Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chasing Mad Dog

Mad Dog loves to lead the way on a cross country trip, and he's darn good at it. Sometimes he even waits for us! Today was one of those days. Many of us tried to chase him, at least as far as our time allowed.

We were lucky to be flying on a rare high cloudbase day with nice thermals, and it was pretty sweet flying for the early shift, but it turned a bit sour as the flow veered from northeast to due east, or further, shutting down many in the late shift.

I only had time for a short trip with a guaranteed return, so I watched from Olomana as Mad Dog and Allan blazed downrange, before I headed back to Makapuu. It was actually the first time I've tried to get back from there! At Makapuu I found Joey, Thom, Ike and Brent at Ironwoods, with Dave and Jorge just launching from Cactus. Meanwhile we heard that Mad Dog and Allan made it to Hygienics.

Most of the guys now up at Makapuu were not willing to jump downrange in the veering flow, but Jorge and Dave weren't worried about it - they just burned back to Puu O Kona to see if they could get up from there. And they did, although they found themselves facing into the wind as they pointed at Koko Crater. That's pretty easterly flow! Dave ended up dirting at the marsh, but Jorge managed to connect all the east faces to join Mad Dog and Allan at Hygienics.

Nova was out there too, and Allegra, and Maui Doug was there to work on the carpeting at Juice.

So much for the executive summary. If anyone is willing to share pictures or details of the day's flying, please leave a comment here or feel free to post an article of your own!


Thom said...

Thanks for the log and coffee read.

I was able to finally get up to 2100 over iron woods and started on the chase as you were returning. I watched you hit a a pile of sink and as we passed, yes I was looking at the top of your wing.

But not for long I hit the same sink and dropped like lead balloon only to turn a face the easterly flow and limp back to MPU. Landing facing the light and slightly towards manics was definitely different. That air was funky.

Alex said...

Did anyone get to cloud base? I got to 3,400 or so and still never got near the clouds. I think I heard Allan on the radio saying he was at 3,600 over the Pali or Stairway.

Strange how we could see the shadows of mid-level clouds racing offshore from the SSW. A few times I swore I was feeling air that was mixing down from that layer.

allanc said...

@Alex - The highest I got was around 3,400-ft like you. The conditions were very light and easterly when I was scratching just past the H3. Went on final glide from there to Hygenics with an almost downwind path arriving with 1,500-ft of altitude to land with MadDog.

allanc said...

@Alex - Correction I did get to 3600-ft just behind Olomana in that nice large thermal. Here is my flight track in Leonardo. The XCSoar flight application worked great during the flight. I was surprised how well the vario worked with the built in barometer in my phone.

Unknown said...

Save some of that good stuff for me!!!
Any one know when the flying will be shutdown at Christmas?
Two Hoffman pilots will be coming your way in December.

Alex said...

Doug, we never know ahead of time exactly when the shutdown is going to happen, but best to plan for the typical two week school break period covering Christmas and New Years. It will be great to see you back here. Two Hoffmans?? Wow, that's awesome! I know Caroline will turn out to be an amazing pilot.