A Few Flights At The Little Hill

South Central New York Hang Glider Pilots' Association

A Few Flights At The Little Hill

Postby wingspan33 » Sun May 22, 2022 6:53 pm

Yesterday on May 21st, 2022 the wind was, on average, out of the SW at around 12-15 mph. It was sunny and hot at around 90 degrees F! That's warm around here for 2/3rds through May.

I decided that conditions were good for flying at the Little Hill, Erwins Hill, or Scott's Hill. It's only 40 -50 high but it faces SW and is kind of in the middle of "nowhere" and is not privately owned. So no "Posted" signs anywhere. :)

I think I got there around 3 pm and had my older WW Sport 150 as my glider of choice. I put up two streamers in "LZ", two steamers to either side of my launch spot on top of the hill, and one streamer just in front of me on the hill to my left side. I also have a streamer near the nose on my lower front flying wires.

The winds this close to the general ground level can be pretty variable and so many wind indicators can make it very clear when the wind is perfectly straight up the hill. As it turned out the wind varied from south to west but was straight up the hill at a nice speed quite often.

However, the wind wasn't always as strong in the grass at the bottom as it was only (let's say) 50 feet higher at launch. That's where the steamers down below helped a lot. The natural grass was about two feet high all over, top and bottom, so it was nice to be able to see wind speed and direction by looking at it as well as the streamers.

After getting set up I was able to get six flights of about ten seconds each for a total of more or less one FULL minute of air time! lol I can't remember the last time I got 6 flights in one day. But it was probably when I visited Dockweiler Beach for the Otto Lilienthal Fly In back in 2016. Carrying the glider back up the hill through that grass was a good work out and after the sixth flight it was time to call it quits. Best not to push things and make a mistake due to being overly tired. The glider stayed down below, got broken down, and I walked up only to drive my car down. It was soooo nice to only have to carry me up the hill that last time. :thumbup:

Last year I flew the same glider at the same hill once. That was in the fall and the wind had gone from good to on the slow side while I set the glider up. When I decided to take off I mushed into the air barely getting my feet off the ground before the ground - at the bottom of the hill - came up and snagged the base tube. This WHACK cause one down tube to snap. I had no replacements with me. Because pilots who are as experienced as I am, just don't break down tubes (except we DO, every once in a while :oops: ). Considering my last flight there last year these six very nice short flights were VERY welcome.

This flying site is also interesting because there is another elevation drop off of 10 - 15 feet about 100 - 150 yards out from the base of the main hill. The first glider I flew there (with Bob K) was 1981 UP Comet 165. It's glide took us about 1/2 to 2/3rds of the way to this second drop off point. We never really worried about getting to that out front drop off. Now, there is more field beyond that out front drop off, but there's also a large drainage ditch that crosses (under?) any possible flight path, should a person glide past that out front drop off. Would a glide take you over that 20 foot wide ditch? Hmmmmm.

My flights yesterday got me very close to that out front drop off. In fact, had I played my cards right, I think I could have extended my glide past the drop off and likely gotten a flight of twice the length. That drop off would have given me a slight boost since the wind had to flow up and over it too. And oddly enough, I seemed to float very nicely in the air just before landing on about half my flights. Had I had a little more speed I think I could have gotten an actual (small) "pop" as I flew over that drop off.

Not that I would fly it there but I do have a WW Talon 1. Its glide would easily go beyond that out front drop off. But it's higher landing speed may be a bit much for a fairly small "wild field" LZ.

Here are a couple screen captures from a video I was able to get. I'm going to see about putting that up on YouTube and posting a link to it here. :D :salute:
HGing At Little Hill1  5-21-22.jpg
Mid Flight
HGing At Little Hill2  5-21-22.jpg
Near Landing
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Re: A Few Flights At The Little Hill

Postby JoeF » Sun May 22, 2022 7:25 pm

Nice! Happy Otto L. ...B-D time. You did it!
Thanks for nice sharing!

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Re: A Few Flights At The Little Hill

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Mon May 23, 2022 5:42 am

JoeF wrote:Nice! Happy Otto L. ...B-D time. You did it!
Thanks for nice sharing!

Agreed!! It looks like you had some great Dockweiler-style flights, Scott!

Those flights with your WW Sport 150 look much better than our first attempts with your 1981 UP Comet 165 (nearly 5 years ago):

Scott_2017.jpg (96.68 KiB) Viewed 2091 times

Bob_2017.jpg (62.59 KiB) Viewed 2091 times

It's great to see you keeping up your flying at Scott Hill!   :thumbup: :wave: :salute:
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Re: A Few Flights At The Little Hill

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu May 26, 2022 1:43 pm

Thumbs up.
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