It was one of those nights that just wouldn't settle down.
I got to the field at 5:00 sharp, the wind was blowing 5 MPH from the East. Like yesterday I went to the west end of the field and set up. The launch was clean and I headed off to the South where I encountered some bumpy air. The wing was being pulled to the right and I let it go. I did use some left brake to slowly bring it around but not enough input force the issue. Once on course, I flew to the High School where I could see the football team scrimmaging , it was still kind of bumpy so I turned west toward the reservoir. More bumps and shifty winds. Now mind you.... the sky was clear and it looked like it should be steady winds but it was mixing at all altitudes. So... I turned back to Vance Brand and set up to land. There was a Yellow War Bird coming in at the same time as I so I went around the swoop pond and let him have the right of way.
The second launch was clean. The wing came up and was well overhead before the cart began to move forward. I ran about 10 yards before lift-off and instantly encountered some big lift. The wing was pulled to the right and I allowed it to climb and go over the swoop pond. Even though it looked calm at the surface there was serious thermic air. I was climbing at 300 ft/min at 50 ft AGL. So... I turned back toward the field and set up for landing. It was great I was pulled from one side to the other but still landed right next to the truck.
The third launch was a repeat ... I was bounced up right after lift off and turned back to land. This time the air was really active. I was climbing and then sinking every few seconds. It was like the flight at Titan last year when Dawn thought I was going to crash into the Rush Building. When I was on final at 300 feet my glide slope was perfect except that one minute I was going to overshoot and the next I was way short. It would have been great to see a video because I'm sure I was doing a Yo Yo but it all evened out and I set down by the truck with almost no forward motion. One of the slowest and maybe cleanest landings I can remember.
God, I love this sport!
What a nice Surprise. Dawn and I were planning to go to the CSYC board meeting but after speaking with Bill I decided that it was not a necessity, saving us 2 hours on the road. When I text ed Dawn the news she suggested that we go flying instead. How nice...
So she came home early and we were at the airstrip by 5:30. The wind was brisk from the East which was a good thing. Instead of launching at the East end where the weeds had been snagging my lines, I could move to the west side of the field where there was real grass. I'd launched there before but it was rare. I parked the truck on the North end and walked the wing out to the middle of the field giving me plenty of room to launch and clear the buildings and rotor on the East end. Dawn and I did a radio check and she settled into the truck to get some work done while I played. Nice Lady ....
Nice air except for a ratty layer at 200 feet. I flew over to the High school and doodled around for 30 minutes. The wind was 15 mph from the East. When I dropped down to 100 feet I was able to penetrate much better and made my way back to Vance Brand.
Through the whole thing I hadn't been able to hear Dawn on the radio and was getting pretty frustrated. We had done several radio checks which checked out fine. Eventually I was getting her transmissions but weak. I think the plug into the radio is the problem and will work on it. Some kind of a guard that keeps the plug from being disturbed.
When the air started getting trashy I flew west of the field and practiced touch and gos adjacent to the runway. On one of them I saw a GA lining up for final, I stayed south of the runway and we came in together. VERY COOL.