Postcard from Colombia – Introducing myself

Postcard from Colombia – Introducing myself

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Obligatory selfie on one of those long glides.Hi in the NPT

Name is Johanna Hamne, a Swede that ended up living on the Norwegian coast for a while. I work as a engineer, and spend my free time flying, skiing, hiking; basically everything that involves being outside! Before Christmas it was decided that I would be a part of the NPT, and I got my new TRITON 2 lightweight one day (!) before I went on a month-long vacation to Colombia.

Long glide and time for food and some photos.

Long glide and time for food and some photos.

I’m right now writing this sitting in the sofa at Cloudbase in Roldanillo, listening to a friend playing the guitar and enjoying a cold beer after this day’s flying. This place has definintely opened my eyes to XC. Took my first flight here with the new wing, and also ended up flying a record triangle in Sweden. Not that it was such an impressive distance, but very fun when trying the wing for the first time!

The reason for my visit, besides getting accustomed to the new glider, is to go to an XC-competition for the first time. Not for proper competing, but flying the tasks as wind-dummy. The 2nd FAI Roldanillo Open is a perfect learning experience, and I had the joy of flying with some of the best pilots in the world. Ususally, the conditions here in Roldanillo are smooth and very nice for beginners, and also this is a very weather stable place. This year, due to Il Nino, the conditions are rough. The thermals are strong, and the area is on some places very turbulent. For me, I did not mind.  As my old glider was very bad at glides, I got used to only getting somewhere when it was rather rough and strong in the air.

Bombed between 2nd and 3rd turnpoint, and got ride on a trector with some local farmers.

Bombed between 2nd and 3rd turnpoint, and got ride on a tractor with some local farmers.

Flying with a competition is a fantastic learning experience, that cannot be discussed. But, I am rather concearned regarding all accidents that did occur. Every day, someone got injured. Every day, at least one person throwing their rescue. Yes, conditions are rough; but for flying a competition you need to be at least a semi-decent pilot. Rough conditions are something we should be able to handle before entering such. Of course, it is the landing that seems to be the problem(no rocket-science here, we all know that the ground is hard). Seems to be that people are not focused enough, or have not planned the landing through. Lack of assessing risks, and then the rougher conditions is enough to cause problems. Power lines on landing, landing down wind and top landings. Broken arm, broken pelvis and broken back.

I’m not going to discuss the matter further, rather than asking everyone to not “just go and land”. The flight is not over until you are standing on the ground. Focus.  And if you come across a dust devil, maybe your flight does not end there…

I have to say, the wing is definitely performing. Have flown the glider less than ten times now, and broken my personal record twice. Solid, yet dynamic. Of course, in turbulent conditions you will feel it. But so far, in all conditions I’ve tried down here I’m impressed by it. Soft slow conditions as well as rockets. Looking forward to many more flights with this one! Will be in Colombia until the 20th of February, and can be followed on tracklog. Link can be found on my Instagram, where I try and post daily. (