Linda Salamone's Blog

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Saturday, June 23 2007 H-port

I was more nervous than usual atop Hammondsport. Setting up- the strong cycles were coming through but then it was pretty dead in between. Not the forecast I saw before leaving home. I figured to let a bunch of people launch before me so I could calm down. Jack and Dan W obliged, then Dan S and Mark. The first two just left, and when Mark and Dan were high, I got into the slot with Tom's help. I waited for a lull (MISTAKE) and tried to lunge off. I got two steps into it when I knew I had made a huge error in my timing and my technique. I wound up clipping the trees to the right of launch (down low) and yanking my left base tube to rip the glider from the trees' clutches. I was surprised to find myself NOT in the trees, and 50' below launch while I tried to get prone and stuff my feet into my harness. I was so freaked I figured I would go land, and as I sank out with my legs shaking, I knew I would probably never get the nerve to launch H-port again. While passing below launch, I yelled to the onlookers, "OH MY GOD!!!!) and then decided on my way to the LZ that I better fly my glider and get a grip. I saved the flight in front of th ewest launch, got a little above, and when I looked at my right wing, I saw a piece of tree- complete with leaves- about 5 inches long, hung up between my side wire and undersurface. I was still pretty freaked, but Mark was there with me now and together we climbed up in some gnarly-ass thermal. It got us about 1500' and bounced us around a bit, but then I looked for my twig, and saw it still there, a reminder of that horrible launch. The air was a little crappy, but at times coherent enough to climb high. I was starting to feel a little better, but later I saw my twig had fallen out. For some strange reason, I cried. While I was flying. I missed my twig. Very strange.

Well, the rest of the flight was okay, but I had no desire to land at the church, so I headed to the airport. I found a really nice thermal on the way there and flew the north ridge a while and watched the others near launch. It looked like Mark had a nice one behind the church, so I went all the way over just to knock him out of it. Finally I had had enough and headed back to the airport. Switchy wind down there- GREAT- I'm gonna pile in the landing- I think. But no, it was a decent one for a change and I just laid down and thought about that launch a while. Mark picked me up and we analysed the hell out of my recent launches. They suck.

Lon, Todd, Tom, Moritz, Florian, Mukrim, Rick- they all flew. And it wondered pretty high. Dan and Jack drove back from Blue Swan, no clue where Dan S went to. Mukrim gave me a great PG lesson while he was launching and flying. Adam drove, and the porcupine missed a golden opportunity with Meesha.

Airtime 1:20

Max altitude: 3700' over launch


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