Only 410 ft. to the trees...Hell....
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Only 410 ft. to the trees...Hell....
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I got out there at 5:15 with almost nil winds. It built slowly and when Jerry showed up it was light breeze from the south east. I had set up and launched shortly after he arrived and loitered overhead until he got airborne. My launch was a bit unusual I recovered the wing going far right and far left before getting it stabilized. Then... when I did get up and over the grass there was some serious sink and I didn't get above 30 feet up until I was well out over the next field and my first turn was a tad low for my taste.
I circled the field several times to get altitude and wait for Jerry. I did see him take off and noticed that his wing seemed to be "hanging back". I didn't think much of it and circled for a bit longer when it looked like he was planning to stay around the "patch " , I headed off to Chatfield. Great ride, nice air ...bump scale of 2...Flew out over the ol marina and it sure felt great to be back at my first home field. On the way out I did a circle and took a 360 degree panorama series. That's gonna be fun to mess with.
The landing was cool, the wind had come up considerably and I did a quick turn to a short final and landed dead on. Throttle control is getting better. Later Jerry & hit a bad Waffle House, and on the way out I took him to see South Park ....only to find that it has been fenced out and the church doesn't want any stinking paragliders....:(
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
When it was time to land I did a touch and go first and landed right on top of my target!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
(photos by Mike Bennett)
Anyway The air was great with a layer of warm air sitting on top. It was fun bumping through into the warmth. There was also a bumpy area directly east of the LZ right above some cattle. Somebody was making jokes about the cows creating bumps. It was a pleasure to launch in such perfect conditions. Light laminar air....nice smooth surface to rollout in all directions and super flat terrain, the prescription for low stress flying. The PPS 250 came up clean every time and it was great how the buggy took the load and kept on pulling as the wing inflated. Those are the right tires for the surface... I noticed that I was staying on the "A's" longer than normal and it felt good to stay with the wing until it was well overhead.
I topped out at 1000 feet and practiced a little low and slow , nothing special but getting the feel of the Power Play.
While packing up I saw Ranger Bo...great to see him! Turns out he was the pilot I had seen on the way in ... he had launched from another field at dawn and was doing a fly-by. We chatted a little about the X-Country that John Black is talking about and he made a good point. Monument pass may be splitting the air flow because I seem to remember mostly SW breeze for early flights in Denver and the Springs boys tend to get Northerly air. I'll have to do a little research and see if i can spot a trend.
When I got home the girls had fixed a special Fathers Day breakfast and later we all went to the Paradiso for a lazy afternoon on the lake.
Friday, June 19, 2009
It was drizzling while I loaded the truck at 5:15am. There was a low cloud cover 0n the North and Eastern horizon and patches of virga over Lakewood. I checked out the Lucent site and was just about to unload when a puff came out of the south and spoiled the moment. One morning it's going to be coming out of the east or north and I'm going to try this place out!
So...I headed off to Simms and repeated yesterdays trick of setting up in the short grass and running hell bent for leather into the taller grass. Today I learned another reason for wearing the flight suit...it would have kept the grass seed from embedding itself in my fleece top and pants :)
Today I didn't have any GPS so I couldn't tell what the climb rate was ...but it felt just fine...I might be making a fuss over nothing but I think it would be a safer machine if I could levitate a little faster.
There was very little wind and the clouds had mostly moved to the East so I took the opportunity to fly over to Red Rocks Amptheather. It was a beautiful flight, clear and light in the west and cloudy and dark behind me. The sun had just started to peak thru as I was approaching the hogbacks ...great light for photography...and lots of lift. After circling the theater and taking a few pictures I flew back toward the golf course and used the lift band at the dam to get a bounce. Probably the best air I've experienced in a long long time. The descent took a good long while and I worked hard to position the buggy for a long final approach. Finally I was able to run 500 yards to the truck just a few feet up and touch down light as a feather exactly where I wanted. It was nice to get a little fine control I'm even getting a better feel for the throttle. If I have the room to maneuver this machine puts out plenty of power, it's only where I'm working in tight quarters that I get puckered up.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
He beat me by a few minutes and was setting up by the road. The weeds have grown to waist height over most of the field. John couldn't drive on the field and was planning to walk out to find a place to set-up, I drove out and found a place where the vegetation was lower at the North end of the field. The wind was light from the South East which was perfect because I could roll down the grade and stay in the short weeds. John took off while I was setting up and the wind shifted 180 degrees pinning me to the earth.
So...I sat in the buggy and watched John while he carved up the sky. At one point he flew over and made a gesture to say....What are you doing? The wind continued to build from the North West and I was resigned to a No Fly Day. Just as I was ready to give up the wind came down and I bit the bullet and started the 4 stroke. Amazing...I don't know if it could be considered a down wind launch, but in the time it took to get up and turn back, the wind had returned as strong as ever.
John and I stayed up 45 minutes and had a great flight. The air was a 3 on the bump scale so I didn't attempt to go all the way to Red Rocks but I did go to the far end of Bear Creek Park and only turned back when I started getting tossed by the air flowing over the hump backs. Landing was strange, every time I set a final approach for the truck, the buggy would catch some lift and I had to go around again. Finally I said the hell with it and landed long in the tall weeds.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Second flight I used the Power Play and the take off was faster. I concentrated on keeping a little more brake pressure and sure enough the turns were much better and I felt much more in command of the wing. I remember Eric Dufore telling me once. The wing does not fly you...YOU FLY THE WING. I've decided to keep it because the problem wasn't with the Power Play...just the way I was flying it.
Keven Kelsey and I flew side by side for awhile but I was considerably faster so it didn't last long. This flight I made it a point to fly the Rio and stay low enough to take in the detail. It's dry right now but you could see that when its running, it goes fast and is chewing away at the sides. There were huge land falls where thousands of tons of earth had fallen this spring.
The air was so still that the only place you would notice a bump was near the LZ and that was from other pilots stirring up the air.
When I got back to the field I was still way up there
John Black surprised me by taking his girl friend for a mid afternoon tandem ride. After his speech at the Salton Sea I thought he would mellow out. Oh Well He is the pilot in command and a very talented one at that. Good Luck to you John.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
I was out of the house by 4:30am and heading south with gloomy skies and a similar mindset. Massive losses and fraud have certainly proved that you cannot count on the future being as expected. BUT...As I cleared Raton Pass the clouds lifted and so did my spirits. I made great and was at Paramotor City by early afternoon. Keven Kelsey has staked me out a great tent site between two box trailers right on the flight line. Thanks Man ! First thing I did was give a big hug to Michelle who took my Eden and replaced the frayed "C" line. She told me to kite it and check that everything was alright. Good advice because the "C" was crossed under one of the "D's" and had to be restrung.
The winds were strong but came down nicely about 30 minutes before sunset. I launched without trouble and did a nice 45 minute exploratory flight. Amazing that I had flown here two years ago with the Simonini Buggy and didn't get the lay of the land. The Rio Puerco twists North to South through the basin on either side of Paramotor City. There is a great RC airport North West which is off limits and a housing development to stay clear of but other than that it's pretty much free air. The light was great so I took a few pictures and landed.
After packing up I discovered that the Route 66 guys had put together a pot luck with Pizza and various goodies. I regretted the earlier burger because they were certainly eating better than we did.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
It has been awhile since I was here and the grass has grown allot. I was luck to find this personal runway heading just 10 degrees off the wind. On landing I overflew "my spot" by 30 feet but greased the "runway nicely.
Just as I was returning home Marek called and said there was somebody flying over by Lucent and C-470. We were both curious because it was now after 11 and thermic as hell. I drove down there and caught the landing. The guy's name is Bruce, he has been flying for 7 or 8 years and is free flight trained. He had flown over to the South Park site to take pictures of the ground breaking for the new church. We will be able to fly out of there for a couple more weeks but there goes another good site.