#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.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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