Wednesday, December 09, 2009

XC Sky-alis

Yes, Monkeys, there is a strain of Sky-alis that is stronger and makes you stay up longer and further: XC Sky-alis. Side effects: total addiction. Just when I thought I had my desires for flying regular soaring days under control, I dabbled a little more with this stronger drug. I have found the euphoria to be overwhelming and the addiction is beyond control. You just need to get higher and go further every time an XC is possible.

December 8, 2009 started off as a day that might look good for a flight around Makapuu. I met Scot, Becca, Cade and Alan G at Manics Launch, Alan G gave a great assist after a few failed attempts then I got off to follow Scot. We tried a few times to go around the corner and head for Green Walls but it just was not happening.

Alex showed up and gave it his best and was not able to make it either. We had fun in the Makapuu playground, I flew for a little longer than an hour and then had to land to pick up kids. Alex was going to fly till 3:00 pm so I thought I might be able to make it back for a second flight with him.

I arrived at Manics around 3:45 pm. Reaper was the only one in the air, but Jorge & Dave were laying out at Manics. It had gotten a little stronger, Reaper came in for a top land at the para park going backwards. Now I know when a fat bast....oh someone of large stature built close to the ground lands in backwards then I know it might be too strong for me to launch. Jorge also had an interesting launch, so I went down to Crazies. Dave flew off from Manics and was over my head. I needed to catch up to them knowing that they could supply the XC-Sky-alis.

Crazies launch has gotten more interesting with the dust screen installed for upcoming construction, but I pulled it up and out trying to catch up to Jorge & Dave.

By the time I was headed over Sea Life Park, Jorge radioed that he was already approaching Olomana, Dave was hovering just past hangy launch waiting for me, thanks Dave.

Well this trek to Green Walls I had to work at it, but just a little. I had done this trip a few times already so was really comfortable especially knowing that I was higher than Dave and he was still going for it.

The time came to make the cross to the Pali bowl, "Dave where are you?" he came back "Way below you, but you got enough go first". So I did and reached it with 1700' plenty to spare, wow a new place, oh yaa XC-Sky-alis. I was benching up on the bowl waiting for Dave. I looked below me to see Dave zipping toward St. Stephens, then he kept going left, I guess not St. Stephens but where, cause he looked really low. He made it to Pali Golf Course 1st hole green. Found out later that he skimmed the power lines and got an unfriendly welcome on landing.

Now I was here by my self still benching up, I thought I heard Jorge landed somewhere in Kaneohe, I yelled out to Bob "What do I doooo?!!" I still just kept slowly going up. When I got to the peak I could see over to town and down the Pali Highway and decided to go around and maybe head toward the Likelike. With no one to get info from I tested the waters slowly going out and back into the bowl. I remembered someone saying along time ago to go out front of the Pali pass or you'll get sucked through. When I did the big step I looked up and saw Jorge coming back, all right he is still up.

I went back to the bowl and benched up. Jorge hovered over me till I was high enough and we headed back to land at MPU LZ.

Dave tried to say that it is not an XC if you land back here, you got to land out. I still like round trips but for me, Sidehill, landing out just about anywhere can be an option. Reaper said he did an out and back XC which is way better cause nobody had to go pick him up.

I had another great flight and am totally hooked on XC flying. Hygenics maybe the next stop. Thanks for the LZ refreshments but almost did not need anything was just high on XC Skyalis.

Oh, why this PICTURE. It was a year ago almost to date that I had my first flight from Koko and this was my Welcoming crew. I have progressed alot more than I thought I would in a year. This XC was flight number 96.


Sharky said...

Awesome Story Thom! A co-worker called to let me know someone was hovering over pali and another had landed at golf course that day. I assume that must have been you hovering around cuz that's what he said it looked like the pilot was doing.

4 more to 100!!! Woot! You'll have that by end of weekend. Hope to be there to taste your 100 beerfest. :)

Any major trouble for Dave when making the emergency landing at course, or just "stink eye"?

firedave2 said...

Thom, You are really becoming one of the hard charging pilots these days, all those skils are going to useful later.
I wasn't actually waiting for you at Ironwoods, it is just that the Octane has bad performance, and it takes a long time to climb, if I even can. In the back of Maunawili, I couldn't climb as high as you, so I set off for the hairpin turn rather low. I was laughing because you were worried about being low, and I was a good 600' below you as I crept around the corner. I was on an immediate hunt for lift, as the ground was rising all around me. There was no lift to be found, so glided over the big transmission lines at tower height, fortunately there is 70' of sag in the middle of the span, and buzzed in for a nice landing by the golf course gate. I balled up the glider and walked out the gate, the only thing I got were kind words from golfers and construction guys. Scrappy got a phone call from the Course Marshall later.
I ended up hitching a couple of rides to get back to Makapuu.
My comment about it not being an XC if you don't land out,is just an observation. It always seemed that if I flew to Temple Valley and back to Makapuu it was cool, but if I bomb out at Waikane and landed out, it seemed more satisfying. I was just teasing you about launching Crazy's and landing at the LZ to not be an XC.

Yesterday, Jorge and Cade up the ante and go for an over the back from Tantalus. Jorge manages to pull a ride over tiger country and emerge in Maunawili, fly to Haiku Valley, and the back to land at Hawaii Loa College. What is next?

MauiDoug said...

Great story Thom! What a great way to celebrate your anniversary, Congrats :-) Your writing put me right there with ya! I'm looking forward to doing that trip for real with you someday soon! Thanks for sharing your new drug, I greatly appreciate it! :-)