10/13/2013 Western Respit
My wing arrived!!! Of course you didn't know what that's all about
but yesterday, standing at the baggage carousel, I awaited my wing. And
waited. Eventually it became obvious that my voodoo was nowhere near
powerful enough to materialize that wing. It's the Viper 18 that I had
to grovel to get specially made since it was the previous year's design
and too small to boot. These don't sit "in stock" anywhere so it's
not like I can just buy another. This is the price I pay to be scrawny.
My baggage ratio isn't that good although I've always gotten it
eventually and this is no exception. My way of travel is an amazing
benefit, don't get me wrong, but it's not all sugar and reversibles.
Kudos to Orlando Baggage for bringing it curbside so I could pick it
up in the Enterprise.
What a spectacular place. It was gorgeous just being there even
though my flights were all very short. I arrived Thursday night and,
apparently, didn't miss anything but wind and rain. Friday, on the other
hand, was gorgeous. Launching uphill with variable winds made for some
really amusing efforts.
Paul Anthem gets credit for the most impressive and barely averted
disaster. I just knew he was going to plow into the parked airplanes at
full speed but he had it under control and stopped on his feet. It's
even more impressive when you realize that he left a shower of titanium
sparks along the runway.
I would have done a long flight but it was just too darn cold for me.
39°F is well below my minimum operating temperature. Turns out that was
a good thing because the motor partially seized and I wound up having to
shoehorn my gliding self in between launching pilots on the ensuing
Tried the MacPara Pit Bull and liked the initial feel but I've got to
do some real testing to see how fast it is and how it's handles light
I also flew the Ozone ultralight. Wow. Just wow. Everybody was doing
forwards and this thing allowed me to easily do a reverse and even to
kite it in the very light wind. It flies like a well-designed beginner
wing. The risers can double as shoe laces.
I flew my Viper 18 a few times and boy was that a fast run. At least
it was uphill.
Kibitzing & Watching
Mo Sheldon did a tandem with his pooch. That was fun to watch. Both
seemed thoroughly enjoy it.
This was probably the largest crowd by half but I'll let Joe pass
judgment on that. It's not a good spot for a lot of people and, judging
from the amount of aborts, it's a very, very difficult place to launch.
Nobody did anything more than scrape skin but there were shards. Even
John Fetz won't be reviving these props.
A last minute cancellation meant that I had my own room. That was a
nice surprise although I barely used the room, it seems. I really
enjoyed catching up with Chad & LeAnn, and Joe and Dawn. They're just
wonderful people to be around.
I needed to get to PHX by 8:30am the next morning so I bugged out Sat
after the BBQ and drove in hour long spurts in between naps. It wasn't
actually that bad especially since there were plenty of places to pull
off. Driving tired is the same risk as driving drunk so I try REALLY
hard to always pull off when the sleepies hit.
All in all a great time. I had planned on being out there with the
Enterprise but that plan changed because Tim & I are moving to FL and
decided to take the motorhome down there to look for houses. We found