11/10/2013 Several Bits of FL
Living on the Enterprise now and liking it. Tim & I are taking a
vacation before the real work of selling the Naperville house gets
We started with a visit to my parents in Naples then stopped at Pine
Island where I got to try out the speedy new Mac Para Pit Bull. Now
we're at Wings over Winter. Thanks to Bob Siebenaler for taking care of
FootFlyer orders that couldn't be filled from the Enterprise.
I feel lucky on many accounts but one is genetic -- I've got great
parents. They're still together, still love each other, enjoy life, and
are fun to be around. What a treat. This move means I'll be able to
bother them more often. The down side is missing my brothers in
Next was PlanetPPG Paul on Pine Island. I picked up and flew the Mac
Para Pit Bull for a full review. Tim flew it also. A real treat was
watching two of Paul's students take their first flights. They did an
excellent job, landing on their feet nicely each time. No doubt helped
by having flown a number of low tows. Another thing I liked was his
instruction on the radio, "reduce power, turn right". If pilots could
get into the habit of reducing power slightly before turning it would
all but eliminate torque related crashes. Especially when combined with
the admonition to "reduce power, reduce brake" if twisting starts.
Wings Over Winter
On Thursday evening we headed up for Winds over Winter. What a treat
to catch up with a bunch of Florida pilots and a few from abroad. The
Nirvana guys, Pavel and Peter were there. A more dedicated, fun-loving
group won't be found in the sport.
I had some real excitement when trying out an Ozone Slalom 19.
Conditions sucked. I couldn't even pass my own kiting test where I make
sure it's easily kitable overhead. While I could keep it off the ground,
it was all over the place. "Just a quickie" I thought. Haven't I written
about this in the Incidents column? Damn. Follow your own advice.
I Took off and immediately regretted it. Thermals mixed with
mechanical turbulence into a nasty stew of kick-butt. I came around
right away, staying down low. Then, at about 20 feet while landing, an
upward gust shot me skyward. I braced for a bruising and wasn't
disappointed. The wing SHOT forward then, in spite of stabbing at the
brakes, took a 30% collapse. That doesn't actually do much if you simply
keep steering. I got lucky and I made an uneventful landing although
with a fistful of power just before touchdown.
Just say no when the little voice speaks out. Had my motor not been
right there, or the wing not been laid out, I wouldn't have gone. What a
terrible reason to risk life and limb. Lets hope the lesson was learned.
And just because the outcome was fine does NOT mean it was safe. It
Tried out another wing, the Snake 16, and boy do I have a lot to say
about that. Every now and then there is a sea change in the sport and
this thing comes closer to anything I've seen since Reflex came out. It
doesn't really break any new ground, it just moves the ground to a new
set point. I did my full speed tests on it and it was remarkable--not
just the fastest glider I've yet flown, but also decently efficient at
its highest speed (full speedbar fast trim) .
Also got to fly the Scout again under a Hadron 20. It's a pushy motor
with decent torque control as reviewed last year.
The weather was windy, windy on Friday and Saturday but each morning
did open a window of flyable air if you didn't mind rocky road and
little upwind penetration. As it happens many of us flew quite a bit
each day but Sunday was the berries. Reasonably smooth all the way to
9am or so.
It was great meeting so many FL pilots. Can't wait to become their
full time neighbor!
All in all it has been a great little trip. Back home to get
Naperville ready to sell then I start work in FL on Dec 1. THAT will be