Thursday, January 12, 2012

West Side Wonder

I have to admit, I struggled to keep myself from going AWOL from work today when I saw the following post "Bernie: Bernie & John preparing to leave Bellows, est Nanakuli at about 1100, glad to hear other are considering Nan". But I ended up sticking it out, finally meeting Moises near the Nanakuli trail around 2:45pm.

Moises and I got some in-air reports from Bernie as well as relayed conditions from his brother John out on the beach that made conditions sound ideal. So, we hiked up to low launch where cycles were consistent enough for Moises to give it a go. He had an aborted first try that ended up flipping his wing over, and by time we got that sorted out Chili had made his appearance followed shortly by JeffMc.

On Moises' second try he got off launch but turned in a direction that caused him to have twisted risers. Fortunately he's been to a maneuvers clinic so was able to spin himself back around then work the thermals to get some decent height.

JeffMc and Chili had infinite patience helping me off next. I had a bit of a challenge getting used to the idea of flying away from the hill to find those elusive columns of rising air, but was rewarded with a nice hour long flight getting up to about 2400 MSL at one point.

Later, I saw that Chili, Moises and Jeff had all landed out on dump side so pushed my way out front and landed at the beach park at the end of Haleakala Ave. Bernie & John stopped by to say a quick hello, but I didn't get to talk with them much about their flights so they'll have to fill in the details of their experience.

I did have a discussion with a local police officer who had a lot of questions about how low we could legally fly. Apparently the police got a few calls about us flying too close to the road or power lines. I assured him that we were operating within regulations and that would do our best in the future to notify emergency response personnel in advance when we fly Nanakuli again.

So to that end if you or anyone is going to fly that site, per Fireman Dave, please call 723-FIRE (3473).

The west side is truly a place of wonder, filled with majestic vistas that I feel lucky to get the opportunity to view from beneath the support of my paraglider. I look forward to soaring there again soon, with a gaggle of friends.


Thom said...

Thanks Jim,

I have part of today off and if it looks good out there, Woody & I may make the trek.

Glad you held off on going AWOL so you could get all your w**k done.

Alex said...

You guys are my heroes, not just the ones who made it up high, but anyone who chased it out there. Way to go. I couldn't believe I had kid pickups on such an epic looking west side day. I guess it was just my karma to take a turn feeling insanely envious of other pilots.

Alex said...

And Jim, your pictures are awesome. I spent some time gazing at them longingly, and I think I see some little white stepping stones forming... sigh.

Moises said...

Amen!, Thanks Jim for the site brief and help setting up!, longest thermal flight of the trip

Here is a link to that flight