Linda Salamone's Blog

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

How I spent my summer vacation... (Before Italy, that is)

Mario Luppa waiting for a cycle at Indian Cliffs

Well I have flown some since the ECC, just not much. I had an XC out of Bristol, I have taken sledders there and at Harris, and had a very short flight at Mossy Banks. However, I did soar it for a few minutes on the 4th of July. But the weather, when it has been decent, happened on days where I couldn't escape work. But mostly the weather here has just sucked for flying. The forecast for the 4th of July weekend looked stellar. But the lift was elusive in the mountains of New York. There were reports of soaring at the defunct flight park, but only 2 people had the luxury of exploiting it there. I chased the almost nonexistant wind to Indian Cliffs on July 5th, after Mark and I taught a visiting H2 pilot to foot launch, and had a 3 minute sledder that cost me an $80 down tube. But the good news that day was that my student had three great foot launches and three great landings and was ready the next day to fly Italy Valley, which was actually soarable from time to time. Mark changed my downtube Sunday morning and we headed to Italy with no dog and hopes of a decent flight to end the holiday weekend. Karl Link got very high (2000' over) after a few scratchy PG flights by Evo and Alex, and I couldnt get into my harness fast enough- only to wait and wait and wait for a repeat of the conditions Karl (who was now on the ground) had had. Mario and Mark were in line behind me and I took my time. Finally it got more consistant and I launched into a cycle that got me a little over and then I was a few hundred feet above inviting Mario to launch. His launch was reportedly like mine and Mark's, I found out later- we all got pushed to the left side of the slot due to a SW cross, but he managed it very well and soon he was S-turning and climbing up to me. Mark joined us and the three of us searched for something bigger. Mark and I could explore a bit more with the topless gliders and Mario stayed in whatever he could find nearer the ridge. It got a bit scratchy and Mark went to land after we all duked it out low. A better cycle came through and we survived the little flush, but then it looked like Mario and I would be on the ground soon when I saw two hawks way to the east (near the old LZ) and decided to make a run for them. As Mario sank lower near the launch, I made it to the birds and for the first time all weekend, following birds worked for me and I got a nice climb. Mark and I urged Mario not to try to reach me, as landing options suck over there, and it was a good thing he didn't try because when I left that climb my vario's sink alarm sounded for a solid minute as I tried to get to where Mario was now getting above the launch again. Soon a bald eagle joined us and I got my best altiude of the flight, but not enough to beat Karl's height. Another flush cycle claimed us and I watched Mario land well in the tight LZ with switchy wind and I figured, hell I can do that. I had a less than perfect landing ( I cant run anything out anymore) but I didn't hurt my back any more so I considered it a huge success. The grin on Mario's face- his first ridge soaring and restricted landing in a hang glider- awesome! So we packed up and went to Bristol and threw him off there in a slight tail wind just to give him perspective and a pulled hamstring to round out his foot launch-mountain flying weekend. A beer at the Lock, Stock, and Barrel and a good ending to a fun, if not hugely soarable, holiday weekend.

Flights: 3

Airtime: 6, 3, and 45 minutes

Alt above launch: 200, 0, 1200


  • Hi Linda, Nice blog! Not sure how to get in touch with u so I am leaving a comment. Tom Lanning's birthday is Sunday, July 13 (the big 5-0). I'd like to flood his inbox with email birthday greetings, so if you can send him one that would be great. Pass it on to Paul and Lauren or any others who might wanna leave a message. Thanks! Best of luck in Italy too!!
    Amy Lanning

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:26 PM  

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