Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Focused Pilots Fly-Strong

We are all wearing these rubber bands now, reminding us to be focused pilots - thanks USHPA. But sometimes you got to put on the yellow band that simply says "FLYSTRONG". My mother-in-law (you all know Carol) decided to go on a cruise, which means I actually have to watch my own kids. Today was one of those days when you just wanted to text the kids with a phrase, "Walk Home Please, It's Epic." I have not got my hands on my birthday wing yet, so I still gotta be good.

I picked up the rug rats and was driving up Keolu drive, and Kalei says, "Dad, look!!! There are 2 gliders over Olomana." Yup, skied out right in front of me: Jorge and Dave. Bastards couldn't wait. I may have broken a few speed limits but I did slow down a bit as I passed the house and ejected my passengers.

Arriving at Crazymans, I looked at the glum faces of FlyStrong and Nova. They were trying to decide whether it was too cross or not. I wasted no time, laid out, looked left, then right, and I was gone. It was a lot more cross the other day so this was going to be easy.

I blazed down towards Pine Trees with only a few boosty spins. I could see that Jorge and Dave were bouncing back and forth from Olomana and the Dumps. Dave finally settled on heading to Lanikai after a climb to 4,400 feet. He must have got some serious sink holes arriving at Lanikai at 700 feet. Dave landed at Lanikai. Jorge, not wanting to follow his wing man, peeled off back to Olomana to seek out new wingmen.

Circling the most buoyant thermals in a long time was still a little nerving for me but I kept at it. Then I headed to meet Jorge on the back range. FlyStrong had now crept right up behind me and we started for the Pali. Jorge had taken an inside line and was sinking out. FlyStrong and I went wide which seemed much better, but not wide enough. I was in the lead but waiting for FlyStrong to peel off and head back. Finally he said, "I am not feeling it." Before he could finish, I leaned right and limped back to the range.

Now JK was in the mix, he is back with a vengeance after his long self-induced grounding. (He bought a house.) He left on a track basically skipping Olomana cause he was so high, and did a direct route to Lanikai. During debriefing he asked, "Can I count that as a Lanikai flight? I've never flown there!"

FlyStrong and I played around on the back with Jorge for quite some time. Jorge was a true inspiration. I tried to head out a few times but was called back, "Thom, where are you going? It's going to get nice, come on back."

Finally it was just that time, and I left the playground, flew out over Rabbit with Nova putting on an acro show below. Made a turn at the backside of Rabbit and headed for the light house. I watched Roland land using a normal approach but then he just crabbed along the guard rail and set it in. I did pretty much the same but I always try to drop it on Goto's glider. I grazed it enough to get him fired up, always a good thing.

Jorge flew for 5 1/2 hours, with no gloves and snapping pictures most of the way. Dave and JK landed at Lanikai and managed to get rides. The rest of the roll call all landed back at the LZ a little chilly, with big old smiles and awesome salsa provided by Ces.

MPU De-icers: Jorge, Fireman Dave, FlyStrong, Sidehill, Nova, JK, 5-0 Mike, Roland, Franky, Goto and Tim. Laura was there, freezing after she brought here wayward hubby back to the LZ. I think that was it, my focus is getting a little dim at this point.

It's Time To Fly-Strong, Get Your Gear and Go !!!! And Always Stay Focused.


sandy said...

Sounds like it was a nice challenge out there -- gotta love Jorge's focus and optimism!

Thom said...

When ever Jorge calls me I always answer the phone, "Master Jorge, what are we doing today?" He is an inspiration but I am still going to get warmer gloves. Cresting near 4k on a north wind is too chilly for my middle aged fingers.