Had the new Skywalk Chili 4 S out for a couple kiting sessions but this was the first flying opportunity. Winds were a little too gusty and a little too south when we first arrived. Some parawaiting and some kiting, typical day at Eagle Cliff. Around 5:30, the winds finally started settling down. Richard assisted on launch to keep me from being plucked early, especially rounding out the top of the hill. We got a nice steady cycle and agreed all systems were go.
Air was smooth and just the right speed, but still a little cross from the south. I was able to maintain and even climb a bit over the mausoleum in front of launch, but as soon as I transitioned to the southern ridge, it was a steady decline. I decided not to scrape along the trees on a maiden flight and put it down at the edge of the prairie restoration field.
Taylor launched next and also made some passes before clearing the launch area for Richard. He shot the gap but left enough margin to make the return leg for his first landing by Bluff Rd.
Both Richard and Taylor did second flights, nice sled rides just before sunset as the winds continued to drop toward evening.
Taylor eager for an off-road retrieve with his Ford F-150 Raptor.
We are a group of paragliding pilots based in the St. Louis area.