With BFAR coming up and my being grounded during it, Friday was my only chance to get to fly my brand-new glider (Aspen 3). (I will write a proper review later on after I get a few more flights on it.) When I arrived at the Bridal LZ there were already a bunch of people on launch, and Alan in the air (he had launched at 1:30pm), but it seemed quite stable. I didnt' really care; I just wanted to get a flight in and it didn't matter if it was gonna be stable or not.
Jim came by and squeezed me in his truck, and up at launch Derek had just top-landed. Nice cycles were just starting up (they had been pretty lame up until now, according to Derek) so I laid out, launched, and cored the house thermal to about 900m. What stability?
Flew to Upper launch and saw a bunch of debris from old campfires etc so I planned to top-land later on and clean it up. Kept going to Gloria and passed Robin and Alan who were on their way back from Elk (Robin had gotten to 1700m or so; once getting through the stable layer it was easy flying). No problem getting to Elk and back from 1500m...there was practically no wind so I glided there and back and only lost 200m or so.
Back at Upper launch Derek was taunting me about top-landing for a BFAR meeting, so I took up the challenge and landed in the grass off to the side, not wanting to get campfire soot all over my brand new glider. For some reason Derek was unable to top-land after all that taunting (couldn't get low enough on his passes to touch down!), and so it was just Alan, Robin, and myself up there. Cleaned up all the logs and charred wood, and covered the firepits with the remaining black pieces of cloth to keep any future landing gliders clean. Then a sled ride to the LZ (there were enough top-landers at Lower Bridal for the vehicles already) where I took the opportunity to test out the A3's speedbar and response to various types of collapses (user-friendly, and uneventful, respectively).
Down in the LZ it was time to set up the Big Top for BFAR, set up the traffic signs, and generally get as much stuff done as possible before Saturday morning. Lots of willing helpers made the work easy, and we had a tent city set up at the edge of the driving range by nightfall. All ready to go for the next morning!
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