I met Marek at Simms at 7:30. There was a cop at the gate who told me “no motorized vehicles allowed”. He was cool about it though and overlooked the motor on the machine I agreed to park outside and push the machine into the field. There was no wind at all, so I set up right at the entrance and was going to use the road to launch. we were both in a rush to get airborne and I really didn’t spend enough time scoping out the site or laying out the wing. I didn’t build a wall with the motor and the surface was filled with fist sized rocks and mud nobs to grab the lines.
The wing came up crooked probably because a line got caught and instead of aborting like I should have, I tried to save it. The left tip caught a piece of steel fence post that was hidden in a patch of weeds and tore the wing pretty badly. The tip is torn and some panels are going to have to be replaced. I’ll give the wing to Michelle at Bubba’s and let her determine if it is worth repairing. I won’t be surprised if she declares it dead because between Monte and I there are probably 350 to 400 hours on the wing. Maybe it’s a good thing…it was time.
If I’d looked the area over better I would have seen the post and maybe set up differently. Doesn’t matter… the wing is out for several weeks.
1. If I had used the motor to build a wall … I think the lines would have been above the surface and I’d have had a good inflation.
2. I could have laid out the wing better
3. Don’t rush it !
Short and very bumpy morning flight.
At 7am the sun had been up for two hours and this morning the wind was from all points of the compass. Glad I got up but even gladder to get down!
Simms… Good Flight… Tough Launch … I’m going to have to find a place that is smoother or cut some weeds! The reserve got snagged pulling one pin and opening the front half of the container. I spotted it right after launch and closed the velcro but it was not a good thing! Chip and I rethreaded it later that evening and I was happy to see that the chute will not need to be repacked but I will need to spend some time picking the weed and seeds out of the velcro.
I flew for an hour at Red Rocks Amphitheater and was headed back to the field. Even though it was 70 degrees on the ground I was getting chilled from flying in the shadows. And so…I’m hightailing east chasing the sun and there right in front of me was Chip who had just taken off. Well this was fun… we danced in the sky for the first time in a long while. I’m reminded of the time we were West of Chatfield and confronted by a News chopper. I turned tail and ran for cleaner air while Chip charged right at the chopper kind of like young Saint Bernard. Our flying styles haven’t changed, tonight I was content to float above and take pictures while he put on a beautiful show above the lake. Lots of freeflight in that boy… nice smooth diving turns and hard banking spirals.
The sun set… I was cold and Mr. Lutke’s CT Marvel was running on fumes. Time to go home! The landing was nice, there was just enough breeze to slow way down and when I touched , I could hardly feel it. Seriously nice… Chip stayed up till the approaching darkness forced him down. Typical free flight guy, he boated around the field for 5 minutes before setting up to land.
You meet the best people 500 feet above the earth!
I took the machine with me to the lake and woke up an hour before the alarm. I had a hard time getting out of bed because it was cold in the boat but I dragged myself out of my nice warm berth and got to the field early.
The take-off was terrible. The field has been posted no trespassing
and so I was forced to use a small section by the High School. The surface is rutted and the mud has dried leaving lots of little nubs that love to grab and hold the lines. In the field the weeds are thigh high and the ground is bumpy as hell.
This place is the opposite if Vance Brand, the run outs are bouncy slow challenges. The trike is trying to power through the weeds and the wing is bouncing above the trike. I can only imagine the lousy air flow over the wing. Invariably I get airborn too soon at too low an air speed. It is more like lurching into the air. Looking back, I should have aborted but once up, the air was smooth as butter. There was a fresh breeze from the West making it turbulent over by Red Rocks so I spent 90 minutes playing over the golf courses and Bear Creek Park. Not much activity this early… just me and the coyotes
I did go east to Wadsworth and circle the big lake there. On the way home just to remind myself that things could be worse I flew to the prison. There were some people walking around the quad and I thanked god I wasn’t one of them. I climbed to 8700 feet ASL and did a hard spiral over the prison. The Power Play Sting isn’t a aerobatic wing but with enough pressure I was able to achieve the steepest dive ever. I dropped 3000 feet in short order and pulled out over the prison at 300 feet.
It’s good to be alive
Back at Chips house I layed out the Eden III and did a serious inspection, the damage was much worse than I thought. Seven lines need to be replaced and there is a 1/4 puncture by the left wingtip. While I was doing that Chip fixed a wonderful breakfast and debated whether to fly, run or bike. Terrible dilemma… but the conditions were perfect and the sky won. I sat on the deck and sipped coffee while he hiked up and got in three flight over the next several hours. My thoughts kept drifting back to my girls, I wondered what they were doing and if they were thinking of their “Ol Man”.
How cool to be able to land in your own back yard !
Chip’s last flight of the day with a pal
It had been cloudy and threatening to rain all day but at 6 pm the skies started to clear and the conditions mellowed. While I was watching, Marek called and we both agreed that it was probably going to be flyable. Marek could not go but it looked good and was certainly better than sitting around feeling sorry for myself so I jumped in the MR-2 and raced over to Chips house. In record time I was at Simms and launched quickly without incident.
As predicted … it was glass. I flew straight toward Red Rocks and as I came over the hogback I could see that there was a concert tonight. I flew the perimeter of the Amphitheater about 800 feet above the crowd being careful not to overfly the congestion.
Damn I forgot the camera! BUT from all the flashbulbs going off I knew that there were hundreds of photos being taken so the flight was documented (if not by me). From the west I could look right over the seating into the stage where they were doing light and sound checks. Perhaps 2/3’s of the seats were filled with lots more coming.
After a couple of circuits around the park I headed east, as I was halfway to the hogback I noticed a strange craft to the south. At first I thought it was a balloon but within 10 seconds I could tell it was moving toward me and no balloon. It was coming straight at me and at about 3000 yards I decided to wag my wings and turn back to the Amphitheater. I did a small wingover and just as I began to turn west it must have seen me because it made a hard turn to the east and descended rapidly to 500 feet below me. When it turned and I could see the profile, I was surprised to see that it was Chinook cargo copter. I’m glad he saw me when he did … I’m sure they throw a monster propwash… not something I ever want to experience.
The return was uneventful, I descended to 300 feet after crossing I-70 and overflew Soda Lake and the campgrounds which were mostly empty. The landing was easy, the wind had picked up and I was able to land on the dirt road and taxi right to the truck. Good Fight! Almost Epic but no pictures 😦