I really didn’t expect to fly today. Yesterday was brutal. Surveys, kids sailing camp and processing mangos wore me out. I fell into bed at 11:00p and set the alarm but I also expected to turn it off and roll over when it went off at 5:00a. Big surprise…. I was feeling good and so….. “what the heck”.
It was much like the last flight. High clouds, nil wind and 100 percent humidity. I wasted time obsessing about finding a runway that lined up with the scant breeze eventually opting to launch in the same place as two days ago.
The wing came up clean but the runout was long with one touch and go before finally getting up. I tooled around the patch for 30 minutes and greased the landing. The landing was great. I started the final from 1/2 mile out, landed 100 yards short of the truck and taxied the last stretch. I was surprised and abashed when the left wingtip clipped a tree 100 feet from the truck. The gap looked big enough to easily clear the trees on either side of the road. Lesson learned … no damage.
It’s taken far too long but I’m finally getting the feel of the rig and wing. The throttle is still a little too touchy but at least I’m not bumping between 2800 and 3800 RPM every time I change hand positions.
Weather- Hot, 78 degrees. Humidity 98 percent. High cloud layer with some wispy bands at 150ft. It was so hot and muggy that I chose not to wear the flight suit.
This was the maiden voyage of the Bluetooth helmet. It connected very quickly to the phone and pad and Seri was able to play a specific album on request. The sound was good. I tried to place a call but was not able to get a response from the assistant. Need more practice.
The wing was heavy and sluggish during inflation but it eventually stabilized overhead. The run up and takeoff was fast. The wing oscillated 3 or 4 times, (as predicted by APCO), so I reduced power and raised my hands which allowed it to calm down pretty fast.
Tha air was very stable making for a greasy landing using both WTS and Brakes
The launch was bizarre. Nil wind, trimmers in one notch. The wing would lag back or drift off to one side or another. It almost felt like a downwind launch. I drug and fought the wing for several hundred feet before I was able to get it overhead and the eventual launch, was at a very fast speed. Next time in light air ….try letting trim out a notch instead.
BUT….I did blow the first launch. Somehow I neglected to have the left brake in hand with the A’s and throttle. The wing came up fine but when I went to damp the surge, it was only right brake, my left hand came down and “surprise” …. No pressure. Immediate abort.
I reset into the wind and prepared for a forty degree left turn either on the runway or in the air, depending on launch distance. The APCO behaved nicely, coming up straight and turning quickly above the trike as I steered to a better course for launch and climb out. Takeoff was quick and the climb rate was impressive.
The pond where I spotted a family of wild bore a couple of days ago is dry. I was expecting to see it filled from the recent rains. Surely, this area got dumped on like everywhere else. Why didn’t it retain any water? Its a mystery.
I tooled around the patch for half an hour climbing above 3000ft. The cool air felt good. I started encountering bumpy air at 700ft and it was downright rowdy at 200. My plan had been to go low and practice power management for awhile but the thermals were popping and the wind was building. It was time to get down ….now.
Using both WTS and brakes, I made one pass by the truck to confirm wind direction, then powered through a 360 turn and used the energy from the turn to swoop the landing. I popped up , lined up and greased the best landing this machine has had. It took conscious effort to get the last couple of inches of brake and I had to work the shoulders and position my arms for maximum effort but it paid off with the rig bleeding off speed nicely. Despite the rough surface I barely felt the rear wheels touch and the front came down very gently.
The wind had come up considerably and continued to build while I packed. When I was ready it leave it was a steady 15mph.
Light breeze from the east. 30 minutes of “church” around the patch. Stayed below 1500 ft. Toward the end it was getting bumpy. Puffs blowing through.
I was able to get more strength into the flare. It was just a matter of planning on using serious force and having the correct arm position to apply pressure.
Walking back to the rig after landing and retrieving the wing bag I discovered that my wing had caught a puff and turtled the Falcon. It cast a funky silhouette and for a second , it looked as though the entire unit had been town apart and was laying in pieces. The rear wheels were in the right place and the seat bottom could have been the motor. It sure looked like something had torn the cage and prop all to hell and gone. Before I could react, I realized what had happened. It just fell over backwards into a turtle. So…. Big Smile and apology to “buddy” because I had seen the possibly of exactly that, right after landing and ignored it. No Damage ….Non event.
There was a nice breeze but the wing was so heavy from the humidity that I couldn’t keep it aloft.
While putting everything away, I received a text from Andy saying that 20 weeks was optimistic for receiving a new Colorado. I asked him to check on availability for a substitute , perhaps a large Charger 2.