Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kitty Hawk

After my family time back in California I flew back to my car in Raleigh, North Carolina to resume the cross country drive.  Next stop, Kitty Hawk where my good friends Jim, Mitch, Jonny and my teammate Linda are spending the summer doing tandems for the many tourists.  Kitty Hawk is a special place.  In addition to be the birthplace of flight, where the Wright Brothers first took to the air, there is so much outdoor stuff to do there and so many cool people to do it with.  Jonny and Jim have a tandem towing operation and Mitch and Linda were there as the summer help.  

Linda and I had this bright idea to do a tandem together.  I've had a tandem rating for years, but let it lapse a few years back because I just didn't use it.  But Linda keeps her's current and we thought it would be fun to have the entire US women's team in one glider.  It was fun indeed and exciting for sure, thanks to my screwing things up.  I hadn't realized how hard it would be to be completely passive and behave as a passenger, particularly when the tow was getting a big sketchy.  We rolled out and the glider immediately yawed into a sudden cross wind (fairly strong one).  The yawing was ok, but when we started to roll pretty close to the ground, I just couldn't help correcting from the upper harness.  Linda was most definitely the pilot in command, in theory that is.  We specifically discussed it before taking off.  But, I just could not help joining in the piloting and me doing that caused us to overcorrect, banking rather steeply the other directly then.  Well, now that I had us really out of whack, I couldn't just leave well enough alone and "helped" correct back the other direction.  Aside from being a bit sketchy, it really was hilarious to see two girls completely over controlling this docile tandem glider.  We eventually got it together and laughed our asses off, but not before the GoPro snapped a pretty funny shot of our reaction.  

(I helped out a bit on the landing too ;-)

In addition to the tandem fun, I got my new glider test flown and we enjoyed gorgeous beach weather the whole time.  It was hard to leave (as usual).

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