Linda Salamone's Blog

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Okay okay. Todd is making me do this NOW, instead of when I actually have TIME for such nonsense!
I got to fly my new pretty glider yesterday. It is awesomely sweet and familiar to handle although the performance seems far better than my Litespeed 3. The weather SUCKED for the first two days we were there- Friday and Saturday saw record rain in Tampa (like 18 inches in an afternoon). Sunday was incredibly blown out and the comp that Mark went down for was cancelled for that day too. They got as far as setting up and getting in line but Bo Hagewood launched and said it was rough and another pilot blew a launch due to high winds and sustained a wrist injury. Mark was unable to stay for Monday, truly a perfect flying day in Florida.
I missed the early window at Wallaby- meaning the pre-breakfast bell launch time. I was so close to getting it all together in time and I think even Malcolm pitied me enough to send someone out to tow me up soon after breakfast was eaten. (Note to self: get with the launch program at Wallaby- they tow in waves, not singly- so be ready when they are......)
After I launched, I found nothing at all for 1000' down, but this FULL SERVICE flight park was so kind as to build a bonfire and create a house thermal in which I was able to bounce around from 900' to 2000' over and over. No one else launched during the 45 minutes I was in the air. It felt like respectful homage to my beautiful new glider, but then I got worried and wondered what was up so I passed on my 5th opportunity to climb back out when I got low again. My landing was pretty good although Mikey Barber said later he doesn't like my approach much. I got right back in the big line that had formed because the tugs started appearing. HG Bob (my long lost cousin) was ready to go in his rented Falcon. I still don't know why no one was towed up in the interim- I mean- it was certainly soarable.
The second tow I got off early (1100') when the tug got way above me. I was in big lift anyhow and climbed out to join my host- Fred Permenter- in his La Mouette. One of Marty's buddies was in an Atos on top of him and I eventually climbed right over them both! The Atos went on a huge glide and I followed a bit later. I have a much easier time pulling VG on this glider- they must have added a pulley or two. I bombed around for another 45 minutes and came down with an even WORSE approach, the second one scared even me. But the glider landed well and saved my ass.
Third flight I took just to erase that bad approach from my mind- well at least to leave it on a better note. My first flight was before 11 am , now it was more mid-day conditions. I had climbs of sustained 450fpm and it was GOOD! There were so many gliders stacked up all over. We were getting to just over 3grand. I climbed up to Fred once again, Mikey came up through us both from underneath, so I pretended I was more interested on something way to the south and went on a glide. Mikey followed and we fanned out well. I had a better line or a better glide for a while. He hit something first so I joined him. I couldn't get up under him and started losing altitude. When I looked back I was in a bad position to make it back to thew Ranch. I went on a glide back and just SQUEAKED it in. Fred and Raean were very worried, I knew I had it half way back but it was too close. Mikey was apalled.
My landing was good so all in all a very eventful little half hour flight. There was more to the day to soar, but I had a plane to catch.
Anyways, once HG Bob gets some pics e-mailed of my new wing, I will attempt to post them here. Once I get the official update of the comp that Mark was almost in, I will re-cap it here as well.


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