Flight #1004

Better and better. I was noticeably more comfortable in the air this morning. It just took awhile to get back in the game. The launch was slightly crosswind. The APCO LIFT EZ is still pulling to the right under power.

So…I should adjust the hang-points before the next flight, also, I need to fix the mirror/power panel where the mount has come loose.

Flight 1002

It was like old times. Mike , Mike, Bob the Pilot and Ty drove down to fly with us at Placida. I drove through a short, strong rain on Gaspirilla Road and there were boomers were boiling off the coast. We waited and watched the sky and eventually determined that it wasn’t getting any worse. Mike was first up. While I was ramping the Falcon I heard him fly over and holler at us to get in the air. I moved 1000 feet to the north to get a better line and launch without drama.

The air was a little switchy below 300 feet so I climbed to 1500 where it was all good. I could see it was raining between Gasparilla Island and the mainland. There was virga to the East. Not the best conditions for an Epic flight. Mike and Bob were playing down low in the swamp. I pulled some long slow spirals while watching Mike Lange do a long, long foot drag across the big pond. As I descended he moved to the LZ and landed. The turbulence was strongest at 300. It was time to get out of the sky.

Twenty minutes later we spotted Ty coming back from a high flight. His landing was fast and rough and I shouted “whoa” when I heard his Titanium Frame pounding in. No damage. Turns out he broke both trimmers while doing some hard wingovers and had to land on the “Ds”.

Later we all went to the spinnaker for breakfast and talked about possible x-countries.

It’s all good.

Photo credit Ty Jenkins

Photo credits Bob the Pilot

Flight 1001

No Drama. I almost didn’t go because the first thing I saw on the weather app was storms boiling up over the Harbor. After walking the dog and sniffing the air I decided to drive out to the field and take a shot. At Placida it was very light wind and the clouds were starting to develop.

Launch was clean but the air was ratty all the way up to 800 feet. I bounced around for a few minutes and landed. Not an epic flight but I’m glad I went. It looks to be stormy the rest of the day.

The mirror needs to be remounted with a nylon nut.

Breaking the Fast #999

I hadn’t flown since Hurricane Irma, almost 9 months ago. There were a few good reasons. I damaged my wing which took 3 months to get repaired and I bought the Hunter which took a lot of my energy. But … for some reason, I just didn’t have the burn to fly. Don’t know why. My last several flights had been fantastic. I cracked off several in the two weeks leading up to the big #1000. I was joking that the 1k milestone was going to be a non event after so many epic flights.

Well the boat is essentially done and if I was ever going to get back to it, now was the time. A few things needed to be done. I fabricated a new gas tank, replaced the battery, installed a primer bulb and put air in the tires. Not much.

This morning I arrived at 6. There was a light breeze from the East. I set up and flew for 30 minutes and landed on spot. No drama but a few glitches.

1. My “click” glasses were hanging by a thread when I discovered them about to fall off my shoulder.

2. The mic. had come loose from the helmet and needs to be reseated.

3. AND…. THIS IS A BIGGY. When the wing came back from the rigger they failed to run the brake line through the pulley on the risers. I didn’t notice it until landing. Wow! If I hadn’t parked the brake in their magnets, it could have flown and I would have had to land using the D’s or worse…. it could have gone into the prop and wrapped up the wing sending me back to earth like a lead brick.

My bad. There hadn’t been enough wind this morning to kite the wing, it probably would have revealed the hazard. But… shame on me for not doing a proper inspection.

On to 1k

Refitting the boat

After a few days at the house Chris, RJ and I Sailed the boat to Safe Cove Boatyard. The bottom looked pretty good considering it’s age. However, there were a few small blisters and the bottom needed to be stripped to the gel coat. I tapped the hull from stem to stern, it was solid . There was a tiny bit of weeping at the bottom of the rudder that concerned me but it was dry after a couple of days. After a great deal of surfing, and quizzing the locals, I opted to let it sit on the hard for a couple of weeks and seal it with the best barrier coat available. It was fairly expensive but not nearly as much as sanding and resurfacing. The general consensus was that it was a damn good bottom for a 30 year old boat and I would be better served spending my budget elsewhere.

The strut had been serviced in 2016

In the “blast pit”.

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Applying the barrier coat.

First coat of bottom paint.