Saturday, August 13, 2011

Monkey Scratch, Part Deux

I really wanna be more like Thom! I really wanna be more like Thom! This is the mantra echoing through my head, as I scratched for a full half hour in the venturi above Crouching Lion. More like Thom! Thom could do it! If I were only as brave as Thom … I think Thom must have gorilla balls. (Check out the video below.)

Eek into the lee … up and back … push forward … rotor and down … shit, shit, shit! Back, Be Patient. Wait For It. It Will Come! Up to 900, haha, I've got it!!! Down to 650, what the hell??? Rain on the horizon. Gonna get slammed. Time to play. Back across the bay in my new race-rig. Turny, floppy, buzzy, FUN!!! Whew! I needed that!

I wanna be more like Thom (or Alex)!

Author's Note: I would like to point out, primarily in support of Thom's comments below, that at NO TIME did I put myself into any position where I lost the option of a good LZ.  That is the primary reason that I scratched for soo long.  I was simply not willing to push it to the next ridge low--at that point there are NO options other than getting up, getting hurt, or going down someplace you don't want to.  I try hard not push the limits to the point where I lose my options and I would recommend we all do the same--having options, and understanding how to prioritize those options helps you be a safer pilot.


Click here for full-screen version of this video!


Alex said...

A scotch powered saga of soaring and scratching!

- Thermal Research Reviews

Sport 4 said...

It's ok...if you like that sort of thing!

Alex said...

Out of the dozen pictures I kept from the batch I shot today, seven of them happen to feature Duck, variously scratching, soaring, landing, and celebrating. Great flying today!

Thom said...

Wow, never saw my name in a story so many times.

First I would like to say, " don't".

I got to the know a little over 800feet. My normal urn and burn number. I pushed in any way and scratched.

I went up and sown between 1000 to 600 with NO safe LZ tangible, as JK later was to attest by not making his return and AllanC a few days before. I just stayed longer and got lucky to be able to scratch up. I also had Alex over me so I figured there had to be some lift.

When you reach the knob at your turn altitude, whatever it is.....think about it. We have been lucky here with water landings others have not.

You can also get miss leading intel. "I went 1/2 way down and came back." That was the trigger that made me try going up the valley but I also had the dirt road below and that huge green valley LZ.

My story said LZ 99% of the way!!! The 1% could have been disastrous. From the base of the Pyramid back toward the valley LZ, its jungle and into the wind. I had hit my turn altitude but got a beep. Another millisecond and I was looking at a land out I had never been at before and a long walk out.

We got high on Pyramid but I did not watch the horizon, Alex did, I got sucked up into a cloud, this time it was a nice cloud.....sometimes they are not!!

Hope fully all went through Alex's pictures. The last shot of me kissing the ground, well, as the old saying goes, "Better to be on the ground than in the air wishing you were on the ground."

My flight was not bad but it was "Ballsy". I knew others had done this and the wind direction and strength gave me comfort to get back there. This is not always the case, watch your weather, especially when going somewhere NEW.

You want to emulate a Good pilot??? Answer: Alex. He waited for someone else to go then he followed. We joke about wind dummies, do you really want to be that guy?

Yup, you'll get pats on the back and maybe even a Certificate from the Reaper. I still have my first one of my legendary flight from MPU to Kahana, but it reminds me everyday of what happened 3 days after. If you have not heard the story you should before becoming that guy.

I not trying to be a downer here but we have pilots even newer than I was trying stuff, which is..ok..but these stories may instigate a push without knowledge and we should always try to throw it into our stories.

Its Time to Fly Get Your Gear and 'Safely' Go !!!

We are more monkeys now than ever, lets keep it that way.

Thom said...

Yup me again, just read my comment there are a few spelling errs that I can't edit but perhaps Alex can.

Just one more liiiittle thing....

We fly in Hawaii 'easy' air often friendly clouds. Many of us have been in the 'White Room' and others have seen us in there. If you fly the mainland or any other BIG air sites clouds are DEADLY.

The story of the 2 pilots sucked into a cloud at 18K, passing out and reaching over 30K. One made it out after waking up at 2K. One did not make it and died. Which pilot do you want to be?? Answer: Just in case you need one NEITHER.

Pete, The Reaper, has a bunch of safety stories....ya,ya,ya we know, we have heard them a million times. Sometimes it takes a million + 1 to make it sink in.

Ike doesn't say much and I have had the displeasure of NOT listening when he does, look up "Pounders Splash".

We have some good pilots here listen to them and filter the info as needed.

Old Grays: Pilots with more than 10years of safe flying or an age combined with years of safe flying.

We have great visiting pilots coming here too and they read these stories and the chatter box. The water and tree incidents here that mostly is all laughed about locally, I am sure is not from the Big Air Pilots.

After these two comments I may have to change call sign from "Sidehill" to "Doom&Gloom".

These are just reality check comments for our new pilots. It is the million+1 reminder for the old grays amongst us.

I am NOT an old gray, but I sure as Hell want to be.

Again I apologize for the rants.

Mad Dog said...

Duck I think everyone is thinking I want to be like Thom & Duck! Both you guys have excelled fast since your early days & now show Qualities its hard to teach but must be aquired sometimes after such hardships of the learning curve.

Hats off to both of you...Keep those options open & plenty of altitude below Ya.

Aloha from Annecy