Linda Salamone's Blog

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sunday, August 17th

Harris Hill- a couple of journalists, friends of my daughter's roommate, came along thinking that hang gliding was a wickedly exciting, thrilling way to spend an afternoon.... What they found was that hang gliding is not for the impatient or reckless, and certainly not the "thrill a minute" they expected- especially when the weather is uncooperative. Josh (the editor of the Genesee Sun) and John, the videographer/photographer, followed along from Avon to get a story about me and my recent adventures in Italy, and about hang gliding in general. They were incredibly patient and inquisitive as we were setting up, and they devised an ingenious way to fabricate a video camera mount- first on Mark's glider, and then on mine- with duct tape. The plan was for Mark to fly a bit first, do some wangs and wingovers in front of launch, then land, then I would retrieve the camera and try to get it up to cloudbase on my flight. So Mark, after potato-ing forever, highlighting the pure thrill of the sport, launched and had to blow through a ton of lift to try to stay low near launch where we were all waiting. When he landed I raced back up top with the camera, and got up to launch all wired up. I almost hit Josh when I started my run, he didn't expect to have to dive out of the way as he clicked picture after picture. But I never got very high my whole flight. Frustrating, scratching along at times, swearing and remembering the video camera recording what I was doing and saying- I tried to make it all appear effortless.... At one point I was hanging out near the sail port, waiting for a tug to take a glider off their launch. There was a climb right out in front of them, I wanted to join the sailplane out there, but the tug just wouldn't go. After a while I gave up and went away, and then of course the tug took off... I think he was waiting for me to get the hell out of the way... By the time I could explore out there, the climb was gone. Doug launched his PG and joined me for a bit, and then we both got low, below launch. He and I were joking earlier about the downside of fame- the paparazzi following me around all the time and the flashes from their cameras keeping me awake at night....I headed north and scratched hard and he landed. I spent a long time 45 meters below launch, finally getting up again, but not before getting kicked towards the trees in a scary moment. Scratching close- haven't done that for a while- it was exhausting, but I did wind up getting up when Mark launched again. I was soaked with sweat, dressed for cloudbase, and finally I went to land. The journalists were in the LZ waiting for me, clicking away... I came in and gave them a taste of what Italy was like for me- Flare, Tuck, and Roll... I picked the glider's nose out of the dirt and promptly fell backward trying not to break my harness backplate, laughing my ass off. It really was a fun day- what a difference a couple of very enthusiastic wuffos can make! Anyhow, the link to their article is below- it was incredibly flattering. They say the camera adds 20lbs... it makes me wonder how many cameras they had on me....
Airtime: 52 minutes
Alt 2: 110 meters


Post a Comment

<< Home