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Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:57 pm

More pictures that inspire common sense (some may think it fear) but we are very brave pilots :roll:
What would you do.JPG
What would you do.JPG (22.75 KiB) Viewed 331 times

Let us bag it and drag it..JPG
Let us bag it and drag it..JPG (18.21 KiB) Viewed 331 times
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:04 pm

Yep. That's why we're still alive and flying. "There's old pilots, and bold pilots, but you don't find many old bold pilots."
-Robin
PS - I went out to Volcanic Peak this evening with Nancy. The road from the highway to the railroad tracks has been graded recently and is in excellent shape. The section past it is passable, but I put the truck into 4WD after the second or third puddle. Not as bad as the Corralitos Road to Mag Rim, but it'll be nice when it dries out. The landing zone is GREEN.
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:55 am

Looks scary enough to keep my feet on the ground!!!

There's a well known corollary to the scarcity of old bold pilots:

It's better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air ...
   ... than to be in the air wishing you were on the ground!!

Keep making the smart calls Robin. :clap:
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:48 pm

Sunday, Sept. 10:
It was a pretty nice day at Dry Canyon. A month ago I tried to fly and was driven away by malicious weather, reminiscent of the Hurricane Irma that's pounded the Caribbean this week. This day the skies were blue, the winds were perfect, and the thermals were abundant. I launched at 1:25 pm MDT and almost immediately climbed up to 8500 ft MSL (1500 over launch) despite having a non-working vario. (They need batteries every few years - who knew?) My radio didn't work too well after half an hour, either (see above) but well enough that Bill was able to briefly coach me and keep track of my location. I found the thermals a little bumpy, but not bad, and made it up to 9000 ft twice, out by the West Face. I headed to the Cox Field LZ after 50 minutes, and had (for me) a perfect landing right at the 1-hour mark. Bill was there to give me the wind direction, so it wasn't all my doing - but it felt pretty good. We got the glider packed and were on our way by 3:15, and home in Las Cruces well before 5:00. It was a lovely day to be out in the mountains - and NOT in Florida.

Don't forget the Columbus Day Gathering one month from this weekend!
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:47 am

RobinHastings wrote:Sunday, Sept. 10:
It was a pretty nice day at Dry Canyon. A month ago I tried to fly and was driven away by malicious weather, reminiscent of the Hurricane Irma that's pounded the Caribbean this week. This day the skies were blue, the winds were perfect, and the thermals were abundant. I launched at 1:25 pm MDT and almost immediately climbed up to 8500 ft MSL (1500 over launch) despite having a non-working vario. (They need batteries every few years - who knew?) My radio didn't work too well after half an hour, either (see above) but well enough that Bill was able to briefly coach me and keep track of my location. I found the thermals a little bumpy, but not bad, and made it up to 9000 ft twice, out by the West Face. I headed to the Cox Field LZ after 50 minutes, and had (for me) a perfect landing right at the 1-hour mark. Bill was there to give me the wind direction, so it wasn't all my doing - but it felt pretty good. We got the glider packed and were on our way by 3:15, and home in Las Cruces well before 5:00. It was a lovely day to be out in the mountains - and NOT in Florida.

Don't forget the Columbus Day Gathering one month from this weekend!
-Robin

https://youtu.be/K2iObEy7CB8

Sunday while my GoPro was up at 8,500' on the keel of Robin's Hang Glider I also had a seperate radio with an earplug running to the GoPro. This was so that the GoPro would capture radio traffic between the pilot and the ground crew. While editing this video at home I was surprised to hear radio communications between Max and Patrick flying XC from Sandia Peak at Albuquerque NM over 156 miles to the north of Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM. Max was at 14.5K MSL I'm wondering if the signal was ducting in the inversion layer to make that trip on 4 watts on 151.925 meg·a·hertz.
Almost fell off my chair!
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:38 am

That was a very nice video, Bill. Amazing that we could hear Max Montgomery over that distance (on the radio that worked, I mean). It was a good flight and the conditions were exemplary. Maybe I could have gone XC - but not without a radio and a vario. That'll be a lesson to me to check my equipment...
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:59 pm

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2017:
I had a good flying day at Dry Canyon once again. Bill Cummings volunteered to drive once again, and by noon I was at the launch ramp in my U2-160. Skies were cloudless. Temperatures probably peaked around 75 or 80 F at launch this day, and winds were out of the southwest about 15 mph at the ramp. I had a perfect launch with Bill on the nose wires. I went up about 50 feet, and worked the lift around launch, briefly, before heading down the ridge. I eventually found a good thermal at the west end of the Bowl, and took it up to 9000 ft MSL (2000 over launch). By the time I topped out in it, I was over the Upper Meadow on the Dry Canyon road. I decided to head northwest over to La Luz, and so go crosswind instead of trying to fight my way upwind to the Cox Field LZ. On the way I reached 9000 feet again, but mostly hit sink, and finally reached the La Luz launch area at 6500 ft (500 above the launch). I reached 7000 ft again in thermals near the landing zone, but couldn't seem to get up much higher, and finally made the safe decision to go for the landing zone instead of more XC. I'd been having good, smooth air up until then, but as I got closer to the ground it got more and more switchy and turbulent. I finally made a southwest approach into the huge field, keeping up airspeed but guessing at what the winds would do. When I flared at last, the right wing lifted up high, as the winds switched west, and I made a much rougher touchdown than I did 10 days ago at Cox Field. Nevertheless, no aluminum required recycling. I fought the squirrely winds and breezes all the way across the field to the road, where Bill and I soon had glider and gear taken down and packed up on my truck. We stopped for burgers at the Rockin' BZ, and made it home to Las Cruces by 4:00 pm. I'd have sure liked a better landing, but really, it was another exemplary day of airtime. A great way to finish off the very last days of summer 2017.

See you at our Columbus Day Gathering next month!
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:06 pm

RobinHastings wrote:WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2017:
I had a good flying day at Dry Canyon once again. Bill Cummings volunteered to drive once again, and by noon I was at the launch ramp in my U2-160. Skies were cloudless. Temperatures probably peaked around 75 or 80 F at launch this day, and winds were out of the southwest about 15 mph at the ramp. I had a perfect launch with Bill on the nose wires. I went up about 50 feet, and worked the lift around launch, briefly, before heading down the ridge. I eventually found a good thermal at the west end of the Bowl, and took it up to 9000 ft MSL (2000 over launch). By the time I topped out in it, I was over the Upper Meadow on the Dry Canyon road. I decided to head northwest over to La Luz, and so go crosswind instead of trying to fight my way upwind to the Cox Field LZ. On the way I reached 9000 feet again, but mostly hit sink, and finally reached the La Luz launch area at 6500 ft (500 above the launch). I reached 7000 ft again in thermals near the landing zone, but couldn't seem to get up much higher, and finally made the safe decision to go for the landing zone instead of more XC. I'd been having good, smooth air up until then, but as I got closer to the ground it got more and more switchy and turbulent. I finally made a southwest approach into the huge field, keeping up airspeed but guessing at what the winds would do. When I flared at last, the right wing lifted up high, as the winds switched west, and I made a much rougher touchdown than I did 10 days ago at Cox Field. Nevertheless, no aluminum required recycling. I fought the squirrely winds and breezes all the way across the field to the road, where Bill and I soon had glider and gear taken down and packed up on my truck. We stopped for burgers at the Rockin' BZ, and made it home to Las Cruces by 4:00 pm. I'd have sure liked a better landing, but really, it was another exemplary day of airtime. A great way to finish off the very last days of summer 2017.

See you at our Columbus Day Gathering next month!
-Robin

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

Postby RobinHastings » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:19 am

Thank you very much for that video, Bill. Your comm expertise (and video skills) are making every flight a notable adventure, to relive into perpetuity. (But not the landings - I'll need to exit before the landings...) Good advice on how to use my radio microphone, too. Unlike "real life", on the radio it seems that people are really listening!
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:10 pm

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2017:
I got to fly today with Buzz Nelson and Steve Seibel, the latter a hang glider pilot from Oregon who has been doing some bird counts here in New Mexico. Our driver was my friend Jim Mott, the retired large-animal vet I know in High Rolls. We rolled up there to pick Jim up, then went straight from there to Dry Canyon launch in my Tacoma. Buzz launched first in his PG and had about 85 minutes in the air, playing with light, shifty thermals. He got well above launch height, and sometimes below it, but he proved that you should never give up. He landed perfectly in the LZ, about 15 feet from his intended target. I launched at 2:05 and had an extended sled run; I made some circles but the thermals just weren't lifting me. I reached Cox Field with 300 feet, though, and had a reasonable landing for about 10 minutes of airtime. Steve did real well. In his second flight at Dry (he was here at Columbus Day) he reached 7400 ft MSL in his Sport 2 135, and had about half an hour in the air. His landing was superb, right between the sprinklers, and he was pretty pleased at the airtime. He'll be heading up to Kansas and then out to Oregon again, but I hope we'll see him here anew. The day was lovely, blue and warm with a high in the 70's. Considering what some other parts of the country are getting, what can we complain about? It was nice to be in the Alamogordo air again.
-Robin
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