Saturday, November 09, 2013

Another Aborted XC

I keep getting skunked when I plan XC flights.  Based on the forecast, my intention this morning was to get up early, fly against the wind to the Clanton Airport, refuel and fly back.  The forecast winds aloft showed I could just barely make it the 42 miles to Clanton on a tank of fuel in just under 3 hours.  The return trip would take just over an hour. 

I launched a bit later that usual,  10:40am, since I wanted some thermals to help should I need them later in the flight.   Once in the air, the usual south wind rotor you get at Bessemer from the Shades Crest ridge was in full effect.  Bouncing along, I started the climb out - I like to get to 3000 feet before leaving the field if I am departing to the south.  Lots of trees and inhospitable terrain, not to mention the 700ft ridge.

At 700ft AGL I knew I had issues - my ground speed dropped to 2mph.  At 800ft I was parked.  I wasn't going anywhere today.  I didn't feel like buzzing the field, nor did I want to fly over to the RC field, since with those winds it would be over an hour to get back. I landed after a short flight and went back home to work on the honey-do list.

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