Flight # 1069 The Return to Health


First flight since before the Bone Island Regatta. Light 4 knot breeze from the ESE. Launch was slightly crosswind. New “low profile” brake toggle is a great success. It was much easier to modulate the throttle and work the brakes. Missed in Preflight, was the trimmer setting it was possible (likely) that they were pulled in , for landing. If so, it’s a good thing for light wind launch. This should be tried again and experimented with because today I popped up nicely but it was a combination of higher RPM and trim setting. Next launch I will try 1/2 inch below neutral. In stronger breeze, perhaps a bit above neutral.

The breeze was 15 to 20 knots above 400 feet and steady 20at 3000. I played with the brakes and tip steer and decided that the tips had to come down. Possibly I can shorten the brake slightly and lengthen the tip steer. It would be nice to have more authority with less pressure during landing.

After the flight, the surface wind had picked up to 6 or 7 which made for a good kiting session. It felt wonderful!


I have been suffering from a malady which has caused stiffness and pain in my shoulders hips and legs. The disease has been getting persistently worse and during the week after the BIR it became apparent that it wasn’t going to go away. I felt as though I had aged 30 years in 30 days. The last morning, before going to the doctor, I couldn’t raise my arms above my head and could barely bend over to pick up a Kleenex. It was beginning to look like my flying days might be over. All manner of horrible diseases haunted my thoughts.

Two days ago I went to the doctor who preliminarily diagnosed it as Polymyalgia rheumatica or PMR. She gave me a shot in the butt and a 9 day regimen of steroids. That evening, I was much improved and awoke fully cured of the symptoms. Next Tuesday, I will hear the test results and what the drug regimen I will have, going forward. With luck and a prolonged light dosages I will have no further symptoms.

The most amazing and gratifying thing, is how quickly the symptoms went away. The doctor said that my symptoms were casebook and that she was very confident that her diagnosis would be confirmed. When she said, “What will you give me if I can make this pain go away in a day?” I was stunned. I would have given a lot!

One notable symptom was that the pain and stiffness was worse first thing in the morning. The first morning in Key West I could barely get out of bed. Once I was able to push through the pain , I could function but if I sat still for awhile it was hard to stand up. It’s interesting that the constant motion of sailing kept me able bodied. Then once back in the land of, “reclining easy chairs”, I was disabled in a couple of days.



Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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