Sunday, June 01, 2014


Jeff Curtis and I independently drove to Gardner to carpool to West Rutland with Rodger Furey and his daughter Asia.  Although the sky was crystal blue and the air cool when we left eastern Massachusetts, the airmass enveloping western Vermont was hazy, warm, and humid.  It seemed, with a little driving, summer had finally arrived.

Asia, Rodger, and our gear rode up the mountain in Pete Cassidy's truck, while Jeff and I rode up with Jim and Lil.  Dave Baxter, Dave Parks, and John Beckley followed us in Ilya Rivkin's truck.  Keith Beebe and John Sillero were already rigged when we arrived at launch.

Keith launched first and easily climbed above launch.  John's rise above the top of the mountain a bit later seemed to confirm it was soarable.  However, a couple low saves later, Keith's landing, and increasing cirrus tempered our enthusiasm and delayed many launches.  I decided to go after a couple other pilots launched and managed to keep their feet off the ground.

The thermals were nice and strong, but broken and far apart.  I was below launch many times during the afternoon.

We were all quickly sliding down the hillside during a widespread flush when Dave Baxter found a badly needed climb near the highway.  Everyone hung on as we twirled up in the shifting climb that stood between us and the LZ.

I was more cautious after that, ensuring I had plenty of altitude in reserve.  I was conservative since I was flying the green Falcon instead of the T2C (which was at home awaiting a part from the factory).

I could have taken off downwind at several points in the flight, but stayed put since no one else left.

I played along the ridge but was missing the reach of the T2C.  Every time I went exploring I returned lower on the mountain.  I knew it was just a matter of time before I would push it too far and end up landing out.  So I flew into the valley to play and then land.

LZ (big green field in lower left center)

Land short if you like swimming!

Even the LZ is wet.

Tall hay on the walk out.

Welcoming committee

Just about everyone had soaring flights.  John Beckley joined us for great food and drinks at the Vermont Tap House in Rutland before we all started the long ~3 hour drive home.

I hacked together some video footage from the flight.

Flights: 1, Duration: 1:37


Matt Christensen said...

Looked like a real fun flight, congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Great report Tom! Looks like a good day. Getting it done 8 the Falcon! Nice work. Are you guys using another LZ now?

Tom Lanning said...

We still also use the large field across the small wooden bridge, but the dome field is off-limits and no one really uses the smaller field behind Jake's old house.