and equipment.
The Boys holding up the sunrise.
We raced back out there setup as fast as we could was hooked up on tow just as the Glory started to come through. The wind started getting stronger and more cross. We took up tension on the rope but it released as I had the release set up to short.. The wind got stronger and stronger and with out big jon holding my glider down with all his weight I would not be typing this email now. It was the strongest wind I have ever been strapped into my hang glider and was for the first time actually very scared.
The Glory after it had gone past us..
As it was our first real Glory I was not sure if the wind would get even stronger again. After about 30 seconds of wind around 30-35knts then nothing it was so amazing... Looking up and seeing this cloud an trying to understand the theory of how this works was mind boggling..
In the Middle of know where with Glory Behind.
stay tuned for more Glories....
Saturday, September 12, 2009

In search of the Morning Glory.

I have been busy preparing for the last 2 weeks for our Morning Glory adventure. I left this morning from home after spending less than 1 week there since arriving back from Brasil. I left with a Dragonfly, Leeroy and my father and we are going to be joined by the Red Bull team at Burketown for our Morning Glory Adventure. We just drove for 16 hrs today arriving in Longreach with just over half the distanced travelled of the 2222 km journey. Stay tuned for updates as soon as the Morning Glory comes rolling in.