Mt Buzz, back in action!

June 16th, 2012

After 4 yrs of no flying allowed at Mt Buzz due to liability issues we have just got permission to use the launch again.

We just did 3 hrs of work manicuring the launch, with Sam K, Tay and Caden W and myself it was quick work and now better then ever before, we also cleared the trail on the way down.

So Mt buzz is back in action and ready to rock for the Texas 1,200 which hopefully and mother nature willing will arrive here on the 22 or 23 of June on our way to goal in Texhoma. This will be our one mandatory footlaunch day of the competition.

We will start on the 19th of June in South Padre island and the longest flight each day will win and is where we will start the next days flight. we are hoping to finish the 1,286 kms in 6 days. and conditions at the start of the course are looking epic with 200 mile potential.

Mid course is looking a bit dry and i think we may have a hard go of it but if things improve we could cruise right on thru just the same.

I did make the first tandem flight off Mt Buzz and flew Taylor for a nice 20 min flight his first and i think we got another one hooked. He will be our retrieve coordinator for the next two weeks.

Stay tuned for more stories of epic Texas flying where it’s hot enough to cook an egg on a shaddy patch of sidewalk.

DAvid.

Aerotow project 2012

May 24th, 2012

Yes that’s right we are back at it and that is why there was a period of bloglessness.

We spent two weeks testing the AeroWinch designed by airtime solutions.

Bobby Bailey is the genius behind the dragonfly LSA and without him this project would never have gotten off the ground.

It took five long days of rigging and developing new devices to be ready for our first test flight.

We did ten successful flights and three of them were to release altitudes over 400 m or 1,500 ft.

We did two mid-day test flights and the last one was to 2,300 ft agl it took about 5 mins and in the end the rope broke as i was seeing 1,600 fpm climb rates in a 800 fpm thermal.

We are now working on prototype #2 and plan to be testing in the fall.

our goal is to offer a Aerotow option to invited pilots at the 2013 ECPC. For the next year only advanced pilots with tow experience will be allowed to Aerotow as this is in early developmental stages.

As the test pilot for the entire project which started ten years ago, i have to say that we have solved the major issues and during the last two weeks of testing never at one moment did anything scary happen on my end of the rope which previous testing had extremely dangerous moments that occurred almost everytime.

I had posted the video on facebook and got great response from pilots around the world and two days later Davis Straub who was always snooping around our project released a post about aerotowing paragliders on his snoz report, saying that we only had one successful flight, obviously not an accurate statement but that’s nothing new for the snoz report. Davis almost got hit by the dragonfly because he was standing in front of the plane while we were launching, he was trying to get a picture.

So i guess the Snoz report ban on anything to do with David Prentice has been lifted, although he did’nt list that i was the test pilot.  Davis is still pissed that i shamed him in front of the entire USHPA board of directors after he physically assaulted me in the Quest club house in front of 5 witnesses. He still never apologized.

There is still work to be done and we are going to ask for some funding to make this a commercial reality by next spring as this will revolutionize how flat land comps are launched around the world.

The future so bright i got wear shades!

Texas 1,200 race and rally and the World record chase are coming soon.

stay tuned,

David Prentice.

ECPC 2012: day 7, task three epic tirangle!

May 6th, 2012

I will blog more about it later, but we completed the first big triangle here in Florida today. raw distance was 102 kms. optimized it was 70ish.

Winner of the day Andy Macrae, i was second and third was Greg Babush.

Overall winners 1st Andy macrae 2nd Yours truly David Prentice 3rd Brad Chastain.

Serial class 1st Brad Chastain 2nd  Greg Babush 3rd: Nathan Grimes

The weather this year was by far our worst with the first four days blown or rained out,

on average we loose one day a year to bad weather.

My thought is that it’s always better to end with a bang then a whimper.

today the tow operation was shut down by 2:20, we towed the first competitor at 1:00 so about 25 tows in 1 hr and 20 mins.

Once again we had a incident free event, not a single towing accident.

Congrats to all the pilots who set P.R.s and many thanks to Steve Sirrine,Natan Beane,Vlasta, Dustin Pachura, Stephen Eigles, and any one else who did tow operations for us this week. Without these people this event would not be possible.

Thanks to Dennis for retrieval coordination.

that was the biggest ECPC event to date with 6 more pilots than last year a nice steady increase helps us on our way to our goal of a 40 pilot event.

Hope to see more new faces again next year, same bat time, same bat channel.

DAvid Prentice.

ECPC 2012:day 6:task 2: 205 km to Quest air.

May 5th, 2012

the forecast was for light winds turning south, we thought that a new state record could be had so we called a goal that would be a new state record, only problem is mother nature did’nt get the memo requesting the winds turn south.

We had alot of high cirrus that was shading things, and the winds seemed to be more easterly but we thought things were light overall and that the south push would come thru, but it did not and the only pilots who had a chance to go far were the early pilots about four or five pilots who stuck on the first tows got under way and shortly after the cirrus totally shaded us out and for 2 hrs no one stuck.

I finally got towed up at 2:20 and i fought like mad in dribbles but the drift was now taking me to the SW NE winds had come in off Okeechobee and it looked impossible so i landed back at the tow pad. I towed again 10min later and this time i got some better lift but the drift was again to the SW and after struggling at 2,000 ft over the orange Grove i decided not to risk a land out and hike out from a few kms away. I glided back and to the paddock.

Third tow’s the charm, at least that’s what i told my son Sky when he asked me if i was going up again. It was, but i still struggled for a while eventually getting up from 150 ft at the launch area, climbed at 400 fpm to 3,000 and then i glided for a cloud getting to 4,000 ft but i was fighting a fierce quarter headwind.

I flew for 1.5 hrs and made three low saves making a whopping 12 kms. Brad C won the day landing north of Palcid followed by Andy M and Greg B with Vlasta there as well. Those were the lucky pilots who got away before the shade shut it down.

The forecasters blew that call big time and that’s why it’s hard for me to put any trust in that back magic crap they spew everyday, it’s mostly bullshit. I do much better myself if i just look out the window, check the clouds and pay no attention to the forecasters.

TOday Day 7 looks to be a truly light day and we plan to call a big triangle or a out and return.

Stay tuned! the final task of the 2012 ECPC is at hand!

David.

ECPC 2012: day 5:task , 87 kms

May 4th, 2012

WE had strong winds again at 3,000 ft but it was doable, we knew we would have really good tailwinds and decided to put a crosswind leg in the middle and goal near Arcadia.

Task set up:

Start towpad 5 k exit with indiv times open @12:30

TP1: RDNDHW 5k

TP2: HWY31n 5k

EOS:NW goal 5k

goal nwgoal 3k

We had 10 pilots in goal and several just short.

I had the fastest time of the day 2 hrs 3 min but the leading bonus for Andy and Chris kept them with the lead. I towed pilots till there where only five left in the que then i suited up and Steve from SDI towed me to a boomer. 600 fpm lift to cloudbase at 4,800 agl.

I had a great flight catching many pilots and only twice getting a bit slow, i had a low save from 600 ft as well.

Beautiful clouds and great consistent lift exactly what we love about Florida.

Lots of happy facesin goal and back at HQ.

Day 6 looks like it might hold a 100 mile task!

Stay tuned! Day 5 results are

Andy M 1,000

Chris G 993

Jaro Krupa 890

David Prentice 881

Alex Miranda 800

ECPC: day 4, task 1 cancelled due to high winds

May 2nd, 2012

the day dawned the best looking sky so far this week and it seemed for sure we would get to fly a task today.

we set a primary task with a 5k exit cyl at towpad

TP1:La Belle 5km

Tp2:Hwy312

End Of Speed at Chrltc5km

Goal: Chrltc 3 km

WE had a secondary task which started the same but then went to goal at hwy 31n with 5km EOS and 3km goal.

The winds picked up on the surface and the task comm decided to postpone the launch open till 12:30 and then again till 2:30, we finally went tot eh tow paddock and watched a few free flyers take tows and we saw the winds aloft at 20 and the pilots did find good lift and were back on the ground in minutes.

The task comm switched to the secondary task and then Nathan Grimes went airborne and got some lift but dribbled for a long time not getting good lift to base and it was decided to cancel the day with gusts still hitting 20 the clouds drying up in lake effect.

We also think we will be getting really good conditions the next three days, so it was easier to call the day knowing we have three to go.

Just got a report from Jaro Krupa who flew and he said for sure we made the right call, the air was super choppy and not good lift. Charlie Geres was last reported at cloudbase leaving the paddock heading west.

4 wasted, 3 to go.

Later,

David.

ECPC 2012: day 3, setting new records!

May 1st, 2012

That’s right we set a new record today! the worst weather streak ever for the ECPC, never before have we had 3 days cancelled in a row.  today the winds were steady 20 gusting to 35 mph. heavy rainfall again at times.

I think all the projects have been completed now, so the boredom is setting in for most of the pilots.

Luckily there looks to be some improvement in the forecast for tomorrow. only 10% chance of rain and winds East 7 to 11 with no gust forecast which is a very good sign.

Thurs,Fri,Sat look to be vastly improved and Sat might be the day we go for a huge triangle or out and return flight with light winds and temps at 91.

Stay tuned for some actual tales of flying.

Pilot briefing at the Florida Ridge May 2nd 10:30 a.m.

David.

ECPC 2012: Day 2: Cancelled due to extremely high winds

May 1st, 2012

The pilot briefing was even cancelled due to high winds. It’s still wanking now at 11:P.m.

Looks like tomorrow will be a blowout as well and then maybe we have a chance of a task on Wednesday and for sure Thursday,Friday,Sat are looking better.

The unusually warm winter up north and drought conditions here in south Florida have heated up the tropical wave earlier then usual. When i arrived in early April the conditions felt like May and now it’s  like tropical season.

Lots of projects are being completed!!!  So the bad weather is not a loss at all. WE can now do dual tows from my vehicle and Steve can dual tow as well, so as far as we know there has never been dual,dual tows ever before, yes that’s four pilots being towed by two operators at the same time. W will be tryin out as soon as the weather permits.

David.

ECPC: Day two: PILOT UPDATE!

April 29th, 2012

The management at Quest air has welcomed the ECPC to Sheets field as a remote tow location.

The weather would have been flyable there today but we could not get everything in place to run a task for today and tomorrow does not look good at either location with the strong winds forecast and 40% chance of showers.

Pilot Update: Based on the weather outlook we will not travel the three hours to Quest to chase a task that has a high probability of stoppage due the weather.

Pilots will meet at the Florida ridge at 10:00 for a pilot briefing.

We will continue to monitor the weather and give burnt sacrifices in hopes of changing things, Anyone found to be responsible for bringing this weather with them will be the next offering.

more news coming soon.

David Prentice

ECPC, day one,task one 32.7 kms

April 29th, 2012

We called a task downwind to the junction of hwy 78 and 31. with a Tp in La Belle, then goal at the junction of 78 and 31. then the rain started to fall and we shortly cancelled the task.

The weather is not looking good for the next several days, so we are on to other things like hacking a hole in the roof of my van so the tracking head of my new SDI paragliding tow rig can fit thru the roof.

More projects will be finished tomorrow if the weather continues like this.

Stay tuned.