Flight 270 Simms

The wind speed chart shows moderately high & gusty winds from the south south east. Sunset was at 7:00pm.

Very short flight. The predicted weather was to be 5 mph from the east but I got 10 to 12 gusting to 15-18 from the south. It came down a bit (see Weather chart) , I launched and did one lap before landing by the truck. There were a few issues.

1. It’s not a tumble weed…it’s tangle weed.

Wind from the south caused me to set up at the North end, by Hampden…It’s 500 yards and and a hassle. You have to push the buggy uphill and across the grain of a dense tangle of dry weeds. They are bone dry and flat to the earth…They are like a bunch of tumble weeds that had been run through the laundry… full dense branches 24 to 36 inches long and waiting to get hooked up in the lines. It reminded me of the first days of learning how to ground handle at Brian Smith’s home field. I tried kiting like I had been over at the truck but it wasn’t much fun. Every inflation the wing picked up a few branches and I spent way too much time “de-weeding the wing” and throwing the debris down wind. I suppose the good thing was that I realized the potential for fouling the wing and searched out the least congested spot to set up for launch.

2.When I powered up the buggy bogged down. It was almost a replay of the last flight of the Simonini. The wing came right up in the prop wash but the trike wasn’t moving…I threw my weight back and forth like a toddler on a play toy …luckily, first time…the buggy broke loose and began to accelerate. While this is happening I was watching the PPS start to fold …and just before gravity took over it miraculously re-inflated. The take off was crisp and the climb was better. Launching into a wind with this machine is kinda nice.

BUT… I could have done without the pucker of
imagining my wing getting sliced and diced by # 60
inch Ivo steak knives.
Once up…The air was mixing and rowdy…I decided to land right away…It might have been allot better 800 or 1000 feet higher… but it didn’t feel good… so I landed. The good news was that I set final approach for the truck and came in beautifully. The bad news was that I didn’t mash the throttle do a touch and go and fly for a couple of more minutes.

While I was packing up, it sure seemed flyable, but those are the breaks the weather was too marginal to hassle with the weeds for the last few minutes of light.

Note to self:

When you are launching on softer soil, push the buggy back and forth over the first few yard of runway to smooth the surface and prevent getting the wheels into a rut during the critical first second of power.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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