I was in the mood for a hike today so Sumas was the call. Up to 22 mph (NE) recorded at VE7 RVA but we headed up anyhow. Once on launch is was 0 to -2 kph. Weird. Wil went first (second senior pilot) and just barely cleared the lower bushes, then seconds later he was almost parked. Tim went next with slightly better results and had an easy landing. Petar made three attempts, and finally Alex (cherry still intact) tried once with no chance. Even though I brought the Vitamin, I preferred to hike back with the boys. Arrived at my End of the year party just 20 minutes late. Luckily Andrei and Elena were already there so I only received harsh looks from my wife! As usual way too much food and great company. Team AA (JC and Cliff's wife) beat Team 99 Wil and my oldest Miranda ( in the Texas Holdem head's up final). Thanks for another safe and fun year of paragliding.
Today’s work crew included Bob, Roger, Tim and Ivan. We were stopped in the first 1km due to a fallen tree, but it was in the wrong place at the wrong time – we had the tree out gunned by three chain saws . The hike up was about 30 minutes, and with just an inch of snow, so it was pretty easy going. After a couple of gas refills I blew the whistle to call it a day. The new Archibald launch is now ready to fly, but first we need about 3’ snow to cover the remaining stumps. In the summer 2012 I plan to return, hopefully with a bigger crew. This kind of work is critical to this sport, and I feel that this new Archibald launch has the potential to be the best site in the Fraser Valley.
Perfect student conditions today, but it was just Roger and I. Only the eagles were able to maintain while as wanna be’s could only extend our flight by another 10-15 minutes. Roger had an exciting flight: he got to land at “Jeremy’s LZ” followed by a quick walk through the train tunnel.
Great conditions for my first Pasha 4 (tandem) flight. Perfect launch but quickly sank out near the “trees of no return”. The Pasha has more performance that the U2 and was able to slow climb out to about 800 over. There were lots of eagles out today, above and below us for most of the flight. Took a big 60% collapse at 100’ above the trees, but the wing just hung over our heads and slowly inflated – glad to be on such a passive wing. Finished with some wing overs and spiral, however the glider did not approve and tried it best to exit. Second flights were much different; with idiot lift everywhere – smooth west wind as predicted.
It felt more like a spring day than fall. Lots of pilots out today including Max, Jeremy and Will.
Wil talked me in to an afternoon flight today. With the usual East wind (up to 15 kph) Sumas was our best option. Laura also joined us. After a quick tire repair, we raced off to the launch. Usually 3:30 is a little late for this site, but no problems launching for the boys; however after one abort, Laura preferred to hike out. Fun flying with the eagles in the thick fall air!
A weird day with strong SW wind above 3000’ and strong SE below 2000’.
Our goal today was to finish clearing the Sumas launch and fly. After a few free Snittzel burgers we were on our way. Today’s work crew included: Will T, Roger, Tim Petar, Gerry and John C. The launch conditions were really mixed up – if you had good timing and technique you were okay, otherwise the bushes were your best friend. After everyone flew I waited about 20 minutes for the next “cycle” and launched (barely). Mission accomplished!
Plan A to fly Sumas was changed (due to light West wind) to Bridal, however Bridal was not ready for us. So we took this time to trim back the bushes - the grass will need a lawn mower soon. About three hours later Andrew had enough and launched, followed by Elena, Petar and Doug. It took me a couple of tries (yet another cravat so I aborted – thanks to John) but I still managed to land in time to help Doug land his first high flight in many weeks. Petar continues to improve: this weekend he learned that it’s me talking on the radio, sending instructions, instead of watching his beautiful wing.
A late start today was made later by both John and Petar arriving 30 minutes late, just as we were about to leave.
Please try to be on time.
John went first followed by Gerry, Petar and myself. I had a cravat and was forced to land under big ears.
Round two was better with Petar and I doing a sink rate experiment (SAT vs bigears with Speed bar). Turns out a SAT has about 2x more sink. For round three Gerry had enough and offered to drive, so Wade and I got to go one a fun acro ride: tandem SAT and asymmetrical spiral (attempt). For stable days like this, Bridal is the best place to fly.
Actually went to Wind skil park - a good steading breeze to practice our reverse launches. Private lesson for Doug this time.
I love parahiking. Just when I thought we were “upper class” pilots (launching from Upper Bridal) I saw a few pilots floating slowly down from Cheam. Maybe next weekend we can do the big hike. According to Olcay on Upper Bridal, good launches from Chris, JC and Petar – Roger was a show no show due to priority problems about selling his camper, but still managed a couple of late flights. JC had a text book landing except the cone was in the wrong spot again (centre of the LZ) so no rating this time; however Roger did his final maneuver, a right handed spiral, and passed my novice course. JC did a great job as the ATC. We finished the evening with a nice acro show: Roger’s spiral, Petar’s asymetricals and Big Ears, and my first left handed SAT plus a rare (and not so perfect) spin landing.
Lots of east wind today, so I lassoed my posse into a Sumas work party.
It took about 40 man hours (or more) but the trail and site is mostly back in shape now. About 2-3 hours more and we could have finished the job, but the wind was dying down and it was time to fly. Tim (with his new novice rating in front pocket so to speak) led the way to #3 Road, followed by JC and Petar. Apparently great landings from all. Take off’s were a different story (the lower bushes are still a little too high and you needed a touch of min sink to clear them (barely). After Petar, the conditions quickly degraded and Alex had to join us in the hike out. It was a good thing - we had lots of gear and heavy equipment to carry. East wind is more common in the fall – so a good time to have this launch up and running again.
Thanks to all.
Like Spring conditions
I spent about 1.5 hours with Roger perfectly his high wind reverses, then we headed up. Weird to have the place completely to our selves. By the Tim, Clif and Degas showed up Roger was finally in the air. Near perfect launches from everyone however the thermals were a little bit too sharp for some pilots (although no collapses), a little rougher at 1000m. Due to some miscommunication Alex waited at the Dykes (instead of driving up with Roger). I managed to top land (barely) and gathered the boys for more flights. Conditions were quickly mellowing out but everyone still managed another flight. The first flight was enough for me so I drove down to collect the crew again. Final flights were looking too iffy so we all drove down and had a great dinner at the Wild Cat – thanks Alex and welcome back!
Nice & easy
I woke up early but fell back asleep only to have a lucid dream about Roger and killing a very tired fish. Weird, probably caused by the stress of yesterday and watching all the Flyharder bloppers?
Tim kicked off the day will an early flight and his first spiral (his final Deimos Novice maneuver). We stopped for brunch then started flying again, this time with Petar, Tim and Roger getting a few more flights each. Launches today were very good from all pilots – not so much south wind I guess. Thanks for the drive Andrei.
Tricky South Wind
A busy day with lots of close calls: out of a dozen launches, from novice to advance pilots, only a couple were good. It seemed that you needed some good aborting skills to fly today. In the end we all got 2-3 flights, but my highlight was the two tandems I did with Lisa and Justin – very happy passengers. Roger ace his spiral exam, even after his shaken and stirred launch. Tim also had a few nice flights after the “scary” launch. Roshan finally did his first solo flight, but I guess even after more than one month of training he still was not mentally prepared and needed two instructors to land him – a rare moment to hear me yelling for one minute straight! Some how he landed just a few steps from the cone. We finished the evening showing our favorite Wild Cat Amy some magic tricks and then watching my Fly Harder movie on the Deimos picnic table and bivi camping.
It took a few hours but finally the west wind arrive. Great conditions for Roger to practice his soaring and mixed thermal flying, and Olcay to get familiar with our great site. Even a new hang glider pilot was out. Second and third flights got even better: we all put on a nice acro show with Roger starting to play around with going over the falls.
His first spiral is coming soon… I set up Roshan for his first solo, but it was too late (Catabatic) so I took the Vitamin for a ride and baby SIV show.
Great conditions for my latest student Petar, we manage most of the basic stuff in just a couple of hours. Probably take his first solo with us this weekend.
Aug 20 -21
Black Mt USA
Windy at times
The Black Mt flyin was a great success, with lots of WCSC/Deimosians present, great flying and great food. I was quite frustrated with one pilot blocking my attempts, and a few other pilots to thermal properly: he was doing figure eights while we were doing 360s, so every thirty seconds we were on a near head on. Eventually I had to give up the idea of a big XC flight and simply enjoy the view. The comp was all about spot landings. I managed to land on the spot all three flights but somehow did not make the podium. All the Deimosians (Clif, Elena, Andrew, John C, and Karen) had great take offs and landings but only Andrei (I think) hit the spot (once). The excitement of day one was a “rough” landing from James, a HG instructor, but everyone else did just fine. This is not a site for new PG pilots, but defiantly a must for your tick list – solid reverse take off skills needed.
Another easy day of flying with Max, Harmony, Gerry and Roshan.
I top landed a couple of times to easy with the driving .
As usually I was ready for some big XC flight, but the weather was not.
It was Cliff, Guy, and Bob for the first flights, but after the boys saw my flying backwards act, they decided to wait for a few hours. Once you were clear of launch the air was surprisingly smooth but hard to safely fly XC. I was happy to hear the Alex B had arrived so we could start kiting. For being away for so many months Alex did very well – kept the wing up for more than three minutes on his first try.
Still goofy conditions, but everyone launched including Wil T (after a couple of aborts) and were all reporting smooth air). Alex tried a couple forwards and I stopped him (poor wing loading due to conditions). We probably should have called it a day, but he tried one more (reverse this time) – it started off okay, but his turn was a little weak and it did not look promising, I yelled looks good then stop as he ran by. Alex pulled full stall but got lifted then dropped over the edge (almost the same as Cliffs attempt last week). No damage to pilot or gear – thankfully.
More late students today, but this time we did not wait. Great conditions at Bridal for the first hour or two for myself, Clif, Tim, Shane, Leiam, Peter and Roger, but eventually it got a little too windy for my students so a good time for lunch. Afterwards we enjoyed a couple more flights with lots of great take offs, landings and acro. We lost John C. somewhere between the Wildcat and the LZ – still not sure what happen – story to follow?
PS> if you happen to land somewhere on the mountain and have to spend the night – best to call 911 and explain your situation (than have a small army of people concerned and looking for you).
My driver Roshan was more than an hour late, but we waited for him in any case.
Today’s crew included myself, Roshan, Jeremy W, Roger, Gerry and a visiting pilot from California Nells.
In no time Jeremy reported himself at cloud base while Gerry, Roger and the rest struggled just below launch. After about an hour they were all back up, while Jeremy and I were flying near Gloria. Once I saw that Gerry was well above launch I suggested that we go on a XC flight to “Styx”. Gerry, although in my opinion was flying a little too close to the trees at times, did very well, but in the end he could not escape from Styx and slow sank out and landed and the next exit (as planned). I think that flight ended up being almost three hours long!
Next flight: I suggest that Roshan takes his first solo, but he declined. No problem, Roger really wanted to do his titanic flight anyhow. Just a few more maneuvers, an exam, and Roger will be signed off. Another fun day of flying.
If you really want to improve your launch skills, Deimos is the place to be! Another three hour training session led to one of Roger’s best reverse launches and a one hour flight. Conditions were too strong for low hour students and so Peter and I had a nice tandem flight getting just below Upper launch. John Clarke came out to kite later, but was not convinced that it was time to fly.
It was time for Tim to pass the 3 minute kiting test, so I thought we would spend the day kiting at Whidbey (with a chance to fly if the wind picked up). Roshan and Peter both bailed early due to border issues, so that left Allan and I. The light conditions slowly changed to medium conditions, but in the end there were no flights but still two happy pilots.
MIssion Hill, Woodside and Bridal
The maneuver of the day was the reverse launch. We started at the Mission hill, and practiced our launches for about an hour. Then moved to Woodside, however we lost Roger in the process twice! (long story about a heater core and branches). Tim went first and had to deal with a close call with a helicopter! Perhaps it’s time to change the airspace class for Woodside? Allan had a very nice welcome back tandem with me getting to about 1000’ over. On the radio, Gerry arrived at Bridal and report good conditions. It sure seemed too windy to me, so we did more reverse launch at the Agassiz school field.
Time to fly. Headed up to Bridal and it was still too windy (Gerry was perfecting his parawaiting still). A super scary launch from “Quiet John” convinced me that we needed another hour, so we practiced our tree rescues. FINALLY – Gerry and Tim launched followed by a reluctant Roger in what looked like baby smooth air. The catabatic air arrive minutes later and I could not safely launch – plus I was getting close to braking one of my own rules: never fly when hungry or thirsty.
Finally a good training session at Burnaby Mt. We had to wait a couple of hours but the West wind finally arrived for lots of fun flights from the top of the hill.
A late start but we still managed to get a lot done on the new Archibald trail. I think within three more visits the site will be ready for the first flights! Roger and I finished the day with an extended flight off Bridal – while Ivan graciously offered to drive down.
Sumas and Bridal
Clif put up a good argument but in the end I convinced Gerry and Clif to hike up to Sumas. Conditions were still east when we arrived, however the launch needed some de-weeding before we could launch. Gerry had the best launch of the day, but he was cheating by using his Vitamin: two steps and he was flying. Launching late at Sumas is always a pain (the weat wind makes it very difficult) , but using the Infinity it worked on my first try.
After retrieval we headed to Bridal. The west wind had just started to arrive – so good timing. A few aborts and the usual close call or two from the experts, but it was Clif that got the worst launch of the day award: a gust attacked him near the edge and collapsed his wing. Full brakes and grippy boots were not enough to stop his launch and he was dragged off the edge, settling in the bushes below. (full report already posted on my forum).
Afterwards, Roger was a little shaken but not stirred and managed one of his best launches ever. Gerry was on his second hour of flying, but by the time I launched the thermals were mostly gone leaving just a light soaring breeze.
Mission then Bridal
We started with a few warm up training flights in Mission (crappy conditions) then moved to Woodside for high flights, however some of the other “cats” went to Bridal (in error), and our newest cat Roshan got lost; but eventually we were all at Bridal. The east wind made for great flights to about 1400m. Lots of good launches thanks to Jeremy (from Paul, Don, Clif, John, Roger) and eventual me on tandem with Elaine.
However I saw a lot of poor landings mostly from some of my signed off pilots: John had his worst landing to date: he set up too far back and was surprised when a sudden gust (P&D – parked and dropped) him into the mud marsh from hell. We finished the day with a walk in tandem (Jerico), and Tim struggling with a late evening launch and near crash. Hopefully John and Tim with post their stories.
Sometimes you have to ask yourself “ is it worth it?” The 10 minute high risk launch is usually not .
A private lesson for my newest student Rosan in great conditions.
One of my all time favorite tandem flights was done with Joanne today (hopefully she will join up for lessons). I promised a "touch a cloud flight", but with no lift this was going to be tough. Just when I was about to give up a large cloud rolled in and we launched a floated around it for some time then landed softly after a baby spiral.
My second tandem was with Amy, also with a short ride through a cloud, however my final tandem was canceled due to fog and weak launching conditions.
PS: Ivan hurt his back while helping to roll the new bench and volunteered to be my driver for most of the day. Plan C: cut the log up (90 degree), load on a trailer, then hand carry to launch. Probably six strong men can get the job done quickly. Anyone have a trailer with no sides?
I think I worked my boys pretty hard today, so hard that Roger decided he was too tired to fly – even my dog had to take a nap on the way home. Today was a huge work day: we (Roger, George and I) started working on the new Bridal bench, but had to stop ‘cause we need a chain to drag the log up to the launch; then we trimmed back the bushes to Upper Bridal; then started work on my next “big” project – Archibald launch, and finally repaired and replace the Bridal sign.
PS> the Bridal road to upper is drivable again, but will need more attention late in the year or early next year. The road itself is rough but still okay for most 4x4 SUV’s.
windy at times
The West wind was present at Bridal early today, which probably meant a front was coming and we would have to stop flying early. Roger and Tim managed a couple of flights each, but eventually it got too windy for new students so we worked on our reverse launches. Roger passed the 3 min test but Tim was about 30 seconds short. After conditions mellowed we headed up for one more flight.
Feeling energetic, I asked my small crew (Tim and Cliff) if they wanted to hike up to Upper Bridal. The road is okay, but the bushes were attacking our trucks badly in a few spots. Without a work party, this will be the last year to drive up.
Great launches from Cliff and Tim, but a little too early to thermal. I launched ten minutes later and had no problem staying up, but my core temperature never recovered from the hike and I started to freeze after at 45 minutes. Top landed and then waited for Cliff and Tim to return.
Our second flights were much stronger. Cliff was at Achibald in no time and Tim was about 2000’ over in just a few minutes. Cliff and I tried many times to reach Tim on his radio (to tell him to land immediately), but apparently the radio volume was turned down to zero. It took me about 20 minutes to catch up to Tim and yell my wishes to him, and he complied quickly. During my flight to Elk I got to watch Andrew recover from a 60% collapse on his new wing, while I decided to have a relaxing day on my Obsession (DHV 1-2).
A really fun day (I think for all).
Brian gets the bad launch(es) of the day award – perhaps he’ll post a report?
Before I start doing some tandems for Grouse Mt. I thought it best to do a couple solo flights. I was reminding why I don’t like flying in lee side conditions: no collapses but lots of wobbly air and a few moment of “will I make it?”. Second flight was more normal with a B+ landing (arrived too high this time and needed some big turns to loose height quick). I hung around to watch my “kids” land – Peter got the best landing award. Congrat’s to Johnathan and Dianne – they became parent last month to Tess.
Clifton reminded me that I had three tandems today so I gathered up my stuff and headed out.
East wind was dominating still, but just a half hour wait and we started flying. Clif led the way, while Roger was on driving duty. Eventually we finished all tandems and headed over to the Wildcat for drinks and food.
I’ve been looking forward to this day: a chance to say good bye to Ari and some closure. We headed up to Bridal as planned just after 11am but I needed to stall for one more person to arrive. A perfect day for Ari’s last flight: blue skies, small cumies here and there, and easy launching conditions. Matt after six years off, did the honors of spreading Ari’s ashes while I struggled to film the event. It was pretty cool to watch up close – it looked like thick white smoke as Ari poured out of the bag. We were very low afterwards, but with lots of patience we were back in the game; so I treated Matt to a XC flight to Cheam and back. A little too rough for my liking so we landed and took a short break for launch. Nicer conditions around 5pm and pilots were littering the sky (if you were able to clear launch).
Rest in peace my friend.
Woodside and Bridal
A perfect day for as many flights as you wanted. We started at Woodside, kiting and eventually flying to Harvest Dykes – Tim left very low (in my opinion) but still arrived with just enough height. Apparently difficult conditions for Andrei and the hang glider pilots. So off to Bridal. My new friend Max joined us to help drive in exchange for some free flights/lessons. Andrei finally flew with Max for a total of four flights for Tim, surprisingly a productive day.
I had some personal things to do today so a later start than usual (1pm).
Everyone was on time so we headed up to launch right away. Stein was there today for his “welcome back flight” since his accident and was moving slower than his usual; but eventually he flew to Elk and back. Shane started off the day with a “sloppy” launch and was soon 1000’ over and on his way to upper, while Roger and Tim warmed up with a few practices takes offs.
Always a good idea to try a few aborts if you have been away from the sport for more than a week.
Bumpy air by my standards, and later confirmed by Rogers first natural asymmetrical. Landings were rock and rolls with a slow ground speed. We then spent about two hours perfecting our kiting skills then headed up for one more “obnoxious flying episode”. A great day!
Perfect student conditions today, but only Gerry was free.
Gerry was learning how to fly with my vario today, but unfortunately there was mostly sinking air once you got about 500’ below launch. I got the highest today, about 1000’ over but eventually had to land after 30 minutes. Some interesting landings with the East wind, but no problem for Karin. Alan showed up on his bike and offer to drive up and down, which allow Gerry to complete his third flight. A free driver is always appreciated - thanks Alan.
We woke to clear skies, but as soon as the sun would start producing thermals it would start raining again. This cycle repeated for the entire day – parawaiting at it’s best! Roger, John, JC and Will all managed a few flights will good landings.
A mix of sun a cloud and some wind made the day quite difficult for most pilots: if you had bad timing and your site was in the shade you were slowly forced to the ground. About 90% of the pilots including myself could not make the first triangle. To make things worse, downloading the waypoints caused my GPS to remain in program mode and did not record my best flight – I wasted 10-20 minutes in the air trying to repair it and missed the small lift required to climb to the next turn point. Very frustrating.
Louise did well in the spot landing but was beaten by a foot or so no $100, while Peter and Andrew finished first in their divisions. Well done!
XC conditions did not happen today, except for one pilot that got to 5000’ over town but could not get even a 1:1 glide forward due to high winds. I elected to drive down and did not fly at all. Good flights were reported from King Eddie, but when you’re in a comp you don’t want to leave your bad site and risk missing a chance for some XC points.
Some of the nicest flying conditions this year: 0.5 to +1 m/s lift almost everywhere. Andrew got to play with his new wing, while Shane got top marks for top landing allowing me to boat around a little longer on my Magus.
Mission Hill then Bridal
I worked the boys pretty hard today: Roger kept reminding me “it’s pretty hot today Tom” so after about 1.5 hours we packed up and headed to Bridal. Great conditions again, so JC, Doug, Wil, Roger and Robbie and I got to fly for up to two hours. My explanation about ridge rules and how to fly with other pilots worked this time, the near misses were kept at a minimum (unlike yesterday). After about an hour Wil and Roger started to explore a little too close to the launch and Alan’s ridge rotor, but quickly complied to my wishes.
The second round of take offs went very well but the landings were not so perfect. JC needed a spot landing for his novice rating but found himself very short (again); but only to be out done by “skinny” Wil and his swamp landing. Robbie and I had a nice flight and landing after being away for about a year. There were about 10-15 Deimosians out today - nice to see.
Skinny Wil showed up today and volunteered to be our driver as long as he could get to fly tandem later – no problem. Light lee side conditions to start with then, perfect student condition. As conditions got stronger my students were starting to have problems: near misses while ridge soaring (lots mostly from Gerry and Tim), and even problems with maneuvers from Gerry. Please visit my forum to learn more. Gerry had the longest flight, between two and three hours and finally had a near perfect landing to complete my Novice course and receive his rating. Tim struggled to hit the LZ, but the Body guard lived up to its name, punching through trees/bushes or whatever it takes!
Wil and I finished the day with about an hour long tandem – fun stuff! Thanks to Jerry for driving down.
Jeremy W, Tim and Doug were all treated to some nice flying today. Jeremy made it (almost) to upper Bridal, while I chased Doug around with a brief moment of getting just above launch. Conditions started to get a little rougher so I got Doug to land first but not before I demonstarted how to spiral the wrong way – I started a little too aggressive and spun my wing ¼ turn, went hands up and allowed the wing to natural fall into the spiral. John showed up just in time for reverse kiting exercises but the wind never let up for any more flights.
Not For Students
A mix on sun, cloud and wind. Art went first and sank out, but Brian and I managed to hang on to the thermals in front of launch and head over to the cliffs near Hedley. Brian suffered a big collapse on his UP and decided to land while I got to play around the Hedley mine then try to XC to Princeton; however with a ground speed of 7kph I had no chance and was forced to land at Hedley. Art was feeling ripped off and was eager to fly again, but this time I convinced Brian to try my U-Turn Infinity – a good thing too because after about a minute into his flight “the hand of god” pushed him down wind in a huge gust. Art and I enjoyed the show and the ride back down. We later hooked up with Roger at Bridal and he had his first solo landing in perfectly smooth air.
We started off with a drive to Ripley’s then decide on Anarchist. I went first and slowly climb to about 1000’ over a Brian did much the same but Art sank out. Interesting day with lots bright rainbows.
Art reported “not for student conditions” early in his flight but once he got away from launch he changed his mind. Brian graciously stepped down and let Tim take his second Hedley flight. The early part of Tim’s flight was still bumpy but no problem for the Bodyguard. Cliff had some problems with a large rock that refused to move out of his way on takeoff and suffered a sprain ankle, but then generously offered to drive for most of the weekend. Thanks Clif!
I flew tandem with Dongho in medium strong conditions and went to towards Bridal, eventually landing in a field surrounded by a moat on all sides. We fixed a Tyrolean traverse for the gear then Dongho checked out how deep the mout was – I later borrowed his shoes and did the same. We headed to Bridal for another tandem for Paul and I, for over an hour, then both Paul and DougHo did their first solo flights. Gerry and Roger also added a few more flights to their log books.
Needed to visit my GG today (she turned 97 – probably the oldest relative ever in our family). Then dropped by the Bridal LZ for some clean up: someone in their wisdom piled 500 lbs of dirt in front of the sign; so I spend some time fixing that (only 1/3 done, then my disc started to complain). Great flying conditions today, light conditions near launch, best I could do is about 300’ over, then got lucky around Alan’s ridge and headed over to Gloria. Klaus reported high winds in Chilliwack, so I headed back and top landed.
Due to the west wind, we moved to a new school field and battled the wind. We all got lifted a few times, but Wade took the most punches and kept on coming back for more! Amy, Paul and DongHo also had some exciting moments kiting. Always good to have a helper when it is windy (also gloves, helmet, long sleeved shirt, pants…).
Woodside then Burnaby Mt
Art gave me the option of kite surfing or paragliding today so I took paragliding (this is probably why I’m not very good at Kite surfing). Met up with Paddy, and “his crew” at Woodside then parawaited for about 45 minutes until it looked like it was soarable. Claudia went first and did a great job of staying in the middle of the air while other early pilots sank out. Eventually we were all soaring in and out of the low clouds; big ears required at times. Feeling a little weird in the air (using Andrei’s back up helmet) I decided to land with Art and head back to the city to train my newest student Mike. A slight North wind at Burnaby Mt wrecked all chances of any flights from the top, but we still had fun. Another pilot is born.
Pierre dropped by again, so I we went to Blackie Spit for both forward and reverse practice.
Great progress so far – a few more mini flights and he should be ready for his first big solo high flight.
We started with some great little flights at the Mission Hill – Pierre had the best flight staying at launch height until landing pass the path. Lots of great improvement to the South Hill lately – someone should talk to the site manager soon to keep us in mind. One more tree removed and it would be awesome!
Way too many people at Woodside today, but the good pilots launched early and were never seen again until dinner time. Pierre and I tried to catch Gab and Ryan for the first crossing to Bridal, but in the end we landed at Hicks Hill (probably one of the farthest tandem flight from Woodside ever!).
The student launches (from the other schools) were going way too slow, but eventually Roger was back in the air with two extended flights to the Harvest Dykes. Doug showed up late so we had a quick flight to the Dykes too. Congrats to Gab and Ryan for his first valley crossing.
Windy conditions, so we spent about five hours kiting near the Sumas Dykes – our field had lots of trees and fences so it was challenging at times. With help from Brad, we later flew Bridal. I thought Brad’s launch was the worst one of the day, but later Addison out did him with a radical launch: he started at the top then turn to the lower launch then hard left into the air.
Tip: if you think you will need to run more than about 20 degree off centre (to save your launch), probably best to abort and try again.
Great conditions for my newest student Pierre. We started with the reverse launch, and then moved into the basic forward launch. At the end, Pierre wanted his own wing – so I must have done a good job injecting his first dose of paragliding. Addison signed up but could not make it that early.
Not quite as perfect as yesterday, but still lots of great flying. Andrew and I tried to fly to Bridal but sank out at Seabird. Then Roger did his first solo, but not before soaring for about ½ hour – he has Wally’s old Bodyguard and is Swiss too (another Wally is born)? Elena T had a big problem with her welcome back flight, but managed to fly her wing into the Riverside LZ; her second flight was much better soaring for about an hour I guess.
If you really want to help someone launch, you must stand in front of them - it's the best way to stop them and check for cravats.
Another dreamy day of flying: pilots were XC flying everywhere. I thought I would do the same but I got a last minute call from Brad and he had a couple of tandems for me. I managed to fly to Nic Mt and “almost” back to Woodside, then took the beautiful Amy on a great flight to about 4000’, her boy friend Ryan got ripped off and was forced to soar the bump with Gerry (2 hrs). Andrew is going for it these days with his first Woodie triangle. Other pilots XCing include Paddy to Harrison, Peter to Nic mt, Claudia to mid valley somewhere, Andrei, Elena, Louise, Megel somewhere special I’m sure.
snowy then epic
I was hoping to spend a few hours tuning up Addison, Roger and Tim, but instead we decided to para-wait at Bridal while conditions improved. Our most famous Russian “un-named" pilot did a good job scaring my tandem passenger when he stalled his tandem wing and fell more than 30’ feet just after launch, hurting his passenger (hopefully not permanent). So we waited for normal flying conditions and had an easy launch. Teaching yourself to fly, especially tandem, is a bad plan.
Jeremy did a good job (as my back up instructor) helping the boys stay in the “middle” of the air however, Addison eventually sank out and landed first (quite short). Roger and I joined the replacement “Wally” and soaring around launch for about 45 minutes then finally landed due to bumpy air.
Lots of Deimosian flying XC to Elk, Butterfly... (welcome back Andrew - cold enough for you here?)
My latest rant:
HPAC need to set a requirement that all tandem launches must be supervised until signed off – it seems very dangerous that after a couple hours of training you are allowed to go fly tandem on your own. Of course in some cases, like today, some pilots don’t give two craps and will teach themselves and their friends to fly, sometimes with grave results.
Lots of Deimos pilots out today. Degas, P&C, Wil and his “hun” Laura, Paddy and many more. Conditions seem to be building but by the time Roger and I were ready to launch the wind died down a pilots were raining down every where. Some were top crashing and other landing in the HG LZ. After a while it picked up again, and Roger and I had a good flight getting just above launch at times. I had to cut the flight short to pick up my next tandem, Jumper Sam. Once back on launch the wind was getting strong with most pilots packing up.
With lots of helpers Sam and I had a great take off and quickly climbed to about 1000’ over. After about 40 minutes I introduced Sam to some acro – more exciting that on his skydiver gear he said. Brad failed to show for my third tandem and so I tried to fly Doug at about 6pm. Gust to 15 mph and lack of food and a few other reasons we decided to try another time. Another fun day!
PS> a few more trucks in the Deimos family this year (Paddy and Laura).
A great day as predicted. We spent about two hours at the Cherry Ave hill (I was hoping Roger would receive his big order then join us, but in the end he had to wait at home all day). Degas did a few training hill flights then said he was getting too hot, meanwhile Addison was working hard on preventing his wing from frontaling. Once on launch, there were old and new students slowly climbing everywhere. Degas went first, sank out initially but after 20 minutes he climbed above launch. Tim was next. He had a near perfect launch and eventual headed to the South Hill and climbed about 500 over, but before we could launch tandem, he had dropped to the TONR and headed off to the Harvest Dykes. Addison and I quickly climbed up to about 1000m then headed over to Harrison and hopefully the first south valley crossing on tandem. However, the day dried up on us and we had to land near the ESSO station. A quick ride back (from a kind stranger) and we were back on launch. This time Addison went first and I followed shortly afterwords. Beautifully smooth air, spectacular scenery – simply amazing!
Woodside and Cherry
Low clouds and rain meant a later start today, however if we started an hour earlier we would have flew (maybe). Once on launch (Woodside) conditions were gradually building as the rain approached. Paddy mentioned that there were some interesting launches before we arrived, but all I saw were good HG launches and Peter skying out as usual.
I clipped in with Roger but finally it never lulled enough for a safe take off. While heading back down, conditions improved, but we had enough. On the way back through Mission, we stopped by Cherry Hill for some training flights – definitely better the Heritage Park – a must visit for any North wind day.
Great conditions at Diefenbaker today: on one flight Addison started going up and his hands started going down - I think he may have set a new distance record. Our newest student Roger also did very well and should be ready for his first solo flight soon!
Very nice conditions today (light spring), but for me timing was everything. Will, Jeremy and I started the drive up to Bridal, but after just a few hundred meters we knew that chains would be required – time to head to Woodside. We managed to get just past the lower launched and did the remaining hike it no time. Peter and Claudia were all ready to go but the conditions were light – so they were reluctant to launch. Will “helped” sort my lines that almost set a new record in line sorting: to be in the launch queue watching others slowly climb upward and a wall of clouds heading towards (that will shut down your window and offer you only an extended sled ride) can be a stressful moment. Although very light conditions I felt that I was up for the challenge and launched right away, however a couple of bad decisions and a ridge rule problem from Jeremy, and next thing I knew I was at the “trees of no return”, and I was getting worried about making the LZ. I headed out. Five minutes later the conditions improved and everyone was on their way to the clouds to happily suffer with frozen hands and feet.
Sun and rain
Sunny in White rock, but rain at Briidal meant - no flying for us today. Pilots that were at launch early (Woodside) flew however before the rain arrived.
sunny but windy
Abet the strong NE wind (<15mph), John, Addison, and Tim all did very well using the “Whidbey” style reverse launch technique; while John could also perform the Deimos reverse (with brake lines or D’s).
Thanks for your help John (with Tim).
Jeremy and I ventured out to Bridal today. To our surprise you can drive most of the way to launch. Great vis at first but then it clouded over. An hour or so later Jeremy launched (after three practice take offs). Always a good idea if you have not flown in more than a few weeks. Bill Dickie arrived just in time to save me a drive down. Great to be back in the air again, touching the clouds!
Later I installed the bridal web camera – on-line again!