Xc Title
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Hugh Miller  All flights
National League 2023
Flight type image
Turnpoint Flight on a Paraglider
Ozone Zeno 2
3rd June 2023
7hrs 15mins
Nr Tinhay
51.95818, -0.44570
51.96293, -0.44260
51.82667, -1.03627
51.20390, -2.60712
51.09333, -2.70333
50.62928, -4.24162
50.62990, -4.24195
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Flight map

This map gives an overview of the flight, using the turnpoints to plot the track.

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Duration 0:00   Takeoff Distance 0
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Track color
No data
Track data
Time: No data
Height: metres
Climb: m/sec
Speed: km/h
Distance: km

Climb and Speed averaged over 10 second intervals.

These values may be lower than those shown by a flight instrument, which has access to continuous raw data.

Metric units are used for all chart data, except for Height which is shown in feet.

Height   -   GPS data
Maximum Height
5223 ft
Lowest Save
1601 ft
Takeoff Height
469 ft
Landing Height
541 ft
Total Ascent 43314 ft
Height Gain
Above Takeoff 4754 ft
Maximum 4770 ft
Low Point
453 ft
High Point
as Maximum Height
5223 ft
Climb   -   Pressure data
Maximum Climb
4.1 m/s
Minimum Climb
-3.1 m/s
Maximum Speed
79.9 km/h
Average Speed
around course
42.3 km/h
Average Speed
over track length
45.8 km/h
Flight Duration 7hrs 33mins
Track Points 2739
Recording Interval 10 secs
Statistics Interval 10 secs
Track Length 346.2 km
Flight instrument
Type Flyskyhy
Model 7.3.2
Firmware 7.3.2

Climb and Speed averaged over 10 second intervals.

These values may be lower than those shown by a flight instrument, which has access to continuous raw data.

Average Speed around course is measured from Start to Finish points.

Track Length is the cumulative distance between track points from Takeoff to Landing.

You can change the default units displayed - see the Options page.

'Sharpenhoe, I love you, but you're bringing me down'…

After four windy crosswind top landings throughout the morning, I was ready for a trip to the local garden centre for tea and cake. The slope faces ENE, but anything N of NE it becomes a horror show of rotor over the hedge line, a dive into an into-wind ridge of trees, and a desparate claw up the trees before turning tail and just making it back in for a top landing. Not fun.

But then at 12:15 pm the wind backed (yes after 30 years of flying, I've finally learnt the difference between backed and veered) and the the trigger temp was reached (am I sounding knowledgable now) and those lovely parcels of air started ballooning up from the cut fields out front.

Mark and I circled up and away with Tom, Ash, Jonny, James and others, while Kirsty and Andrew barely cleared the bushes at the end of the take-off run and lawn-darted into the fields below. Their sacrifice to the Gods ensured a smooth climb out to around 3000 ft.

Mark and I pushed quite hard on due west to escape the Easyjet 747s on final into Luton just to our south - think the newer pilots to Sharpenhoe may have stayed more in downwind-and-drift survival mode in the weaker stuff and got caught out by the fast approaching airspace boundary. However, the first 2 hours required patience, and it wasn't until Oxford that Mark and I started picking up the pace a little. 'Yep the day is turning on' Mark radio'd as we hit our first solid 2 m/s climb.

From here memory gets a bit hazy. I remember gliding cross wind to the baked fields of Glastonbury festival - 2 weeks prior to it - and getting a really nice climb. Then pushing a little faster towards Taunton. We hit the 200 km mark at around 5:20 pm. We worked well together, doing some joint decision making round blue sections, but we were flying quite sedately, never using more than a quarter or half bar to make the most of the downwind polar curve.

Then just short of Tuanton, at 5:30 pm, it turned on - with a nice street lined up towards Devon. Unfortunately Mark was 2000 ft lower than me as I hit a solid 3 up, the first really good climb of the day, and he landed soon after. The street worked for about 20 km, with base rising to just under 5K, so I pushed on as fast as I dared… Then pfffft, every cloud in the sky just melted to nothing. What!

Here we go again, I thought, me, Devon, 250 km and the blue. I've been here three times before now. Time to be patient. I told myself, well, this is where the flight begins. Just before 6 pm I was gliding into very smooth air, then got a couple of jiggles under a very faint milky cu. I was desperate not to repeat the previous mistakes, so changed right down the gears into '75 year old sunday vicar has a stroll round the parish mode. ' I think I spent the next 2 hours in nothing better than 0.5 m/s up on my averager, working Crediton, then cross winding slightly. There's very little to go for in this part of the world, with lots of wet looking grasslands - none of the big arable fields of east England - so I tried to jump the towns. Even so I grew to think that 0.5 m/s was a good climb.

A very light grey cu started forming above me in what felt like my last climb at the day, and I was at 265 km. I took as much of it as I could, then glided towards Okehampton, bathed in sun, the hills of Dartmoor to the south. I connected with a couple of bits, and just stuck in what I could. Then, bizarrely, amazingly, in a what the hell is a climb doing here kind of way, I connected with a 0.5 - 1 m/s climb that just lifted me up by the scruff of the neck to the kind of altitude I might squeek 300 km out of. I think actually the air was converging and lifting in the lee of Dartmoor - something to bear in mind for the future.

On final glide, at 7:45 pm, I really felt I had worked the day as best I could. As I turned in to land, My FlySkyHi app showed a straight line distance of 307 km which would have been the record by 200 m so I got to enjoy that feeling of breaking it too… Without actually having done so, as it turns out the software had a glitch and wasn't showing distance to TO, but distance via 2 TPs. Hey ho. Most importantly, this flight conquered the gremlin of my last 275 km effort, where I really felt I'd messed up by landing at 4:45 pm. My main goal in flying for this year was to crack 300 in the UK and I'd done it.

What made it even better was the kindness of a fellow pilot I'd never met before - James Loyd - driving an hour to offer a lift out of the blue - then Mark and Annie turning up too - and of course the buzz of Andrew and Kirsty also breaking over 250 km (and a new UK record for Kirsty), finding them in a distant Devon pub garden - and the buzz of driving for 6 hours down empty motorways with the dance music blaring - and coffees at service stations at 1 am - and leaving your boot door open halfway round the M25 after dropping Kirsty off and forgetting to close it - and - and - and…

We'll just have to have another go, won't we?

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