Posted by: quienessupa | April 6, 2009

Smooth Lookout flying



Accidentally switched to a weird camera mode that makes panorama’s and stitches 3 pictures in a row together.  I got to get the video back because these point and shoot things are like trying to shoot pool with a rope. 


Yesterday was too windy to be much fun (see previous blog post), but today was just right.  It was Southy until about 12:30, but then came around to ENE-ish for the reminder with cycles rolling through. 


I remember wishing I had my radio hooked up to cheer MR on as he made one of his textbook low saves as I sunk below him.  But it was bouyant with lift all over the place. 

I had a difficult time believing the XCskies forecast of lift to 8500 when I woke up to a fresh blanket of 4 inches on top of the 2 we had left over from last snow.  Cloudbase was about 8200 when I got to it.  High’s in the 30’s today and supposedly good lift was in the forecast.  My best climbs were 400fpm.  There was mention of a good moist adiabatic lapse rate?  Also, the front that I thought was due in tonight came this afternoon in an oozing fashion, slowly lowering cloud base and bringing more and more light snow and making lines of lift visible by nice dark bottomed lines of cloud.  It just got better and better.


So the debut of my vx170 radio was today, even though I couldn’t hook it to my headset wires, it got its first and last flight today.  It didn’t stick in my upside down pocket as well as my vx150 I guess.  So it’s likely splatted somewhere.  Gonna go look around below launch tomorrow.


Keeping the visor down for entire flights b/c of the new LASIK eyes.  The fog up issue hasn’t reared it’s ugly head in the least with this new Icaro 4fight helmet.  The last one would fog with one breath and was useless sometimes. 


It was a record for me.  3 top landings in a row, first 2 were 14 and 12 minute flights with eyeball rewets, third was over an hour and too fun to stop.  Smooth, relaxing conditions and fun to play with bank angles and climbing improvements on my right turns.  Then a 11 minute ride to the bottom in the snow.  It was still soarable in spite of everything. 


Casey came out and did some impressive PG maneuvers I heard.  Just by luck, they said my wing-overs over Buffalo Bills were at the same time Casey was doing SATs or something over launch.  The more practice I do wing-over’ing, the more I realize I need practice!  I got light and kinda stalled at 90 degrees today which was fun, safe feeling, but not intended. 


I was trying to take pictures at the same time as wing over’ing which contributed to my distraction but it was really cool wanging down beside cloudbase.  It’ll also help when I finally spring for a cocoon harness.  Might be in the cards since I could use it tandem aerotowing?  Working on finding the right speed linking good wing-overs together.  My favorite thing is the roll-over right now, but the speed afterwords becomes more than I want to do on purpose.  Timing for rolling to the next one might fix that.  I’d like to do a climb-over but I’m not sure this is the glider to experiment with for climbing past 90 degree stuff.


Oh yeah, my second toplanding was undershot and I came in sinking like a rock and didn’t have the speed to do a good flare b/c I slowed down to try and float further.  Just a complete pile in.  A monkey could have piled in better.  The next time toplanding, I came in at the same altitude onto final and overshot (forgot to take VG off)!  Then, a few minutes later, was up enough to try again and almost overshot again, but ballooned up and held it to come down fine at the PG launch.  About the same feeling as jumping off a tailgate but I was a skosch worried. 


Flew with VG at 2/3-3/4 for most of the hour long flight hoping to gain some sink rate in flat turns… or not.  It wasn’t bad at all.  I love my Sport2 sooo much. 

Flights:  4

Airtime:  1:40

Toplanding:  2.5


  1. Nice post! very nice pictures I got lot of inspiration about hang gliding form your post.
    I am taking lessons in US, Here are my experiances Flying Like A Bird!.
    I have also put together a How to get started Guide.
    Hope this will help other aspiring pilots. Here I have my hang glidng experiances

    Learn to Fly Basics (Lesson 1)

    learn to Fly Basics (Lesson 2)

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