Active Piloting at Yorkshire #997

This was a Quickie

The air was almost nil inside the woods of the Yorkshire LZ.

AFTER, I’d set up the wing, the windsock started to twitch and a few puffs blew in from the rear.

Damn! ….But Hell, it was so damn calm down in these trees. So, I sat, glancing over my shoulder for a quiet moment and when the sock fell slack, I pulled the trigger and started the launch. The roll out was long and the climb out even longer. I stayed above the road, following the turn, while the trike dragged into the sky. At treetop, it was about a 5 bump level and stayed that way to about 400ft. Continuing to climb I saw numerous small bands clouds blowing toward me, about 500 below. I was penetrating at 9 mph bearing 020 degrees. I could really only fly over heavily wooded or swampy ground, the wind wanted to blow me over the city! I suppose, I could have crabbed to the south toward Lake Suzie but every time I passed over one of the baby cumulus, it got thermal and I suspected it would probably get worse as the earth warmed.

So… I turned left back over the labyrinth of blacktop and tall trees. Like Placida and The Salton Sea, the area was a Real Estate Developers failed project. The roads and drainage were in but nothing else. The critical difference is that instead of mowed fields or wind blown desert, it is a Jungle of cabbage palms reaching 30 feet on either side of neatly layed out cul de sacs. Fortunately, if you can find it, there is a wide arc at the end of the Yorkshire loop,that has been cleared. If you know the wind direction ahead you should be able to set a good line for launch. Same thing for landing, and now after riding the currents up to 1000ft, I had a clue. When I got a sufficient distance below the LZ I began my decent. In order to line up with the wind I had to go past the truck about 3/4 of a mile. I bumped into a cloud at 500ft and emerged at 300, right on my line. It was active piloting all the way to the ground and I must say, the APCO EZ glider handled the rotor so much better than any of my older wings. I was getting bumped but I had plenty of flare authority and fine control.

I stashed the wing in the brush and taxied back to the truck.

Later looking at the Google track I could see that if I’d had a better feel for the wind direction when I was launching, I could have taken off where I landed and probably enjoyed a longer and safer flight.

After breakfast at Deans, I drove to Chenago Supply and met Tuck who agreed to service my motor after Oct 25.

It’s all good!

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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