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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 5:47 pm
by Bill Cummings
RobinHastings wrote:Sunday, May 19, 2019:
This was Juan Mira's last flight at Dry Canyon, before leaving New Mexico. He made it a good one! Bill Cummings and I met up with Juan's family from Colombia in the Cox Field LZ about 10:00 am - Juan, his sister Laura, mother Loria (?) and father Miguel. When we reached Dry Canyon launch the winds were coming in 15 to 18 mph up the ramp, so Juan and I began setting up. Bill decided that the Fun-to-Effort Ratio (FRE) wasn't quite high enough today - indeed, there was a substantial cloud cover over launch and the Tularosa Basin. I was first to take off, in my newly-acquired Sport2 155. It flew beautifully, and I had a perfect launch in smooth winds, gaining 500 feet before Juan launched 5 minutes later, in his Airwaves Vision Mark 4 17. I went up to 8200' MSL (1200 over launch) and watched Juan down below, then moved west along the ridge. Juan was at 8000' 10 minutes into his flight, since he was level with me about then. I left him soaring the ridge above his admiring family, and went to the West Face. I worked some small thermals there (and going there) but nothing strong until I caught one at the north end, and went from 6000' to 9000'. I was actually closer to La Luz than to Cox Field when I topped out, drifting north, but had no problem getting to our designated LZ. The winds there were strong south, and I had an excellent first landing in the new glider, for about 45 minutes of airtime. The truck (with Bill driving - thank you!) arrived about 5 minutes after I did. Juan had an hour and five minutes, and a fine landing as well, skimming across the field and porpoising a bit before a soft touchdown. His dad flew hang gliders for 15 years, and seemed pretty pleased at Juan's performance. Well, so were Bill and I. That young man has a natural knack for the air - it's too bad that he just graduated and will be leaving the area. His family (very fine folks!) took us all to lunch at the Chinese buffet, then headed out to White Sands to enjoy another of New Mexico's natural wonders. Bill and I got home to Las Cruces about 6:30. We will sure miss Juan, and his family - but except for that, it was a very fine day.
-Robin

https://youtu.be/zZp_y57yzSE

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 7:59 pm
by RobinHastings
Well done, Bill! I think Juan is going to watch that video many a time as his life goes on. I'm glad the GoPro battery hung on long enough!
-Robin

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:00 pm
by SamKellner
Good going ! RGSA

Is that a tow bridle on Juan's harness?
:wave:

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 7:42 pm
by Bill Cummings
Zipper opening cord. :wave:

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 7:37 pm
by SamKellner
Okay :? Thanks Bill :salute:

:wave:

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:32 pm
by RobinHastings
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019:
A pleasant day at Dry Canyon today. Temperatures about 80 degrees at launch, skies mostly clear with some puffy cumulus. Winds were light and westerly. Bill Cummings drove for me today, and we reached the launch (after filling in one major hole in the road with rocks) about 11:15 MDT. We did some launch maintenance, finding and marking the tiedown points and cleaning up a pile of nails from beside a campfire site. My Sport 2 was ready to fly at 1:00 pm but the winds were a long way from soarable. I finally took a slightly stronger cycle at 1:18. "Stronger" does not imply "strong", and I didn't find much lift. (7000 ft MSL was my highest altitude. And then I launched...) The air was mostly buoyant as I went west along the ridge, and I worked a weak thermal in the Bowl for 50 or 100 feet of gain. Then I went around the corner to the West Face, where the lift was negative. I regained a bit of altitude around 6000 ft MSL and when I lost that, headed out to the LZ. I noticed two things as I approached at 100 feet: 1) My flag was missing, and 2) Our windsock is getting pretty ragged. Wind, as expected, was light and variable, but I pulled off a late flare and acceptable landing, finding myself once again glad that my glider has wheels. I had an 18-minute extended sled ride, on a perfectly lovely day, with lunch an hour later at BZ Burgers and arrival home at 4:30 pm. (Bill, myself, and my wife Nancy then took a drive to check out the road to Magdalena Rim - but that's another subject.) Autumn is almost here, and the Columbus Day Gathering is coming soon!
-Robin

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:06 pm
by RobinHastings
Friday, Sept. 27, 2019:
Another beautiful autumn day today. Bill Cummings drove for me, and we arrived at the Cox Field LZ about 10:30. Temperatures were in the 70 to 80 degree range, winds were fairly light and westerly, skies were blue with some puffy cumulus, more and more as the day progressed. We were at launch by 11:30, and I took off about an hour later. Lift was strong as my feet left the ramp, then reality set in - thermals were fairly small and weak today, at least while I was flying. They were probably better in the later afternoon, but who knew? I found some good lift at the Bowl, and rose to 8500 ft MSL (1500 over launch) then worked my way to the West Face and reached 8000 feet there. When I started sinking I went looking for lift over the flatlands, but mostly found 600 fpm down, with occasional little pops that didn't gain me anything. I skimmed into Cox Field (where nobody took the flag, this time) about 40 feet over the fence, and made a good, southwest approach in my Sport 2. Good landing, and after pickup and packing up, good food at the Rockin' BZ Burger place. We were home by 4:30, enjoying a fine fall day in New Mexico. Hope we get conditions this nice at the Columbus Day Fun Fly in another two weeks!
-Robin

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:57 pm
by Bill Cummings
RobinHastings wrote:Friday, Sept. 27, 2019:
Another beautiful autumn day today. Bill Cummings drove for me, and we arrived at the Cox Field LZ about 10:30. Temperatures were in the 70 to 80 degree range, winds were fairly light and westerly, skies were blue with some puffy cumulus, more and more as the day progressed. We were at launch by 11:30, and I took off about an hour later. Lift was strong as my feet left the ramp, then reality set in - thermals were fairly small and weak today, at least while I was flying. They were probably better in the later afternoon, but who knew? I found some good lift at the Bowl, and rose to 8500 ft MSL (1500 over launch) then worked my way to the West Face and reached 8000 feet there. When I started sinking I went looking for lift over the flatlands, but mostly found 600 fpm down, with occasional little pops that didn't gain me anything. I skimmed into Cox Field (where nobody took the flag, this time) about 40 feet over the fence, and made a good, southwest approach in my Sport 2. Good landing, and after pickup and packing up, good food at the Rockin' BZ Burger place. We were home by 4:30, enjoying a fine fall day in New Mexico. Hope we get conditions this nice at the Columbus Day Fun Fly in another two weeks!
-Robin

https://youtube.com/video/-Rja5lbLWsk

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:16 pm
by RobinHastings
That was exemplary, Bill. It really summarizes in video what a typical Dry Canyon flight is like. Thank you! I'll be treasuring that record of my soaring. (Along with all your other videos!)
-Robin

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:14 pm
by RobinHastings
Sunday, March 22, 2020:
This was my first flight at Dry Canyon since October. Winds were southwest, 10-15 mph at launch with higher gusts. Skies had some high cirrus but were mostly sunny; temperatures at launch about 65 F. All in all, pretty nice conditions. I had shown the site on Friday to Jim and Marzena Gibson of Frankfurt, Michigan, but the winds were so strong and gusty that we decided to tear down at launch and try again on Sunday. Well, Sunday came, and with Marzena as driver, Jim launched at 3:45 pm, and myself 10 minutes later. We both had beautiful, early spring soaring flights. I reached 8500 ft MSL (1500 over launch) and Jim reached 8600. Thermals were a little ragged today, twisting around and a challenge to stay in, but there were a lot of them. I worked some in front of launch, in the Bowl, and on the West Face, before I finally got low and headed out to Cox Field (hitting some pretty strong sink on the way). I set up a southwest approach and had a beautiful landing - the winds in the LZ were 10 to 12 mph and unusually steady. Jim came in about a half hour later, and had a perfect landing, too. I got 40 minutes of airtime today, and Jim's first New Mexico flight totaled an hour and 15 minutes. It was a beautiful day, and all of us enjoyed it - even Marzena, driving the Dry Canyon road. (It may have been graded recently - but a couple of our worst spots are still bad. An hour or two of work would take care of those.) We visited some friends of mine in High Rolls, afterwards, and stopped at Caliches for ice cream, heading home - with the coronavirus fears still going around, restaurant dining rooms are off limits. I'll try to take the Gibsons out to some other sites before they return to Michigan, but so far they seem pretty impressed with the flying. Stay healthy, everyone, and stay in contact. The soaring season is here!
-Robin