2015 L/D Contest


Last weekend was such a good time!!!  The L/D contest was a lot of fun and such a big learning experience for me.  By the end of that day I was confident in handling my glider going up the hill and launching.  Thanks so much to all the instructors coming out and making a huge effort.  

The barker dam is a cool spot to have for a club.  But damn!  Hiking the glider up the hill really is a full body workout.  I was so sore from handling the glider and by the time I got to the L/D party at Henrys I was totally exhausted.  Running on fumes and Shiner Bock I was able to play some guitar and entertain some of the party. anyways…the whole day was a success for the club and I don’t think we could have asked for any better conditions.  

Anyways, Sunday morning rolls around and it is even more pretty than the day before.  Eleonor keeps asking me if im going flying so she can plan her day.  So I say yes, I am going flying.  Despite every muscle in my body being sore and feeling pain in my joints I slapdash my flying equipment together and swallow a handfull of advils.  A piping hot bowl of coffee pressed and strained through the chinois helps to dissolve all those advils quickly.  On the road a medium, not a small, not a large, a medium redbull gets me firing on all cylinders like spraying brake cleaner into the intake of an old bull taco dirtbike.  I was feeling great-ish by the time I got to Wharton.  

The first tow went smooth on launch and the thermals were sparse and I sunk out and soon was on approach.  My focus of the day was to maintain airspeed on my approach through final and successfully transition to downtubes…and flair to a perfect no steplanding.  That was my aim…transitioning…  The wind was really unpredictable switching from East to SE all the time.  There were some lower cu’s forming up but they were really flying by us.  Anyways, I forgot to hit record on that first flight and I had a descent landing with an OK transition, though my nose did pop up a bit, it was a good landing.  

It seemed EVERYONE was having problems making a perfect landing out there that fine Sunday.  My next flights are in the footage contained in the link.  These were probably my worst two landings so far on my 2nd and 3rd flights.

I think on my second landing I was focusing too hard on maintaining that speed and totally forgot about my transitioning.

On the third landing I really don’t know how I though it would be a good idea to approach from so high up…I basically dive bombed into a final…I don’t know what I was thinking…I thought I had a good transition but as soon as I let my hand off the bar the nose went up and turned…i think that is what the video shows…

Anyways…in hindsight…I should have called it a day after that first flight.  Or perhaps…I should have just stayed in bed being so tired from the day before.  I think my fatigue played a part in my poor landings/judgement in the videos.

Full Disclosure: Back in 2014 I was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis.  It’s an autoimmune disease that attacks your joints causing them to inflame.  It is a hellish disease that I would wish upon no one because it is the most miserable pain I think one can endure.  Anyways, this autoimmune sickness runs in the family.  I do injections every week that shuts  down my immune system and also if the pain is worse than a handful of advils I have steroids that help me to take down the joint pain.  The L/D contest really pushed my limits but I’m really happy that I went but I was hurting by the days end.  I have been off my injections for a while now because I switched doctors and I was hoping I was going into remission but evidently I wasn’t.

Yes, I doped during the contest…12232905_10206105644457986_6096742031824048764_o

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