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Two days of great flying weather in a row and me on days off, sweet!

 

As a bonus I had a close encounter with the feathered kind today that I thought was worth sharing. I was out just a bit west of Warwick (Qld) and was thermaling so had my attention mostly on staying in the thermal (i.e. I was looking mostly on the inside of the turn). When I took a glance to the outside I discovered a rather large eagle about 10m off my wing tip checking me out. I couldn't tell if he was curious or distainful. It gave me enough of a fright to turn on the noise and get out of there but in hindsite I wish I had of taken more of a chance to appreciate it. I'm sure there are plenty of other similiar stories out there, especially among the open cockpit pilots.

 

 

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A couple of years ago I was overtaken by a flock of Spinetail Swifts.

 

Cruising along at about 40 knots they milled quite close, probably within 10 feet, but it did not take long before they left me behind.

 

For the couple of minutes they were around the Trike I guess it was like being a skin-diver amongst a school of fish; except it was at 2000 ft.I took it as an omen and immediately returned to my field and landed. I had the wing just about packed up when an unexpected front passed through. The old farmers around here called them 'storm birds'. I guess they were right.

 

Happy flights.

 

Paul.

 

 

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Paul:

 

Your story of being overtaken by birds reminded me of a story I read in a magazine once. A guy was flying cross country in a restored antique airplane. He said that his airplane flew so slowly that he was worried about the possibility of birdstrike from the rear. :-D

 

 

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Bluey,

 

I had an instance last year where a wedgie came from above and behind talons drawn and about 5 foot behind my trailing edge and worst of all looking me square in the eye, gave me a bit of a fright when I first saw him especially when he was in the attack mode.

 

I gradually fed in some juice just to keep him at bay and he gave up.

 

I was spewing i didnt have a video camera as it was an awesome sight at the time.

 

Cheers

 

Alf

 

 

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Hey Bluey, I used to glide at Lake Keepit in my young days- we always used the Pelican's for markers and often thermalled with them! They were about 40:1 we reckoned and even knew how to hold bank on the opposite side of the thermal for separation-insane and great fun.

 

 

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Quite Some years back now, I was Thermaling about 6000 ft in a Glider ( ISB-28 ) North of Lightning Ridge, when to my surprise I was Joined off my starboard wing by a group of 3 Wedgetail Eagles, 2 females & a Big male, We Happily circled together for another 1000 ft , when the girls, board with me (thats happened before) broke off & left Me and the male behind, and I was working as hard as I could to stay with them too, climbing in the thermal, They were not impressed, but the male was still Eyeballing me from just above my wing tip, When Out came his Tallons,flared his wings and decended towards my right Aileron. He was Either not very happy with me or he just wanted to Bum a ride, but as their the part of the Glider thats made of Tight Fabric only I had to diswade him by giving the Joy stick a little short jab to the left and scare him away, this did the trick, cos after flapping about in surprise he climbed rapidly directly above me about 200ft Glaring back at me, I Relaxed a Little hopping he would be Joining his lady friends, when Blow me Down the Bugger pulled his wings in, and Dive Bombed me, free falling to with in a foot of my head before opening his wings again, Giving me a Hell of a scare and another departing Glare... I thought he was coming through the perspex canopy for sure ! After my heart rate had returned somewhere back to normal, I Marveled at his speed & effortless Skill, Bloody Show off ! He got me back Good ! Returned to the strip for an Underwear check ! Thank goodness they were only full of ore & renewed respect of his Magesty of the sky... confused.gif

 

 

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Genetic purity.

 

he was only doing the job he was designed for. Imagine if he had been unsuccessful and your trike had mated successfully.. You were seen as a BIG threat. Nev

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

when I was learning to hang glide my instructor told me of an experience he had had with a wedgie. One spot that they flew quite often had a resident wedgies that use to thermal and ridge soar with them but this one time he must of had enough and attached himself to the trailing edge of his wing causing small rips in the fabric then let go.

 

 

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I also have a story about a big wedgetail I can relate and will stay with me forever as it was just such a unbelievable experience. Back in the mid 80's I used to travel from Brisbane to Kingaroy to glide most weekends. One saturday it was crap there was a big inversion about 2500 ft so no one was getting through so it was short flights for everyone and everyone was waiting around because it was a busy weekend. Anyway I was up flying the Bergfaulk and had cruised around for a bit and thought I better head back and before I entered the circuit old Johannes Bjelke-Petersen had just landed in the Kingair and as I was coming in on a high downwind he had just parked on the tarmac and as I came over the top I was hit by a huge thermal that must have broke a big bubble over the tarmac anyway I couldn't resist and turned into it well it was a ripper thermal I was going up like a steam train as I got to about 2500 where the inversion layer was I went straight though it was like going through to a whole new flying level so I continued on with it the vario was off the clock. Then I noticed this big wedgie coming up below me in the centre of the thermal when he got up to me he came out and formated about 10 feet above the canopy and was eyeing me off. I was crapping myself because there was a story I had recently read and it had photos of a guy in Italy where this eagle smashed through his canopy and attacked him he managed to ring its neck but he was a mess .I was trying to think about what I could do but he seemed content just to formate with me..he stayed with me just above the cockpit and he never took his eyes off me until I looked at the time and realised I was way way over and the next on the ground would be spewing about me taking so long so at almost 7000 ft I stopped the thermaling and broke away the wedgie stayed there and just kept going up. I had to fly off a big distance and crack the brakes to get down it was amazing the difference above the inversion. Anyway I got back and landed and the CFI proceeded to ball me out for starting to thermal in downwind but I did put up my case that it was a very high downwind and he did acknowledge that at least and there was no one else up at the time so then apparently everyone on the ground was watching me go through the inversion and all were amazed as they watched the eagle as well the binoculars were being shared around on the ground. I have to say it was one of the most unreal and humbling experiences I have ever had in my life and will never forget it

 

Mark

 

 

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