Not the T-H swan song

Because we had finished the Greylock LZ work on Saturday, Sunday was available for flying. The simplest way to do that was to head to Tanner-Hiller for some towing. Word was that the airport had recently been sold, so it seemed possible that this might be the last chance to do so, although from what I hear the new buyers have in mind to keep operating it as an airport, perhaps with some increased activity that I’m hopeful won’t interfere much with hang gliding.

Noel was the only pilot there when I arrived, and he was fiddling with something on his glider, so I drove down to the SW end of the runway to set up. On the way, I picked up a fin from the hangar, because I hadn’t done any towing since last summer and I figured I should start out easy. By the time I was done setting up, the wind had shifted, so I got a cart and rolled my wing up to the NE end.

I went up first, as some other pilots (Pete J, Doug B, and Mark H, and a bit later John B) arrived and started setting up. I wasn’t too concerned about finding lift, and in fact I didn’t find much. Rhett dropped me off in some air that was barely rising, and I got less than 150 feet out of it before looking elsewhere, but there was nothing out there. When I was down to about 1000 feet AGL near the NE end of the runway, I started getting some beeping out of my vario, and started turning. I did about 20 turns, delaying the inevitable but not really climbing, until I had bled off enough altitude that it was time to land, which I managed to do nicely about 20 meters from where the tow had started, so I had a nice short walk back to the setup area.

After taking a break for about an hour, I went up for a second flight. This time I didn’t get much out of the climb that Rhett had brought me to, but I did find one nearby and was able to get up above tow height, and when that petered out, I got another that took me to about 650 feet above. I found zero sink up by the NE end of the runway again, and turned a few times, but not as much as before. This landing was even better (I got a compliment from Rhett), and it was directly across the runway from where I had started, 10 meters away (intentionally). Pretty close to a spot landing.

Mark landed great, too!

Two flights was enough for me, and I had enough time left to do some additional things in the evening after packing up.

flights: 2, airtime: 0:30, 0:45


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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