19 April 2013 PCS-LOQ-RNI-PCS
Flight in SGC's DG505 Orion, 5GC. P1 John Williams.
Time: UTC
10:40 - 10:45 Takeoff from Portmoak
10:45 - 11:11 Scratching in weak thermal conditions. V light W wind.
11:12 - 11:20 Down to circuit height... before catching good climb off Vane Hill and climbing to about 3000' to set off.
11:20 - 11:30 Task start at 12.20 BST. Heading for the Ochils via Kinross and Balado.
11:30 - 11:32 Toggle Overlay Open Crossing the Ochils around 12.30 local. Cloudbase not that high.
11:32 - 11:48 Heading on across the flat plain between Ochils and start of the hill country near Crieff.
11:48 - 11:51 Low point crossing plain between Ochils and Crieff - head for hills.
11:51 - 12:12 Lift steadily improving as we come over the higher ground. Sensation of climbing up a ridge line, almost like walking on the hills.
12:13 - 12:15 Toggle Overlay Open First view of Loch Tay on way north, with Ben Lawers beyond. V light NW wind at this point.
12:16 - 12:19 Heading NW, slowly gaining height.
12:19 - 12:20 Toggle Overlay Open Heading north for the pass between Tarmachan Ridge (on left) and Ben Lawers (on right).
12:20 - 12:22 Toggle Overlay Open Crossing Loch Tay, looking east.
12:22 - 12:25 Toggle Overlay Open Passing Ben Lawers.
12:25 - 12:28 Toggle Overlay Open Looking WNW over Loch an Daimh (Stuchd an Lochain on left) towards Glencoe. Mamores and Nevis on horizon towards the right.
12:28 - 12:31 Toggle Overlay Open Looking north across Loch Rannoch towards the Ben Alder hills (I think).
12:31 - 12:40 Toggle Overlay Open Heading towards the Grey Corries.
12:41 - 12:42 Toggle Overlay Open Looking NW, Loch Rannoch and Ben Alder on right, Grey Corries on left.
12:40 - 12:43 Toggle Overlay Open Loch Ericht and Ben Alder.
12:44 - 12:45 Toggle Overlay Open Looking back (SW) across Blackwater Reservoir and Rannoch Moor, towards the Glencoe hills.
12:45 - 12:46 Toggle Overlay Open Heading towards Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries; Mamores on left.
12:46 - 12:47 Toggle Overlay Open Could have done with a higher cloudbase. :-)
12:47 - 12:52 Toggle Overlay Open Loch Ossian and Beinn na Lap, with Grey Corries beyond.
12:53 - 12:54 Toggle Overlay Open Loch Trieg and the Easains.
12:54 - 12:55 Toggle Overlay Open Passing the Grey Corries.
12:55 - 12:56 Toggle Overlay Open Looking NE to Loch Laggan and Creag Meagaidh.
12:56 - 12:57 Toggle Overlay Open Topping up at north end of Loch Trieg (looking south over the Easains).
12:57 - 13:02 Toggle Overlay Open Looking back at the Grey Corries.
13:03 - 13:06 Toggle Overlay Open Approaching Loch Lochy, with Loch Arkaig beyond.
13:06 - 13:07 Toggle Overlay Open Looking NE along Loch Lochy and the Great Glen.
13:07 - 13:08 Toggle Overlay Open Near Spean Bridge, looking back towards Ben Nevis.
13:08 - 13:09 Toggle Overlay Open Crossing the Great Glen!
13:09 - 13:10 Toggle Overlay Open Looking west along Loch Lochy.
13:09 - 13:10 Toggle Overlay Open Arriving on the slopes of Meall na Teanga (north shore of Loch Lochy). This was taken once we were established in the thermal and climbing - we were just a tad lowish before that. (Fields available at the southern end of the loch.)
13:10 - 13:11 Toggle Overlay Open One of the high spots (metaphorically) of the flight. This is the first of a series taken as we climbed over the spectacular Coire Lochain on Meall na Teanga...
13:10 - 13:11 Toggle Overlay Open ...next in the Coire Lochean series...
13:11 - 13:12 Toggle Overlay Open ...next in the Coire Lochean series...
13:11 - 13:12 Toggle Overlay Open ...next in the Coire Lochean series...
13:12 - 13:13 Toggle Overlay Open ...next in the Coire Lochean series...
13:13 - 13:14 Toggle Overlay Open 3800' QNH on Meall na Teanga (3010'); almost ready to leave the beautiful Coire Lochain.
13:15 - 13:16 Toggle Overlay Open Setting off NE from Meall na Teanga; Loch Arkaig on the left.
13:16 - 13:17 Toggle Overlay Open Looking back towards Ben Nevis (top is just in cloud), across Loch Arkaig.
13:17 - 13:23 Toggle Overlay Open First turning point in sight! Loch Quoich, with Gairich to its left.
13:24 - 13:28 Toggle Overlay Open Running in along the ridge lines to Loch Quoich dam. Gairich to the left of the loch.
13:28 - 13:29 First turning point, LOQ. (Loch Quoich East)
13:30 - 13:45 Beginning the second leg. One of the low points. Fields picked by loch, but found lift over the hills on left. Google Earth doesn't show the windfarm that's now on this hillside.
13:46 - 13:47 Toggle Overlay Open Hieght regained and now established on the second leg ENE towards Rhynie. Heading towards Fort Augustus and Loch Ness.
13:47 - 13:48 Toggle Overlay Open Looking SW towards Nevis and Loch Lochy, from near Fort Augustus.
13:48 - 13:50 Toggle Overlay Open Crossing back over Loch Ness and the Great Glen.
13:51 - 14:10 Toggle Overlay Open Second leg was the easy one, in middle of the day with strong thermals, a tail wind and much less challenging terrain.
14:11 - 14:16 Toggle Overlay Open On the second leg, heading eastwards with Cairngorms on the right...
14:16 - 14:17 Toggle Overlay Open ...and the Moray Firth and Inverness on the left.
14:18 - 15:08 Toggle Overlay Open Remainder of second leg to Rhynie (RNI) uneventful. Should probably have taken advantage of easy conditions and tailwind to climb higher, before turning into WSW wind for third leg homewards.
15:09 - 15:10 Second turning point, RNI (Rhynie).
15:11 - 15:42 On third leg. Now heading SW into gradually strengthening WSW wind, with thermals slowly dying.
15:42 - 15:55 Toggle Overlay Open Got a very good climb just north of Aboyne, to hgihest point of the flight (around 7000'). Setting off southwards over the mountains from Aboyne. Cloudbase high on this side of the country - which is good as we have a lot of rough terrain ahead.
15:56 - 16:04 Toggle Overlay Open Passing Lochnagar and Loch Muick.
16:04 - 16:09 Toggle Overlay Open Heading south across the last set of mountains, with comfortable head-room now.
16:10 - 16:21 Toggle Overlay Open Crossing the Cairngorms, via Spittal of Glenshee, with landable fields within reach. Finding odd bits of lift but gradually descending, as the thermals start to fade.
16:22 - 16:23 Toggle Overlay Open Reached the flat lands of Angus, near Backwater Reservoir. Now begins the slow tip-toe home in the evening, with dying thermals and a strengthening head-wind.
16:24 - 17:13 Toggle Overlay Open Turned slightly downwind, towards Dundee. Steadily descending and willing to take any lift going. Down to about 2000' in the hills just north of Dundee. Considering landing options, and trying to contact Perth and Errol - but they seemed to have gone home for the night.
17:14 - 17:18 Toggle Overlay Open The last good climb of the day took us to high over Dundee, after a prolonged struggle. Still below glide though.
17:18 - 17:23 Toggle Overlay Open Setting off homewards from Tay Estuary, tippy-tip-toe... Tantalising close to being on glide, but definitely touch and go.
17:24 - 17:25 Toggle Overlay Open Looking back towards the Tay Bridges and Dundee. We made it back from here... just. Landed shortly before 7pm BST.
17:26 - 17:48 Toggle Overlay Open A marginal glide back to Portmoak, trying to catch scraps of lift on the way, and relying on Bishop Hill to be working - in what's now a moderate westerly - to get us home comfortably. Landed shortly before 7pm BST.
17:48 - 17:51 Landing at Portmoak, 18.50 BST.