The wind speed chart shows moderately high & gusty winds from the south south east. Sunset was at 7:00pm.
Very short flight. The predicted weather was to be 5 mph from the east but I got 10 to 12 gusting to 15-18 from the south. It came down a bit (see Weather chart) , I launched and did one lap before landing by the truck. There were a few issues.
1. It’s not a tumble weed…it’s tangle weed.
Wind from the south caused me to set up at the North end, by Hampden…It’s 500 yards and and a hassle. You have to push the buggy uphill and across the grain of a dense tangle of dry weeds. They are bone dry and flat to the earth…They are like a bunch of tumble weeds that had been run through the laundry… full dense branches 24 to 36 inches long and waiting to get hooked up in the lines. It reminded me of the first days of learning how to ground handle at Brian Smith’s home field. I tried kiting like I had been over at the truck but it wasn’t much fun. Every inflation the wing picked up a few branches and I spent way too much time “de-weeding the wing” and throwing the debris down wind. I suppose the good thing was that I realized the potential for fouling the wing and searched out the least congested spot to set up for launch.
2.When I powered up the buggy bogged down. It was almost a replay of the last flight of the Simonini. The wing came right up in the prop wash but the trike wasn’t moving…I threw my weight back and forth like a toddler on a play toy …luckily, first time…the buggy broke loose and began to accelerate. While this is happening I was watching the PPS start to fold …and just before gravity took over it miraculously re-inflated. The take off was crisp and the climb was better. Launching into a wind with this machine is kinda nice.
BUT… I could have done without the pucker of
imagining my wing getting sliced and diced by # 60
inch Ivo steak knives.
Once up…The air was mixing and rowdy…I decided to land right away…It might have been allot better 800 or 1000 feet higher… but it didn’t feel good… so I landed. The good news was that I set final approach for the truck and came in beautifully. The bad news was that I didn’t mash the throttle do a touch and go and fly for a couple of more minutes.
While I was packing up, it sure seemed flyable, but those are the breaks the weather was too marginal to hassle with the weeds for the last few minutes of light.
Note to self:
When you are launching on softer soil, push the buggy back and forth over the first few yard of runway to smooth the surface and prevent getting the wheels into a rut during the critical first second of power.
Biggest gathering of Denver area Pilots in a couple of years.
Paul Meyer Paul Crazy Ivan Marek Dan Robert Kitilla His son Mark Bennet Some spectators and maybe one or two who’s names I cannot recall.
Plus that’s not all…Wait there is MORE. Three flights of Scoop Divers.
I should have expected some weirdness when the temp dropped from 57 in Denver to 45 at Vance Brand. there were light winds from the North at 3:00. The first flight was ok …a little bumpy but ok.
I had to taxi for longer than usual to get off and the climb out seemed slow. First thing I noticed was that the left Brake line was bound in the risers. I was able to free it without problem since
nothing was crossed …just friction locked.
Max climb was 170 ft / min. I noticed that several of the guys were setting down so I did too. The landing was a bit hard. I killed the motor to0 soon or late and swung under the wing. No damage just didn’t look good. If I’m going to come in dead stick I should decide sooner than 10 feet.
Second Flight was a real pucker. After I set-up, the wind shifted. Rather than re-set I waited and launched when the cycle came around to me. The wing came up much better without the “A” Assists. This time I climbed at 180ft/min When I got to 1200 feet it started to get bumpy and I was climbing at 300ft/min! Even at idle I was still climbing over 100ft/min.
What a ride! The wing was alternately surging and falling back and a couple of times I found myself in a hard bank and starting to get weightless. It was one of those times that you can feel the wind shifting by the way it feels on your face. I was no longer flying in a stable mass of air..It was a good thing that I didn’t have the full height of pad behind me because the extra visibility came in handy to be able to watch the wing. There were several forward surges and while I never saw the trailing edge …it was hairy enough. I think that I was perhaps a little timid on the brakes because I couldn’t feel the wing and the forces working on it. I was contemplating Big Ears when I finally started to descend. I think I was in the worst of it for 3 or 4 minutes and I made the mistake of turning back into it again before I figured out that it was the west end of the box that was being pulled into the clouds…..NO FUN!
The good news is that the landing was better, I left the motor running and came in at idle.
I’ve found a better position to hold the throttle but it is still hard get fine control of the RPM’s. I look forward to using an FB throttle again!
The next time I see lenticular clouds I’m going to think twice. The didn’t seem to be moving but were hanging there sucking up the warmth.
Looking at the profile I was just getting into the nasty stuff when I decided to land on the first flight. It’s probably why I took one look at everybody landing and decided to do the same. The guys that stayed below 300 feet had very little turbulence but there were high winds aloft and the clouds were sucking the warm air from below…Big time…Maybe it was a clue when it got warm about 4:20. (from 45 to 50 plus in about 10 minutes. Be Aware when the temp is fluctuating…And watch out when there are lenticular clouds and signs of high winds aloft !
Later on the ground we stood around and it was so obvious to all of us, that it was ugly at altitude.
1. Watch out when the temp is bouncing around especially if there are lenticular clouds.
2. To Hell with A Assists!
3. Ease the throttle cable
4. Don’t kill the motor at low altitude just to have the prop stopped when you land… come in under power and grease it.
Simms….70 degrees….light breeze from ENE shifting to NE under light cloud cover
Marek had a hard time making up his mind and when he did decide to fly, he “tweaked his back on a very very long run out. I flew for awhile 15 -20 minutes and landed shortly after I saw Marek land. He was being chatted up by some guy that stopped to watch. Seemed like an OK guy ….Biker”.
After a few minutes of chat the wind had come down to almost nothing so I decided to go up again. The wing came up fine but the buggy was having a hard time getting started, I had to do a Fred Flintstone to get it started but I was too late the glider unloaded and did a frontal. I aborted but the wing came down nicely behind and from the pressure on the risers it felt evenly spread so I grabbed the “A”s” and relaunched without even getting out of my seat. Marek said it looked great. Next time I fly Simms I’ll add a little air to the tires and see if that helps the buggy get started
It was a beautiful flight! Just a few mild bumps to keep me honest.I don’t know why but I didn’t let the trimmers out for the whole flight. Looking back I wished I had because I was paying allot of attention to the way the glider didn’t want to turn into the wind. If I’d just thought about it I could have eased the trim and it would have been a nice sporty ride. But…it was slow and mushy and sometimes mushy is OK.
I spent the last 15 minutes doing touch and goes and flying low and slow. I think I circled the field 5 times before I decided to land. Once in awhile the conditions are right to go to the end of the field and float 2 or 3 feet above the earth all the way to the end.
I learned a good trick on landing. I came in cross the wind about 20 degrees and as soon as I touched down I turned into the wind and used brake to keep the wing turning with me. It will be handy when the LZ is not lined up perfectly for an into the wind approach.
#66 & #67 Aug 18, 2007 Simms
Wonderful flight…I took off into 3-4 knots and flew west to Red Rocks Park. I didn’t go right up to the Amphitheater because it was after a hot day and I thought there might be hot air rising off the Rock mixing with cool air flowing down from the mountains. It is definitely a place to come for a sunrise flight. So I played it safe and climbed 2600 agl and checked out Bandamire Speedway and Red Rocks from on high.
#68 &69 Aug 19, 2007 Simms
Chip and I waited 45 minutes watching a scary bank of clouds over the foothills the winds were 8 to 12 mph and I didn’t think we were going to fly but very quickly the winds died and the cloud band broke up. It was amazing it was there and 5 minutes later it was gone. One thing of note was that I did my first Touch and Go on the second flight. Despite the scary looking sky earlier it was relatively smooth everywhere.
#70 Aug 22, 2007 Chatfield
Nice long flight! I’ll always remember this one because as I was coming back I saw lightning coming from Blue Sky. More on that later. I took off at 6:30 am with the wing coming from the South. After climbing 2000 ft AGL I headed south following Roxborough Rd. until I go into some turbulence that was being kicked off of Wildcat Mountain which is really only a little cone that sits along about 1 mile east of the hogbacks. So I turned east for a ways and then continued south until I was over Sedalia. This is really beautiful country. The homes are widely spaced and fabulous, the term estate better describes it. Some were Tuscon others were French chateus and there were a few plain old ranch houses. This was my farthest afield yet and when I got to Sedalia damn if the wind hadn’t turned 180˚, so, I was fighting a headwind all the way back. For a bit I was worried that I was going to have to “land out” until I dropped 500 feet and was better able to penetrate.
As I was approaching the LZ I was looking at blue sky ahead and all was well…then out of nowhere lightning struck in front of me. I didn’t loiter over the field like I had planned instead I checked the windsock and set it down on the first pass. While I was packing up the wing it started to rain with great big drops, not enough to get me wet, just a few minutes and then it was gone. I guess next time I’ll make it a point to check my six once in awhile.
#51 July 12, 2007 Chatfield
#52 July 13, 2007 Chatfield
#53 July 14, 2007 Chatfield
#54 July 16, 2007 Chatfield
#55 July 21, 2007 Chatfield
#56 July 22, 2007 Simms and Hamden
First time at this site. Good country with a golf course a state park and just a hop over to Red Rocks. The air was real bumpy so I just did a couple of laps and set it down.
#57 July 24, 2007 Chatfield
Great flight! Over an hour …went to 8230 ft AGL…Flew west between the hogbacks this was the farthest I’ve gone from the LZ.
#58 July 29 2007 Chatfield
Beautiful morning flight…flew south past the King Soopers. I had to move east because the air was bumpy near the foothills.
#59 July 31, 2007 Chatfield
Flew all the way around the lake, got some good video of the corn maze
#60 August 6, 2007 Chatfield
#61 August 8, 2007 Chatfield
7-10 knots highest wid yet on the buggy…dead stick landing.
#62 August 12, 2007 Chatfield
Dan Kamisar Monte Flemming Marek and I….Bumpy air short flight.
#63 Aug 13, 2007
High winds…Launched with the trimmers out…it worked just fine.
#64 & 65 Aug 14, 2007 Chatfield
First launch was so sloppy I landed and tried it again. On the first launch I went to full power before the wing was stable and I took off with a 30˚ yaw. The good news was that I was turning to the right with the torque so I just went with the turn and climbed out. On my second attempt I consciously kept off the throttle until the wing was good and stable. When it was time to land the wind had come up and my final approach was very steep.