I think I have found the most ideal site to fly here in California. 180 miles from bay area (4 hr drive), big grassy LZ at 4:1 glide, not too bad road up to launch (thanks to Larry Fleming and Ron Jones for their monumental efforts), and a nice granite cliff launch.
Found abundant thermals and enjoyed every bit of my 1:10hr flight. Will be back soon.
More photos: https://goo.gl/photos/ro86SZSYZBYHSBA28
As far as I can recall, I have not had the luck to thermal at Ed Levin before this day. Nice 10min flight, could get a bit more but need to grow my coring skills.
Thanks to Abhishek for dragging me out of the house.
Some specific moments in hang gliding reminds me why I love this sport above all my hobbies. This morning the usual laziness almost made me skip the 60mi drive to get some tow flights. Somehow I got myself there and the first tow flight after 3 years was a bit scary as I was rusty with the skills and did a bunch of PIO (pilot induced oscillations). Second flight was better but the 3rd one in the evening took my breath away. Not only I felt back in form, the view was nothing short of heaven and the wind was smooth as silk.
Had a relaxed 6min sled ride in butter smooth air.
Been itching to fly lately. More so after being asked by a friend to help his son with a model glider project. Saw on facebook that Zac Majors has a Wills Wing demo glider – a Falcon4 195 and I could not resist to test fly it. Thought about letting my Falcon1 go to some student with a tight budget.
Took the day off today to fly. Last flew at Fort Funston in June 2015, so a 8 month gap made me a bit concerned about launch and landings. First flight off 50ft training hill went well, launch could be better but landing was alright. Then flew the F4 and loved it. It was a very light day so launch took a bit of time as I wanted to stay conservative.
Next up, Zac took me to 600ft on his super awesome glider rig. That rig is exactly what every HG instructor needs to have. I could get a month’s worth of flights off 600ft in a single day. Two flights from 600ft was done in almost no time. Loved the F4 more and more.
Finally, went to 1750ft alongwith a few others. Great flight.
Photos in G+: https://goo.gl/photos/zDRRBYpLAf92SVdFA
Abhishek and I almost decided to drive to Fort Funston when I noticed Robert Booth posted in FB that today could be a good day at EL. Karl also mentioned in WOR forum about potential soarability. Wind at top was good 15mph straight in which is rare.
I convinced Abhishek that we should take advantage of EL today since Fort is always there in summer.
And we got rewarded. My launch timing was a bit off so I ended up having a 7-min sledder. Abhishek got 38 min. A lot of pilots flew from top, some got 45 min of mostly ridge soaring. It was just amazing.
Flying took a back seat this year as I was busy at the new startup. After more than 6 months of no time to fly, I got desperate to be in the air. Three weeks back I got my practice in from the 50ft hill at Ed Levin. Today was the first day of year that I got to fly from 300 ft followed by 1750 ft.
The day was made 2x better by the company. Priti, Mehul and Chaya tagged along, and so also our climbing friend Brian. We took our 4wd honda pilot to the top without issues.
The flight was great, no clouds but got to catch some blue thermals and did S-turns as much as possible to make it a 10 min flight from the top. Forgot the vario which was good, as I was forced to rely on the senses. Used the hills for height perception after the S-turns. I should be doing this more often.