Denny Knocks the Dust Off

Denny, a regular here at LMFP, came down from Pennsylvania a bit ago for his first flight of the spring. His trip, in his own words…

Wintry winds continued into spring but conditions mellowed, which is, of course, the seasonal cycle. Driving down from Pennsylvania was a leap of faith on my part but I realized had I stayed home, I had 100% of not flying whereas being back HOME in Lookout my percentages improved exponentially.

First stop; the hills. Though mentally we’re all where we were last fall, muscle memory tells a slightly different truth… we’re not! I spent two mornings on the Big Hill, not so much learning anything new, as much as re-learning a little bit of old. After that, I felt I was ready but the winds on top, though straight-in and sweet, were a tad too high for a first launch in several months. So I passed and enviously watched while others, more current, bounded along the ridge, some skying-out while my Sport 2 remained tethered to the rooftop, moldering comfortably at rest.

Two days later my time came and, with a wire assist, I was off and flying. My flight was what I would characterize as a modified sledder; some ridge some thermal but not too much of either. Nevertheless, absolutely glorious!

The next day right after setting-up, the wind shifted from straight-in to straight out. No way!!! I waited but it was still too shifty and iffy so I broke down and sulked back to our trailer in the Landing.

Landing Zone is actually a Latin phrase meaning “hopelessly optimistic” because the next next day portended to be ideal and lo, in this instance, it turned-out to be that exactly that. Straight-in at 12. I was set-up, off and along the ridge. The ridge was a little rowdy for my rusty skill-set so I nosed in cautiously on cat’s feet and at only very sharp angles; always turning away from the cliff. So many times the difference between a two hour flight and a 10 minute sledder pivots on one turn but that turn on the ridge, when executed, must be made with a critical and knowing eye, balancing all the factors of lift, turbulence and height above terrain with enough potential energy for an adequate escape. My flight this time was 30 minutes as I eventually fell away but my reactions, I felt, were not as sharp as they have been and I know could be with more frequency.

Back in the LZ among the warm camaraderie of fellow pilots sharing their flights along with an adult beverage and looking for a body ride made the whole trip worthwhile. With a boosted skill-set and rekindled enthusiasm I am anxiously looking forward to my next return to crackle away the remaining winter’s rust and begin flying anew.


New Mountain Pilots!

What beautiful flying days the past two days have been! I always think of weekends like this as “out of the woodwork” days. They are the first really warm days of the year, and while there are a lot of pilots who have been enjoying the soarable days of winter, some pilots come out of the woodwork when the temps warm up. That’s exactly what happened, and there were some great flights.

On Friday, it looked like Saturday was due to be a very stable day. The day started with a pretty good tail wind, but with light and variable on the forecast it was launchable by early afternoon. Launch started filling up and many of the pilots (but not all) were here for their first flights of the year. Despite the stable prediction, Jeff, Terry, Alan, Rob, Scott, Eric, Marc, and Jean all had soaring flights (sorry if I’m forgetting anyone). Mike B. had his first soaring flight using only thermals and Ringo towed up for his first soaring flight of an hour. So, if you haven’t come out of the woodwork yet this year, come on up!

The late afternoon smoothed out for student conditions. Congratulations to Steve Wagner and Todd Perkins! Both of them had their first mountain flights yesterday.

Steve Launch Steve and his first launch
Todd todd Todd and his launch

New Wheels, Pint Glasses and Video Cameras

We have some great new items in the pro shop. We just received the new bolt-on wheels for use on carbon fiber basetubes and they are beautiful. They’re clean, well-machined, and are only $199. They are not yet listed on our estore, so please call 706-398-3541 to order.
bolt on
For your favorite after flight beverage, our new Lookout Mountain pint glasses. $7.95 for one or a set of two for only $11.95. I enjoyed mine with a nice IPA.
pint glass
We also have two versions of the Go Pro video camera. First is the Go Pro Hero Wide: it weights only 4.9 ounces, shoots 56 minutes of video (512×384) or 1946 photos (5 megapixel), has 170 degrees of view, and comes with various mounts making it an easy addition to your helmet, down tube or keel. All of this for $189. Option 2 is the Go Pro Hero Wrist with the same specifications as the Wide angle camera except it only has 54 degrees of view and only comes with a wrist strap. The Go Pro Hero Wrist is only $139. Batteries and memory cards are sold seperately at the pro shop. For those of you who multi-task in your sports habits, both of the cameras are waterproof to 100 feet. Check out an example…

Photos from the Weekend and Clinic Reminder

We had a beautiful weekend. Saturday brought northwest winds and soarable conditions. The morning stayed calm enough for some students to get in some flights. During mid-day conditions the field got a bit rowdy, but things smoothed out as the day went on. Many, many soaring flights. I liked Scott’s flight plan for his late afternoon flight to the Point…two turns – turn right off launch then make a left at the Point to come home. How did it go Scott? The Atlanta Outdoor Club came to fly with us as well. Thanks for coming AOC! Come fly with us again soon… Sunday started out pretty overcast and was a bit more north, but turned out to be another beautiful day. It was an ideal weekend that brought conditions for pilots of all skill levels. Here’s some photos of launch filling up, launches, and dan’s clinic. Next Sunday’s clinic is a parachute clinic and will be limited to 10 participants. To reserve your space in this free clinic, please call the shop at 706-398-3541. We’ll be going over your safety system and how to use it. This clinic will NOT teach you how to repack your parachute.
launchJon ChristofLeft to right: Launch starting to fill up, Jon Christof on launch
the keithslaunchThe Keiths’ preflight routine, More gliders on launch.
lanceLance on launch.
dan's clinicDan’s launching and beginning soaring clinic.