Sunday, June 24, 2007

U.S. Nats Day 1 - Lakeview blows

Lakeview is an interesting, quaint town located in the high plains of SE Oregon. The landscape is filled with rustic ranches & alkali lake beds - wet & dry. It's the highest town in Oregon (so they say) at 4800'. Launch is at 6200'- a hill overlooking town that is only a ten minute ride up a dirt & gravel road. The wind blows here. . .it blows a lot. The winds were forecast to blow 15-25mph & that's what we had at launch at 12:30pm.

The Black Cap launch is a bit rough. There is a very nice road & a slope that's been cleared of boulders. The boulders are stacked down where the slope gets even shallower. It's not that high off the valley floor & it can be a stretch to make the LZ.

A task was called & it was a short downwind dash to a town called Plush. We hoped to get off the hill in lulls & manage a fairly safe flight. I had already suited up (to stay warm) but was not feeling good about things on launch. It seemed to me that there were going to be 60 guys all trying to get in the air at Start minus 20 minutes in marginal launch conditions. My strategy was to hang back & see how the gaggles were getting up & penetrating upwind to avoid loosing the start cylinder before start, before I launched, & then only launch if I liked the lulls. I wasn't going to screw up the trip with a flight I already didn't like the looks of. The task committee wanted to fly today (as did we all) but conditions were marginal. At 2 pm the task was canceled.

I'm sure some of the competitors would have rather just hucked & competed, but it had great potential for mayhem. The next few days look much better with winds less than 10 kts. & good temps. I expect some good flying in the next couple days. 100k (60 mile) flights aren't out of the realm of possibility.

My camera broke last week, so I'm not sure if I can get photos, I'm working on it.


1 comment:

Susank said...

Hey Tim,

Great Blog!! You are an inspiration. Keep up the great flying. I am liking XC flying more and more because it is mentally interesting as well as developing flying skills.