Short Bumpy Flight #963

Bumpy Night

#963. Shell Creek

I’ve been playing invalid for 6 days, nursing a sore groin and sporting a seriously bruised thigh.  The puncture where they inserted the cardiac catheter is barely noticeable and I suspect the whole affair had more impact on my head than anything else.
So after a frustrating day arranging a Doctors appointments and lining up boat detailers,  I jumped into the truck and headed out to the field.  The wind was 7 mph from the west.  In the past I’ve turned back when faced with launching across the runway and toward the skydiving operation, but today I decided to go for it.
Luck was with me because while I was unloading the wind shifted and I was able to set up more down the runway than across it.  Unfortunately the air was shifty and bumpy all the way up to 1000 feet.    I turned back and landed after 7 minuted.  According to the FlySkyHy App it was indeed lifty sinky air.
No Drama.

I question the max lift and sink rates … These numbers could be a random bump from the barometer

Great day of Flying

961 & 962

Got up early and flew Shell Creek.  Great Flight with no Drama
4-5 mph NE
50 minutes
1300 ft msl

John Sieb and I went up to Gaspirilla in the afternoon and flew with Mike Otten, Bob Harrison and Tony.  The winds were 8-10 at the surface and the same at altitude.  It was a very nice flight using the Arrow Cam.  Nice on shore breeze encouraged me to fly over the causeway to Gaspirilla.
No Drama
40 minutes
2500 ft msl   est.  no vario

Shell Creek 960

The plan was John Sieb and possibly Mike Lange would show up.  John backed out due to weather between his place and Shell Creek and Mike needed the sack time.

So…. Back at Shell Creek, the winds were light on the surface and coming from the North East.  I set up on the west side of the runway and launched without Drama.    I noticed light and patchy ground fog on the way out to the field and it seemed to have turned into a layer of patchy clouds at 800 ft.   I got some good chase cam footage and a couple stills from the helmet cam.

Winds continued to build through the morning and were steady 10 at the surface when I landed.

Here is the video ….Music by my dear friend Purnell Steen and his band Le Jazz Machine

Foot dragging the trike

958 & 959

958 was only a token flight.
10 minutes
900 ft
Easterly winds
I couldn’t launch from Shell Creek because of an Easterly wind across the runway.  I would have had to transit SWF Skydiving and thats not going to happen.   So. I dashed over to Mike’s LZ at Peachtree and Veterans.
It was a no frills flight.  The sun had already set so I didn’t fool with the iPad or iTunes.  Quick launch and some carving around the field.

950 was 10 minutes after dawn.
50 minutes
I set the alarm for 5:30 and overslept to 6:30.  Light winds from the East built throughout the flight.  Smooth air above.  Strong bumps below 200 feet.

#957 Shell Creek

20 minutes
54 degrees
light wind

This was a last minute thing.   There is a cold front moving through and its been overcast and dreary all day.  About 3:00 it started to lift and by 5:00 I was off to the races.  Happily there wasn’t anything going on at the airpark.  I was afraid that the sky divers would be out in force but nope…. just me and a couple of Sand Hill Cranes.
Launch was clean.  I played around the patch … took a few photos … and enjoyed a nice cool flight.
No Drama.  Oh yea,  I was playing with using the tip steering and the brakes together.   It didn’t feel natural but I think if I change the length of the Stabilio line it might work.  On landing I let go of the tip steering at the beginning of the flare because i would have pulled a lot of tip before ever activating the brake.

#Flight 956 Shell Creek & Harbor 20 Sailing on Port Charlotte with Mike and Marsha.

Overcast 56 degrees 
NW Wind 3mph at surface
         15-20mph at altitude
Bumpy Thermal layer at 200 feet

Good launch.  I made it a point to pay more attention to the wing during inflation.  Partly because the iPad obscures the mirror but also because I’d noticed, over time I’d been depending too much on the mirror.  I was launching straight forward without the proper concern for how the wing was lifting.  
I’d been using the brute weight of the trike to counterbalance the wing while it stabilized.  When I should have been moving slightly under the wing and braking the high side.  
The Falcon is very forgiving and I was getting lazy.
I noticed for the first time, people at the gun range, it might have been concerning except that, there were cattle down range.  No worries about Bubba taking a pot shot at my wing today.

Anyway…. nice little flight around the patch.  I tried the Hero clamped to the foot bar.  I I fear, there was too much vibration for the stabilization to correct.  ….. we will,see.

Overshot first landing and had to go around.

Kayak at Manatee Park and Flight #955 Placida

Got up early and drove down to Manatee Park in Fort Myers.  Unfortunately the put in time had been moved up an hour and I didn’t receive the e-mail.  Luckily I wasn’t the only one.  We late comers had the place to ourselves.  The water was a couple of degrees shy of optimum for the Manatee but there were a few around and a good time was had by all.

After a short paddle I drove over to the Manor rehab facility to visit my friend RJ Hart who is recovering from a bad bicycle accident.  He is hoping to go home next Tuesday after 2 full months incarcerated.  We joked about his upcoming meeting with the surgeon by calling it the “parole board”
On the way back from Fort Myers I received a text from Mike Lange that he and Mike Otten were heading off to Placida.  I was surprised that they were going to launch so early in the day.  There was no way that I would be able to get their in time to launch with them but I prefer calmer air anyway.
Arrived at the field about 4:30, the wind was 10+ from the West.  I drove around and found a road that was almost directly into the wind and set-up while an older fellow on his motorcycle watched.  The launch was clean despite several nasty weeds that had pushed through the asphalt.

The flight was good, I caught up with the two Mikes and tooled around the patch for 30 minutes.   It was too late of go for a cross country but there was still a pending sunset.

No camera …but there really wasn’t any structure for the sun to work with.   I did look for the Green Flash though, I imagined the orange flame dying and just as it goes out …. a flash ….. reversing the burnt orange  to a cool lime hue.
I saw it……
Sadly it wasn’t the sun burning its dying image on the back of my retina.   I was seeing the after image as it disappeared… fooled my minds eye and cheated death again     🙂

#954 Shell Creek

Calm at the Surface  20+ above 200 ft.
Launch was a little spicy when the wing decided to hang off to the right.
Not sure why the wing misbehaved but I was able to get it back overhead and got up just fine.
30 minutes
900 ft. max AGL
Once up, I turned into the wind and was able to penetrate at 6mph.  I set the trimmers all the way to full reflex and bumped it up to 15.

No Drama.