Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wildass

is the name of the little road that goes to San Carlos peak. This is what Wayne and Ben R. Decided to name the site when they started flying there quite a few years back. We all thought it was name that way because one might have to be be a little wild and a bit of an ass to fly from there given the 10:1 glide to the nearest non life threatening landing field 4.5 miles into wind over a ridge.

Anyway, thats where a few of us flew today - drawn be the promise of unusually hight cloudbase (14k at the coast). Here is Chris at Launch. Initially we flew north into the wind, towards the Panoche Inn, this is looking back toward San Carlos peak. I was flying with Wayne and Brian.
There was huge sink between the broken thermals, this put Wayne an Brian on the deck south side of Grizwold canyon. Seeing that and feeling the sink, I eyed up the haze domes that were forming behind me to the southwest. I figured I could go over the back, and then head north without causing too much of a retrieve hassel. So I headed west, its about 9 miles of unlandable terrain, easy enough downwind. Especially when there is lift all the way. The convergence line was really narrow on the north end, but it did go up to 13200ft!
I headed back north into wind and lost all that altitude in minutes, in huge sink, A fun flight none-the-less. Interestingly the convergence line set up on the west side of the San Benitos. Had we been on that side big miles could have been made. Cloudbase was a couple thousand feet higher over goat mountain.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hang Gliding World Championships 2009

Is now ! As I speak pilots are flying an out and return task in the french alps. Congratulations to the US's own Pilot Jeff O'Brien who won the First Day yesterday!

Jamie is doing a stella job of giving a blow by blow commentary here naughtylawyertravels.blogspot.com
Here is the official website chabre2009.blogspot.com
There are 119 pilots flying in the competition !!
Stop press : Manfred has just crossed the finish line on the 2nd Task.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Had a bit of a reunion with some friends I haven't seen for a while. Unitl last year I had worked with these guys for 12 years. Struggled out of bed to get to the San Benitos with Wayne, Tom, Donny and Terry on Saturday. I've only flown there once before and was very fortunate to fly with Condors from the Ventana release program. I was hoping for another opportunity. When we arrived it was cold in the LZ and cold on top. The chances of soaring seemed minimal... But all of a sudden It warmed up. The marine layor was not far away, so we launched off. Wayne and I worked our way south towards the high cumulus clouds over goat Mtn. With a Condor marking the lift for us. You can see the transmitter on the left wing. We were only getting climbs to 4800feet. So there was scant chance of making it over the pass, and the valley with no landing options.
Here is wayne turning in on final. I was a couple of minutes behind him. Another very pleasant day, thanks to Tom for coming and getting us.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Around California

I flew a few hours down at Marina last weekend, meanwhile Ryan was shooting ace video with my old wing in Yosemite.

Yosemite, Glacier Point
Carmella spent some time putting a video together from the previous weekend at Mission. Both really fun videos - nice work guys :)

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.

Monday, June 8, 2009

big sur pete

I'll get to this weekend, but first this : big sur pete : close up look at some trees, it gets really interesting toward the end.

Clear Ridge 5 24 09 from Peter Rosen on Vimeo.


meles-tandem I took Ryans girlfriend Mele, for a flight on Saturday from Mission. It was the perfect day for it. Ryan also got to fly my old Litespeed, and took to it right away. I have now lost my spare glider, but it couldn't have gone to a better home. Watch this guy he is going to do great things this summer :)

mission-to-moon and being-served : Another local guy : John, also recently bought a Litespeed and is coming upto speed on it really fast. There were some big grins going around this weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vistor from down under.

Got a surprize visit from Kieran yesterday, seemed appriate to take him flying today.We flew off Ed Levin in SouthEast San Francisco Bay. The weather was pre-frontal and WSW. It was the right call.Although Mission was working too just a little later in the day.
There was big lift and big sink, I think I saw 1000fpm up at one point but it was pretty rough. Cloudbase was about 4k this is the view over the back into the Sunol Wilderness area.
I coulda, woulda, shoulda, gone XC, but didn't and landed back at Ed Levin.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

State Park Closure threat

Those living in California will now have heard of the proposal to close almost all of the california state parks. This is quite terrible. In times when many are losing their jobs a place to go and be in nature is close to essential. The are many things that are not essential that we still have. People that pack bags in super markets, while customers just stand and stare... for example but I degress.

This propsal is real, since I can't really beleive that either, I went to a gathering on Monday where I hoped to learn more facts. I go in many state parks frequently. In terms of Hang gliding locally we are relatively unoffected, only Marina state beach would "close". However I beleive that the public deserves access to the lands paid for by their taxes. Closing them seems like a bluff or politic stunt to get the public to pay more attention to and perhaps accept what might be forced onto them.

In terms of saving money, closing these state parks has been shown to cause more finacial loss than it saves. Not only that, it is a pitance compared to the debt. A debt which in my eyes was caused by tycoons, enabled by deregulation in the previous administration, walking off with the equity in various sectors of the economy. Housing, and also many companys whose CEO's just cashed out and walked away. The Ethics of which astound me. Seems to me Capitol gains tax, and obscence profit tax would easily cover the parks, and probably socialized hospitals and education too.

But back to the parks though. I feel strongly that they should be kept open, not just from a selfish stand point, but for the whole community.

Here are some links for you to research.
http://www.calparks.org/
http://parks.ca.gov/?page_id=712
http://www.savestateparks.org/

The turn out? The organisers were impressed, not exactly the population of the local neighborhood though...

This guy (Fred Keeley - Santa Cruz County Treasurer ) in particular had some interesting points. I am glad I showed up to hear.

http://www.calparks.org
http://parks.ca.gov/?page_id=712
http://www.savestateparks.org/
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_12499526
Surely a politician can only cry wolf once?