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Old 07-11-2014, 08:55 AM
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Default Wesmar 7/10/2014

Arrived fairly early. Passed Willie heading to town (for gas I assume). Matt D was already out setting up, so joined him. Frank was not far behind.

I decided to level the tip wands on my glider. Apparently someone thought it had a left turn and had turned up the right tip, and down the left one. It made for a real poor right turn capability. I also made a few more adjustments to my harness.

I will admit I had to take 2 tows yesterday. First tow I thought Willie took me to a good spot and got off around 1200. Turned out Willie did take me to a good spot and I quickly climbed to cloud base seeing as much as 640fpm on the average. I remember thinking, "Hell Yeah!"

I soon found out that thermal was the exceptionally strong thermal of the day. Most of my next few climbs were closer to the 200fpm variety with a smattering of everything from 0sink to 400+/- FPM thrown in.

I tried to stay high, but my adventurous side had me on a long glide to Five points with no beeps from the vario. I turned around and realized I was well beyond 1 glide back to the field. I was down to 700 or so before I found a bit of lift. All I wanted was enough altitude out of it to reach the LZ, and it appeared that would be about all I would get. It was light and broken and drifting south away from the field.

It did get me back to the field to find Frank and Matt D searching low. I think we all spotted the vortex in the corn filed at the same time. We converged and Frank and I managed to eek out a bit of climb from it. We were low, the lift was sharp, and the nerves were tight (at least mine were.) Eventually gravity won and I landed next to John A who was setting up. Matt D, and Frank both landed. Larry B was up, but Larry W showed the lift to be......missing.

So we waiting awhile. John Alden in his divine wisdom said "Its time to go!" I was going to get off the cart and let him go, but he said something about taking time to get ready. So I pushed out behind Willie as Larry B was coming back down. sigh....

My first flight was just shy of 2 hours, so I could have packed it in and been happy, but I was still suited up, on the cart, hooked to the line, and Willie was waiting for the signal. So I gave it and off I went.

I had to take the second tow a little higher. Maybe 1500-1600 and found another exceptionally strong thermal up around cloudbase @ 5600' Others came up and were below me a goodways. It just wasn't as good a thermal by the time they got there and they were drifting more than they were climbing.

It ended up being Larry B and I passing each other back and forth. As one would be climbing, the other was pushing upwind. We did get a bit of thermalling together, but I was turning right, so Larry didn't hang out too much.

Late in the flight I was turning low over the field. Up to maybe 1700' or so. I hear a noise I quickly relate to a pair of large jet engines with high bypass fans. I came around my turn to see a FedEx Jet passing to make a delivery drop off at Rickenbacker. I think it was an A310. Pilot's name tag said Ted. Couldn't quite read his flight number from the cockpit display since one of my contacts had fallen out previously.

An unnerving reminder that we are located right off the runway of a BIG airport that handles BIG planes. He really surprised me. By the time I heard him and completed 90 degrees of my turn, he was on me and past me. A few minutes later and I was thermaling right where he passed. So I'll remind everyone to stay very vigilant in watching for traffic. Anytime you are south of Wesmar, remember you are very close to the extended runway center line! I thought I might have caught him on film, but it doesn't look like I did.

Sometime real close to 6pm, I finally touched back down. My harness adjustment had made all the difference as I didn't feel fatigued or aching from pressure points or arching my back. I want to adjust one more time to get my body a little farther forward so maintaining heads down is a little easier. I think I just need to put my foam plate back in the bottom and let will also have to let the shoulder straps back out just a hair.

Centering my tip wands made a huge difference in thermalling to the right. I couldn't tell any difference in flying straight, so I'm happy with those changes.

So the RAP forecast I posted was clearly optimistic. No 1000+fpm climbs, no 8000'+ cloud base. Just like last weekend. You could find some nice lift. It was actually pretty smooth most of the day. There were large areas of minimal sink, but finding the associated core with the energy to lift you took some patients.

First flight topped out around 4600', and added close to 2 hours of time.
Second flight topped out at 5600' and provided another 2.5 hours.
Well worth using a vacation day for!
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Last edited by CHassan; 07-11-2014 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:15 AM
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Congrats Craig! Great flying.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:24 AM
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Nice write up Craig. Makes me wish I had arrived in the area a day earlier.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:28 AM
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Craig pretty much summed it up. Timing and location were essential as well as a good dose of patience and it seemed that Craig was proficient in all this day. Others were not so lucky but a beautiful day it was and I think everyone had a chance to soar. It was a blast to get some air time and fly up close and personal with Craig and Matt, trying to scratch out just a few more minutes aloft.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:31 AM
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This isn't my picture, but a good representation of what I saw! Only I was a little higher than the plane!

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Old 07-11-2014, 10:24 AM
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Frank, Matt, and I in a final effort.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:59 AM
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Nice!
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:02 AM
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Would it be worth reaching out to Rickenbacker ATC to make them aware of our hang glider operation? Perhaps they can inform the big irons to be on the lookout. One would think such a communication would be mutually beneficial. No?
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:43 AM
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Ever have trouble spotting another glider when you were flying? Now imagine flying at 180 mph, 45 seconds from touch down in a 200,000 pound aircraft. Think you would have time to strain to see a little hang glider?

Not saying communication is a bad idea. I just think in reality the big bird pilot is less likely to see us, let alone avoid us. Should he have to take evasive action guess what happens to our little slice of heaven!

He has the right of way. One because he is landing. Two because we are just a guest vehicle in the sky. Three because it is our life and probably only his underwear and pants!
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:07 AM
fdmurphy44 fdmurphy44 is offline
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100 tons seems a bit light but not that it would matter! We had a very similar discussion years ago and have posted an attachment regarding the routing of KLCK traffic just south of WesMar (in the OFHPA section-ATC Routing) This is definately the preferred route (but by no means the only one) and I believe there have been many with uncomfortably close encounters.
When this was originally discussed, years ago, we paid a visit to KCMH tower and spoke extensively with a very nice (FAA) Gent by the name of Tom Lauch. It was decided that we should call KCMH tower whenever we would fly to "inform" them of our activity. After several calls to them it was decided that they really weren't interested in our activities and that "we should have transponders and fly by VFR rules" (see and be seen). Be aware of their activity and always keep an eye out for the close encounter of any kind. There are always many types of aircraft in the vicinity and many airports within 20 miles of WesMar.

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Originally Posted by CHassan View Post
Ever have trouble spotting another glider when you were flying? Now imagine flying at 180 mph, 45 seconds from touch down in a 200,000 pound aircraft. Think you would have time to strain to see a little hang glider?

Not saying communication is a bad idea. I just think in reality the big bird pilot is less likely to see us, let alone avoid us. Should he have to take evasive action guess what happens to our little slice of heaven!

He has the right of way. One because he is landing. Two because we are just a guest vehicle in the sky. Three because it is our life and probably only his underwear and pants!
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