Day two with my sheep in wolfs clothing (the recently acquired Gin Carrera Medium in Apple).
The atmospheric sounding for the day is looking promising with moderate lift to above launch height and an ever increasing prefrontal inflow. Get out early and stay up all day is the plan. Too bad reality doesn’t always mimic the forecast.
Arriving at the FlyBC Ranch, I see a number of cars parked about but zero activity. Maybe everyone has already headed up the hill?
A quick peek through the spyglass reveals the Russian collective up on launch, but no sign of Jim or crew. A few wings eventually launch and make their way down to the Riverside LZ. From the direct route they take I suspect lift is as elusive as ever today.
Half an hour passes and a truck pulls up carrying one of our ‘long lost brethren’, Robin, who has been pulled away by the real world for the last season and a half. We catch up on how things have been and Robin provides some suggestions on shows to watch to help kill time as the long white cloud of winter dampens flying. Gary and (the other) Martin soon arrive and we make our way up to launch.
Up top appear a few other faces we rarely see these days – Mia and (the original) Martin. Must be a special event bringing everyone out.
And that there is – an ash scattering.
One of the local landowners, Joe, who had been a big part of the flying community passed some time ago and his family wanted him to enjoy one last flight. It would be another few hours before that flight was due to occur, but folk were making their way up to launch and getting a first sled run in before the main contingent arrived.
The first flight off was uneventful aside from the nuisance of the brake line ‘ball’ on the right toggle getting fished through a pair of twisted C lines. Basic preflight failure – not following the line from the toggle to the ‘swivel’ after an abort. Not impressed with the loss of the flight, I make a point of swinging further south over the ranch to put myself in clear view of anyone in the parking lot – hoping someone might look up and hang around a few mins while I pack up.
The gambit pays off as Jim pulls the ‘bus’ around into the LZ and a few students hop out to give me a hand quickly packing up the wing.
We arrive to find a decent size crowd on launch just as the Joe’s ash flight is about to take off. They are away without incident and head south-ish. Another tandem quickly follows suit (I suspect a second family member). It is certainly a perfect day to see Joe off – not a cloud in the sky and silky smooth air.
My flight was another of non drama – smooth inflow, little to no lift. A textbook student first flight day.
Landing, I figure I am done for the day and have the car packed up. Robin lands and starts discussing with Martin about the possibility of time for yet another go at it.
The cycles are dying off in the setting sun. The Carrera is as easy a wing to forward launch as any and I am away knowing this will be yet another top to bottom. Might as well make the best of it and it’s varying degrees of speed bar all the way down.
An amazing weekend to break in a new wing, catch up with old friends, make new ones and, most importantly, to send one of our ‘family’ off.
If the season ended here – it would be on a perfect note.