CHassan's blog

Flight story with a happy ending.

Mon May 11, 2009 9:31 am

Looking a the forecast for the past weekend, my wife decided since it had been 3 weeks since I flew and Sunday looked the better day, we'd do Mother's Day Sat. So we visited the zoo and did some shopping and went for dinner. A good time.

Sunday I was a little late leaving the house due to a communications error. Or more so a communication misunderstanding on my part. I was still able to get to the field in time to talk some smack and get set up before anyone else took to the air. Well that was not 100% true, a new pilot coming over from PA had his first AT in the morning. Way to go Brian!

When the time came I was the first to get my glider on the dolly so I got to go first. the tow was uneventful up until around 1800', then we started hitting some lift, but nothing much. I pinned off and made a few rounds in something akin to 300 up. I wasn't able to stay with it for long.

I was below tow height and pretty far upwind, thinking I'd have to head back to the field soon I encountered what felt like thermal turbulence. You know the bumpy air you find near a thermal. I made a zig and a zag and bam, 300 up again. this time I hung on until I was visiting the white room door.

I watched my XC buddy pop a link around 150' and turn back to land. the next guy came in under me and started working up. I headed up to the nearest cloud and waited around at cloud base for Larry. He made it up and came in under me after a long time of waiting. My cloud was finally falling apart so I pushed on to the next leaving Larry kind of low. Larry headed a little more east, and I again waited at cloud base for him to get up. That would be the last time I saw him. I headed to the next cloud and never saw him again. he headed more east, while I was going more SE.

When my cloud started to die I headed for the next one again. Here I waited for another pilot (John) who was coming up behind me, and since we were sharing a driver I thought it would be good to stick with him.

He came in low and I pushed for the next cloud. I should have waited for him to climb up with me, instead I showed him where the sink was. I was way to low to reach the next LZ into the hills and forests of SE Ohio. I searched around but had to move upwind to get to any lift. It wasn't enough and I couldn't get up very high. A large mass of cloud blocking high crap moved in and began the shut down.

I played in everything I could find for the next 30 minutes or so. I heard Larry say he was going down (20+ miles farther than me) John was setting up for his landing 10 miles farther than me. I decided I had played long enough when I directed our driver into the field I had picked for an LZ. I came in on a down slope and leveled off when it flattened out. I flared a little early but not hard enough so I ended up running like mad to keep the nose up.

I packed up and we ran and picked up John. My total distance was around 28 miles and time was about 2.5 - 3 hours I didn't really check. I had let my shoulder straps out another inch and that made all the world's difference in comfort. I felt like I had only flew for an hour or so.

It was cold at cloud base, about 40F, and I spent a long time boating around waiting at cloud base. My new batteries, in my GPS, didn't last the entire flight, I had to shut it down for a while, but I'll try to piece it together tonight. I also have a couple pictures to stick up.

I kicked myself for waiting around for so long. I only went on a couple glides, had I ran like I know I should have I may have had my best flight ever. Wait for friends or head out solo.......damn the choices!

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Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 514
Location: pittsburgh pa

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:58 am    Post subject:    

"Wait for friends or head out solo.......damn the choices!"

Decisions, decisions.

It has become quite clear that that is what HG is all about. Or at least a big part of it anyway.

In my opinion you made the best decision of all. You went out to fly, where as my sorry ass was home doing chores.
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Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 2482
Location: Roswell, Georgia, USA
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 10:56 am    Post subject:    

You're married with children, yet you got to fly on MOTHERS DAY, no complaining allowed. Laughing
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Joined: 13 Aug 2007
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Location: Georgia
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:59 pm    Post subject:    

Sounds like you have a great wife! Wink Mr. Green
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