Monthly Archives: June 2008

A couple photos from a beautiful morning

Keith Bien launching Carl in flight

He did it and it has to be a record!

On Sunday June 22, Jim Rice did 39 mountain launches in 9 1/2 hours to raise money for Fisher House Foundation. Jim picked the number 39 because it was originally scheduled for his 39th birthday. At last count he raised $6222.45, but I know that grand total is going to be much more because the pledges were still rolling in.

The morning was foggy and Jim had to wait around until 10am to get started. He had hoped to have his first flight at around 6am.

Jim had an amazing group of volunteers who set up and broke down gliders, got him back up to the top of the mountain, fed and hydrated him, and kept him safe. He averaged one flight every 14 minutes!

Excellent work Jim! Have a great time in Houston!

Jon Pignatelli (pictured above) was only scheduled for a 4 hour shift, but stayed the whole day to help Jim out.

Scott Schneider also helped Jim complete his goal.

Reminder on Claire’s Clinic

Former World Team member Claire Vassort will be offering an intermediate/advanced level seminar every last Sunday of the month until October 2008. This series of classes is centered around safety and flying efficiency. Pilots of all skill levels are welcomed to participate. Each class will have a theme and include a presentation by Claire and will be followed by a question/answer session. The clinics will take place at the LZ Clubhouse at 10AM.

The Clinics are FREE!This month’s clinic is…

June 29, 2008: Launching, Landing in and Landing Out How to Keep your Techniques Well-Practiced

Terry Presley will also be on hand to aid Claire in teaching the clinic.

More info on all Claire’s Clinics in our Calendar.

Diana’s Flight

DianaThe last couple of days the flying has been amazing. I had the luxury of being able to leave my glider set up in the LZ and aerotowing up to altitude. On Monday I had a gorgeous tow. The start of the flight was an incredible adventure following Pablo in the tug through a cotton maze. Looking out to the left I saw my glory ring, a perfect circular rainbow around my shadow. When I released off tow, I played around a bit then decided to head towards the Ramp to see if anyone was getting ready to launch off the mountain. As I got closer to the mountain, I found a nice thermal and was able to climb to 5000 ft. Two days later there were a bunch of people getting ready to go off the mountain. It was going to be a great day. Erik and Greg were planning to do a cross country, so Pablo and I thought we would do a mini cross country to the training hills. Since I flew earlier that day, my glider was still set up. I was going to break down, but Pablo was nice enough to offer a tow on his day off. The plan was for me to stay up while he drove up the mountain, set up and launch. Then we would work our way together to the Training Hills. I thought the plan was going to fail as I was having a hard time finding lift. At about 700 ft over the LZ I was sure I would have to land soon. I then felt some light punchy lift to the northwest of the LZ. I worked the thermal until I was 6000 ft over. I started to fly over to launch again to see if I could see if Pablo was set up yet. I was a little to the north of Launch when a commercial jet flew underneath me. Yes, I was actually over a low flying jet. How terrifying! It shook me up a little since I knew the jet probably never even saw me and was in my line of flight only 300 ft below me. I started to head back to the LZ while my nerves calmed. The rest of my flight was wonderful. There was lift everywhere. I flew with Stacey, who has a glider identical to mine, which was cool. James and George were also in the air with me, but still no Pablo. I was getting cold having not dressed sufficiently to be flying at 6000ft. After a 2 hour flight, I finally decided to land because I was getting cold and tired. After landing, I heard that Erik and Greg flew 83 miles that day. It was a great flying day for everybody.

More Mountain Pilots

Another great day for new mountain pilots. Congratulations Osama Idlibi and Nelson Willis! At last count Osama was on his third flight of the day.
Osama Idlibi Osama getting ready to go. Osama launch Osama’s first launch of the day.
Thumbsup Nelson’s prelaunch smile. Nelson's launch Nelson’s first launch.
The past week was also great for the more experienced pilots. There’s rumors of a flight from Lookout to Henson’s and back, 83 mile cross country flights, and great days in general. Diana’s flight report is soon to come!