Posted by: cokenias | June 23, 2011

Southwest Airlines

Mussel Rock, Pacifica, 12pm SW @ 15mph

Launched from Walker. Barely. Set up 1/3 of way down on south side of walker ramp, got wing overhead but hit rotor during turn and had to spin back around and run downwind to regain control, then dumping it in the weeds. I was on top of a metal culvert and doing my best to not step in it or near the sharp edges as I got the wing flying well behind the road. I turned and forward kited to the ramp and gently took off headed northwest towards the Slide. Lots of lift there, I made a few passes in front of the Slide and returned to Walker ridge with plenty of height.

Mostly had the place to my self. A few pilots on the ground and the occasional hang glider. One pilot launched from Lemmings 40 minutes after me and went down quickly on the Steps, he seemed OK, but it took him a long time to get his glider out of the rocky area. Note: avoid that.

Visited different areas of the park and identified lifty and turbulent spots. Found the expected turbulence at 500-some feet when downwind of Mussel Rock. Lots of lift along the spine of Walker ridge as well as 100 feet out in front (at 500 feet up). Went deeper over the Green Monster than I usually do, did not get blown back. Barely used speed bar at all this flight. Tried a steep 360° spiralish turn, and I was a little sloppy letting out the energy. Although I was still deep in one brake, when I centered my weight the turn quickly ended and I swung up. I responded by releasing both brakes, then checking the dive, it worked out well, but I wanted a smoother exit.

Played with damping induced pitch oscillations. Content with the results.

Tried to be looking at my wing more often, but the video shows I didn’t look more than once every few minutes.

Landed at the Saddle crossroad, got lifted at last minute, went for a second pass, landed and lost footing while killing wing. But safe and within 10 feet of target.

GoPro camera ran out of juice about 40 minutes in. I gotta wire that thing up to a bigger power supply.
1:20 Mussel Rock (Walker), reverse launch.

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