We go big. The wind forecast was for 13 to 15 knots out of the northwest at two and four thousand feet. So we decided to go 172 kilometers to the Bacon County airfield.
The lift was supposed to be moderately good with cu's at 4,000' to 5,000'. The cu's started early in the morning and they were pretty ragged from the strong winds. Things seemed pleasant enough on the ground with the wind right down the runway.
We set a 15 km start cylinder to help pilots deal with the strong winds. We also put in a sacrifice first start clock at one hour after the opening of the launch to allow pilots who get blown out of the start cylinder to have a valid start without jump the gun penalties. It turns out that the first launching pilots use the first start clock anyway.
The lift was actually pretty good at launch time and I was soon to 4,000' AGL. Drifting and working the wispies and a bunch of us were soon at 5,000'. It was not long before about fifteen or twenty of us approached the edge of the start cylinder and we were just in time for the second clock. The wind was taking us right down the course line.
There was a long thin lake north south lake ahead that we have to get across. I raced out not holding back like would have been advisable and then only take a few turns in 175 fpm before the lake. A couple of pilots were out in front of me racing to get on the other side of the lake.
Fifteen kilometers after starting and we were down to 2,000' AGL and working 100 fpm. Those who slowed down a little and came in behind us were above us and climbing better. It took almost half an hour to climb out of this self dug hole as we drifted past Cordele, while those who were at first just above us got up and out quickly and given the wind were soon be far down the course line.
Soon I was back down again at 1,900' working 60 fpm. I watched a Rich Cizauskas below me make a ninety degree turn cross wind to the south and then spotted the pilot that he saw turning above us. That got us into 160 fpm with a couple of other pilots.
Finally the lift improved and I wasn't getting so low and I had a couple of pilots to follow me and get ahead of me if I didn't find the lift at first. I could hear Bruce Kavanaugh and Larry Bunner on the radio and they were far ahead and there was no way to catch them.
At 100 kilometers from the start I spotted a pilot climbing over a landfill just before a large patch of forest. When I got there my climb rate was 300 fpm so things were continuing to improve. This thermal got us to 5,000' so it was easy to cross the forested area along the course line,.
Unfortunately the glide after the center of the forest went badly and it wasn't long before I was in desperate search mode again looking from field to field to spot anything that might be going up as I was falling at 500 fpm.
At 1,100' AGL I found a little broken nothing that just wasn't working after a few turns. I was watching the possible landing fields as the wind was whipping through the trees below. I just didn't want to land in the shadow of any trees.
Losing the lift and falling quickly I headed for the longest field that would keep me away from the trees upwind in order to have the safest landing. I was now getting tossed about a bit from the turbulence. There were high tension power lines next to me running parallel to the wind, and I chose to set up in the field downwind of the very long one that I would land in making sure that I was away from the circular irrigation system.
As I headed into the wind on my final approach at 400' I noticed a bird circling in front of me. I really didn't want to land in all this wind, so I decided to stay with the bird. The climb was weak and broken, but I was happy to be slowly getting out of there.
Soon four or five other birds joined in below me and I said to myself, do whatever these birds do. If they go upwind go with them. If they go over the forest, do that also. I stuck to that.
For the next fifty minutes I just circled slowly climbing, even as the birds went away, drifting from forty three kilometers from goal to finally getting to twenty four kilometers from goal and climbing to 4,400'.
The sky was a lot bluer at a few minutes past 5:00. I'd started at 1:45. There were a few wispies ahead so I felt that there were chances to stay up ahead. My 6030 said I had goal at 17:1 with 800 feet. I was not so sure about that.
Down to 1,800' 10 km from goal I just drifted in -6 fpm just to get closer to goal. I did so again at 6 kilometers from goal at 1,600'. Then I finally went on glide and of course found vast amounts of lift all the rest of the way to goal. I was late but I was there.
I heard later from Dustin that he had low save after low save and crossed the lake at 800' in a light thermal and then after a bunch of low saves, landed. Larry and Bruce were fast although not as fast as the guys who went early.
Christian Ciech won the day again (he has won all the days).
The flight here.
Live Track here.
In spite of all the wind the air was very sweet until the last few hundred feet. It has been great flying in Georgia. The Race of Champions begins today, Friday.
Jim Rooney <<jim>> writes:
Our Facebook page here: http://facebook.com/VirginiaHangliding (notice the single G in hangliding)
Our promo video is here: http://youtu.be/Wkqj29l1nn0
John Alden <<jalden55>> writes:
At our local 400 ft soaring ridge we rarely have the opportunity to climb out to cloud base without committing to an cross country flight. But it happened last month and fortunately I had a camera and friends to share the flight.
Jonathan D. <<nmerider>> writes:
This was Saturday's annual Spring task race and the first time I finally got around to combining multiple tracklog animation with multiple onboard video and stills. Not the easiest way to deal with a racing task but extends the fun a little longer. I kept it short and to the point plus it gave a me chance to use this catchy sounding jingle I recently heard on a TV commercial.
Another day flying in that sweet Georgia air.
The task committee was a little too concerned about the chance of over development, which I thought was moderate. We had a pretty good thunderstorm the night before and there were lots of left over clouds in the morning which seemed to threaten more later.
Given the unease a 96 km task out and return to the northeast was called and by the time of the pilot's meeting at 11 AM the sky was all cleared up with puffy little cu's spread sparsely about. The day looked friendly enough.
We've been having a great time and the pilots looked pretty darn happy at the meeting. The turnpoint radius was twenty kilometers, but as it was an out and return no optimization of the task on the 6030's was required. Lots of trees along the course line, but plenty of landing areas also.
The lift was weak in the start circle at first and we knew that at launch time the cloud base would not be nearly as high as the day before. There was a small backyard fire nearby and that provided some extra lift for those of us hauled over to it, so I was soon at base.
The wind was light, four mph, out of the southwest and we drifted north toward thicker clouds as the puffy cu's got more numerous and thicker. Soon we were in great lift and the trick was to stay out of the clouds at 3,600' AGL.
The sky was full of pilots and the lift was spread out so it was a joy waiting at cloud base until the start time at 1:50 PM. As soon as the window opened thirty pilots were on a fast glide to the northeast toward Oglethorpe.
There were plenty of cu's ahead but the lift was not that strong, averaging less than 300 fpm. Zippy, Davide, and Christian got out ahead and it was hard to keep up with them. After three thermals I lost track of them as the lift slowed down and we were approaching the river. Johnny was running fast and low and seemed to be behind me.
With lots of trees ahead and since we were not getting particularly high, 3,000' AGL, I took lift at less than 100 fpm and let it drift me to the north at 8 mph. Finally I was able to get across the river and over some orchards southwest of Marshalville and down to 1,600' I fond lift that averaged 250 fpm. That got me back to 3,800' which made it easy to get to the turnpoint.
As I headed back southwest into the four mph headwind, there was a small orchard fire ahead and I was aiming for it. I ignored the pilot slowly getting up to my left and watched the very low pilot drifting back from the fire and climbing slowly.
The fire did not provide any lift and now I was stuck. I spent the next eighteen minutes working very light lift and then falling down and starting again. Down to 700' I went over the fire one more time just as the orchardist put some more branches on the fire with his front loader. The lift took off and I climbed out with three or four other pilots including Ricker to 3,400' AGL.
Ricker and I headed out into a sky that was now congested with large patches of shaded ground in front of us. We raced for the front (southwest) edge of the clouds to find the lift.
The lift was still weak and we were heading into the wind. We worked together, found 250 fpm southwest of Marshalville and got back to 3,800' AGL. The ground was shaded out ahead of us for a longer distance than we could glide.
We got under the dark cloud over the shaded ground and the sink slowed down. I headed out back over the river to the west and Ricker was willing to chance it with me.
Across the river we got to the edge of the cloud and in the sunlight at 1,600' AGL (seems to keep repeating) and found 160 fpm to 3,700' AGL. There were cu's ahead so we pressed on.
Down to 1,300' AGL we were twenty two kilometers from goal and on the south edge of Ogelthorpe. It was 4:30 PM. We'd been on the task for two hours and forty minutes.
There was zero or slightly minus sink for me, but Ricker was very slowly climbing in his bigger glider. With not great landing options and me slowly descending I decided to head east toward highway 49 and a large plowed field that looked like it would accommodate a sedate landing. Ricker continued to circle where I left him.
As I got over the field and down to 600' I spotted two circling birds below me that were occasionally flapping. I asked them to stop with the flapping.
I climbed up in 140 fpm smooth lift as I drifted back away from goal. I was only able to get back to 2,800' AGL. Ricker meanwhile got up some and pushed forward toward the prison picking out one landing field after another. I was avoiding going in that direction back to the east as it was all sunny with no cu's over head.
I skirted the edge of cu's to the east over the river and headed for the factory further south. According to Ricker he hit 600 fpm at the prison (way stronger than any lift that we have seen all day) and climbed to 5,700', two thousand feet higher than we'd seen all day.
There was no lift over the factory so I continued south looking at the various landing field options. I don't want to land in the wheat and I saw a long rough field ahead that looked like it was uncultivated. I glided next to the highway heading down the field and noticed ahead that there are small rows of little trees in the field. Okay I can handle that.
As I get closer I noticed that the trees that I thought were two feet high are actually six feet high surrounded by four feet of brown weeds. Okay, I flared at six feet and had an uneventful landing near the end of the field. The trees were soft pine trees and do no damage. I landed within seventeen kilometers of the goal.
Meanwhile Ricker was able to make it within four kilometers of the goal, so maybe he did indeed find strong lift at the prison.
Six pilots were able to make it back to goal. Mitch was the last one in.
The thunderstorms came but after sundown. Lots of rain and wind. Should be good again tomorrow.
The flight here.
Live Track here.
Sander van Schaik <<sander>> writes:
Last weekend we had the Dutch Towing Nationals at Deelen Airport. Because of poor weather conditions we only could fly for one day instead of scheduled four days. On Sunday we had a 45km task over the beautiful flats in the Netherlands.
Winner of the day and in the end of the Dutch Towing Nationals was Paul Engelen. He was the only flexwing completing the 45km. 2nd Frank Cox, 3rd Rob in t Groen. The full results can be found on: http://www.avda.nl/NK2013/Deelen/deelen2013.htm.
This year we had two Dragonflies and one Trike for the 31 competitors. We also had 2 Belgian competitors and a separate competition for the 5 rigids. The Dutch Open, which is part of the Dutch Nationals, will be from July 20-26th in Laragne, France, for more information: http://www.zeilvliegen.nl/index.php/dutch-open-2013-mainmenu-65.
John Matylonek <<john>> writes:
The Kiwanda Kites Adventure Beach-House at 6030 Pacific Ave, Pacific City, Or 97135, the summer home of Oregon Hang Gliding School, is having a grand opening on May 25th from 12 noon to 10 pm. We will have some refreshments and watch some videos, fly a few kites. You are invited to a friendly spot landing contest - 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes being Kiwanda Kites Glider Haystack Rock T-shirt attached below. Later in the evening we'll enjoy the sunset and have a bon-fire on the beach.
The weather forecasts have proven to be fictions. High thin clouds covered the Americus airfield all day while there were blue skies with cu's ten or fifteen kilometers away. Unreachable from the launch, but so tantalizing. Well at least the forecast for light winds was spot on.
To emphasize the craziness of the weather forecast we gave our presentations in the USHPA's hanging pictures:
We called the launch to open at 12:30, but just before that we found out that Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, would be landing just about then. We all thought that this was pretty cool (although the South and Central Americans had strong opinions) and posed for a picture as his plane taxied to the apron.
We delayed the launch twenty minutes, and we were concerned that there wasn't any lift as the sky was milky white and there were no cu's in our vicinity. The task was a 113 KM FAI triangle, given the forecast for light winds, but would there be any lift?
The early bird pilots launched, and a few of them stuck circling up from low over the airport after falling down a substantial elevation. The pilots in ordered launch stalled as it looked like they wouldn't be able to stay up. Finally we decided that we had better get going as we couldn't change the task or its timing. And the early birds who had stayed up were getting higher.
We were towed into an unpromising sky and soon the gaggle was filling up and flattening out as we all tried to stay up in the very weak lift. For the next hour we all battled with each other getting no where, with no one wanting to head out along the course line low. We were able to get to 2,200' AGL at most.
Finally I had enough of this and went searching for better lift far away from the gaggle and then decided to land after finding nothing. The gaggle behind me was coincidentally losing its lift and almost all the pilots in it soon landed after I did.
With the air cleared out I was soon ready to go again (while almost everyone else sat around), but I had Jim Prahl take me toward the cu's to the north, away from the course line to the southwest. I had to glide an additional 4.5 kilometers to get under the clouds I wanted to get under and I was down to 560' AGL before I started going back up. I was six kilometers from the air field and really needed to get back up if I was going to make it back at least that far.
Ricker had also been pulled out in my direction and he wasn't able to make it back. I did finally climb back to 2,100' AGL and headed back to the airfield in the hopes of getting another tow. I heard Larry, who had towed up just behind Ricker, on the radio finding lift a short distance along the course line and slowly heading to the southwest.
I just barely made it back to the field after a forty minute flight and with some help got back in line for a third flight. The sky had not improved one bit but there were plenty of cu's far away from us, some of them towering.
I was towed up now in the general direction of the course line. It was 3:50 PM. I glided until I saw a few pilots turning right of the course line. We climbed up 400' in light lift before it gave out and I went on glide below Greg Dinauer who had launched just before me.
The glide was a final glide and pilots were spread out along highway 49.
Given the some pilots were towed too high the protest committee decided to invalidate the day. It was only worth 56 points anyway.
James Kolynich sends:
A preview of the Hyner hang gliding club's Memorial Day fly in next week.
Daniel Vélez Bravo <<danielvelezbravo>> writes:
It promises to be a perfect flight computer replacement when combined with android free flight software like Xcsoar or XCTrack, for less than $300.
Juaki <<aladelta>> writes:
We have two very interesting competitions in our country this summer.
The first in the month of July at Piedrahita - Avila, in central Spain
International Hang Gliding Open and Spanish National Championship - Piedrahita 2013
Dates: 19th to 27th July 2013
The second in August at Arangoiti - Lumbier - Navarra, in the north of Spain
Pre-European Hang Gliding Championship, Arangoiti 2013
Dates: 12th to 18th of August 2013
I would like to invite all those pilots who want to have good and fantastic flights to come and join us at both meets.
In between these two competitions there are also two more at Ager
2013 Catalan cup and Belgian Nationals - Ager
from: 28 July to 3 August 2013
2013 British Hang Gliding Nationals and Ager Open
from: 4th to 10th August 2013
You can see that all the competitions are in a row, so you have options to come to one, two, three or even four competitions this year. You are all welcome
We're just a couple of miles north off of highway 49 at Hodges Hobbies which in addition to a huge RC shop in the middle of no where is a huge airfield with 200+ acres of putting green length grass.
It seems like she has been at Quest less than two weeks. After twenty tandem aerotows and three solos on the Elektro Tow, Mitch Shipley had her take two high tows here at Americus just before 8 PM. She was congratulated at the pilot meeting.
On Thursday, the RAP and NAM forecasts differed greatly from each other and the sky was full of thick mid level clouds in the morning which made the prospects of calling a task a bit daunting. There certainly wasn't any lift and there were no prospects for cumulus clouds. The satellite photos showed a large area of clouds over most of the state (Georgia), but I could see from the satellite loop and from looking up into the sky that they would be thinning out from the west (and we had a southwest wind at 10 mph).
I set a practice task 70 km downwind to the northeast to a little north south grass strip at a farm. I wasn't sure if pilots wanted to fly a real task or not, but it was no problem setting it up to encourage pilots to give it a try. I set the first start time at 3 PM, with three more 15 minutes apart. A late task assuming that things would heat up late as they sure wouldn't be heating up early.
It wasn't until 1:45 PM that the mid level clouds finally broke up and we were getting direct sunlight. I took a tow and while it started off strong I didn't find any lift after pinning off and had to give it a try a few minutes later at 2:30 after Greg Dinauer and Mike Bilyk showed me that there was lift. The second time I pinned off low in good lift and quickly drifted to the northeast in 175 fpm.
It was too early to leave so we had to wait around in the 5 km start cylinder. Very few pilots were launching so it was hard to see if anyone would join us. The lift would never get above 200 fpm on average throughout the day, although there would be times we would get 400 fpm for short periods.
Finally after waiting around we took the 3:15 start clock and headed out toward a vast wooded area. At three thousand feet it looked like it would not be possible to go in that direction but at four thousand we could see possible landing areas that broke up the forest. We were actually following highway 49, the Andersonville POW trail.
The lift was weak and we were soon working 44 fpm at 1,800' AGL off a large dry open field fourteen kilometers from the start. That didn't last very long and the next jump to eighteen kilometers was slow for me with Mike and Greg moving out ahead. I found it first just west of the prison south of Olegthorpe at 1,500' AGL as I reported to Belinda that I was low and might be landing. This turned out to be the best lift of the day averaging almost 200 fpm.
Greg caught sight of me and came back. I radio Mike and told him I was in 400 fpm, which was true at that point, but he came back too low (900' AGL) and didn't find it and ended up landing across from the prison in a wheat field.
Pete Lehmann, Bubba Goodman, and a rigid wing pilot joined us and we very slowly drifted toward goal getting back up over 4,000' AGL. All of us were flying very conservatively as this was not a race, the lift was weak, and we might as well stay together.
We continued to get low and find lift over land fills (100% of the time) and over dry fields (20% of the time). Thirteen kilometers out from the goal we got high (3,700' AGL) west of the Blue Bird factory (we could see hundreds of yellow busses below us) and it looked like we could make it in. We found a nice bit of lift four kilometers from goal just to make sure that we would be plenty high when we went searching for a field near the goal as the goal field/grass landing strip was not into the wind.
We all landed together in a very nice field next to the highway with Beth and Belinda arriving early. A great start to a competition and now we know where to find the lift. The winds look similar for tomorrow.
The flight here.
I kept writing to him telling him he should charge $5,000 a piece.
Wills should make an announcement soon. I'm hoping that Jeff and Wills can find someone else to take over the production. Jeff was in the process of moving the production to a new location with new people, when that fell through.
I always felt that Jeff was building a premium harness but selling it at a non premium price and he apparently wasn't making money on it (how could he).
The tugs flew in about 4 PM, but the ropes and the cart didn't get there until about 6 PM. I was first off at 6:20 PM for the first practice day of the Americus Cup. What a beautiful tow, but no lift, of course. A bunch of us launch as we set up under the supposition that we would be towing earlier, around 3 PM.
We were towing on the runway and it was nice and smooth. Like Big Spring.
Our gliders are tied down outside at the airport waiting for the second practice day on Thursday.
32.881678,-111.854982,Francisco Grande, Casa Grande, Arizona, USA
Trouble in hang gliding paradise.