Linda Salamone's Blog

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Italy Valley, NY
I got into work very early so I could get my work done in time to enjoy this very spring-like weather we're having. The forecast was for diminishing SE wind, but when I got to work, the 10am updates were saying conditions may be unfavorable for flying at Italy Valley. I considered Dansville, but that looked pretty iffy too. At around 12:30 I just got the itch and scrambled out of work- thinking that a beautiful day sitting on a mountaintop was better than hanging out in the lab. Bob met me at the LZ and Doug Stoner was on his way. When we first checked the launch it was pretty dead and when it did blow, it was very SW. My philosophy is to just act as if it'll be good, be ready for it to be good, and maybe, just maybe, it'll be good. So Bob got his PG out and I set about getting Katrin's Saturn assembled. By the time I was ready, it was blowing in straight, and a little stronger, but as there were no birds, apprehension set in. It looked too good. We joked that when Doug arrived the first thing he would say was, "Why aren't you flying?" So Doug arrived and promptly said, "Why aren't you flying?" I told him we were waiting for him and so he set right up and launched and showed us how good it was. I launched straight away and quickly climbed to about 600' over. It was a little dicey and the Saturn was proving to be a little bit of a handful for me (it's kind of big). But after a while I settled in and enjoyed the air and had some fun with the glider. I barely had 1000' over when it all seemed to die off: Doug and I split LZs- me to the sheep field, him to the club's LZ. On my way over the barn, around 400' below launch, I caught a bump and decided to turn in it. After 20 minutes of cussing about being over dressed for this slogfest, I finally cored it and got above launch level and then it really turned on- like 800-900fpm solid. Doug had landed but I climbed out to more than 2000' over and it was big. Bob took it all the way out across the valley and continued to kick around for a while, after having hung on tight during that flush cycle, but then he went to top land. I had a RAF BOD meeting going on at my house in an hour or two, so I decided to top land too while I still could. Landing the Saturn was so-so, I managed to not drop the nose, but it wasn't stellar. And I had a ways to walk since it didn't retain as much energy as I had thought it might. I got home in time to a houseful of RAF members watching PG videos (?) and eating pizza. Some of this year's students showed up and it looks like we have a very dedicated, although small, group of guys to teach. I'll be an instructor for the club for the first time this season and I'm pretty excited about it.
This morning, Wednesday, I went over to 98PXY studio and did a little PR with my buddy Scott Spezzano. He is always really great about plugging the HG thing- he's an ex-RAF pilot himself. As much as I detest public speaking, I do think maybe it will play well on the air over the next two weeks or so. Probably during the deadest hours of radio listening time, but hey, you never know... maybe we'll attract a few more students.
Tomorrow looks great- maybe I can blast out of work early again... Thanks to Katrin for letting me borrow her Saturn.
Airtime: 48 min
Alt over launch: 2100'
XC miles: 0


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