Sunset Flight 873

                                                  Tonight was a gift.                                                         

I’d spent the day keeping Dawn company.  Her shoulder is recovering nicely and she is taking very little pain medication.  Today, she and I layed around, watched TV and basically did nothing.  At 3:00pm I was eyeballing the kayak thinking of maybe catching a sunset paddle.  The winds had been 10+ all day so I didn’t even consider a flight.  But at 5:00 the breeze started to mellow and at 6:30 it was flyable.  I kissed my bride, jumped in the truck and was at the field a good hour before sunset.

I was expecting to find the skydiving operation busy on such a beautiful Saterday evening but there wasn’t a soul at the field.  Maybe everybody was in Lakeland at the Airshow.  Whatever the reason, I had the place to myself and was happy to be there.  Before leaving The house, I noticed that I’d left the key in the ignition … Doh … Fortunently I had the mini jumper with me.  I wouldn’t have the juice to start it twice so I pushed the trike out to the runway instead of motoring out and set up to launch going north.  

Take off was lovely and I was  soon climbing slow circles above the field.  At 700ft the temp dropped 20 degrees and at 2000 it was damned cold, I took a few pics and watched the sun decend to Charlotte Harbor.  Looking back, I wished that I’d stayed low until the last minute and then climbed to altitude for a final shot.  Next time ….:)

Gearing up for the high altitude flight later this year, I brought a strip of all wrap to use for a cruise control.  It worked fine except that the piece I’d brought was a too long and difficult to manage.  Also, I layed the throttle across my lap and while I don’t think it could get away, I did worry about it flying off and getting into the prop.  Next time I’ll use a SCUBA keeper clip, like I had on the trike buggy and… 
I think I’m going to redo the throttle strap with all wrap and incorporate a piece to use for cruise control.
About 45 minutes into the flight I decided to go back up and hopefully ,shoot the sun just as it dropped below the horizon. I closed the trimmers all the way, mashed down the throttle and was surprised at the climb rate. I was acending at 260 ft/min whereas before it was a miserable 125.  If the wing climbs this well in sinking air, I wonder what it will be like when it’s stable?  I was amazed.  Since I bought the Lift, I’ve been experimenting with the Reflex aspect, how fast could I go and how much power did it take to stay level.  I was only closing the trim for landing… But, what would happen if I kept the trim in hand during launch and closed it at takeoff?  Would I jump into the sky?  The question is…Would I have to let go the brakes or could I close them with the brakes in hand?  I think if I try that I’ll risk stalling the wing but there might be a way to configure things so I still have the brakes in hand and be able to pull “full closed” or perhaps,  just pull the trim until I begin to feel the brakes. 
It’s gong to be HUGE!

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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