Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mission, Ed Levin, Waddel and Marina.

So Saturday was indeed fun filled, I test flew my old Litespeed S, after taking 6mm off the tip wands, bringing the Rear Leading edges back to neutral, from one dihedral position, and putting the sprogs where they should have been all along. Long story short, it flew better than it ever had, I was so stoked that I flew off to Ed Levin (to test the high speed glide). It flew straight as an arrow. On the way back I got into the NW flow and almost sank out half way between. If that wasn't bad enough, I had scheduled a Tandem, back up on Mission, but not only that, a car or something on the road below me had pulled off the road into long grass (DON'T DO THAT !!) and set itself and the grass field (I would have landed) in on fire. Hmmm didn't plan for that scenario. Luckly the third thermal got me back up and out of there and back up onto Mission. Phew - close one.

The Tandem with Mele went great - could not have asked for better conditions and she was an excellent passenger, she went the whole 45 minutes (this seems to be the maximum time a first timer can handle - without barfing)

Sunday was an interesting day, we took off to Waddell as the forecast had backed off on the wind a bit. It looked great when we got there, John launched first, and showed us that the air was all torn up by a really low inversion. Ryan took off, and I helped Brian off launch (his first time at Waddell). It continued to be roudy. No-one was getting off the ridge. John came in and landed. I launched. Without turning I floated up the backridge. Ryan had worked his way up there too. The wind had turned northwest (45' cross), but the lift had improved (go figure?)Then Ryan takes off to the north, I had never seen this work before so I hung back and watched. The ridge infront is another 15 degrees off the wind. To my amazement he climbed quickly above me. I set off in the same direction. It worked! but I could n't figure out why... The lift seemed best just where you would think all the sink would be. Here the wind was blowing straight along the bluff and maybe slightly down. Clearly there was some weird shearing going on, I wasn't to comforatble with it.
Back over launch the wind was now straight along the mountain, but the ceiling had lifted.
I got a litttle over 1800ft, and after my 3rd slack wire pitching event, decided to quite while I was ahead.
After a spot of lunch - I headed down to Marina, dreaming of a glass smooth flight till sunset. But the air was worse there. SSW-W 5-15. I flew Chris's 154 Sport II for 20mins. Thanks, it was like flying a pillow, soft and yet responsive - nice.


Steven Espinosa said...

Ben, I was flying Mission that day, and was wondering what was up with the fire. GREAT DAY!

mw said...

thanks again Ben for incredible flight! look forward to catching thermals again sometime. tandem in Sierra? i'll bring drinks and treats for in-flight service.

Anonymous said...

"soft and yet responsive" -- and you make the comparison to a pillow? HA!