Sunday, October 24, 2010


Being back in Florida it's impossible not to notice the vastly different flying we do here.  I've said a hundred times, the Florida lift is fat and oh so smooth...nothing but easy, fun, relaxed flying.  But that was definitely not the case over the summer.  Between Ager, Cucco and Laragne I had more than a few really bumpy days.  I was talking with Carl about the turbulence one day in Laragne, explaining that I went through one area near the Pique de Burr early in the flight that scared me so bad that all I could do was fly straight out to the valley and land.  He gave me this rather confused look and said "don't you know that the turbulence never lasts?  It might be really rough in a particular spot, but it's not that way everywhere, all the time!  If you just stick it out and deal with a little turbulence, then fly on to the next turnpoint and you'll likely find that it's back to smooth and comfortable again."  He couldn't understand why I would just give up on an entire flight because of one little spot of turbulence.

Writing these words now really makes me laugh because his advice applies to so many things in life.  I do have a hard time toughing it out through the turbulence and I tend to want to just get out of the air and get my feet on the ground again.

Telling this story to Maria over coffee this morning, she said "yeah, you can find the answer to any of life's problems in hang gliding."  ;-)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

If you want to view paradise....

....simply look around and view it.  Anything you want to, do it.

I'm falling in love with fall in Florida.  Another gorgeous weekend.  Mitch, Dustin and I set out for Venice Beach today.  The wind was light out of the north, northeast and it seemed like a good day to give it a shot.   Unfortunately, we got too late a start and didn't make it, but that didn't bother any of us.  Mitch and I landed about 6 kms apart, around the 100 km mark and Dustin was about 40 km past us.  Pretty nice day for the end of October.

No Venice Beach this time, but Forbes wasn't too far away ;-)

Come From Alabama with a Banjo on My Knee

A little roadtrip the last few days with Maria.  It's that time of year again and we're looking for more spots for next year's Flytec Rally. Davis reports that there is a flightpark near Huntsville, Alabama that's trying to get up and running so we had the idea of maybe shooting for that as our goal for next year.  

The trip was a huge success.  We visited about ten new airfields and most everyone is really keen to have us.  Alabama is so pretty and rural with rolling hills and heaps of farmland.  As a Californian, it's funny for me to drive through the south and see all of the stereotypical southern sights....cotton fields, plantations, churches on every corner.  We had the best southern BBQ I've ever had in Eufaula, Alabama one night.  Pulled pork, collard greens and cornbread were all new to little Maria ;-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Mother of Invention

Aside from the booming Florida spring conditions, I can't imagine a nicer time to fly here than the fall.  Temperatures and humidity are down to very comfortable levels, thermals are fat and smooth and days are still plenty long for great cross country flights.  I came out for a weekend to remind myself of why I love this place so much.  After a summer of getting bounced all over the European skies, being back home is like heaven.

It's turned out to be a Wallaby in three (or less) kind of weekend.  Yesterday Mitch and I had a super fun little three climb jaunt down to Dean Still/33, then the Ranch with 5-700 ups and light winds.  Dustin and I decided to do it again today, but in order to keep up with him, I had to insist that he fly the training glider (Falcon with 2 ton landing gear permanently attached).   Boy is it fun to finally be able to kick his butt!  But, the most entertaining part of the 35 minute run down to the Ranch was the retrieve ;-)  We couldn't have looked more like the Clampets on the drive back.