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Crazy weekend trip to Annecy

By Oleg Muraveynik
October 27, 2007

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End of October, windy and wet weather in England means no flying possible. I know it was a crazy idea, but if such idea comes to two heads it means it may be a possibility ;-) So my idea was to fly in Alps - for the first time. No matter if it is just a top to bottom flight. My friend is a snowboards man (and a glider pilot). So He was Ok to share a car and have an oportunity to snowboard in Tignes for a weekend.

I get in touch with the russian pilot in France and she suggested Annecy, as the only place where flying activity may still be possible in such a late autumn. Searching in internet for the site infos proves that it is a spectacular place. As it turns it was a right choice at all means.
Annecy hang gliding club pilots was very very nice and helpful. Special thanks to Jerome and Remi :))
Friday evening - final check on the weather and we are on a ferry crossing the english channel.

Driving in turns for the whole night we get to the Annecy about 8am. My friend dropped me and my glider at Doussard landing field (he will continue his way to Tignes after quick sleep break).
So the day starts :-)

Closer inspection of the landing field and people (PG school) around shows that my english is nearly useless - everyone speak French (surprisingly). Navette service to the take-off is also stopped about a month ago. So I might have the only one flight possibility today if i drop a glider to the take off while car is still here.

The good points - landing field is huge (at least comparing to the usual english landings). There is a big sign telling where the landing and take-off is and the langing approach for hangglider and paragliders.

Jerome come just in time :-) His suggestion to share a bus with local HG school for a day was exellent. And Remi (the local HG shool master) kindly agreed to take my glider. So my friend left me here and continue his trip to Tignes.

It was still an early morning and the weather was classic for the school. I surprised with the school glider they use - it is exactly the same as the one I started to study a long time ago (but few kg lighter). Actually the most other gliders I saw that day was unfamiliar to me - all of them made by Tecma, the local HG manufacturer. It is like in Ukraine - everyone fly Aeros gliders. And here in Annecy everyone fly Tecma.

It was interesting to see how people teach here and compare with our club methods (our club in Kiev teach pilots as well, like a free school).

Probably the biggest difference is a long runs - we practice short runs (partially because our schools hill is short) and here you may run few hundred meters with a glider. The hill gently slopes down so it is not a hard work.

For the first runs pilot is not attached to the glider. Then the harness on and go. Harness is very simple and keeps upright position. So it is safe not to «jump» into A frame as we teach, but simply swing.
Few more experienced students came later on and fly a small hill.

As the sudents gets taired running with the glider we headed to the MontMin take off.
1280m asl - no need to say anything else :)) Take off has a carpet cover for PG and HG ramps. There is also some rigging space.

Quickly rig my glider and was surprised with «diagonal» battens glider design at nearby HG. What a joy! You may rig it in 2 min :)) There was a few conventional gliders, but also made by Tecma.

One of the students get tandem ride. Actually tandem flight is very popular here - in many local hotels and restaurants you'll see an adverts for tandem flight. Then the other student go... You may see the landing is huge, and easy here. 1280m take-off and 450m landing field meand You have about 10min top to bottom flight. Heaven for the shool :-)

Surrounding views is stunning

It is possible to live in the hotel near the take-off. They even have own ramp to launch HG. So you may fly straight from the bar area...

View of the MontMin from the bottom landing.
Take-off is on the left corner.

The next day was skiing in Tignes:
Tignes lake Icy fountain on the entry to the Tignes town Tignes
Another view of the Tignes lake View from the top of the Glacier - 3500m asl Glacier ski lifts

So two sleepless night driving probably is a good price for such unforgetable weekend :))
Thanks again for the French people to the warm welcome and see You again soon.

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