June 28, 2008

finaly linked thermals and went somewhere

The wind was forecasted to be light out of a southerly direction, with great lift to 9000' and a blue sky. Jason and I headed to the north south road and set up. Jason got 3 uneventful tows but couldn't stick. Said it was all sink. I suited up and gave it a try. My first tow I found nothing but heavy sink all the way back to the launch. An 8 minute flight. I loaded back up on the trailer and went for try number two. Right off the truck I was going up like a rocket. I was much to low to try it out so I stayed on. sink most of the rest of the tow till the very end when I stumbled into something good. Pinned off and started turning. I was going up fast. (for the prairies) Averaging 800 fpm till I hit 6500' then it went to 100 up with some down and was rough till 7500' where I was bouncing off the top of the haze. I didn't pack anything with me as I was just checking the air so I boated around the road for a half hour and came down and landed. Jason loaded up and and found little to play in. Soon he was on the ground again. I talked him into another tow. he was planning on packing it in but I stated the obvious, he was all suited up and ready. Soon he was in the air again but this time he pinned off early. He found something and spun it up to 6500'. Played for a half hour and came in to land. I had my wing loaded on the trailer and suited up. This time I was packed and ready to go somewhere. I pinned off into light lift and drifted with it till I was over rattle snake lake. I decided to make retrieve quick and easy and not cross the river. But I didn't expect to have such an easy flight. There was lift everywhere although light. So I headed for Medicine Hat. There airport there has airspace that I'm not supposed to go into. It can get busy on a nice day so I was keeping a look out when I thought I saw something quite close and near my level. Slightly anxious I scanned the sky till I saw it again. It was a Pelican circling in what must have been a thermal right next to mine. I moved over to his thermal and tried to get my camera out. By the time I did I couldn't find him anymore. So I snapped a few shots and moved on.

This is a shot of the campground from around 5000'I was getting to the point I had to either land or cross the river. Jason radioed me and said he was on the road. I let him know where I was and where I would be landing. I got into one more thermal and crossed the river and came back and landed. I'm sure I could have gone a lot farther but as soon as you cross the river you add quite a bit to the retrieve. My flights are posted here

This is a shot of Medicine Hat with the airport in clear view

June 15, 2008

Fathers Day is a day to do what father want

Jason and I headed out for another day of towing on this fathers day. The forecast all looked good but wind was forcasted to be every direction depending on the model you looked at but light. It very light when we got there so we set up at the east side. We flipped a quarter to see who would go first and I won. I loaded up and was soon towed up. I flew through some light lift but nothing worth releasing for. On the way back to launch I found a good little thermal and took it up. I have no idea how far because I forgot my gps at home. The picture below is of rattle snake lake from I'm guessing 6 to 7000'

I flew around for a while then thought I'd give Jason a chance at the good flying. With the wind so twitchy I wanted a good look at the sock before committing to my approach. I delayed much to long and did a turn much to low and slow. As I picked up speed on final I was not level and too low. This is the picture entering final.

Between worried about that and watching the sock I misjudged the hight I had and grazed the dirt with a wheel at a high rate of speed. This is a picture of impact.

I quickly gained some hight but that had my heart beating. We call it intermediate syndrome when you think you are better than you actually are. I'm right in the middle of it and these little lessons humble me and bring me back to reality.

Jason got a really good thermal flight and had a blast. Took two tows do to the wind switching out of the east and he got a downwind low tow. With his second tow he released at 1000' over in good lift. He made it to just shy of 6000' and was up a half hour or so. Here he is showing the safe approach...

I got a second tow downwind and couldn't make it stick. Landed at teh other end of the road and got another tow into teh wind. I thought I was in a boomer and released. I was low and it was not a boomer. I drifted in 50 up untill I figured I could make it bach to launch. I was short by 100' but a much better landing. All in all a great day.