March 18, 2011

Long Winter

It's been a long flyingless winter. I haven't flown for many months. Have not even given it much thought. Drove the 6 hr round trip to go to the reserve clinic to toss a chute and say hi to people I haven't seen in months. Starting to get excited to fly but this year is going to be a slow down for me. Not likely to take in the yearly normal competitions do to family constraints. I plan on doing a little more local flying so it might wash. Sean, the local trainee is going to progress to the point that he should be towing by summer and this will help us both with airtime. I'm going to the Miles In May which I hear is moving for the first time since I started to it's previous proving ground just south of Edmonton. Nice to move to new ground but the distance from home just doubled.

July 25, 2010

Final day (7)

The day started with plenty of sled runners under a clear blue sky. Mid morning our eyes were drawn to a five hundred foot tall dust devil on launch 3 times in a row clearly visable from the lz. Once on lauch, conditions looked melow. A few pg'ers went and rarely did one stick. The wind switched from steady south to honkin cycles out of the west. The hanggliders lined up qwickly and launched. I helped a few off and suited up. In the air it was odd. You could turn a good few turns in a strong thousand up and then it would get very turbulant. Once I got over the peak I had had enough and desided to test the lift on the other side of the valley. It wasn't as rough nor was it as strong. I made it back to 9G and tried to get to kicking horse gondola but every tome I got close to the mountain I got trashed by lee side turbulance. I gave up and landed. Doug L made it the farthest at 20K south of canal flats. Doug K was at fairmont, Ralph and Gary made invermere.

Awards dinner had john C winning intermediat. Grandprariejohn won advanced with Ralph in 2nd and me in third. Doug L won topless with Doug K in 2nd and Rob in third.

The next week looks stellar and I wish all the compeditors of the PG Nationals good safe flying

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July 23, 2010

Day 7

Started out overcast and stayed that way untill small blue holes formed at 3:00. I launched off the grass into light winds and made a couple turns in light lift. Wasn't long untill I found out it was a rough day. It was punchy and small. I made it south of parsons by the time I sunk out. Unknown where anyone else is as I'm sitting on the side of the road right now
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Day 6

Nothing to report. Rest day forced by rain. Sat around all day. Party for PGer Dale as it was his 50th. Had the best cut of beef tenderloin cooked to perfection. Tomorrow looks good.
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July 22, 2010

Day five

A storm was dumping south down the valley. I was not moving and soon it started to dissipate and everyone started to get ready to go. The ramp was windy and people were having a hard time controlling in the wind. Doug K got a wing high and blew his launch into the hilside north of the ramp. He fared well and was unhurt but the ju-ju level dropped and not to many were raring to go after. I qued in on the grass and got off with some running. I got up over the peak and headed out and soon had Ralph and Gary B tailing me. Do to no jacket and the subsequent lack of warmth I stayed low and fast. They stayed on my tail till the range split when i got too low and they continued on to Invermere while I landed. Doug L made canal flats for the longest of the day. A couple of PG's made invermere as well

July 21, 2010

day 4

looking north up the valley

looking south

The day started looking good but the clouds soon grew to monsters around launch. after waiting a couple hours a few of us decided to just play a little locally and fly down if conditions deteriorated. It was a rough flight and a storm developed just west of town so most played safe and landed. the longest flight was 50K out and return by Gary B. Fantastic flight considering the day.

July 20, 2010

Willi Day 3

Nothing to report. Rainy day. Went to radium and sat in the pool with 8 or so others. Some PG's went to revelstoke and got some flying in.
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July 19, 2010

Day 2

The forcast was for overdevelopment with thunderstorms in the mix. On launch, there was verga on both sides, but the sun was shining on Mt 7. We (HG) all launched fairly close together and everyone got up quickly. The texture of the air was worse than yesterday with some serious hard edges. I got up over the peak to 10grand and I didn't get any better. After having a great flight yesterday and still wore out from that, I decided to go land. Rob and the Dougs (L and K) did spilli and back as there was big storm south of there. Most landed at the LZ.

In the evening a gust front came through and caught Doug L and the pg tandem trio in the air. Doug made it into the LZ unscathed, the tandems landed in the swamp, the airport, and the railyard with a few minor scrapes.

Proof of my new hight record from yesterday

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July 18, 2010

Willi, Day one

The day started with a fantastic forcast and lots of morning sledders by new students. We all critiqued the students as they flew. One new pg student made some bad decisions and wound up with a helecopter ride off the mountain and a broken back.

On launch later that day we noticed some rough air in some of the pg's that launched. Most got up and away. I was around 5th HG to launch and I found it was rough and punchy right away. I got up over mt 7 and proceded down the valley. Passed many pg's along the way and hooked up with rob and fiona and a couple others. I lost fiona near parsons when she got drilled and had to dig out of a landing field, and lost rob in the middle of the range divide. From then on I was by myself in the lead. I had no problem making Invermere except for physical discomfort. I almost gave up many times due to frozen fingers and sore sholders. I made it in just under 3 hours. Fi came in 15 min later. Rob dug himself out and landed at canal flats as did Mike S and Brett. I think that was the fathest of the day.

The air was rough but not unmanagable. Not pg weather though. One had a reserve toss and got strung in a tree, and they all have pucker stories.

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June 22, 2010

Day 6 and 7

Day 6
On launch we waffled and waited for the clouds. They were thick and 100% coverage. If no competition crew launches the start times can keep being pushed back. I could see it was not going to get better anytime soon and rather than wait all afternoon on the top of the mountain, I was the first to launch, sealing the times. On one hand, I didn't want to ruin a what might be a good day, but on the other I wasn't into sitting on launch for 6 hrs. I think most were relieved. I got a sledder and landed. Only a couple others flew and most packed up for the drive down.

Day 7
Task was set for 100Km via 6 turn points. The weather was so far cooperating. I climbed out above launch but couldn't get much higher. I struggled to get a thousand over and went for the turn point. At the turn point I climbed well and went for the next one. Milco was in front with about 4 others. This was the day I wanted to overtake him and take first in kingpost. I kept an eye on him and watched him get low. I was getting low as well and switched to survival mode. I was maintaining in light ridge lift when I heard Milco call on the radio that he had landed but broke his arm. I scanned the fields ahead of me but could see noone on the ground. I hugged the ridge and pushed ahead, scanning the fields. When I got low I picked a large alfalfa field to land in. I had time for one circle over the power lines before final. I looked strait down and saw Milco's glider in a 15' deep silage pit under the powerlines. I landed under the assumption that a someone had moved it there for some reason. when I got to the site he was laying under the glider holding his right arm and covered in dirt. I couldn't believe that a broken arm was all he had after gliding under hi tension powerlines and flaring into a 15' deep by 20' wide silage pit. Cathy and Rob soon arrived to take him to the hospital and I got both wings packed up before the impending thunderstorm hit. Milco ended up needing surgery and had an overnight stay. I wish I could have stayed long enough to sign his cast.

First overall went to Ross, second to Dave S of USA. I was 7th overall and 2nd in kingpost class.