Monday, March 23, 2009

Warm Up

Double Click Image Above.
Monday was a good warm up for summer XC planning through execution. Initial look at XCSkies indicated that good lift (3500ft agl-tul - the red line above) along with a tailwind, would present itself over the SW to NE XC route from Eagle. Eagle wind speeds would likely exceed launch parameters mid day when lift was maximum for the XC route so I planned to launch early work ridge and wait for thermals.

Not a bad plan and it was great to watch the day work toward goal but a long XC will have to wait for later in the season.

As the top of usable lift increased over the morning - each successive ride to the top was higher by 4-500 feet but the winds also increased making it harder and harder to penetrate back into lift or to the ridge when I lost the thermals. After about 2 hours of work I dropped out the back in a laps in attention and it was all over. I couldn't make it back to the ridge and had to top land on the plateau. The nice thing about Eagle is that the plateau is big, flat and rotor free.
It was a good warm up to work through weather, route, strategy, tactics and execution.

Lessons learned - Focus Focus Focus.

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