Perfect student conditions today, too bad I only had tandems to do.
We headed up around noon, but conditions were still too weak for a long tandem flight, so instead I elected to fly solo. The usually baby acro show and I was back up on launch. Ken S. was the first contestant: a perfect 4 step launch and we were able to soar for about 45 minutes. Once I heard that his brother Steve was watching from below, we headed out for some acro – supper fun as usual.
New student JP join me for my second tandem. We spent most of the time explain the ridge rules and how to optimize the ridge lift. We had one problem: an almost signed off FLYBC student, not well versed on the ridge rules would not give way (he had the ridge on his left) so I had to yell at him to avoid a potential collision. Later, he was easy to approach in the LZ so lesson learned I guess.
Can almost signed off student fly on their own?
Also, if you have more than 10 flights it’s time to sign up with the WCSC and HPAC.
Mostly a big waste of time, however I needed to get recertified so it made $$ to do the long drive. Easy conditions at King Eddie so I get a quick tandem for Glenn, then spent the rest of the day kiting with his students.
The next day was a complete blow out, so I hit the movies in the evening.
The comp days were also lame; however on day two I had timed my launch perfectly and managed to complete the micro task (about 12km).
The following day offered better conditions so most of us headed over to King Eddie again. I managed to get about 1500 over launch then headed back towards Lumby, in a desperate attempt to fly to Coopers Start. However, the thermals were get too small and was grounded after about 10 km. It turned out that my single 25 minute flight was the best of the week, so I took first place in the comp - crazy!
Too bad the weather sucked - the next day offered epic X-C flights for the pilots that stayed back.
I was 30 minutes late this time due to a Will T detour – but we had a full truck in the end (Martin, Cliff, George, Will and myself). Light conditions with a mix of SW and E wind on launch. George went first and soared just above followed by Martin. It was Cliff’s welcome back flight so he did four aborts as practice – great idea if you don’t have time to practice on your own. A nice launch from Cliff followed by an even nicer launch from Will. When I finally launched I was the monkey in middle with the Deimosians working hard at 1000’ AGL. There was weird “radio active” green smoke coming for the trees today offering great lift if you were near it. I got tired of playing below Archibald and headed over to Styx. The boys finally landed so I followed them in about 20 minutes later. Cliff set a new personal best with his 200m AGL save. Second flights were more or less extended sled rides – so I decided to drive down.
Thanks to Martin for top landing and riving my truck down.
Strong NE wind today, so Allan, Wade, Will and I helped Derek mow the LZ (a thank-less job that takes about one hour), however with four people it’s not so bad. Once done, Alan “offered” to drive us up to take a look. A good mix of thermals and wind allowed me to fly for about an hour, while Wade and Will were both slowly flushed. I reluctantly did a SAT on my Passion – not the right wing for acro, it’s more of an XC wing. Perhaps the U-Turn Black Light is a better all round wing.
Dreamy conditions for such a late start. I managed to tag Elk in about 20 minutes then soar the North Face of Cheam for another half hour. I considered more XC flying to Ludwig, I even started that way, but turned around to top land and make sure my truck made it down safely.
Picture by Brett Hazlett
Klaus had some bad luck and caused some major damage to his truck, when his bumper dislodged a huge rock than mangled his transmission. The Bridal road is now in need of repair in a few sections. Jeremy, and Will R. started later and could not escape the launch area (too late).
A small crew today with just Will and Dmitri. I thought that it might get too strong in the afternoon so we had an earlier start. Once on launch, Dmitri was practicing his aborts, but by the time he was ready to fly, Will had already landed (1 hour flight). Dmitri's launch went well, but his landing was not so perfect: I guided him to the last 150 feet, but he failed to make one last turn and so I sent him to the golf course. While Will and I retrieved my truck, Dmitri was working on his reverse launches. Conditions were too strong, so we broke for lunch while Martin, Laura and Karen did some easy XC flights. Still lots of time for a second flight so I took everyone back up for more thrills. Dmitri had a close abort near the rock, then managed to launch on his 6th attempt (but forgot to load the glider properly) - still a little nervous. The air was very smooth then and he started climbing slowly, but only near the hill. I tried to guide him higher but he failed to follow my instructions fast enough and slowly start heading to the LZ. I did a sloppy death spiral and then guided Dmitri to the LZ. Hopefully by his tenth flight he can start landing himself.
Made a special trip out to Woodside today to adjust the web cam system. Will, Serena and I did a tour up to launch to check on the conditions - but defiantly too strong, so headed home. Nice to hear pilots at Bridal once I switched on the camera browser (from home).
Strong conditions at Woodside predicted so best to fly Bridal today.
Jeremy went first followed by, Will, Alex B, and finally Dmitri. Some of the typical new student problems with Dmitri on take off and the landing, but he continues to learn. Hopefully he will share his story on my student forum. We did three trips and finally the west wind really arrived, and there was lift everywhere! At 1300m I was considering the first Archibald top landing, but the snow was too deep so I chickened out. The dark cloud over Archibald continued to grow so we all decided to spiral down and land. A cccccold but a really fun day.
WCSC Ex Site Directors reunited today: Bob V and I spent a few hours removing fallen trees off the Bridal road so all can enjoy a smooth ride up. Unfortunately Bob's new truck had some major problems and now needs some front end work. Conditions looked too inviting so I went for a quick flight on my Passion. The air was pretty mixed up for most of it. When the sun hit the ground directly the thermals were fairly strong, however without the sun the wing felt barely loaded. I was not in the mood to practice front collapses so opted to go land. In the LZ, the wind picked up to about 20kph, forcing a short landing. Sometimes it's better to be on the ground...
Degas came out today, and was great help in landing my newests student Dmitri. I was surprised on how much snow melted in just one week – looks like all will be gone in the next ten days at Bridal; however there are still a dozen trees down. Perhaps on Sunday we can take care of fallen trees.
Easy launch conditions (light West conditions) despite the East wind in the LZ. Degas went first only after I assured him that we would return in a couple of hours; followed by Dmitri. Some slow cautious turns from Dmitri and a high flare and he was safe in the LZ. Back on launch for more action: this time Degas got to soar for about 45 minutes before Dmitri was in the air. We were lucky and run into a keen hiker (JP) that jumped at the chance to go on a tandem with me in exchange for a free ride back up to launch. I guess my baby acro and tight thermally was a little too much, so I had to end the flight early to keep things pleasant. We were all pretty tired after just the two flights so after the retrievals we just headed home (in my case to “Reno Land” - less than one month until we move to our new lottery home. Anyone looking to buy a house? Some interesting flights and launches today - hopefully there will be a incident report on my forum soon?
A great day for Will to finish the Deimos Novice course and do a little XC flying at the same time.
My friend Amy and I went tandem to Harrison, with Will in tow, while Uncle Pete was working the lift around Woodside. Some confusion about where to fly next, but eventually we decided on Woodside. This time I went first with my friend Kevin and left Will to show me his stuff. He did one abort, then launched cleanly on his second attempt. The lift was degrading into just cross wind, so I decided to land at the Dykes. Will finished his last maneuvers with style, so I added a final Big Ears Flare Landing to his list – no problem.
Congrats to Will R – novice pilot, hopefully HPAC will make me an instructor so he and others can get their well earned ratings.
Sumas and Bridal
Light East wind everywhere , so we took a chance on Sumas. Wil T went first and was soon soaring with the eagles above, followed by a nervous Stig (interesting video coming soon?) – he too got above launch. Eventually it was Dmitri’s turn, but all the little delays added up now to no more flights (frustrating for me)– this included my tandem (with my friend Kevin). With some convincing, we raced over to Bridal for more action. In the LZ, Klaus said there was lift everywhere so headed up right away. Unfortunately Dmitri got confused and went to Woodside and loss out on some great soaring conditions. There was a mini fight between American Infinity and Canadian Infinity. America was leading the at the start due Wil T crossing up his brakes during take off, but later Will R was a little shaky on his wing overs and lost a few valuable “points” due to a “messy” landing. Lots of hiking and great flights (if you got to launch). The final spur to Bridal is closed to all traffic due to about 15 trees that have fallen. We will likely need a work party in early May. The hiking time for Bridal now is about 20-30 minutes.
Tip of the day:
learn what the differences are between a spiral and a spin, and how to recover from each.
The FV looked like it could be too windy and too East so Dmitri and I headed to Whidbey.
A quick looksie at Blanchard while on route: lots of changes since my last visit, they added metal rails and cement platforms all around the bath rooms. Launch looked good but basically an extended sled ride, so I decided to pass and just head straight to Whidbey. Light conditions, good for practice but yet again no high flights – my batting average is getting worse for Whidbey. To add to the fun, the rangers wanted to give me a $99 fine for not displaying my Discovery Pass, but were nice enough to give a few days grace to redeem myself.
Mission then Woodside
A few new faces out today: Will, Stig, Peter, Degas and Stephan (Deimos Rookie of the Year); so I decided we should spend some time kiting before heading up to launch. There were about ten pilots already above launch when we arrived at the Koffee Kettle. I was just explaining the importance of practice before flying, and how every year someone goes in the trees, when we heard on the radio that someone was in the trees. Degas volunteered to go and find the pilot (just left of launch) while the rest of us prepared to fly. After about an hour, Degas reported that more tree equipment was needed so I stopped teaching and went to help. By the time I returned to launch conditions were much stronger and no longer safe to fly - so no flights for us today.
Tips of Day:
1. Always carry dental floss or a line so that you can pull up a climbing rope.
2. If you have the choice, down grade your wing to a DHV 1 or easy 1-2 wing at the start of the season – spring conditions can surprise you, and an extra safe wing can help your bad situation immensely. Today’s tree hugger was flying a DHV 2-3 wing.
3. For top landing: avoid unless it is really needed. Before risking your life, use your radio to ask if there are any drivers available. Today we had five extra drivers.
4. Avoid flying in the lee of trees or hills. This is especially important when top landing at Woodside. Create an approach path that keeps you out of the lee especially low to the trees.
A perfect day to start the flying season. We arrived at Bill Best Field at noon and decided to do a bit of kiting before heading up. At first I played with the Aeros Style, but once I saw the early pilots in the air parked I went with the U-Turn Passion instead; it’s a faster wing. The lift was about .8 m/s everywhere near the hill and very smooth. It took a while for both Jeremy and Peter to launch but eventually they we were all above launch. After about an hour, I decided to top land/crash a couple of times when the lift started to drop, just to make sure we could drive back down. Fun stuff!
A big turn out at Diefenbaker today however the conditions were not so great – lots of interesting flights and landings.
A spent a few hours training a new student – tricky wing and wet grass – not sure if it was worth the effort.
warm and dry
The start of the year party was great as usual. If I remember right, Andrei and Driver Pete for the Smarty wars and DVD’s prizes. Congrats to Peter and Stephan for winning the Deimos Pilot of the year and Rookie of the Year awards respectively.
" The wind gods
decide where we can fly, we just have to listen to them
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