Been trying to take the spectrum out for a spin, but work got in the way for too long. Took both the falcon and spectrum to Ed Levin last Sat, but I got soaked in the rain instead. Today was a sunny and warm morning, so again took both to EL. Setting up the spectrum took a bit as the steps are different from falcon. Made 3 flights from the 50ft hill in very cross and light wind. First two launches were not very good as I probably held the nose a bit down and did not look at the horizon. Third one was better. It does take a bit more time to lift me up than the falcon. It flew pretty well and fast, and landing was not hard at all. One run-out landing and two almost flares.
Janica flew her falcon 5 times from 150ft hill. Must praise her zeal, she walked up to the launch and still had energy left afterwards.
Dave Jacob then took us (Janica, me, Priti, Pedro, Jesse) to the 300. I took the falcon as I needed to rust off my skills. Launched first in a nice 7-8mph wind, had a minute long sledder and nailed the spot. Was pretty happy. Pedro and Janica followed soon. Jesse took a while to set up his new Sport 2 155 which he flew pretty well.
I think I like the spectrum and am ready to take it to the 1750ft launch next time I visit EL. I didn’t like the folding basetube, so went to the mission soaring shop for an alternative. Got approval to use my falcon basetube with pneumatic wheels on the spectrum as the length matched.
Great Saturday to be out flying. Too bad I need to work tomorrow else I could go fly.
Bought Eric Froehlich’s WW Spectrum 165 glider today. This was Eric’s first glider he bought in 1998. Karl did a lot of adjustments to get it in top shape. Brian added some accessories. I was hoping to fly off Ed Levin top to test fly, but Karl flew first and I did not have time to go go back up. Had a great time at the 1750′ launch where temps were milder than 96 in the LZ below.
Couple of photos: Karl setting up the glider, then launching. Brian launching.
Our falcons are a foot wide in the middle. The first rack I built with ordinary L brackets for support was a little less wide and not very sturdy. Also a friend recently stored his glider with me for a while, so I figured it would be good to make a strong one for 3 gliders. Decided to have the middle support on a 2×4 post and the end supports bolted onto the existing cabinets. Put almost 8″ wide plywood on top of the supports. Turned out a decent rack.
Here is the post with pictures of the first rack: http://hgflier.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/gliders-are-home/
Photos on G+: Indian Valley – May 2013
Jesse, Walter and I set out for Indian Valley after work Friday. Walter’s GMC sierra was a super cozy ride. We started around 9pm, dined at a thai place in near UC Davis and reached Dave Clement’s place around 2:30am. The moonlit valley and the silence all around was an instant escape from the busy life just a few hours ago.
A relaxed weekend started in the morning. More pilots showed up one by one. The valley view was incredible, and it was pretty warm so everyone was happy about the conditions that were building up. We three headed to see the LZs and Walter showed us tweetens and a few others including the woodpile LZ. Breakfast at Anna’s cafe was mouth watering. The small town restaurants never fail to deliver quality food, and they are 10x better than fast food chains.
Back to Dave’s and everyone loaded up flying gears and headed to the Burn launch, a 40 minute drive. Wind was pretty strong around 2pm, mostly staying in the 15-20mph range and everyone started setting up. I heeded Pat’s advice and didn’t touch my falcon as it may not penetrate the winds over 15 to make it to tweetens. Turned out I was the only HG pilot that didn’t fly Saturday. Another bi-wingual pilot brought his PG that day so he didn’t fly in that condition either.
When everyone (a dozen pilots, no single surface glider) went up like helicopters at launch I was a bit upset but knew I made the right judgement call. Gotta sacrifice to stay in the sport for a long time. On the way to woodpile LZ with the PG pilot (sorry I forgot your name buddy) we saw a huge brown bear walking down the road, barely 100 ft away. I rushed for the camera but as the car stopped it looked back and was gone in a second.
Sunday started with clouds in the morning and it looked like they are getting bigger to form thunderstorms. It was also cooler the day before so the general sentiment was no-fly day. Except Rob said it could get better in the evening for a great glass off. And boy was he right.
The launch had 12 mph perfect wind around 5pm and I flew around 5:30. Had my best flight just boating around right front and gained max 1000′ over launch. Tried flying over the spine to the east a few times but came back not finding lift. There was an oh-shit moment when I felt I was not moving forward fast enough while sinking at 200fpm. Kind of like those nightmares where you just can’t run fast. Finally after an hour I felt tired and sun was casting shadow below so I headed to tweetens in very light sink. Over tweetens I could see the big barn close to woodpile LZ and tried gliding a little bit towards it with caution. Probably could make it because I was around 5700′ MSL but was wary of more sink over the trees, so decided on tweetens. DBF and S-curve approach was ok but still managed to mess up a flare landing. Was ecstatic when I checked my time and it was 1h23m, previous longest was ONLY 17m !!!
I had a few mistakes which I will correct next time:
- Never zipped up harness before in flight. Fumbled to zip up this time and still zipped up only half. Also forgot to unzip until on final, but managed to get legs out because it was only half zipped. Didn’t panic because I could belly land without harm.
- Should have taken a camelback. Throat was dry as hell.
- Installed the camera on the left wing when the sun was on right so most of the video footage has a lot of flair and washed out areas. Damn!
Also, I need to use more features of the flytec 6015 vario, like dialing in the waypoint for the LZs so I can always monitor the glide ratio and whether I can make it to the LZ or not.
Can’t wait to go back, but I think I will get 30-40 hours at mcclure/dunlap and get a double surface glider for a comfortable time. This trip was a major milestone in my flying career, getting the first 1h+ flight. I am very thankful to Jesse to convince me going to Indian Valley and Walter for all his mentoring. Also many thanks to Dave Clement for offering to camp at his fantastic place in the valley.
My first flight on a double surface glider. Liked it. Handles pretty much like my Falcon1 195, except a bit more glide ratio.
Took the glider to work on Friday 12th and drove down to McClure at the mobile home park where Carmela was staying. Slept in the car. Carmela fed me a hearty breakfast of pancakes and bacon (Thanks Carm!). Right after the site intro from her we went to the launch and I was the first one that morning to fly. I was instructed to fly pretty much straight to the LZ. Felt some great thermals right after launch, but I followed instruction. Did some zigzags and then overestimated by glide to the spot landing area and overshot it a little bit. It was a scenic 3.5 min sledder anyways. I was told I needed a little bit more practice at Ed Levin, so I took off that afternoon and returned home.
The wind at the top was not exactly ideal, but found a favorable window to launch and ended up with a 6 minute sledder. Alejandro and another pilot stayed close to the ridge to enjoy 15-20 minutes of airtime. Jealous.