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Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby Bill Cummings » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:20 am

RobinHastings wrote:Wednesday, October 30, 2019:
I had already done some flying this week, a nice Saturday afternoon at Magdalena Rim - but, when the winds are right, you have to go! (The last time we flew here was in November, almost a year ago.) A cold front blew through our region today, bringing strong NE winds and some chilly temperatures. I thought, at noon, things looked like a blowout, but Bill Cummings said, "If you don't have anything better to do today, let's check out the road - and maybe it'll be flyable." Well, the road out to Volcanic Peak was looking pretty good - and the conditions, given a lull to launch in, were flyable indeed. We got to the launch by 2:00 pm MDT (and don't forget, we're back on Standard Time this Sunday). The winds were coming in at 20+ mph, right up the ramp, but when I stood there with my Sport 2 it was already trying to fly. I waited until the winds lulled to 15-18 mph, and I had control of the glider. Bill cleared right out of the way, I got about one step in and I was flying, rising up and turning right. The ridge lift was good; it didn't take long to get 100 ft over launch height, at this 375-foot hill. Just making S-turns today, I made it up to 400 ft over. (Sometimes I sank down to 50 or 100, but there was usually something to sustain me right after that.) After 25 minutes of smooth ridge lift flying (and occasional thermals) I headed out when I got back down to ridge height. Heading upwind, with no additional lift, I ended up 100 yards short of the flag, landing in the creosote bushes but doing it fairly well, for me. Duration was about 30 minutes of real fun airtime, and I am ever grateful to Bill for a) Suggesting it and b) Making it happen. Isn't autumn wonderful?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd2EhYfotIM
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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby RobinHastings » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:58 am

What a nice video, Bill! Well edited and captioned. It captures the essence of what a fun site this can be - as long as the launch goes well.
-Robin
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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:58 pm

Billman and Robin - my favorite winged crusaders!!

Nice flying Robin, and nice video work Bill. :)
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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby RobinHastings » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:16 pm

FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 2020:
It was a beautiful clear day in Southern New Mexico - visibility at least 60 miles, and not a cloud. Chilly in the morning, but by noon the temperature was around 50 F. And we had north winds! Those are ideal for Volcanic Peak. After Bill decided it was too chilly for his taste, I came over as pilot instead of driver, and at 10:30 we headed out to Volcanic Peak. There I launched my Sport 2 in a 15 mph NE wind. At first I did fine, getting 50-100 feet above the launch, but the winds today were intermittent. After several passes I found myself getting low at the east end of the ridge, and headed out for the landing zone. I hit a number of bumps on the way, but nothing big enough to circle in, so I just continued on out, and had a fine landing among bushes not far from the road. It was a short flight, but very pleasant, and, hey, it's January. I've heard rumors that there are pilots in this country not flying at all, right now... Thanks, Bill, for making it happen today!
-Robin
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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby Bill Cummings » Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:28 pm

RobinHastings wrote:FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 2020:
It was a beautiful clear day in Southern New Mexico - visibility at least 60 miles, and not a cloud. Chilly in the morning, but by noon the temperature was around 50 F. And we had north winds! Those are ideal for Volcanic Peak. After Bill decided it was too chilly for his taste, I came over as pilot instead of driver, and at 10:30 we headed out to Volcanic Peak. There I launched my Sport 2 in a 15 mph NE wind. At first I did fine, getting 50-100 feet above the launch, but the winds today were intermittent. After several passes I found myself getting low at the east end of the ridge, and headed out for the landing zone. I hit a number of bumps on the way, but nothing big enough to circle in, so I just continued on out, and had a fine landing among bushes not far from the road. It was a short flight, but very pleasant, and, hey, it's January. I've heard rumors that there are pilots in this country not flying at all, right now... Thanks, Bill, for making it happen today!
-Robin

https://youtu.be/bZivvz9oEEA
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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:40 pm

Great job of editing, Bill. I was leaning side to side in my chair here, trying to make that pilot turn when he should have! Thanks again for making that flight possible. Let's see what the weather does this week, eh?
-Robin
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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby RobinHastings » Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:53 pm

Sunday, Feb. 22, 2021:
It's been, m'gosh, a YEAR since anybody flew this site. Is the road still there? How about the LZ? What if the mountain had vanished? I'm happy to say that none of that was the case. Seeing as how the wind was supposed to be NNW today, at reasonable strength, and a temperature far above freezing under cloudless skies, I decided to give it a try. I gave one of my fellow gymnastics coaches a call, and Merrick Allen was up for an adventure! He also brought Hanah O'Hara (girlfriend and gymnastics coach) and Amanda (?) a retired gymnast. The more the merrier! We got to the launch about noon, but the winds were not as forecast. They were more like WNW, and light. But after exploring the site for half an hour, I suddenly noticed the wind coming in, strong enough and straight enough. Thermal cycles, maybe, but that's still worth taking off in. We set up my WW Sport2, with me giving all kinds of lectures on hang gliding as we did, and at 1:55 I had a wind that looked pretty good. I was using a new launch that faces due north, that Bill & I "found" on our last visit to the site, very close to our usual NE launch. I yelled "Clear!" and barreled down the ramp, as Merrick hit the dirt, and the women got some video from the side. Smooth takeoff, and I immediately turned right. I made several passes, getting up near the peak at the east end and above launch at the other, while my friends cheered me on. Then I got dumped, and from long experience knew I'd better head right out. I had a perfect landing near the flag, and before I could even start tearing down the glider, there was the truck with plenty of help. We had the glider loaded in short order, then headed home to Las Cruces, where I treated the crew to a late lunch at Andele's mexican restaurant. A good day, and even if it was just an extended sledder, I sure enjoyed the airtime. This is one of the funnest sites we have.
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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby RobinHastings » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:07 pm

Here's a picture from Feb. 21, 2021. My launch crew!
-Robin

VolcanicPeak_02-21-21.PNG
Left to right, Amanda, Hanah and Merrick. WW Sport2 in background, looking north.
VolcanicPeak_02-21-21.PNG (1.36 MiB) Viewed 291 times
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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby Frank Colver » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:44 am

This brought back memories of the day that Bob K and I were guided on a tour of several nearby sites By Bill C while were were spending the weekend at his place. Volcanic Peak was the last one we visited. Robin's earlier video and this latest flight description brought back good memories of that enjoyable day. It didn't involve any flying but it was great to become familiar with some of the local NM flying sites. It was nice to be able to recognize and remember the terrain as I looked at and read Robin's account of those two latest Volcanic Peak flying adventures. I remember the launch at VP being a little short in my mind but he certainly got airborne quickly in the breeze that was blowing. I also remember thinking the open LZ area seemed a little far out there and kudos to Robin for making it to the edge on the earlier flight. I noticed in his description of this flight that he mentioned not poking around the hill anymore, when he started losing altitude, but headed straight out to the LZ instead. :thumbup:

Thanks for the memories, Robin,
Frank Colver

BTW - Any further thoughts on getting the dump operators to allow that nice multi-directional hill they have created to be used as a training site. Looking at the flying sites we visited that day, they were not very forgiving for someone learning to launch a HG. :o
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Re: Volcanic Peak, 376' agl, Face 025º, 0.2mi Long

Postby RobinHastings » Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:55 pm

Thanks for the affirmation, Frank. (And thank you so much for your contribution to my fund for cancer - I REALLY appreciate it! I don't have your address, or I'd send you a real card in the mail.) I am glad that that you enjoyed looking over Volcanic Peak - it's not flyable very often, but it sure is fun when it is. Bill and I never followed up, I'm afraid, on the training hill aspects of the city's landfill - I think we'd be more inclined to, if we had someone to train! It's tough to find adventurous souls now, especially with COVID still the law of the land. Alas...
-Robin
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