VOR to Polo 12/2015

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VOR to Polo 12/2015

Postby gracecab » Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:42 am

For some reason I'm not feeling too verbose this morning, after the nice 'almost a couple hour' flight (2 leg journey) yesterday. So, just going to describe the attachments mainly... :wink:

VOR and other.jpg
two recent downrangers... Fun starting from VOR!


Went up with a good crew with FAA about 10ish to VOR. Beautiful clear day, light wind showing both E and W and a convergence reportedly closer to Carp end of the range later about 1 or 2ish... I launched end of the pack, watching everyone skying out.

Unfortunately, trying to use my speedbar, i discovered it was 'loose'. For some reason, I concluded instantly that the string was entirely broken. It wasn't. Just the sister clips were fallen apart again. I gotta fix these so they don't so easily disattach. I think I am going to use some kind of rubber sleeve, or dip them in a light coating of rubber or something that will keep them from falling loose.

For the next 30 minutes I was searching for a good landing approach around the VOR (i had actually asked Chris Grantham on the drive up what are the deets about top landing, having no idea it would be needed today 8) , since I did NOT want to fly without a speedbar today.

I was willing to bring her down (risk 1) in order to avoid getting into a situation later where I wish i had, and really DID need it (bigger risk 2). Easy decision. (My first error, to reiterate though, was that I overreacted to the 'broken' part, but there was no immediate danger, I could have simply looked at the side speedbar string, and seen it floating... I think one thing is I am just not comfortable yet flying... It was bumpy low, I was excited to get up, I was afraid to stop and fly with the brakes 'gathered' in one hand, while looking around with the other... Just not completely comfortable up in the air yet, which led to a misdiagnosis, which led to an unneeded risk.... )

Eventually, I figured out a 'least risky' path sideways over the road going toward NoName, back towards launch, and that gave me the smooth, long straight path, with ample places to bail if needed...fortunately I came in during a nice lull, and put her down about 30 feet down to the right of the launch pad and walked up, re-clipped, kicked myself for not just fixing it in the air, and relaunched...

VOR top.jpg
damn sister clips


This took up 36 minutes, Leg 1.

By this time, everyone had left me all alone... lol :lol: I was going to set the pace, but now I am clean up... which was fine...I got to see the heights, and apparantly eveyrone was anxious to go far, because I couldn't even see anyone even over Cathedral...of course my eyes aren't so good anymore...

I tanked up as much as possible and made my way... here's the flight path in a zip file... a kmz for GE

VORPolo123015.kmz.zip
flight path VOR to Polo 12/2015
(36.22 KiB) Downloaded 132 times


As you can see, I was scratching. I was trying to be super patient, and both stay in the thermals, but not stay too long, I'm learning that timing is everything. From when you hit the triggers/spines which can be critical in a cycle, weather you use a thermal releasing...or a convective current (it was W by now so all my initial lift was from it pushing uphill, then thermals triggerings...) I was learning a lot today by this setup...

I hit the next main triggers, Cathedral, RR, TF... fairly easily... I actually found very good 'glide extenders' in between triggers, which was heartening. But also found some big sink depending on where I was near and around rising thermals over the valleys... I would hit one thermal edge... feel a pull, decide to keep going straight...then dip down and THEN could use my speed bar which I paid a good price to re-hook... It was worth getting it going again...

[color=#FF0040]Never fly Mountains (or anywhere) without your speed bar.[/color]

Anyhoo, here's a Montecio Peak lesson for ya...
montecitopeakmiss.jpg
missed it by that much...


I was feeling pretty comfortable with the 'lowness' of the flight, since there was lots of lift out front, that was new to me, the feeling of being comfortable with being out front. It felt good. It is not good to fly halfway nervous the whole time. You should be comfortable where you are flying... you will have a better flight, even if being comfortable means a 10 minute sled ride. Today, I was having tons of fun low and slow, picking off lift hard and fast, and knowing it wouldn't have much height to show, but then moving out fast to the next spine...

This Montecito Peak 'miss' really isn't a miss... as you can tell, I was ok with completely banking out front of the Peak (when I found lots of turbulence approaching it from the side)... then... once over the front, tried a brief small thermal, but decided to move to the next place likely... which gave me a little 200 foot climb, enough to get to the next setup...

That was the kind of day it was... trying a spot, if you miss, you just go to the next and trust... it was pretty trustworthy...

Anyways, I eventually kept hitting more and more turb, weather it was convergence I do not know. I was the only one left (Terry T flew after me and did much better over Romero and Castle).. so was kind of on my own to decide what was best to do.

I was planning of going to Padaro, but just wasn't high or far enough. Time to be flexible. Fortunately, having a few outlandings, putting her into non-standard landing patches, etc... gives one confidence to know they can land anywhere below that is open... of course still very wary of all the factors... You know that you won't die... you'll just have to bunch up quickly and move off the premises... this is exactly what I did here on the Polo Field... clear, grassy bonus points, no wires, etc...

polo field.jpg
here horsie horsie horsie


Chose the corner pocket... splash. Right in a grassy but totally water-logged patch... Didn't see THAT coming... at least I wasn't dodging road apples! lol Bunched up and got off to the side where there was an easy exit, and even a trail out to the frontage road.

Anyways, that's my flight yesterday. VOR to Polo Field. Couple lessons learned. Silly fun. I love Paragliding. :D
Chris Ballmer aka gracecab
Ventura, CA
UP Kantega XC2 / Gin Verso
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Re: VOR to Polo 12/2015

Postby charles_g_moore » Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:12 am

Chris, I remember seeing a video once where a guy used a small piece of thin rubber tubing (possibly heat shrink) that he zip tied above the top sister clip. This would allow him to roll it down over the clips when they were connected and would keep them from coming undone. Good flight!
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