Deimos Paragliding Log Book

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Date Site Name Weather
Nov 24 Woodside light

Just Jeremy and I today. Perfect timing for me allowed for about a 30 minute flight and my softest  top landing ever at Woodside. Jeremy was enjoying the Jim show and ended up with an extended slid ride.
Probably my last flight of the year – heading to Thailand soon.

Oct 7 Bridal light

Today was the day for Dmitry to take his first solo flight. I did a quick tandem with Dmitry in command, but landing instructor Andrew brought us in a little too high and I had to disconnect the auto pilot system and do a manual landing at the last 100’. After a few more practice launches, Dmitry did his first solo flight landing almost on the cone. He made two errors for all to take note: forgetting to properly load the wing (in “bird” position) during take-off and performed two low 360’s even with Andrew trying to stop him. We were just about to go for dinner when a cute couple asked if they could fly too. With just minutes left in the day, we managed both flights in perfectly smooth fall air – icing on the cake!

PS> I've been noticing a few pilots flying without HPAC or WCSC memberships lately - this is not permitted and should be discouraged. Since there are no "Flying police" yet, we can only ask that each pilot does their share to preserve the flying at our local sites. Perhaps make a 25% donation, or spend a day mantaining the road up to launch - but to simply fly for free is not fair to the rest of us.

Oct 6 Winskill Park west

A private lesson for Dmitry today. I was hoping that with so much East wind in the Fraser Valley that Diefenbaker would be flyable – however there was a solid west wind instead. Winskill park was the place to be then, with lots for great forward and reverse inflations.

Sept 30 Bridal Light Light conditions (due to overcasted sky) meant extended sled rides, my flight ended up about 45 minutes long. Second flight were much longer with Stephan arriving a little too high and had to head to the golf course; weird cause his last landing was dead centre. Lots of Deiomsian out today: Peter, Claudia, Andrei, Andrew, Laura, and Wil T.
Sept 29 Woodside then Bridal Sunny Stephan and Petars flew Woodside, then I launched on my Passion - I got above launch quickly but after exploring around I was quickly below launch and headed out to the Dykes to join the boys. It seemed too bumpy for Stephan so I decided to have luanch and then fly Bridal. The very nice air at Bridal allowed Stephan to have his longest and highest flight(s) to date.
Sept 27 Bridal Clear Stable

My tandems called to say that they were running late, So Gerry, Stephan and I headed up for a quick flight. It took Stephan a few tries before he remembered how to launch; but finally a good launch from all. My tandems today were William and Amy. William was pretty gung ho and insisted that he goes first, and insisted that we do the Titanic – and so it was. Our second/third flights were much the same; however Gerry managed his first B-Line stall (his comments next time I need a book to read – so easy).

Super smooth air today - perfect for acro.
Sept 22 Woodside Cloudy

I was in the ¼ finals of a squash tournament, when I got the call to do a couple of tandems; luckily, my opponent beat me sending me to the looser side, so it was an easy decision to go flying.

Low clouds and light winds so we waited for things to improve. Finally Mike and I launched and had a nice flight to the Dykes. Our second flights were about the same, strange since there was lots of west wind in the LZ. Much the same for Jeremy and Petar.

Sept 15 Woodside then Bridal nice

Small lifts with big sink today at Woodside. I suggested to Petar that he forgoes his flight, then headed to the Dykes myself. Bridal had much nicer conditions with everyone staying up for many hours, some pilots (Petar S, and Alan only) escaped and managed to get to Gloria – I tried but only managed half way.


for safety, keep checking the other pilots if you are standing on launch - I saw one pilot launch with a problem (cockpit not connected) and no one noticed!

Sept 8 Woodside then Bridal average

Nothing too special today – regular sled rides into the Dykes and Bridal LZ.

Sept 1 Woodside then Bridal nice

Light conditions our launch so I watch Gerry and other slowly sink out to either Riverside or the Dykes.
James and I timed on launch perfectly and we had an exciting roller coaster flight to about 1000’ over.
Some big burps from James so time to land.
The next flight was at Bridal with similar conditions. Fun stuff. We had to leave early leaving the site with lots of great flights to come? Thanks to Driver Pete and Petar for their help.

Aug 25 Bridal Sunny

Amazing Altocumulus Castellanus clouds decorated the sky today - since I've been flying (15 plus years) I've never seen these clouds here before.

Strong East wind (15 mph) meant a delayed 11am start. Clif, Petar, Peter, Max and Oleh (tandem) and I headed over to Bridal. The light east conditions did not bother Max at all, but the rest of us were more cautious, and choose to wait for the west wind. After about 45 minutes I launch with Oleh: all was going well until Oleh reach back during the final steps and did a Vulcan death grip on my helmet. All I could see was his hand as he disparately tried to pull off my glasses and helmet. With the limited vision I had (glancing down at my feet), I was able to maintain the wing and clear the hill (barely). At the same time Oleh also managed to snap off  my vario holder with his other hand – I guess you can have great strength when fear takes over. To add to the calamity of the flight, the wind in the LZ was very switchy, forcing us to do a large wing over close to the ground – not my preferred way to land. The result was a soft landing for me, but Oleh had landing gear failure and could not stand up when the time came. Flight one of two done - easy pezee!
Next was Mohamed 250lbs or more! Our slow motion practice runs were fast so I knew this guy could run; however when push came to shove his super power and speed was nowhere to be found. Once in the air we had little chance of touching a cloud with our 500lb payload. After about ten minutes we had a soft landing next to the cone. Petar misjudged the glide and had to go to the golf course to avoid a low big wingover – good call (until you master low wing overs). Cliff and Max did the best with their pinpoint landings.

Aug 24 Woodside Bridal Cloudy

Just by chance I ran into Stephan, Gerry and Charlotte in the Abbottsford mall – we decided to go to Woodside, but then remembered to go get Peter, Petar and George at McDonalds – almost a senior moment.
Lame conditions at Woodside, so this meant that I could take a solo flight with Stephan (as his wing man). I laid out right behind Stephan so I could step into my harness then launch 30 seconds later after he launches; however after Stephan launched Denis threw his wing down in front of me and attempted to launch, he aborted then threw his S$%T in front me a second time. I was then forced to launch around him and try to catch Stephan. I ended up being about 60 seconds too slow but was able to still help with his landing. We broke for lunch then headed over to Bridal. Petar set the bar high with his amazing ultra slow forward launch. Unfortunately, Gerry had a small knot in his wing and was forced to land immediately. All my patience paid off: Charlotte and I managed the best flight of the day climbing to the clouds at about 1300m. A great finish to a frustrating start.

Tip of the day:

Wait at least 20 seconds after the pilot in front of you launches, otherwise the air is badly mixed up and your launch may be very difficult. (PS the HPAC exam answer is wait at least 30 seconds).

Aug 17 Woodside then Bridal sunny

Stephan got to test out the new U-Turn Emotion 3 today (at Heritage Park): lots of cool features on the latest model. We stayed just long enough so that Stephan almost needed a complete change of clothing (very hot). Next, off to Woodside. As wind dummy, Clif commented that the air was mixed up, so I decided we would spend some time kiting on launch, to let the air straighten out some. Meanwhile Clif was caught in some lift over the Dykes for about 30 minutes wondering if he would ever land. Finally Stephan launched followed by Daniel and I on tandem. We cored a few tight thermals then decided it was time to join the boys already in the LZ.

We did a quick retrieval of my Titan then off to Bridal for some more wing testing. Cliff initially said he would just do some wing overs, but after just a few maneuvers he transformed into ACRO MAN – fun to watch.
Some tense moments when Stephan took his eyes off the LZ for a few seconds and suddenly needed a 7:1 glide to clear the trees. Always better to arrive extra high then lose your height. Also no 360 turns under 300’ unless you are ACRO MAN.

Aug 12 Bridal Hot

Another chauffeur day for me driving for Will, Jeremy, Amine, Zenon, and Sam. If any of the boys could get above launch I would have flew then hopefully top landed, but after about 45 minutes I gave up and drove down.

I noticed a few Deimos pilots, that are not current with the WCSC and HPAC membership fees, are still flying. Even more disappointing is that they lie to me when asked.

Our club requires this small fee from every pilot: if you only plan to fly for one month a year - consider buying a temporary membership then, or make a special donation - paying nothing is not fair to the rest of us.

If you have six or more flights you are asked to join these two clubs.
Aug 11 Bridal sunny

I was Will’s  private chauffeur, with full pick up and mountain guide service; his second flight was cut short when his friend showed up – girl friends and paragliding typically don’t play well together.
I bumped Laura to the front of the line for some intermediate maneuvers, but once I was in the LZ she had changed her mind, so I headed back to Hicks Lake to hang with my family.

Aug 10 Bridal sunny

A late start with Cliff, Petar (PG) and Peter (Driver). Some very nice conditions so I offer a free tandem to Peter and threw in a baby Titanic just for fun!

I had two tandems starting at 6pm (Mike and Britney). The second tandem with Britney was supper fun (video to follow), but I had to set a new olympic record to get back up to launch in time - no problem for my new Titan.

Aug 9 Blackie Spit mixed

The best way to learn how to launch is with a private lesson.
This afternoon Dmitri and I practiced our forward and reverse launches at Blackie Spit.
Good progress as usual – just a few more session and Dmitri will be ready for his first solo.

Aug 7 Lower Makenzie Light

In respect for our lost friend, the comp was canceled for the day. Instead I took A few tandems up to lower launch. Brian managed about 30 minutes then eventually sank out. I drove down to pick Brian and the rest up and take a break for lunch. Brian offered to drive this time for me, allowing about a 30 minute flight. Time to go home.

Aug 6 Upper Makenzie Light then Lightning

A light day today, so everyone headed to upper Makenzie. While the comp  pilots were meeting Brian and I launched (we were both not in the comp). The thermals were still too light, so we boated around looking for stronger lift. Brian had misjudge things and was looking like a swamp landing was inevitable, but a low save got him back up to a safe (glide) height. I was uncomfortable with the air, close to the trees, and elected to land after about 25 minutes. In hind sight if I waited another 30 minutes I would have likely climbed out, but the stories of four reserves thrown in the last 24 hours convinced me to play it safe. It took a few hours for my truck to return to the LZ, however during this time a thunderstorm arrived. Some pilots continue to fly, despite the high winds and lightning, and sadly one pilot (from the US) died from a series of errors, bad judgment and bad luck. A sad day for everyone.

Aug 4 Upper Makenzie Really Hot

We started the day with a trip to upper launch. Jeremy wanted to wait for the conditions to get stronger, but I “asked” him to launch so the Stephan could fly in the smooth air. One more spot landing from Petar and he would get his novice rating. Seconds flights were from lower launch in gusty conditions. I flew solo this time to check out the conditions, while Jeremy climbed to upper to check out the events. Final flights were from lower again, with Stephan and I on tandem as Will had volunteered  to drive this time my new Titan. Petar was close enough to the target and now has his novice rating. Congrat's!

Aug 3 Lower Makenzie Hot and Sunny

We were about ½ late, but the extra heat made some pilots (Clif) a little impatient. Once on lower launch we had the place to ourselves: a great opportunity to polish our launches. This adds an extra hour to actually start flying, but the lessons learned are priceless. On Clif’s welcome back flight he was leaning on the side of caution and headed into the LZ with lots of height, followed by Petar. Stephan and I managed about 1000’ over launch and then landed to for a lunch break. The second flights were a little easier, allowing Stephan to take his second solo flight. Around midnight I got the radio call that Jeremy and Will had arrived but were lost – we met at McDonalds and all was good – then back to bed.

July 25 Woodside then Bridal sunny

We started at Woodside with light cycles on take off and somewhat windy conditions at the Dykes – I managed three tandems when my truck decided to make some bad sounds, so Roger’s and John's truck became the vehicles of choice. We headed over to Bridal to finish off the day with a couple more flights. This time Jeremy joined us. He had a “welcome back“ cravat flight that involved very little turns. I was getting tired and was happy to drive down, but suddenly one pilot shows up above launch – okay maybe I can manage one more flight.  After about 25 minutes I was finally just above launch – a top landing was possible but not really needed so I headed out. We came up one more time, but only the young whipper snappers (Will and Jeremy) were still keen to fly. Congrats to John for his near perfect launch at Woodside today.

July 22 Woodside windy

I’ve been waiting for a few months to fly with my friends at E&A. The day started perfectly, however after our first group of four there were no more passengers available. By the time the next group arrived it was too nasty to fly – time for lunch. Jim report nice conditions again, so we headed up for round two. Myself, Kevin and new tandem pilot Andrew all cleared launch – however by the time Mike was ready it was too strong. Unfortunately, four passengers did not get a chance to fly; as well as two of my students. If you did get in the air it was pretty fun.

July 20 Archibald wet

If an effort to make a ATV trail up to my new Archibald launch – Roger and I spent the day in the “sun” cutting back the bushes on the old road. To our surprise it ended about half way. Rats. This means that we will need to heli the heavy equipment in (if needed). After three hours we were pretty wet so time to head home.

There is a huge work party planned for this Sunday - all are welcome.
July 17 Bridal bugy

Very easy launch conditions for everyone, but hard to stay above launch for long. My very cute passenger (Sparrow) did great for the first 20 minutes but I guess I made one too many sharp turns and was forced to land (immediately). Dmitri forgot how to get to Bridal LZ and ended up in the town of “Bridal Falls” he said, so I send Mike out on a search party. This set us back about an hour, but we still managed to fly Bridal. On Launch, the mosquitoes were unaffected by regular bug spray – nasty stuff these days.

July 14 Pemberton Windy

I had to work most of the afternoon on Saturday, but around 5pm Petar and Pipi and I car pooled up to Pembie hopefully/maybe fly with Wade. Pretty windy conditions down below but we headed up to launch anyhow. Our patience paid off with an hour long magic lift flight to about 6000’ – it would have been higher by Petar felt it was too bumpy (and high and cold). The funny part was yet to come: we started at the Pony, but the service was ridiculously slow, so we left for the Wild Rose. They said they just closed by 6 minutes; when to McDonalds (also closed due to an emergency); went to 2-3 other places all closed; so back to the Pony (humbly) but they said we were ten minutes too late now. Ahh! Finally Petrocan saved me.

July 13 Whidbey Lightning

The risk of thunderstorms in the Fraser Valley seemed too dangerous, so I thought Whidbey Island would be the best option. We had perfect wind speed and direct for the first hour of our drive, but once we got to the Whidbey Island bridge I knew conditions were too light.
New student Deitri, Gerry and Stephan made the best of the light wind with forward launches, however we were forced to take a few shower breaks; this allowed Gerry and Stephan to write the Intermediate exam. We stopped off at Blanchard LZ on the way back, however the immediate lightning and thunder was all around us – so time to head home.

July 8 Archibald Sunny

Petar and his nephew Peter helped me work on the Archibald launch, actually more of a recon mission to see how the road and launch held up over winter - we had to cut back a few more trees by hand. While we were there the wind was blowing straight in; hopefully this is normal for this new super high site. Probably first flights can be done on the next visit now! PS> only 20 minute hike this time (without our back packs).

We finished the day with a 45 minute plus soaring flight. I had the pleasure of test flying the new Macpara Muse 3 (baby acro show). Petar needs two more spot landings to get his Novice rating!

July 7 Woodside then Bridal weird

A usual start with an unusual finish.

We started our day with some kiting at Heritage Park, but just a quick visit, then off to Woodside. Some poor launches  from John and Gerry, with big sink for the first minute convinced me it was time to switch over  to Bridal. Much better conditions there with many pilots maintaining at about 2500-3000 feet. Some better launches now, but just minutes before my newest student Stephan was about to take his first solo, Shane was hit with a big collapse and was instantly in the trees (actually on the ground) just left of launch - a full 60m rope to reach him.
It took about an hour to climb back up and the reset for final flights. Stephan was a little nervous now, but pulled it together for a nice flight – more to come?

July 6 Diefenbaker Bridal very nice

It was just Stephan and I this morning, so I suggest a private lesson at Diefenbaker park. Near perfect conditions allowed for Stephan to progress fast. I would have liked to stay there all day, but Petar wanted to fly today too. We arrived just the right time at Bridal: we all managed about a one hour flights with Petar giving Stephan and I a nice SIV show. Some help from George (driving the truck) allowed us to return for a second flight. Condition quickly degraded and soon it was too dangerous for Stephan  to make his first solo flight; Petar on the other hand did his first solo spiral dive – he just needs a couple of spot landing to get his Deimos Novice rating.

June 28 Bridal great

A great solo flight up to Cheam and Laura’s ridge, then return to top land a pick up Movie Dave for his first flight of the year. I top landed one more time to help drive the truck down.

June 20 Sumas nice

Just Petar was free today, so I decided to try Sumas Mt for a change. Lucky us, we hooked up with some tower workers and got a lift to the trail head (saving a 45 minute walk). Great launch conditions, and the maintenance work we did last year seems to be holding up – so some easy launches. I was glad for the ride, cause the SE wind was shifting to West and was quickly shutting down the site. There were spots of lift but it was not too smooth – time to land.

Tip: if you plan to fly Sumas get there early (on launch before 11am).

June 15 Haritage Park, Woodside, Bridal  

As usual, we (Giles, Petar , Will and John) did a short (1-2 hour) warm up at Heritage Park.
I find that it is very important to train within 48 hours of your flight.

We arrive to perfect conditions at Woodside, however the peer pressure was a little too high for John and he fumbled his first launch attempt; and almost crash on his second attempt (did a rushed one stage reverse, sat down early and applied too much brake).
Will did the best of the three of them getting to about 800’ over  the South knob. Within a few seconds conditions doubled in wind speed, making my tandem launch quite easy, but after about 30 minutes the air got quite weird at times, so I ordered Will to go land while we followed. Our second flights at Bridal were much longer and in smooth air. Petar tried WO WO 360 but got confused and did WO WO WO WO WO 360. I find it interesting to see how different people react in the air; they think they know their stuff while on the ground but melt down in the air – pretty common actually.

Tip: make sure you practice both your forward and reverse launches frequently; otherwise your laziness can cost you dearly.  Also, flat ground kiting does not count the same as training on a hill – you must get into the air to prove that you can actually fly.

June 10 Upper Makenzie strong

Our initial drive up to launch showed me clearly that it was time for breakfast. Andrew and Raul decided to join us which would help with the driving logistics. Still strong conditions at lower launch, but Andrew in his wisdom decided to launch and climb to 6000’ – instead, I took the boys up to upper launch. The gust were a little strong at times but conditions were dying off nicely.  Roger was reluctant to fly, so that gave Petar and me a chance fly tandem. We sank out at first, but it took just one thermal to climb to 6000’. Both Andrew and Raul forgot to lock their radios which may it impossible to contact – very frustrating.

After about an hour I notice the boys had poor ground speed (500m over lower launch now), so we headed down wind to land, while they both missed up and tried to force their way back to the LZ. After almost one hour Petar and I had walked most of the way back to the LZ when Roger picked us up, and we noticed the both Andrew and Raul were still going up (and backwards) on bigears. Andrew finally fixed his radio and asked for an update: I suggested that Andrew head downwind and Raul copied – finally some good news. I watch Andrew take many strong hits and collapses, including a partial full stall (at 300’ – scary), and finally land softly.  

Lessons learned: lock your radio, don’t fly in strong conditions at lower Makenzie, land down the Valley if you get parked (land early).

June 9 Pemberton strong

It looked like (from White Rock) that we had just a 10% chance of flying, so I called for a 5pm start in Pemberton. As predicted the East wind shut down the site, so we spend the afternoon kiting. Some exciting moments for Roger when the gusts arrived.

June 3 Bridal Woodside Cross, Light

Again a 1pm start time was called, but once we reached the Bridal launch the rain stopped us from pulling our wings out of the truck. Time to head back down.
We spent more time hanging out at the local Bridal (Roadside) restaurant philosophizing about the world and how to fix it (account to Tom), then headed over to Woodside. We were first to arrive with very nice but light launch conditions, but in no time our romantic scene was over run with about 20 pilots and tandems. Conditions immediately degraded to SE wind, so we waited. Petar decide that he did not feel like rushing and went to the back of the line; while I continued to discuss the details of how to launch with Giles and Julika. Tough launching conditions slowly sucked away our enthusiasm. After Andrew set the bar for the worst launch of the day award; he must of used his super powers for evil, and (like magic) the sun came out and the wind started blowing in straight - offering the best launch conditions of the day (but just for him) – they even climbed above launch by maybe 500’. Petar finally launched, leaving just Julika and I on tandem. Of course I’ve long since used up my all my magic powers and the SE wind returned. My passenger Julika and I ran hard and managed to fly, but while heading to the Harvest Dykes the sink rate (bad air) continued to increase leaving us no option but to head over to Riverside. Fortunately Petar was able to retrieve my Truck and Giles and pick us up, saving us from a long hike. A fun weekend with just a couple of flights – but lots of skills learned.

June 2 Woodside strong

A late start was planned so that if the high winds abated we could fly Woodside late in the day. We worked on our forward and reverse launches for quite a few hours then when the conditions lighten, we raced off to Woodside.Via radio to Mission, Jim reported advance conditions, but for me it was too cross and gusts to 22 mph measured meant too much - time for some food.

May 27 Bridal Light

The winds looked good again, so I made a few quick calls to the regular pilots, but only Will was free.
Soarable conditions at Bridal for the first ten minutes, then it was a slow trip downward. The main reason for the drive out to the FV was to configure the Bridal web cam and bring it on line; but my plans were quickly squashed when K&M were not home. One day soon I hope.

May 26 Bridal windy

Light conditions (East wind) kept most pilots below launch; however with some persistence my more senior pilot’s Gerry, Patrick and others were able to climb to 4000’ or higher. On launch, I spent most of the day practicing with Stephan. What a great opportunity: to practice launches on the actual launch – Stephan is still a couple more sessions away for his first flight. My plan was that we would do our second tandem flight, but conditions started to switch (for the worst) so I few solo. In about 15 minutes I was at 6000’ heading towards the peak of Cheam. I was not enjoying the rough air, although no collapses, so I headed back to Bridal LZ to do some more kiting with the boys (Petar, Roger and Stephan). The West wind continued to increase until most pilots were parked. To land at Bridal, Gerry did his standard approach but ended up landing very short. Earlier, a newish pilot (I did not know) launched with a large knot in his lines and failed to check his wing after launching, then almost stalled his wing twice while turning. We headed back up after seven to check out the launch with Petar, Wil, Roger, Stephan but it was not safe to fly.

1. If you have a knot in your lines, your flight is over - you must try to land with minimum turns. When turning allow the collapse to turn you in the direction it naturally wants to go.
Practice idea: on a normal wing, try to land by only making right hand turns.
2. When it is windy, best to do an “airplane” approach and aim for the centre of the LZ – avoid going behind any trees.
3. After clearing launch, go hands up when it’s time to get into your harness; Movie Dave showed us the wrong way by starting a full stall – fortunately the Vitamin is stall resistant.

May 25 Burnaby Mt cross

The very switchy wind kept us at the bottom half of the hill – it seems like Blackie Spit is the most reliable training site. Roger, Petar, Stephan and Dave seem to enjoy the challenge however.

May 19 Makenzie advance

Advance flying conditions kept Petar on the ground, while Gabby and I flew XC down to Hurley and back. Gabby’s flight started with a bang: in the first two minutes he suffered a small front collapse, but was able to shake it off and continue to fly with me. About half way through the flight I took a big collapse that reopened with a loud bag – crazy stuff (Gab caught it on Memorex only). I was following a red wing that was doing very well, and to my surprise it was Peter S setting his own personal best XC (I think). Eventually after two hours I was too cold to carry on and tried to keep warm up by staying low; Gabby was forced to land due to lack of bladder control.
Back up on launch for potential glass off and magic lift: Brian went first followed by Petar and Art. Brian had to hang out at the lower rock face repeating the same turns for 20 minutes then eventually started climbing, while Petar found the thermals too small and eventually landed.
Art was also very low for about 30 minutes, but finally the evening Whistler wind arrive and we were all up at 3000’.  After about one hour I had enough, and threw down my first SAT on the Passion – just to prove that this is more of a XC wing that acro (not my best SAT). Honourable mention to Andrew for completely his first Pembie 100km triangle – even through personal discomfort – gravel needed he said.

Side note: please support your flying sites by becoming a paid member and insurance with HPAC.

May 18 Burnaby Mt cross

A private lesson for newest student Rick. Conditions were a little too much South as usual.

May 13 Bridal Beautiful

A beautiful day today with lots of Deimosians about. Perfect launching conditions, but difficult flying conditions: the small tight thermals required some extra skills to core them properly. Will brought some of his family out for tandem flights (Heidi and Luke). Both my tandems were very enjoyable, however the later flight was better due to a little XC action. Alex, Petar, Elena T, Andrei,  Laura all managed some nice long flights, however there seem to be a common theme in the LZ.

May 11 Bridal Nice

I was surprised by an early visit (9am) from my newest student Stephan – some miscommunication about calling at 9am (instead of being at my place). So I decided to drop everything and do a last minute private training course at Blackie Spit. As usual great conditions there. After a few hours we headed off to Bridal to meet  up with Petar and his dad (George) for some bridal tandem action. Although strong conditions, we struggled to stay about launch and landed after about 40 minutes.

May 6 Bridal Spicy

Great conditions today. Roger, Petar, Will and company headed up Bridal today. Will launched first and immediately went up. However Petar sunk out to about 1000’ and was soon joined by Roger. I figured that they were mostly done, so decided to try and catch Will while they were rolling up; but after thirty minutes they were both back a launch height. That’s great news: I can do a little XC to Elk and back. After about 1.5 hours we all had enough and landed.
Time for some Titanic action. Petar and I were about 1000’ over launch when he announced that we were done. Reluctantly we did an easy spiral and landed. Just a few more flights for Petar and another Deimosian is born.

May 5 Woodside windy

After the Lenami Memorial, Petar and I headed up to do a flight.  A little too windy for Petar so I flew instead. After about thirty minutes, I decided I was not into flying today (stilling grieving I guess) so I headed over to Harvest Dykes. Conditions at the Agassiz school were ideal for practice, so we played there for a few hours. Before headed home, we would work on the Bridal Web camera for a few hours – soon to be back on line.

May 4 Bridal wet

Feeling the Woodside Blues, Wil and I decided to flying Bridal today. The oncoming rain brought West wind with it so some very nice air, however our wings needed to be aired out afterword’s.

April 21 Bridal Light E then W

Huge turn out for the work party made for quick work. Myself, Roger, Wade and Alex did a nice job trimming back the fallen trees, but after an hour or so, the deep snow had forced us to retreat. The road to lower Bridal is now clear; and 1/3 clear to 1100m. Lower Bridal: early pilots were rewarded with a 30 minute flight (Andrei, Petar, Alex B, Tim, Alan); while later pilots (Kevin, Monica, Ryan, myself and Brian) had to suffer with smooth lift everywhere.
Still no collapses on my Passion – I added a few more SIV maneuvers to the wing, but the big ones are still outstanding (spin, stalls, accelerated and frontals).

April 20 Woodside Strong

Just Jeremy and I today, however we hooked up with Kevin and Brad for a ride up to Woodside.  Although one pilot was high, conditions on launch were pretty strong and cross at times (North). After a couple of hours of waiting, Kevin gave me my “5 minute warning”. In my wisdom I decided to try a launch. The glider came up fast and had a terrible time staying over my head (probably due to strong rotor conditions): a strong gust suddenly lifted me six feet then dropped me back on take off (Kevin was yelling “kill it!”) – just what I was thinking too! U-tube video here.

Wildcat was a two hour wait so we drove three more minutes to the roadhouse – no flying today for me but great onion rings, and a chance to fly another day.


I had a similar launch in 2006 check it out (around the 1 minute mark) - it's called Saddle Mt trip 2006.

April 15 Woodside The perfect XC day

I gave Petar a private lesson at Blackie Spit, before we heading out to Woodside to hook up with Jeremy and Will. Pilots were XC flying everywhere. Feeling adventurous and eager to properly  test out my new POD harness and U-Turn Passion, I prepared a car near the Harrison Esso station for a hopeful XC flight. Back at Woodside, Jeremy easily climbed to about 3000’ followed by Andre and Will and eventually Petar. Perfect launch conditions but the thermals were hard to find down low. I quickly caught up to the boys and we headed over the back towards Harrison. Jeremy did a great job helping Will and Petar while I fussed with my new harness.  Petar started off pretty well , but failed to follow my instructions and thermal markers and eventually was asked to “quietly leave the room” and land at the Dykes. I was getting pretty low now too but eventually caught Will and Jeremy at Agassiz Mt. While trying to locate thermals for Petar, I probably entered the CYR airspace for a few seconds. At around 6pm the East wind arrived ending Will and my flights. Jeremy was high enough to land by the car (and save us) but got selfish and tried to cross to Bridal (and failed); leaving Will and I a short walk to rescue Jeremy!
Congrats to Peter Spear for his first big triangle, and Will and Petar for their first big XC flight.

April 14 Woodside cloudy then sun

Theme for the day – hurry up and wait – actual more like talk, talk, and stall until the clouds clear and the sun arrives. I had a nice day planned with a tandem (John) and my good friend Brian. It took a few hours but eventually the clouds lifted and then the N, W and S wind arrived – pretty mixed up at first.
Jeremy showed me that it was possible to stay up (after a low safe) so John and I launch next. We managed about 300’ over launch for a few minutes but spent the rest of the time soaring the South Knob. My second flight with Brian was much the same but I had some problem with my new gloves during launch, and had to hand half a glove to Brian while we were launching!  Jeremy was the day’s  “super hero” performing his second top landing to drive my truck down – a great skill to have. Our third flight was much better, getting about 500’ above launch; however I wasted one minute playing with a fogging camera and suddenly found ourselves at the “tree of no return”. As usual finished with ribs at the Wildcat (and forced Brian to re-live some of my crazy climbing and flying stories).

April 6 Woodside Very Nice

A perfect day to test out my new wing: Uturn Passion. Light conditions to start with then near Harrison I encounter some 5.5 m/s thermals. This wing handles perfectly so far.

We started the day with Alex B. getting a nice 20 minute flight to the Harvest Dykes, just in time to pick up Roger.  Alex launched again – his second flight was slightly longer in building conditions. I went next to follow Nicole across the Valley (made it halfway).
By the time Roger collect me and Alex we saw lots of SAR action on the highway – so conditions must have picked up some. I overheard on the radio that a reserve was thrown but everyone is okay.
We finished the day with some forward and reverse kiting lessons at the Agassiz school. Don’t even think about flying is you have not practiced in the last couple of weeks.
Spring is here!

Mar 19 Woodside Sun and clouds

A frustrating day with great conditions. Both Renato and Petar  arrived at EXIT 92 almost an hour late, while Jeremy and Will (at Woodside already) were texting me about pilots in the White room. This gave Will about an hour to practice his launches at Harvest Dykes. We finally arrived at launch with pilots XC flying at 5000’. Jeremy went first and with some effort was at base and complaining of loneliness and feeling cold. While I watch no less than 15 aborts before the boys were airborne. By now the sun was lower and the lift almost gone.
Had a good lunch on my new tandem (MACPARA PASHA) and managed about a half hour flight followed by a some baby acro. On our second flights I went first with Renato, followed by Will and Jeremy.
Finish the day at the WildCat – another fine day at the office.

Congrats to Petar and Will on their low saves and longest flights.

Feb 11 Woodside Cloudy with some sun

A last minute idea to go flying.
As I drove by “gloomy” Bridal falls, I heard Tom Mc and Gary boast about soaring conditions at Woodside, with some bumpy sections. Perfect! The Mazda3 ripped all the way to the turn off in no time – the road is most clear to take off now.
Very nice student conditions but no chance to stay up: the best I could manage was -0.03 m/s.
Some baby acro and my flight was quickly over. Looks like the season will start soon this year.
Who wants to start training? Lets talk.

Feb 5 Bridal Sunny

My goal to fly off Acrhibald was squashed by our late start and an extra slow Jeremy.
My truck managed to drive up Bridal to about half way; a real truck could probably make to ¾ and would then be stopped by a fallen tree. Easy launch conditions, but the knee deep snow made my “run” ridiculously slow (My Vitamin saved me again). It was a perfect day to do a ski launch. A few beeps here and there, but no chance to stay up much longer than ten minutes. A great day.

Jan 15 2012 Woodside lee side

When we arrived (kind a late) at the Koffee Kettle, there was already one pilot landing at Riverside – he reported great conditions if you could get to launch (3 hour hike he said).
In the Exploder we managed just 2.5 km following a monster truck tracks that could handle the knee deep snow. I was sporting a reversible IQ5 harness so I was “super” fast (under an hour, while Petar and Jeremy arrived not much later (in that order). Reversible conditions when I first arrived on launch, but soon the sun was gone and the East wind returned. Petar practiced his forwards while we waited, getting better on each attempt. As soon as the sun hit launch I was off and climbed to just a couple of hundred feet over take off on my Vitamin, playing in the cloud just in front of launch. Once Petar was airborne I escorted him into the LZ. Jeremy went last but due to tiredness forgot to secure (my) radio (ICOM) and lost it somewhere during or after launching – a crappy way to end a fun adventure day.

PS> the Woodside sign is missing, and the Nylex (near the front edge did not survive the last wind storm).




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