#1054. Spoofed by the Marine Layer

Video of last 4 minutes ………youtube.com/watch

Short but nice flight. The winds were coming in from the SSE. Launching from the patch was a problem because it had me flying right into the rotor coming off the east side so I moved into the development a bit. The surface was bumpy but with a good breeze I would be “rolling light” fairly quickly.

The launch was clean except that I forgot to start the cameras, check list needed. As soon as I’d cleared the wires at the west end of the field it started getting rowdy. The wind shifted to East and I was pulled pretty hard to the right. By 400 feet I’d cleared the bumps and was climbing steadily at 350 rpm toward Gasparilla. The sun was 20 minutes from sunset and I was approaching 1000 ft. when I saw what looked like a light rain shower to the north. On the second look, I worried about a possible wind front ahead of the rain.

So…. I cut power and turned back to the LZ. After passing through the bumps I greased the landing right by the truck. The rain and wind never arrived, I could have stayed up another 40 minutes but it was already twilight at the surface and if I launched again, I’d be packing up in the dark.

Reducing the pitch was a real eye opener  for me.  With the lower pitch my top RPM is betweenn 3800 and 3900.  I’m able to get the idle to stay near 1300 to 1550.  The motor surges and searches a bit, but it’s not a problem.  The big thing is that the prop wash isn’t catching the wing, before I’m ready.  I don’t like to sitting there with the motor running but it’s important that I be able to turn the key and still have enough time to get my hands in position for launch.  Terry’s suggestion was a good one. Another thing I’ve noticed with the “new pitch” is that I’m better able to modulate engine speed and there is a wider powerband.
It was a great flight and I’m disappointed I cut it short but it feels good to be getting my chops back. The next few days are not promising but I’m getting back up soon.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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