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Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

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Re: Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:36 am

RobinHastings wrote:WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2017:
Bill Cummings picked me up in Las Cruces about 7:00 this morning and we drove straight up to the Little Floridas launch near Deming. (Straight, but not fast - the fog this morning was amazing.) On launch we were greeted by sunshine while the distant fog banks dissipated. We put the damaged plywood ramp back together, using bolts, wingnuts and lots of rocks. It is now in place in a location about 30 feet from where it began its unscheduled soaring flight sometime last year. We were done by a little after noon, and at 1:25 I ran down the ramp and lifted off smoothly for a lovely, 45-minute soaring flight. Lots of cumulus, beautiful blue skies, temperature about 50 degrees - it was a really nice day. I had a pretty good landing, considering the switchy winds, out in the LZ a 4:1 glide from launch. Bill and I completed the workday by filling in several gullies across the dirt road, building dams in the hopes that this Saturday's coming rain will fill them in with silt. We stopped for sandwiches, and reached home base in Las Cruces by 4:30 pm. When so much of the country is in the deep freeze, a day like this is a privilege indeed!
-Robin

Fog in the desert valley - not usual.JPG
Fog in the desert valley - not usual.JPG (107.99 KiB) Viewed 411 times

https://youtu.be/o7-f1CgGno0

Robin H. Thermaling up Jan 18 2017.JPG
Robin H. Thermaling up Jan 18 2017.JPG (15.68 KiB) Viewed 411 times

Airtime 46 min. 52 sec. Jan 18 2017 L. Florida Mts..JPG
Airtime 46 min. 52 sec. Jan 18 2017 L. Florida Mts..JPG (96.09 KiB) Viewed 411 times
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L. Florida Mt. Deming NM (USA) 2-1-17

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:01 pm

I wanted to run off a cliff and Robin volunteered to assist in that endeavor. Now I'm wondering if we were both on the same page.
Anyway -- He was real helpful getting all my stuff over near the edge so that I could follow my wishes to run off of a cliff. It's just a good thing I was hooked to a hang glider otherwise my whole day could have been messed up.
It took me until 2:53 pm to be ready and I was quite surprised that we weren't blown out.
I took an hour and eleven minute flight. Thermals were there even though it was Feb. 1, 2017 but I couldn't find any strong enough to break through the inversion layer about 1,000' over the launch. That would be enough to get far enough over the back (east) but made for a low operating band for a cross country flight.
Robin took some still pictures three of which I put at the end of my embedded YouTube video.
Thanks again Robin. Without you I'd be finished with hang gliding. :salute: :D
https://youtu.be/dzx3LL-vIDQ
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Re: Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:52 pm

The forecast was wrong for the Little Floridas today. Instead of blown out it was LV to 5 in Deming. Robin had to wait for a thermal in order to launch.
Robin lowering the portable ramp into place..JPG
Robin lowering the portable ramp into place..JPG (54.46 KiB) Viewed 364 times

https://youtu.be/CEbnFlpsRb4

Robin 02-21-2017 L. Florida Mt..JPG
Robin 02-21-2017 L. Florida Mt..JPG (32.63 KiB) Viewed 364 times

02-21-2017 Robin with Dragon Ridge background..JPG
02-21-2017 Robin with Dragon Ridge background..JPG (30.3 KiB) Viewed 364 times

02-21-2017 Robin with Big Florida Mts background..JPG
02-21-2017 Robin with Big Florida Mts background..JPG (20.02 KiB) Viewed 364 times
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Re: Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:17 pm

Nice video, Bill! And a dramatic landing... (Do you think I might have flared too soon?)
-Robin
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Re: Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:32 am

RobinHastings wrote:Nice video, Bill! And a dramatic landing... (Do you think I might have flared too soon?)
-Robin

There but for the grace of God --- go I.
As for me I've been told:
(And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?)
My own saying: Note the Karma of my own kinked Aluminum should I be so stupid as to open my mouth. :shh: :angel: :srofl:
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Re: Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:52 pm

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15: RETURN TO THE LITTLE FLORIDAS
Bill Cummings called me up last night with the odd idea that a spring day at the Little Floridas could be good for us both. (Yeah, I know it's another week until the Vernal Equinox - but it sure doesn't feel like winter anymore. Or a typical New Mexico duststorm spring, either.) Well, it was good for us. The mountains are brilliant with golden poppies, and we had a lovely drive up to the top in mild, 80-degree conditions. I flipped a coin when we arrived - Bill called tails, and it came up heads. (He should know better than to let me use my own coin! Heh, heh.) So I got to do a launch in the Formula 144, at 2:40 pm MDT. Winds were coming up the ramp about 15 mph, and conditions were clear and thermally, with a few high contrails and cirrus. As soon as I went off the ramp I went up, and left, worked some S-turns by the ramp, then sped off to the Bowl, just south of us. I startled a herd of 10 to 12 ibex as I went over - beautiful creatures. In the Bowl I caught good thermals (one of which contained a redtail hawk!) which took me up 1000 feet but kept drifting me from northwest to southeast. Looking out that way, I saw pretty much the same country that Butch Cassidy, Kid Curry and the Wild Bunch roamed (i.e., there's not a road in sight). I worked thermals up and down for a few minutes. Then, as I finally caught The Good One, the winds went west, and I thermalled up and over the back. At 8500 ft MSL (3000 over launch height) I called Bill and let him know I was committed to XC now. I reached 9500' MSL as I headed northeast, over the flatlands, for the frontage road (Hwy 549) that parallels Interstate 10 to Las Cruces. I slowly sank, though. Not much to get up in out there, but enough to maintain and drift in, a few more miles, until finally I set it down in a perfect field with a perfect landing, 50 minutes and 8.6 miles from the launch. A really nice guy from Columbus Electric stopped by to see if I was OK, and we visited a few minutes until Bill caught up with me. The nice guy took off, and the pilots (such as we are) got the glider packed up soon after. We got some sandwiches and were back in Las Cruces by 6:00 pm. Like I say - it was good for us. (Or, certainly, for me.) Next time it's Bill's turn - regardless of whether it's heads or tails.
-Robin
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Re: Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:27 am

RobinHastings wrote:WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15: RETURN TO THE LITTLE FLORIDAS
Bill Cummings called me up last night with the odd idea that a spring day at the Little Floridas could be good for us both. (Yeah, I know it's another week until the Vernal Equinox - but it sure doesn't feel like winter anymore. Or a typical New Mexico duststorm spring, either.) Well, it was good for us. The mountains are brilliant with golden poppies, and we had a lovely drive up to the top in mild, 80-degree conditions. I flipped a coin when we arrived - Bill called tails, and it came up heads. (He should know better than to let me use my own coin! Heh, heh.) So I got to do a launch in the Formula 144, at 2:40 pm MDT. Winds were coming up the ramp about 15 mph, and conditions were clear and thermally, with a few high contrails and cirrus. As soon as I went off the ramp I went up, and left, worked some S-turns by the ramp, then sped off to the Bowl, just south of us. I startled a herd of 10 to 12 ibex as I went over - beautiful creatures. In the Bowl I caught good thermals (one of which contained a redtail hawk!) which took me up 1000 feet but kept drifting me from northwest to southeast. Looking out that way, I saw pretty much the same country that Butch Cassidy, Kid Curry and the Wild Bunch roamed (i.e., there's not a road in sight). I worked thermals up and down for a few minutes. Then, as I finally caught The Good One, the winds went west, and I thermalled up and over the back. At 8500 ft MSL (3000 over launch height) I called Bill and let him know I was committed to XC now. I reached 9500' MSL as I headed northeast, over the flatlands, for the frontage road (Hwy 549) that parallels Interstate 10 to Las Cruces. I slowly sank, though. Not much to get up in out there, but enough to maintain and drift in, a few more miles, until finally I set it down in a perfect field with a perfect landing, 50 minutes and 8.6 miles from the launch. A really nice guy from Columbus Electric stopped by to see if I was OK, and we visited a few minutes until Bill caught up with me. The nice guy took off, and the pilots (such as we are) got the glider packed up soon after. We got some sandwiches and were back in Las Cruces by 6:00 pm. Like I say - it was good for us. (Or, certainly, for me.) Next time it's Bill's turn - regardless of whether it's heads or tails.
-Robin


A Spaniard explorer named the mountains after this poppy.JPG
A Spaniard explorer named the mountains after this poppy.JPG (153 KiB) Viewed 275 times

Name sake of the Florida Mountains..JPG
Name sake of the Florida Mountains..JPG (116.3 KiB) Viewed 275 times

https://youtu.be/CpEauhBiJ58

Beaming up over the back..JPG
Beaming up over the back..JPG (30.91 KiB) Viewed 275 times

Let's bag it and drag it..JPG
Let's bag it and drag it..JPG (100.88 KiB) Viewed 275 times

8.6 miles over the back..JPG
8.6 miles over the back..JPG (64.49 KiB) Viewed 275 times

Say Robin - Could I have a look at that coin.JPG
Say Robin - Could I have a look at that coin.JPG (74.45 KiB) Viewed 275 times

Snapshot 1 (3-15-2017 8-06 PM).png
Snapshot 1 (3-15-2017 8-06 PM).png (680.45 KiB) Viewed 275 times
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Re: Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:39 am

The snapshots are really good. Those poppies come up maybe once in a decade, when we get a good, wet winter. (January was the 4th wettest ever recorded here.)
-Robin
Last edited by RobinHastings on Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:40 am

Thanks so much for that video, Bill. I'll be reminiscing about that flight for years to come...
-Robin
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Re: Little Florida Mountain, Deming NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:55 pm

FRIDAY, JUNE 30:
Bill Cummings and I always seem to have adventures at the Little Floridas. No exception today - it just wasn't the adventures we expected. We left Las Cruces just after 8:00 am, and arrived at the Little Floridas launch site about 10:15. Unfortunately it was only on 3 tires - one was completely flat, as we parked. Uh, oh. (And you know, the wind was coming right up the launch ramp... I checked.) Bill and I put in two cans of Fix-A-Flat in that left front tire, and a total of 4 plugs into the hole, and ran his compressor for about an hour, all without persuading it to stand up and take responsibility for itself. We finally spent another half hour putting on the spare tire, and at least that long pumping it up (who thinks to check their spare?) until the power to the compressor suddenly shut off. At that point we had enough air to make it work, and finally headed down to Big O Tires in Deming. Two hours after that we were on our way, back up to the Little Floridas launch, ready to take advantage of the good conditions: clear and hot, with thermals abundant and winds out of the west. We got there about 4:30. We checked the launch ramp. Perfect winds, right up the ramp, about 15 mph - and with gusts, when they came, of 30 to 35. Even I don't have enough enthusiasm to be launching into gust factors of 100%! We nodded sagely, returned to Bill's XTerra, and started back down the road yet again (after first doing a search for my missing wristwatch - which Bill spotted right where it had fallen from my wrist). Home in Las Cruces by 6:45, not unhappy with the day - after all, we were out in some beautiful country throughout most of it. Better luck next time - if the winds and all the supporting mechanisms cooperate.
-Robin
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