Finally, after waiting for many years, my sister Judy and I got to fly together today. We tried once in California about 5-10 years ago, but conditions would not allow us to launch. This was also a special day as we were spreading the ashes of my mother (who recently died of cancer).
Even with light soaring conditions, Judy’s stomach did not hold up too well, so we ended the flight after about 30 minutes. We finished the day with a stroll up to Bridal Falls.
A fun afternoon of climbing with Ian, Lindsay, Carmen, Will and Dmitry. Will was the star of the day dragging his now skinny butt up every climb, included Local Boys (5.10+). We were a little too slow hiking the Chief and missed the ultra small window to launch safely. Dmitri’s ankle was acting up so we agreed to postpone Deidre in the Dark #22 , and get ice cream instead.
With the help of Alex, Jeremy, and later Andrew, we were able to cut the bushes back the rough parts of the Bridal road up to 1100m, and then do a major amount of trimming on Bridal launch.
Some minor damage to my truck when my seat broke and I accidently started to grind up my Titan. Eventually the blade wore out and Alex and Jeremy were able to finally fly.
Thanks everyone for the help today, hopefully the much needed launch work will keep the new visiting pilots out of the trees.
Tip of the day:
test out your rental gear at home before going into battle on an over grown forest service road., also keep a list of the gear your bring with you, just in case you forget something (when you leave).
Due to a traffic accident, my tandem passengers Betty and Andrew arrived about 45 minutes late – no problem because the wind was still too East to launch anyhow. Eventually PeterPG, Alex and myself with Andrew launched – for a rather quick acro flight. The next flight was much longer with Betty, probably 45 minutes or so.
While still soaring, I kept prompting Alex to launch so we could watch his spiral up close, but yet another visiting pilot when down after launch and he needed help. Alex decided to collect some karma points and forgo his last flight to help the pilot recover his wing.
Tip of the day:
not all sites are created equal. If you are new to a site, ask the local experts for their advice before launching. At Bridal, when conditions are slight East, you must be able to abort early and or run extra fast from the upper launch.
Small tight thermals today at Bridal. Some pilots (Peter, Alan) were able to punch through the inversion and then fly XC to Ludwig and Elk, while the rest of us (Karen, Peter, Stephan, Dmitri, Alek) boated around launch.
The 10m circle was still illusive for most pilots – maybe I need to hold a spot landing contest?
Sun and Clouds
A horrible motorcycle accident today, near Exit 95, reminded me how precious our life is, hopefully he will recover.
Ultra stable conditions, so we (Frank, Melanie, Stephan, Degas, Martin and Peter) waited about an hour before flying. Peter went first and headed downward – not too inspiring so we waited another half hour. Stephan and I went next with better results. To my surprise Peter was still flying. I suggested that he hangs in there a little longer, and sure enough, we were all above launch. After about 45 minutes I asked Stephan to do his spiral dive and spot landing (his final maneuvers) – he complied but the spot landing did not happen (short again). Almost everyone was short today including myself.
On my second flight, Frank and I flew for about an hour and managed a little XC flight to Styx and back, followed by a Titanic. Great fun. The rest of the gang showed up for more soaring action, Martin, Laura, Andrew, Karen (on her new airship from France) Migel, Al ...
Tip of the day:
At Bridal, aim for ¾ on windy days and you’ll likely land in the centre (use mushy turns and stand up to reduce your glide).
Hot and Sunny
Some less than perfect take offs (and landings) from most pilots today, especially the visiting students.Remember to practice your aborts so you know how to use them when it counts.
With the help of Andrei, Amar, Christina and others we managed most of our tandems today.
I especially enjoyed the non-acro , ultra, ultra smooth tandem to the end the day. No spot landings from Stephan today so his novice rating will need to wait until next week.
Hot and Sunny
A late start of 1pm (which means 1:30 if you are from North Van). PeterPG and I were heading to join the three pilots already soaring. After three hours, PeterPG had landed at the bottom so I top landed to pick up the Titan and catch up with Peter S (who also top landed to pee – after his Mt Cheam adventures).
Hot and Sunny
In my haste to go solo flying with long time (been travelling for two years) friend Gabby, I forgot to bring my XC wing (U-Turn Passion, but instead brought the Muse). The Muse is a fast turning wing, but a little boring for me.
Lots of pilots out, but nobody really going far. After a couple of hours I headed to Styx and ridge soared by myself until too tired.
Looks like Deimosian's Andrew and Peter are kicking butt's at the Willi - congrat's.
A great day to for a hike-n-fly adventure. Today we had Leo, Andrei and Dmitri. Some short arguments from Andrei that we were starting too late (8:30am) for Cheam Peak, but that was the earliest I could do if we were to have a driver. Ironically my driver called in sick. We left a truck at Annis Road then started the one hour drive. A casual two hour hike in some of the best scenery in BC and we were at launch. Andrei went first the called down his flight plan to fly to Woodside. Next was Leo and I (tandem). We managed to maintain at about 7000’ but once we got to 6500’ I thought that it was best that we start heading to Annis. On the other hand Dmitri, waited a little longer and was rewarded with his dream flight of getting 1000’ over launch in light converging air. We eventually arrived at Annis and then headed back to Bridal for cold drinks and Ice cream. Alex and lots of Deimosian were flying Bridal now, however when we got to launch Alex realized that he forgot his helmet. We waited to see if anyone else carried a spare helmet, but no luck. Eventually Alex and I drove down to collect my spare helmet – not sure if he flew.
Thanks to my new friend Mike, my Titan was waiting for me near Cultus Lake.
A fun day with Ambrea and her crew. We had to wait out about an hour of low clouds then finally started flying next to the clouds. The next couple of flights were nice too but nothing beats flying near the clouds. Many thanks to my A team, and Elena (and others) for driving.
Another great day at Bridal.
Light conditions, but the early pilots (Andrew and Tom C.) got the best lift. My passenger Jeremy got lost for an hour, but we did not really miss much. Our tandem flight was uneventfully until I tried my new acro maneuver the “Vortex”. I'm two for two so far. I’m thinking about adding it to the Deimos Intermediate maneuvers.
Later Dmitri convinced me to wait an hour for Andrei and others, so I treated him to a free ice cream (for driving down on the first flights). Back on launch. I went first, followed by Martin. I had a few near stall moments so thought it was best to warn Andrew to stand down on his very light tandem. He wisely complied. Dmitri launched and was pretty much maxed out so the both of us went in for landing. Dmitri's landing was more interesting...The day was lots of fun expect for the one hour delay on HWY1 causing me to miss my poker tournament and free $$. I won two T-Shirts instead.
Another great day of flying. This time Andrei helped me with a 45 minute tandem flight with Westley, while Rachel and I made our way slowly up to Alan on Arcibald. My second flight was a little more exciting due to the deep spiral dive I did with Pascal.
I decided to treat my newest student Tommy to an adventure day.
We kicked it off with training flights at Burnaby Mt (Solo V Course), then a couple of pitches of rock climbing at the bluff, and finally a tandem flight off the Chief. Our flight was the high lite, soaring the lip for about 20 minutes, flying by climbers on Belly Good Ledge, and watching a base jumper land in the parking lot. We landed near the Malamute for a shorter walk back.
Tip of the day: stay on the road when walking back.
Blanchard then Whidbey
We (Dmitri and Stephan) started with a couple of sled rides off Blanchard at 9am then off to Whidbey for endless ridge soaring. Gabby, Brian, and Art had the right idea – go diving then come back at 5pm for flying.
At five, it was still not flyable: the wind speed was good but the direction was a little too North; but at 7pm it switched just enough west to get a few “flights” in . I think I had the longest flight of about 3 minutes on my Passion, followed by Ryan on Gab’s tandem rig.
Tip of the day – bring a hat to Whidbey.
Low clouds and lame conditions forecasted for the morning, so I called a 1pm meeting time.
Today was looking like a perfect adventure day: tandem with Stephan, with my customary Titanic Maneuver, followed by a soaring flight with my beautiful niece Jasmin, and finally guiding Stephan through his first spiral dive. Meanwhile, Dmitri was playing around with his new U-Turn Infinity. In the end I think Dmitry had the longest flight of the day, probably 45 minutes.
Woodside then Bridal
Some bad luck today with both myself and Lucian getting flat tires, but eventually we made it to Woodside. Surprisingly few people on launch. Lucian went first followed by Stephan, however about thirty minutes later they both landed at Riverside.
Our second flight was planned for Bridal with Stephan performing his final Deimos maneuvers and spot landed, however conditions were a little too difficult and he was forced to hike down. I got to about 1100m and then landed in order to retrieve Stephan (the Titan was already at the bottom). Lots of hiking these last few days – very enjoyable.
Jon's first flight was straight forward but more or less a sled ride. However our second flights were much better. “Quite John” showed us how to get above launch, followed by Jon and myself. However after about thirty minutes it was getting too spicy so we headed in to land. Jon failed to follow my full instructions and failed to make the LZ. We probably should have landed earlier but I was having way too much fun on the Macpara Muse.
Tip of the day: always stay up wind of the LZ on windy days.
We finished the day with lots of high wind kiting. Time for a trip to Whidbey?
It was too windy to fly so I suggest Jon that we hike up to Upper from lower Bridal. No change in the wind speed so time to parawait. After about two hours we were getting hungry so we hiked back down. After making it back to the truck there was still time to fly but we were too tired then.
The best way to improve your skills is to have a three hour private lesson.
Lucian and I first revisited the theory of flight with the Deimos Glide Ratio quiz; then we headed over to Blackie Spit to explorer the Deimos style forward and reverse launches. I brought my wing too to try a few new ideas to help control my wing a little better – new wings require new thinking and sometimes new techniques.
Woodside / Bridal
Today Alex and I had great day of flying together. It started with an extended flight at Woodside, and then at noon, we hooked up with Jeremy, Will and Gerry. More spicy air today (like yesterday), perfect for Alex and I on tandem, however many pilots complained about feeling nauseated after an hour or two.
Alex and I tried to tag Archibald, but our 450+ lbs were a bit too heavy to make it all the way, so instead we went over to Styx and hopefully onward to Laura’s ridge. Jeremy and Will joined in on the adventure. We only lasted another 25 minutes then were forced to land, while Wil and Jeremy made it made to launch (but failed to come and rescue us).
I headed up one last time to guide Alex through his final Deimos Novice maneuvers - he passed all except the Spiral dive and spot landing. Hopefully next time Alex?
I estimated that about half of the pilots were flying without their WCSC and HPAC membership today (most graduated from Deimos). Please make sure you do your share and at least pay for these memberships – or make sure that the list has your information properly updated.
The grass was way out of control at Bridal, both the LZ and take off. So Stephan, Lucian, Jonathan and I spend a few hours pruning the west bushes back and cutting the tall grass (90% completed only, the rest killed my lawn mower again).
Eventually it was time to fly, so Lucian went first (his first flight in two years) and easily climbed about 800’ over, followed by Stephan Jonathan and I. The air was getting a little too spicy, I felt, so I asked all to land after about an hour of airtime. After a nice Wildcat lunch, we returned for some reverse launching practice and our second flights. Lots of interesting launches from everyone, but I think Jonathan wins the launch of the day contest – hopefully he will write up his report on the private Deimos forum. After we were all airborne, I quickly caught up to the boys and we all headed towards Archibald. Lucian had trouble keeping up, while Jon flying the Macpara Muse and wearing just a T-shirt, shadowed me all the way to Gloria and back – amazing for just 12 flights!
To our surprise, Klaus and Monica were working on the LZ, while a second team, George, MON and others were adding their final touches to the take off – nice to see all the extra free helpers taking care of my favorite site.
Cloudy and overcastted conditions, so I decided we would spend a couple of hours working on perfecting the forward and reverse launch – “Deimos Style”.
Once at Bridal, PeterPg went first, however conditions were too light and he eventually landed. I think all the practice paid off because later Stephan managed two nice launches (Forward and Reverse) then flew to about 800’ over launch.
On our second flights, Peter forgot all of his gear, so I loaned him my Muse 3 and I went on my Passion.
This time, with the stronger lift, and new gear, he easily climbed above and almost to Archi, while Staphan and I did maneuvers just in front of launch.
PS> the launch fire pits are becoming a big problem – time for a bullet proof sign? Also time to cut the grass on luanch; any power cut the bushes back on the West side.
I called a 1pm Bridal start, due to NE wind before that time. It was Jeremy, Alex B and a few others for the first flights. Alan and Jeremy managed to stay up, but the rest all landed after about 25 minutes. To save time, I drove down and collect them, hopefully for better conditions on the next flight. Will and Jeremy were trying their best to top land but conditions were just too strong now. After Alex launched I joined him and about 3500’. I was trying my best to encourage him upward but he found it a little too difficult. I was working on top landing when I notice a sudden increase in west wind, so elected to land below. Another great day to go flying.
Ironically it was my mother's death that keep me in Toronto for a about three weeks, but today, her birthday, I was back a Bridal to celebrate life again - this time with the always keen Jonathan. Jon was in such a hurry that he was only wearing shorts and a T –Shirt. I set him up with a fleece but he would need to rough it out with his bare legs. Also today was the first flight of my new U-Turn tandem (Passenger).
It’s so small and light it carries like a solo wing. I did one abort to see how she feels then off we went.
It was relatively easy to climb up to Archibald, then onward to Gloria. We tried a few times to touch a cloud but we were always denied about 100m short. There was some talk (from me) about top landing at Upper Bridal but instead we headed toward Cheam. By the time we got there the thermals were being replace with straight W wind. At this point I just remembered I needed to be heading home (oops). To save time I top landed which gave Jonathan another chance to fly solo. So far I’m in love with the U-Turn Passenger wing – probably the best tandem wing I’ve tried to date!
I set Jonathan up with the U-Turn Emotion (performance DHV1). This was a smart call because his launch was less than perfect and the wing had to do its thing immediately after launching.
Another great day at Bridal. The highlight was Jonathan pulling up his socks to stay warm. Looking forward to seeing the GoPro video Jon.
(Looking forward to the Deimos party this weekend - complete with two new games).
I tried to reactivate the Bridal web cam for another season - but it looks like it over heated and is done. Anyone have a replacement IP camera to donate?
Will T and I headed up to launch around noon, however the south wind was wrecking the soaring conditions, resulting in a short 8 minute flight. I decided to drive down to save time. After catching up with Lucas, and Martina, I spent a few hours with Jonathan fine tuning his forward and reverse launches. Another Jedi is born! Around 4:30 we headed up for a flight but conditions were still too advance. Back in the LZ, Brian twisted my arm and forced me to drive back up for a looksee. It took another 45 minute wait, but finally it was soarable. For fun we both top landed and finished up at the Wildcat. A great day in the sun.
The west wind spoiled the conditions but we still had fun (Private lesson with Renato).
Light conditions at first but we eventually got above launch, maybe to 1000'. I let Renato drive for a while and when we got below launch I took over and headed out to the Dykes. Just before the final ridge I found some light bubbles oflift and managed to core them up to about 4000' - yahoo! As we headed towards the Bridal LZ there was light lift everywhere. At about the garbage dump we had to decide whether to hit the Bridal LZ or turn back to the easy LZ. We turned back and had a perfect landing to end our adventure.
My personal best for a tandem XC towards Bridal.
Light East wind today. Jonathan managed about ten flights, focusing most on the "Deimos" style" two and three stage reverse launch. Pretty muddy so bring boots if you plan to train there within the next 3-4 weeks.
Jan 25 2014
Super stable day meant smooth acro flights for Zenon, Degas and myself. Jonathan saw us flying and zipped over at the perfect time to bring us back up to launch. Thanks to Herve for helping out with the driving, hopefully you can start flying soon.
" The wind gods
decide where we can fly, we just have to listen to them
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