Second Generation Campers
Blue Rag Sunrise
Blue Rag Sundogs
Down Valley View
Snow Mountain Ranch
Way Down Valley
Friday Aug 29,2008
The first thing after checking in I approached the camp director Marty Ferguson to get clearance to fly. He kicked it up the ladder until I was introduced to the President/CEO Kent Meyer who gave me permission without hesitation. I was prepared to argue my case with statistics and video but it wasn’t necessary, seems like “The Chief” was till supporting my adventures after all these years. I had a USPPA waiver ready to go and gladly gave it to Juanita Muntz ( a friend of 40 years ) to file with the rest of the paperwork.
Sat. Aug 30 2008 #195 6am Light breeze from the SW
I decided to launch in front of the pavilion and dinning hall. It’s a natural drainage with cool air flowing down valley. While I was setting up I chatted with Bob B. from 1976. Bob and I had talked about PPG the night before and I have to admit I was in full missionary mode when I pulled out the Ipod and showed him some of the better Acro videos. I guess it was no surprise that he got up early to see a flight. There were also a couple of CCO counselors who had slept by the council ring.
I made a mess out of the first launch. The buggy had a hard time breaking loose and when I did get rolling I heard a tick tick sound that I’ve never heard before. Turns out the prop had got into the starboard top part of the cage and taken out the netting. At first I thought I was going to be grounded for the trip but after looking and cussing I decided to cut away the lines and launch anyway. I couldn’t see how I would be able to get my hand back far enough to hit the prop and I figured that if I was careful on landing it would not be a problem getting the lines into the rig.
The second attempt was better. The wing came up slightly to the left, instead of using brake to bring the wing around I decided to follow it with the buggy and follow the slope of the field. It was the right move because the buggy rolled better and the wind loaded up quickly. One thing I missed was that my convex mirror was fogged by condensation and I couldn’t see the wing to get it centered. Not a big deal I slowed down. looked up and stabilized the wing when it felt good I hammered the throttle and resumed. The run-out took as long as I expected but once I had rotated the climb was quickly 150 ft / min. I climbed to 9600 asl and explored Snowmountain Ranch. After a few pictures and some easy wingovers I started a 30 degree spiral and descended to 9000 feet. After a couple of laps around the LZ I flew down valley and set up for final.
The landing was sweet but there was a wire I had not seen when I first scoped out the field. I was on final at 100 feet when I saw it 200 feet ahead and a bit below my glide path as long as there wasn’t any sinking air I’d probably clear it by 20 -30 feet but just to be sure I powered up to give myself a little more space. As soon as it was past I cut power, let the wing surge and dived to get back on the glide path. Brian …You would have been proud! The landing was right on spot
NOTE TO SELF…When flying a new place…
look hard for obstructions!
Aug 31 08 #196
This was a better flight! The air was as smooth as glass, no wind. Take off was perfect…It’s always easier without spectators! I flew to the highway …down valley and up to the pond. The air was sinking over the valley and rising over the ranch. I was suprised to find so much lift this early in the day, the buildings were probably giving off some heat but I think it was probably caused by the exposed earth where they had cut down dead trees. At one point I was still climbing 90 ft/minute at 4500RPM.
The only technical glitch was that the motor was lugging down at full thrust. I descended from 9700 to 9200 ASL and finished the flight keeping the motor below 5400RPM.
Get a 145 and a 148 jet for the carb!
Landing was a surprise…When I got back there was a group of people having church service right where I was planning to land. I was already feeling a little self conscious and didn’t want to draw more attention, so I climbed out and set up an approach that would set me down closer to the horse barn. I was still going to buzz the service but at least I’d be at a higher altitude and not as noisy. The alternate LZ looked good …the grass was a bit higher but it looked good and flat and it was still an easy walk to the truck. What I didn’t realize was, that the grass was high because it was boggy. When the wheels touched down, instead of rolling, they stuck. No roll out at all! I went from 17mph to zero in about 2 feet! It was a rude surprise but I didn’t think it was anything more than a hard landing.
Turns out the frame was damaged, and that was the end of CCO flying… just as well since I got my fix and was free to do other things.