punk rock style


I've taken to writing about sport flying. The kind of flying that is not about pictures, but about the wild joy of flying over the horizon, as far as possible, without worrying about coming back. And I am glad that I have reasons to do so ;-)

On Tuesday Swiety checked out the conditions in Leszno. What to do, we had to go. At 25:15 we took the bus from Gdynia to Prague. On Wednesday we got off the bus in Leszno at 7:35 in the morning, a bit battered as we were after a night on the bus. Breakfast at a gas station and drive to the airport ???? There, like last time, we were greeted by smiling Andrzej Walczak. Clouds and wind were waiting for us. And it was supposed to clear up. There was excitement. The weather promised to be unbelievable. First Szafran started, about 10:45 (photo 1), then Tomek "Polendwica" Krupski. And it blew up. The starts were long awaited. I launched the third one around 11:15, followed by Kwiatek, Swiety and few other pilots.

It was so windy that there was no chance to return to the airport. I left for the route in zerko. Zerko is the kind of lift that makes me not lose altitude, but not go up either. While doing my first glide I remembered Polendwica's words: "I don't care about distance today, just stay in the air for 9 hours". I thought it was a good motto for the flight, especially since the last two flights I messed up by landing in the middle of the day. This time I had to check if it wasn't a sign of something stronger, or if the center of lift was somewhere nearby, and since it was blowing fiercely - circling in the zerks caused me to move away from the launch. 

I was prepared for it to be cold. It was supposed to be zero degrees at 2000m (on the third of July), but by the end of the day the bases had risen to 2500m. I had wool thermal underwear, warmers, two chimney sweeps.... and I was freezing. The thermals themselves were pretty mild. I mean, even when the wind was strong, there was no turbulence and no wind upsets. And the top was blowing. The highest XCTrack readings were near Radomsk (49km/h NNW wind). A paraglider flies at 36 km/h relative to the air. This means that with such wind it flies 85 km/h relative to the ground. Upwind it flies 13 km/h backwards... 

Near Wloszczowa I had a big thermal crisis, flying a glider and drifting with the wind. I was afraid that it would push me into Krakow's TMA. Probably too much. I watched the ground and the trees laying down in the gusts I was afraid of landing. How will it be near the ground when the top is blowing so much?

Maybe that's why I avoided landing for so long and after eight hours of flying I sat on the ground in the mild evening air. Or maybe it's my new Queen 2 that cooperates so well? Either way the thermals were sucked down to the last lint. A heavily frosted beer was waiting for me. The prize. This beer is a little tradition, or maybe even a ritual. We take beer in a can to our harness. If the flight is long the beer is cold. If the flight is short, not only can I see my friends flying overhead, but also the warm beer splashes over me when I open it. 

I landed near Piñczów, 323 km from the start! 

And at that moment I started to wonder where I actually am and how to get out of here. I did not think about returning to Gdynia during the flight. I was thinking how to avoid the zones and not to fall out of thermal rhythm. Thoughts of returning home would definitely help me get back on the ground faster. Surely to make it easier, my subconscious would plant me at the train station in Włoszczowa, which I passed. Fortunately, that train station was not for me. Anyway, we went to Leszno by PKS with the thought and attitude that it would be easier for us to hitchhike back to Gdynia than to go back to Leszno to get a car and then return to Gdynia. 

I called Saint and heard: send a pin, Broda is coming. It turned out that Przemek Potocki, seeing the potential of that day and flying live on livetrack24, straight from work set off by car from Gdynia to collect us after flying. Catching a few opportunities I headed opposite Przemek towards Kielce, but got stuck at a gas station. It was after dusk, and it was very difficult to get a chance. Przemek! Thanks a lot for such a brave action and comfortable driving! I arrived home to Gdynia at 5 AM. 

That was the first time I flew with camel bag, and first time I was armed with pilot's tube. And throughout the flight I was not thirsty and did not pee either.

There were many great flights on this day. Adam, Pawel, Kuba, Swiety, Tomek - Congratulations and enjoy with you. Condition was kind to us and AUP was also kind. TSA06 zones were not active despite the avation. I hope that I will come to Leszno more than once. This is an amazing place. All pilots left the first tow despite such strong wind. Maybe because they all respected Zerek knowing that there will be no second chance, or maybe because Andrzej knew perfectly well how to let us go so that there were no complications. That's it! Andrzej! Thanks a lot for letting us go despite such difficult conditions. Leszno is a great thermal place and great people.

Link to the flight: 

Link to flight chart:

Well, and greetings to all the queens. It's getting to be a whole cohort of princesses, not just Kashubian ones ???? 


The next day I was looking at the SAT24 pictures and hoping that there will be a replay and I will see the long distance flights.... and there they are :)) Such condition for two days in a row is an unusual situation. Just like frost in July in Jakuszyce ???? ... 


Congratulations Pawel Faron Kuba Sto Ireneusz Janik