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Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:35 pm

Friday March 15, 2019, Dry Canyon, Alamogordo, New Mexico (USA)
Robin Hastings and visiting pilot Jim M. went to try a flight with Jim flying and Robin driving.
With most of the area having an easterly flow the Tularosa Basin was once again subject to the Meteorological Pocket Syndrome.
(Making its own weather because it don't follow no stinking forecast.)
It was light with some puffs coming in according to Jim which only yielded an eleven minute sled ride to the main LZ 3.4 miles to the west.
Saturday today was cold in the 40's but tomorrow things look better for Anapra, down on the Mexican border.
I'll be driving for Jim while Juan M. is making his way to our area from Hobbs, NM. Juan will be in the area for about eight days.
Also making his way to our area in Las Cruces is John Gallagher
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:29 pm

Monday, March 18, 2019:
Juan Mira and I got to fly Dry Canyon today, thanks to the selflessness of one William Cummings, ace driver. (Yeah, I know - in the last post he was an ace pilot. The man plays many roles...) I launched in my U2-160 at 2:42 pm into a good thermal. Conditions were sort of high pressure, but the clouds to the east of launch were turning dark, and the lift was there, if you were lucky. I was not - at least, until I had plummeted to the "Wonder if I can clear the power lines?" level at the West Face. Then I caught the good one, and went in 200 fpm from 5800 ft MSL to 9000. (That's because I am a GOOD PILOT. Up to then, it was all about BAD CONDITIONS.) When I could peek over the peak, I could see that Juan was on the launch; I made one more 360, and he was NOT on the launch. Juan found some lift near the launch, then cruised down the ridge to where I was getting up, and found some good stuff at the West Face. He was at 7000 MSL (launch height) and just took it like a pro. (See previous comment about Bill Cummings.) He got up pretty well, then when that disappeared he got flushed, and had to take whatever he could find by Plateau Espresso. (I was watching this from above, and taking shameless advantage of it - any time Juan started thermalling, I went over to get some of it.) He finally made a fine approach to the Cox Field, got a little low, and landed on the Big Wheels in his Vision Mark 4. Nice flight! Juan had 30 minutes of airtime, his first since Thanksgiving time. He landed right where he wanted to be, near the west end of the field. Me, I had the altitude - and then squandered it, and wound up coming down vertically onto the fence, at the north edge of the field. If you're going to hit a fence - yeah, hit it that way. (Juan was thinking, "Oh, he's not going to make it!" Oddly, there were two people thinking the very same thought right then...) But all was well - wind was blowing about 15 mph when I set down. Sure, I had a long hike to where Juan was relaxing, and Bill was pulling up in the truck - but I needed the exercise. (Yeah, that's why I landed there. Needed the exercise. Good, good.) We got some hamburgers to celebrate my 53-minute aerial exploit, and headed back to Cruces. Warm temps, nice skies (dark clouds cleared up) and great company. Not a bad day in the desert Southwest. (And meanwhile, Nebraska is washing down to the sea...) Looks like a day for Mag Rim tomorrow! Any takers?
-Robin
575-541-5744
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:53 pm

RobinHastings wrote:Monday, March 18, 2019:
Juan Mira and I got to fly Dry Canyon today, thanks to the selflessness of one William Cummings, ace driver. (Yeah, I know - in the last post he was an ace pilot. The man plays many roles...) I launched in my U2-160 at 2:42 pm into a good thermal. Conditions were sort of high pressure, but the clouds to the east of launch were turning dark, and the lift was there, if you were lucky. I was not - at least, until I had plummeted to the "Wonder if I can clear the power lines?" level at the West Face. Then I caught the good one, and went in 200 fpm from 5800 ft MSL to 9000. (That's because I am a GOOD PILOT. Up to then, it was all about BAD CONDITIONS.) When I could peek over the peak, I could see that Juan was on the launch; I made one more 360, and he was NOT on the launch. Juan found some lift near the launch, then cruised down the ridge to where I was getting up, and found some good stuff at the West Face. He was at 7000 MSL (launch height) and just took it like a pro. (See previous comment about Bill Cummings.) He got up pretty well, then when that disappeared he got flushed, and had to take whatever he could find by Plateau Espresso. (I was watching this from above, and taking shameless advantage of it - any time Juan started thermalling, I went over to get some of it.) He finally made a fine approach to the Cox Field, got a little low, and landed on the Big Wheels in his Vision Mark 4. Nice flight! Juan had 30 minutes of airtime, his first since Thanksgiving time. He landed right where he wanted to be, near the west end of the field. Me, I had the altitude - and then squandered it, and wound up coming down vertically onto the fence, at the north edge of the field. If you're going to hit a fence - yeah, hit it that way. (Juan was thinking, "Oh, he's not going to make it!" Oddly, there were two people thinking the very same thought right then...) But all was well - wind was blowing about 15 mph when I set down. Sure, I had a long hike to where Juan was relaxing, and Bill was pulling up in the truck - but I needed the exercise. (Yeah, that's why I landed there. Needed the exercise. Good, good.) We got some hamburgers to celebrate my 53-minute aerial exploit, and headed back to Cruces. Warm temps, nice skies (dark clouds cleared up) and great company. Not a bad day in the desert Southwest. (And meanwhile, Nebraska is washing down to the sea...) Looks like a day for Mag Rim tomorrow! Any takers?
-Robin
575-541-5744

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSLE2u5V2qI

Juan Bill and Robin all find the LZ..JPG
Juan Bill and Robin all find the LZ..JPG (24.08 KiB) Viewed 1872 times
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:34 pm

Nice job of editing, Bill! It really shows off an excellent flight by Juan.
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:27 pm

Wednesday, March 20, 2019:
It's a good day in all kinds of ways. It's the Vernal Equinox; this evening we had a Super Moon over White Sands; Juan Mira flew for an hour at Dry Canyon. Which of these will go into the history books? Hard to tell... With me on his nose wires, Juan launched his Vision Mark IV 17 at 2:45 pm MDT. Conditions were much like those of Monday - mostly clear, but cumulus getting dark off to the east. (And once again, the clouds disappeared with nothing to show for it.) Winds at launch were 15-18 mph. Juan went up and to the left, worked some S-turns to get more altitude, then reached for the sky. When I started down the hill a few minutes after launch he was already 500 ft above and still going up. I was in the Cox Field LZ about 40 minutes after he took off; at exactly one hour, Juan was skimming the grass to a perfect landing. What a nice flight! He had no altimeter, but I'd estimate he was 1000 feet over launch when I observed him in binoculars. Nancy Hastings showed up as we were loading Juan's glider onto the truck; we had a fine visit with Keith and Rena Campbell at their Alamogordo home, then got to see the full moon rising over White Sands on the way back to Las Cruces. As days go, what's not to like?
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:39 pm

Video of Juan's Dry Canyon flight, March 20, 2019. Good launch, good landing, and an hour of airtime.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddCfLGTgwuc
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:41 am

Saturday, March 23, 2019:
This was a good day for our visiting pilots, Jim MacNutt and Juan Mira. We got to the Cox Field LZ about 11:00 am today, and found winds from the north-northwest. So, we drove to the La Luz landing zone, planted a flag, and drove up to the La Luz NW launch - only to find it was coming in southwest. OK, on to Dry Canyon! There, both pilots had exemplary launches - Jim took off at 2:30 pm MDT, Juan at 2:50 pm. Skies had some high cirrus, but were clearing; winds were coming in at 10 to 15 mph from the west and southwest. Both pilots immediately went up. Jim made a low save after a few minutes in his Falcon 4, and later on watched Juan do the same, but both of them climbed out well above launch. Jim ultimately reached 10,700 ft MSL, and Juan got his highest ever, getting to 9,000. Jim went to La Luz and back to Cox Field, landing at 1 hour, 15 minutes. Juan logged exactly the same amount of time in the air. And, to go with the great launches, they both had great landings, in almost zero wind. By then the skies were cloudless, the temperature was 75 degrees, and the smiles were huge. Juan got his glider loaded onto the Corolla he had borrowed for Spring Break, and headed back to Southwestern University in Hobbs; Jim and I made it back to Las Cruces about 6:30 pm. If this was not a perfect day to be alive and flying, I don't know what is!
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:19 pm

A few photos from the flying, March 23, 2019.

JimJuan_at_Dry.JPG
Jim MacNutt and Juan Mira skying out above Dry Canyon launch, March 23, 2019.
JimJuan_at_Dry.JPG (16.31 KiB) Viewed 1818 times


JimCox_03-23-19.JPG
Jim MacNutt after a fine 1.25 hour flight at Dry Canyon. He flew over to the La Luz site in the distant background - and then back.
JimCox_03-23-19.JPG (89.31 KiB) Viewed 1819 times


Juan_03-23-19.JPG
Juan Mira after his best Dry Canyon flight - 1.25 hours in the air, and 2000 feet above launch.
Juan_03-23-19.JPG (83.01 KiB) Viewed 1819 times
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:01 am

RobinHastings wrote:Saturday, March 23, 2019:
This was a good day for our visiting pilots, Jim MacNutt and Juan Mira. We got to the Cox Field LZ about 11:00 am today, and found winds from the north-northwest. So, we drove to the La Luz landing zone, planted a flag, and drove up to the La Luz NW launch - only to find it was coming in southwest. OK, on to Dry Canyon! There, both pilots had exemplary launches - Jim took off at 2:30 pm MDT, Juan at 2:50 pm. Skies had some high cirrus, but were clearing; winds were coming in at 10 to 15 mph from the west and southwest. Both pilots immediately went up. Jim made a low save after a few minutes in his Falcon 4, and later on watched Juan do the same, but both of them climbed out well above launch. Jim ultimately reached 10,700 ft MSL, and Juan got his highest ever, getting to 9,000. Jim went to La Luz and back to Cox Field, landing at 1 hour, 15 minutes. Juan logged exactly the same amount of time in the air. And, to go with the great launches, they both had great landings, in almost zero wind. By then the skies were cloudless, the temperature was 75 degrees, and the smiles were huge. Juan got his glider loaded onto the Corolla he had borrowed for Spring Break, and headed back to Southwestern University in Hobbs; Jim and I made it back to Las Cruces about 6:30 pm. If this was not a perfect day to be alive and flying, I don't know what is!
-Robin

https://youtu.be/aQ_Wcdbc2IE
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:10 am

Sunday, March 31, 2019:
Strange weather we had this Sunday. Lots of strong east winds across most of our region - but it was coming in 10 to 15 mph from the southwest at the Dry Canyon launch ramp. Juan Mira, from Hobbs, was there with his friend Brian. So was Steve Crye, and myself. Juan's hang glider sets up fast, which was good in this case, because he was able to get into the air while conditions still were good. He made a perfect launch and soared high, getting perhaps 2000 feet above the launch (no altimeter this flight). He had an excellent landing at the Cox Field LZ after 20 minutes. Steve and I saw dusting up of White Sands, urged Juan to head for the LZ despite the abundant thermals, and decided that these were not conditions we wanted to keep setting up for. All was well that ended well; Steve headed back to El Paso to look into an Anapra flight, and Juan, Brian and I had some good Chinese buffet before we went our own separate ways. It was good to see Steve and Juan once again, and to show Brian (another Colombian student at University of the Southwest) what our beloved sport is all about.
-Robin
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