43.87 miles, 2:18hrs.
Thanks for the tow, Richard. And especially thanks for the retrieve, Nick! Monkeys rock!
Chris!!!! I just watched your entire flight. That was completely incredible. NICE FLYING! Couple questions for you as I was trying to learn from your flight. 1 - it looked like several times you were flying straight and going up at 300 - 500 fpm but not turning - but it looked like you were picking good lines and continuing to climb. I'm curious why/ how you decided at times to turn and at times to fly straight? 2. were you predominately flying downwind when you left thermals or were you using ground markers or clouds to decide where you went next? 3. Did you find a lot of thermal drift? It looked like they were drifting pretty hard to me but can't tell if that was my view in doarama. 4. what were the clouds like? I'm curious about conditions - I wonder if there's any chance that yesterday was pre frontal. I've read a bit about pre-frontal flying and supposedly it's one of the best. Just trying to understand connection of conditions to our performance here. 5. At around the 1:50 ish mark I notice that you spent a lot of time after flying through some serious sink in zeros, followed by some light lift and really fished around for it until you got it. I'd love to hear more about how you did that -I think that's one of the things you're best at. Again - INCREDIBLE flight. Your'e only about 20 miles shy of our state record aren't you? I'm so inspired about what's possible here. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Great questions, Lindsay. We were talking about getting together to have a discussion about XC flying. Walking thru some flights together with Google Earth would be much more beneficial than doing it here. I have some questions too. Doarama isn’t the best for analyzing flights. I uploaded the IGC file to the ToggleMonkeys dropbox. And here’s a link to the KML. https://www.dropbox.com/s/utfth5a9zndx5c5/CHRIS_LEE_2016_02_06_19_54_22.kml?dl=0
But to address your questions in case others are curious too:
1) Depends on the section you are asking about but if you notice, I took a hard right turn while in the first good piece of lift at the beginning of the flight. This was because I was approaching Lambert B Class airspace. Floor is 4500’ and I was above 5000’ when my proximity alarm went off. So I ran parallel to it for awhile waiting to sink below before crossing. At one point I thought of trying to go SE all the way around the edge of the airspace, but decided it was too far to run crosswind. After that, I had to stay under 4500’ until well past O’Fallon, Ill. So that may be part of what you’re seeing, I realized I couldn’t go higher so I set out on glide even while in lift.
2) I was mostly progressing downwind coming out of thermals. There were a couple wandering deviations when I wasn’t sure where the next ride was, so I tracked toward some LZ options like school fields. I went past Belleville West HS and a little later saw those two paragliders kiting at a middle school field. I had to leave lift near O’Fallon to skirt around Scott AFB D Class airspace.
3) Winds aloft were 15-17mph, I wasn’t going to be doing a box and returning to launch. We had some rowdy launches with a bit of cross but also some shear layers, just a lot of active flying and it felt like it required some active tow teching too (I towed Patrick once and Richard got me up both times.) I had two small asyms and a couple hard jerks coming in and out of thermal cores but nothing unmanageable, the rowdiest stuff was on tow.
4) This was the first day in awhile that I’ve seen nice cumis popping. Started across the river when we were setting up and I launched first just before the clouds got overhead. My first flight was a sled ride, actually worse. 6m/s down, consistently, from release till 800’. I almost got down faster than the drogue chute. But the cumis kept coming and Richard thinks there were cloud streets developing when I went up for my second flight. It’s snowing today, so does that mean Saturday was prefrontal? I looked at my free xcskies rearcast (you can see previous day’s forecast without paying) and the models did show “possible good XC conditions" for Saturday down in the valley.
5) This last section I was flirting with 1000’, so I was really just looking for various LZs. Ideally roads with no power lines and no tree lines on the upwind edge. So I would track one LZ until I found another further downwind. That neutral air was doing enough to maintain so I just went with it and eventually it developed. I ended up leaving that solid lift not because it topped out but because of operator error. I never switched my GPS off DST, so I thought it was one hour later than it was and I had to work that night, so I just set off on glide to make up some ground. Otherwise I could have taken that back to 4500’ and probably would have cleared the airspace by that point anyway.
While there were clouds overhead, I was mostly navigating off of ground features, trying to keep an LZ available. This was my first time flying around airspace, so another thing to think about. The rest was Richard’s “Blind Hollow-Boned Squirrel” method, otherwise known as #jetflaps. Lastly, I didn’t realize Marc's “Geographically-Challenged Disease" was contagious but apparently it is. I’m about 20 miles shy of the state record and about 1mile shy of being in bounds to count for Missouri (62.9mi). The Illinois record by Jaro is 104.2mi. My immediate goals are 100K which feels entirely attainable with our site and our support group, just need the right day. I’d also like someone, anyone, to foot launch the cemetery and sky out. And I want to see Richard land at his house.
I’d like to learn more about XC flying with waypoints and doing triangles or boxes. Going from A to B is interesting for sightseeing, but having to do upwind legs would be substantially more challenging and using waypoints would help me learn to use the instruments better. A big advantage is not having to deal with long, time-consuming retrieves (thanks again for sacrificing your flight, Nick!) An exception to this would be when we can get a whole group airborne to go XC together, so far it hasn’t happened for us, but like Lindsay’s flying in Colombia showed, could be really cool. Not sure how it would work out, we don’t really have a good stationary hill to slope waiting for everyone to launch, so I guess it would have to be on a low wind day.
Max vario 4.9 m/sec
Min vario -3.1 m/sec
Max alt (ASL) 1623 m
Min alt (ASL) 150 m
Takeoff alt (ASL) 150 m
Altitude gain 1473 m
Max speed 63.1 km/h
Mean speed 37.6 km/h
Max Distance 70.6 km (30.5 km/h)
We are a group of paragliding pilots based in the St. Louis area.