907 SHELL CREEK

No Drama

1:08 Flight time
1755 max altitude
36 miles covered
Notes:  The trim cams are slipping unless I pull the cam arm and “set” the trims.  After landing I noticed that the left side was half out. 
 Falcon is grounded due to a broken weld at the top of the inner cage ring.   Time to visit Mike Lange and perhaps talk to Terry about building a new airframe.  The whipping knot held it together but I noticed that the broken welds were not far away from cutting the lines.  I doubt it would have held for very long.  It’s a good looking knot but not good for this purpose.  Perhaps, if I overlayed it with a second whip …..

Once again the wing overshot and crashed in front of the trike.  Nice flight …. Wide ranging 

906 Shell Creek Airpark

No Drama.  I’m comfortable with the Eden again.   50 minutes at and around 500 ft.  Light air.

I landed by the truck and nose dived the wing into the swale.  For some crazy reason I rolled the wing inside out and bagged it.  It did keep the wing dryer but opened the possibility of a terrible line tangle.  Later back at the house  it bugged me until i repacked it.
I’ve got a crack opening at the top of the first ring so I bound it with line using a whipping knot.  It will be interesting to see how it fares when the weld lets go.

905 Getting reacquainted with the Eden III

It’s all good but…  I miss my APCO.
The Eden was inspected by Paratour.  I’m good for another 100 hours.  It doesn’t crinkle anymore and it’s developed a bad habit of gaining weight from the morning dew.  Elisabeth has shortened the brakes and sometime / somewhere, I shortened the pulleys, making it impossible to park the toggles while in flight.  I did make the mistake of missing a wrap with the brakes but it was a non event.
  

#904 Palm Bay

This was a good one.  I drove to Palm Bay where I was leaving the APCO with Joe Morris to give to Elisabeth when she gets back.  We met at Valkire Airport (including Rex who was bringing my Powerplay 250.  I cracked off a quick one with the Eden.  It was 8:30 and the air was starting to percolate.  The Eden was fine.

Blew Launch and Blended the Wing

I waited a week to write this one up because I’ve been trying to figure out what was the cause of a very expensive incident.  During the last few launches I’ve been having trouble with the lines getting bit during inflation.  Was it the keepers kicking out lines or perhaps it was the APCO Lift EZ doing some crazy dance where the outside lines were slack and getting grabbed while the center of the glider was going through the prop wash?  I’m still not sure what the problem is but I’ve decided it didn’t have anything to do with this incident.

Here is what happened.  The wing came up crooked and I pumped the brake to get it back on track, at the same time I was reducing thrust.  I expected the wing to overshoot but instead it did what APCO said it would, it went overhead and stopped. Then, because I was still decelerating, it stalled and fell into the paramotor.  I added power too late to get ahead of the wing and killed it only after the wing was being sucked into the hub.  Apparently it’s a fine line between having too much power and not enough when you are trying to stabilize an oscillating wing.  Too much and you get rolled, not enough and the wing  stalls.  Its also very possible it that there was a tail wind which would have stalled the wing almost as soon as I started to slow down.
One of the cons to flying at Shell Creek is that the vegetation on either side of the runway can make a wind shadow.  I had motored out to the LZ leaving my wind sock 100 yards away attached to the truck where it showed very light and variable air.  There could well have been a nice northern breeze just over my head and I didn’t catch it.  The airflow at the Parking area has it’s own issues, between buildings etc.
No matter how I analyze it ….pilot error.

There are no pictures because I wasn’t of a mind to document a perfect wing slashed to ribbons.

No Fly Day

This is the second line strike in a month.  I think it’s happening because the line keepers on the cage are holding the lines tightly together.  When the A’s are immediately tensioned they might be throwing other lines out of the keeper while they are still slack.  The outside may be very slack.  The chevron layout exacerbates this and one part of the cure may be to layout the wing in a slight curve.  Another thing I’m going to try is to inlay a zip tie inside the keeper so that the lines are laying in the crook instead of being gripped against the cage.

During inflation I heard or perhaps sensed the line strike.  I didn’t immediately abort and instead kept accelerating.  I looked at the lines and remarkably saw the damaged one.  It was intact but the sheath was severed.  That’s when I aborted.  On inspection I could have continued the flight.  The damaged line was the far outside Main D which does not carry a heavy load and is backed up by the brake lines.  However,  I could not have know at the time so it was the right thing to do.  

903 Almost a No Fly Day … Shell Creek Airpark

Today was the second day of Tony’s instruction.  Yesterday we did some ground school at the house and messed with the wing a bit.  I replaced a line and showed him how to pack and lay out the wing.

This morning we watched a great sunrise while I set up for launch.  
The first attempt was aborted when I felt/heard a prop strike a line.  The second was a sckitchy launch with some of the lines getting under the keepers.  Once up, I scanned the lines to check the previous day’s work and noticed that one of the mallions had the lines reversed and a brake line was under the main D that we replaced yesterday.  This wing has a tendency to break o-rings.  It may be the keeper and it my be that they are just old o-rings but it’s something to watch out for.
The third attempt was another abort due to prop strikes.  I couldn’t find any damage but will make a thorough inspection when I fix the twisted lines this afternoon.  I’m going to completely rebuild the keepers with heavy gauge coated wire and some foil tape to reduce friction where the lines rub against the outer ring.

Later, I swapped out the line I’d installed with Tony, addressed some denuded mallions and
corrected the brake line crossover. 
Note:  there is a great YOUTUBE video on how to install the O rings.  It’s easy to forget if you haven’t done it for awhile.