Stewart Crane from Air Sailing Nevada sent his club’s news to Soaring Café: “So far, Chukar is 5th in the US for today and Dragonfly is 10th! Here are pictures of them after landing and a group picture with Mark and Skimmer. Neita says her feet got cold, so she is open to suggestions on boots and heat pads. I was just amazed that not only did Chukar fly that far but that he made it back. Do you realize how short the wings are on a 1-26?”
While Gordon Boettger in Minden headed out eastwards, some 70 miles further to the North Air Sailing’s pilots pulled their ships out for a first fun spring weekend in the Sierra Wave. Chukar (alias Bob Spielmann) flew 263 km in a Schweizer 1-26, Dragonfly (Neita Montague in her newly remodeled Libelle H 301) copied 274 km into her logbook. Guess who scored more OLC-points? Of course the short winged old-timer was rewarded for its higher efforts! While the pilots were enjoying themselves in Minden’s wave window at high altitude, over 21,000 feet high, the ground crews felt like “awaiting the B-17s as they returned from Europe…”
Minden’s pilots also took advantage of good wave conditions. Tom Bjork and Fred LaSor flew 568 km in a Duo Discus, and Pat Martin together with the Hawaiian visitor Yuko Matsumoto flew in a DG 505M. Trying to follow Jim Payne, they had to pull the engine and learned a lesson about strong wave sink and weak motorglider engines: “Don't let that engine thing go to your head. It is no match for big sink.” Fortunately they were able to find their way back into the primary wave and could fly home safely.
Meanwhile, the Payne brothers went further southwards. But after 1,243 km they could not make it back to Minden and touched down in the evening at Jim’s second home airfield in Rosamond, CA. The day had been difficult as the winds were not cooperating. Jackie Payne drove the trailer all the way down there from Minden, only to put another 400 miles on the retrieve car the next day. Launching from Rosamond on Monday morning, the Payne brothers landed after 10.5 hours in Dennis Tito’s DG 1001M near the Mexican border: “Almost 24 hours of flight time in a 36 hour period ... priceless!” Jim thanks his wife for two otherworldly days of crewing!
After this big Western Weekend, the weather changed significantly, and the higher parts of the country are again covered with a white layer of snow. Would you believe that after several days of warm and cozy spring temperatures?
Meanwhile, she has traveled a bit, flown a lot, and lived in the US.She is happy to now know glider pilots from the US too and says, “they are as amiable as everywhere on the world.” She feels fortunate to have found a temporary soaring home in Boulder, surely one of the best and most scenic places to fly on Earth!
Latest posts by Elke Fuglsang-Petersen (see all)
- CloudStreet – Soaring the American West - December 14, 2014
- No Adults allowed – Youngest German Pilots competing - October 12, 2014
- Ten DG-1001Club Trainers for Brazil - October 8, 2014