Linda Salamone's Blog

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday April 15th- Hammondsport, NY
I arrived to see a small group of pilots staring at a limp windsock at launch. I had already made the weather call and the decision to fly so I started to set up. And of course it begins to blow in some...
Then some freight trains blow through, and it is dead for a long time in between. Karl was kiting his PG just behind the slot and giving us a lot of information by doing so. I was first to get ready but reluctant to launch. Scott Wise got out there and promptly climbed up a few hundred feet. I launched behind him- a decent launch in the Saturn- but it sure seems like everything is in slow motion with that glider. I got right up, but the air was very textured, difficult to anticipate where and how it would be going up or down. I suddenly felt too close to the ridge and the glider suddenly felt like way too much glider. I stayed away from the mountain and tried to find something that I was comfortable with. I thought I might be on the deck really soon and resigned myself to landing. I just didn't like the air. Before I committed to go land, I took a look at my vario. It was indicating that the wind was NE, very NE, and then it started to make sense that it was rolling along the ridge and all busted up. I went way out in front, found a piece I could turn in, and then started coring it away from the ridge and to the SW. Well, that worked. Soon Scott came to join me and we climbed out. It was a really strong climb and it straightened out NW when I got 2K over. I hit 1100fpm a lot and as long as I stayed in the center, it was all good. At about 3K, I had hit the edges enough, and got twisted around enough, and at times it felt like all the air just went away under the glider, like I was stalled. The more uncomfortable I got with the air, the less fun I was having. I left it to Scott and flew way out into the valley, in search of something more manageable. I never found it! I want to believe that the 147 sq ft of sail is just too big for me, instead of think that I am just a chickenshit, but whichever is true, I made a decision to find my way to the ground. A BIG piece of ground. I selected the airstrip across Rte 54 and radioed my intentions to Bob who I saw was in the slot. I knew it was possibly just the combination of me and the glider and the air, but I also know from experience that once I am flying defensively and afraid, it is very difficult to turn it around into a good flight. Bottom line was that I wasn't having fun. I had a hard time getting down, there was ratty lift all over. But when I did core a piece of sink, it was smooth all the way down to a really decent landing. The wind was parallel to Rte 54, and when I turned to look at the ridge, I saw Bob launch and he was on the ground in just a few minutes. Karl and Chuck flew while I was getting a ride to the top (thanks, Dave) but their flights were very short and not very high. Scott was on top and reported a gain of around 6,000'. So that makes me think that either I really am a chickenshit, or I just really need my Litespeed!!!!! I will see it in just a few days in Arizona, and then life will be good again!!!
Airtime: 38 min
Alt2: 2900' OL
Xc miles: 0


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