Page 1 of 11

Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 2:30 pm
by Bill Cummings
RobinHastings wrote:Thursday, May 12:
With the semester finally over (and our howling winds somewhat calmer) it looked to me like a good day to go fly Dry. Bill Cummings and I met Mike Ellsworth in the Cox Field LZ in Alamogordo at 11:00 am and by 1:00 pm MDT we were ready to take off at Dry Canyon launch. Conditions were odd, but not threatening: a thin but widespread overcast, and small cumulus popping up around the mountains and the Basin. It was about 75 degrees on launch, but much cooler at 11,000 ft MSL (see where this is heading?) I was first off at 1:20 pm, in my U2-160, and I shot right up about 50 ft. I worked lift up to a few hundred feet over launch, then left to find more lift and more altitude. Mike launched his T2C about 1:35 pm. We each found some good thermals, about a mile apart, and then I found a boomer, at the north end of the West Face. It took me from 7000 ft MSL (launch height) to 11,000. By then I had drifted north to La Luz, so I radioed Bill that I'd see what kind of XC flight I could make. He was willing to chase me - and so was Mike, for that matter; he consistently got higher than me as we went along, despite his VG cord having untied itself inside the glider. His highest altitude was 12,000 ft MSL, mine was 11,000. We worked one thermal together north of La Luz, then kept on - at first, to George & Velma Woodcock's "Big G LZ", and then on to Tularosa when we found that we still had plenty of altitude. (I took a thermal from 6000 ft to 10,000 ft - but, Mike was still 1000 ft above me.) We passed Tularosa, while Bill valiantly chased us in my Tacoma pickup truck. Eventually I could no longer deny that I had lost my precious altitude, and I set up a landing as Bill watched (and coached) about 5 miles north of Tularosa. I had a good touchdown in a rather brushy field. Bill helped me pack up the glider, then we moved on to find Mike. After a couple of false starts and turnarounds, we finally located him, about 3 miles further north from my landing spot. Both he and I had just under two hours in the air. Within an hour we had everything loaded, and were on our way to the Woodcock house, there to visit and recap the day's flying. We departed there at 6:00 pm, and headed home - Mike to Ruidoso, Bill and I back home to Las Cruces. The skies were clearing as we left. What a great day!
-Robin

(For more viewing tools like full screen, faster download, click on the link below or watch the embedded video below the link.)
https://youtu.be/Fg4KFFsb_YU

___________________________________________________________________
Tied down so it will not leave without Robin..JPG
Tied down so it will not leave without Robin..JPG (101.3 KiB) Viewed 1547 times

____________________________________________________________________
(West of launch Robin will beam up to 9k.)
XC 2 the N. under high clouds will be tough..JPG
XC 2 the N. under high clouds will be tough..JPG (28.35 KiB) Viewed 1547 times

____________________________________________________________________
Mike 20.8 mi. finds a good LZ. + 2hr. flt..JPG
Mike 20.8 mi. finds a good LZ. + 2hr. flt..JPG (79.11 KiB) Viewed 1547 times

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 5:54 pm
by RobinHastings
TUESDAY, MAY 17TH:
Bill Cummings, Keighley Hastings and I went to Dry Canyon launch today. Conditions were, to put it mildly, unsettled. Lots of clouds and sprinkles going overhead. But about 1:50, I think, I finally launched, into some sunshine and southerly winds, 10-12 mph. I was flying the Formula 144, with a newly installed vertical stabilizer, and it worked just fine - no turn in the glider, that I noticed, but good maneuverability. There were thermals out there, but hard to gain in, and between them there was lots of sink. I passed by Curt's Bluff about 50 feet above it, and landed well, in the desert a little east of Scenic Drive. (It's not a bad LZ in an emergency, though full of mesquite and creosote bushes.) Keighley and Bill got there in good time, and helped me carry out the glider and gear 100 feet to the waiting truck. We had some lunch at the Rockin' BZ Burger, and drove through a downpour across the Tularosa Basin to home base in Las Cruces. Not a bad day, despite the shortness of the flight - as they say in Minnesota, "It could be worse!"

Don't forget the Dry Canyon Fly-In, two weekends from now!
-Robin

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2016 9:12 pm
by RobinHastings
FRIDAY, MAY 20:
We had another epic day today at Dry Canyon. We had a huge hailstorm in Las Cruces on Wednesday afternoon, but the skies were clear today, except for small cumulus, and dry. Lots of dust devils appeared through the afternoon. Mike Ellsworth and I, with Bill driving for us (still healing his shoulder) launched at 1:44 and at 1:20 pm MDT, respectively. Being first off I scouted out the conditions, and tested out our adjustments to the Airwaves Formula 144. It flew beautifully. I got a good thermal near the Bowl and reached 8500 ft MSL (1500 over launch) then found a real boomer at the West Face, where I rose from 8000 ft to 14,000 - my highest in quite a while! It was cold up there... I went cross country to George & Velma's house, the Big G LZ, and reached it at 9000 ft MSL (about 4500 AGL). I planned to land, then caught another thermal, while talking to George on the radio. I got back up to 10,000 ft, but then hit a good deal of sink going north to Tularosa. I didn't have enough altitude, at 6000 ft, to reliably make it to LZ's on the north end, so I finally set up and landed perfectly, heading south, into an huge field by the Shell truck stop, on the town's south edge. I met Carl, a retired judge from Arkansas, out walking his dog, and he was pleased to offer his own field, just a bit further west, as a landing zone. (About 20 acres - even I could put it down into that!) My flight lasted 50 minutes. Bill picked me up about 2:30 pm, and then we went looking for Mike. By this time he was already well north of Tularosa, above 11,000 ft MSL in his T2C. We began the chase. But it wasn't until well past Carrizozo that we finally caught sight of Mike, a couple of thousand feet AGL. We continued chasing him all the way to Ancho, north of Carrizozo, where he set down into a huge field, a mile east of Highway 54. I made 10 miles, Mike made 72 - his longest flight so far. He had just under three hours in the air, and at times was speeding over the ground at 60 mph. We reached Cox Field in Alamogordo by 7:00 pm, and Bill and I reached home in Las Cruces by 8:45. It was a a lovely day. See how much you can pack into 12 hours? See you at the Fly-In next weekend!
-Robin

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 6:27 am
by SamKellner
Way to go :!: RGSA :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

:wave:

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 5:30 pm
by Bill Cummings
RobinHastings wrote:FRIDAY, MAY 20:
We had another epic day today at Dry Canyon. We had a huge hailstorm in Las Cruces on Wednesday afternoon, but the skies were clear today, except for small cumulus, and dry. Lots of dust devils appeared through the afternoon. Mike Ellsworth and I, with Bill driving for us (still healing his shoulder) launched at 1:44 and at 1:20 pm MDT, respectively. Being first off I scouted out the conditions, and tested out our adjustments to the Airwaves Formula 144. It flew beautifully. I got a good thermal near the Bowl and reached 8500 ft MSL (1500 over launch) then found a real boomer at the West Face, where I rose from 8000 ft to 14,000 - my highest in quite a while! It was cold up there... I went cross country to George & Velma's house, the Big G LZ, and reached it at 9000 ft MSL (about 4500 AGL). I planned to land, then caught another thermal, while talking to George on the radio. I got back up to 10,000 ft, but then hit a good deal of sink going north to Tularosa. I didn't have enough altitude, at 6000 ft, to reliably make it to LZ's on the north end, so I finally set up and landed perfectly, heading south, into an huge field by the Shell truck stop, on the town's south edge. I met Carl, a retired judge from Arkansas, out walking his dog, and he was pleased to offer his own field, just a bit further west, as a landing zone. (About 20 acres - even I could put it down into that!) My flight lasted 50 minutes. Bill picked me up about 2:30 pm, and then we went looking for Mike. By this time he was already well north of Tularosa, above 11,000 ft MSL in his T2C. We began the chase. But it wasn't until well past Carrizozo that we finally caught sight of Mike, a couple of thousand feet AGL. We continued chasing him all the way to Ancho, north of Carrizozo, where he set down into a huge field, a mile east of Highway 54. I made 10 miles, Mike made 72 - his longest flight so far. He had just under three hours in the air, and at times was speeding over the ground at 60 mph. We reached Cox Field in Alamogordo by 7:00 pm, and Bill and I reached home in Las Cruces by 8:45. It was a a lovely day. See how much you can pack into 12 hours? See you at the Fly-In next weekend!
-Robin

Mike found the Mylar in the right wing to be all folded up.
http://www.grafixplastics.com/mylar_what.asp
Here is the video of Robin's flight.
If you want full screen and other youtube tools to work like speed and resolution options click on the link under this line.
https://youtu.be/SRxirgbiCCw

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 1:00 pm
by RobinHastings
Nice video, Bill! It shows the care we've been taking with that glider - you, me, and Mike. Well edited! And isn't that pilot a sky god? 12 miles, oh my! (Ignore the number "72", folks. Means nothing...)
-Robin

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:58 pm
by Bill Cummings
I did a copy/paste from the, "Flying Possibilities," thread to this, "Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)" thread so as to save me some typing while I added the YouTube video at the bottom. It took a while to get permission to post.
Bill Cummings wrote:Mike and I talked on the phone last night about flying for Saturday at Dry Canyon Alamogordo, New Mexico (USA).
I emailed Taro. He lives in El Paso with his wife and son. Taro emailed back that he would meet us at the Cox Field Landing Zone (LZ) at 10:30 Sat. morning.

Just as I was getting to Alamogordo Saturday morning Robin called to say that bicycling without his missing wallet was too disconcerting. He was going to return home :clap: and start the process of putting new paperwork together for his new wallet. (What's in your wallet?)

As is usually the case the weather decided to disobey the favorable soaring forecast. Mike was having second thoughts as he was pulling out from his place.
When I had left Las Cruces I was looking south in Taro's direction to see dark clouds that might already mean rain for the El Paso area. :?

We would have to be ready to launch before more over development east of launch over the Southern Sacramento Mountains.

I brought the Falcon 2, that Mike and I each went half ownership on, for Taro to fly. Taro is looking to buy a good second hand glider so if any of you readers out there has one for sale leave word of it here so we can talk to you about it.

I volunteered to drive and soon Mike and Taro were set up. Mike launched at 1:36 and Taro used Mike as the wind dummy to figure out if conditions were sink, neutral, or lift. Mike radioed down that he was getting 800'/min., down between thermals. That is too much sink for a Falcon 2 to make the LZ on glide due to the LZ being 3.4 miles to the west.

Taro and I bagged the Falcon to chase Mike as he flew to the north to move away from the over development to our east and possible rain way off to the SSW.

The sinking air between thermals put Mike on the ground close to an hour later on the south edge of Tularosa, 12 miles NNW of launch.
We all had to scramble to take down Mikes glider as a gust front from the rain coming from Alamogordo made it to us with luckily only 30 mph wind.

To be able to use full screen and other YouTube resolution features click on the URL below.
https://youtu.be/umTBKNJo8pA
Or-- you can click on the screen below and watch the embedded video here. (Which will leave here and take you to YouTube.)

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:55 pm
by RobinHastings
Nice work on the launching and the recording of Mike's flight, Bill. And to Taro, for wisely deciding not to fly, despite the long drive to the site - it's a smart pilot who's willing to learn from others in the air. Good flight, Mike! You got some serious altitude there!
-Robin

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:33 pm
by RobinHastings
EVENING FLIGHT, June 21, 2016:
I met up with PG pilot Johnathan "Gabe" Hagan about 5:00 pm today in the Cox Field LZ in Alamogordo. When our driver Matt Loy arrived, with his friends Dustin and Matt in a Jeep, we were all set to go. Gabe had already enjoyed a long flight at Dry Canyon with Jan Zschenderlein, so he knew the way to the PG launch; I set up my Blade 141 while our helpers went down to watch Gabe take to the air. He did so at about 6:45 pm; I was ready to fly by 7:30, after all of our crew had looked over the glider and given me a hang check. I launched well into a light breeze from the south/southwest. There wasn't a lot of lift that would get me up, but the air was buoyant. I worked a few thermals but didn't gain much in them, then headed for Cox Field. I set up a good southwest approach, and landed pretty well. Meanwhile Gabe, who'd gotten up to 1,000 ft over launch, was having an excellent flight, and about 8:15 he finally touched down again in the NW corner of Cox Field, just as I finished packing up. Great flying! And an exemplary twilight landing. (Well, he flies F-16's for a living. And Matt Loy is a light plane pilot.) Everyone who watched was pretty impressed by both types of foot-launched aviation. Maybe we'll be hearing from these guys.
-Robin

Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:13 pm
by PatrickHarveyCollard
Looking forward to the Columbus Day fly-in!