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

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Taylor Farm, Sunday,May 27

Dan T. and I carted my Pulse 19 down to Taylor Farm on Sunday for a little launch and landing practice. We arrived about 11:30, and found the wind more SE than SW, but not too strong. Also, in spite of the overcast, it was definitely hot. Eventually the wind was blowing more up the hill than across it. I got in a couple of flights; Dan flew once. Our runs felt good, and our landings were reasonable, even if not perfect.
We both agreed it was too hot for more carries back up the hill. With that, we found our way into Fredericksburg for a brew and a bit of pizza. Not a long flying day, but a flying day, nonetheless. It was fun to be in the sky.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Woodstock, Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mid-week, it looked like the weekend might get a bit damp. Luckily, the forecast changed for the better as Saturday approached. I got a late start on the morning, arriving at Woodstock launch about 1:30. Bruce, Mike, and Shawn greeted me in the parking lot. Plenty of pilots there - I had to wait for someone to launch before I could claim a set up spot. The winds were a bit strong at times, with swirling in the slot, so I was not worried about rushing into the sky. I set up right behind John M. and Steve P. As the afternoon went on, I assisted in a number of launches.. some good, some not so good. However, everyone got into the air safely.
As I finished my set up and pre-flight, two families with kids came over to ask questions. I enjoyed playing hang gliding answer man. One of the dads is an Army paratrooper, so he was asking about altitudes and need for oxygen. He has never done any recreational skydiving, though, so was not familiar with nuances of our sport. He sure kept the pre-teens in line for proper courtesy when asking their questions. I did encourage them to give it a try (HG, that is) next trip to Kitty Hawk.
I was the second to the last launch of the afternoon. Steve K. helped wire me off at 3:45 into a nice straight in cycle. We did get one of the wuffo dads to stabilize the other wire. Once I was in the sky, Steve launched, leaving the tourists to watch a while from launch.
As others reported about the day, there was lift aplenty. I hit the lift as soon as I exited the slot. Rode that up easily to about 2K over launch, working slowly back and forth between the fingers. I stayed a bit out front, but saw that John M. was another 1-2K above me, back behind the ridge. One other glider, Steve K, I think, took turns seeing who could be higher, playing between 2K and 3K over launch. We both found plenty to work with, including out front across the river. I eventually topped out at 4875 MSL, a very satisfying max altitude. From there, I went out front, and stabilized at about 3100 to 3300 MSL for about 20 minutes.
When I had been up for about an hour, I decided to work my way down. Landings in the main LZ had looked perky, so I decided to use that as an excuse and make my first bridge field landing. The set up was straightforward, with a downwind over the field on the south side of the road, base over the front yard of the house there, and final into the long axis of the field. I think I may have been a bit lower than optimum as I crossed the power lines in the front yard, but had good control and speed. Landed with a clean run out about half way down the field, and carried back over to the end by the bridge. Total flight time was 70 minutes, and I am quite happy with both the launch and the landing.
Great thanks to Mike L, and his already full complement of passengers (Gary, Dan, Shawn, and John) for squeezing me and my harness into the Amazing Toyota for a ride back to the top.
This was a great day to be out. My flying schedule has been terrible this year - my last previous mountain flight was November 18 at the Pulpit - a full six months of time away from the mountains! I'll be working on improving my timing this spring and summer. The wife says she likes when I fly... I come home so much happier with life.

April 21, 2007, Highland Aerosports

This report is overdue being posted, but I want to keep the log complete. On Saturday, April 21, I braved the Bay Bridge for my first day at Ridgely since last August Most everyone acted like they remembered me in spite of the long absence. I needed a flying day, since it had been two months since my flights at Quest Air in Florida. Weather was good, with temps about 75 degrees and a blue sky. I launched at 2:40, with the tug dropping me right in a nice thermal. I rode that first gift to 3300', then looked around for another as I worked a very slow descent. Took a long time to find my own thermal, so I was down to 900' when I finally began going back up. Succeeded in getting back up to 2500' from the t900' start point. Back down some, I played for an extended periods at ~1500', mostly over the swampy area past the hangars. I landed with a sweet no-step after a solid approach, logging a total of 47 minutes in the air. Really enjoyed the satisfaction of that low save. Thanks to all the Highland crew for a fine day.