Linda Salamone's Blog

Monday, October 29, 2007

(Photos by Maureen Grant)
I've been so busy lately, with work, kids, etc.... Not much flying at all. The conditions around here have been deteriorating and opportunity is scarce anyhow. But Bruce Engen, a pilot from Virginia, chose the month of October to pay a visit to our neck of the woods, exorcising his option on an offer I extended during the ECC. His friend Gary had a change of plans so it was just Bruce taking up the guest room on the third floor. I raked the cat fur off the bed and couch up there and declared it habitable and Bruce arrived on the 16th. The weather was looking pretty crappy, but he managed to get out a few days and have some adventures with other RAF members (and an adventure with a few NON-RAF members and emergency crews). I had too much work to do and didn't like conditions well enough to head out. On Sunday, Oct 21st, a decent forecast for Dansville got a bunch of us out to that hill. Thank God we had done the work on it a few weeks earlier- it was looking pretty good.

Sean launched his PG first and immediately went to land. Ryan went next and I heard from Sean that he broke his leg in the LZ. Dan the vet and Mark the first aid guy went to patch him up for his trip to socialized medicine across the Canadian border. I watced a few more launches and got in the slot. It had been gusty for too long but Ron, Bruce, Bob G, and Chuck were doing okay, although not getting very high, so I launched. It wasn't the greatest launch- my glider hit dead air out of the slot and got ahead of me a bit. So running like hell, I got airborne and immediately turned right to ensure a landing at the airport or the alfalfa field to the west. It was rough rocky air- I stayed 3-400' over just surfing the crap- watching everyone a bit higher over the launch. Mark came over with the same idea as me (proximity of a big landing field) and he flew around a bit and then landed. I decided to land too, safe in the assumption that I wasn't going to be the only weenie on the ground, but when I headed over theh alfalfa, I got my first decent thermal of the day and climbed with Dan just over me to 1100' over. He was in his Atos and could safely follow it back with the sailplanes, I ditched and went out over the flats again and again. When I had had enough, I went to the sailplane port to go land. I hit nothing but lift over the schoolbuses and had to extend my final glide out into the big field, but it was a decent landing although not as close to civilization as I would have liked. The sailplane pilots were happy to see me, and then a bunch of other HGs landed there, prompting jokes about flyswatters and bug spray(?). Mark took a SP flight as I ran everyone back to the top to get their vehicles. We found a great restaurant just outside of town and headed home. I heard the next day that Ryan was fine after surgery to put his leg back together.
Since this write up is so long after the flight- its a little sketchy. That'll teach me to wait so long to do it. Oh yeah, Bruce was nice enough to let Ron use his Falcon, Bob R flew, Scott and Scott flew, and I can't remember the rest.....


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