[Amigo] > [Riss's flight index]

Riss Estes
Labor Day Weekend
September 2, 3, & 4th, 2005

As we say down here, "Even a blind hawg finds an acord once in a while!"

Here are some photos from the annual fly-in at Pine Mountain near Bend, OR over Labor Day weekend:


We had 2 fair days of flying weather and one excellent day.  My comp flight that did the trick on the scoring was on the the third day of flying, which also made my personal list of all-time top-ten flights.  I almost sank out below launch but caught a ratty set of bubbles 250' over the LZ that I eventually worked back above launch with a lot of perseverance.  A few miles down the course I did a repeat of that low save where most of the remaining field sank out (this climb also saved me several miles of walking in the desert...).  That about did it for the mountain-flying.  Pine's has long shoulders, but it's basically a stand-alone mountain, and about 5 miles downrange it peters out into flatland flying.  [Hey, did someone say, "flatland flying?! ]

It was the third low save that was the real cherry.  People on the ground said I was only 100' off the deck (~ 4,000MSL).  It took me a full half hour, but I finally topped out at over 13,000MSL, making this my tallest climb ever as well as my personal highest AGL.  The lift was ratty and difficult all weekend, being mostly bumpy bubbles that were quite difficult to use.  Nevertheless, on more than one occasion in the weekend I was getting 1,600-1,800 fpm on the 30 second averager, so there were some screamers out there to squash you into your seat, too.  I only flew about 30 miles, but it was hard work the whole way which added to the feeling of accomplishment.  I was the last one left in the air 4 hours and 15 minutes later (exhausted), making this flight my longest duration thermal flight, as well.

In addition to the daytime flights we had 4 evenings of glass-off flying, which was quite a treat.  You'll notice the low shoulder on the left side of the main peak in the wide-shot photos.  That's the "training hill."  You hike up about 100' and kite up another 200', or just hike the whole 300.  As you can see in the photos, it's quite a shallow slope.  But the evening wonders blow in, and you can ridge soar that slope and bench-up to Pine peak (on the right side of those wide shot photos).  Glass-offs at Pine are 1,500'AGL(+) flights and blow until dark.

Enjoy the pix!