Monday, August 26, 2013

Purgatory again.

Having missed the previous day due to a poor weather call on my part, I was looking for a nice touring flight around the scenic part of Texas. Joel towed Dan - the new Sport class national champ first, Dave , me and Andy. The cross-wind wasn't such an issue, but it did make for a bouncy climb-out.

Andy, Dan and I slowly climbed over Luling, then Dan and I took off toward San Marcos, with Canyon Lake as goal.

I was flying with a couple of cameras this flight, with the plan of capturing the scenery. It is hard to do justice to the spring and river with my point and shoot though, it's never really been the same since it's trip to the bottom of the swimming pool. The flight was all going swimmingly until I got over San Marcos. There I found considerable sink, but was also over the edge of airspace, all the lift looked farther in... 

I snapped a few shots and turned tail, heading for the nearest building cloud. Somehow that climb didn't really kick, and down I went into Purgatory (the name of the road). Still the retrieve was short - thanks Heidi :)  and flying over San Marcos was fun. Soon - I will get good pictures of the lake ! Dan made goal not long after, great job :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

US 2013 Nationals last few days.

With long flights and strongish tail winds there was scant spare time for socializing or posting a few pictures. The final scores look like this : final scores open class. During the week most of us spent over 27 hours in the air, roughly 4 hours a day. That's some excellent flying conditions. Here are my tracks.

Some days had us dodging some dramatic weather. This day was stopped, and the storm eventually caught us up in Big Spring. These 5 pictures of one of the many cloudbursts that afternoon were all taken in about 10 minutes.
You see some strange things in Texas. It took us a little while what was making these weird patterns in the desert sand, where team mate James landed.

Not sure what this creature is though ?
A new to me, piece of software was fun to use during the meet. Flytrace live tracks pilots (with a SPOT device) in the air. Its great for both retrieval and seeing how the day is going generally - and who is winning ;) and of course you can do all this from your smart phone, while you are out in the desert someplace. Well - while your battery lasts ;)

And just like that the week was over, body was sore from the amount of airtime, but happy with being in the top ten, and happy with the flying in general.  Certainly some good lessons learned and some fantastic experiences shared. Apologies for the lack of in-air shots, I just didn't get around to organizing my camera equipment. 
Attila from Hungry or Australia, won the meet, Zac 2nd will take the US National title, My Team mate James was 3rd. Great flying guys.

In the Sport class Danny from Texas took 1st and the rest of the results are here
And of course Linda won the womens' national title.

Congratulations to Davis and Belinda for organizing and running such a fun and successful competition.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Big spring day2

Nice to be at goal. It was touch and go for a bit. Did some chimney inspections 20 km from goal. 123 mile flight.  Glide to goal went from 40:1 to 20:1 without actually climbing. So yep it was windy. 
Good times with good buds :) and Heidi has been driver extraordinaire. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Big spring '13

Over 50 pilots here at Big Spring this year -a great turn-out. Great to see all the faces again :)

The clouds have been pretty enticing the last few days.
Here is Attila with a pro-tip, Platapus makes the most robust drinking bladder and is also easier to clean. If you put a 4 inch poly propalene tube in the bottom it prevents the curl over blockage that stops water from flowing. 

The lift was as good as the clouds indicated. Although it dried out on course, the thermals were still pretty good. The course was a dogleg to Lubbock - just over 100miles. 
Surprise of the day was finding more than decent food on a Sunday about 9pm. Ohana Japanese Habatchi  Great food with a show, with veggy options to boot.

Oh, and I did pretty well flying :) Link to the scores.
Main page.