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.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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