Patience required

Low overcast (but no fog) in the morning, but by the time the sky cleared, a strong wind had picked up. Tandem customers showed up, and Donny and Spinner went up with them, and reported back that it was rough and not worth doing if you weren’t getting paid for it. For those of us with lower wing loading and without big landing gear, all we could do was to look up at the appealing clouds, then over at the windsocks whipping around, and bide our time.

I read a book for a while, then listened to the radio and took a nap, and went back outside sometime after 3 PM, when the wind was starting to back down and it was looking more encouraging. Dennis A took a tow, and managed to stay up for a while, drifting back toward the airfield from the south and circling with some birds. I lined up next, with Kevin K after me, and Jonny pulled me directly to the south without turning at all. When he dropped me off, it didn’t feel like I was in lift, but the vario said I was, so I kept my speed low and made wide turns, gradually gaining about 700 feet and getting almost to cloudbase. At this point there were still helpful-looking cumulus clouds around, although the best ones were too far away to reach. When the climb I was in petered out, I hunted around, but didn’t find any more lift.

After landing and grabbing something to drink, I got in line again. There were still tandem flights going on, and most of the other pilots who had been waiting around all day took advantage of the mellow evening conditions. I was last in line, and shortly after 5 PM I went up for a sunset cruise, with full moon rising in the east.

flights: 2; airtime: 26 minutes, 17 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.
This entry was posted in Florida, Flying days. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s