James’ Flight Report

We had some great flight conditions this week and many of us enjoyed the spring conditions. James wrote up a report about his flight…

As it was predicted to be over 70 degrees I thought there was a great chance to have a decent little fly. I launched around 2:25 into a nice 8 mph out of the west. It had been blowing in sweet since I arrived but started blowing tail 5 minutes before I suited up. I realized now that was just a little convection taking place in front of launch.

As soon as I launched I hit a little bubble that was as rowdy as the thermals tend to be on a typical SW day. It was a little effort to stay with it, but I kept drifting to the east and it finally turned on. At first a solid 300 fpm climb then a solid 720 at about 2 grand over. I shifted a little downwind and the climb turned on to 840 for well over 3 minutes!! It got smooth after I climbed through 4 grand msl and I pulled out at the base of the clouds around 7300 msl. The clouds were moving pretty good over the ground, but it did not feel that bad at cloudbase.

Then I headed towards Big Daddies. I thought that with this high cloudbase and super fast climbs I needed to position myself for a run to Henson and back. However, the clouds to the north of 24 were not as good, so I loitered a while and tried to assess the situation. I could see the high cirrus moving in from the south which was shutting the cu’s down and decided that since I didn’t have a retrieve or radio contact it may be best to head back to Lookout.

The wind was showing around 12 on the nose with there was some really big sink as I made my way back over the drive-in towards the ramp. Turns out I was just in a bad line and things returned to normal once east of 59. I made it back to the ridge and watched several people launch and land while I played in some light lift and decided to head down myself. The cirrus moved in for a while (even had some high lenticulars) but then it broke again and the cu’s returned once I was breaking down. All in all it was a really good day with some of the best climbs I will probably see all year in this area.

Hang Gliding – it doesn’t suck!!!



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