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So, what's up with hang-gliding!?
flying
chmarr
For starters, last Sunday, I've had the longest, highest flight to date: a 15 minute flight from the top-launch at Ed Levin park, which is 1750 feet above the landing zone. This was done during some rather inclement weather, but it also meant there was enough appropriate wind to get some ridge lift, so the usual "sled ride" at Ed Levin (the park is called "Sled Heaven" by hang-gliders for a reason) turned into a respectably long flight!

In fact, the HG observer I was going with scored himself a over-2-hour flight! He was VERY pleased. Or, rather, there are insufficient words to describe how pleased he was, getting such a flight form a normally sled-ride park. He was packing up his glider in the rain, but nothing could wipe the smile from his (and mine, come to think of it) face.

And that day might not have happened. The weather was predicted to be far worse on Sunday than Saturday, so I scheduled some time with Karl (the observer) on Saturday morning. Things weren't looking all that great, but it was marginal enough to go to the park for a "look see". We drove to the top of the mountain, but the wind direction and speed weren't really suitable for either of us, so after a while we packed it in and drove to Mission Ridge instead.

Now, I can't fly at mission ridge, but I decided to assist Karl in being his driver (the usual compensation) for his efforts in the morning. Mission Ridge was immanently soarable, and Karl got in a nearly-hour flight in. Could have done more, but by that stage we were all getting a little cold and energy-sapped. I'll have some video of that flight up on-line at some stage... its 8GB of high-def work :)

So, after that day was done, Karl suggested "Shall we try for tomorrow?" Well.... "Sure!" I said. And the day turned out to be awesome. Even though thunderstorms were predicted for the afternoon (and yes, it did end up pretty dark and rainy), the morning was awesome.

Unfortunately, because the day was going to get more and more weather-active, there was some pressure to get set up, prepped and launched in a hurry. So, I don't really have any video of my OWN Flight to show for it. I Do have the flight track logged in my vario/GPS unit, so I'll get that up online soon :)

Other awesomeness:

* I found the missing pitot tube for my vario: Turned out it had fallen somewhere in my harness, and "fell out" during the set-up at the top of the mountain.
* I found my watch... which had been missing for some time... it had "fallen out" of my chair at work: I've no idea where it had stashed itself.
* Saturday night was a nice party at the hang-gliding shop... got to meet a bunch of interesting folk who are super-eager for me to fly at their favorite sites. The hang-gliding community is pretty awesome :)
* I'm about 33% of the way towards my hang-3 rating. I've done the written exam, my "hang-3 spot landings" and I'm pretty sure all the other "discussion work" about flying techniques are covered... now it's just getting enough flying time in. I need 10 hours, and I've had 3 hours 17 minutes.
* Two co-workers are now interested in doing some hang-gliding (to the horror of our altitude-fearing boss)

Other sub-awesomeness:

* still need to extract the flight-logs from the vario/GPS. Looks like I might have to power up a windows box to do this :P
* My glider is dirty, and needs a wash! ("Shron! My appearance is degraded 5%. I need to be cleaned!")

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