#229 Rowdy Air Shortens Flight Simms

Salton Sea campsight 2007
Two days ago it snowed leaving 4 inches on the grass….but…

this afternoon looked beautiful. Even if the field was going little wet I thought it worth going out there to see if I had a shot at flying. I arrived at 3 (1 1/2 hours before sunset). Set-up and launched quickly.

The 3 inches of wet snow slowed the taxi and from the nice way the wing came up and settled overhead …It got me thinking that I’m a little heavy on the throttle and should practice short bursts of power to keep the speed down before committing to take-off.

Within seconds of leaving the ground I flew into some very powerful lift. and it was also clear that there was a strong breeze just above the surface. I decided to get down immediately, the only problem was that if I was going to land upwind and still be by the truck I would have to do some tricky flying. What I would have to do is fly clockwise around the trees and turn for final with enough room to avoid the wires. With all the bumps and mixing air I opted to come in fast and land downwind. There was almost no wind at the surface and even though I was technically downwind I was able to keep the wing up and taxi for over 150 feet back to the truck. Good thing too because the mud was sticky thick and I was wearing 2 inches of mud on the bottom of my boots by the time I loaded the rig back into the truck.

I think if I’d waited 30 minutes longer to launch it would have been allot better. I thought about it but decided not to because of the mud. I also wish I had launched a pilot balloon… even after landing it would have been instructive. I hope to remember this the next time the opportunity presents itself.

Before leaving the house I did change the jet to 155 and the motor started better and was more responsive. It even sounded better…deeper…more throaty.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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