#957 Shell Creek

20 minutes
54 degrees
light wind

This was a last minute thing.   There is a cold front moving through and its been overcast and dreary all day.  About 3:00 it started to lift and by 5:00 I was off to the races.  Happily there wasn’t anything going on at the airpark.  I was afraid that the sky divers would be out in force but nope…. just me and a couple of Sand Hill Cranes.
Launch was clean.  I played around the patch … took a few photos … and enjoyed a nice cool flight.
No Drama.  Oh yea,  I was playing with using the tip steering and the brakes together.   It didn’t feel natural but I think if I change the length of the Stabilio line it might work.  On landing I let go of the tip steering at the beginning of the flare because i would have pulled a lot of tip before ever activating the brake.

#Flight 956 Shell Creek & Harbor 20 Sailing on Port Charlotte with Mike and Marsha.

Overcast 56 degrees 
NW Wind 3mph at surface
         15-20mph at altitude
Bumpy Thermal layer at 200 feet

Good launch.  I made it a point to pay more attention to the wing during inflation.  Partly because the iPad obscures the mirror but also because I’d noticed, over time I’d been depending too much on the mirror.  I was launching straight forward without the proper concern for how the wing was lifting.  
I’d been using the brute weight of the trike to counterbalance the wing while it stabilized.  When I should have been moving slightly under the wing and braking the high side.  
The Falcon is very forgiving and I was getting lazy.
I noticed for the first time, people at the gun range, it might have been concerning except that, there were cattle down range.  No worries about Bubba taking a pot shot at my wing today.

Anyway…. nice little flight around the patch.  I tried the Hero clamped to the foot bar.  I I fear, there was too much vibration for the stabilization to correct.  ….. we will,see.

Overshot first landing and had to go around.

Kayak at Manatee Park and Flight #955 Placida

Got up early and drove down to Manatee Park in Fort Myers.  Unfortunately the put in time had been moved up an hour and I didn’t receive the e-mail.  Luckily I wasn’t the only one.  We late comers had the place to ourselves.  The water was a couple of degrees shy of optimum for the Manatee but there were a few around and a good time was had by all.

After a short paddle I drove over to the Manor rehab facility to visit my friend RJ Hart who is recovering from a bad bicycle accident.  He is hoping to go home next Tuesday after 2 full months incarcerated.  We joked about his upcoming meeting with the surgeon by calling it the “parole board”
On the way back from Fort Myers I received a text from Mike Lange that he and Mike Otten were heading off to Placida.  I was surprised that they were going to launch so early in the day.  There was no way that I would be able to get their in time to launch with them but I prefer calmer air anyway.
Arrived at the field about 4:30, the wind was 10+ from the West.  I drove around and found a road that was almost directly into the wind and set-up while an older fellow on his motorcycle watched.  The launch was clean despite several nasty weeds that had pushed through the asphalt.

The flight was good, I caught up with the two Mikes and tooled around the patch for 30 minutes.   It was too late of go for a cross country but there was still a pending sunset.

No camera …but there really wasn’t any structure for the sun to work with.   I did look for the Green Flash though, I imagined the orange flame dying and just as it goes out …. a flash ….. reversing the burnt orange  to a cool lime hue.
I saw it……
Sadly it wasn’t the sun burning its dying image on the back of my retina.   I was seeing the after image as it disappeared… fooled my minds eye and cheated death again     🙂

#954 Shell Creek

Calm at the Surface  20+ above 200 ft.
Launch was a little spicy when the wing decided to hang off to the right.
Not sure why the wing misbehaved but I was able to get it back overhead and got up just fine.
30 minutes
900 ft. max AGL
Once up, I turned into the wind and was able to penetrate at 6mph.  I set the trimmers all the way to full reflex and bumped it up to 15.

No Drama.

952 & 953 WOW 2017


Dawn launch, Shell Creek.

50 minutes 
1200 ft.  AGL
Light ground fog.
Chase cam footage.

Dawn Launch, Lake Wales Municipal Airport WOW 1017
1200ft AGL
Foggy conditions.  
Hung around the airport for 40 minutes and landed when it looked like it was closing in.  
No Drama

WOW was a bust.  Well, not exactly but the weather looked like it would shut down aviation after Friday. It was pretty obvious so I changed my plans and drove up Thursday afternoon.  Mike Lange and another pilot and I had a Mac Dinner and it was off to bed.  The next morning I  flew early and left after visiting a few friends.  Jeff Goin said it best in his blog post.  lots of new blood.  The most poignant moment was standing with Leon Wacker and Eric Dufore while The Aviator Staff and students put on a show for the cameras.