Wednesday, October 3, 2012

St. Andre Oct 3

Initially we were going to go to Gourdon and join Jim and Colleen, but got the SMS that it was "totally black cloud cover", so back to St. Andre.  A delay as we watched a motorcycle who had just passed us, wipe out on a curve right in front of us.  The other couple that stopped seemed to be at a bit of a loss until I told them to phone 1-1-2 and then they seemed glad to be able to do something :)  Initial inspection showed a busted shoulder and leg and slight shock, but his leathers and helmet protected him otherwise and his touring buddies showed up with the ambulance on its way so we continued on.

At St. Andre it was already flyable and some pilots were already on their way to the north, but it seemed a bit windier and more northerly the further north we went.  Alex watched a hang glider crash into the trees right off launch, and then I saw a glider in the trees above Lambruisse.  We could see him moving around and trying to get the glider out, but then Alex saw a reserve toss in the lee of Cheval Blanc and the pilot get dragged over the rocks, downwind, along the side of the mountain until he was able to get his reserve under control.

At this point we had enough carnage for the day and decided to land while we were still ahead (!).  There were something like 8-10 pilots landed around Lambruisse and reported both incident pilots were OK (they were part of tour groups) so back to St. Andre to watch the antics in the LZ as pilots landed in the sometimes south, sometimes west, wind conditions.  For some odd reason pilots here like to approach the LZ from downwind when it's really windy rather than stay closer in case the wind changes direction, and they end up barely making the LZ, making for some exciting landings (will they land on a car in the parking lot, the roof of the outbuildings, the trees, the river ?).

Tomorrow is predicted to be windy so we are likely to head to the coast for some sightseeing and maybe some swimming in the Mediterranean :)

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