Low rider lunch... season opener for me at Skyport...

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Low rider lunch... season opener for me at Skyport...

Postby gracecab » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:51 pm

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 4.15.13 PM.jpg
low rider luch
SO, this was my first flight, which i will consider, of the season. Monday was the real beauty, but I was not gonna get off work so soon, too much going on, but I put my vac time in for Tuesday...by the book... and drove up with Craker after meeting at Padaro to carpool. Some day I'll have the 'problem' of flying with him back to the car on the beach...

Anyways, it was light wind but beautiful unstable post-post frontal condition, and a 3000 ft-ish inversion and no real cloud base to see...that was the day before. I ended up low most of the time and everyone else was high...my usual state of affairs, yet still I had some great lessons which follow (including insights from Craka after consulting about my flight path afterward.) total flight time 65 minutes, actually perfect for my lunch break:

1. if you launch and there's an inversion below you somewhere, it would be better if you know that up front... this way you are more motivated to stay above it. if you look at my elevation, once I got below 3000 i never got over... event though I was all OVER the Antenna Farm forever!.... so, observe both the weather data AND the other pilots... if possible...I launched 3rd and didn't wait very long to see what was happening... they were definitely getting over RR so Inversion was not on my mind...

2. The thermal type of the day needs to be honored. If you have long time between, and huge thermals releasing, it means flying differently than if you are in smaller, bubbly thermals... today the thermals didn't really build much... they just kept releasing heated little bitty poppers... large enough to turn a few times in and gain a tiny amount of altitude, but not the boomers which would have gotten me over the inversion which I ended up below the whole time.

3. Gotta learn to linger over triggers, trusting that with patience there will be releasing gems of upward glory... I tend to get distracted, nervous, and panic my way to god knows what else I'm thinking ... I've probably missed dozens of thermals...flying mere feet away from them lifting off behind me... where if I had stayed would have been taken up up and away...

4. Notice my first thermal near the Tit. It was a good one, and got me higher than Skyport, enough to bench back and probably make it up RR and over, which cracka and chad had just done minutes before. However, with my ADD I saw Aaron come by, and wanted to go follow him to see where he was going. Don't ask me why. Not that it was wrong, but by the time i got to the thermal factory, I was too low to want to test diving left and into the spine and milk the thermals there... so I ended up going even lower...follow the next 45 minutes of my scratching over the antennas... and never getting anything back up... ONCE I got back to where I could have possibly benched again, but it was a crapshoot I wasn't willing to hike out for... had to get back to lunch. By the way, Aaron got up at the antenna farm and started the trek east to Padaro after getting up over the Thermal Factory...

So, that's about all I can say... We have such a learning curve...I think this season I will concentrate on triggers and benching most of all. I'm fairly comfortable with my flying 'skills' (term used loosely)... but reading the terrain and learning how to increase my chances as much as possible, pick the best routes to move down the range when I want, or at least to feel like I have a choice (I'm my own worst enemy right now)... Feel lucky to have peeps who own this range, though they wouldn't say it that way... we have huge talent, experience, wisdom and skill, I'm gonna milk it for everything I can! Maybe someday I'll be able to contribute to the next generation of the tribe...
Chris Ballmer aka gracecab
Ventura, CA
UP Kantega XC2 / Gin Verso
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