Archive for December, 2010

Busier then ever!

Friday, December 31st, 2010

The norwaygos arrived a week or 10 days earlier then ever and now the launch is so clogged that you have get ready to launch about 15 minutes before you can actually launch and the thermal over launch is not an easy one to navigate. the winds have been unusually stronget tehn normal as well and so it´s made for some rough flying and yesterday we had the first reserve toss of the year over the house thermal knob, pilot was okay.

I went flyng today because it was the last flight of 2010 and by 9:30 i could see lennies by the volcano and i knew it would be windy and so i got off launch early i was top of the stack in just three minutes and i got the second thermal and took it to 1,700 ovar and headed to Pinitas where i was all alone and got a nice thermal high enough to make a glide to Jovans and i hit plenty of lift there but i knew it was only a matter of time till it got trashy on the ground so i spiraled in sink down and landed.

About an hour later we saw ambulances go rushing by then they backed up and asked us where the pilot had crashed and we had not hear anything about it but a kid had and took them to the scene south of Jovans what we used to call the Pepsi field 1 km south of Jovans. Later we had heard that it was Randy C who had crashed on landing and he was being taken by ambulance to the hospital with possiblew Fractures to the Knee, ribs,pelvis and back no word yet but he was moving his feet.

When the sky has lennies in it, it´s best to enjoy a early quick flight and get on the ground before the wind mixes down. We saw several dust devils ripping out across the road from the Jovans which can cause you serious harm on landing approach in that area. 

Were all hoping that Randy will be okay and make a speedy recovery, he has been flying here ech year in Valle for many years and knows the place well but knarly days are knarly days no matter how well you know the place.

Happy new year 2011 is just hours away and then it will be just 8 months and 14 days till the start of the first ever tow nats in Hearne Tx.

Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

About 2:30 this morning i was awokentothe sound of something tapping on my kitchen table at least that´s what it sonded like but really it was just the wind ripping thru and shaking the roof on the porch above the balcony.

At launch we heard that the forecast was for 12knot gusts and it´s not normal for us to see that kind of wind here and i should have launched earlier but the norwaygo madness just takes over the launch area for about an hour and so by the time i got off the hill it was already windy and i nearly had to make a landing in the alternate l.z. as i did´nt hae a glide to the Piano l.z. but i did manage to hook a snot rocket out from the ridge and that got me back in the game although by the looks of the sky i was´nt sure i wanted to be back in the game, as soon as i had enough to glide to the back i was out and i got drilled on the way to Pinitas and it was plenty trashy there but i scraped around and found a burble that tunred into 500 fpm up and that got me a glide to Jovans. there was a better looking cloud street east toward the butterflies but i´d had enough and just landed at Jovans.

I think that was the second worst day of flying in Valle i´ve had in Valle and the 5 high stack of lennies over head was the clue that it was not a great day for flying.

Here´s to better flying!


Butterflies and beyond!

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Yesterday was again a great day, and we decided to give Toluca a go although cloudbase was a bit low at 2,400 ft over launch(9,700 ft msl) but the lift was very sweet and after launch we climbed up to base in just a few minutes, after a few minutes inside the cloud i popped out half way to Sacamacate and i saw Glen coringup so ijust headed for him and was quickily back to base with 700fpm lift and then it was off toward Mesa Delores and i found good lift just past there getting back to base but i had to skirtthe cloudwhich was rather large and dark.

Asi got to Campos Verdes ridge i found plenty of lift and took that up till it pooped out and then i headed over the ridge for the campos verdes area but i was getting drilled in strong sink, i found a burble but it just wasnot strong enough and imade thewrong choice to stayover the south facing ridge which had sun on it but the valleywind was ripping up the lift and soon i was down alongthe terrian and then i just head out front and landed inSan Francisco just one thermal from the pass, Eric A was a few minutes behind and found the same result. 

Today it looks like a return to HP conditions with few clouds and thelook of stronger winds, i took the morning off as i have a tandem flight this evening with a freinds daughter of 7 yrs old.

More soon,


Butterflies and back!

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Today was a great day in Valle, we had nice clouds forming by 10:00 in the convergence and it was easy to climb out over launch although we did´nt get real high there.

Some pilots had launched early and got super high over the Penon and left for the Mesa Rica area, but the clouds did not look great for that line and as i was climbing out over launch at 11:45 i did´nt see anyone getting high enough to make it worth the trip as a few pilots had gotten high but then made a glide for Pinitas and got drilled over the elbow area, landing in Pinitas.

I took some 300 fpm lift over the house thermal knob and it pooped out at 1,300 ft so i headed out front and got another thermal that a bird had showed me which got me to 1,800 ft over and i made a glide for the brown fields but got drilled along the way so  i turned for the San Francisco bump and found some nice 400 fpm lift over the valley befroe the S.F. bump which got me back up enough to glide over teh brown fields which are now grass covered and green, thus not working as good as previous years, i did find the usual thermal over the north edge and that was a bit raspy as usal and i dribbled in it enough to drift over toward Sacamacate where i had seen another pilots sending it to base and as i got near there i too was screaming out at 800 fpm, i started to feel that it was turning into cloud suck and i flew straight hitting some 1,600 fpm sustained lift and i knew i had to head for the edge and the lift got weaker. Glen from Phoenix was below me and climbing strong too so we teamed up and started a glide toward Mesa Dolores, i radioed him that we would finds lift over teh ridge where some grassy openings were and sure enough it was right where i predicted 800 fpm up and soon we were back near base, then i told him to head for a (L) int he trees ahead of us where some big fields taper down to a tree line and a small ridge just west of the Campos Verdes ridge and once again my 1,500 hr flying the local scene paid off with a nice thermal that got me back high but Glen had wondered off the good line and was much lower althopugh we too found lift i was off for the campos verdes ridge and found strong sink and did´nt have enough altitude to get over the ridge safely so i headed north along the ridge under a nice looking cloud but it disapated as i got there and i struggled in some raspy lift for a few minutes and Glen was now higher then me but did´nt care to join me as i was not climbing out, so he made a long glide for the hill north of Los Saucos where the sun was in full force but as he arrived i hooked into a good thermal and was climbing out nicely and he was getting low against the hill.

I was thinking about heading for Toluca as i could see that cloudbase was high enough for us to clear  the mtns and make it into theToluca valley but i did´nt want to go it alone, i decided to wait for Glen and while we was working some broken lift i headed back upwind to a fat cloud and had lift all along the way, Glen was not getting back up but just surfing the hillside and so i decided to just fly back toward Jovans and i got low just S.W. of Los Saucos but i pcked up the convergence line there and climbed back out to near base and then i made a long glide back under dark shaded ground and just hit burbles S.W. of San Ramon and did´nt find anything till i was over Jovans.

I was searchign west of Jovans for lift and was hitting some burbles i just needed to push further west to hit the core when i looked up to see a yellow tail dragger plane heading straight for me on his downwind leg to approach the little airstrip by Jovans, so i turned tail and ran downwind not wanting to get buzzed. I landed at Jovans.

There is still great clouds filling the sky and so i hopeful tomorrow will be good too and we can get a pose formed for the trek to Toluca.

Norwaygo madness is about to commence.

More soon,


The clouds return!

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Yesterday we started to see a few clouds in the convergence but despite that we had a rough time getting high enough to go anywhere and it was very trashy over launch and eventually i had enough of getting tossed around like a rag doll and several other pilots as well and we dove over the back at 1,500 ft over and had a nice glide over to pinitas where i went deep and found a nice core at 300fpm that a bird had marked for me and that got me high enough to glide thru the gap to the trash dump where it was going off and i got to cloudbase at 11,400 msl but it was shearing hard there from the north with stout south below. 

I got hammered twice at base as i watched the cloud form a huge swirl several hundred feet tall, i prevented two big frontals with quick brake reactions and then i headed off for Valle and found broad lift half way to town followed by huge sink but with 4,000 ft agl i had plenty of glide over town.

The evening flight was amazing as we hucked at 4:00 and went straight to base in the first climb then over the back to Sacamacate where i worked a bug fart high enough to glide over toward Jovans and over Casa presidente i worked another 100fpm core that eventually turned into 400 fpm but it crapped out on me 800 ft below cloudbase and just would not get me there so i glided off toward Casa Viajas but i did not have a glide to town as the north winds were strong, so i glided around searching for a miracle thermal but found nothing and theni landed at Jovans.

Today was another great day but cloudbase was a bit low and we had a bit too much Don Julio last night as the normal Mexican Navidad festival raged on and i was not feeling so great for a flight so i took a Crudo day off and Wyatt was not so bad so he hucked and went straight to base over launch in about three minutes but base was only 1,000 ft over and he glided to Pinitas and dirted. I took him back for another round and he got higher as base had lifted then he glided over the back and got more lift at Sacamacate and made a glide toward town landing just short in the pepsi plant field.

Wyatt then went for round three at La Torre, scoring his third flight just over an hour.

We have two more days of enjyoyment before the norwaygo madness rolls into Valle with 45 pilots and two guides, but this year the club is prepared with a full time rescue team on stanby.

Lucikily we have got our normal clouds back in the game so that will help mellow out the HP crap andgive us some cloud streets to fly under.

Merry x-mas everyone!

More soon,


More of the same!

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

We have been seeing some clouds arond and even a few in the convergence but we seem not to be able to reach them generally. Yesterday was a better then average day, for this year at least.

We got high enopugh over launch to have a easy glide to pinitas and then our gaggle found plenty of lift to get us high enough to glide to the trash dump which was not working and after a long glide to Jovans we found the convergence and a few of us got high there and then had amazing glides to town from what would not normally be enough altitude to even think about it. We had tailwinds at altitudes at 9,000 ft and bouyant lift along the way.

We did have a great evening flight and then feasted in the Piano L.Z. with elk steaks i impoted and some local free range beef(not me though). a few cold brews and a great corn cane fight with the local kids which always seem to result in someone bleeding, lucily this time it was not me, although i took a shot to the face not far from my right eye,(note to self, always waer eye protection)

Then we headed back up to launch and five of us had sweet moonlñight flights with the local kids starting a roaring fire to show us the wind and light up the SW end of the L.Z. Wyatt and Nate had their first ever moonlight flights.

Today we had crappy lift over launch and we had to bail tot he back with just 500 meters over and then we struggled to get back up in pinitas but Wyatt found a good core and we burbled up in that, i made two glides to Sacamacate and the second was the charm gettingme high enought o glide to the trash dump, again not working. Wyatt stayed in the light lift and finally got enpought o glide with me but we did´nt hit anything worth working and lñanded at Jovans.

The evening flight was better as usual with the High Pressure crap and i got to 2,200 ft over launch and had a sweet lgide to Sacamacate where i got some 150 fpm lift that allowed me to glide to Jovans again. Wyatt made a glide to the back as well but was a few minuted behind the last lift out and landed there.

More soon,


Short lived!

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

The clouds yesterday were very high and i got all excited and today was my lsat day to fly for myself before clients arrive and so i headed up the hill, and of course there were no clouds to be seen for as far as the eye can see.

It was better then most of the previous week with nice thermals which took us high enough to easily glide to the back but the normal line to Sacamacate was not working, Raul an myself got flushed and forced out to the pinitas area where we scratched out a light one that eventually got us high enough to glide over to Sacamacate, but i was the only one to stick it out as the others got the jitters and turned back to the valley for another climb, i hooked a boomer at Sacamacate and got in the convergence and then off to San Agustin where i found broad lift and then i thought i had more then enougn to glide to town but as i made the move i was getting drilled in big sink then add in a nive 35% whack on half bar and a few hunderd to sort it out and more big sink, i was about to the edge of town when i decided not to risk a low glide over the water with a small L.Z. and i turned back to land at the last field before town. Which now has a big mean ass german shepard in it.

Several gliders saw my bad line and took another one making it easily to town.

Here´s to hopeing for more good clouds but somehow i dod´nt see it happening anytime soon, as you know high pressure breeds more high pressure.




Thursday, December 16th, 2010

We saw our first clouds in the convergence today, they seemed to be plenty high over 11,000 and i saw two glider gliding into town high. They do appear shredded up and not nearly as nice looking as we expect this time of year but i guess we just have to get used to the fact that the normal weather patterns are being affected by the La nina. which has brought record heat and lack of precip to New Mexico, i heard that the satalite map shows the weather systems being pushed north of New Mexico, the strange thing is it has been near record cold temps at night here in Mexico, it does warm up during the day but early mornings and late nights are 10 deggrees below averages.

Hopefully the clouds will stick around for a while as we just had 15 days of no clouds,high pressure.

I´m still ground bound for a few more days while i try to let my right ear heal, It might be getting slightly better, but at times it still seems unchanged. I have constant ringing in my right ear and slight occasional ringing in my left ear. My equilibrium is not functioning perfectly as i easily get dizzy with my eyes closed. I´m taking several medications that the ear,nose,throat specialist prescribed for me.

Hasta Pronto,




change is blowin in!

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Suppossedly there is a change coming to Valle soon, and this morning we saw high cirrus arriving from the west but two hours later it was gone.

I did see two shredded clouds over the pass by the volcano as i drove back from dropping my last two pilots off in Toluca. There was also some clouds to the south.

I got into see a doctor this morning in Toluca, he is a ear specialist and he stuck a scope in my ear.

He said he did´nt think i actually ruptured my ear drum although it is possible, He did say that i had a deviated nasal septum which appreaed to result from a broken nose bone sometime previously in life which i can´t recall ever happening.  The result is a lack of good ventalation of my eustacian tube(ear canal) the sore throat and congestion i had last week may have contributed some inflamation in the back of my nasal cavity and thus i have some paralysis of the hairs of my inner ear which helps move the fluid of the inner ear and now some mucos is stuck on those hairs and that is why i can´t hear out of my right ear.

I was given several medications to take daily and two exercises(chewing gum,blowing up ballons) which i have to do daily and it could still take 30 to 45 days to recover to normal.  At least he said i can still fly in the mean time, i will take the next few days off before my next group to help the recovery along.

Hasta Pronto,


Valle de Oddness!

Monday, December 13th, 2010

I´ve never seen it this busy this early in December nor this high pressure! there´s been 10 days straight of no clouds! wicked high pressure and today we never got over 9,000 ft and very few pilots made it over the back and only two pilots made it to Valle.

Normally we would have the best clouds at this time of year and i can only wonder if this is what the LA Nina season has to offer us here in Valle, Back home in New Mexico they have been high and dry for some time 63 in Taos last week is certainly not normal.

There are about 30 pilots flying everyday and with the high pressure and thick inversion it has made for some congested skies. We all are hoping for some change that will bring back the typical clouds we so love here in Valle.

I found a thread on PGforum about the tow comp nats i´m organizing next year Aug 14 to 20 and i put a post there so pilots could see a bit of the details. Please check it out and chime in.

We have been enjoying the Valle life with the Virgen de Guadalupe festivities in full swing there are daily bomb session starting at 5:00 a.m. and finishing with the grand tower of gunpowder around 10:00 each night, they surely love to blow things up down here. last night a crown spinner fell into the crowd and hit a mom and child in the head, no big deal to them.

Feliz 12 de Decembre!