Gregg Ludwig <<GreggLudwig>> writes:
Tracy soloed this morning at Quest Air with the Flying Launch Cart and her Falcon4 145 under ideal conditions. The flight was uneventful as she did very well. Good training with Mark and others made it all seem easy.
A personal copy of Greg's wheels from Mark Dowsett:
Brett Hazlett <<bretthazlett>> writes:
This is a visual story about a boy's imagination becoming a man's reality.
When I was a boy, I often lay in the sand and watched sea gulls soaring invisible waves of air flowing over the houses, walls, and buildings along the beach. Many years later, quite by surprise, I found myself soaring those invisible waves, looking down at the sand that I used to lay in, and reflecting upon the bitter sweetness of time passing. All during this twenty kilometre out-and-return flight, along the coast of Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brasil, with a paraglider.
Paradise Hang Gliding flew with the host for Making Waves which will air on the Discovery Channel in May. I flew in close formation (50' - 75') with a helicopter and Cineflex camera (this picture was after we broke away).
32.881678,-111.854982,Francisco Grande, Casa Grande, Arizona, USA
Mitch will be going around this summer to do more landing clinics and showing off his towing system.
Steve Kroop at Flytec <<info>> writes:
Flytec instruments have a clear acrylic window in front of the LCD. This window is there to protect the LCD from impact and scratches and to keep dirt and fluids from getting inside the housing. Bad landings and general rough handling typical of HG/PG will scuff and scratch this acrylic and eventually may interfere with the readability of the display. The following instructions are how to remove these scuffs and scratches.
To avoid wasting time you will first want determine the nature of the blemish so you can use the least aggressive technique possible. Run a fingernail across the blemish, if you can feel the defect with your fingernail you will need to start with an abrasive. The more you can feel the defect the coarser the abrasive you will need. If you do not "feel" the scratch then you likely can go right to polishing. Novus plastic Polish is ideal for these minor scratches. Novus 3 is for slightly heaver scratches and Novus 2 is for very fine scratches/abrasions. From a practical stand point Novus 3 will yield a more than adequate finish.
Household paper towel is excellent for polishing since it is slightly abrasive itself. Cut a paper towel into small pieces (~3"x3"). Take one and fold into a small pad and apply 1-2 drops of polish to the pad. Rub the scratched area with small overlapping circles. It is important to note that the window is bonded to the front housing with adhesive. With instrument use and time, this adhesive may have weakened so only apply minimal pressure while polishing to avoid dislodging the window. Continue the circles until the polish starts to dry out. Take a fresh square and wipe the window clean and inspect. If the scratch is still there, apply another 1-2 drops of polish and continue polishing as above. Inspect again and repeat this process as necessary (put on some music or a movie and take your time). Once the scratch(s) is removed to your satisfaction, apply 1-2 drops to a fresh square and now make bigger circles over the entire window to even-out the surface of the window.
For deeper scratches (the ones you can feel) you will need to use a micro-mesh abrasive before polishing. Micro-mesh sanding sticks are available with 4 grits on one small flexible stick (usually medium, fine, super fine and ultra fine). Always use the finest grit that will get the job done. Ultra fine is just a little more aggressive than Novus 3 polish so I recommend that you start with super fine. Make small overlapping circles over the scratch for a minute or two, wipe clean with a fresh square and inspect. If the scratch has not appreciably improved, go to the next coarser grit and start over. Once the scratch(s) is removed, lightly go over the entire window with that grit before proceeding to the next finer grit. Repeat these steps ending with ultra fine. You can then proceed with polishing steps above. Important: Do not use conventional sandpaper. Conventional sandpaper is not critically graded, this means that it will be very time consuming to get the sanding marks out each time you progress to a finer grit. You can get Micro-mesh sanding sticks online or you can get a 4-grit combination stick from us by sending $4 and a SASE to: Flytec USA, 442 Nautilus Dr., Satellite Beach, FL 32937.
The thermals turned out later to be the very smoothest we've had so far this year
Larry came up with a crazy task again, so I brought him to the computer in the Oz Report World Headquarters here at Quest Air where we had a better look at the weather (10 mph out of the east and maybe some cu's later in the day at 6,000') and we called a 100 km out and return to the north to the former grass airstrip at Dallas on the northwest corner of the Villages. The sky was blue and the wind was strong, so we were not in a great hurry to get going.
Finally after 1:30 PM there were cu's mostly to our east as forecasted by BLIPMAPS RAP. Also a few cu's in our area so we trudged on down to the west slot launch to give it a go. The cu's nearby were ragged as could be. Mark pulled up Olaf and we saw him struggling to our northeast.
Larry was hot to trot unlike James Stinnett, Greg Dinauer, ten other pilots and I. Mark had to tow him to 3,400' before hitting any lift, although there was plenty of turbulence at tree height.
We waited while Larry found lift and got up asking why we weren't in the air yet. It took another hour before the cu's looked good enough for us to get going.
We had to wait some more as other pilots were willing to go an then I had to wait a bit more as we changed the launch direction to the south east. Larry was waiting for everyone else 30 kilometers to the north.
James and Greg headed north but it was too late for me by the time I made a low save over the swamp east of Quest Air, right smack dab over the water. Nice cu above me, which was why I was willing to go out over the swamp.
That thermal progressively got stronger and when I got over 4,000' there was Tom Lanning in is new Wills Wing T2C 136. No mistaking his under surface design (unless it was Owen Morse from The Passing Zone). The thermal was smooth and we were climbing at 700 fpm as we got over 6,000'. I had an additional layer of clothes on so I was relaxed and happy.
I figured Tom was heading back to Wallaby Ranch and headed out east southeast upwind (14 mph) to get to the fat cu's south of Groveland by highway 27. Neither Tom or I found anything out there and were soon back at Quest Air and soon in another very nice thermal going back up.
Meanwhile James was chasing Larry up north past the Turnpike and Greg was up there also but decided that he didn't want to go to Dallas. There were no clouds north of the Turnpike, but plenty of them here and to our east.
The air felt just perfect and I was feeing out the new glider making an effort to not make an effort. My focus was on relaxing (which was easier in the nice air without a task to speed through) and to feel how the muscles in my shoulders were working or not working. My "good" shoulder (the on that hasn't been operated on) had been getting a bit too sore lately, so I wanted to be sure to not do any movements that I didn't need to make.
The idea was to quit wrestling with the glider , letting it bounce around, and just doing weight shifting as needed. It was great to focus on a different aspect of flying and how my body was interacting with the glider.
Larry and James were struggling against the headwind while Greg made it back to Quest and was flying around near me. Finally James landed just south of the Villages and north of the Turnpike. Larry stayed in the air until almost 7 PM landing only three miles due west of Quest Air.
The field was very sweet as I landed around 6 PM with a 14 mph east wind. This is the best day so far this year even with the east wind. More tomorrow, but on Wednesday it looks like a great day for flying to the north to Georgia.
Forgot to mention that they are available at Lookout.
With lighter east winds (or so it was forecast) Sunday was a big time flying day at Quest Air and apparently at Wallaby Ranch also. Larry came up with a task that would have put us in some swamp to the west, so on the fly we enlarged the cylinder radius on the first turnpoint to 20 km.
It was weak right after aerotowing as there was a blue hole right over Quest but cu's a quarter mile to the north or south. I pushed up north and then worked weak lift, but finally had to commit myself to going downwind without a chance to get back to Quest if I didn't get up. I was rewarded under a nicely forming cu and Larry was also finally getting up east of me. We took the 2:30 PM clock together high with James Stinnett way below us.
Larry was on my north side as I headed for the Green Swamp and some cu's south of the course line toward Chin. He was plummeting while James stopped to start climbing. Larry thought he was going to land near highway 50 while I worked weak lift under a cloud crossing the Green Swamp (like last Tuesday).
There were plenty of cu's and Larry was working 300 fpm from 900' as I got up over 5,000' into the quite cold air. My whole body was shaking.
With the southeast wind the lift was on the southeast side of the cu's and it was easy to get to the west to the first turnpoint (or at least 20 kilometers east of it). Larry was struggling, not able to get high but still moving along not too far behind. James didn't have a working radio so we had no idea where he was.
I made the turnpoint first and headed northeast toward the 10 kilometer turnpoint at Baron airfield, north of the Turnpike. Crossing highway 301 south of Bushnell I came in under James who was at 5,600' and drifted back to the northwest climbing well again on the southeast side of the cu.
So far so good, the lift had been every where for me and the big problem was getting too cold. Larry was now heading back toward the second turnpoint. I headed out after getting over 5,000' and toward more cu's heading for their south sides.
As I went from cu to cu I wasn't finding any lift and going up wind I was pushing and pushing to try for the next cu. Finally down to 1,700' west of Center Hill I found 50 fpm and knew that I had to stay with it. Just then James came in under me at 600' AGL. He didn't find anything below me and soon landed.
Larry finally found his first good thermal in the cu's behind me that I somehow missed. I worked up as the lift improved to 300 fpm, but only got to 3,500' not concentrating well enough as I drifted back. When I pushed forward again, I saw that I wouldn't make it to the next reasonable looking cu.
Looking back to the northwest I saw a good dark roiling cu on the southwest corner of the forested area. I headed back there to find 600 fpm with a bunch of buzzards. Again not concentrating I only took it to 5,500'.
Heading northeast over the forest toward the turnpoint I headed for good looking clouds trying to get on the southeast side and over the sunny areas, but didn't find any lift worthy of the name. Larry had by now jumped ahead and was about four kilometers in front of me and about at the turnpoint.
After a long search I looked back downwind again to see if I saw any cloud that could get me back up and, if not that, a field that I could land in. I headed way west to the hottest looking field with the best looking cloud over it. There wasn't much when I got there and just hung out at 700' at the downwind end of the field waiting to either get up or for the field to calm down so that I could have an uneventful landing after flying over the cattle. I did the later.
Larry made the turnpoint and found plenty of lift making it back to Quest Air. It looks like there will be a couple more days of lighter east winds here in central Florida for good flying conditions. It's great to have flying partners.
Bun <<lbunner>> sends:
Here's my new Covert Tee-shirt. It has a different font and now comes in two colors (grey and blue).
Jeff Curtis <<jafcmx5>> writes:
I upgraded from my 6010 to a new 6030 and went looking for airspace files. All the sites I found don't include Class E associated with airports (Airspace we FAR 103 pilots can't fly in (without permission)). I wrote John Leibacher and asked if was possible to generate a second set of files that included Class E associated with airports. He contacted Lynn Alley who generated the appropriate files and put them on his website http://www.soaringdata.info/.
The FAA has marked the Class E as "Beta - not for navigation" but in my opinion it is better than nothing.
Living in a fifth wheel, I have to store some of the bikes outside. I've used various covers. This is the best so far. Less than the cost of two individual bicycle covers which are not nearly as nice. Very roomy. May handle three bicycles. Easy to cover the bikes with, compared to the individual bicycle covers. Very high quality.
I wear these gloves. They work great except in very cold conditions. They feel like you don't have any gloves at all. They are inexpensive. You can find them at Home Depot. I use extra large.
I was cold yesterday, but my hands weren't.
The food line was two hours long, which made for great conversations in line. The winds were strong out of the east, but not so strong that there weren't many demo flights, after forty the evening before. Steve Pearson will be going home without any gliders on the trailer or truck.
Many folks who helped make the company and the community came for the anniversary party, which got Mike all misty.
Plenty of tows this morning at Quest Air in the light morning winds down low. I'm sure that there is plenty of activity down at the Wills Wing Demo Days. I'm ready for the landing clinic.
The front has passed through and fluffy cu's are now filling the sky. The winds are out of the west and a bit too strong for aerotowing, but maybe some landing practice is taking place to our south. It could continue to be too windy for flight today and the same may be true tomorrow.
It lightened up enough for a tandem flight before a very rapid over development out of the blue.
I've finally gotten around and started a project to develop a flying module for hang gliding and paragliding. Basically the primary goal is to have it sync up with Flytec 6030 via Bluetooth and display the primary information to you.
It's here. I got to see it today at Quest Air and give it a try out. The display is not on the lens of the goggles, but just below the lens and in the center. Looked good even for my eyes that require reading glasses.
So the Sandia Classic is unlikely to happen.
The last straw was the current drought indications the forest is almost certain to be closed a month before the event days. We will open registration if the forest will be open.
Advance apologies to those that wanted to join us this year. If the forest is open well do our best to have the sanctioned event but will have a flying/racing event anyway even if its not sanctioned.
The article here
A new report confirms that the extreme heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires that have wracked Australia over the past decade have been exacerbated by climate change. The report, commissioned by the Australian governments Climate Commission, makes clear that these weather events will only get worse in the coming years, and warns that health and emergency professionals as well as citizens must prepare for their impacts now.
I wonder if the report tells folks exactly how to prepare. Looking quickly through it with a search on "prepare" and "response" I did not find any recommendations.