The wing inflated well and while the run out was rough, it seemed doable until I drove into a large tangle of weeds and branches that I had missed during the preflight. Abort … Abort … Abort…
The mesa just wasn’t going to be suitable unless I had the perfect wind that would let me use the running path as a runway. While loading up and rubbing a sore elbow that had been whacked by a branch, I noticed that the wind was shifting to the south. The sun was being covered nicely by the clouds and so I decided to give the lower LZ another try.
Here is where it starts to get interesting. The first launch was successful but I had to set down quickly when I couldn’t shake out a cravat in the wing tip. I could have stayed up and tried to work out the tangle, but since there was a good landing zone ahead of me, I didn’t see any reason to tempt fate. The landing was fine and I gathered up the wing and drove the rig back to my truck. By now the wind had shifted to SSE which was perfect for the field. I quickly layed out the wing, hooked up to the trike and jumped into the seat. The wing came up straight and I was powering down the field when I noticed that I had picked up the wind sock, including the 20 foot pole! This was a first, I’d clipped wind socks on landing but never on a launch. Apparently the right side was a little close or had oscillated to that side because, there it was, hanging from the farthest line and looking like it wanted to go for a ride. I wanted nothing to do with it and aborted once again. One more time, I gathered the wing and drove back to the truck.
I was about to set up for my 4th attempt when I noticed that one of the rear tires had gone completely flat, which had probably happened during the aborted launch in the weeds. Enough was enough, I really wanted to fly but I was going to have to be satisfied by a short hop across a couple of fields for flight number # 509