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Posted by on Jun 8, 2019

Spring Greens

Spring Greens

Out of the hangar… Haven’t done any flying since New Year, so long overdue to send the H into the sky again. This session included my 200th flight with my craft, which remains gloriously uncrashed so far, so very pleased about that. Fortunately I’m back in time for Spring, and there aren’t many places that look better from above in Spring time than Ashford Hangers, high in the hills of Hampshire. …and over to the Hangers. So I donned my walking boots, hiked the couple of Km there, and went and got us some of that in the nice afternoon sunshine… It was a perfect day for such an enterprise, wind was there, but only gentle gusts even so high above the surrounding landscape. Only saw 2 other passing walkers in the entire time I was there, so had this wonderful wide open space to myself – not even the horses that usually live in the field to the left were there today ! The skies were busier. There...

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2018

King of the Hills

King of the Hills

Up to the Top… It’s been a good long time since I last flew from the highest hill in Hampshire – I don’t go up there too much because it’s very popular with dog walkers and local residents in what is normally golden hour, so I don’t want to disturb them too often. And I have to wait for wind conditions to be perfectly calm, as we are 900 ft up at the summit before we even take off, and we want to go another 400 ft above that and still get useful footage whilst not being blown away to Portsmouth… Calm on High Today was such a day, and being the middle of it, there were only a few people around, and not much wildlife to disturb either. All the sheep were way down in the valley, so apart from that massive mast, and the odd low-flying helicopter, I had the skies to myself. No airprox action required today so my panoramas went unimpeded, although for some reason...

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Posted by on Dec 5, 2018

Chinthurst Hill

Chinthurst Hill

New Horizons I think I must have flown up almost every hill in Hampshire by now, so until the seasons change and we get some snow I am casting my aerial net slightly further afield, and so today I have a new fly site to show you – this time we’re over in Surrey, just south of Shalford on the road to Wonersh at Chinthurst Hill. My childhood home was Wonersh so I have a lot of memories of country walks up here when I was young. I was hoping that the hill would be smaller than I remembered it (I had much littler legs last time), but it wasn’t, and it was quite a trek to the top ! The View from Above Well worth the climb though – when I got to the summit I was met with the nice wide open space I remembered, with spectacular views under a muted sun, some very interesting trees and the last of the Autumn colours – a lot of...

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Posted by on Dec 1, 2018

Gibbet Hill – Devils Punchbowl

Gibbet Hill – Devils Punchbowl

Heading for the Valleys… There has been a lot of rain recently, so this being the first day of sunshine afterwards I couldn’t wait to get back in the sky. I hadn’t flown here before with the H, but I remembered how nice the Devils Punchbowl in Hindhead looked last time I was there, and so a plan formed, and I scoured the maps for the best place to fly. It was much busier than I was expecting, and I didn’t want to overfly too many people, so I kept away from the valley itself (where most dog walkers were), and instead wheeled myself up to the open heath of Gibbet hill to the right of the Punchbowl. Here there were less people but we still had a decent view of the surrounding countryside, one end of the A3 tunnel, and there’s lots of bonus forest, full of trees which still have their leaves, which looks great in golden hour. Spin Panorama I did 3 flights here, 2 taking...

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Posted by on Nov 28, 2018

Autumn Greens

Autumn Greens

Course Lock Flying as I do quite regularly from the Lake Heath I’ve had my eye on the adjacent golf course for a while, and have long since wished I could do a flight or 2 from within the grounds so I can get some really decent views of their gloriously manicured landscaping and attractive trees. I’ve been in contact with the management on and off for a few years, but we’d never quite managed to arrange a day. But one day last week I was just passing with all the flying kit in the car, with no fixed idea of where to fly, and thought I’d pop in and see how busy they were at Petersfield pay and Play Golf Club. As luck would have it, it was the end of the working day, so only a few people on the course, and I gained permission to fly from the helpful staff in the clubhouse. Excellent. With permissions sorted I did a quick site survey and launched for...

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2018

Patchwork Gardens

Patchwork Gardens

Almost a Home Ground… Technically, this fly-site is the closest to my house of anywhere I fly, but despite one very successful flight here around 5 years ago with my Discovery Pro, I have been reticent to return because I don’t want to worry or harass the gardeners by flying there too often. The last thing I would want is for them to think I am spying on them, or up to anything nefarious, so I always go and talk to at least a few people of whoever is there and ask if they mind if do some aerial photography. Everyone has been very kind so far. Flight Planning Although I didn’t seem to need it last time I made my close-proximity flight, this time one of the resident gardeners advised that I should probably ask for permission to fully overfly the site, which I will do in due course, but in the meantime I do remain free to fly in the large public fields next door to the...

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2018

Lammas Land Spin Glides

Lammas Land Spin Glides

Losing Light… Over in Godalming again visiting Mum, so paused on the way to go grab some dusk footage from the Lammas Lands, this time from the ‘Farncombe’ side of it. It’s another huge wide-open space largely devoid of people, except the odd dog walker, and this makes it a similarly great place to fly as the other side of the road is. Safe and legally distant from structures, but close enough to a built-up area to get some decent views of the town. Light wasn’t on my side this time – it was failing fast at only 4.30 pm or so, but I got there and set up in just about enough time to get a couple of flights under the darkening grey skies. Testing Times Flawless performance from the H again, even better now that I have recalibrated the compass after finding the odd occurrence of ‘error 32’ in my flight telemetry. I am beginning to really trust the H now, and as I approach the 150...

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2018

St Peters at Terwick

St Peters at Terwick

Location location… I have often seen the sign to St Peters church just off the A272 in Hampshire, near Terwick, but until recently hadn’t ventured down there to do any flyings. But recently I was visiting a friend out that way who was staying in a local farm cottage, and we went walking about and found the church, and a nice little field out the back of it, and some very attractive Autumn colours. Just one really quick flight here, so didn’t feel I fully did it justice, but I will be back during Winter to get a slightly better view of the church, which I think would look excellent from the air when covered in snow. But we did have time for a nice little panorama, and a quick spin about the fields, so enjoy those for now… Next time we’re back in Godalming, more specifically the other side of the lammas lands at dusk… Aero...

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Posted by on Oct 30, 2018

Speedy wheels

Speedy wheels

Wheel-cam is go… I ride this all the time, but have rather given up making videos about it because having found the good ones I tend to repeat a lot of my routes, which doesn’t make for interesting video if you’ve seen it all before… but hey ho, someone asked, so I knocked out another one. Speedy speedy This is quite a fast run into town on the cycle path, round the town a bit, then the church, then round the lake, sped up x4 later, which does get a lot of distance traveled into not much time, but we pay a price in quality – Youtube really hates accelerated video like this, so it’s all a bit blocky and blurry I’m afraid, which is annoying, because it didn’t look like that before I uploaded it :) If I go anywhere exciting on my wheel I might do a a better one, but until then, it’s back to the flyings, and next time, we return to Godalming for a...

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Posted by on Oct 19, 2018

Ashford Hangers

Ashford Hangers

250 yards further… Exciting new fly site time ! I’ve lived in Petersfield for at least 10 years, and have known about Stoner Hill and Ashford Hangers for most of that, but recently my good friends Matt & Joolz told me about a viewpoint I had never found in all that time, so today I set out on a mission to find it, and when I did I was rewarded by one of the best potential fly sites I’ve seen for a while ! And it is a mission to get there – I have to drive all the way to the end of Litten Lane, a fabulously unmaintained farmers track that puts my cars suspension to the maximum test – indeed have lost 2 exhausts to this road before, but I got away with it this time. I used to fly from the main viewpoint, but for various reasons had since decided that wasn’t safe, and the only other option is a gated field on the left that...

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Posted by on Oct 19, 2018

Butser Hill South

Butser Hill South

If at first you don’t succeed… …go back again and have another go. Last time I was here, the sun had already gone down, I inexplicably had an ND4 filter on, and had to set ISO way high, so footage was quite bad and trees got turned to mush – eurgh. So this time, I’ve got there an hour earlier, and all my ND filters remain in the bag, and things are looking much better for it… also less wind today, so that’s nice. The Road to the Top This is one of the fields that lines the main road up to the summit of Butser, but I’m saving flying from up there until conditions are perfect, so for now I am content to stay on the South Side ridge, flying from my favourite easy-access field where I have excellent views of all the surrounding skies and roads, and I have special assistant Andy spotting for me, so this makes me feel very safe for this session. There were...

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Posted by on Oct 19, 2018

Godalming High Rise

Godalming High Rise

Flying Back Home New Fly-site time again, and this time we’re in my former home town of Godalming, where we have time for 2 slow panning rises from carefully selected locations around the town. First up is quite a high base, on Busbridge Recreation field, where we get a decent early evening view of the town from the top of the hill, and then we’re down on the Lammas Lands, one of the only safe and legal places to fly close to the town center, and this one really is very rewarding in the afternoon light, being as we are right on the river and right next to the attractive churchyard and greens that run alongside it. It was quite windy on both occasions, and being new to the sites I flew quite cautiously and close to me, so restricted the footage to the main rises, as we’ll have time for all the ‘attractive tree-line river following’ when I go back there from time to time.   Multi-session Flying...

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