147th Monument Valley First Time

To Awesome for words

The Desert Turtle

Drove straight through to Monument because it was blowing like hell in Glenwood … Grand Junction… and Moab.

Gouldings Village is a wonderful place to base a fly in. Everything you might need Hotel…Campground … RV Park…Gas Station Grocery Store Restaurant Hotel. And…Best of all the is a private airstrip with the only traffic being a couple of tourist flights mid morning.

#147 May 29th 2008

Blew first launch…Second was fine, flew an exploratory flight until I got cold and landed on the strip. 45 minutes

#148 May 30th 2008
My first and I hope my last turtle. I watched it blow most of the day. Not bad , about 10 kts and gusty. At 4pm I gave John Fetz a call and talked about the best way to fly this area. What to watch out for and how to avoid the dirty air on the lee side of the monuments. He told me of the time he landed on a monument and flew off. “one of the proudest days of his life”. He didn’t say anything new but it was good to talk it out with an experienced guy. Stay away from the lee side or stay 100 feet over the tops. He advised me to wait till the “magic Hour”…one hour prior to sunset and the fly till you just have enough light to land.
I didn’t…2 hours before sunset I was out there with a photographer who is camping close by. The wind was up … I kited a bit and decided to go for it. Big mistake… The wing came up hard and fast. I damped the surge and when it fell back it pulled me right over. Luckily I was able to kill the motor and there was no damage other than a few scratches on the prop.
I flew for 50 minutes and returned to the field. I did a couple of touch and go landings because it was so nice I really didn’t want to quit.

May 31st 2008

Best Flight So Far !

Stayed in bed a little longer and noticed the photographer dude had already gone. It was a Nil wind launch so I lined up on the runway and tried to see how fast I could go before lifting off. Wow ! It’s easy to be spoiled by a smooth surface. I could feel the wing loading up and the pressure on the brakes was a nice firm touch. I could go into a hard clean turn as soon as my wheels left the ground.
I flew out past the welcome center and into the valley itself. Since I had taken a jeep ride the day before with a Navajo kid I knew where I was going and …Well….the pictures tell the story.

No Fly Day…

When I loaded the motor at 7:00 it was warm with blue skies…by the time I arrived at Simms it was 90% overcast and getting colder. Paul and I watched some coyotes and decided to wait for a better day. Good thing too beccause it never cleared and was cold and wet all day.
So…I went home and epoxied my prop and generally fussed with the paramotor.

#146 Simms

Today I used the 26 meter wing and boy … it took forever to run it up to take-off speed…I almost took out Chip’s wind sock !
I flew to Red rocks but chickened out when it started to get bumpy…Sound familiar? I wasn’t able to climb nearly as fast as the other day probably because of the smaller wing but there were also areas of sinking and lifting air which spooked me.

Looking North to Golden

These fins run South below the ampitheater and they look like fun!

Getting ready for a road trip

The rest of the family is packing for a girls trip and I have two weeks before I join them. Thinking about a little road trip. Maybe a couple of days to fly Moab …Glenwood springs and whoo knows where else. The motor is running good I could use a spare belt but the old one should do in a pinch.
I’ve got two summer road trips nailed down this one and Vegas in August…
It might be fun to take the girls one at a time for an extended training drive so there is a good chance for some overnighters in July.

Jeff Goin has just returned from participating in a flight along the panama canal being one of the first to fly PPG from the atlantic to the Pscific or visa versa. I thought it interesting that one of the recent posts to his blog included this diagram. I need to work on being able to predict glide to any specific area under me at any time. Whic way is the wind blowing and how stong is it will determine if I can glide to a safe and convienient landing zone.
Things to do for Road trip
1. assemble tool kit
Torque wrench
Replacement spring & bolts
allen key attachment to tighten belt with above
2. camping box
sleeping bag
cook kit

3.flying box
wind sock
stake & hammer
flight suit
construction ribbon
spare parts box
4.travel gear box
5.call a few friends
Steve K
Rob em & Bill em
maybe Johnny Fetz
6. goggle sites to fly
Colorado National Monument

5th race Chatfield Spring Series CSYC

Great wind! Steady 8 kts with gusts to 15 and more. We started with the Jib and changed to the heavy weather Genoa during the starting sequence. John Seib and I got a great start 2nd behind Tireless. Our tacks were a bit ragged but we got into clear air and sailed within a couple of hulls of Norm & Gerry till the last reach. We widended our lead on the run and finished first by a little over 60 seconds. The PHRF wan’t kind because we corrected to 4th.

Lost the LCR Beanie that I had just modified with a snazzy little red propeller. Jim Stark got a chuckle out of it before it got knocked into the lake so it served it’s purpose….Ah well it just wasn’t meant to last.
Since the results were not available Sunday after the Regatta. Trophys were distributed during the Jack Lowe Memorial hamberger feast. I’ve a prety silver second place pickle dish. Still searching for that elusive first place at a S.A.I.L. Regatta.


Very nice morning flight! 145 isn’t a magic number but it is the 100th trike flight and two weeks short of a year since the El Puerco Fly-in when I switched to wheels. I tried something a little different with set-up. Instead of laying the wing out in the butterfly configuration I used the thrust line to partially inflate the wing before I sat down. It pulls the risers all the way back to the cage but it’s not hard to separate the “A”s and get into position. The wing comes up fast and smooth and you need to use a little brake because it wants to overshoot… but I liked the feel of it and will try it again. Several of my last take-offs have been pretty ugly and I think it’s because I’m rolling out at too high a speed. This morning wasn’t too bad a launch but I was at take off speed very quickly and the first little bump wanted to pop me into the sky. It would be easier to modulate speed on a smoother surface than this bumpy field but I know it will help if I can slow down…stabilize the wing and then go to full throttle.

The air was smooth most of the flight. There was a little turbulence approaching Red Rocks Park which dissuaded me from trying to drop into the park and fly between the fins. I’ll do it someday when I can launch at the crack of dawn and be well into the park while the air is dead still. Probably not a good place to fly after the rocks have been cooking in the sun all day. I can imagine cool air flowing down the Rockies mixing with the warm air rising from the rock.

Downtown Denver was shrouded with early morning humidity and I was even able to see Chatfield off to the South.

After going west I turned to the east of the LZ and flew over the School, Jail and Southwest Shopping Center.It took awhile to descend from 2000 feet and I was surprise to encounter sinking air and bumps over the LZ

Spring Sailing

Paradiso is tied for first place after 3 races.

Today I went out single handed in gusty winds. Two reefs in the main and the #3 Jib. Only Rick and I were on the lake and he saw the weather comming in before I did. I was down by #5 and he was up by #2 I could see that he was getting his sails down but I didn’t see that he was in a blow. I must have sensed the weather was approaching because I went below and put on a jacket and PFD. Within 90 seconds the wind was on me hard from the N.W. I spent 40 minutes beating into the blow at the point of broaching the whole time. When the wind started to come down Rick and Stan motored out to make sure I was OK. Nice of them.

The sails got a bit of a flogging and my joints are a bit stiff but no damage done. I have full confidence in the standing rigging after that work out.

#144 First Flight at Dick Sporting goods Stadium

Interesting day. I wandered around a bit and found the LZ, which is North of the Stadium and police department. It’s not an ideal field, there is plenty of open space and it’s not too bumpy but there are sprinkler heads poking 6 inches above ground. You can make your best guess but there is always the chance of hitting a sprinker and flipping the buggy. Another issue is that the field slopes down into a sort of basin. So you have to think and plan to get the most level take off run. If the wind is ever comming out of the east or west I’ll launch right off the road.

Which brings me to an observation. The smoother the surface the easer it is to concentrate on getting the wing stable overhead. When you are bumping along in a field the buggy is trying to bounce into the sky and is to get bumped out of line with the wing . I can recall several takeoffs where the nose wheel was 15% out of line with the wing. It makes for slower takeoff speeds and reduced control. I’m using brakes more often than not when the ground is rough.

I took off in light breeze shortly after Dan arrived. The air was very similar to the last couple of days at Simms. Shifting currents and moderate bumps. I find myself turning more to the right with the torque and avoiding left hand turns. WORK ON MAKING HARD LEFT HAND TURNS. At one point I was carving some hard turns with about 45% bank. This looks like a fun place to explore but it is going to have to wait until I have a calm morning and can climb good and high without getting too much bounce. To the east there is a bunch of industry and a big gravel pit.

When it was time to land I saw a track in the field left by the grounds keeper and since it was in the same direction as the wind I landed on the track and avoided the minefield of sprinklers.
Dan didn’t have a very good day, I didn’t see it but I guess he fell after a very long take off run, breaking his prop and cage. Paul didn’t have any luck either. First attempt he got into some sink at take-off because of the slope. Twice he came down on his butt and was blowing dirt big time. Then there wasn’t enough wind and he stood there with his DK running. It ran so long that he loaded up the motor with carbon so that when the wind did come up it would come up to power. While I was watching Paul a lady cop came by and chatted with me. the best thing about this field is that we are welcome and have lots of cops nearby to protect us.

#142 & #143 Simms

Dan & John Sieb showed up. Very light and variable winds made it hard to get the wing stable overhead. I launched to the east and the climb was very slow. Dan said the breeze had shifted at the last minute and I made a downwind take-off.
The air was very similar to the last couple of times I have flown Simms. Areas where the air is strong and weak. I also noticed some very sinking air. It’s not the kind of flying where I’m comfortable using the foot steering.
Landed beautifully with the trimmers out. The wing does feel much more sporty and I’ll have to fly trim out more often.
Once again two quick flights.