Linda Salamone's Blog

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

finally getting this one up:

Sunday September 2, 2007
Ron was at my house at the crack of dawn after bagging flying the day before. Saturday was just too iffy for me to leave the work on the house behind for a day. I got as much painting done as I could Saturday, so Sunday would have to be my day for flying. We left pretty early and took our time getting our gear into launch. The road looks wider and better since Dick has done some work on it, but the carry in is still just as long. The forecast was for a SSW wind but I saw it change to WSW at 1pm on the FSL maps. Karl and Katrin were with Gary Ward down in the LZ and they headed up after finding us already on launch. Katrin and I were studying the sock at 12:55. Very South-Southwest. Ugh. But she reminded me that I said at 1pm it would come around. I was all set up, as was Ron, but we wanted dummies- I mean ‘wind technicians’ and Karl got in the slot. At 1:12pm it just starts to come STFI and Karl launches. He does okay for a bit and I get into the slot. I waited all through Gary’s prodding, all through some pretty ok cycles, and soon enough, watched Karl land downwind to the south in the LZ. Gary is getting frustrated with my “root boots” but I am still being patient. Finally I see what I was waiting for: a hawk climbing out in the valley to the south. I had not much to launch with and did one of my really fast, low launches, but it was very buoyant on the way away from the hill and I headed to where I had seen the hawk. It wasn’t enough to stay up in however, and I was desperately turning tight below launch altitude to make it turn into something. I made a pass towards launch and noticed above me some more hawks headed south and I turned and followed underneath them. They had nothing! I gave up and flew back in front (and well below) of launch and went to wave bye-bye to go land…. Then I hit something good! I cranked around and after just a few turns found myself above launch and climbing at a solid 800fpm all the way to 5000’msl. Yeeehaw!!! I watched Ron in the slot forever, and then flew around to wait for him. It was a little rough but not too bad- high pressure and all- and cloudless. Ron finally launched and some PGs launched and I tried to get Ron’s attention, but he didn’t see me. After an hour I figured if he really wanted to go XC, we’d have to go soon. I had told him earlier to just head north (very landable) and I would stay with him. I had to lose a bunch of altitude just to get him to see me, then we started to fly together a little. He left the mountain when he wasn’t very high, but oh well, time to go. Over the Lock Stock and Barrel it was lifty but not booming and we were mostly just maintaining. Lots of good landing fields below us anyhow and Ron didn’t seem too stressed out. In fact, he was doing a little better than me, but I was staying more in the valley, not in the hills. At one point I left him in search of something better right over the town of Bristol and when I looked back- I was losing and he was either gaining or staying neutral so I had a little field picked out. I knew I’d never hear the end of it if he got up and went further but oh well, time to land! But when I got near the store, I saw another hawk and he got me back up to 5300’ msl while Ron landed way atop the hill to the east of town, I watched him land as my drift took me right over him. I started to look around at my options, and not wanting to be a big pain in the butt about retrieval, I thought I’d go land with him. But I changed my mind when I saw the Canandaigua airport and headed there instead. I had another opportunity to climb out but I’d been flying for 2 hours and Emily was back at Bristol Mountain so I ended it over a big field by Mercy Flight. Some really nice old woman came out and offered assistance and a lot of people stopped to chat. Bob was just packing up his glider after a flight at FLAP and he agreed to get me back to my car and kid. Ron would just have to rot for awhile (payback’s a bitch!) but we went and got him anyways.
Katrin was in the air when we all got back to Bristol, Gary, Karl and Scott in the LZ. A few very interested people chatting about lessons, too. We headed over to Lock Stock and did the whole socializing thing up right. Extra crispy garlic wings to go for Mark and Adam, and a short drive home… Sweet day of flying in a month of rare flights.
Airtime: 1:56
Altitude: 5300’ msl (forgot to zero on launch)


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