Sunday, 19 February 2017

Flying at Marshall

We only had a couple days in the San Bernardino area as potential flying days. We knew some rainy weather was headed this way.

As we drove around this suburb of Los Angeles and battled other cars for lane space on the massive freeways and dodged from one lane to the other trying to make sure we were in the right one for various turnoffs, I wondered why on earth paragliding makes me nervous at times. There's way less white knuckling involved than on these roads!

Anyway, I digress . . .

We'd emailed a couple local pilots/instructors trying to get some info on the flying and got a response from one who advised that conditions should be fine around 2 p.m. and to meet at the landing zone at that time. We were there well ahead of time. A couple other visiting pilots were there and gave us some information on their previous experience here.

Through binoculars we could see the windsock at the main launch. It was blowing in exactly the wrong direction but the forecast was for the wind to turn around. The other two people soon left. We waited a couple more hours, the wind was still completely the wrong direction and no one else was around. We eventually left too . . . only to find out that the wind changed direction (180 degrees -- are you kidding me!?!?!) and several pilots flew and had great flights. Grrrr . . . frustrating to say the least!

One very cool thing though . . . we watched a coyote skirt the edge of the landing zone. Of course, we carefully tried to get closer for some photos but he calmly wandered off until we couldn't see him any more.

The next day, despite conditions not looking overly positive at first, we both had great flights! There was absolutely no wind in the LZ and a student pilot who had come to practice his kiting generously offered to drive us up to the launch site. 

I found the air right off launch to be a bit bumpier than I'm comfortable with but there's lots of altitude here so I headed out further from the terrain and happily cruised around for a while before landing. 

Andrew had his longest flight yet and managed a couple low saves for a great flight
I somehow messed up starting my GoPro and got no video of this flight! 

The rain storm that came in was one of the worst in a very long time and 5 people were killed. We were fortunate to get ahead of it that afternoon/evening by driving to Ventura. The following day, the drive to Santa Barbara was very slow due to continued heavy rain and traffic backed up as a result of a tree fallen down over highway 101. Now crews are busy with cleanup.

No comments:

Post a Comment