Sunday, April 26, 2015

My first flight of 2015

My season opener didn't occur until I got to Perry, South Carolina, for the Region 5 North contest that I am fond of attending in April.  Unfortunately, due to a rained out practice period, I didn't even get a chance to fly until the flag dropped for the opening race!  Even "better", it was a windy blue day and I ended up flying all by myself after a late start.  Predictably, it ended early.

Here's the whole flight in SeeYou:

Here's the overhead of the end of the flight, North is up:

I thought I might have been flying  between streets of better air, hence the 90 degree jog.  It didn't work, but it was a good thing to try.

Wind was 280 at 10 - 15 knots on the ground, about 23 knots at soaring height.

Cross country flying is all about decision making and "gear changes" or transitions in your thought process.  The 270 left turn at lower right marks the gear change from "I'm racing" to "survival" and "I might need a place to park" mode.   The last two circles are more about field selection than they are trying to climb.  The point that I quit circling and over fly my eventual landing site marks the transition from "I'm trying to soar" to "I'm landing, right now". Making these transitions in a decisive manner at appropriate times is one key to safe cross country soaring.

By the way, be sure to fly a normal size/shape pattern despite the fact that your intended field might be pretty small!  SeeYou says that field is 860 feet long and I'd guess that the trees on the approach end are about 50 feet high.

Here's the landing site:

Thanks to Marshall McClung for retrieving me and sharing soaring stories over Mexican food and margaritas.


1 comment:

Rick said...

I'm having trouble finding the flight on OLC.