#319 & #320 Simms

Two very short flights
I’m still trying to get a flight before the sun comes up. Yesterday it was the motor that delayed the launch and today it was the weather. When I got to the field the eastern horizon was just begging to show some color. I had 20-30 minutes before I could see enough to launch and it looked perfect, 65 degrees with calm air. While I was unloading the buggy, the wind started to build. I thought it was going to be the typical little gust front we get so often at sunrise, but it continued to build over the next half hour enough that I couldn’t even kite the wing without being lifted off my feet.So…I sat in the truck and listened to Jazz until 6:30 when it finally started to come down.
Now in full daylight, I launched to the west. The wing came up and the buggy didn’t move. I did the Fred Flintstone / toddler thing and got rolling. By now the wing had fallen off to the left but with some right brake and throttle I was able to recover even though the wingtip was touching the ground. It swung to the right 30 degrees, came back and stabilized. After that the take off was a breeze. Until…I got to 50 feet and encountered very strong turbulence. I could barely penetrate, maybe 5 mph forward and I was being bounced at about a 5 on the bump scale. So I crabbed around to the N. E. corner and landed by the truck. There was definitely a layer because as I descended the buggy started to pick up speed and the air smoothed out. The landing was clean and soft.
The second flight was no different except that the wind on the surface had dropped to 2 mph or less. I thought it had mellowed out but it was still too ratty for my taste. Perhaps I would have found good air at altitude but more likely I would have encountered increasingly higher winds. So… figuring discretion is the better part of valor I called it a day.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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