East Springs Airport *** Flight #283 & #284

East Springs Airport

Is a little farther east than Meadow Lake or the Soccer LZ but it’s a nice place to fly. There is one long North West runway with a dirt taxi way. The only people flying were us…no ultralights and no GA, just Matt…Kevin…Jerry…Alex…John…Shad and I with a half a dozen spectators thrown in for spice.

There was a fresh 5 to 8 mph breeze from the north, I set-up and was off the ground 5 minutes after arriving. I’ve been looking forward to flying here because I wanted to try the Eden III 28m at altitude and knew that I would need a long smooth place with lots of room for the climb-out and this was perfect. Even with a nice headwind the climb was poor. Never over 1oo ft/min and on the second launch I was only 25 ft/ min for a long time.

But …the Eden III was wonderful!
I could feel the wing so much better and the turns were smooth and much tighter. I didn’t try any hard carving but was able to get into nice banking turns with moderate brake. I expected that I would have to use a huge amount of brake pressure …thats what I remembered from the last flight at the Salton Sea, but it wasn’t much different than flying the Simonini. It just felt good and I’m going to hurry and get a new high altitude wing.

If I’m going to fly the Eden I’m going to need to lengthen the hang straps enough for the trimmers to be above the hang point. I wasn’t able to let them out today because they were friction locked on the safety webbing.

I spent an hour flying a right hand pattern around the airport… running south at 45 mph and then doing a low and slow into the wind above the taxiway. I never got really low because of ground turbulence but it was good practice. For a little while I chased a pronghorn and two coyotes but the real excitement came after the flying was over.

The second flight was short and sweet. I launched with Kevin’s help into 8 to 10 mph wind. The Eden came up clean and after clearing the north end of the runway I hauled ass back to the south end. It was blowing much stronger a couple of hundred feet up and it looked like it was going to continue to build so I turned for final. The landing was great, not exactly vertical but I was modulating the throttle and activly flying the wing to keep into the wind and under the wing. After I killed the motor I sat in the buggy and kited for awhile. Unfortunently I was paying so much attention to the wing that I didn’t notice that I was rolling backward. The next thing I knew the buggy was being hauled to the right by Kevin and the wing was pulling to the right.

the wing won…and I rolled over.

I should have killed the wing as soon as possible but I don’t think I realized how strong the wind was and it’s probable that I would have experienced a real incident if I’d yanked on the brakes. I hate to think what would have happened if I’d been flying the PowerPlay. I remember a couple of times that when I went to delate the wing the brakes would go so far and then no amount of pressure would buy me more imput.

Thanks Kevin…I didn’t realize the situation I’d put myself in … your quick action turned it into a so-mo roll instead of serious damage.

Terry…Your cage is stronger than I thought…it wasn’t misshapen at all!

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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