Tuesday: NBR showing weak westerly winds. Pressure gradient -.1 “ Weak cold front passing this afternoon bringing gusty winds . Local weather forecast shows mostly west winds.
Wednesday: Pressure gradient only -.05″ and NBR and mountain sites showing light winds. Winds aloft light. Will start P1′s at 8AM.
Thursday: Pressure gradient -.13″ and NBR reporting variable wind directions. Will up slope heating overpower negative pressure gradient? Local weather link shows west winds all day. NOAA weather radio does not mention west winds.
Friday: Pressure gradient +.04″ and NBR showing light winds. Local weather forecast is for easterly winds. Thermal soaring forecast is excellent calling for active air by midday.
Saturday: Pressure difference is -.17″! Weather radio no calling for west winds yet NBR reporting gusty west winds. Current winds aloft are strong westerly. Up slope flow will cause wind direction to shift this afternoon?
Sunday: Pressure gradient +.22″! Winds aloft light at 9K and on surface in the mountains. Sunny so should be an active day. I will start with P1′s at 7AM. Great flights yesterday afternoon, today looks good also!
Looks like west winds have slowed down. Map shows high pressure to west and low to east with pressure gradient of -.12 “. Niwot Ridge still showing strong westerly winds.
Local forecast calls for easterly winds later in the morning. Will up slope over power negative pressure gradient?
NBR showing easterly winds at 6:30 AM!
Aggressive flying using much brake input near the ground is dangerous. In the advent of a loss of control, the ground is very near and there will be little room for recovery. The danger zone is 10—200 feet above the ground—-high enough to hit hard and too low to throw a reserve or for the wing to recover.
Recovering on the beach.
Midday on November 20 I had decided to hike up the hill at North Boulder for a sled ride. The sun was too far south and no frontal systems were forecast so outlook was for a smooth glide to the l.z. That was the plan as I hiked up the hill with a few other pilots. I launched with a dynamic reverse launch and flew away from the hill. I was surprised when my vario indicated light and I started to turn above the 3/4 launch. I turned closely and sharply towards the hill. At that moment I had an assymetric deflation on the inward side further slowing down wind and resulting in a spin. The glider spun 180 degrees and I was now facing away from the hill but it dove so sharply that I could not clear the hill. I felt my legs hit the ground hard. My left leg was uninjured but my right leg contacted a rock and I felt pain in it. It was apparent I could not fly or walk down so started to organize a group to carry me down on my back board. EMS and mountain rescue soon arrived and I accepted a carry down. Upon reaching the cars, I climbed out and asked my daughter to drive me to the emergency room. I was still optimistic until an X-ray confirmed that I had broken my leg.
A month later I am recovering and starting to walk but still criticize myself for flying too aggressively too close to the hill and being too greedy for light! I should have been content with a sled ride on November 20th!. Fly cautiously in the danger zone!
I have used this down time to revise and improve my web site. We have added a blog for pilots to communicate about their flying, post links to their videos and tell others about their flying plans. I will start with a blod about Mexico
Mexico P2 and P3 trios are planned for end of January. Five P2 pilots are starting January 22 and we have rented a large 15-passenger van to allow for more pilots to join us. We will be staying at the same Hotel de Los Patios in Sayula as always so that it will be a short drive to Tapalpa launch or San Marco. I recently talked with local pilots that reassured me the road to San Marco launch has be regraded and is in excellent shape.
January 29th will be an exchange day to drop off P2 pilots and pick up P3 pilots—-3 so far have sent a deposit. We will continue flying Tapalpa and San Marco but may add Colima and Hocotepec if the group wishes.
Each week is $1,500 or both for $2,500. Recommended flights prices have dropped to $469! Recommended flights are here.
I look forward to guiding pilots for my 20th year in Mexico.
My flying is still dependent on my doctor’s approval.
Call me or blog me if you are interested in joining us.