2014 Santa Cruz Flats Race, day 1 and 2

I’ve heard about the good flying in Arizona from my teammates who went there several times in the past. The September timeframe is a good time for us Scandinavians, as the season at home is ending now. So this year I tagged along with the team hoping to have some fun flying over in the western US desert. This year we are 5 pilots from Norway, Olav Opsanger, Nils Aage Henden, Olav Lien Olsen, Thomas Lindal and me. There are also 3 Swedes here, a scattering of South Americans and an Ozzie among the US majority.

My main goal for this comp is to fly and get some more hours and practice flying after a crap season at home, so I’ve bought a used Litespeed RS 3.5 from Bruce Barmakian, and he kindly brought it to the comp for me. The glider is in good shape, but the sail is quite soft after use, and the performance is far from as good as my RX I have at home. After the first day I replaced the worn out VG rope, as I had a hard time pulling the VG, I then got a left turn on ¾ to full VG, so that made day 2 quite hard as we had good conditions for long glides.

I also fitted some Skyline wingtips to improve the performance after day 1, on the first day I was outclimbed by pretty much everyone, but day 2 with the wingtips I could climb much better and at least keep up with the newer T2C’s in the thermals. I expect the glide to improve once it’s flying straight again, I’ve adjusted the glider after day 2 so we just need another flying day now.

Glider;

The RS in the Arizona dust.

Day 1 was a short task of 82km, keeping us fairly close to the takoff/goal. I got a super smooth tow and a OK start in weak conditions. I struggled a little with getting high in the thermals all day, but got to goal about 5 minutes after the lead gaggle when they outglided me after the second TP.

Task 1 and results

Day 2 was a 121km task, and conditions were a bit better but with high clouds moving in and shading the courseline in the later part of the task. I got a terrible start after trying to move upwind and find a better position around 20 minutes before the start, we were 4 gliders heading out, but found nothing and I had to glide back to the main gaggle and did not have enough time to get high again. I took the start behind and 3-400 meters lower than the main gaggle, and suffered for that mistake the rest of the task coming in low and behind in the lift. I met up with Nils Aage scraping in very low at the last TP in the shade, taking 0.1 and 0.2m/s lift to stay up, thus taking forever to get back up to final glide attitude and loosing even more time. I attempted a 15:1 final, it was good for a few km, but then deteriorated rapidly to 18:1 so I had to stop over Casa Grande downtown where we got some residual heat from the buildings and roads generating a nice weak thermal to get us into goal.

 Task 2 and results

Yesterday, and today is gray and windy with some rain, we are under the tropical rainstorm Odlie, which is predicted to bring catastrophic flooding in our area today and tomorrow, so it looks like no flying the next days…

Cyclone Odlie giving us a nice sunset before the storm

Gliders packed up and out of the rain

Nationals 2014 – The faces (Some of them)

Selfie time

Selfie from Vågå

Selfie from Vågå, LZ in the background

Leaving Bassano

It was too windy to fly on Saturday, but we got a window of good conditions Sunday morning and I had time for a short flight in Bassano before packing up and driving to MUC for my flight home to Oslo.

The moment of truth

The moment of truth

Looking back at takeoff

Looking back at takeoff

Looking for traffic

Looking for traffic

Brakechute ready

Brakechute ready

Time to flare

Time to flare

Packup time

Packup time

 

Images from Bassano easter flying

Oz, Lake Keepit

After the plenary I flew down under to Sydney, met up with Attila Bertok and got “the keys” to his sailplane that he keeps at Lake Keepit, where there’s a competition going on this week. I arrived late on Monday night, got the glider rigged on Tuesday morning, and after a couple of check-flights in a two-seater with instructor I was good to go (Emergency procedures and such). I have not flow sailplanes for a year so I felt a bit rusty the first hours, but I got a nice day of local soaring around the airfield and managed to land nicely.

Big rabbits come to have dinner with us

Big rabbits come to have dinner with us

Today I had signed up for a coaching flight with legend G. Dale, we flew in the Grob103 as the Duo Discus was booked for other pilots, but we still did a fairly good speed of 93km/h average in our 250km AAT task. It was very interesting to fly with a very good competition pilot, I still have a lot to  learn about the mechanics of flying the glider efficiently, while we chose almost exactly the same lines to fly in the sky.

In the office at 6K

In the office at 6K

G in the backseat

G in the backseat

CIVL plenary meeting 2014, Kuta Bali, Indonesia

Indonesia hosted this years CIVL plenary, and we spent 4 days inside conference rooms, while the sun was shining outside.

The meeting was very efficient and well prepared this year as we had most of the work done in the different committees during the year. Some pictures;

Nailed it

Nailed it

DSC_0030 DSC_0541 DSC_0581 DSC_0595 DSC_0596 DSC_0597 DSC_0682 DSC_0736 DSC_0858 DSC_0869 DSC_0980 DSC_1012 DSC_1022 DSC_1025 All the locals with Dennis DSC_1135 DSC_1152

Nice takeoff site

Nice takeoff site

What's missing here?

What’s missing here?

Central Park colors in November

Autumn colors, Central Park, NYC

Autumn colors, Central Park, NYC

Time is relative. Travels, nationals, beginner course, work, and life in general.

Seems like it was yesterday I looked at the snow outside, now it’s late summer, what happened?

Well.. Flyingwise it’s been a bleak season at home so far. We had our Nationals in Vågå as usual one week in July, I think these pictures tell the tale of the weather we had;

Mountain waves, indication way to much wind for safe flying

Mountain waves, indicating way to much wind for safe flying in the area

Lenticularis w/rotor cloud and a Swallow bird enjoying the unstable air

Lenticularis w/rotor cloud and a Swallow bird enjoying the unstable air

We did not fly a single task in the nationals, weatherdemons vs hanggliding – 8:0 The nationals ended on Saturday, and on Sunday it was flyable and taskable again… I took some pictures from flying in Bøverdalen that Sunday;

Thomas

Thomas

Audun and Espen

Audun and Espen

Speideren

Speideren

Erik Bergseter

Erik Bergseter

Matching colours!

Matching colours!

The week after our nationals was my XC flying week this summer, but even though we got some good flying, the conditions were too stable for any real XC attempts. I did get to try out my new GoPro camera boom from Instinct Windsports, works great! A few examples from a late evening flight over Vågå (We took off at 19:00). So not a single good XC flight at home this summer so far, and it’s getting late into the season now.

DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO

After that week I headed back south to Elverum and Starmoen airport to run a beginner course in Hanggliding. The course went really well with 8 students, we had really nice weather most days, and flew 8 out of 9 days with really good progress and great students. It was a scootertowing course, and we did around 250 tows that week with great results. Some pictures; (Some images by Morten Heller and Frederic Bakken)

Workwise it’s been quite busy spring and summer, I did the next big Cisco certification – CCDE in April and May. (Which involved 3 trips to London in 3 weeks), then flew to Miami, had a week vacation on South Beach in Miami, and Long Island in the Bahamas, before heading up to Orlando for the yearly Cisco Live conference.

At Cape Santa Maria, Long Beach, Bahamas.

Relaxing at Cape Santa Maria, Long Beach, Bahamas, one of the nicest beaches I’ve seen!

I also did a quick trip to the North of Norway, to meet family and also meet classmates from highschool 25 years ago, which was great fun! Weather was “interesting”;

Northern summer weather

Northern summer weather

 

Easter flying

We had sunny and cold weather for easter hollidays. Me and Georgira went xc skiing in the nice conditions, it was about time since it’s 20 years ago I did it the last time.

Weather was great for flying too, so today I met up with lots of other HG and PG pilots at Sundvollen for a few very nice flights in weak thermal and soaring conditions.

Me after takeoff

Me after takeoff

Setting up the landing

Setting up the landing

LZ on the frozen lake

LZ on the frozen lake