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Sundowner Archived Flight Log
Copied from old hard copy hand written log book

2 Weekend Trips in June 1986 to Horseshoe Meadow
Walts Point, Owens Valley

4 flights:
116 miles: Walt's Point North to Hwy 360
 89 miles:  Walt's Point North landing short of Benton
137 miles: Walts Point North past Mina
 35 miles: Walts Point South toward home against headwind / to Little Lake

Log Transcription on 5/28/11
Glider: Seedwings Sensor / B Model / Red & Gold

Sunday 6/15/86
Duration: 6.3 hours 10:45 AM to 4:45 PM
Distance: 116 miles

Launch into weak lift and climb 200'.  Dribble down to 85 and hold on.  Stuck at launch for an hour.  Around the point with 10, getting good glides, topping at 10.8 and arriving above 85.  Wavin to 12.5 on the south side of Kearsarge Pass, then power across looking for shelter, but hammered out of the mountains.  Run for the road with 85.  Easy skip across the valley and head north toward Westgard Pass.

Blown into the pass by west wind, working crosswind and stepping forward.  Ride a solid core to 13 behind Black Mountain and glide to Boundary Peak, pulling out at 15K.  Rough and rowdy at Boundary.  Leave even on final glide, out to Hwy 360.  Land into west wind gusting to 25.

(glider had right turn with max differential tuning)

Monday  6/16/86
Duration: 4.9 hours 12:20 PM to 5:15 PM
Distance: 89 miles

Launch late and race to catch the lead.  Up to 13 across Kearsarge and power on to be blown out at 8500.  Skip across the valley and drift over to Black Mountain for a nice smoothie to 11.  Glide to road past Cold Water and drift with zero sink at 500 AGL for 20 miles, landing about 5 miles short of Benton Station.  Cherry landing conditions.

(glider still had a right turn with moderate differential tension, loose sail, and outboard batten reflex)

Saturday 6/21/86
Duration: 6.1  hours  10:26 AM to 4:35 PM
Distance: 137 miles

Wind Dummy into good conditions for the launch potatoes concerned about a possible north wind.  Easy racing up the Sierra's, in the lead, holding off Don Gordon and Larry Tudor. (Don was my mentor, and I had a lot of admiration for Larry, both XC icons in their day).  Cross to Black with 14.5K and arrive with 7.  Searching to 65 before finding a good strong smoothie to 13.  Poor glide across east wind, dribbling down past Paiute, topping about 95.  Race mode to the flat and climb to 15.  Fly to a cloud at Boundary and climb above 19K, encountering ice, 3 PM (personal highest altitude).  Head north with extending cloud points and re-climb to 18 a couple of times.  Back to 16 about 15 miles past Boundary, but thoroughly altitude fried.

Dropped the nose in cherry landing conditions about 5.3 miles north of Mina.  Stiff right turn and inadequate physical conditioning to handle the duration and altitude.  First day of Summer

Larry Tudor flew 200 plus

Sunday 6/22/86
Duration: 2.7 hours
Distance: 35 miles

Follow the pack into good conditions and head south toward home, across the points with 11 plus.  Climbing to 12.5K in building headwind.  Flush out by stiff headwind short of Little Lake.  Good cores and real buoyant over the road.  Land at rest stop and wrinkle a down tube.

Notes at Transcription in May of 2011

After Larry Tutor became the first pilot too break the 200 mile barrier with his flight from Walt's Point to Austin Nevada on Wednesday, July 13, 1983 (221.5 miles), Walt's Point became the go to Mecca for XC pilots.  On a summertime weekend, launch was bulging with pilots, more than limited setup room could accommodate, sometimes 50 plus.  Larry eventually realized mountains were a hindrance to really long flights because to go max distance, you want a strong tail wind.  After he broke the 300 mile barrier in 1990, the attraction of the Sierra's shifted from max XC distance to good XC distance with ridiculously humbling scenery.

Larry's Declared Distance to Goal World Record was the first Hang Glider flight to break 300 miles.  Larry flew 303 miles, on July 3, 1990, from Hobbs, NM (way down in the SE corner of the State) to a Declared Distance to Goal at the Elkhart, Kansas Airport.  Larry spiraled down from cloud base (after a 10 hour flight) to capture the Declared Distance to Goal Record).  Larry felt he could have flown another 30 miles just on glide!

Today, (2011) foot-launch can't compete with tow for max distance XC.  There is adequate setup room at Walt's.