Although I started rigging after everyone else, I was the first to get in line after the first signs of thermal activity broke the hot, humid, and stable morning. The developing clouds slowly drifting from the northwest matched the trickling wind on the ground. However once Eric and I were in place and ready to go, the wind turned to a solid southwest quartering tailwind. Sigh. Ilya signaled Eric to cut the engine and we waited.
Just as everyone was suggesting we turn around the wind faded away and I had Eric fire up the engine and go. I should have waited a bit longer. The roll-out was fine but we slammed into a strong rowdy thermal just as we flew past the trees along the road. I was all over the place and very much did not want to lose the tow and have to land in that crap. Very unusual for the field at Morningside. Eric and I entertained the crowd on the ground as we both danced through the rough air. Luckily it was sane on the other side and the rest of the tow was uneventful.
I found a good line of lift just south of Claremont. I climbed to the southeast and would fly upwind to the northwest and snag another.
When I saw Eric drop Jon off south of the airport, I flew over to join him. Jake was coming in from Ascutney at the same time.
Jon climbing lower left, Jake approaching from Ascutney
Jon gave up on the climb and decided to look for lift low behind Home Depot. ;-) Jake and I shared a climb but I certainly confused him when I returned to the valley instead of continuing on with him! A short while later I spotted Jeff B gliding over Green Mountain north of town. (All three continued flying to the east.)
I decided to explore the area over Morningside and climbed out watching PG pilots kiting in the LZ below.
I pushed upwind after that climb and didn't really find anything. Not sure what to do next, I noticed Peter J, who flew in from Ascutney, climbing near the LZ.
Peter (small white spot left)
I flew over to join him but instead knocked him out of the thermal even after "swinging wide" to allow him to climb above me before entering. I flew into a strong surge on my first circle and didn't quite exactly match his circle.
Here is the video,
I had a couple more climbs then it was time to land.
Apparently I wasn't done with my bone-headed moves for the day either. I was so worried about the switching winds on the surface that I had a lazy landing with minimal round-out and too little speed. The universe reminded me of my errors with a resounding whack. That is twice in the last three flights. Time to focus and not get too comfortable, and lazy, landing at familiar LZs.
I packed up my hang glider and then had eight sweet flights in the evening glass off on the paraglider.
Flights: 1, Duration: 1:28