Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cuesta Flight 4/8/11

Driving past Cayucos at 11 am
The XC Skies forecast models all said Friday might be sporty so I headed up to Cuesta for some rodeo action.  On the way to the mountain I snapped a couple of shots along the coast.

The development was already fairly active by 10:30 so I knew it wasn't a question IF it would overdevelop, but WHEN.    

Ready for aviation on launch at Cuesta
The conditions at the hill were looking good, with nice strong cycles blowing up launch, but cloudbase was only about 1500' over launch.  The clouds in the gap across the grade were even lower.  I talked myself into thinking the base would go up when the temps increased and proceeded to set up my gear.   Today I used all the goodies - hand warmers, good gloves, balaclava, and I was still cold.

The flight wasn't spectacular but it was quite interesting as I negotiated my way along course (up wind since that route was clearer) around and often through graupel.

Some might say that today would have been a good day to stay on the hill - If my timing hadn't been what it was, I might agree, but today was all about timing.  I was there early enough to get in the air before life got complicated with dark cells over the launch.  I also was in the air before it got gusty on the ridge.  Visibility was good and the big clouds weren't an issue until later in the flight, when I flew into a large bit of precipitation that covered me and my gear with graupel.  Other than that bit-o-fun the flight was enjoyable and interesting.

Today was my first experiment with my Helmet Hero HD camera and the imovie software that came with  my new Apple MacBook Pro.  I hope you enjoy the bit of perspective that a half mile of altitude and very little protection from the elements can provide.  The 90 minute flight has been trimmed to a little less than 11 minutes.

Cuesta flight from Tim O'Neill on Vimeo.
A chilly flight with some overdevelopment and precip. It was more fun than it looks!

EDIT - Here's my flight track -



Colin Hawke said...

Crikey! Are you sure you've got enough gadgets on your flight deck - I can tell your an airline pilot ;)

Unknown said...

Nice. Can't believe you were flying in shorts. Where's the Leonardo trace?

Tim said...

Yeah Colin. . . It's a collection. A couple of the instruments are oldies but still strong.

Unknown said...

What a crazy flight. Did you cells fill up with that graupel at all?

Tim said...

It was a fun flight. The graupel encounter was a bit longer than expected, and that's what terminated the flight, by driving me into the flats where the air was drier. There was some accumulation of graupel visible in the cells, but it melted quickly once I was in the drier/warmer air. I flew the following day for 2 hours and dried the wing completely. . .