#373 Falcon Walmart

This was an off day. I met with Kevin on the corner of Woodman & Markscheffel, it was too wet and muddy so we went to his 2nd choice which they call Falcon Walmart. I’m sure it was a better site a year ago but the construction has continued and the field we selected wasn’t that big. No problem for foot launch but a little tight for me. The field has recently been cut but the cuttings were still there and perfect little chunks of tangle weed.

The wind was fresh from the South and while we set up it shifted slightly to the east. My first launch was aborted when the throttle cable snagged a line and I couldn’t get it free…even with the wing mostly loaded. There wasn’t alot of room to fool around so I aborted before I got too far down the runway. While I reset Kevin took off and soon I was ready for
#2 This was a mess…The wing came up fine but my acceleration was poor and it fell back. I tried to save the launch. Big mistake… The PPS will not come back up unless you have control of the A’s. I’ve been thinking of reinstalling the A assists and this would have been the perfect time to have them. I would have probably got the wing back overhead but what happened instead was …the wing fell back and caught in the propwash, it pulled the buggy back and turtled. Fortunately I was able to kill the engine quickly. The cage was tweaked a bit but the spinner and soft damp earth saved the prop.

Kevin landed and encouraged me to try again. I wasn’t too keen after two bad launches but the air was good. So…I started the motor to be sure the prop was still balanced and tracking clear of the cage. The motor came up to 3600 but I couldn’t get any more.
#3…The wing came up clean and started to overshoot but I added some brake and accelerated. The run out was long and I barely had enough room but eventually I got up and started circling the field. Climb rate was lousy and I noticed that the RPM’s had dropped to 3400. After several laps I started to get some altitude. The air was good with just the slightest currents. After 10 or 15 minutes I did a fly-by and landed. It was a nice landing, with a low & slow turn just before final and a 3/4 throttle gentle landing.
Kevin…thanks for the ear plugs!

Today I dressed for cold weather but didn’t need to. The gloves I selected were not nearly as supple as I thought, it hard to handle the lines and when I had to reset twice I was clumsy and hot in the “snow suit”. Next time …set up the wing ….test fill it … then put on the heavy clothes.

To Dos…
1)Add washers to the cruise control nob. DONE
2)Check the PPS for snags and debris…check the mallions on both wings
3)See about pulling the cage back into round.
4) Rig the A assists for winter flying
5)Check pitch of the props

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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