Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Morning Flying Low

Only Chris and I could make it out to fly today. He brought his oldest son, Dustin. It was perfect flying weather. We took off on 18, landed on 35! After flying for an hour, we landed. I added more fuel and turned around to depart 18 again. As I was doing this, we heard Hubert landing in his Kitfox. Chris walked over and got a ride with him. I went up for another 30 minutes. Now I'm tired and must sleep!

I'm pretty sure we were in Taylor.

I've taken photos of this barn from outside, inside, and now above!

What makes you ask if we were in Hutto?

A coyote? Whatever it was, it didn't know which way to run!

Travis couldn't make it out to fly, but he spotted us near his house and drove out.

Chris on base for three-five.

On final.

Umm, dude... I'm over here!

This is a good example of the wind we had a few weeks ago.

This old building was seriously damaged too. I hope they save most of it, it's from the 1800's.

You might ask, Jack, is this a school? No, it's a prison! This is where we kept entire families waiting for departation. Enough people protested, now they moved them to Kentucky.

Dustin learning to taxi.

So I shove this thingy all the way forward?? Just kidding, he did a great job.
See you next time... Jack

My Day Off

I had Monday off for Labor day so I decided to use a couple of vacation days to make a mini-vacation. I dragged my butt out of bed this morning to go for a flight. Since we flew to Rockdale on Monday, I thought it would be cool to fly from there. It's about 45 minutes from my house, so I left around 5:30. I kept seeing lightening off in the distance as I was driving, but it appeared to be far off and it was clear above me. I decided it was worth the drive; I would evaluate the weather when I arrived.

As the sun was coming up, it was clear except near the horizon and the wind was barely moving at all. I was off!

I've been bragging to my PPG buddies that I never have a blown launch, so of course I did! My wing went all the way to the left and stayed there. I pushed a little right steering bar and it came up, but went right back down. I repeated this a few times, but I had used 1/3 of the runway, so I just shut down and setup again. I don't know what was wrong the first time, but the second launch was perfect.

I decided to fly around Alcoa, which is a large plant that makes Aluminum Powder and mines lignite. It was very smooth flying, but I was only getting around 17mph on the way out. That became 36 when I was coming back! When I landed, some guys who work for the city came out to greet me. They had never seen a powered parachute so I showed it to them and answered all of their questions.

As I was driving back home, the skies got ugly! It still hasn't rained, but they say it's on the way.

The skies looked nice as the sun was rising.


I learned today this is called Lignite or brown coal. It's the lowest form of coal.

I wasn't sure how this would come out. I like it.

Here's a shot of the Rockdale Train Museum. This one's for my little buddy Andrew. He likes trains, especially the caboose.

A closer shot. I didn't see these guys watching me when I was taking the photo!
Till next time... Jack

Labor Day - Part 2

Well after part one of my Labor Day, I was worn out. The winds actually looked pretty good for this evening, but I didn't even consider going up! I went to Old Settler's Park to see if any of my PPG buddies were flying and sure enough they were there. Brian, Glen, and Alt were all kiting when I arrived. Tim showed up later, but he's still waiting on his Green Eagle (way past due!), so he was just a spectator like me. It turned out to be a little windy, so they only got a short flight in before sunset.

I had my 70-200 lens on and didn't feel like changing it. This is a close-up of Glen's wing.

Alt's Wing

Alt right after takeoff.

Glen preparing to spin around and run for his reverse launch.

Glen flying off into the blue skies.

Alt flying by!

Brian coasting in for a dead-stick landing.

Glen coming in for a landing.

Hope you guys had as much fun as I did on my day off!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Labor Day - Part One

I'm exhausted. We got up early since the winds were predicted to be very low. The forecasters got it right for once! It was Travis, Chris, Bill & me. We decided to do a cross-country flight to Rockdale. My GPS said it was 22.5 miles. You might remember from another post here that my EGTs are low and Marty pointed out that was contributing to my high fuel consumption. I have a 10-gallon tank, but I burn about 5 gph. As we were nearing Rockdale, I was getting close to an hour and had slightly over half a tank. When we landed, I was seeing about 1 inch over the halfway mark, so I wasn't too worried. We knew if we climbed to over 2,000 we'd have a tailwind and sure enough it was there. Still, 2 full hours of flying leaves me no reserve and it's a mistake I don't plan to duplicate!

Travis can actually outrun me when he has a passenger!

I kept startling cattle. I really hate it when this happens.

A lonely tree.

Travis on short final for one-seven at Rockdale.

This pilot greeted us when we landed. He was off in his Cessna Cardinal to pick up his son for a ride.

Travis was going to do a touch-n-go, but then he realized Chris was taking off, so he did a quick left turn out to clear the way.

Bill flying below me.

I was just in this building a few weeks ago. We had some big storms with high wind. This building was damaged and it appears they're tearing it down.

We're back home! You can see our trucks and trailers on the road to the right of the runway.

Hope you enjoyed them!