My friend Julian gave me the chance to go on a PPG flight - not as pleasant as the regular PG flight but still lots of fun!
sun and cloud
A casual start to a casual day.
Stephan and my tandems Brett (new student) and Bev were on time, but myself Will 1 and Wil 2, and Jeremy, Petar and Laura were all late. We waited another 30 minutes, but no one showed up, so we headed over to Woodside. Light student conditions on launch but the balance of pilots were waiting to see if it was going to get a little stronger.
The sun never did show its face on launch so the best anyone did was a smooth slid ride to the Dykes.
Petar had the flight of the day finding a new Lz near the Harvest Dykes.
Always nice to see old and new Deimosians – about ten of us out today.
Mix of Sun and Clouds
Exceptional flights for Petar, Dmitri, Patrick and myself, dodging clouds immediately after take off. Cloud surfing is always fun. Patrick did another no no when he performed a 360 turn at 500’.
Our second flights were more normal with Patrick landing nicely in the LZ this time.
Congrats to Dmitri, he just finished the Deimos Novice Course.
Tip: never turn your back to the landing zone while landing; at Bridal you may find yourself parked over the trees with no alternatives.
Sunny, light East wind
After getting lost in the Chilliwack corn field maze, I took my niece Jasmin on a quick tandem flight.
The light East wind meant that we had to wait a few hours. This gave me time to clean up and remove some of the falling trees near the outhouse. Dmitri was the highlite of the day with his first spiral dive followed by a spot landing. Thanks to Andrei for checking Dmitri. One more spot landing and he will have my Novice rating. Here is a list of maneuvers for this rating:
* Steering with the D's.
* Weight shift turns.
* Steering with one hand.
* Twist around in harness.
* Big ears.
* Big ears 360 and wing overs
* Big Ears approach to 200 feet
* Small Wing overs.
* Big ears speed bar.
* Small spiral dive (two or three turns, left and right)
* One sided Big Ears and counter steer (left and right)
* Asymmetrical deflation's and recovery (left and right)
* Full Speed bar
* Small Spiral to 1000 feet
Sunny, light East wind
Fedja, Toby, Bill, Dmitri and myself all went for a stroll up to upper launch.
We were a little pressed on time, but with the predicted West wind it should be no problem. I launched first but when I heard and felt some line snap I quickly stopped. Dmitri also decided to join me for the walk back down. Fedja and the boys were just packing up when we arrived – I’m glad it worked outfor them.
Tip: Never fly a broken glider - carry extra line so you can patch the wing as needed.
A private lesson for Herve, so with so much fog I thought that Blackie Spit was the place to go today. As usual, great conditions however the grass was very wet which made even the Vitamin hard to launch. Great progress from Herve so far, more tandems and solo training to come next week.
We tried an early start (8am) so that we could rock climb more in the warm sun later. Almost no wind in the LZ and up to 23 MPH on launch so we waited. On the way down I found a spot to “play” in, surrounded by nasty sage bushes and sharp rocks. After one attempt I called it a day for flying – way too easy to get hurt or rip a glider (safer to climb vertical rocks).
We were separated from Dmitri at the boarder due to his apple addiction, but finally found him again at Vantage, WA. Brian was also had his hands full: his engine kicked the can and he needed a quick pick up which Art and crew provided. Great weather as usual so we headed off to fly Saddle Mt. To my surprise I saw a glider already in the air. When we arrived on launch there were almost a dozen more pilots (mostly students from Tiger I think). I elected to drive instead of enduring another 45 minute turn-a-round.
Woodside and Bridal
Herve was first to arrive followed by Petar and Dmitri. The original plan was to warm up at Heritage Park with Patrick, but he was very late so we just headed up to launch. Near perfect launches from Peter and Dmitri, while Herve offered to drive down in hopes of stronger conditions. Off to Bridal to meet Patrick and hopefully more interesting and longer flights. Another good launch from Dmitri and myself on tandem. Patrick had a couple of good launch (aborts) so I asked Petar to help with Patricks launch while I prepared to land him.
After launching, Patrick was doing a great job minimizing his sink rate and was just below the cliffs, in instead of boating around I got him to try steering with one hand and find his big ear lines. This keep him pretty busy and his approach was starting to become difficult. I sent him back to the standard approach (between the cliff and tall tree) but his was still a bit too high and too late. One more half figure 8 should work – nope still too high. Out of the harness and mushy turns help but still too high. Now at the tall tree he was about 20’ too high still so one more lap and a final right turn should do it – nope. Patrick started his turn then changed his mind and headed for the golf course, my requests to turn, turn, turn did not happen and he barely escaped becoming the next member on the Bridal swimming team!
Achibald then Bridal
It was many months since I last visited the Archibald launch, so feeling energetic I invited the crew of Jeremy, Will, Fedja, Stephan and Dmitri for a little adventure (hike and maybe fly). I noticed that the trail up was well used by the local ATV’ers so it was bush free, however were Roger and stopped clearing the road, they were all forced to stop. On this trip the devil’s club was quite evil even with gloves on. We eventually made it up with hopes of launchable conditions; sadly the wind was just a little too light to risk a flight. Instead we hiked back down and did a few flights from Bridal. Stephan let me take his wing (U-Turn Emotion) for a “spin” so that I could test out the B-flight feature – love this wing – perfect for SAT’s!
If you are interested in help clearing the road to launch please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Woodside then Bridal
Strong SE conditions so I suggest that we reconvene at Woodside. Unlaunchable at first but our timing was perfect, and soon Denis was off on his first of two tandems. We had a great bunch of passengers today. The second round of flights were at Bridal – so we could do some serious acro (for the last of my Man Shower customers). Patrick managed his first solo flight with Denis as ATC. Thanks to William and crew for helping with the driving duties.
It was Pierre’s last chance for some longer flights before he has to leave Canada for a boring life in Florida. The morning conditions were too light for him so Pierre offered to drive down. This gave me a chance to fly my favorite wing the U-Turn Infinity. My plan was to just do a few SIV maneuvers but the wing feel so great I had to do a few more tricks. Angie and Darrius were right on time so we headed up right away, but not before we grabbed another handful of Deimosians (Cliff, Will, Laura).
The early launching pilots were able to soar for more than an hour, however by the time I launched the conditions had degraded. We came up for one more flight and again the soaring conditions turned on.
A pretty fun day for all – and Pierre got his wish. Thanks to Pierre, Angie and Will for driving.
Woodside then Bridal
After switching a KIA for a 2013 Dodge RAM (rentals) I was racing off to Exit 92 to meet my tandem passenger and the rest of the guys. Most everyone was there except for my tandem (Jason), we waited an extra half an hour then we left for Woodside. After 10 minutes he called from McDonalds and asked where we were – it took another 30 minutes and he finally found us. Another day of hurry up and wait was predicted. Light soaring conditions for Dmitri, Will and later Jason. On the next trip conditions had increased, Dmitri did well to launch but without too much recent practice I asked Pierre to stand down. Cliff was quite patience and waited for all to launch or roll up so we could fly Bridal (his favorite place – mine too BTW). It was 4pm now so time to get some food in me quick. Klaus reported smooth conditions so it was looking promising. Once on launch I estimated the conditions to be 99.9% on. Cliff and Will went first and quickly climbed to about 500’ above launch, however by the time Dmitri, Ivan and Pierre launch the conditions were starting to mellow out nicely. Great to see more than ten Deimosians out today – enjoying the fall conditions.
Thanks to Klaus for driving my truck (and almost dieing - Don't buy this truck for use on roads like Bridal).
Deifenbaker and Bridal
Our day started with a 911 call: Pierre and I witnessed an elderly lady fall and hit her head on the sidewalk at Diefenbaker. We helped her recover while we waited for the fire department to arrive.
Very nice conditions allowed Pierre to practice with the Body Guard’s big sister U-Turn Emotion. The dreamy conditions were quite easy for Pierre so we moved onto reverse launch techniques – A’s and D’ versus the Deimos technique.
Next we raced out to Bridal for Elena’s wedding starting at 2:30pm. Three trucks loads and we were all on launch.
It was a beautiful wedding complete with live music! The west wind was slow to arrive but eventually Elena and Vladimir had a nice launch (on tandem) despite my warning to move to the upper launch. Most launches were okay, some were less than perfect and one tandem (from lower launch) was a -9.98 on my bad launch scale (hopefully he’ll post a short report on my private forum for all to learn from – best to launch from upper until the west bushes are removed). A Bridal work party is badly needed to trim back the bushes and tree tops. Finally the experts had all launched and it was time for Pierre to do some soaring. Sadly the wind stopped as fast as it came and it was looking like a no fly day for Pierre. I suggest that he tries one fast launch and abort if it was no good. The launch was a little too fast, which resulted in Pierre barely escaping with a small collapse – no problem for the Emotion, it continued to fly straight. I quickly joined him on my Passion and landed just a few minutes before him to take over for Andrei . Our timing was perfect because they had just started serving the food and drinks. Great to catch up with old and new friends. Thanks to Ivan and Andrei for your help.
More East wind so I thought we would work on the Bridal road and launch some more. It took a few hours but the launch looks more like a golf course now!
Will kicked off the day with a solid launch followed by Pierre and myself on a fast launching Vitamin. Clif joined us for round two, followed by myself on tandem with Scott, then finally Pierre and Will. Some fine flying from Pierre put him just one meter from the cone on an East facing landing – not an easy task.
We had to bribe Ivan with some beer before he would drive another round of sled rides. Easier launching conditions for Clif, Pierre and myself (still on the Vitamin) . At the ½ way point in Pierre’s flight his radio shut off so I had to guide him with using the old school “mirror” technique.
If your radio turns off, turn it back on.
Pretty light conditions on launch (5 kph west) so I decided on the lower launch. This was a mistake because my passenger (Isabel) changed her mind and decided not to run which resulted in a low take off – best to use the upper launch in such light conditions (unless you have Pierre as your passenger). We had a great take off to finish the week.
Dmitri now needs two spot landings and a spiral to complete the Deimos Novice course. His acro skills are fine however his spot landings are getting close (but no cigar today). Thanks to Roger and Andrei for driving down my truck.
A huge day of adventure planned for Will and Pierre: first some warm up climbing at Comic Rocks (5.9) – probably a little too hot for Will. Next, some hotter climbing at the Smoke Bluffs (5.10b) – just right for Pierre. Next, we hiked the Chief for a quick tandem flight - too many stairs for cancer man, but Pierre and I made it with just a few minutes left before it went catibatic. Next, we climb the Chief (Dierdre in the Dark #22) to 800’ (5.8). We made pretty good time (3-4 hours) despite ungodly smells coming from cancer man every five minutes.
Another great adventure day!
Burnaby Mt then Bridal
Nice conditions at Burnaby Mt allowed for a few top to bottom flights. Remember to always wear a helmet at Burnaby Mountain (it's in our agreement). Around noon we left for Bridal. Light east wind on launch so it took a couple of tries for me and Pierre to launch – a short flight but really fun.
Thanks to Peter and his Brother for driving down my truck.
Deifenbaker then Gary Pt
The new boys (Patrick and Pierre) had their hands full at Gary Pt (West wind at Diefenbaker). We basically practiced Whidbey Style launches until we all ran out of time. Patrick keep going with some success – so he says…
Bridal then Woodside
Foggy conditions at launch made for interesting flights for the first pilots (Jeremy, Will, Petar and Dmitri) that launched. I decided to take a solo flight instead of flying my tandem (George), save the tandem flight for when the conditions improved. We over heard that Woodside was turning on so we grabbed some food and headed over – Degas was stuck on launch (his choice) and missed a easy ride up to launch.
Remember tip 13: always leave a spare key on your car.
The boys were barely holding even with launch so I decided to wait for stronger conditions – a good call. By the time we launch some pilots were already grounded (Will and Angry Jeremy). Petar was still flying so I suggest that he join George and I for a XC flight to Harrison Beach. It took about ½ hour but we were finally ready to jump over the back. The cloud suck was everywhere so it made for easy flying. An interesting landing by Petar became the icing on his first Harrison flight.
I rewarded my driver Peter to a 45 minute tandem complete with self guided acro flight.
One of my favorite days of flying this year!
A big crew of SIV’er today. We headed up to Pembie but Ted was no where to be found – he took off due to a sudden high water level. Instead we flew off upper makenzie launch and later lower launch. Flights were 1-2 hours if you know where to look for lift.
A busy day with 11 tandem flights planned. With the help of Ivan, Andrei and Denis we got all but one flight completed.
Similar conditions like Saturday (W 10-15) so we headed to Woodside again.
Dmitri had his moments above launch but a sudden decrease in wind and he was off to the LZ. My tandem (with Julianne) went perfectly with us soaring for about 45 minutes then landing at the Dykes. We headed up for another flight, but I thought it was a little too much for Dmitri, so we called it a day. I planned to work on the Bridal web cam, but K&M were not home. Another time…
Woodside and Bridal
A late start due to risk of showers and low clouds. Straight in wind at Woodside allowed for Dmitri to easily climb to about 800’ over launch. I followed shortly afterwords. I managed to find the only bump in the air which took out half my wing, a mini acro show for Dmitri. After about half an hour I had enough and decided to top land so that we could head over to Bridal. Completely dead air at Bridal, so I spent a half hour repairing/replacing the outhouse floor while Dmitri set up for his launch. Six aborts later, he decided to drive down which gave me a chance to play with his Body Guard – B-flight maneuver, wing overs, croissant maneuver, asymmetrical, front collapse, and finally a spiral. More adventures planned for Bridal Sunday.
The FV looked like it would be a little too strong today, so instead Peter, Alex, Stephan and I spent the day at Diefenbaker Park. The great conditions allowed us to practice lots of maneuvers.
I had plans to take Clif on some XC flight, however the day had other plans for us. Clif was waiting for stronger conditions while Alan and a few other pilots were maintaining their height just below launch. I launched shortly after Clif and was able to stay above launch with ease, howver Clif was slowly getting lower and lower. After about 30 minutes I notice a glider in the trees, and yelled down to Martin (still on launch) that SARs should be notified. My U-Turn passion has a little too much performance at times, which gave me some trouble to top land. It took about 45 minutes but I eventually found Stu (a visiting pilot from he Island). I then marked a trail back to launch to help speed up the rescue process. After talking with Stu, he said that he simply got too low and snagged a tree.
Tip: when visiting a new site, it's best to play it extra safe - never launch first, add more space than usual from the trees, and set up extra high when you come into land.
Bridal, Woodside, Bridal
We started our day with an Alan D SIV show (spun his wing in the same spot Shane went down). Earlier, his scary launch prompted me to remove the small trees just below launch. With Peter’s help we improved the launch for all. Power tools are required to fix the rest of launch. Dmitri did his second reverse in great form – his extra practice time is starting to show. Next we broke for a late lunch and headed over to Woodside. The switchy conditions were troublesome for some pilots but both Dmitry and Peter had no problems. We finished our day with a Dmitry titanic – he just needs a few more flights to meet the HPAC Novice requirements.
Near perfect timing for our hike up Elk. We were initially socked in, with a thick layer of clouds covering the valley floor; but about one hour later we were free to fly. Dmitri failed to follow my plan to head out to Prest Rd but instead headed to Eddie’s LZ – later he said he was too close to the clouds and turned back. Some interesting moments with the local cows, but nothing my bug spray could not handle!
Sunnay and Windy
Brian got caught in a one hour traffic jam, so I decided to canceled my Elk adventure plan and replace it with a quicker Lower Bridal adventure. Once on launch, I thought that I would give Brian a break from his “scary” UP wing and allow him to fly my U-Turn Passion instead. It took him just a couple of minutes to figure out, and then he was quickly 1000’ over launch. Alex B and Jonathan both aced their launches and were waiting patiently for me about 500 over launch. We flew for about 90 minutes when I noticed then we were all going up everywhere, even with BigEars; so I ordered everyone to the ground before it got too windy. Thirty minutes after we landed conditions got even stronger: I watched Robin, on his downwind leg, battle a strong gust that collapsed and then almost stalled his wing!
Better to be on the Ground wishing you were in the air…
Sunny and Windy
While Dmitri and I were flying, Jonathan was working on his kiting skills below in the LZ.
After we landed (30 minutes), we played a little more in the 15kph wind until it started to die down. It was time for Dmitri to do his first reverse launch. Nice conditions allowed for a two stage launch. Jonathan executed another fine forward launch this time on a new U-Turn Emotion. We flew for about an hour and a half when Jonathan reminded me that he have a dinner engagement at 8 and had to land soon.
I had my hands full guiding them in, but they both did very well.
Sunny and windy
An easy day planned with just Andrew, Will and Jonathan. West wind in the LZ early is not a good plan so we headed up to launch to start flying before 11am. Andrew went first and stayed level, about 500’ below launch, followed by Will and Andrei. I launched Jonathan, then quickly myself. We few together for about 45 minutes then eventually landed. Second flights. The wind was still light enough for Jonathan, so we did a couple more practice launches then a real one. This time Jonathan climbed slightly above launch, while Andrew finally landed and was relaxing in the LZ (he was too cold). The wind was starting to pick up, so I ordered Jonathan to follow me into the LZ. 3rd flights. Will offered to buy his friend Mellissa and tandem flight (and drive), while Jonathan jumped on a one hour Air Jamaica flight with Andrew. I got the worst launch of the day award (report to follow on my forum), but Mellissa was a great sport and still wanted to try my world famous Titanic Maneuver. Another fun day at Bridal.
Intermediate conditions predicted for today, so we hung out at Bridal to avoid the strong West wind. In the Bridal LZ, Degas was already playing with his new/old tandem gear with Shane – hoping to do his first tandem flight.
The Deimos girls Laura and Karen, Wade, Norm (and Bev) also joined us for a ride up. I helped check Degas’ lines while he launched (barely - report to floww?). Then later,Wade, Norm and I were enduring the conditions for about an hour or two, while many other pilots waited to see if conditions would mellow out. In the end, the Deimos girls decided wisely to drive down with Bev - probably a good decision.
Jonathan did very well on his first solo flight landing just short of the LZ – a great result considering his radio went dead half way through his flight. Two great tandem flights for me. Will T. gave me and my tandem and nice acro show, then later Jeremy showed Jonathan how it’s done with his big acro show. The other Deimosian Karin, Wade, Laura all managed 2-3 hours with Elena doing the best. Steve was the hero today, when he top landed at the end of the day (saving me a drive back up). Thanks to all.
Lots of fun with the boys today. Stephan was on his game with controlled launches and landings; but Dmitri was feeling tentative and needed lots of aborts to finely get airborne. On our second flight, Stephan and I flew on tandem to Styx. We tried to return to Bridal launch but the West wind made it difficult so we landed near the round-a-bout. Final flights were much better with Dmitri spot landing again (just one meter from where he landed last flight).
Thanks to Kevin and Jeremy for help driving.
What does not kill you now will probably kill you later.
Lots of poorly skilled pilots out today. I saw a very scary huge frontal from a blue Yoki wing on take off recovering just meters from the trees; but the highlight was when two (just signed off students flying Ozone wings) decided to try their first top landings. The first crashed hard narrowly missing my glider set up near the Deimos table; the second crashed even harder near the stairs going to the outhouse!
Tip: If you are new to a site, best to ask the experts how to fly and land there. Top landings are not recommended for pilots with less than 80 flights.
Great conditions for Jonathan and I at BM. A new Jedi is born (or is it hatched)?
A semi private lesson for my new students Wayne and Jonathan. The plan was to go to Burnaby Mt. but the wind was too much, so we played at Blackie Spit instead. Probably a little too strong for forwards, but we still had great progress and fun. High flights planned for Sunday!
Sunny Hot and really wet at times
There was a big surprise for us today, however I would not know the details until later. Light East wind even at 2pm, but I launched anyhow. I found a nice routine that was keeping me level just below launch but no higher. Cliff was searching for love in all the wrong places and then elected to land and meet his friends (my next tandem passenger Rob). Still East on launch (4:30 now) so we waited for a more or less straight in cycle. Rob and I managed about 15 minutes than headed out to land. I had to pick between a difficult North face landing or the typical fast West facing landing: I decided on the West landing because of the easy over shoot options. My passenger decided on using his no landing gear option, so we had a soft Butt Ski landing just short of the circle. Cliff seemed in a hurry to land and talk to his long time girl friend Kim (of 12 years) – he found the right place I guess. It was great to see her emotion when he popped the question and presented her a beautiful diamond ring! What a special moment – congrats from all of us!
Sunny and hot
Today was Dmitri’s day. His first launch was a little tentative (not enough forward speed) so he had a late lift off. I over heard Clif telling Dmitri to head to the golf course, so I predicted another long landed story from him, but would ask for the details later. Next I flew with my newest student Ahmed – easy take off even though conditions were light East. My approach was lower than usual but once over the mowed LZ I glided forever, eventual landing at the far end of the LZ. I noticed that Dmitri’s wing was completely wet and was laid out to dry, and on closer examination he too was completely wet (a new member to the Bridal swimming team?). Next flights. I got the chance to fly my old Obsession, while Jeremy added another two hours airtime to my Passion. Time for Dmitri to redeem his first bad landing. Another nervous launch, followed by nervous maneuvers. I guided him to the base leg and let him judge his own final turn, however he continued too far and ended up landing really short (but completely dry this time).
A fun day for all.
Perfect student conditions today, too bad I only had tandems to do.
We headed up around noon, but conditions were still too weak for a long tandem flight, so instead I elected to fly solo. The usually baby acro show and I was back up on launch. Ken S. was the first contestant: a perfect 4 step launch and we were able to soar for about 45 minutes. Once I heard that his brother Steve was watching from below, we headed out for some acro – supper fun as usual.
New student JP join me for my second tandem. We spent most of the time explain the ridge rules and how to optimize the ridge lift. We had one problem: an almost signed off FLYBC student, not well versed on the ridge rules would not give way (he had the ridge on his left) so I had to yell at him to avoid a potential collision. Later, he was easy to approach in the LZ so lesson learned I guess.
Can almost signed off student fly on their own?
Also, if you have more than 10 flights it’s time to sign up with the WCSC and HPAC.
Mostly a big waste of time, however I needed to get recertified so it made $$ to do the long drive. Easy conditions at King Eddie so I get a quick tandem for Glenn, then spent the rest of the day kiting with his students.
The next day was a complete blow out, so I hit the movies in the evening.
The comp days were also lame; however on day two I had timed my launch perfectly and managed to complete the micro task (about 12km).
The following day offered better conditions so most of us headed over to King Eddie again. I managed to get about 1500 over launch then headed back towards Lumby, in a desperate attempt to fly to Coopers Start. However, the thermals were get too small and was grounded after about 10 km. It turned out that my single 25 minute flight was the best of the week, so I took first place in the comp - crazy!
Too bad the weather sucked - the next day offered epic X-C flights for the pilots that stayed back.
I was 30 minutes late this time due to a Will T detour – but we had a full truck in the end (Martin, Cliff, George, Will and myself). Light conditions with a mix of SW and E wind on launch. George went first and soared just above followed by Martin. It was Cliff’s welcome back flight so he did four aborts as practice – great idea if you don’t have time to practice on your own. A nice launch from Cliff followed by an even nicer launch from Will. When I finally launched I was the monkey in middle with the Deimosians working hard at 1000’ AGL. There was weird “radio active” green smoke coming for the trees today offering great lift if you were near it. I got tired of playing below Archibald and headed over to Styx. The boys finally landed so I followed them in about 20 minutes later. Cliff set a new personal best with his 200m AGL save. Second flights were more or less extended sled rides – so I decided to drive down.
Thanks to Martin for top landing and riving my truck down.
Strong NE wind today, so Allan, Wade, Will and I helped Derek mow the LZ (a thank-less job that takes about one hour), however with four people it’s not so bad. Once done, Alan “offered” to drive us up to take a look. A good mix of thermals and wind allowed me to fly for about an hour, while Wade and Will were both slowly flushed. I reluctantly did a SAT on my Passion – not the right wing for acro, it’s more of an XC wing. Perhaps the U-Turn Black Light is a better all round wing.
Dreamy conditions for such a late start. I managed to tag Elk in about 20 minutes then soar the North Face of Cheam for another half hour. I considered more XC flying to Ludwig, I even started that way, but turned around to top land and make sure my truck made it down safely.
Picture by Brett Hazlett
Klaus had some bad luck and caused some major damage to his truck, when his bumper dislodged a huge rock than mangled his transmission. The Bridal road is now in need of repair in a few sections. Jeremy, and Will R. started later and could not escape the launch area (too late).
A small crew today with just Will and Dmitri. I thought that it might get too strong in the afternoon so we had an earlier start. Once on launch, Dmitri was practicing his aborts, but by the time he was ready to fly, Will had already landed (1 hour flight). Dmitri's launch went well, but his landing was not so perfect: I guided him to the last 150 feet, but he failed to make one last turn and so I sent him to the golf course. While Will and I retrieved my truck, Dmitri was working on his reverse launches. Conditions were too strong, so we broke for lunch while Martin, Laura and Karen did some easy XC flights. Still lots of time for a second flight so I took everyone back up for more thrills. Dmitri had a close abort near the rock, then managed to launch on his 6th attempt (but forgot to load the glider properly) - still a little nervous. The air was very smooth then and he started climbing slowly, but only near the hill. I tried to guide him higher but he failed to follow my instructions fast enough and slowly start heading to the LZ. I did a sloppy death spiral and then guided Dmitri to the LZ. Hopefully by his tenth flight he can start landing himself.
Made a special trip out to Woodside today to adjust the web cam system. Will, Serena and I did a tour up to launch to check on the conditions - but defiantly too strong, so headed home. Nice to hear pilots at Bridal once I switched on the camera browser (from home).
Strong conditions at Woodside predicted so best to fly Bridal today.
Jeremy went first followed by, Will, Alex B, and finally Dmitri. Some of the typical new student problems with Dmitri on take off and the landing, but he continues to learn. Hopefully he will share his story on my student forum. We did three trips and finally the west wind really arrived, and there was lift everywhere! At 1300m I was considering the first Archibald top landing, but the snow was too deep so I chickened out. The dark cloud over Archibald continued to grow so we all decided to spiral down and land. A cccccold but a really fun day.
WCSC Ex Site Directors reunited today: Bob V and I spent a few hours removing fallen trees off the Bridal road so all can enjoy a smooth ride up. Unfortunately Bob's new truck had some major problems and now needs some front end work. Conditions looked too inviting so I went for a quick flight on my Passion. The air was pretty mixed up for most of it. When the sun hit the ground directly the thermals were fairly strong, however without the sun the wing felt barely loaded. I was not in the mood to practice front collapses so opted to go land. In the LZ, the wind picked up to about 20kph, forcing a short landing. Sometimes it's better to be on the ground...
Degas came out today, and was great help in landing my newests student Dmitri. I was surprised on how much snow melted in just one week – looks like all will be gone in the next ten days at Bridal; however there are still a dozen trees down. Perhaps on Sunday we can take care of fallen trees.
Easy launch conditions (light West conditions) despite the East wind in the LZ. Degas went first only after I assured him that we would return in a couple of hours; followed by Dmitri. Some slow cautious turns from Dmitri and a high flare and he was safe in the LZ. Back on launch for more action: this time Degas got to soar for about 45 minutes before Dmitri was in the air. We were lucky and run into a keen hiker (JP) that jumped at the chance to go on a tandem with me in exchange for a free ride back up to launch. I guess my baby acro and tight thermally was a little too much, so I had to end the flight early to keep things pleasant. We were all pretty tired after just the two flights so after the retrievals we just headed home (in my case to “Reno Land” - less than one month until we move to our new lottery home. Anyone looking to buy a house? Some interesting flights and launches today - hopefully there will be a incident report on my forum soon?
A great day for Will to finish the Deimos Novice course and do a little XC flying at the same time.
My friend Amy and I went tandem to Harrison, with Will in tow, while Uncle Pete was working the lift around Woodside. Some confusion about where to fly next, but eventually we decided on Woodside. This time I went first with my friend Kevin and left Will to show me his stuff. He did one abort, then launched cleanly on his second attempt. The lift was degrading into just cross wind, so I decided to land at the Dykes. Will finished his last maneuvers with style, so I added a final Big Ears Flare Landing to his list – no problem.
Congrats to Will R – novice pilot, hopefully HPAC will make me an instructor so he and others can get their well earned ratings.
Sumas and Bridal
Light East wind everywhere , so we took a chance on Sumas. Wil T went first and was soon soaring with the eagles above, followed by a nervous Stig (interesting video coming soon?) – he too got above launch. Eventually it was Dmitri’s turn, but all the little delays added up now to no more flights (frustrating for me)– this included my tandem (with my friend Kevin). With some convincing, we raced over to Bridal for more action. In the LZ, Klaus said there was lift everywhere so headed up right away. Unfortunately Dmitri got confused and went to Woodside and loss out on some great soaring conditions. There was a mini fight between American Infinity and Canadian Infinity. America was leading the at the start due Wil T crossing up his brakes during take off, but later Will R was a little shaky on his wing overs and lost a few valuable “points” due to a “messy” landing. Lots of hiking and great flights (if you got to launch). The final spur to Bridal is closed to all traffic due to about 15 trees that have fallen. We will likely need a work party in early May. The hiking time for Bridal now is about 20-30 minutes.
Tip of the day:
learn what the differences are between a spiral and a spin, and how to recover from each.
The FV looked like it could be too windy and too East so Dmitri and I headed to Whidbey.
A quick looksie at Blanchard while on route: lots of changes since my last visit, they added metal rails and cement platforms all around the bath rooms. Launch looked good but basically an extended sled ride, so I decided to pass and just head straight to Whidbey. Light conditions, good for practice but yet again no high flights – my batting average is getting worse for Whidbey. To add to the fun, the rangers wanted to give me a $99 fine for not displaying my Discovery Pass, but were nice enough to give a few days grace to redeem myself.
Mission then Woodside
A few new faces out today: Will, Stig, Peter, Degas and Stephan (Deimos Rookie of the Year); so I decided we should spend some time kiting before heading up to launch. There were about ten pilots already above launch when we arrived at the Koffee Kettle. I was just explaining the importance of practice before flying, and how every year someone goes in the trees, when we heard on the radio that someone was in the trees. Degas volunteered to go and find the pilot (just left of launch) while the rest of us prepared to fly. After about an hour, Degas reported that more tree equipment was needed so I stopped teaching and went to help. By the time I returned to launch conditions were much stronger and no longer safe to fly - so no flights for us today.
Tips of Day:
1. Always carry dental floss or a line so that you can pull up a climbing rope.
2. If you have the choice, down grade your wing to a DHV 1 or easy 1-2 wing at the start of the season – spring conditions can surprise you, and an extra safe wing can help your bad situation immensely. Today’s tree hugger was flying a DHV 2-3 wing.
3. For top landing: avoid unless it is really needed. Before risking your life, use your radio to ask if there are any drivers available. Today we had five extra drivers.
4. Avoid flying in the lee of trees or hills. This is especially important when top landing at Woodside. Create an approach path that keeps you out of the lee especially low to the trees.
A perfect day to start the flying season. We arrived at Bill Best Field at noon and decided to do a bit of kiting before heading up. At first I played with the Aeros Style, but once I saw the early pilots in the air parked I went with the U-Turn Passion instead; it’s a faster wing. The lift was about .8 m/s everywhere near the hill and very smooth. It took a while for both Jeremy and Peter to launch but eventually they we were all above launch. After about an hour, I decided to top land/crash a couple of times when the lift started to drop, just to make sure we could drive back down. Fun stuff!
A big turn out at Diefenbaker today however the conditions were not so great – lots of interesting flights and landings.
A spent a few hours training a new student – tricky wing and wet grass – not sure if it was worth the effort.
warm and dry
The start of the year party was great as usual. If I remember right, Andrei and Driver Pete for the Smarty wars and DVD’s prizes. Congrats to Peter and Stephan for winning the Deimos Pilot of the year and Rookie of the Year awards respectively.
" The wind gods
decide where we can fly, we just have to listen to them
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