Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy SeaHawkensmith Day

Another awesome flying day and a great day for Washington football fans, including one particular monkey who is hanging his hat in Seattle, temporarily! Bill 'FlyStrong' Hockensmith has been back visiting his home sites. He brought some amazing weather, not from Seattle I am guessing, but he and we have scored flights for the last ten days from the End of the World to Makapuu.

Well, today was his last day and not only did he score a three hour Makapuu flight, but the Seattle Seahawks won and are going to the Super Bowl again. Seems like whereever this guy goes it's good for everyone around him. He headed back last night to Seattle with a para-grin that will last him through the rest of the north pacific winter. If that starts fading, he can edit those million plus pictures and get them posted.

When Bill and I got up this morning and went into the living room, we realized it was a good thing Donna was on the Big Island. We had redecorated her living room with a Cayenne 4 and an Artik 3 spread out all over the furniture. I had been too lazy to pack up after a Diamond Head flight and he landed too late to pack up after a Dillingham flight.

The clouds were low but the sun was coming out, and Bill was reluctantly positive: I think it's going to be good on this last day, and if not there's a Seahawks game on. Feeling Donna's wrath, we packed up and reset the living room as best we could, while watching the begining of the game. Reports started chirping in that Makapuu was looking good, but the Seahawks were down 13-0, so we turned off the game and went flying.

It was a north day, a little light at Manics and a little strong at Cactus. Do you hike up for a guaranteed yank up, or throw it over the wall for a scratch and pray? I got the scale out and had everyone weigh in. If you were on top or over the wing's placard, you were hiking and possibly in need of the exercise anyway. Reaper decided to take a tandem out of Manics, possibly over the placard in his tandem solo! He made it out of there but it was a scratcher. The other tandems that were up had launched Cactus while the SanFran Fliers went out of Manics earlier.

Alex arrived as I was launching Manics. He was going up to Cactus to assist a visitor P-2 from Utah. Yup, it was a P-2 day, with sponsorship of course, and if you weren't there you missed a fun one. I buzzed by the Cactus launch and headed for Ironwoods. The lift was getting easier, cloudbase was okay but maybe not enough for a run north. Oh wait, today's Sunday! The Kaneohe tower is closed, which means no airspace, so I am going.

I pushed to Pu'u O Kona. Alex radioed to the SanFran crew that I was heading out and to follow me. I reported, that I would rather be back there cause it ain't working here. The lift was infrequent and now I was sinking and sinking hard. The flymaster was growling so I pushed out towards the fields of Waimanalo.

Just as I was picking my field and hoping someone was driving by I caught a flat land beep. I was hoping for enough to make to a field nearer the main road but it kept beeping and getting stronger. At last, I was back up from 900 feet to 2,700, and not wasting an inch of altitude I head straight back to the playground.

We boated around for a bit. Alex was up now, and convinced me to try it again with him and Scrappy and Bay Area Jacob, so off we went. It was better, and the lift at Pu'u O Kona was more consistent if you were high enough. I flew along Green Walls, not even getting up to ridge height due to cloud base, but it was smooth. I passed the finger that connects Olomana to the range at Lanipo. On the other side there was nothing but sink, so quickly I turned and limped back over it to more buoyant air.

You don't want to be sinking out back there. LZs are limited and the golf course that looks good is very hilly for making landings. Josh called it interesting. Alex did the smart move, which was to send a wind dummy in and then make the call. He was high on Green Walls when I was trudging back. I went back to the playground, and he stayed a while hoping for better cloud clearance.

Heading back towards Makapu'u it looked like an invasion. The sky was full of wings. This roll call is going to be tough. I even caught Maui JJ flying the melon ball Aspen 3. Loved that wing. I found Bill flicking away, wishing he a had a magazine of SD cards to auto reload. We had a short camera war, which I would lose with my point and shoot against his big gun SLR. Hopefully we'll see his shots posted soon.

The tandem crews were out in force, taking future pilots and family members up to see why we are so passionate about this addiction. From the smiles I saw on the LZ, there may be some new faces in ground school and I am guessing there won't be any interventions in our pilots homes. Our tandem pilots are some of the best around, (hint hint), and my family needs air time to keep them from clipping my wing(s).

A great day for all our locals and the big batch of visitors who got a taste of easy peasy ridge flying.

It's Time to Fly, Get Your Gear and Kick Off to a Great 2015, Happy SeaHawkensmith Day!

Roll Call: Fireman Dave, Doug, Jorge, Ray, Pete, Thom, Flystrong, Alex, Jim, Scrappy, Shawn, Harvey, Frank, Ken, Ike, Vin, JJ, Ginny, Berndt, 5-0 Mike, Goto, Mike Bensin, (4) SanFran Fliers (Mike, BobP, Jacob, Evan), UT Mark, MA Topher.

Kahana Fliers: Duck, Steve, Drew, and maybe double dipper JJ.


firedave2 said...


I figured you for a New England guy. FDave

Thom said...

Ya Dave but we all ready have a Patriots Day (Vetrans Day) and a bunch of SuperBowls. Seahawks time to live a little.......but I am cheering for the Pats on SuperBowl Sunday!!! Heck they haven't won a Super Bowl in awhile and Brady ain't get'n any younger.

Thanks for posting up and hope your tandem pass had fun.

Thanks for the edits Alex and for mentoring UTMark. Wow 23 pg pilots and 2 hangies in the air at MPU plus 3 in LZ plus 3 possibly 4 at KNA. What a day.