Monday, October 28, 2013

More West Coast

Another business trip to LA means a long weekend at Ron's in San Diego.  Finished up LA meetings Thursday and haul butt down the 5 to catch the last of the lift at Torrey. It was very, very light and cross but I got a flight in!

I headed to Ron's to wait on Jeff and Rob C.  Rob was in LA too and decided to drive down the next day and Jeff would not get in until around midnight.  Took Ron to dinner (BBQ) and caught up on email.

The next day the weather wasn't great for Torrey and I spend my usual Friday doing conference calls and emails before taking Jeff back to the airport to return his rental car.  Rob showed up in time for dinner and we hit the Mexican place down the street.

Occupy Vista!
Earlier in the day, Jeff and I had been sorting out our camping gear.  We both have our dual sport motorcycles in Ron's garage and all our bike camping gear stowed in one of his spare bedrooms.  He should start charging us rent.

Anyway, we decided to setup a simulated vol biv camp and sleep in the yard that night. The result was it looked like the Occupy Movement had setup shop in Ron's backyard.  I slept great, btw.

Saturday was the Bama-UT game, so Ron and I stayed at the house to cheer on Bama while Jeff and Rob C headed to Laguna Mtn with the San Diego PG club.  They took extended sledders and then headed back.  After the game (Bama whupped ass), Ron and I took the bikes for a spin up to Pala and back.  We got back just before Jeff and Rob and threw some steaks on the grill.

Sunday looked great a Blossom, and Blossom never disappoints.  We even dragged Ron with us, although after hiking up the hill with his heavy, old school gear, I'm not sure how much he appreciated us dragging him out there.  I had 2 good flights but never went to El Cap.  Both Jeff and Rob C. made it El Cap.  Ron had 3 good flights and top landings.  Gonna make him a thermal pilot yet.

Another fun trip to SoCal.

Rob C setting up to launch at Blossom

Saturday, October 19, 2013

XC Postponed due Rain Delay

Well, our intent today was to fly from Bessemer to the Old Baker Farm off highway 280 in Harpersville, a nice 42 mile XC.  I dropped my truck off there yesterday in preparation.
Laps at Bessemer

Curtis and I meet at 8:00 at Bessemer and the sky did not look good.  The forecast rain for later tonight was here...there were patches of clouds dropping a bit of rain but there looked to be an open area to the west.  We hung out for half an hour and watched the sky.  It looked iffy but potentially do able, so I launched to sample the air.

It was not too bumpy but while I was flying I could see more rain on the way, so I landed and we called it a day.  Dropped my car and gear at the house and Curtis gave me a ride to get my truck.  He also learned an important Rob lesson - when I am headed into the gas station and ask "do you need anything?" -  you better speak up.  Don't be mad I didn't get you a roady just because I got myself one - I asked.  ;)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Four in a Row

Today made the 4th day in a row for a paramotor flight.  The winds aloft looked good on the forecast for a bit of exploring to the south, but were expected to switch from SE to N later in the day and get stronger.

I took off around 9:20 and climbed up to 3000 feet before crossing all the trees to the south.  I wanted to check out some clear cuts from old strip mines in an area off Coalmont road.  We used to ride dirt bikes there and I figured it might make a good spot for a motor-bivy one day.

The air was cool and smooth, but sometime about 15 minutes into the flight the wind switched to the NE and picked up considerably.  My ground speed increased to 41 mph about the time I reached the cut outs.  Given that the wind was stronger up high, I had to drop lower than I would I liked to penetrate on the way back.  Landed after a 50 min flight, but the route back had me low in some bad spots if the motor quit.

Here's the GPS track in Leonardo.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Motor XC with Curtis

Can you spot Curtis?
Met Curtis early this morning at EKY and took him for his first real cross country.  The plan was to fly West and check out the strip mines east of the I-20/I459 interchange. 

I had another motive too - I was scoping out a couple LZ's for a future steath fly and camp (motor-bivy trip).

We launched and pushed into the slight headwind on the way over, and then looped south a bit before returning to EKY.  We even stopped and buzzed the RC field.  I landed and talked to the guys and then relaunched.

After landing we hit Little D's for cold ones and nacho's. 

Here's my GPS track on Leonardo

And a link to the Dorama of the flight.

Friday, October 11, 2013

After Work Motoring, Part 2

I love living so close to the Bessemer airport.  5 minutes after I decided to go flying, I am unloading my gear at the airport.  It takes longer to throw the stuff in the truck that it does to drive over.

After yesterday's flight, I could not resist another post work sortie.

I buzzed around the field for about 30 minutes then saw a friend pulling up to Little D's, so I landed and packed up - cold beer calling my name.

Tomorrow, if the weather holds, Curtis and I are off on a little XC jaunt.

Had the airport all to myself!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

After Work Motoring.

Met up with Curtis at EKY after work today and we buzzed around the local area.  This was my first flying since France.  Had fun and Curtis and I are planning a little XC this weekend

Had dinner and beers afterwards at the new bar & grill on the field - Little D's.  Stop by and check it out.

Note that they are working on the pavement at the airport and do not want anyone using the front gate.  The lower gate is open from 8am to 6pm.  Once new locks are installed both Mark and I will have keys.  Contact us if you need access.

Flight track from my second flight today.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Post Alps Trip Update #2

I finally got around to editing some video myself.  This one is a big long, but I did it to show some of my motor pilot friends what it's like to fly XC without the use of a motor.  It's a summary of my 30km XC from September 12th that I blogged about previously.

Enjoy.  (Be sure to click on the 4 arrows to get full screen so you can enjoy the HD quality)

Going Nowhere Fast from Rob Reynolds on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Post Alps Trip Update

Jeff's been busy editing and he just posted a great video from the trip.  Check it out!

Paragliding Saint Andre Les Alpes September 2013 from Jeff Thompson on Vimeo.