Monday, April 20, 2009

Marshal to Palmdale flight 99.7 km

The plan was to go west from Marshal with light east winds. I join RebarDan to try back side of the San Gabriel mountains and Jonathan try to go in front of it. I was lucky to met RebarDan and Wally on LZ and they give me a ride to launch. I launched 10 minutes after Dan and got high quickly. I flew to west towers and catch up with Dan there. Cajon pass was a most tricky part in the whole flight and I was not sure I could connect after crossing. But I got lucky one more time and find thermal after pass. Then I made a big mistake going on glide without getting all altitude. I follow road to Wrightwood and terrain is going up, so after second glide I almost land, but try to ridge soar and finally catch thermal and never got that low in the rest of the flight. After Wrightwood flight becomes easier and I was able to enjoy by scenic views of San Gabriels snow peaks. I had a radio contact with Dan and Wally and keep going west. After Palmdale I got lower again and did not stay over ridge, because there were a lot of power lines back there and I have to stay in front. There were no thermals for a while and I also start feeling light head wind, and 10 miles after Palmdale I landed. Flight distance: 99.7 km (61.9 miles). Dan made 132 miles to Central valley and Jonathan 66.8 to Kagel. After 4 hours Dan and Wally pick me up, we had a quick dinner in Palmdale and headed back to Marshal LZ. I got home about 1 am. And it's my personal best so far!

GPS track:
http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/187831

Photos:
http://paraplan.ru/photos/thumbnails.php?album=3180

Related Crestline forum topic:
Overview of April 20th & 21st

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kagel to Mt. Lukens flight

Day before Faiz ask me if we can fly to Pasadena from Kagel. Forecast was ok, so we try. But, as it typically happened forecast is forecast and reality is reality. After launch I could not get more that few hundred meters over the top of the mountain. However I keep following few HG's and made it to the west side of Mt. Lukens. Cloud base was so low, that I did not try to fly toward the peak and just land on river wash. I should probably try to come back, which was absolutely possible and all HG's made it back to Kagel LZ. Ok, next time.
GPS track:
http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/182158

Photos:
http://paraplan.ru/photos/thumbnails.php?album=3154

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Two XC flights from Marshal

Prediction was for good chance to fly west from Marshal to Kagel and beyond, so this time I did not join XC League and fly by myself, actually with Jerome most of the time.

First flight. I launched at 12:46, just after Rebardan and few other HGs flew away quite high. Easily got 1 km over launch and first try to join Jerome for heading east toward Dam, but it was too much east wind (well, as expected), so we took another climb and head east. The most critical part was to cross Cajon Pass (about 10 km). I start gliding from near Pine Mt. and first half went just fine. Over I-15 I try to hook into weak thermal and noticed significant drift from north. All my attempts to connect with Cucamonga mountain range fail and strong north wind flush me out from the mountain to the valley. There was quite windy, I landed almost vertically. Jerome made it to over mountain, but ended with same result. When we finish packing gliders retrieve was already there.
GPS track: http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/175808

Second flight: Launched at 3:51 pm and could not get up for awhile, but eventually did. Go back to Crestline, then took a boomer near Billboard to 10196 ft and go to Pine Mt. Just before Pine I noticed how fast my ground speed increasing (+10km/h within one minute), which means that east wind was still there, so I turn around and fly back. Jerome was already over Arrowhead peak and fly toward Dam. Then he got low near McKinley and this allow me to catch up with him. After two thermal we had enough altitude to make Harrison, so we did. Then split again. I flew directly toward Dam over sunny mountains and he over shaded foothills. Just before Mentone was good thermal, which could allow me continue fly down range, but I choose to land (retrieve was already there and time was >6pm).
GPS track: http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/175809
Thanks a lot to Lisa and Jerome for fast retrieve!

Photos:
http://paraplan.ru/photos/thumbnails.php?album=3140

Zippy (HG) made 96.5 miles from Marshall to Santa Paula, CA. He also was flushed from mountains after Cajon pass, but just keep going over the valley and made it back to mountains later:
http://www.crestlinesoaring.org/forum/20090407/2122