901 Yorkshire

Met up with Mike and Bob at the Yorkshire LZ at 6:30.  Bob wasted no time getting up and I followed shortly after.  The plan was to fly out to the Arcadia Airport and back but I hitched my horse to the wrong wagon.  I stayed with Bob after takeoff and we climbed to 2000 feet but instead of turning North Bob stayed within a 5 mile radius of our launch.  Mike on the other hand stayed low and made a beeline toward Arcadia.  

So….Bob and I played around the patch for 90 minutes in calm air.  Turns out he was having trouble with is motor and opted to stay close and practice maneuvers.  Mike completed his round trip including a pit stop at the airport in about 110 minutes.  All in all , a good way to start the day.

The Big 900

I awoke without an alarm at 5:00.  Not having prepared to fly but remembering the Strawberry moon and it being the first day of Summer, I decided this was a good excuse to crack off another century mark.  The wind was blowing from the North East at 8 mph with little gusts and puffs up to 13.  It was cool (67 degrees) so I pulled on fleece top and bottom with a wind breaker.

The launch was excellent.  The wing came up smartly and my run up was short and steady.  Once airborne I was climbing at 350fpm at 11 mph ground speed.  Wow!  I don’t usually get excited about things like that but this was really well above the average.
Flew slowly against the wind out to Track and Trails and fast back to the patch.  The landing was sweet.  It was a little bumpy on final but the touchdown was slick and there was enough wind to keep the wing up after I’d come to a full stop.  I sat in the trike and kited the wing for a couple of minutes before pulling break and calling it for the day.    Nice……

Strawberry Moon … Solstice and the first day of summer…. First Strawberry moon in 70 years.

899 Shell Creek

Nice flight.  Surface breeze 7 at 100 feet it was 20.  Nothing dramatic.  It was a little like yesterday with the storms rolling in but the air wasn’t as turbulent.  I flew for 45 minutes and landed when the winds started to build.  Back on the surface it was very mellow.  I almost went back up but decided to save 

# 900 for a trophy flight.

898 Shell Creek

Don’t ya just hate it…..
When you launch into a perfectly beautiful sunrise, and discover,
its flyable, but its no…….. fun.

That was the 898 experience.  I set the alarm early so that I could get a chance at a trophy shot of the sunrise.  The weather report was for calm air at sunrise with winds and storms building rapidly after sun up.  It was blowing 8 at Placida and about that, at the house.  I figured it was coastal breeze and would be greatly diminished at Shell Creek.  Conditions at the field were 5 with an occasional puff from the West.  I set up for a crosswind launch heading South.   Nice inflation, good turn down the runway.  I launched in the wind shadow of the last tree bordering the runway.  When I passed the tree and flew into clear air, the wing moved aft and I climbed 300 plus ft/min, for about 3 seconds. Then I was in sink and back and forth all the way to 400 feet, where the wind was blowing 20 + mph steadily.  The bumps were down to a 2, on a scale of 5 and the wing was rock steady.   I wasn’t worried about collapse but if I wanted to avoid the bumps I had to stay above 300 feet where penetration was poor and predicted to get worse.
So…. I landed
Its all good.

894 – 897. Shell Creek

June 15, 2016 6:30am

894   Mike Lange and I flew out to the Wall Mart Distribution Center and parts North of the patch.

Cruising altitude 350 ft.
Time 58 minutes
Clear sky calm air

June 16,
Three flights

…. One long , two short

Low altitude
Watching the storm build to the south, I decided to stay close to the patch.  Conditions on the field were calm so when I landed I decided to do a little take off practice. 
It was raining and stormy the rest of the day

#893 Shell Creek

Dawn flight after several days of heavy weather.  The new area that Frank mowed for us has a canal (almost) between the runway and our staging area.  I tried to back the truck up to the runway to avoid pushing the trike through the high grass and ended up with the back end with water half way up the tires.  I was able to back on to the runway and left a nasty looking skid mark driving back across.

The flight was without drama avg. elevation 400 ft.  Duration 55 minutes.
Later I attempted an evening flight but had to call it off when the front wheel disassembled.

Two Days Two Flights

Yesterday, after stopping at Mike L’s to get the cage welded I met up with Bob, Mike and Bill at Placida.  We tried to fly there last Sunday but ended up sitting in our vehicles while 3 inches of rain dumped on us.  Anyway….. I arrived about 6:30 and Bill was boating overhead.  The other two were out of sight somewhere on Gasparilla Island.  I took my time getting ready and committed take-off sometime shortly after 7.  It was a bad launch.  I had to turn shortly after inflation and was perhaps a little to abrupt with the wing during the turn.  Never the less, I got pointed in the right direction and applied power.  The field was bumpy and the breeze was gusty and I experienced a pre-mature takeoff.  I touched back down again, briefly, and staggered into the sky.  The air was mixing, not terribly bumpy but not a lot of fun.  I landed after probably 20 minutes.

Second attempt was aborted after I broke a brake line during inflation.  Easy fix replacing less than 10 feet to first cascade.

# 889 High Flight

The perfect morning.  I noticed the last time that I’d flown here that somebody had mowed the grass and made a turn around at the end of partly hidden track to the runway..  There is a DC-2 carcass that is begging to be converted into a club house.  There is enough room to park 4 vehicles and room for more if it were mowed.  It’s not a project to jump into solo, but if we ever organize a club it would make  a kick ass hangout.  A couple of shipping containers for hanger space and it would be perfect for twelve year olds and middle aged PPG pilots.

The launch and landing were fine.  I did two touch n goes from either end of the runway and finally landed with a very faint tailwind.   Maximum altitude was slightly over 6000 AGL.  Mellow climb and mellow decent.  50 minutes. 
On another note: Rex got his initial 4 flights at Dorr Michigan with Terry Lutke.  He is on his way back to Denver to finish his instruction with the Rocky Mountain Flock.  Terry has been talking about getting out of training for a couple of years and this afternoon he posted that he had happily finished training his last beginner.  Thanks for your service Terry.  And thanks for taking on Rex … It meant a lot to him and me.