A private all day lesson for my newest student Maty. I find this to be the best way to introduce a new pilot to the art of launching a paraglider.
Due to strong SW wind we moved to the local school to practice our reverse launches. Great progress there so I suggest that we visit BM.
When we arrived, Gary was there working on his launches using some very old techniques with limited success. In the end Maty was flying from the top and riding some nice thermals on most attempts.
Lots of driving but it was worth it to see Maty so excited about flying.
Another super fun day with the crew at E&A. With the help of Andrei and Andrew, we finished ten flights, many of which said they wanted solo lessons. Rain suddenly showed up with two passengers still on launch waiting. I sent Andrew and Andrei home while Ivan and I collected the remaining passengers. By the time we reached launch the rain had stopped – time to fly one last time. Steve’s new friend Amie kindly gave up her flight to allow Steve to fly instead – now that’s true love. Thanks again to Ivan for his help driving.
Eager to test fly my newest wing (U-Turn Blacklight 2), I threw it in to the truck along with my tandem gear. I had three last minute tandems booked and no driver, so plan A was to earn some karma points with Clif by being his driver, then he would drive for me after all the tandems were done. However Mr Alan D offered to drive my truck down so I got to fly the new Blacklight!
Even though I spent some kiting this new wing I missed read its eagerness to fly and had to abort the first launch attempt. Second attempt was a lot slower and simple to launch.
With the new shark nose design the wing handles differently than most other wings: instead of a simple wing tip fold, it stays inflated but drops the entire wing instead slightly. There were very few thermals to core but the ones I did find were super easy and fun. Can’t wait for stronger conditions. My three tandems arrived AJ, Jeremy, and Arnold. The first two “requested” some acrobatics, and the final flight with Aj was directly to his backyard about 5km away – something different for me.
My good friend Dian, after passing on a couple of opportunities to fly with me, finally agreed to a sled ride flight. Easy take off and smooth air made the flight quite enjoyable, however the two sharp turns near the ground were a little too much for Dian. Even though we landed five seconds later the dropping feelings caught up to her in the end. Probably not pilot material.
Perfect light thermals today. The early bird (Alan) was already above launch when Paddy, Les and I arrived. Lots of idea sharing about how to fix up Bridal and then I remembered I was here to fly too.
I was on the “American” Infinity today and watching the launches from up to 1000’ above launch.
I only saw the aftermath but Les apparently did a full stall about ten seconds after take off. Fortunately he had height to recover. Remember to keep your hands up when you are adjusting your harness.
Once Paddy joined us the drama was over. About an hour + I felt that that the conditions were mellowing out so I started my top landing attempts. In the end Paddy also top landed to help Fedja with his truck.
Always appreciated by the truck owners in the LZ, but only when it is safe.
Marshall , CA
Sunny and Hot
Aaron was quite late due to an incident with his hike and fly tandem friends – no problem this gave us time to go shopping. Finally we headed up to Marshall take off. The plan: a slid ride tandem when my nephew Bradley, with plans of flying my Dad on the next flight in hopefully stronger conditions. Instead a fire broke out behind launch causing the site to close down for the water bombers, so we headed East to a new site that Aaron saw from the air on a previous XC flight.
When we finally found the “launch” it was much smaller that Aaron thought and trickier. Aaron did a nice Cobra launch follow by myself and Bradley – too dangerous for the Dad-e-O. We started on a step 45 degree slope with hopes of the wind pulling us straight up, but instead it ended up being a difficult cobra launch as well and some athletic running mixed with moments advance maneuvering.
We finished off at a cool brew pub – so all’s well that ends well.
In hind sight, even though we spent many hours getting to launch, it’s better to cancel the flight if it seems too dangerous. Risk vs Reward.
The usual Karin, Martin and Clif were all on time waiting for a ride up.
Clif went first and was quickly above, followed by a less than perfect launch attempt by Karen, and good launches from Martin and myself. I had good success climbing near take off but once I left the strong lift I struggled to climb well in the tight thermals (time for a new wing I think). Eventually I flew over to Styx with limited success landed and hiked back up to collect the Titan.
Other pilots noted Dion and a couple of students, Jonathan, Elena T and husband, Klaus and Monica and a few others.
Pilots were still soaring when I left to much stronger winds. SSW12 reported at CYXX. If you see >13 mph best to stay on the ground (easy number to remember) .
After spending the night at the Whidbey Drive we did a quick drive by to see if it was flyable. The hill nearest to the drive in was good to go but since last time I got yelled at their I decided to take a pass (did not want my kids to see me get yelled at).
A lazy start paid off today. We had Karen, Jonathan, Clif and driver Rob today.
Light conditions at first so we waited for an hour or so, this allowed Clif to practice his launches. Jon went first a quickly disappeared from our view followed by Clif and myself. By the time Karen launch we were all at 1100m or higher. Jon was playing in his white room, Karen was near Archibald and Clif was back at Launch , while I tried hard to get to Elk. Not possible today due to cloud cover. Some weird air while landing, especially for Clif causing him to make an unusual landing. Another great day at Bridal, so good that I did not care for a second flight.
Unfortunately my front tire must have hit a rock poorly and did not survive the drive home. My Titan gave me lots of warning so managed to get to Exit 95 for relatively easy repair. Time for new tires soon.
I decided to sleep in so I missed the shuttle busses to upper Bennie launch, instead I decided to hike up to the mid-way launch. Tricky and gusty thermals made it a good challenge. Eventually I had to use a rare Cobra style launch to get airbourne. Rottery air and couple of uneasy moments may me decide it was time to leave. The south wind had picked up at this point so it was hard to climb out again.
Ivan join me as a driver for the days event which helped out a few pilots. In the end we only did one drive up, on my second flight I hitched a ride with Jonathan. I would have tied Laura for the spot landing comp however they had already closed the event, instead Robin was pointing at the ground where I needed to land - funny stuff.
Woodside and Bridal
We started with a quick flight at Woodside then after a not so quick lunch headed up Bridal.
Mike and I managed to get above launch a few times and later got to play with the eagles. My final flight with Kenny included a very tricky launch, playing with the eagles and a small Titanic maneuver – can’t wait to see the video! Another fun day at Bridal.
Other Deimosians caught in the act (of flying): Elena T, Babushka and Andrei, Degas, Laura and Karen.
Hot and Sunny
Still East wind at noon – so Gab, Shea, Jay, Shawn and I headed to Agassiz to practice our launches while Jonathan decided to hike up Bridal. After 1.5 hours we headed back up to Bridal and waited until conditions improved. A few more Deimosians showed up but they forgot to bring the wind with them.
Eventually we were all in the air with flights up to three hours long. At 6pm we had enough fun, grabbed a few drinks then headed home. Another fun day at Bridal Falls.
Today was the day that Gabby’s students Shea and Jay got to do their first solo flights. The usual light East conditions at Bridal, so some aborts were required. In the end every one managed two flights with good landings – time to celebrate!
Many thanks to the team of people that help cut the tall grass on takeoff and Monica for once again cutting the LZ grass.
Dylan arrive more than an hour late. While I waited I could see a few pilots still going up at Woodside. So rushed over but it was too late. Back To Bridal. Dylan practiced his launches for about an hour then he finally figured it out – time for his first solo. Nice launch and landing – more adventures await!
East conditions at Blackie Spit made it difficult at time to inflate the wings on course. Good progress with my newest students Dylan and Shawn – high flights coming up soon!
Sunny and very windy
A fun trip to Frenchmans and Saddle this weekend, probably the most pilots there in years.
We had Gab, Brian, Art, Ryan, Amine, Jayson, Lesley and all their respective wives and kids, including Julie, Miranda and Cabrinha. We managed to fly between gusts at the Silos, but only Ryan and Amine flew at Saddle on their speed wings – too windy for normal wings.
The highlite of the trip for me was watching Miranda and Cabrinha make their first lead climbs and Frenchmans.
I was hoping to break Clif’s Whidbey curse, but in the end his “dark magic” was too strong.
When we arrive one pilot reported a three hour flight up to 500’, but conditions were too light for the entire day. Clif got to practice his Parasleeping skills in any case.
I was the wind technician for Jonathan and Clif today. I spent a good hour at 400m then conditions improved and climbed to about 200m over.
Clif had some kind of abort issue and decided not to fly while Jon and I headed East. I was flying a beginner wing (Muse) and was leading the way nicely. Eventually I left Jon to tag Butterfly (almost actually) then head back super low. I could see lots of signs that the wind had picked up so getting back to the Bridal LZ would be difficult or impossible. I suggested that Jon fly closer to the hill, but instead he choose to use max speedbar in the center of the valley. In the end he landed about 1km short.
Another fun day at Bridal.
I spent 3-4 hours with new student Shawn - lots of good progress so far.
It was a hurry up and wait kind of day. My tandems Fraser and Karli had some last minute stops and arrived about ½ late. After a quick gas stop , and Wendy’s stop, we finally arrive. Clif, Martin, Degas and Mike were also waiting for a ride, no sign of my new student JJ , or Laura so we headed up. Light NE wind so you had to pick you launch window just right. Karli and I had a great little flight including some soaring with a peregrine falcon down low. Super soft (east facing landing). For the next round we were hoping for stronger wing, but no such luck. Fraser and I had a great flight including some baby acro maneuvers.
Clif wins the pilot of the day award for choosing to drive Laura’s SUV (instead of take the 15 sled ride).
Another great day at Bridal Falls.
We arrived at Bridal at 10:30 however the mountain was still getting dress and was not ready for my crew (Jonathan, Jacob, Damon, Dian and Wil). Since Will has not practiced since last year, he remained in the LZ to practice while the rest of us headed up. Too cloudy and cross wing at 11am so we had to wait for about an hour before Bridal opened her doors. Finally Jonathan launched followed by Damon and myself. Both short flights but super smooth.
Back up for round two: Will went first dropped below launch but quickly fixed that problem. I went next with Jacob, followed by Jonathan. All three of us went towards Cheam but struggled to get much higher than 4500’. Jonathan got the highest I think. About 1.5 hours and we all landed back at Bridal. Another great day at Bridal.
Light conditions at Blackie Spit today, so we worked on Jj’s forward and reverse launches.
Good success so for if he can remember for to hookin.
Paddy asked for some help grooming the Bridal road, and it looked like a dozen Deimosians showed up, including my latest student JJ. Finally the work was done so time to fly. JJ and I strapped in and managed to get to about 3500 feet. We worked on counter weight shift and canopy control. Pretty fun flight for my first tandem of the year.
A great day flying with new and old Deimosians. Peter, Claudia, Paddy, Andrei, Elena were already flying when Jonathan and I arrived. Light conditions now but we managed an extended sled ride. Jonathan broke my famous tip #13 so we had to rely on the kindness of strangers (Mike Tyler and Curstie) to get back up.
Our second flight was a little better with both of us getting above launch for some time.
Only Tanner was up for some adventure today.
A bit of a war zone driving up the Bridal Falls road, thankfully someone earlier had cut away most of the large trees that blocked our path, leaving just a few smaller ones to deal with. Eventual the snow was too much and we finally got stuck with just a couple hundred more feet to go. Pretty good for January.
Light conditions so a perfect time for both Tanner and I to practice our forward launches. After six attempts Tanner finally remembered all the steps and had a great launch. I followed a few seconds later.
Dreamy smooth air so no problems issues flying or landing. We ditched our gear then proceeded to hike back up. Another great day at Bridal!
" The wind gods
decide where we can fly, we just have to listen to them
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