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  • in reply to: All National Forests closed again. #13740
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Friday delivers another good flight from the 350′. This time on my Sport 3 170.

    2021-09-10 The 350 S3-170 GE

    2021-09-10 ALT

    2021-09-10 Sunset

    in reply to: All National Forests closed again. #13739
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Thanks Nathan. I performed a similar launch and climb out on Friday which I recorded. Note that I rotate too early and the glider settles resulting in a keel strike on my launch. I told myself I’d run to the end of the ramp but didn’t do that. Due to the OD and changing weather I stayed in close.

    2021-09-09 The 350 RX2-190 GE

    in reply to: All National Forests closed again. #13730
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    On Saturday, Gene drove up two loads of HGs around 1:00 and 2:45. He later drove up some groups of PGs. I launched at 2:23 for a 6-min flight but only gained ~140′ before the lift petered out. My partner launched 15 minutes after me and flew maybe 10 minutes before it petered out again. I broke down quickly and went back up with two visiting HGs. We were all on large single surface gliders with low to mid EN-B equivalent  performance. Gene’s ATV does not have a glider rack and we slung our HGs from webbing off the side. This is a good technique that I’ve used for years. In the near future Gene should have the ATV running which has the rack for two fully assembled HGs.

    I launched again at 4:00 and after two moderate climbing passes I crossed the canyon by The Pond to the small spur on the West side inside the canyon. The breakaway lift was happening here and I gained 4200′ fairly quickly. The next pilot launched a minute after I launched and did figure-8s in front of launch for a long time before he sank out. I don’t know why he didn’t cross over and follow me. The 3rd pilot launched ten minutes later but I was gone and did not see his flight.

    Around 5PM or so I spotted a PG between The 750 and Cloud Peak but no one else was up where I could see them. I saw others launch but by then it was pretty weak. I was careful not to place myself in a position where I might land inside the boundary.

    1 – How to time launch?
    2 – Which way? Left, Right, Straight Ahead?

    The 350 launch is about 380′ above the LZ which potentially could be a 60-second flight. The wind at 2100’MSL was mostly due South which meant it was 25° to 40° cross from the left on the ramp which was an issue for us HGs. In the LZ the wind was SSW which was straight toward the ramp. There were many swifts gliding around, eating insect that floated up in thermals but they were not climbing more than 50′ above launch. There were no hawks climbing out from below the ramp to aid in seeing the air. Careful observation of the swifts showed the lift was too small to support a hang glider.

    There can be a lot of time spent ready to launch but while getting hot an tired. Patience and observation are critical.  On my first attempt I failed to launch during a broad, long-lasting cycle. I believed there’d be more cycles as I waiting for my partner to finish setting up his electronics. I could have walked 30′ down the ramp to get out of his way and just launched there. By the time I decided to go the cycles were smaller in size. As a result I got an extended sledder. I did gain 140′ and could have crossed The Pond to the spur in the canyon. The trees upwind of the spur were shaking which is a good sign. I kept this in mind for the next attempt.

    By the time the three of us were set up, it was barely even cycling and nearly dead at times. I spent 13 minutes ready to launch as I just waited and heated up. I noticed the streamers go limp in the LZ and reasoned that a large blob of air would heat up and kick dust devils which it eventually did. I observed their paths carefully and this is why I made the decision to head West as soon as I got above launch.
    The trees around the Cross Country Ranch are an extremely effective indicator of the width, strength, duration and drift path of thermals coming through. Not all surface thermal pick up dust and become visible but the area of shaking trees and brush tell a lot about what’s coming your way. Birds are very useful if they are present.

    Spending time ready to launch but not launching can teach a great deal about spotting signs of lift and even sink. This can be very helpful when flying X/C whether low or high in addition to making low saves. Launching The 350 is essentially making a low save right from the start of the flight.

    The question of turning left or right or even straight from The 350 ramp depends on what the indicator of lift reveal. I highly recommend the 7-part video series of Joe Wurts lecturing the R/C glider guys.

    2021-09-04 350 RX2-190

    in reply to: Redlands Airport- Aerobatics Competition Sep. 3-5, 2021 #13722
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    NOTAM #: 08/072

    !RAL 08/072 REI AIRSPACE AEROBATIC AREA WI AN AREA DEFINED AS 1NM RADIUS OF 380526N1170909W (.3NM N REI) SFC-6500FT DLY 1400-0220 2109031400-2109060220

    BTW – The coordinates listed are for Tonopah AP and NOT Redlands Muni. I spoke to Larry at the city of Redlands and he said he’ll pass along the error to the AP mgr and get it corrected. I made sure to ID myself as their friendly local HG FWIW. 😀

    in reply to: The Path of a Helicopter’s Turbulence #13706
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Good information! I too have been rotor waked while hang gliding but did not have a severe issue due to my altitude. Let’s not forget what happened to Kevin Williams when he flew into the tip vortex of a fully-loaded fire bomber.
    Pro Tip: If an aircraft flies upwind and you begin to smell kerosene turn away immediately.

    in reply to: TFR South Fire, Fontana #13687
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Thursday….
    Nuke-9

    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Good news! On the very next day, the pilot and a good friend retrieved the PG and harness intact and they resuming flying. I am friends with this pilot and will assist with mentoring in X/C skills. They are receptive to positive mentoring.

    Here’s a positive mentoring tip: Anytime the LZ is out of gliding range, we are in X/C mode and need to find lift or locate another place to land safely. X/C is any flying that places us beyond easy reach of our regular LZ and is not limited ‘long’ distance flying. Plenty of pilots land out while flying locally. It’s a fact of life and one that does not need to become a drama. Let’s keep it upbeat people.

    in reply to: Incident report – Hangglider launch Marshall #12916
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    I agree with all of Tim’s sentiments but must caution that the upper launch is always sketchy for hang gliders unless you go off the very top of the West side when the wind is SW. That portion is steep and it’s easy to see whether or not the wind is filled in by the swaying of the wild grass. We had a blown launch from just below there a few weeks ago by a pilot on a topless who was negligent and unfamiliar with the nuances of top-launching. I must further caution that another pilot on a topless was nearly killed after top-launching in thermic conditions. In general it’s just safer to walk down to either ramp and get into the airflow along a steep drop-off.

    in reply to: Paragliders sighted above Hesperia Victorville #12915
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Hi Doug,
    You spotted a pair of Santa Barbara pilots–Neal & Michael who launched from Blackhawk and were headed West. There was also one HG–Willy from SB as well.
    Can I hit you up for a high desert drive and chase some time?
    Cheers,
    JonathanXCFind

    in reply to: Did someone land near the 215/15 Junction May 31? #12888
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    “It wasn’t me.” Bart Simpson

    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Suggested Corrective Action: Pedal faster, dammit!

    in reply to: Volunteer(s) Wanted – Tech Support #12436
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Bummer!!!! Sorry to see you go.

    in reply to: Soarable Wednesday 5-5-2021 #12298
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Great photo Ken! I wasn’t planning on flying today after yesterday’s adventure to the brewery but changed my mind after I looked at the forecast in the morning. Andy & I were going to go it alone until some spaces opened up last moment on the 130 SandyV. I launched around 255ish and flew to Crest Park 6.3 miles in 11-1/2 minutes without turning on my S3-155. From there it was a lot of work and turbulence until well after 5PM. In spite of exhaustion I landed correctly around 6:25 after a lot of fun and interactions with all kinds of birds, HGs and a few motorized Swifts.
    2021-05-05 Crestline S3-155a

    BJ2

    From Bruce’s Swift….
    IMG_20210505_215156 (2)

    in reply to: Sunday, May 2 2021 #12269
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Thanks for all the maintenance you do along with the others. Without our information infrastructure I would not have known to change my Sunday plans and get on the 2PM Atmosphere van.

    Short edit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUtJk6eE6U4

    I got set up and launched at 3:35PM from the top of Marshall at the West corner. I was flying my single surface floater HG. I climbed to 5600′ as I drifted back and avoided cloud suck on the way. I headed for the cloverleaf arriving at 5K and worked my way back up eventually topping above 58 at RnR. I may have been wiser to head out over the valley floor along the cloud bottoms but chose to cross the blue hole to Bayliss Park. I got there too low to connect and hit the cloud deck to the East. I soon found myself setting up to land in the park off of Old Waterman Cyn Rd and 18. I got a brief low save there and headed for the spine East of the resort. I connected there and climbed from 2500 to 5K as I drifted toward McKinley. McKinley wasn’t working and I jumped to Harrison which also wasn’t working. I worked the ridgeline with the homes on it South of Highland Ave and East of 330. I will remember this for the future because the ridge and the plowed field behind it are major thermal sources. I landed inside of a ground level thermal which carried me and extra 100′ or so. I plunked down getting my bar and pod dirty but it was fun playing in the ground thermal. Unable to get a ride or driver quickly I finally caught an Uber back. I gave the driver a good tip since he went through a lot of dust from the off-road people. Drove back to the field behind the American Legion hall and grabbed my wing hidden behind the trees with the GPS tracker inside and running.

    2021-05-02 Marshall Harrison RX2-190 a

    IMG_20210502_170848297

    in reply to: Breezy Tuesday 4-20-21 #12088
    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    So you opened the tie-down cover and the coiled rope sprang to life?
    Will it also stop the dogs from marking their territory on your sail in time?

    Rattle Tiedown