Linda Salamone's Blog

Monday, August 07, 2006

What a great mountain flying weekend here in Upstate New York! Friday was very strong at H-port so I waited til later to leave work and head down. Maybe a mistake- Dan W was getting some air, although not very high when I arrived, he eventually flew to Corning. Ed J was set up already and took the next window and it was getting nice- or so we thought. When Ron K got into the window it started blowing like stink. So we waited it out a while and watched Ed get his ass kicked. It all changed around the same time Karl and Katrin and Andrew got there. Doug and Doug(?) were the latecomers. I got about 55 minutes in strong wondering conditions, got about 600 over and just had a great time until I got to low to try to scratch back up. Ron was all over the rest of us, and everyone has interesting landings down at the church.

Saturday was looking like it would be nice at the flight park but I opted for a run down south. After checking H-port and Mossy (no corn in the LZ there!!!) we wound up at the Cliffs- one of my most favoritest mountains. That's like more better, I guess. Anyways, it was blowing in pretty nice when we got there, and when Doug and Jim K launched. But their flights were a little short and Ed backed out of the slot and I was up. Dan W totally goaded me off launch and two steps into it, I knew I was screwed. I turned left out of habit there, and I maybe should have turned right. Anyhow, I was on the ground in record time, in a field just out front of the river. Nice LZ! Some kids on 4 wheelers gave me a ride with my harness back to where Doug was packing up, after I stowed the Litespeed by the treeline and headed back up top with my harness and vario. I watched the ridge as Ed launched and got high. When we came around the back we saw that Dan had launched and was getting high. Damn! I threw my Sting together in record time and it was HONKING into launch. Andrew had launched and Karl and Katrin both launched ahead of me . When I got out I could see right away this was going to be rough. It was for the first 500 feet but it got smoother over that. I tried to just dog Dan and stay on top of him.... surprisingly easy to do. Later he said it was all my hot air in the LZ that made it blow in up there. Dickhead. So we all boated around both ridges and I waited til everyone but Karl landed. After 1 and a half hours, I got tired of waiting for his feet to be safely on the ground so I hunted him down on the east ridge and took advantage of the ridge rules to gently NUDGE him into a safe landing. Everyone had landed in our new LZ, and since maybe it is owned by Senator Smith as well, we can hopefully use it as one. It would be great for the PG pilots, for sure. So we all headed to dinner and Dan apologized for "underestimating" my abilities earlier. Like I said: dickhead.

So Italy was the call for Sunday. When I got there I saw no one, and I waited a little while in the LZ for K&K to arrive. But I got impatient and headed up. Dan S was set up and Scott R was about to carry in so I dropped both gliders at launch (just in case!) and set up the Litespeed. Karl and Katrin arrived, Louis and Pete and John (PGs) showed up. Lon showed up... and Dan launched his Atos. Scott was brave enough to be next although Dan was not getting high. Scott proceeded to get high though so I got into the slot. My launch... well same as all my launches on the topless glider lately: kinda shitty and slow. I am always scraping the bottom of the launches and I think I actually hit greenery on this one. Italy is overgrown, for sure, but it's steep, and I have no excuse for slipping out so low like that. I need to evaluate my run and my VG setting. Anyhow, it took me a bit to get comfortable above the ridge, and it was short lived. Saturday was a busy- air flight and this was even busier. Typical Italy with a slight South cross. Ratty small thermals to 1000' and brief at that. But we all hung out a while, sometimes I was getting in Scott's way for sure, and Karl and I said HELLO too closely. But the weirdest thing about my flight was that nosing over sensation I have felt in this glider before. Last time I found out it was the nose cone. I think it still is although less dramatically that the whole thing coming undone. But that was very unnerving at times added to the classic Italy crap. After 1:45 I headed out to land instead of trying to scratch back up. My approach was too high I thought but I dropped so fast in the LZ that I was grateful for that extra altitude. I got popped hard after I transitioned and the wind was 100 degrees from what it had been when everyone else had landed so that was weird. But I stuck it on my feet and I was glad for that. Karl and I agreed it was snotty air but Katrin thought it was fine. Lon did awesome!!! on the ridge in all that traffic. I need to check my nose cone, and VG, and work on my launches!!!
Great flying, over 4 hours, and great company. Meesha had a blast and she'll be sleeping this weekend off today!


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