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Magical Lesson... Box the "Wake"

Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:37 pm


[  Mood: Happy ]
[ Playing Currently: Playing  ]
This weekend I spent time at Florida Ridge Flight park and Mike "Z" from wallaby, quest , and lots of other parks was there yesterday and today. In true cool style he flew in on his Icarus 2 seater (a German Plane), beautiful and agile. I met him and it was brought to my attention that he was the builder of the tug they are currently using, a white Dragon Fly.

Well after taking a few flight in the school Falcon 195 (I didn't want to build my glider since there was one already built) I sat down with Mike and James T with a cigar and the stories of guys that have been doing this sport for was before I even new this was actually Hang Gliding NOT Hand Gliding...

A homework assignment materialized from that night... I was called Boxing the Wake.

Some of you Sail Plane Pilots already know where I am going with this since you have to do this on you clearing flights.

So,

What this entails is a good H2 with strong tow skills and reaction (and above obviously), and an experienced Tug pilot would negotiate how this thing will go. Essentially one would at a safe altitude be directed by the Tug pilot to move to the upper Left corner of the tug (Extreme Corner), the point is to keep moving into position until the tug pilots control becomes hindered, He will then signal you to return... You go back to center and compose yourself (him too!)... He will then signal you to the Bottom Left until the signal is made again (This exercise is amazing, and develops a really uncomfortable feeling, chances are you will return to center on your own I did)... Then he'll motion you horizontally Left and then repeat these on the Right side...

Finally you'll do the Top of the Tug which is weird cause you loose site of the pilot (which is why the initial comment about an experienced HG pilot with plenty of Tows should only attempt these skillset). I Rose (till I felt I made his heart skip a beat), and then set her back in place center on the tug, then I lowered into the bottom into the Prop wash! Yowwwwwieeee.... that sucked for me!!!

Finally I released and hit a few nice thermals and then made a beeline back for more...

This Time the Pilot was Jeff James and we practiced the same movements, and as I went up toward his right high side, he got hit by a thermal and it actually, put me in a lockout... My LMFP training instantly kicked in and I released luck cause as I looked at the tug I realized he would have been in trouble had it taken another thousand of a second (I'm sure JJ would have released the rope on my ass)...

I then had a bit of adrenaline kicking and decided to do a few wing overs and spins to lose a bit of altitude... that Freedom 170 got 63MPH today... GOD I LOVE THAT WING.....

-S

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Vegas or Bust!

Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:26 pm


[  Mood: Angelic ]



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Flew U2 at Florida Ridge

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:28 am


[  Mood: Happy ]
[ Working Currently: Working  ]
Been flying in FL! Borrowed a U2 here! I am going to be so happy with my new wing in 9 days!!!!

So this is how it went down: James Tindle of Florida Ridge and Miami Hang Gliding let me use one of his U2's to get a feel of things to come! Actually that day I was fling everyones gliders, I flew a S2, a T2 (Not talon but the North Wing Tandem glider), a falcon, my Freedom, and of course the "U2". It was the smaller glider the 145 still it was great (What is this you say? A 145! But Soc you are 240lbs? yes, yes but a the 2lbs per square it was ok!). I put it together, it was not to eventful although the tip wands are much stiffer then the North Wing varieties. This glider is just plain purrrty...

So the day was a wonderfully thermally day, but there was one problem. The wind was blowing 18-20 in the LZ making it a H3 situation for sure. I still thought it was manageable since I already had been up in a SS North Wing Freedom 170 and it's bigger brother the T2 North Wing Tandem (which I'll probably end up buying at some point to fly with my boys).

I did a few controlled training tows to 1000 feet to make sure I understood the U2's temperament and even used the tail to make sure I had things under control. After the second flight I took the tail off and it really wasn't much different then the freedom I have been towing.

My technique for towing is simply to finger control the glider and never correct for anything other then a high wing or pitch...

My forth flight was a rather exciting one. Eric the tug pilot/hg instructor/friend took me up to 1 mile! yes folks I released myself at 6100 feet after the most amazing tow through the spaces of 1000ft CUs!!! I was a bit cold so release and began to experiment with the VG settings (this glider had 8ft of VG rope!). My L/D according to the 5030 averaged 13-15 range pretty good I thought... The rest of the flight went like this:

I got blown down wind at 6800 ft/ASL which is AGL here why do you ask? Cause I was playing on a cloud street riding the cloud ridge up and down and when I noticed (I happened to look down and notice a new structure I've not seen before? a marina, actually it was port Labelle) I was 5-7 miles down wind of the field! It was blowing 40ish at 6000 (I pointed the glider toward the wind the the GS was 2mph at 42-43) I only had 2-3 mile penetration on a return OMG what to do? I forgot my cell phone and radio (was just going up for launch and landings), so I had to head back... I pulled Full VG which like is already mentioned was 8 foot of rope, and started to pickup speed in attempt to see if I could land closed to the LZ.

I initially saw the LZ rising in my field of view so I knew I was coming up short and decided to play with the velocity. I stuffed the bar, as I got lower, at 4800 my forward motion increased to 8-10 and the LZ started to lower in the field of view (whew I thought), but then at 4000 I hit serious sink and had to really stuff the bar and crab the approach to avoid the large sink 3200 my speed had increased to 20-24 (40-44)mph and I started to regain the ground! I was about 1.5 miles out still and knew at worse I could make the golf course and the sandwich shop there, so lunch was a possibility. I was know at 2600 and started to really feel uncomfortable. I saw Frank up on the Tempest (a small sail plane) and thought I should try to set cross hairs on his location since he looked like he was working something over there! That was good thinking cause luckily I hit a bit of buoyant air even though the head wind was still 18-20 I was getting 40-44... I made it past the golf course and was now by the condos to the north of the LZ and at 1700 I was golden...

Still had 600 when I got to the LZ, and my bird balls began to drop again into place... I came in hot and 1 step landed it!

People applauded the effort! EVERYONE thought I was initially going XC and then when they realized I headed back thought I was coming up short...

But Chicken Hawks Never come short!

Moral of the story? Always have a cell phone even if you think you're going up for short test runs or landing runs and stuff. My intention was to continue testing the limits of the glider and how to do stuff and it took me on an adventure!

U2 was amazing... Any other glider would NOT have gotten me home. Simply incredible...

O I did have one bad landing (actually the landing was good it was the few seconds after that sucked). I landed and held the flare out too long, about 1/2 second and gusty wind caught my tip and flipped me, I was on tippy toes so couldn't sit down into the glider! Caught it on Tape too, so you'll all get a good laugh a bit later!

Hug to all!!!
mosh

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Back in Florida...

Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:29 pm


[  Mood: Very Sad ]
[ Listening to slow, mello stuff... Currently: Listening to slow, mello stuff... ]
So it finally has hit me, that I miss LMFP lots... I miss the like of all you misfits and I miss the fresh air.

I arrived in TN on Wed 12:00am and was met at the airport by no other then HeavyPilot. He picked me and the troop up and swiftly took us to his place, we had to get to bed early cause we want to see if flying the mountain will be possible. Also we want to make sure we get dibs on the better gliders available at LMFP since we sold ours for the U2s that will be arriving in 2-3weeks. We get there and the wind is howling the wrong way, so we gander at the sights and head to the LZ to meet with some of the instructors and have them prep our wings for the next morning.

Thursday, Nov 1.
The day is wonderful, I head for the training hills to see if I can help out and get sherb-Air to feel the burn of running and flying! I meet ClandestineSwine (You all really need to find out why he calls himself that! GREAT story!!!). And Elvis and Priscilla??? Yeah really!!! It's a couple that impersonate the King and his lovely wife for a living (Priscilla was fit, and cute too). Elvis was honorary "Team Chicken Hawk" for his great skills on the hills... sherb-Air had a good day, even if she found out what a lawn dart was! About 1pm we broke down and went into town with the troop and the instructors for Mexican, I made fun of HeavyPilot with the Spanish at the restaurant. Kept calling him "Marica" and told him it meant Pilot... but the laughing by the waiter made him not trust me??? Why I wondered... he said I thought Pilot was "Piloto" I said that right but a HG pilot like you is a "Marica"! we laughed and head back up hill! He put together a borrowed S2 and I got the SSRT (Freedom Prototype). He went off the hill and sunk out!!! What?? Yup, guess he was out of practice... I went off and got me some!!! 1:10 on the ridge and then hit a bit-o-thermal, and went down to chill while sherb-Air went up on her Tandem Tow instructions.
We head into town with Rex and went to that Pizza place across from Big River, and had a great time.

Friday 2Nov,
Hit the hills again that morning, and sherb-Air was not in the right frame of mind. We had gotten lost on the way there, the kids were unruly, and Dan was on the hills and he can get short. Sher had a oppsy moment when her wing tip dipped and so did she! Mental note: Alway run toward the lifting wing... Ouchy, nice bruise of Jimmy Hendrix on her thigh! thumbsup
We call it quits, head to the LZ for my turn, but decide to go get food and make amens at the Pro-Shop, for the training on the hills and a Mongo Tee-s*** for sherb-Air!
While I wait for her to take her H1 test (which she passed with 96%), I'm on the ramp with Violette and non other then the flying monkey shows up!!! man it was good to see him in person! His sister, Rauna, Greg... Introduce them to the Shop, and give BeeH-5 an explanation of the Mongo shirt (story for another day). They have ground school at 3pm so I finally head out to eat and then meet them at the field. We get there, set up a wing for sherb_Air and off to the simulator while we wait for ground school to finish. A few later I get a call from HeavyPilot he is going to fly from the LZ to the hills! I think OK, Right...
BUT...
Then I see him, he is circling us like an eagle, the sound of that S2 is awesome, he comes swooping around us we hoot and holler, and he performs his best landing to date! Right there in front of us! full Flare, No step, right on the stinger! (He had to, he had no wheels and a borrowed glider! ahh ).

We break down shortly after that and head to the LZ for a sunset flight.

Sat Nov 3,
This day will live in infamy! We HeavyPilot and I show up at the hills with the DIESEL F250! WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING ATV!!!!
We knew there was going to be a tone of people there and we wanted everyone to get good flight in so we caddied with that thing! It was a great day, although it started out with 5 foot visability, due to the fog...
We caddied for the big hill then gave out attention to the small hill till the air got a bit rough...
Heavy and I head out to the LZ and he flew tug while I set up for a stellar day of HG'n.
2:30pm, A pilot is looking to fly and everyone is out to lunch, he doesn't realize heavy is the Tug pilot on duty, so finally he asks where the pilots are? We said here... but the LZ was L&V and a definite advance H2/H3 zone, so I decided to check it out for the guy to see if we could get him up. Well it was bit rough coming out, and Heavy took me to 5300 ft before I bailed out cause it was ccccold! I could see for miles, the highway, the point, the hills... I made it down to the ridge and noticed that i was super buoyant?!? I had so much fun watching people take pics and video of me, I was eating it up! I had that ridge for 1:30min before others joined me, I was swooping the ramp, the cliff too... I couldn't sink if I wanted to... My fly-by was ankles to bar and close to give nice show for the bystanders and the lift was so strong, I would instantly be 300-500 over ramp instantly... My Arms grew tired... I had to pee too! Guess i better go to the LZ now, and give a few of these cats a run on the ridge, I don't want to be considered and ridge hog... I land and there is Lobido and family, chilln' Lobido is getting ready to go up... man I get butterflies, and can't wait for the monkey to get up. I hang check the monkey, ask if he preflighted the wing while examining the important points myself, and helping him launch... a slow jog with him and "well let's say I pooped myself just a lil' bit, I like my blood pressure to shoot up 20 points in a sec.", but he pulled it out... he dipped a bit and then recovered like a good pilot, and then he was off to the races. heavy took him to 5500ft ASL and he made his way to traffic on the ridge. he had NO VARIO and soured on that ridge for 1:00+ I head up to fly with the monkey when I realized he was going to stay up. I sneaked up on top of him and screamed "What's it like Primate", I could see his shadow beneath me his head looking side to side, I was 6 feet above his kingpost. I got into his six and yelled again (his serious concentrated face went from frown to smile)... He was happy! I was happy! we were so close!!! I went back and forth with him on the ridge. and then I began to zoom the ramp again, I love that!!!

I got tired and head home to the LZ. In time to see the rest of the gang start to come in.

Ahhh... what a wonderful week...

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Getting ready for LMFP

Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:47 pm


[  Mood: Sleepy ]

Pretty excited, I'm getting ready for what is going to be a great week at LMFP! Many of you will be there this week, I will be getting there at mid-night Tuesday and staying till Sunday.

I'll have fun on the weekend watching and helping out on the training hills and flying with the folks that won't be in till Friday the 2nd...

I'm trying to get a head count truely of the folks there so I can involve the Flight park, especially Doris, to see if we can have them do it up for us on the weekend.

Oh well, I'll make the request of who's-who and when you'll be there on the forums...

see you guys in a few days...

There is a bring a plate thing going on on Saturday. I will ping Doris over at the park and give here the head count, guess we can all just bring a dish and join in the fun celebration for the 75 yr old lady who they are celebrating? Or do our own thing??? Either way since I am getting there tomorrow night I'll make sure thing are in place for our HG.org weekend!!!!


Nov 3:

Today was an exciting day! I met the upright walking primate himself and his great ape group! Amazing people...

Lobido cleared the small hill in 4 tries (video to come), Rauna, flew! And made it look EASY...

I had to update this now even though it's 2:00am and I am exhausted... I'll come back to this blog tomorrow!

Hugs to all!

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170 days

Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:05 am


[  Mood: Cool ]
[ Working Currently: Working  ]
thumbsup
So it's been 170 days since I showed up for my first HG class, It was/has been an incredible experience and journey.

a snapshot of the following months go like this:

May 2007
Begin Ground School/Tandem flight training LMFP
2 weeks of dedicated days, and evenings...

June 2007
Earned H1/H2
Visited and joined Florida Ridge Flight Park community
Continued Tow Training as a solo pilot under James Tindle. He expanded my knowledge of towing and slowly increased the complexity of the time of day I would fly and the skills I should be developing.
Bought my North Wing Freedom 170 in FL. Went on a road trip to Ellenville NY, and Chicago to fly different locations and meet new people.
Ellenville proved to be a beautiful place with various launch points and great people willing to chat and share. Chicago seemed very clean and well organized, I found that both places had quality people willing to share and not judge (right away Wink )! I flew a Falcon 2 at Ellenville and a Pulse in Chicago. The flight at Ellenville was uneventful and a sled ride, but the Chicago was a nice 1hr flight that ended with an awesome landing slide and flare! (note to self: maybe coming in so fast is not good on every glider?? NAH.... mosh )

July 2007
Back in Florida, This month I visited Wallaby and met with a very interesting man, Malcolm was all I expected based on stories I heard from others... I flew there until the day got ugly with my wingman HeavyPilot (Dan), and then we went to the Ridge.
At the ridge this month my training continued as a solo pilot and I got a chance at flying various wings , from Falcons 1,2,3's to Pulse's, and obviously my Freedom. I also bought my HorizonET at the end of this month (didn't fly it, but at least I know it's there ready for me).

August 2007
Back to LMFP, I've been flying the SOLO tow rig they have cause my HO needs to be tested, and the guys are busy. So a glide off the top in the HO and then wait for them to TOW it up for the inspection and rigging of the tow lines.
The weekend was awesome I have been flying so much the guys at LMFP were impressed with the leaps and bounds, specially when I was thermalling and using the ridge to reamin Top-o-the-stack for 1hr(on the house solo-tow 195)!!! But then Trevor finally got above me and soon after that my HO came up with Alex at helm! funny he looked like a puppet on that glider! He was way to light for it...

September 2007
I continued flying this month in FL, and once back at LMFP. Only flew 10 hrs this month, 1/3 the time I like to fly, had to work in various places and I couldn't get to the Flight Parks...
But when I did get to LMFP, I nailed the three spot landings, and my test for H3!!!

October 2007
this month I had multiple 3hr flights in Fl. That Freedom really screams on the tightest setting, and it handles wonderful in a thermal. totally predictive. One more visit to LMFP and a last flight on the HO! That would be 4 total flight, on that bird? I like it, but it's not fast enough for me! i need the glide and speed, so I am deciding on selling it and getting a U2? Maybe a T2??? But WillsWing talks me into the US, as did Matt Tabor.

Today is October 27th, I have what feels like a life time of changes that have happened in the last 170 days! I have become an HG pilot, I have made good and great friends, and I have a new daughter!!!

Wow... Stay tuned for the next 170 days........

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Tandum tows...

Mon May 21, 2007 7:00 pm


[  Mood: Happy ]

Today I ran the Tandums a total of 6 times, I rotated the available instructors at the LOMFP, and got a plate full of protein to digest now... It was a great day like butter, and I got to experiance many things from a Lockout, to having a pilot that just didn't pay enough attention and maintained so much speed on the tow that to keep up was a task in itself! Let me tell you that is something I never want to do again, even with my 18inch arms and my fitness, a 5-8 min pressdown on the bar is not cake!!!

All and all, I learned much today...

My Quote of the day to the pilot? "Dude if you look in the mirror and the HG pilot's lips and mouth are flapping? That may just be a sign that you're flying to fast!"

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Weekend May 20th

Sun May 20, 2007 5:59 am


[  Mood: Hypnotized ]

drool
So this weekend I didn't get to challange my flying at LOMFP, the LZ was sinking and the instructors felt it wasn't any good for students, so it was off to more night classess! And I did accomplish alot. I was cleared on the small hill after (if I say so myself) 8 amazing launches and flights, of which 4 were great flares!

I celebrated by going off the larger hill twice, but the wind wasn't cooperating so... we called it a day! Yea...

My quads were aching a bit though! I felt like i pulled something so no 7:45am today for me... I'm smart enough to know that a injury could put me back months....

Have a great day folks!

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LOMHG

Fri May 18, 2007 3:55 pm


[  Mood: In Love ]

My training started last week... It has consisted of ground school and much reading, a few tests already! and the small hill!

I've made it out to the hills a night time with the wonderful instructors at LOMHG...

The problem has been the weather. Mad

I've not been able to keep up with my tandams, due to the freakiness of this place... I'm really trying to be patient but it wears thin so quickly...

Rolling Eyes

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About DocSoc

Joined
Mon May 14, 2007 1:09 pm
Location
Miami Beach
Occupation
Retired
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