#415 And I forgot my camera !

It had been cloudy and threatening to rain all day but at 6 pm the skies started to clear and the conditions mellowed. While I was watching, Marek called and we both agreed that it was probably going to be flyable. Marek could not go but it looked good and was certainly better than sitting around feeling sorry for myself so I jumped in the MR-2 and raced over to Chips house. In record time I was at Simms and launched quickly without incident.

As predicted … it was glass. I flew straight toward Red Rocks and as I came over the hogback I could see that there was a concert tonight. I flew the perimeter of the Amphitheater about 800 feet above the crowd being careful not to overfly the congestion.

Damn I forgot the camera! BUT from all the flashbulbs going off I knew that there were hundreds of photos being taken so the flight was documented (if not by me). From the west I could look right over the seating into the stage where they were doing light and sound checks. Perhaps 2/3’s of the seats were filled with lots more coming.

After a couple of circuits around the park I headed east, as I was halfway to the hogback I noticed a strange craft to the south. At first I thought it was a balloon but within 10 seconds I could tell it was moving toward me and no balloon. It was coming straight at me and at about 3000 yards I decided to wag my wings and turn back to the Amphitheater. I did a small wingover and just as I began to turn west it must have seen me because it made a hard turn to the east and descended rapidly to 500 feet below me. When it turned and I could see the profile, I was surprised to see that it was Chinook cargo copter. I’m glad he saw me when he did … I’m sure they throw a monster propwash… not something I ever want to experience.

The return was uneventful, I descended to 300 feet after crossing I-70 and overflew Soda Lake and the campgrounds which were mostly empty. The landing was easy, the wind had picked up and I was able to land on the dirt road and taxi right to the truck. Good Fight! Almost Epic but no pictures 😦

Flight #184 Las Vegas

Awesome Flight that I wasn’t sure I was going to get to take…

I found a housing development that had been put on hold by the housing crisis. The area was graded and there were fist sized rocks and some construction material to avoid but certainly not a show stopper. The dawn wind was a showstopper… there was no way I was going to be able to fly in this wind. So… I decided to go back and was ready to leave when the wind died to nothing. I don’t know why I was amazed, it’s pretty common for there to be a fresh breeze right at dawn. I think I had resolved to not fly and I was having a hard time getting psyched all over again. After launching 4 balloons and convincing myself there weren’t any crazy rotors coming off the tops …I turned back to the South end of the site.
I was confronted by the security guard but he was an ex PPC pilot and after pulling my chain a bit, said go for it, and chatted me up while I set the wing. The first take off was aborted when my wingtip got a little cravat and the second was entertaining because I had to pop the brakes to miss getting corn holed by a 24 inch piece of re bar sticking out of the earth.

I flew along the ridge line climbing along the way. There were some cool red rock formations that looked like some kind giant fungus …growing on the mountain.
The kicker was having a small private jet cross my path about 1000 feet in front and 200 feet below me. It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to be spooked. I turned away and climbed to avoid any chance of getting into his jet wash. Looking at the GPS track is apparent that he was following the slope of the foothills on a glide into LV International. I think we were both legal but he was sure flying low and fast. Next time I fly a major market …I’ll get and read the sectional.

#165 Flying with the Balloons

Ballons fly with us !

Simms 6 am. Shortly after I took off I could see John driving into the field and when I came back 40 minutes later Paul and Marek were setting up. I followed John from above while he cruised the golf courses from about 100 feet. Paul was having a hard time getting up but finally slowed down and made a great launch.
I changed the jet to 150 ,it seems to have corrected the problem and the motor is running up much faster.

On the second flight I watched a balloon fight to land in our field. He wasn’t able to get over to us so he set down in the field to the West and relaunched after a few minutes and landed in the park to the west and a tad bid south. I guess he did that to avoid cutting the fence to get his crew into the first field.

Flight 49 Flew with Chip and a chopper

July 5th 2007
Good Flight. I’m still getting used to the new throttle and all the buttons (starter and Kill). This morning I hit the starter when I was trying to kill it. I hate the sound if metal on metal. Chip and I flew for at least an hour. We covered a lot of ground and I spent some quality time getting to know the new machine. At one point the Fox News Chopper was snooping around, I tried to wave him off but Chip just turned straight at him like he wanted to play chicken. That worked …the chopper pilot took his picture and bugged out. Sure enough the next day Chip was on TV.