Linda Salamone's Blog

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hammondsport, Wednesday May 28th
I left work to tend to my ailing daughter, only to find the little shit was really just playing hooky. So I played hooky myself!!! I arrived at H-port to find Bob in the LZ at around 3:30. When we went up top, we were staring down the mouth of the windsock! For a while it just swirled around, no real direction- what happened to the strong N- NNW wind that was forecasted??? After one cycle wafted in a little straight, I decided to trust that the conditions would magically match the forecast and set up my shiny crispy glider. I was glad that I double checked my VG - it had taken a wrap around the cross bar- something that I have experienced a few times and don't really want to re-visit in-air.
I launched first, using a superstitious slant on this day- usually I let someone else go first- consequently I haven't had too many great flights this year.... I scratched a little after my somewhat weak launch, got up some, then told Bob to go whenever since I felt like it was solid. He joined me and proceeded to kick my ass a bit, then I thought I'd be crafty and find a boomer out in the valley- but all I found was sink and I was back to scratching below launch. I thought that I'd be at the church parking lot before long but suddenly things got better. We were boating around at 600-900' over, very comfortably, and I was thinking the only thing I could ask for in addition to this very sweet easy air was like another 1000' so I could wander around more. Well, ask and you shall receive... because pretty soon the two of us were climbing really well over the tower on top and before long I was at 2K over and then Bob sort of lost it. Then I was 3K over and cold as hell... I watched him come way out over the forests searching in back and he looked so low, then I saw him squeak over the trees to land in the top field. Damn, there goes my thermal marker! If not for him I would have lost that one much sooner and maybe would have landed too. But now I had room and altitude to play and I pulled my string 3/4 on and raced back to the valley- I got to 54 mph before I hit some bumps and let the VG off. Okay, now I know that this glider has some range even at 3/4 or so. And I can still control it- all good! I meandered around the valley now, ran the ridge to the north, then visited the car dealership and the prison. It was so easy to go anywhere, everywhere. The hardest part was staying warm. That meant staying low and that was the hard thing to do! I thought it was a wonderwind but as Bob was packing up, I got to around 600' over- low by tonight's standards- but then found another thermal, intending to take it just high enough to top land, but it was such a nice one-handed ride up and at 7pm it was going up at 300fpm... I took it instead to 3300' over and ditched it only because I WAS FREEZING!!! I was getting anxious about landing- my arms and hands were numb and I haven't really landed this glider well lately. I went to the airport and saw that it was running straight out of the north down there. That would be easy, but a lonely break down since no one is ever there. Plus I might get yelled at since it would be obvious I was scoping it out from up high for a while. So I headed over to the church to decide and saw it was blowing straight NW, or across Rt 54. That meant that setting up along that driveway would be okay (no potato chip behind the church for me anymore). I finally found some air going down slowly and started turning in it to lose height. The wind just about totally died when I was on final, and I thought I was going to overshoot now and wind up in this tall rough patch of weeds- kind of a hump- not good. I slowed up instead, lost too much speed to get over it that I had nothing left to flare with. Whacked. Again. Yuck. But I was right next to Bob's truck, so where I landed was so much better than how I landed. My wrist hurt and I was worried while I tried to use my useless hands to unsuit that I had done some lasting damage. But after I thawed out, it was just a little bit tender and today it seems just fine. Right around the time I started packing up Bob came down to help and said that Gary Ward was up top, mowing. I had seen someone up there and assumed it was the landowner. Thanks, Gary... Got home by 9:30, sated some, FINALLY...
Flights: 1
Airtime: 1:56
Alt over launch: 3300'
Truly the sweetest air I've flown in this year!


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