Thursday, May 22, 2014


Sometimes F.O.A.M.S. (fear of missing something) is good.

Well I am not much of a writer, and I am definitely not a blogger, but yesterday definitely had some moments worth sharing.  So here goes.

Epic days like last Sunday with great conditions and terrific flying for all can have two very different effects on me.  They can scratch the itch and momentarily satisfy the need to get out, allowing me to settle into work and the other crap I have to do, or they can get me psyched to seize the next opportunity to get after it ASAP. Seeing Evan's ridiculous flight on Sunday put me in the latter mode, so I began to look for the best slacking opportunity the week had to offer.  Tuesday and Wednesday had the most potential.  Alas the need to work, high forecast winds, and Sawyer's lacrosse game (which was awesome) forced me to pass on Tuesday.  That night, reading about the Lone Slacker and Tim's great flight, as well as the XC Skies forecast made F.O.A.M.S. kick in big time.  I knew 2W and EA were also very susceptible to this disorder so we rallied Rick for a Wednesday Slacker Day.

And so the day began.  The long drive from Sterling, Massachusetts and my need to work in the morning forced a lateish start, about 90 minutes after the sky looked great:  AAARRRRGGGGHHHH! Since you miss 100% of the shots you do not take, and even though we were late, we decided to declare a 500 km task (Post Mills to Jeffersonville, Vermont to Mt Equinox to Mt Mansfield to Post Mills).  A bold declaration for 2W in his second season flying and only his second ever XC flight. Again you miss 100% of the shots you do not take.

First launch was at 11:45 and we were all in the air by 12:15.  (Thanks, Rick.)  After a bit of trouble hooking up, we were able to team fly in nice conditions to the first turnpoint.  From there it was 169 km south to Equinox.  Overdevelopment forced us west into strong conditions, allowing long, fast glides (no comment Evan) to the south.  We rounded the second turnpoint and headed east to lennie-capped clouds hoping for some wave to make finishing the task easy.  No dice, so northward we went, thermaling in deteriorating conditions.

5:20 PM and 25 miles south of Mansfield with clouds coming fast from the west and home within gliding range.  What is the smart decision?  Of course, stay on task, round the TP under a crappy sky and try to race back southeast to the sunny area.  Shocking, but this is where the game changed.

The lift completely shut down, 100% shade on the ground and 6:20 PM.  Not looking good for the home team at this point.  We decided to take what we had and glide back to Montpelier airport.  On the way I found a scrap of texture, dug deep into my hang gliding days and remembered that you do not need lift to climb if you just will the glider higher; it had nothing to do with my landing flap setting and long wings.  At this point 2W and EA were on the ground at Montpelier, and after a torturously slow, inconsistent barely working climb, I gained the 1000 feet I needed to comfortably (sort of) make it back to Post Mills.  By now it was very shady, almost dark and the air was flat, so I was confident that the likelihood of big sink was low.  I landed at 7:15, for what I think is a Diamond distance flight.  I am sure some technicality will disqualify it, but who cares?

By this time EA had talked to Rick, and Rick and Henry had the trailers ready to go.  By the way, Henry flew 3J yesterday, congrats Henry. Rick and I went to retrieve EA and 2W and had a great (not) Chinese dinner in Barre on the way home.  We pulled into Post Mills at 11:30.

Days like that make me thankful I am a member of a club like the PMSC.  This is a great sport, but it takes help and support.  We have a special thing here.

Team flying rules!



    PMSC Member said...

Great flight, Greg, congratulations and thanks for writing it up!

By the way, what does the "A" in FOAMS stand for?


Anonymous said...

Pretty well written for someone who claims to be "not much of a writer."

Anonymous said...

Awesome stories. Keep em coming, we'll critique your grammar, useage and syntax at a later date. Christopher. BTW, I don't know theinitials/ call signs for all the new craft.

Rick said...

Don't worry about it, Christopher. That's just your fear of missing something. You can overcome it.