It’s not often that it’s a good move to head off to a hang gliding site without an important piece of gear. It’s particularly odd when that piece of gear is your glider.
The forecast looked okay if viewed with an optimistic eye, but a bit of pessimism said that it would be too strong, too gusty, and too cross. I had information that said that a couple of other pilots were heading for Morningside, and I had the opportunity to carpool with Jeff C., so I asked him to swing by and pick me up. When he arrived, I put my harness and other paraphernalia in his car… and then decided to leave my glider behind. Doesn’t seem like a particularly smart move, but I had my fingers crossed. I went back into the house to pick up one more thing, and my phone rang. The caller let me know that what I was hoping would happen wasn’t going to. At that point, driving up to New Hampshire with no glider really seemed like a poor plan, but I did it anyway.
The whole way up, we kept driving by flags that were whipping violently, and it really looked scary. The windsocks were straight out at Morningside, and we went into the office to find a surprising number of people hanging around, but nobody flying. After a while we went up to launch to see how it felt, and my wind gauge said it was 15-20, gusting to 30. Not too inviting. But Nick C., who taught pterodactyls to fly, felt otherwise, and set up his Sport 2. Four of us went up with him to serve as wire crew, and after some fiddling with the details of his suprone harness, he launched for the first of at least five flights.
The rest of us were impressed, but not tempted. Except for Jeff, who decided to set up his Falcon and give it a couple of tries. The wind had backed off some by the time he launched, and he wasn’t able to stay up for too long, but he did have a good time.
Meanwhile, I was happy to stay on the ground, because it seemed a bit scary for what I would have had in mind. But things worked out in my favor, because as Jeff was setting up, I borrowed his keys and went on a little drive. I found someone at home who wasn’t really expected to be there, and was able to pick up something that had been in storage in his garage for a few years. I then took it back to Morningside, opened it up, and spen the rest of the afternoon scrutinizing it. There’s a pretty reasonable chance that soon, it could become mine. Stay tuned.