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

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Return to High Rock - 8/16

Oh, no! 14 months since flying High Rock and seeing Emma Jane. That required correction. Several flyers declared Saturday, August 16 as a good HR day, and I agreed. The crowd included Mark C, Carlos W, Kelvin P, Janni P (with Leonie). Glenn (with Mom), Rich H, Pete S, Eddie M, Dan Tw (to distinguish him from Dan Tm who is in Baghdad for a while), Pete S, and Bunkhouse Bob B.

I arrived close to 1:00 after a few errands, got partially set up, and helped several others launch. FInally I completed set up, hooked in, and was standing on the launch block just after 3:30. At which point the sky shut down, glders who had been many hundreds over were at launch ,and the trees out front showed no signs of motion.
BOOO! I potatoed for over 15 minutes. THanks to Rich, Eddie, and Glenn for staying with me as crew.

At 3:50 it looked almost good again. It was launchable, and soarable, but I am not sure good covered the option. I had a very satisfying launch from about 2 feet back from the edge of the cliff. Straight out, with almost no drop - nice. I spent almost half an hour scratching up and down in front of launch, varying from 100' below launch to 150' above.FInally my altitude losses became consistently greater than my gains. I stair-stepped out over the tracks and to the LZ. My setup and approach went very well, and I was quite happy with a 3 step run out landing. All was well.

Once packed up, I helped observe Dan Tw for a second flight in the half hour before sundown. He deserved it, having suffered the only sled of the day earlier.

We finished the evening with 6 of the gang having dinner at the Cozy Inn in Thurmont, enjoying their Saturday seafood buffet.

Here's a two minute review of my flight. I edited out the launch potato portion.

Flying High Rock, August 16, 2008 from Cragin S on Vimeo.

U2 to the Mountains - 080808

According to the Chinese, 8 is a very lucky number. Thus, the date 8/8/08 was particularly auspicious, and they opened the Olympics at 8:08 p.m. that day.
I chose to play hooky from work the afternoon of Friday, August 8, because the NW winds and open sky looked like a fine Woodstock day. Others on hand included Joe S, Bruce E, Homer, Steve K, Gary S, Pete S, and Bacil D.

I had brought the U2 to Woodstock several weeks earlier, but had not even set it up. This would be my first mountain flight with the new glider.

Bacil and I were the last ones still on the mountain, and he helped me launch. As I left the ground and floated into the slot, he hollered "Pull in!" I needed the advice. I launched nose-high, and was mushing out over the rocks, getting closer and closer to the trees. Finally, my brain engaged, and I pulled in to correct as I skimmed over the tree tops with only a few feet to spare.
My long lag between mountain flights led me to get the pitch wrong, Once I was airborne, I think my subconscious took over with the natural, but BAD, analysis of 'push out for height to get over those trees.' I know better, but dumbed up.

In any event, I used up my Luck of the 8's and made it out of the slot unscathed. After that, I had a pleasant 45 minute flight, primarily at 200' to 600' over launch. Landing on thee upslope of the LZ was very satisfying. I had impetus to get it right; I had just watched Gary S use every bit of the LZ, right up to the fence, to put his U2 on the ground.

I finished the evening by joining Joe, Zelda, their friend Louie, and Steve for beer, burgers, and bluegrass at the Strassburg Hotel. It was a fine flying day and a fun Friday night.