Uh Oh, I'm not Moving

June 17, 2007 Plainfield, IL

The morning held promise. Leaves were still and 0.0 MPH occupied the weather station's wind readout. It was time.

We headed out to a local haunt where "don't ask, don't tell" applies. Suburbia is filling in the blanks so launch locations and clear flight paths are increasingly rare. It's good to see the humans build, though—it means someone's getting a new house, several someones are employed and they're not killing each other. The economy is an amazing construct. I marvel that it works so well but that's another story. Ya think!!!

Tim had some motor issue to solve so I got airborne first. By that time a 1 mph south had come up making for a brainless inflation. I love those. Throttle up a bit, pull the freight train for a few feet, accelerate as the wing comes overhead, run, then do a little foot drag—tickling the ground to welcome independence from its grasp.

I climbed in the smoothness but soon noticed that I wasn't moving. Uh oh. There was a much stronger wind than forecast. Maybe a low level "jet" of sorts. The aviation forecast has showed no more than about 10 mph at 3000 feet and I was at 1200 feet (500' AGL). I wasn't worried for my safety but knew that, once the thermals awoke it would get nasty.

Tim sorted out his motor issue and joined me. He likes the bumps less than I but, for now, it was smooth and we proceeded to play. Cavorting in grassy areas, getting pictures and checking things out. It took an eternity to get anywhere since we had to climb up high enough to cross large power lines and that put us up in the wind. Even with trimmers fast we were only making a few mph.

Sure enough, it soon started getting rowdy. After another half hour we headed back. Tim thought about landing out due to the turbulence. It was a continuous 4 on the bump scale. He went down low, found it tolerable and decided to stick it out. We returned probably an hour after Tim's liftoff.

This was my first real good long local flight. Too bad it took me until June 18th to do it. Hopefully I'll get another several chances with the rest of the IL Boys. For information on flying in Illinois, there is an active group of welcoming pilots here.

1) We're actually over a clear area but, when you look in most directions, suburbia's land gobble is in full view.

2) Tim captured one picture and this was it. Me attempting a power-off slider landing in turbulence. Whack! You can see the dust. Fermilab registered this arrival on their seismometers.


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