Awesome Flight that I wasn’t sure I was going to get to take…
I found a housing development that had been put on hold by the housing crisis. The area was graded and there were fist sized rocks and some construction material to avoid but certainly not a show stopper. The dawn wind was a showstopper… there was no way I was going to be able to fly in this wind. So… I decided to go back and was ready to leave when the wind died to nothing. I don’t know why I was amazed, it’s pretty common for there to be a fresh breeze right at dawn. I think I had resolved to not fly and I was having a hard time getting psyched all over again. After launching 4 balloons and convincing myself there weren’t any crazy rotors coming off the tops …I turned back to the South end of the site.
I was confronted by the security guard but he was an ex PPC pilot and after pulling my chain a bit, said go for it, and chatted me up while I set the wing. The first take off was aborted when my wingtip got a little cravat and the second was entertaining because I had to pop the brakes to miss getting corn holed by a 24 inch piece of re bar sticking out of the earth.
I flew along the ridge line climbing along the way. There were some cool red rock formations that looked like some kind giant fungus …growing on the mountain.
The kicker was having a small private jet cross my path about 1000 feet in front and 200 feet below me. It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to be spooked. I turned away and climbed to avoid any chance of getting into his jet wash. Looking at the GPS track is apparent that he was following the slope of the foothills on a glide into LV International. I think we were both legal but he was sure flying low and fast. Next time I fly a major market …I’ll get and read the sectional.