I was a Live Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Dulles Annex, Udvar-Hazy Center,
March 25, 2006

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Pulpit Saturday 10/18

I arrived early, about 11:20. Only Mark C was set up. Lots more folks arrived, and began setting up. The winds were NW about 4-6, as expected. What was not expected was the solid overcast - no ground heating going on. Eventually we started seeing some blue sky, and thing looked promising.
I launched late in the pack, about 3:15. Light lift on the ridge, I slowly made it up to about 500' over launch, mostly down by the first radio tower, and in front of the house on Route 16. Rather frustratingly, I could never get as high as Steve Padgett in his Falcon. Even Rance Rupp on his Pulse was above me. Danny Brotto flew rings around me on his new/old Harrier.
Maxed at 1,170 over, but then lost it and just kept getting more down than up. Landed with 35 minutes, late on the flare, but safe.
Most enjoyable dinner gang in Mercersburg afterwards.
My launch, courtesy of Ralph Sickinger: Launch Sequence

Sunday, October 05, 2003

High Rock - Sunday 10/5/03

Well, I had both the worst launch in my personal HR history, as well as the scariest launch of the day. I launched late, ~4:30, after waiting to Observe Dave Bodner off for his 2d HR launch ever. His launch was flawless. Not mine. Had a right wing lift JUST as I called clear. Folks still on the rock when I launched told me they were REALLY scared by my turn-on-launch.. nearly hit the rock with left wing. Fortunately, I was focused on flying and not being scared, so I got turned back to the right and missed that tall tree.
Curtis launched after me. The two of us never got as high as the earlier launches. I got only about 30 minutes, , and only got about 900 over.
Mark Cavanaugh and John Middleton had 3+ hours and 2K over. Lots of other pilots on hand - nice crowd: Allen Sparks, Kevin Carter, Brian Vant-Hull, Hugh McElrath, and others.
About 5:00 a flush cycle sent 4 or 5 of us to the LZ all together. Staging and position went smoothly, so we all got down safely.