Short and Sweet. It’s been awhile since my last flight. My goal for this one was to dial in the A’assists and enjoy a little airtime. Mission accomplished.
There was a light breeze coming from the north. I set up at the main intersection and managed a clean launch. The simplest A’assists worked fine . No mechanical cam just a simple bowline with a quick release knot.
At 300 ft I bumped through some moderate turbulence and encountered a significant wind blowing opposite to the surface breeze. I climbed to 1000 ft where the wind was equal to my forward speed at neutral trim. There was a light haze that I hadn’t noticed earlier.
Climbing 300 fpm with 80% throttle I turned to the East and enjoyed a big beautiful sunrise. The air was mostly clear except for a light marine layer. The Harbor was was calm, reflecting a strong beam back to the sun. It one of those moments that gets me out of bed at o-dark-thirty.
So…. Launch and Landing were clean. The A’assists worked and I’m a happy camper.
I turned back to the LZ descending and making very little headway. At 500 ft. I was able to penetrate but, in level 5 bumps. I continued to descend riding the bumps to 200 feet where, the wind was light.
Unfortunately, I neglected to load the windsock pole and had to guess what the wind was doing at the surface. I figured, the strong wind I’d encountered aloft had overcome the early surface winds. …Nope, The turbulence I came through on decent was the convergence of the two opposing air flows.
Looking back I should have recognized the downwind dragon during my clearing turn. I missed it and landed with 5 or 6 mph tailwind. It was hot, I ran through the grass and over the crossroad before I’d slowed enough to safely drop the wing.
Note to self…. Do some lower level flying to improve you awareness of the air mass. Watch for the downwind dragon one the upswing angel.