I was at the field at 6:15am. I set-up to launch WSW which would give me about 50 feet of smooth surface before getting into the weeds. I figured that I would be ready to launch by the time I got there. NOT…!
When I inflated the wing wanted to go more south than planned, when I got to the weeds there was a bump and I did not have enough speed to launch. I left the ground for just a second and banged down hard. I had shades of the big roll over and aborted. The wing came down right on top of me and some of the lines got around the prop hub but just barely … there was no damage.
Back at the truck I did an extensive “post flight” and discovered that the fiberglass rods had sagged and there was barely enough clearance on the right side for the wheel to clear the gas tank mount. I probably could have tried for another launch but decided not to chance it. The Colorado Balloon Fest is coming up and I want the machine to be in good shape. Terry is sending me new springer rods Monday.
The replacements were three inches short but it should work fine.