"A day in the life of Chad Bastian" would be every flyer's dream. Tim
& I got to experience a slice of his heaven.
Go to the hill, eke out flight from unlikely lift for an hour or so,
come home to your beautiful, loving spouse, ship orders for a couple
hours, eat, drink, then relax to insanely spectacular scenery painting
itself on the mountains outside enormous picture windows.
We also enjoyed iconic dining at Harry's Plaza Cafe after a full day
of soaring and motoring. Motoring there was as beautiful as it was
brief. He had a Miniplane Minari that I wanted to try so we took turns
flying it. Nice machine. The review will be in an upcoming edition of
Cross Country Magazine.
We also flew "Bates" for a few seconds. It was too light for anybody
to be flying but Chad had to take a stab at it. He almost could stay up.
After a couple passes, sinking slowly each time, he did a cool side-hill
landing in bare feet and controlled the wing brilliantly -- no walking
up from the beach. That looked cool so, when he offered it to me I had
I ran sideways along the top edge and pushed off hard for maximum
starting energy. Ridge soaring is mostly brainless but, with really
light lift, you've got to stay in the lift band. I sunk a bit during the
turn then recovered most of the lost height while flying next to the
It was clearly a losing proposition so I did the side hill thing,
too, which I was hoping to try. I've done plenty of side hill landings
but not on something this steep and narrow. It's like a swoop one-step
landing where you swing up with the intention to touch down going
slightly uphill right as your body reaches the maximum forward swing.
And it worked! Mostly. I did let the wing fall on some folks who were
sitting there at the edge. Practice, practice.
Here's the story in pics.
Chad trying to eke out level flight at
Bates, a soaring site south of Santa Barbara.
The motor had been warmed up but I was
able to easily start it on my back.
After a short flight, I shut the power
off and came in for a slider.
Chad foot drags a launch and comes
through on a fly by. Shoes? Only if they're required!
Leanne, Chad, Tim & I enjoyed a good
time at the local haunt "Harry's".