Linda Salamone's Blog

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The last 4 days were really awesome for flying here in Upstate New York. It was like a repeat of when Rhett was here and we had high pressure East and NE wind.
Sunday at Finger Lakes Aerosport Park was a perfect day for everyone to get all they wanted in the air. A photographer from The D&C came out to do some shots of me for an article ( I think I finally am going to make the SPORTS section!) and she agreed reluctantly to get in-air shots from the Trike. The Messenger Post article came out today too so it was pretty cool to be in the spotlight... So I took two tows- the second one was because Marty thought Scott Rowe was me and she was snapping pictures of him for a while and missed my short flight. Mark towed me up again and the Trike followed me this time and then landed. It was pretty soarable by now but I had tandems to hook up so I landed and told everyone else the day was "on".
My daughter and 3 of her friends all took tandems with Mark- all but one got to soar for a while. Mark was giving some of the single gliders a thermalling lesson with the tandem glider! They were all smiles when they landed and I was anxious to get in the air now that everyone was sticking! I got a 45 minute flight to around 5K right off tow and played "last feet on the ground" (and won) while the day shut down. I think I was the only one playing...
Monday we had no tug pilot so HG Bob and I headed to Italy. We left Bob's truck at Bristol with lofty plans to fly there (and back maybe). Well, Jack the Sky God showed up and beat us all to the punch by launching first and sky-ing out while Bob and I sledded. I had a scary launch again and I am resolved to fixing that problem. (Harness issues). In the LZ, while packing up, we see Bob's truck come around the corner, driven by Jack, just to add insult to injury....
When we got back up top, Mark was there with his PG ready to try- his flight was a little more extended than mine and Bob's. Dinner at the Middletown Tavern was our only consolation and the waitress even forgot to put our order in!
So Tuesday, light NE wind. Joe Schmucker and I decided on FLAP, Bob was going to head to Harriet later after work. We didn't get towed until almost 4pm and the lift was dying out. I wound up too low and too far to the south and just took it on glide hoping to get something to get me up and over to Honeoye. I landed just 4 miles south of FLAP... Joe retrieved me and when I called to see how Bob was doing, he was just about to launch at Harriet and it was cycling in nicely. Later he calls and says he flew over an hour at 2K over and top landed... well, it just goes to show you: right place, right time... same lesson as the two days before....
Okay so now I am filled with THREE days of frustration- all great flying days- but I can't seem to get it together. No one wants to talk to me because I am getting a wee bit cranky. Looking at the forecast on Wednesday morning was really stressing me out. I sit here at work doing NOTHING for 4.5 hours a day and watch the weather. I can tell it is going to suck after this day, and it may be the last time to fly before I head to Florida. I can't tell if it's Harriet or Italy and I didn't think I could get a tug pilot out.
By 11am, Mark realizes his life will be MISERABLE if he doesn't come to my rescue. He puts his nose to the grindstone at work and meets me at FLAP by 2pm. I'm set up and ready to go- he has a girl there he is mentoring for a school project. We show her and her mom what a nasty 200' lockout weaklink break looks like. Plus the fully-zipped-up-prone-with-VG-on landing... Wow. Can't remember my last weaklink break! Mark was just about to give me the rope! So, I try again and we hit another boomer but I stay on. I climb to 5700' just after tow, and fly all over. Doug asks me on th eradio if it's worth getting towed since it is late. It's still really good so I tell him to come join me. I pimped off him for an hour or more and we had some really nice air. Smooth, big, and high. There was a defined convergence we were in, the wind on the ground was ENE and the wind aloft was ESE, E, and S. We got back to over 5K and I was on the radio still with Mark who was giving his "student" a pretty cool firsthand glimpse into hang gliding. I waited until Doug was safely on the ground before I came around to lose some altitude. It was around 5pm and there was still some lift left. Go figure. It was blowing pretty hard from the ENE so I had a decent landing. Not that anyone was still around to see it.....So I had flown for over two hours and thanks to Mark I scratched that itch that was plaguing me for days! I packed my glider up very carefully since the next place it flies will be in Florida.
Okay so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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