CHassan's blog

1 hour for every month I had off.

Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:01 am

[  Mood: Sleepy ]

After flying at the Midwest HG Comp, I didn't get to fly again until last weekend. Over 2 months of no flying. Major suckage!

The forecast for the day looked great, but the day wasn't matching the forecasts I had seen. Little clouds were popping up and disappearing just as fast. Winds were about 120 off of what I was expecting. The day was a crap shoot.

Rick took his Atos up and stuck, but he looked to be climbing painfully slow. Paul took his atos up and came down in short order. Tom did the same in his Sport 2.

A few hours later Frank went up and was climbing slowly in his Discus. It was getting late and I figured it was now or never. By the looks of it several agreed as we now had a line waiting on the tug.

The tow was gravy. I think I came out of the cart just a little early, and maybe had the keel support a little high. I didn't like the feel of it, but climb out ensued and my flight began.

After a bit of climb I looked over and realized I hadn't set my altimeters for the day. I had no clue how how I was. I figured I'd go a little farther and see if we hit any lift.

I guess we did, but it was so light it didn't entice me to pin off. By my guess I passed our normal 2000' release and climbed a bit further. The tug pilot decided to turn back towards the field, and I didn't want to go that way so I finally pinned off.

It took a bit of glide towards away from the field and towards the nearest cloud before I hit any lift. Somewhere around 200fpm was the average for the day. I hit a few stronger, but that rate never lasted long. Cloud base came slowly in reach.

Eric came by in his Atos and snapped this picture as I was changing clouds.


The cloud in view grew a pretty good deal. There was a huge concave bottom that allowed you to climb up above the outer edge by several hundred feet. It was surreal seeing nothing but the ground below, and gray to above and beside you.

Since I didn't much of a clue how high I was, I'll say cloud base was 4.5k, and my thermal took me to almost 5.5k Mr. Green I got a little damp on the way up, hehe. Moving around to the sunny side of the could I watched my shadow run across the face of the cloud. What a beautiful sight that is!

After that I found a few more thermals, but nothing taking me back to cloud base. I had been spending my time east of the field, with the rest of the crew gaggling up to the west. As the clouds began to fade, the last of us gathered together in a close nit band. The 4 amigos, became the three amigos. I knew "light weight Larry", in his U2, would be able to milk the dying lift longer than I would. I ventured out to see if the last reachable cloud would provide enough lift to keep me above him for just a little longer. Eric and his Atos was already well above me.

The last wisp of the cloud dispersed as I approached it. The sky in any direction was, for the sake of argument, barren. I headed for the field spinning and spiraling, and acting like a porpoise on the way down. The winds were light, and blowing in the opposite direction from when I launched. I watched multiple socks and streamers as I cranked around to get rid of the last bit of altitude I had.

Committed to heading into the wind, I leveled out and pulled in for speed. My heart sank as I watched the first socks go limp. If I could make it further down the field the wind was still favorable. Those first socks now turned tail, while the other began to go limp. If I was lucky I would land just before the wind died, or switched.

Having not flown for over 2 months, I was a bit worried, and prepared to let the wheels get dirty. As my airspeed slowed, my ground speed wasn't far behind. I hit a hard flair and came down with a little forward momentum. Nothing a few steps didn't take care of. I watched as the last wind sock in front of me turned around and indicated wind at my back. I think I timed that just about right!

At one point I was watching some boaters on one of the nearby lakes. I could see skiers in tow behind the boats. At that point I could almost feel myself become a hawk. I had the urge to swoop down and catch the skiers in my talons, alight in a nearby tree, and enjoy my meal. I didn't of course. I landed ate some fresh melon and drank some cold beers. I'm just not to sure about the taste of human flesh.

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NMERider
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Joined: 07 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:18 pm    Post subject:    

Well told story of long frustration with a happy ending. Great photo. popcorn
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