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Sunday, January 7, 2001

Another fun day at the Skyport. Up the hill with RF, BH, BL and Frank. Real week cycles crossing from the east.

I pulled up and the canopy was drifting to the west. I moved laterally with it and put in max steering but steering control travel is limited with the one hand pull up. I initially figured I could build enough energy to fly over the top of the tree so I started to follow through. My initial pull up was light because I misjudged the direction and thought the glider was going to fly up better. The canopy didn't build enough rotational momentum at the top of the pull up and I quickly realized I wasn't going to have enough energy to clear the top of the tree. I tried to abort at the edge but it was too late and I was snatch off the ground. I figured I had a slim chance of punching through the tree so I let the energy build. I hit a thick branch pretty hard going backwards but had adequate harness protection. My helmet was knocked off. The canopy over-flew the tree and after aerodynamic shutdown I fell to the ground.

Ron Faoro offered his expertise, climbed to the top and extracted the canopy in short order.

Re-launch but unable to climb because the cores were too small. I figured I would re-establish my expertise by demonstrating a landing approach to the Postage Stamp so I flew over to Doc's Finger and hung on for a while. I set up a short downwind final but was a bit high so I did a gyration to loose altitude and energy. I lost too much altitude and energy and hit the top of a tree. I punched through the top but lost more energy and crashed in a thicket short of the meadow. The canopy over-flew a small tree and came down on the edge of the meadow but the lines and I were in a dense thicket of dead branches, poison oak, and short trees.

Took an hour + to extract, clean and pack the glider. Kick back and relax for a spell and then hike up the trail to the road. Catch a ride to the Skyport and re-launch again. Scratch too close and fall out the front of a pop leaning toward the hill. Dive at the ridge and round out the bottom of the oscillation too low. Lift my legs and punch through the brush. Ok, time to back off a bit. Still stubborn so I hang on a bit timid and head out from 300 below. Randy glide to Parma and land down wind, uphill on El Cielito in front of the wood chips.

Beer & war stories at Frank's