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Flight Articles from Friday, 5/19/06, Pine (in order of posting time stamp)
[Tony DeGroot] [Greg Brown]

Greg Brown (aka Pokie)

Friday 5/19/06
First Flight at Pine
to Lockwood

Let's see, yesterday was my first time flying Pine.  Is this what it's always like?!?!  I never heard thunder until I was on the ground, but the lightning got my attention real fast.  I think that what made the whole thing really challenging was that the "friendly" areas where there was sun shining were not the areas where there were good landing options, especially towards the very end of the flight.

Basically, we had T-cells converging from 3.5 different directions, and according to Mr. Anderson, they tend to converge and explode right over the Lockwood Valley... and they did.  Luckily, there were no serious downbursts or gust fronts on the deck where we were.  I've never intentionally descended so many feet in such a short time (maybe 7k in 8 min.?).

Crossing the Badlands with plenty of altitude (I left with about 10.6k and arrived in Lockwood with about 9.5k, and that was semi-stuffing the bar virtually the whole way!), I got hailed on for the second time in two days.  Only this time I was in the air instead of on launch.  The hailstones were about the size of Jolly Green Giant peas!  For me it was an enjoyable 1.5+ hour flight until the last 15 minutes of it, when Mother Nature began to unleash her fury.

Needless to say, after I landed, I was quite happy, relieved, and grateful to be on the ground.  When we drove out to pick up Terry, the sky out towards the Tehachipis was really something... huge, towering Cumis; I believe we may have even seen an anvil head somewhere out there.  Congrats to Terry on making it out to the desert (and not getting arrested!).