With summer evenings stretching out towards the longest day, members of the Petersfield-based Sky Surfing Club are making the most of the extended daylight to air their paraglider and hang glider wings.

“A nice evening at Harting Down,” was how paraglider pilot Alan Birtles described the flying recently.

Weather conditions at the start of the day did not look promising, with overcast skies and low cloud.

However, the sun worked its magic and by afternoon the grey stratus had burned off to reveal clear blue skies and a brisk northerly breeze.

Hang glider pilot Maciej Wolaniecki said: “It was too late for me to travel further along the South Downs to Firle Beacon, so I tried Harting Down instead.

“It was okay-ish at the beginning, but strong – a couple of large sail planes were roaming around. I didn’t manage to get any significant altitude – 1,150ft at best.

“After half an hour of ups and downs – more downs – I bombed out after searching for lifting air east of launch, over Beacon Hill.

“I ended up landing in the fields at the bottom of the hill.”

Wolaniecki was then faced with a trek back to the car, returning to retrieve his hang glider.

However, fortunes changed as the afternoon drifted in to evening. Conditions mellowed, becoming smooth with lighter winds and improving lift – perfect for the paraglider pilots to have some fun.

Brian Parkins