I took the machine with me to the lake and woke up an hour before the alarm. I had a hard time getting out of bed because it was cold in the boat but I dragged myself out of my nice warm berth and got to the field early.
The take-off was terrible. The field has been posted no trespassing
and so I was forced to use a small section by the High School. The surface is rutted and the mud has dried leaving lots of little nubs that love to grab and hold the lines. In the field the weeds are thigh high and the ground is bumpy as hell.
This place is the opposite if Vance Brand, the run outs are bouncy slow challenges. The trike is trying to power through the weeds and the wing is bouncing above the trike. I can only imagine the lousy air flow over the wing. Invariably I get airborn too soon at too low an air speed. It is more like lurching into the air. Looking back, I should have aborted but once up, the air was smooth as butter. There was a fresh breeze from the West making it turbulent over by Red Rocks so I spent 90 minutes playing over the golf courses and Bear Creek Park. Not much activity this early… just me and the coyotes
I did go east to Wadsworth and circle the big lake there. On the way home just to remind myself that things could be worse I flew to the prison. There were some people walking around the quad and I thanked god I wasn’t one of them. I climbed to 8700 feet ASL and did a hard spiral over the prison. The Power Play Sting isn’t a aerobatic wing but with enough pressure I was able to achieve the steepest dive ever. I dropped 3000 feet in short order and pulled out over the prison at 300 feet.
It’s good to be alive
Back at Chips house I layed out the Eden III and did a serious inspection, the damage was much worse than I thought. Seven lines need to be replaced and there is a 1/4 puncture by the left wingtip. While I was doing that Chip fixed a wonderful breakfast and debated whether to fly, run or bike. Terrible dilemma… but the conditions were perfect and the sky won. I sat on the deck and sipped coffee while he hiked up and got in three flight over the next several hours. My thoughts kept drifting back to my girls, I wondered what they were doing and if they were thinking of their “Ol Man”.
How cool to be able to land in your own back yard !
Chip’s last flight of the day with a pal
A Beautiful Summer Morning with the PPPPG Club
There was rain last night but it was beautiful this morning. I was out of the house and on my way to East Springs Airport by 4:30am. It’s 20 minutes farther South and East of the soccer field. For Some reason the GPS routed me through about 10 miles of dirt roads. Whats that about ? Last time it took me a few more miles south but at least it kept me on the pavement. So I arrived at the Air strip in a cloud of dust about 6:00am. On the way into the area I spotted a solitary glider and silently congratulated him on the early start.
There was a good crowd setting up ….Jerry K…Kevin K…Mathew W…John B…Shad…Mike B.. Alex D (was seen blazing out of the air port early. I saw him later but we never did talk so I don’t know what that was about).
(photos by Mike Bennett)
Anyway The air was great with a layer of warm air sitting on top. It was fun bumping through into the warmth. There was also a bumpy area directly east of the LZ right above some cattle. Somebody was making jokes about the cows creating bumps. It was a pleasure to launch in such perfect conditions. Light laminar air….nice smooth surface to rollout in all directions and super flat terrain, the prescription for low stress flying. The PPS 250 came up clean every time and it was great how the buggy took the load and kept on pulling as the wing inflated. Those are the right tires for the surface… I noticed that I was staying on the “A’s” longer than normal and it felt good to stay with the wing until it was well overhead.
I topped out at 1000 feet and practiced a little low and slow , nothing special but getting the feel of the Power Play.
While packing up I saw Ranger Bo…great to see him! Turns out he was the pilot I had seen on the way in … he had launched from another field at dawn and was doing a fly-by. We chatted a little about the X-Country that John Black is talking about and he made a good point. Monument pass may be splitting the air flow because I seem to remember mostly SW breeze for early flights in Denver and the Springs boys tend to get Northerly air. I’ll have to do a little research and see if i can spot a trend.
When I got home the girls had fixed a special Fathers Day breakfast and later we all went to the Paradiso for a lazy afternoon on the lake.