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Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon May 20, 2019 5:47 pm

RobinHastings wrote:Sunday, May 19, 2019:
This was Juan Mira's last flight at Dry Canyon, before leaving New Mexico. He made it a good one! Bill Cummings and I met up with Juan's family from Colombia in the Cox Field LZ about 10:00 am - Juan, his sister Laura, mother Loria (?) and father Miguel. When we reached Dry Canyon launch the winds were coming in 15 to 18 mph up the ramp, so Juan and I began setting up. Bill decided that the Fun-to-Effort Ratio (FRE) wasn't quite high enough today - indeed, there was a substantial cloud cover over launch and the Tularosa Basin. I was first to take off, in my newly-acquired Sport2 155. It flew beautifully, and I had a perfect launch in smooth winds, gaining 500 feet before Juan launched 5 minutes later, in his Airwaves Vision Mark 4 17. I went up to 8200' MSL (1200 over launch) and watched Juan down below, then moved west along the ridge. Juan was at 8000' 10 minutes into his flight, since he was level with me about then. I left him soaring the ridge above his admiring family, and went to the West Face. I worked some small thermals there (and going there) but nothing strong until I caught one at the north end, and went from 6000' to 9000'. I was actually closer to La Luz than to Cox Field when I topped out, drifting north, but had no problem getting to our designated LZ. The winds there were strong south, and I had an excellent first landing in the new glider, for about 45 minutes of airtime. The truck (with Bill driving - thank you!) arrived about 5 minutes after I did. Juan had an hour and five minutes, and a fine landing as well, skimming across the field and porpoising a bit before a soft touchdown. His dad flew hang gliders for 15 years, and seemed pretty pleased at Juan's performance. Well, so were Bill and I. That young man has a natural knack for the air - it's too bad that he just graduated and will be leaving the area. His family (very fine folks!) took us all to lunch at the Chinese buffet, then headed out to White Sands to enjoy another of New Mexico's natural wonders. Bill and I got home to Las Cruces about 6:30. We will sure miss Juan, and his family - but except for that, it was a very fine day.
-Robin

https://youtu.be/zZp_y57yzSE
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Mon May 20, 2019 7:59 pm

Well done, Bill! I think Juan is going to watch that video many a time as his life goes on. I'm glad the GoPro battery hung on long enough!
-Robin
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby SamKellner » Tue May 21, 2019 6:00 pm

Good going ! RGSA

Is that a tow bridle on Juan's harness?
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed May 22, 2019 7:42 pm

Zipper opening cord. :wave:
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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby SamKellner » Thu May 23, 2019 7:37 pm

Okay :? Thanks Bill :salute:

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Re: Dry Canyon Alamogordo, NM (USA)

Postby RobinHastings » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:32 pm

Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019:
A pleasant day at Dry Canyon today. Temperatures about 80 degrees at launch, skies mostly clear with some puffy cumulus. Winds were light and westerly. Bill Cummings drove for me today, and we reached the launch (after filling in one major hole in the road with rocks) about 11:15 MDT. We did some launch maintenance, finding and marking the tiedown points and cleaning up a pile of nails from beside a campfire site. My Sport 2 was ready to fly at 1:00 pm but the winds were a long way from soarable. I finally took a slightly stronger cycle at 1:18. "Stronger" does not imply "strong", and I didn't find much lift. (7000 ft MSL was my highest altitude. And then I launched...) The air was mostly buoyant as I went west along the ridge, and I worked a weak thermal in the Bowl for 50 or 100 feet of gain. Then I went around the corner to the West Face, where the lift was negative. I regained a bit of altitude around 6000 ft MSL and when I lost that, headed out to the LZ. I noticed two things as I approached at 100 feet: 1) My flag was missing, and 2) Our windsock is getting pretty ragged. Wind, as expected, was light and variable, but I pulled off a late flare and acceptable landing, finding myself once again glad that my glider has wheels. I had an 18-minute extended sled ride, on a perfectly lovely day, with lunch an hour later at BZ Burgers and arrival home at 4:30 pm. (Bill, myself, and my wife Nancy then took a drive to check out the road to Magdalena Rim - but that's another subject.) Autumn is almost here, and the Columbus Day Gathering is coming soon!
-Robin
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