Linda Salamone's Blog

Monday, May 12, 2008

Saturday, May 10th 2008

The forecast was perfect for Hammondsport (NNW) and although we got a conflicting report from Doug Stoner that it was blowing in at the Cliffs (NE), we stayed on track. Once set up at H-port, Mark launched and reported a pretty good cross. Twice he got low and I unsuited to go get him. But he had a nice save by the pond and was getting up again, so I went back to launch and waited until I got a straight cycle. I never really got one, but I picked something that at least wasn't blowing DOWN, and launched. I don't think I have ever had that short a flight at Hammondsport before. I headed toward the airport, mainly looking for a fat thermal tracking straight down the valley. All I got was rotor off the mountain: it was blowing the east side of the treetops that I flew low over on my way to try to make a field... I barely made it to the bovines. They sort of stampeded and then immediately marched in my direction once I touched down. They were very very bold and I was a little concerned about them licking my new sail or stepping on a batten. But after a few confident moves in my direction, they just as quickly dispersed to the woods out of my view. Later I found out that the farmer's son had thrown some hay out to keep them out of my hair while I packed up. It worked. So Matt came down and helped me get packed up and told me Mark was on his way to Harris. So we decided to fly the Cliffs and Bob R packed up on launch to join us.

At the Cliffs it was really honking. Dan was the only one in the air and I set up. No one else went and I waited a long time to launch. I've never flown the Cliffs in a lot of wind before (or if I have, my self-preservation mode has erased my memory of it) and I was a little freaked out by the intensity. Consequently, Mark, who I had picked up at the Harris LZ, got a lot of pictures of me just standing on launch... When I finally did launch, the glider got way ahead of me, like a ramp-sucky sort of thing, and the pictures show me fully stretched, reaching to stay with it, feet off the ground like I am falling on my face, then the next frame I have caught up and am running again. The time spent on launch should have clued me in to such an event. It felt funny and not loaded most of the times I picked up the glider. Even walking down the launch some didn't prevent this. When I left the slot, I got hit with that Cliffs "wall of air" and almost lost control once again, but I straightened out and just stayed AWAY from the ridge. A big bald eagle joined me and we climbed to about 1000' over in a lot of wind (16mph, too much for the Cliffs, I think). I hung around for a little while, and was going to try to wait out the wind, but after 20 minutes I was feeling like the fun factor was lacking so I went to the Harris LZ to land. Everything was going up over there and I got a chance to fly with a bald eagle again (same one?) and park the glider right over the state troopers who were doing a road check on Rte 352. So my landing was less than stellar, I landed in a cross, strong wind, and my back was screaming from over use. Mark and I got his new glider from Jack and met Doug and Dan for dinner. I dont know if anyone else ever launched after we left...

Flights: 2

Airtime: 4 minutes and 25 minutes

XC miles: 0

Alt2: 0 and 998'

Not a stellar day for me!!!!


  • Whew! Glad you pulled that one out ! Scarey feeling, to be sure. Will be sending a donation for a t-shirt soon.

    By Blogger Ray's blogger, at 1:31 AM  

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