#466 Titan

52 degrees at 3:30  light breeze from the North East. 

John Sieb took off first …My launch was clean partly because I layed out on the dirt with fewer weed stubs.

John and I returning to the field after sunset… but the sun was still shining at altitude

 Just a few Pelicans are left at Chatfield

A side benefit of experimenting with the throttle strap is that it is forcing me to do a slow roll out.  The strap is a little too wide and right now it inhibits my ability to “mash the throttle” until after I released the “A’s” and rearranged my fingers   I was rolling and accelerating slow which gave me so much more time to pay attention to the details. The wing comes up…release the “A’s” …stabilize the wing … reposition the hands to get more throttle … accelerate … and take-off.
I’m going to trim the Velcro before my next flight and should have better throttle control but I ‘ll remember how it felt to get the wing stable over head at a third to one half power ….

6th Annual Birthday Flight

#464  &  #465 
Double Nickles

Titan with a fresh breeze … 54 degrees and John Sieb to round things out.  The goose hunters were hoping to bring in a flock and did !  Dispite us flying around. A large group came in as I was making final approach they got 4.
The first was short because the air was ratty but the second was nice.  I was having trouble with the weeds snagging the wing during inflation and had to abort when a tip was nailed firmly to the ground.   BUT I made it a point to keep the taxi slow for a good long time before committing to launch.and was pleased with the landings.
John and I flew around the patch a bit but it was getting chilly and we landed about 4:30

No Fly Day

     At 3:00 John was already up and climbing to the North.  

I unloaded and watched the wind shift through 290 degree arc.  It was a cold wind with lots of moisture (well …lots for this country) and for some reason I didn’t feel like flying.  I watched and waited for 45 minutes and it was cycling South East to North and North West about every 20 minutes.  I almost pulled the trike back down but once I decided not to fly my head wasn’t in it.

As the sun dropped to the foothills it calmed down for about 5 minutes and John Sieb came into sight, high following Roxbourough Rd.  He said, “it wasn’t too bad”, but then he told about getting tossed and  a partial collapse with serious altitude penalty.  John always has had a better bump tolerance than I so I felt good about sitting this afternoon out.  He had a good flight and I was glad for him…

We chatted a bit about wings and the Salton Sea Fly In When the cold started to get to me I headed home.

#463 Titan

Spontaneous Aviator
My appraisal was done by 2:30 the sky had a thin skin of high clouds and it looked like it might glass off.  So.. at the last minute I decided to fly.  I hurried home, pulled on my boots and was at the field setting up 3:30.The wind was light from the south so I triked to the south end of the field and set up.  While I was going through the final checks the wind picked up freshly from the west.  I didn’t expect success but waited for a lull and gave it a try.  No Joy the wing did just as expected and came up way too crooked to attempt correcting it.  Moving to the center I reset and launched without brakes to the South West.
The air was smooth for the first 500 feet but at 600ft. I was starting to get buffeted by small puffs which could have been some rotor off the foothills.   Flying East over the big open fields I went downwind at a pretty good clip.  A couple of times I was swung fairly hard with the wing banking 30 degrees so I turned back and slowly made my way back to the field.  The throttle was not fastened as tightly as usual and it did not like going to idle so when I got to the power lines I was still at cruise and just barely penetrating.  I was actively flying the wing and didn’t want to let off brake to change the trim so I just tufted it out and took my time.  I was glad to be high when I caught some sink and dropped 50 feet before leveling off.
Below 200 ft.it was down right rowdy.  Twice I came in on final and bolted, once when I was popped up and then some serious sink had me dropping to fast for comfort.  The third try was nice. The breeze was strong and I came in at less than 10 mph and touched down as light as a feather. 

Steve Abbey flew by just after I landed, my wing came down behind ready to inflate and for about 2 seconds I considered relighting the motor and joining him.  He overflew me going East and when he turned back was parked right over my head.  I watched him slowly make his way back toward home and collected my wing.

By the time I was ready to go the winds were way beyond flyable.  I smiled at my good timing and threaded my way between the goose decoys back toward the highway.

#461 & #462 Snowflake

Calm …Clear … and Cold
38 degrees but the air was as sweet as it gets. 

Mike and  I both got in two flights and I had a chance to try the radio.  It needs a little tweaking to be reliable but Mike did a great job getting it operational.  Both take offs and landings were good, I really liked the last landing I touched down way up the runway and did a long taxi to the truck

The weather looks to be bad for the next several days so I was glad to get this one in.

#457 & # 458.5 Titan… A repeat of last night

No Breeze …
60 plus degrees
Clear skies
I launched at 4:30 and flew till 5:45 low on fuel…  getting chilled….  and could barely see to land.  I even did a touch and go to squeeze a few more minutes of airtime.  In other words…. another perfect evening.
PPS 250
This is the second day that I have flown the Power Play Sting 250.  What a great wing for the 4 stroke.  This wing has had several hundred flights.  First with Monte Flemming a flying his big powerful Monster and then a year with the Briggs & Stratton Trike Buggy.  Yeah…Its had a couple hundred flights and been repaired once…But…. for pure comfort… I can’t beat it.  It  inflates slow but it always seems to lumber up and center over my head as it hardens for takeoff.  The brakes hang at a comfortable place so I don’t have to mess with a second toggle and the climb rate was a respectable 275ft/min and decent was 400ft/min
This wing flies…. like a  big boat sails. 
Big smooth banking turns that say…
“I’m in no hurry”. 

Not a puff on the water

#454 & #455 Snow Flake

Good day at Snowflake

low and slow


First Launch was good .. mike got video and stills.
Mike Bennett,  Robert Archer, &  Dan Kamisar
Started calm but the winds picked up shortly after sunrise. 

photo by Mike Bennett
Second take off was not good.  The wing was ossolating … I backed off the throttle and powered up again but the wing was still swinging.  I proceeded into the weeds and launched with a slight swing.  When I finally saw the video I was shocked at how close I came to another rollover.  Just like at Bubba’s I was bounced up and came down at a 90 degree angle to the origional heading.  This flight should have been aborted… no question about it.

Next time…. Power up   Once the wing is up and the trike is rolling… back off and taxi until it is stable, then add power and launch!  Watch the wing!  It’s elementary stuff but I seem to be having a hard time of it lately.  It is easy to blame the machine… it winds up too slow … or it’s so much heavier.  None of these things are flaws…it is just the nature of the rig.  Know how it performs and fly accordingly.
The answer is focus. 

good launch    Photo by Mike Bennett