Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bridal May 11

A windy day at Bridal but doable. When we showed up at launch Alan was just landing and several others had just sunk out in a sink cycle. But it was shady on launch which made the launch cycles very weak, so I had to wait for a patch of sun to help things along. Conditions for my launch were fine, but apparently after the sun had been out for a while and others were laid out, it got worse on launch and many latecomers opted not to launch in the freight trains that were then coming through.

In the air it was quite windy but smooth cloudsuck, but difficult to get higher than 1000m. But as the clouds broke up it got easier, and I was able to make my way to Elk and then back to Upper launch. Got my highest climbs of the day at Upper, getting to 1700m+, and then decided to call it a day and headed out to land at the Rosedale school. Kevin was still playing in the air above Upper when I left and appeared to be having a great time.

Still really windy in the middle of the valley; I was using 1/3 speedbar most times and still only had 10-12 kph forward speed. In the end I opted for the large open field just upwind of the school (the school has a row of trees just upwind which can be problematic in strong winds) and let off the speedbar, resulting in only 4 kph forward speed. But the air was nice and laminar, not like at the LZ where it was more gusty, and the landing was uneventful. The landowner was nearby harvesting the hay, and he welcomed us to land there anytime.

Meanwhile a novice/intermediate pilot had launched, flown, top-landed (by accident), and crashed when he tried to relaunch. In the end Kevin Ault was able to topland (after 30 minutes of trying; it was so lifty and windy) to help get the glider out of the tree, while Alex and I drove Kevin's truck up to provide a way down for them. In the end the glider was a big mess of a ball, with the risers detached and the lines all tangled up. I'm sure it will take a couple of hours of detangling and reattaching of risers to get the glider airworthy again. The pilot was lucky...no radio and he wasn't current, on a windy and technical day when lots of other more experienced pilots decided to stand down.

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