Lake Pleasant, AZ

Apr 24, 2007 North of Phoenix, AX | Most Recent | What's Next | RV Kiting YouTube Video | Adam's Pics

First day on a new camera and I'd be hard pressed to ask for better circumstances. Adam Bell and his son Wyatt joined Tim Kaiser and myself in a beautiful area north of Phoenix, AZ. It's just south of Turf Soaring School's airport by about a mile. Eventually I'll have an airspace analysis of this site out but wide open areas spread for miles in most directions.

The camera is an Olympus E-330. It's unique in SLR land because the screen on the back shows the image you're looking at. Most SLR cameras require looking through the viewfinder which is problematic for getting shots around your cage. In general, I prefer pictures where you can see the pilot's face and that requires pointing the lens backwards while framing it in the LCD screen. The camera is a bit more complicated in some ways and way easier in most others. Now that I've figured out certain quarks it's pretty easy. It worked incredibly well in spite of a somewhat dark LCD display. The picture quality is exceptional.

Here are a few, more to come. Tomorrow is more flying here in the morning then off to Sedona.


I soloed the Schweizer 2-33 (yellow one behind me) as a new 14 year old then started flying the 1-26 (that I'm leaning on). This is Turf Soaring School that is temporarily shut down while dealing with insurance woes.


Creature Feature: Adam and Hyatt check out a tiny scorpion. They tell me the little ones hurt as much or more than the big ones. Great. We couldn't very well make this a "No Fly Zone" but we'd sure like to. I've got no idea what the weird creature is at the far right. Curious critters out here in the desert.


The flying was nothing short of awesome. I grabbed a picture of Adam flying by his son who was all wrapped up in Adam's wing bag.


Morning dawned with a decent breeze. It seems like this might be a daily pattern according to local pilot Adam Bell and our brief experience. We launched with a switchy breeze and headed for the reservoir. Turbulence registered an occasional 4 of the bump scale so pictures were difficult but I managed a few good ones. This is a beautiful part of a beautiful area and the developers know it. Construction is picking at the edges as companies plan for the coming multitudes. It's strange to see a Home Depot off on its own, surrounded by desert nothingness but there it is, only a few miles from our launch. Wait a few years.

We drove by a site that I remembered from a years-ago visit. Bulldozers had remade it and the mark of man will soon obliterate any signs of where we launched. I'm not complaining, mind you. After all, it means the humans aren't killing each other, they're employed and somebody's getting a house. These are all good things!

We flew just under an hour since we didn't want to let the thermals get mean for our return. I did a slider landing which was a bad choice. My shoe soles have been worn thin by too many miles of foot-dragging on pavement and the largish rocks here are painful. It was a great way to bid farewell to this valley of the sun that has provided so much enjoyment.

On to Sedona!


Over Turf Soaring School airport the canals and Lake Pleasant itself. Beautiful but bumpy. We got a few jolts that rated a 4 on the bump scale.


Before getting fully underway we checked out the nearby canal. Presumably this water helps keep Phoenix's cup running over. Tim takes the helm and I work on these updates. Of course I've got reviews to write with my scribble notes but this is more fun. Far right is the aviation weather that we pulled up before launching thanks to Tim's reminder.


Locals have it nice. The trip to Sedona is a 3000 foot climb through an hour of beautiful scenery that gets steadily more impressive as the rocks get redder. Lots of people must have discovered it because they're widening the two lane road. We were glad this wasn't the high season. If it was this nice from the ground, I can't wait to see what it's like from the air. I'll know soon. Next log.


Tim Kaiser near Lake Pleasant just north of Phoenix, AZ.





Black Devil Starting


I'll eventually put a better description under Educational's Chapter 12 but, suffice it to say, this new manual decompressor seems to work well. It dramatically improves starting reliability of the Black Devil motor.


I had to improvise an installation tool because the regular special tool doesn't work. This requires a deep-well 13mm socket. The Enterprise is pretty well equipped but not with that one. So I used the deep-well special tool and inserted safety wire to make it handle the smaller manual decompressor I was inserting. That let me torque it down as much as I dare into an aluminum cylinder.


Starting it was immediate. I pushed the button down to decompress. Pulled the handle and it fired which reset (closed) the decompressor valve. I pushed the button back down to decompress, pulled again and she started. It usually takes me more pulls than that. Time will tell.


1) Driving into Sedona.

2) Flying above. The R/C field would be perfect but they probably would have a cow.

2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!