Sunday, July 21, 2013


My flight on July 21 was the first since my "failure to aviate" a month earlier.  Several pilots offered gliders, but I took up Jeff Curtis' offer since he lives fairly close and he offered up a Falcon, which is a light single-surface glider.  A light glider was important since everyone was heading to Mount Ascutney, the flying site with a long hike to the cliff launch.  Although I was a little concerned about launching with my healing injuries, my biggest concern was just being able to hike my harness and glider to launch.  I considered the day a major success when I arrived at launch still standing!

Several pilots were taking their first flights from the mountain.  Unfortunately, those pilots and a few others were relegated to extended sledders.

Jake Pierce offering advice to David Park and Ilya Rivkin

Green was my color for the day.  Thanks Jeff!

It was soon my turn to launch.  I felt surprisingly confident, but was moved when Jake, and a few others still on launch, took time to ensure that I and everything else was ready for the "first launch" after the accident.  Although the wind was predominately crossing from the left, I waited for the right conditions and cleanly launched.

Like the pilots before me, I slowly slid down the mountainside, briefly rising in bubbles of warm air.

I finally found a small, but workable, thermal that lifted me back above launch.

I bounced up and down along the top of the mountain with a few other pilots before finally sliding back down the mountain to a climb that I shared with Jake.

It was great to be in the air again with friends, especially when the climbs led to cloud base.

... and above

I quickly remembered why I put up with the extra weight of the T2C on the hikes to launch; glide performance.  The wind was strong enough at base that I couldn't make forward progress to the LZ if I stopped for climbs under 350 fpm (1.7 m/s).  It was a fun game "pushing upwind" in a Falcon.

Although Jake and Jeff Bernard took off towards Morningside, I continued my upwind treks and landed in front of the mountain with Jeff Curtis.  It was good to be back in the air and I rekindled my love of falconry.

Here are some clips from the flight,

Flights: 1, Duration: 1:06