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

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Pulpit, Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday morning before 8:00 it was pretty clear Woodstock have lighter winds than we like to have there. Bacil was insisting the Pulpit would be booming and bullet-proof, and Matthew agreed Pulpit was the call. I was on the road just before 9, arriving at launch at 10:55 to find Bacil set up, waiting for crew, and talking to Gary Devan. The parking lot was half full of tourist cars, with a crowd up on the ramp, admiring the view and hoping Bacil would launch soon. While I finished getting my own glider set up, Gary Smith and Dave Proctor arrived, so Bacil now had full crew. As he was launching, Shawn also pulled in.

Bacil had a good launch, and I then finished setting up, along with Proctor and Shawn. Dave was next off, and then I suited up at 12:30 while Shawn launched. However, I noted that Bacil was back low, after having gotten some good altitude, Dave was back down after an initial great climb, and reports from the ramp was that Shawn was working hard as he moved down the ridge. With that kind of report, I waited a bit in the setup area, still hooked in and ready. l watched them get back up, and headed to the ramp about 12:45. With carry up and hang check, I was at the top of the new ramp at 12:55. And the wind was BLOWING. We waited it to cycle down for a lull. THere were no lulls or cycles; it just blew. Finally since the wind did look smooth, I picked up and tested glider control. It was fine. I should have done that right away.

I launched at 1:05, only 10 seconds after picking up the second time after Dave Bodner cleared off my nose wire. Thanks and apologies to my wire crew (Matt, Karen, David, Gary, Gary) for making them stand in that wind for so long. Good clean launch, straight out and then up.

I milked it at 200 over down the ridge, then caught a nice one and topped out at 1600' over. After that one good ride, I spent lots of time at 300 - 600 over. As I was falling out of the small lift regions I slowly stair-stepped out and down to the LZ (would have preferred to stay up), landing at 2:00 for a 55 minute flight. Late on the flare, so a safe belly scrub landing.

Joined Shawn and David B. in the breakdown area. David, like I, had not landed by choice, but Shawn just HAD to tell us he not only landed early to meet Rich Bloomfield, but that he had trouble getting down at the LZ. I just hate it when I sink out and hear that! In any event, Shawn did well and had a good flight, and congrats at him. I appreciated the ride back up to the top form Rich Bloomfiled. I declared my 55 minutes a good flying day, so watched others and helped on a couple more launches, including Matthew's PG launch. Then Carlos and I walked over to the Mountain House for a brew while waiting for pilots to land and need retrieval and then dinner.

Back at launch, Carlos went down to retrieve Bodner, I chatted with various folks, and then one contingent headed to dinner at Antrim House in Greeencastle, so Bruce Engen and Gary Smith could hit I-81 conveniently to go home.

For my flight over the colorful fall foliage, see the beautiful fall trees for yourself, in this 2 minute film of my launch and first couple of minutes of flight:

or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmfzFuLMr0Q

The second dining group of Karen, Matthew, Bodner, Carlos, Brian V-H, and me by-passed Greencastle for one of the brew pubs in Frederick.
Good dinner with fun beer selection and mediocre service at the brew pub by Target in Frederick.

Thanks to all who helped with launch, retrieve, dinner suggestion, etc.

Yes, I did have a smile for the day.