Linda Salamone's Blog

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Okay so we had a big flying weekend on November 19th and 20th.

On Saturday, Mark, Andy, Jack, Todd and I braved the scary launch at Dansville. It was pretty sweet and I flew around for around an hour and landed at the gliderport. I had some pretty strong altitude gains(1000fpm+)- surprising for this time of year. A PGer named Matt gave it a try later and put the bag in a tree in the LZ. Bob and Mark went back up even later for an encore PG flight. I goaded them into it just a bit- it was looking about perfect from a HG perspective. Calling them a coupla pussies seemed to get them in the air right quick. I retreived them from the field shy of the airport since the wind was slightly stiff.

Sunday was a huge day, my cell phone was ringing non-stop when my daughter and I headed to the gym. I figured it would be too westerly to fly with the hunting season closures, so I was unprepared for a flying day. But Dana agreed to drive for me and Ron wanted to ride down with us so off we went. Andy launched and got up first (easily), Dave P got up next. Then I launched and a whole bunch of others joined us in the air later. I saw Moritz, Dan W, Scott, Ron, Jeremy, and Jack. We were so spread out and all getting very high- there was no shortage of lift - and we didn't need to stay anywhere near the ridge to find it. At one point I followed Dave into the valley and had a good time pimping from underneath. When I found what he was in, we both took it to 3000' over and a hawk stayed with us the whole way. The W and sometimes NW cross put us way south over the end of the ridge and Scott was climbing fast up to us. Dave told me later that the hawk made a threatening advance towards the top of my sail- talons out and aiming right at me. At the last moment he pulled out of the feet-first attack and flew away. I never saw the aggression, I just thought he was hanging with us to be friendly!
After that climb I was very cold and decided to go land, but that was sort of a problem. It seemed impossible to find any sinking air. Sometimes it was blowing very strong, over 20mph, and once I had some penetration issues as I made my way to the gliderport. I checked for air traffic when I set up an approach but it took some doing to get down. Consequently I found myself slipping S-turns at the end of the runway and I figured I may be in someone's way so I took a long final approach along the fence and landed to the NW pretty far away from the hangar. It was blowing pretty hard and I got to watch a whole bunch of pretty sweet landings as the rest of the pilots followed my lead and landed there.
Just after I landed, Mark called my cell. Dana answered and told him I wasn't in a chatty mood after the two sledders I had just taken and no one had gotten up and she went through a whole tank of gas just retreiving pilots all day. So I figure he will have a "pity party awesome dinner" laid out for me when I get home instead of eating his own shorts at the flying he missed. Yeah, but no, he was at movies when I got home and it didn't suck having the house to myself for a bit.

I hope this wasn't the last day we're going to get this month. I could use another!


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