Thursday, April 30, 2009

Inspo 4.30.09

On a whim, I packed up and drove down to Inspo this afternoon. I had actually been watching the weather this morning diligently. It looked really strong from 12,ooo up - around 30 to 45 with upper winds predicted to be as strong as 65 knots. After I got a little work done I figured I'd at least go check out the road and possibly work in the bail out LZ. On my way out, and looking south, linticular clouds were stacked up like pancakes - verifying the upper wind forecast.

I arrived at launch around 2pm. The wind was coming in at 12-15mph, with nice thermal cycles every 5-10min. As if on auto pilot, I grabbed my glider and set up. In 30min I was off the hill and into a sweet cycle. The wind was somewhat more south than it appeared on launch, and only broken trash was found along the primary ridge. (typically the more south the wind is at Inspo, the air tends to be more textured). I drifted to the north with some marginal lift, and close to Provo Canyon that lift petered out - and it was drillology 101 lesson #36289. I encountered some pretty strong sink. I really didn't think I would make the bailout LZ. I had a low save at around 400ft and worked broken lift until it consolidated a few hundred feet up. The lift turned into a nice solid thermal that landed me at 9000asl and back in the canyon. I had no problem penetrating forward, and as soon as I was even with the mouth of the canyon, I hit some abnormally strong lift. The surface wind forecast for the day called for SW switching to the WNW at about 3pm. Can you say sheer line?

I followed a very defined line of lift west and just past I-15, topping out around 10,000asl. Not that high, but very strong and consistant. The rest? Just played in the air for a while and had a nice landing in the big green LZ. Great season starter. One observation - Jeff your missed man!

Some nice Inspo cloud pics from early fall 08'

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Southside 4.21.09

A nice showing of hang glider pilots turned out at the South Side of the Point on Tuesday morning. The day turned out lighter than expected, but most everyone got a little air time, as we all enjoyed just being there in the warm spring sun.

A local making it look all too easy.

Several California pilots showed up and enjoyed the morning's sweet temps.

Just hangin'.

John Lindburgh.

Greg Billow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wallaby Demo Daze 09'

A few years ago I flew down to Florida for the Wills Wing Demo Daze, only to be stumped by high winds and grounded tugs. This year I bought airfare to Wallaby to partake once again in the week long air fest. As time drew close to the event, it appeared the wind was going to be a problem again. But the first two days of the event allowed for some decent soaring, as a weak cold front stalled just north of Orlando. Though there were no spectacular flying days, the combination of the ranch vibe and just being at a latitude where there was warm weather, made it all worth while. Wills Wings new gliders were available for all at no charge. The camaraderie, food and good times made this years "bubble experience" great.