Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Sweetness

After many false starts, summer has finally arrived on Oahu. With little fanfare, the month of August has quietly heralded the dawning of a belated but consistent summer season of flying, after we'd all long given up hope. Better late than never! Despite a humble and inconspicuous beginning, it has turned into a magical month in many ways. Not just because of the great flying weather, but also because of all the new toys, new pilots, and exciting new travel adventures.

We've been so busy flying that we've neglected to chronicle the highlights of many of these amazing August days. I know I have been remiss! My only excuse is the accursed new camera strapped to my head that controls my every move. But I am slowly figuring out how to get the upper hand. I have deleted (gasp!) some of the less interesting days of footage, and I'm getting a bit faster at picking out the good bits from the better days. Here is a quick summary of the most recent six days of sweet cross country flying since my last rather stale post, along with a couple of new videos.

I think it's possible that some pilot or other has flown every single day in August. We've had some strongish days, but that hasn't stopped the regular crew. You know who you are. The weekends have been lighter, and I have to admit I am holding out for the lighter cross country days exclusively, now that I am commanding a fearsome spaceship that is hungry for parsecs. I was lucky to score seven mind-blowing cross country flights in six days over the last two weekends. The Milk Run was the first, but that milk has turned pretty sour by now. Here are the next six.

Sat 11: Warp Speed Superchronic

On my second day flying the new spaceship, I had excellent company! Duck and Scot followed me to complete a chronic double out and back loop (Kahana-Kualoa-Punaluu-Kahana), followed by a bonus dash to Maui Doug's Kite Spot in Waiahole. We once called that trip the Superchronic. I still think it's a good name! My GoPro expired halfway through, but not before I caught some very pretty scenes!

The rest of the flight had to be captured in still images. Roll call: Jim, Sharky, Duck, Scot, Joey, Bill, Roland, Woody, Roadkill, Bonnie, Jas, McStalker, Five-0 Mike, Nightshift. Frank and Scrappy were at Makapuu, and possibly Maui Aaron, and Allan, and Five-0 Mike (before he came out to Kahana). Thanks to Roadkill Jeff for the ride back from MDKS. Thanks to Nightshift for the very special Flying Monkey beverages from Toronto!

Thu 16: Cracking off a Chronic

Arriving late after a day of family errands, and thinking I'd missed the good part of the day, I flew a lightspeed chronic mission under gray skies, then crossed the bay one more time to land at Swanzys. Wow, does this new machine want to go places, and fast. No footage today. Thanks to Woody for the pickup! Roll call: Brent, Woody, Roadkill, Joey, Doug, Bonnie. TommyRD, Frank, Five-0 Mike, and Jason flew Makapuu.

Fri 17: Dark Side of the Pyramid

Flew to Kualoa, then to the Pyramid, and then to Waiahole with Duck. Thanks to Brent for the retrieve! Lake had a nice flight to Kualoa and back. The Pyramid reminded me why I don't like to be back there on a strong day. But the IP6 seems to handle collapses in rotor even better than my last wing! Above is Duck's video from the flight. Below is mine. Lots of pilots came over for burgers after the flying was done. Roll call: Lake, Woody, Andrew, Brent, Firefly John, Bonnie, Sharky, Joey, Doug, Jason, Steve, Roadkill, McStalker, Gaza.

Sat 18: Two flights between squalls

Launched after a squall, and flew to MDKS in Waiahole, landing in front of another squall. Thanks to Thom for the prompt pickup as he was headed to Kahana! I hiked back up and flew again, tagging Kualoa this time, before landing at Swanzys in front of another squall. I got footage of both flights, and will try to do something with it later. Thanks to Duck for the pickup. Roll call: Woody, TommyRD, Roland, Duck, Thom, Hilo Ken, Kevin, JeffMc.

Sun 19: Resistance is Futile

I am Locutus of Borg. You will be assimilated! Today I completed the chronic loop in the most easterly conditions ever. That was amazing enough. But even more amazing was how the clouds were forming below us as we got high at Puu Piei. I am starting to call those clouds that form below us McClouds, in honor of Jeff who loves that kind of day more than anything. On this day I was able to stay above that milky white landscape for much of the flight, as the sun was going down and lighting the clouds on fire. Holy cow, that might be the prettiest footage I ever shot. Thanks to Duck for the pickup from the grassy fields of Punaluu. Roll call: Roland, Five-0 Mike, Joey, Scrappy, Steve, Woody, McStalker, Bonnie, Larry, Duck, Kevin, Sandy, Johnimo, visitor Sylvester from Seattle.

I'm sure I missed some folks in the roll calls. For instance, I know Allegra was out on some of those days, but I can't remember which! And I know there are other great stories to be told. Please chime in with a comment or a fresh post if you have one to share.


Thom said...

Good re-cap I did have to hit the glossary a few times. 'Parsecs' now I know your new craft is all that but if you get that kind of mileage maybe we should call your wing the PriusX.

Who is 'Roadkill', another call sign to be added to the infamous?

Duck said...

Thanks for the great recap and the hours of scotch drinking required to get through not just one, but two awesome videos! Does the alien space technology cover livers? Well, who cares? Now that you've been assimilated, you can just use the nanorobots to filter your blood...

Was fun flying the Superchronic with you and chasing you around...with that new wing, we are gonna have to find a new way to classify flights otherwise we'll endup with the Megachronic, the Super Megachronic and the Triple!

Geronimo John said...

Amazing. Well done.

JeffMc said...

Nice vids and write-up Alex! loved the "McCloud" soaring! lol Yup - my favorite days!!

Kevin said...

I had two great days of flying, Jeff and I waited some squalls out in some nice shelters on North Launch and I just wanted to say thanks to whoever put them there. It kept me and my wing dry. Great job on those!