Getting the tow mojo back

A nice thing about Quest Air is that you can walk out to the grove and pick your own glass of juice for breakfast.

We woke up on Friday morning to dense fog. Jamie and Danielle had some hopes of getting some more airtime, but it looked like the wait would be too long and they had places to go, so they packed up and hit the road. The rest of us exercised some patience (nothing else to do), and by early afternoon we had blue sky, though no indications of lift. I took the fin off my glider and went for the first tow of the day. I’ve towed without the fin only a few times, the last being in August when I had to get off the line early because I was being too spastic. This flight was about the same; my wing camera kept showing views like this:

(For anyone unfamiliar with this, it’s not good when a camera mounted on the wing like that can see the tow plane!)
At about 800 feet I was way above the tug, and decided to just cut my losses and start over, so I released and went back around to land. I took a break and watched some other pilots tow up, along with some tandem flights, then I got in line again, this time with Jim as the tug pilot (the fourth person I’ve had the privilege to be pulled into the air by).

This flight went much better; after some minor wobbliness in the first few hundred feet, I got settled down, and the rest of the tow was smooth and easy all the way up. I slowed down with hopes of finding some lift, but there were no bubbles big enough to turn in, and although there were clouds in all directions, they looked to be at least 10 miles away. An hour later I went up one more time, and this tow was very nice and easy, presumably as a result of my getting more used to how the glider handles and reacting appropriately.

I could have just boated around again, but instead I decided to see if I could go somewhere. The obvious place was Groveland, and I set my sights on the RaceTrac gas station at the intersection of Rte 50 and Rte 33. I was at 2200 feet, and decided that I’d turn around if I dropped below 1500 feet, in order to be sure I could make it back to the flight park, but I was still at almost 1700 feet when I got there.

In the evening Andrew and Lina hosted a low-key barbecue party down by the pond, and David brought his guitar so we had musical entertainment. Not a bad way to spend my first vacation day of 2015.

flights: 3; airtime: 4 minutes, 15 minutes, 14 minutes


About cleversky

Hang glider pilot in New England since 2004. Also an avid orienteer, and an embedded systems firmware engineer. And some other outdoor stuff.
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