732 Placida STORM CLOUDS ARE A RISING
I woke before the alarm and was on my way by 5:00am. Arrived at the field an hour ahead of the other guys. The mosquitoes were thick and it was 78 degrees and humid. I had been watching the lighting off to the North since leaving the house and encountered a small rain showers just past Jobean bridge. The guys arrived at 6:15 and we were ready to fly by 6:30.
There was a storm cloud NorthWest and Bob suggested that we fly around it to the South. I thought the beach was closer than that and when he said that the cloud was between us and the beach, I pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to the beach.
Vance Brand Airport in the fog #512
Forty five minutes after I arrived Marek showed up …. he was all charged up and ready to go fog surfing. I did my best to discourage him while we waited for Robert. At 8:15 it was still pea soup, Robert had arrived and seeing that it wasn’t going to change fast he and I decided to go for a cup of coffee to kill some time. Marek ….ever hungry for a flight stayed at the field. When we returned it was starting to break up and we were beginning to see the trees south of the LZ.
While Robert was warming his motor he discovered that the kill switch wasn’t working. It wasn’t a show stopper but nobody liked it and we chatted about the time Jim King did a face plant at Monument Valley and John Black had to race down the runway to rescue him. When we heard a couple of GA craft warming their motors Marek decided it was good enough for him. His flight was 2 minutes max. The take off was clean and I was surprised at how quickly he go off in the super saturated air but after less than one quick lap he came in for a power off landing. Later I learned that his prop exploded shortly after take off.
I went out to set up and waited for Robert to launch. When he blew the first attempt I took the opportunity and launched. The wing came up slowly and the trike was even slower but there was plenty of room so I took my time and taxied a ways before committing. Good Launch, except that I had neglected to buckle my helmet. Damn! Rather than fuss with digging the buckle out from under the helmet I tossed it over by the truck and continued to do laps. The air was cool and the visibility was poor so I stayed around the field and waited for Robert. His wing came up fast and did a forward fold. I’m not sure what happened next but when I flew over I could see him prone with the motor running and Marek rushing over to assist.
It just wasn’t working out to be a good morning. The air was smooth with large slow thermals creating lift south of the LZ. Since it didn’t look like anybody else was going to fly I came down after a few more minutes.
Robert was ok but had cut some of his webbing and Marek was out with a damaged prop. They decided to head over to Boulder for some free flight and I loaded up for the house.
Not a lot of airtime but a short flight is better than none!