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Flight Articles from Friday, 3/15/2002 [Weather Archive] [Craig Warren] [Sundowner] [Diablo]
[Chris Grantham] [Chris Paul] [Kristy Becchtold] [Ron Faoro] [Casey Rodgers] [Tom Beidler] [Tom Sorce] [Tom Pipkin] [Brendan] [Mike]

Tom Pipkin
Friday, 3/15/2002
Nuthouse to East Repeater and back to Bocalli's LZ

Unable to get to Skyport early, I opted to join Brendan for a late launch at the Nuthouse.  Needing to ballast-up, I carried extra water.  I've never liked putting rocks in my harness in case of a bad landing.

After the climb, I voiced my concerns of the strong cycles from the west wind & canyon draw.  Brendan launched and climbed out with no problem.  I, on the other hand, struggled & fumbled for an hour.  Growing tired, sweaty & really pissed-off, I finally got in the air.  At that point I was in no mood for XC, & just wanted get out of the canyon, fly around a little & land.

Climbing out was not a problem, holding my ground was.  Pointing south & flying east, careful to stay high & out front.  Took the drift & 4500' from Spine One over the front connection points to the Stooges.  Worked a thermal & continued the drift to Twin Peaks.  Checking LZ options I stumbled into a booming thermal that shot me up to 8100'.  Although I was dressed warm, I was soaked with sweat from launch & freezing my ass-off.

Took the altitude & headed east over west & east repeater.  The west winds seemed to be getting stronger the further east I went.  If I wanted to make it back to Ojai, I'd have to turn around now.  So I did, & flew back (very slowly) to Bocalli's LZ.

Staying high turned out to be a good choice, I never really encountered turbulence or rough air, just lots of wind.  Very recreational.

Note; turned the radio off for most of the flight, loved the silence!