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.