Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wright Brothers Week

The catalyst for my learning to fly was a trip out here by my brother, who has one solo under his belt, training in New Hampshire and once out here.

To thank him for getting me into this wonderful sport, I flew him out on freq. flier miles, put him up, fed him, and drove him to the hill 4 times. I am happy that it was a good break for him. As a university professor, he gets a lot of time off, but as a university professor with a big, beautiful house and beautiful family, he gets few deluxe, self-centered vacations. It was also the longest I had with him to myself in about 17 years. Growing up idolizing my big bro (not so much now, LOL), it was a lot of fun for me.

The flying was about average for spring at Andy Jackson. I got in 4 flights (he'd drive me for the early afternoon, then take a late avo lesson). It was nice to have a personal driver to take me to Crestline and to fly with my friend Ross and others.

It is a good thing he had 4 days of lessons booked. The first day was uneventful, as he just took a bunny hill lesson with Rob. The second day was pretty turbulent for a second solo and he was kinda shaken by it. Bear in mind all his flights had been either at the Morningside bunny hill or in winter conditions in California (only one previous tandem and one solo 7 months ago). Fortunately, he had good sled rides and landings the last two days.

I hope he keeps the momentum going through the summer.

Next year, I am going to require he stay longer if I pick up the flight. He's a lot of fun. My wife was bummed to see him go... and she usually tires of houseguests quickly.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

All you can eat Wednesdays

Another Wednesday, another 2 1/2 hour flight.


Launched at 2:45, right as the winds were picking up... good thing my wireman has 31 years in the sport. They were about 20 then, on the way to 30... it was blowing out the thermals, it felt like the pockets of lift were based on the funky geography of Marshall... capped off by a tidy inversion layer at 5500 or so, shoving wind right down the canyons, resulting in insane sink for that much wind.

My flying friend, who's leaving soon for Missouri, wah, and I had a hard time penetrating against the wind. We did get a fun fly by where I was about 30 feet over him, sliding right, while he slid left. He should have stuck right, because he sunk out and landed around an hour and change. I caught lift off my lucky spot, the 750 launch, worked my way up, and basically flew wherever I wanted for the rest of the time.

I buzzed a Hummer that was shiny and new and testing out its four wheel drive... on a road I later drove my old Nissan Quest up. They stopped, opened the sunroof, and waved... and I got up the hill faster than they.

A crazy ass Spanish paraglider launched from the 750 and worked his way up the hill... flying backwards, before finally penetrating out and spinning down to the LZ. Wacky bastard.

I got tired around 150 minutes and came in for a running landing. I had to keep the airspeed high just to fly forward, so I figured the landing would be a bit of a barn burner. I ran about three steps before my feet actually made contact with the ground. It was a clean, unusual landing.

After a coldie I saw a nice biwingwal guy at the club (H4 P2) kiting around the the LZ because he didnt' get off work in time to get his wing out. So, I drove him to the 750 to enjoy the sunset.

Then, my passenger bought me pizza and a Sam Adams at a stone fired pizza joint.

A good day. Mr. Green drool mosh Razz Laughing

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

2 and a half hours, wee.....

My flying day started off poorly. In high winds on Marshal, I turtled my wing by not following the advice of a ground handler. I straightened out a batten, checked the rest, and half an hour later and with the help of said handler, a paraglider pilot, I launched a lull of 20+ mph winds.

It was worth it. 2 1/2 hours of boating around later, I landed with cold hands and stiff knees in switchy winds.

In the middle, I found lift all over, and flew right next to two friends from the club in their Falcons, hooting and hollering. It was an all-you-can-eat day.

The track log looks like my daughter's work with the crayons.