Posted by: cokenias | November 6, 2011

Unplugged

Mussel Rock, Pacifica, 13-15 mph WNW 50 degrees F

Reverse launch from Lemmings, further south than I usually do. The landscape has recently changed (a bunch of bushes were mowed) and there are now two large Lemmings launches. The southern one is a little lower and less lifty.

Decent takeoff, I had a bit of trouble penetrating and I ran a bit ahead of the glider, leading to a bit of swooping. I turned north and realized I had forgotten to put on my gloves. I started looking for an opportunity to turn back, there was some traffic making the timing a little tricky. I continued north and gained height over the Steps, heading for the bowl. I thought I saw a chance to turn back, executed a 90 degree turn and changed my mind, zagging north again. A pilot that had seemed far away and much higher suddenly seemed much closer and lower. At this point I realized my phone had become dislodged from the pocket on my shoulder strap. The device was dangling free by the headphones from my ears– it wouldn’t take much to pull the cord out and bye-bye phone. Very distracting. I turned back then reeled in the phone as I piloted one-handed. With the phone in my lap, and angry with myself, I used S-turns to set up a landing over the Plateau, a large, mostly-soft field. At about 40 feet AGL, I realized that when I stood to land, the phone would fall from my lap like a forgotten kitten. More one-handed piloting as I quickly grabbed the phone and dropped it down my shirt collar. I then lowered my landing gear, straightened into the wind and landed gently on the gravel path I was aiming for.

I hadn’t planned on flying with earphones. I had been listening to music while parawaiting. When it came time to prepare for launch, the music was over but I was still plugged in and I didn’t notice.

  • No gloves!
  • Electronics not properly stowed in a zip pocket.
  • Distracted by distracting gizmos.
  • Eager to fly, rushed preflight and launch.

3 minutes
Mussel Rock (Lemmings), reverse launch.

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