879, 880, 881 Shell Creek and Tom Spiers visit

This was a lot of fun!   Tom Speirs stopped by on his way to Beach Blast.  Splitting his time between family in Naples and Punta Gorda worked out well.  In just a few days he managed to get in several flights and a day on Paradiso with the whole family.  I flew with him twice and even got in the pilot seat and taxied up and down the runway.  I never seriously considered learning to fly a Delta WST but this has certainly wet my appetite.  There  are FAR 103 Deltas so ….Who Knows?

My flight this evening was one for the Dumb Chute File.  …..I noticed that the reserve container had partially opened when I was flying over the field at 500 feet.  Tom and I had been talking about repacking the reserve last night and I guess I didn’t put it back together properly after we opened it up to check the safety pins.  Dumb Sh*t …. The reserve is going back on my pre-flight check list!
I almost didn’t fly.  The first burp was that the key had been left on, draining the starter battery….. I had the emergency battery.  Then the winds were strong from the WSW, making for a sharp cross wind take off.  After 15 minutes and some kiting the breeze started to moderate so I laid out and launched without drama.  The air was pretty bumpy but above 150 feet it was warm and the sky was beautiful.  A couple of times I got into some good lift and was able to climb with the Generac at idle.  
The spell was broken when I glanced down and saw the reserve flapping in the breeze.   Even though the Velcro grabbed right away I immediately turned back and landed.  Total airtime was 30 minutes and it should have been over an hour.

Shell Creek #878

Got out early. Launched from South end of runway.  Climbed to 6100 and flew to Tracks and Trails.

Landing was exciting. When I got back to the LZ, it was starting to pop. At 300 ft I was being tossed around pretty good and had to go around twice before I could get on final at an appropriate altitude.  Seems like I kept getting lifted just as I was finishing the base turn and was too high for final.  Then I encountered sink on the runway and to flare very quickly to avoid a hard landing.

Tom Spiers arrived from Colorado yesterday.  We were lucky to hook up with Richard at Shell Creek because he was happy to let Tom hanger his WST in his hanger.