Thanks to Gordon Boettger for sending us this post-flight wrap-up. On April 14th, Gordo and Hugh flew Hugh’s Duo Discus 691 miles from Minden, NV to Gunnison, CO, which reset the U.S. multiplace record for free distance.
Considering the lack of good lift I’m very pleased with the outcome. As we all know in the soaring community you have deal with what’s handed to you. Patience was the key today. Looking back I can’t really see anything I would have done differently and, therefore, It was a very frustrating day from the standpoint of lift strength. As we looked at the weather on Friday we noticed that the lower level winds (700mb) had fallen off significantly for Sundays attempt but that everything else was in line. Having briefed with Walt Rogers the key was to stay high, go for the BIG peaks, and be very patient due to the expected slow climbs. There were no markers for the most part and the climbs were brutally slow with the exception of one climb. I had to accept 1-3 kts most of the day (the last half of flight I found 5-6 kts in one climb). It took over 2 hours just,to leave the Minden area. As expected, the ridge top winds were very light throughout the flight although up high they were screaming.
I can only imagine had we had the opportunity to climb at 8-10 kts. Kansas would have been easily doable.
Thanks Hugh Bennett for flying with me (sorry for all the cussing in the cockpit), Walt Rogers for wx updates and tracking, Mike Mitton for crewing, Pat Kelly for towing, and Rick Walters and Devin Barginnier for launch support.
I’m glad we were able to share the experience outside of the cockpit.