302 & 303 Dumb Chute Story: The longest run out ever..1840 feet

Beautiful Morning at Meadowlake

Headed toward the junk !

1840 ft. Take off run !

Only 410 ft. to the trees…Hell….

It looked a lot less than 400 ft. to the trees, when I finally started to get some lift and was able began a slow turn along the north perimeter of the field. All I know is that I wasn’t about to abort until I had to. I’d plowed through 1500 feet of tall grass, crossed the ultralight runway and nearly clipped a big airport windsock. I was just barely touching the ground and the weeds were holding me back. The GPS clearly shows that I was going 27 mph which is plenty enough speed to take off. It was really ‘touch and go”, I was running out of field and the trees and junk were coming up fast. I knew that in another few seconds I would have had to abort or go into the trees.

I didn’t quit, even though I probably should have and I managed to clear the area without mishap…but the next time I go off into tall grass, ……I hope I know the area better.

There might have been a low level wind gradient because at 300 feet it was blowing from the SW but at the field the windsocks were all hanging limp. Whatever it was… I’m betting on a down wind take off .
Next time I’m at Meadow Lake in nil wind

I’m going to use the micro light dirt strip.

The first flight was 35 minutes and nice smooth air. I chased some antelope and followed Mathew to the east end of the field. Climb was 125 ft. /min even though the RPM’s were slightly down. Later, when I came back, the wind was building from the South and it made for a nice landing.

Second flight was short and sweet because it was starting to get ratty. I backed up on the entrance road and took off to the right of the vehicles. Much quicker launch with short grass.

When the thermals started and the wind came up we goofed around the field and kited. John Black was working with a 28.5 obsession and putting on quite the show, doing cobra launches and generally working the all of the risers instead of just the brakes. Jerry did some kiting and I even pulled out the Eden III for a bit. It’s a great place to kite and I’ll have to remember to bring the harness next time.

I got a chance to drive the S-trike.
It’s a well engineered cart using light weight aircraft tubing, joined with rivets and lugs. The IVO motor seems ok but I never really goosed it. The Flat Top frame is ok. I prefer the rigidity of my one piece cage. Twin brake and steering pedals were “Trick” BUT… lost motion in the cables made the steering feel sloppy and while it may be the same pedaling as GA aircraft, it’s counter intuitive. The reverse cambered front wheel wants to follow the wing but I can see how that could make for oscillations until you get the hang of it. It’s light but the CG is higher and I felt like I was in some kind of kids pedal car. I’m sure it flys great but it would take some getting used to. It just wasn’t as stable feeling as the heavy “ol buggy” with my ass inches above the dirt.

Later the six of us went to Frankie’s for breakfast. It’s all good.

#301 Lucent

Goodbye Lucent…I hardly knew ya

Last night I drove to the Lucent site and discovered that they plowed half of it. The north south “runway” is two thirds shorter. Damn it! I talked with Jerry Kerr and Marek and we decided to go for it anyway.
I got out there at 5:15 with almost nil winds. It built slowly and when Jerry showed up it was light breeze from the south east. I had set up and launched shortly after he arrived and loitered overhead until he got airborne. My launch was a bit unusual I recovered the wing going far right and far left before getting it stabilized. Then… when I did get up and over the grass there was some serious sink and I didn’t get above 30 feet up until I was well out over the next field and my first turn was a tad low for my taste.
I circled the field several times to get altitude and wait for Jerry. I did see him take off and noticed that his wing seemed to be “hanging back”. I didn’t think much of it and circled for a bit longer when it looked like he was planning to stay around the “patch ” , I headed off to Chatfield. Great ride, nice air …bump scale of 2…Flew out over the ol marina and it sure felt great to be back at my first home field. On the way out I did a circle and took a 360 degree panorama series. That’s gonna be fun to mess with.
The landing was cool, the wind had come up considerably and I did a quick turn to a short final and landed dead on. Throttle control is getting better. Later Jerry & hit a bad Waffle House, and on the way out I took him to see South Park ….only to find that it has been fenced out and the church doesn’t want any stinking paragliders….:(

No Fly Day at Lucent

Set up in nil wind but it came swiftly from the south west and kept on building. I waited an hour and packed it up when it reached 12 mph. One good thing was that I discovered that I will be able to launch against the grade. I made a few test runs and the 4 stroke had no trouble accelerating against the slope. So…until they develop this site I’m gonna have a nice close LZ.


The Big Three Oh Oh
Lucent…Light winds S.E.
I awoke before the alarm…. again …so I decided to check out the new site south of C-470 and west of Lucent. Yesterdays rain had made the freshly graded soil a little slick but I decided to go for it anyway. I was able to lay out the wing without gettingit all muddy but my boots had aquired about 2 inches of clay and the wheels on the buggy were carring a bunch of extra weight. No problem…After I set -up. I just sat in the machine and scrapped the mud off my boots and the wheels. It wasn’t wet, more like clay than anything else.
The climb out was slow but once I was clear of the graded soil and over grass I got some lift and explored the area. This is a pretty good site, enough room to abort, lots of places to set down in an emerency and easy axcess to chatfield. It was mildly bumpy so I didn’t go over to Chatfield next time I’d like to try. I noticed a balloon over the lake and it would be great to play with one of those guys again. The sky looked good but later in the flight I noticed that the clouds were starting to get blown out and I think there was some serious mixing at high altitude.
I did use more brake pressure and that helped smooth things out. It would be great to know exactly how much travel I have in these brakes…I’ll just have to keep pulling more and find out where the stall is.
Landing was a drag….It got real bumpy at 50 feet, it might have been the elevation changes around the field but whatever it was caused me to overshoot and I rolled right into the drainage where the mud was like soup. The wing got a little mud and the buggy weighed a ton. It took an hour to get everything cleaned up back at the house. No damage.
Yesterday I talked with Terry and he is going to start the new cage on Monday. The 64 inch GSC Prop should boost my climb rate considerably.

#299 Simms

Another Beautiful morning! I had to launch with a cross wind to stay out of the tall weeds. The wing came up …I turned 20 degrees off the wind and punched it. Take-off was fast and I started crabbing as soon as I left the earth. Unusually smooth air so i went east over the high School and along the edge of the prison …(don’t want to give the guards any ideas)…then did a couple of laps around the golf courses. There are three golf courses within a mile of each other!

When it was time to land I did a touch and go first and landed right on top of my target!


#296 #297 #298 East Springs Airport

A Beautiful Summer Morning with the PPPPG Club

There was rain last night but it was beautiful this morning. I was out of the house and on my way to East Springs Airport by 4:30am. It’s 20 minutes farther South and East of the soccer field. For Some reason the GPS routed me through about 10 miles of dirt roads. Whats that about ? Last time it took me a few more miles south but at least it kept me on the pavement. So I arrived at the Air strip in a cloud of dust about 6:00am. On the way into the area I spotted a solitary glider and silently congratulated him on the early start.

There was a good crowd setting up ….Jerry K…Kevin K…Mathew W…John B…Shad…Mike B.. Alex D (was seen blazing out of the air port early. I saw him later but we never did talk so I don’t know what that was about).

(photos by Mike Bennett)

Anyway The air was great with a layer of warm air sitting on top. It was fun bumping through into the warmth. There was also a bumpy area directly east of the LZ right above some cattle. Somebody was making jokes about the cows creating bumps. It was a pleasure to launch in such perfect conditions. Light laminar air….nice smooth surface to rollout in all directions and super flat terrain, the prescription for low stress flying. The PPS 250 came up clean every time and it was great how the buggy took the load and kept on pulling as the wing inflated. Those are the right tires for the surface… I noticed that I was staying on the “A’s” longer than normal and it felt good to stay with the wing until it was well overhead.

I topped out at 1000 feet and practiced a little low and slow , nothing special but getting the feel of the Power Play.

While packing up I saw Ranger Bo…great to see him! Turns out he was the pilot I had seen on the way in … he had launched from another field at dawn and was doing a fly-by. We chatted a little about the X-Country that John Black is talking about and he made a good point. Monument pass may be splitting the air flow because I seem to remember mostly SW breeze for early flights in Denver and the Springs boys tend to get Northerly air. I’ll have to do a little research and see if i can spot a trend.

When I got home the girls had fixed a special Fathers Day breakfast and later we all went to the Paradiso for a lazy afternoon on the lake.