LMike Mike and Bob were tearing it up with a cross country from Venice to Placida but I missed the launch due to another commitment. Late in the afternoon I talked to Mike Lange and heard that the west winds were throwing it inland. It looked bad over the Harbor so I opted to stay home. At 6 pm it looked flyable to the west so I decided to run out to Shell Creek.
I took my time setting up because the wind was just at the edge of my comfort zone, (8 to10), coming across the runway from the West. About 20 minutes before sunset it was down by half and I launched clean from the east. Once the wing was overhead and stable I raised my hands and tried to use as light a touch as possible. The roll out was a little longer than the Eden but when it decided to fly the EZ jumped into the air. after a couple of seconds I turned south to avoid rotor from the tree line on the west end of the runway.
The sunset wasn’t very exciting, because it was clear skies over the harbor. (It was probably perfect where the guys were) but….at 500 feet I could see that a Boomer was just to the east and moving my way. There was rain and occasional lighting. The air was good, the only bumps I felt were probably my own prop wash but I didn’t feel like pushing it. After about 15 minutes of watching the storm I turned into the wind and landed. Surprisingly the clouds had moved rapidly while I was in the air, now it was over the patch. Within minutesof landing, the wind shifted 180* and started sucking into the coming storm. The rain however, never showed and when I was pulling out the winds were only moderately gusty. I could have probably stayed up a while longer and it would have been no big deal but I was glad to have avoided the drama.
Drifto had a good one on Facebook today. He’s dealing with the surge in his flight suit prior to finishing a maneuver…
I took a couple of weeks off, to give my body some time to recover. The knee hasn’t been right since the incident and will probably need surgery. The shoulder is doing better and I’m hopeful to treat it with PT. I did drive out to the field one day last week and aborted when the wind was blowing directly across the runway and things didn’t feel just right.
The A Assists worked fine and I didn’t suffer any shoulder pain. The field was slow due to several days of rain and tall grass and the wheels were a bit narrow, so the rollout was was a but sluggish. Once up, it took a few seconds flying at “inches off the ground” before I started to get a good climb. Later I trimmed to full closed and was able to get 300fpm but on launch I was glad to have motored to the far end of the field to gain runway.
Landing at full closed was nice and slow without incident.
I’m a little stiff and sore but on the way back. It’s all good.
I was sore all over this morning but after spending the whole day repairing the rig, I wasn’t about to miss flying with the guys. It’s Mike Lange’s birthday and Ty and Mike Otten showed up to celebrate with him.
Long story short.
I dislocated my shoulder during inflation and aborted the flight. I knew I had a sore shoulder but it appears that I might have damaged the rotator cuff. Major bummer! At the very least I’m going to have to reinstall the A Assists.
This morning I got spanked!
Excellent weather, dead calm, clear skies. 76* 99% humidity high density of altitude.
I wish there had been a witness to this mornings botched launch.
The best I can figure is ….
I didn’t pay enough attention to the wing. The LIFT EZ has been nicely benign. Ever since the first flight, every inflation has been straight as an arrow and ready for throttle-up. I think it was Jerry Frost, at the dry lake Mirage in Central California, he used to launch as if every one was on a short runway. He would inflate the wing and go full throttle almost immediately. Well…. The last several flights with the EZ have been easy.
I suspect…. I got lazy and didn’t look. I assumed the wing was up and stable when it was probably way off to the side. The roll out and initial inflation seemed normal. When I went to full throttle i was immediately pulled to the right. The nose wheel was the first thing to impact followed by a good bounce from the right rear. The left wheel came in hardest causing a bent axle. The fiberglass struts were stressed but not damaged.
I also remember the trike yawing to the left just before impact. I don’t know where that came from, it’s almost as if the left rear wheel had been snagged by a cable but I wasn’t able to locate anything that might have cause a snag.
Like I said ….I wish someone had been there to witness. It seems obvious that the wing was off to the side. Fact is, I wasn’t paying attention, I assumed the wing was acting as it had for the previous 15 flights.
Here is the list of damages
1. Left rear axle
2. Nose wheel smashed
3. Two prop blades were nicked where they flexed into the motor drive pulley.
4. Slightly bent cage … No repair needed.
Right knee sprung
Sore right shoulder
Fortunately there was no damage to the wing.