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

Monday, September 14, 2009

One More Pulpit Day - 9/13/09

The Sunday forecast was NNW to NW, 5-10. They got the north cross right, but were a bit shy on the wind strength. I arrived at launch a few minutes afternoon, finding five pilots there, and four gliders set up. Dan Tuck , Carlos, Tony D, and Dave P had gliders just about ready. Mark C was waiting to hear about High Rock. We helped Dave and then Dan and Tony get airborne. They got high quickly. They also were pushed down the ridge FAST by the NNW wind.
Carlos made three tries before accepting the conditions and running off the ramp.
That left Mark C and me without crew for a while. We hung out. Mark played guitar and I read (Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling - neat book). We visited with birders and wuffos.
Dan T headed off to pick up Dan Tuck. Tony D left the LZ to fetch Dave P. Rich B came up for a while. Eventually we had enough crew to launch, so Mark C and I got our flights in, launching after 5:00.
I was in the aired by 5:25, and working hard to stay above the ridge. Still a lot of north in the wind. I eked out 25 minutes and landed in the main. Mark joined me ten minutes later. I was much happier with my launch this week.. flat and straight. Had a good approach in the big main LZ, but flared a little early, so popped up ot about 6 feet. That made for a safe no step but with a little nioise as I bumped down feet to knees to wheels.
Here is this week's sampler video of the flight:

Pulpit Flight Tidbits 9/13/09 from Cragin S on Vimeo.

8/30 at the Pulpit

The next Sunday I made a return appearance at our club-owned site. This time I launched from the old ramp, instead of the new gravel slope. Wasn't too happy with my launch; got turned to the left and had to work a bit to correct as I was leaving the ramp. Feedback from a wirecrew pilot later was that I had let my nose pop up and I was mushing. Gonna watch that.
Had a nice thermalling flight, reaching 1550 over launch. Played in the sky a long time, then landed on purpose after one hour, in order to head home early.
I was much happier with my landing than with my launch, taking a nice cross-wind landing in the upper field. It was a sweet two step landing.

Tony D and Dan Tuck both landed with me, and the three of us waited a long time before going back to launch, because a motorcycle had hit a big truck on Rt 30 and the road was closed. We had seen the thick black smoke from the truck fire while flying, and wondered what had happened.
Eventually, Tony took us all back to the top the long way round on Rt 16. We had to get past the police road block at the bottom of the hill to reach launch.

No video this week - both cameras failed to record, dang it.