Sunday, March 2, 2008

Petersburg WV Wave Camp - from Jeff Shingleton

Guys -

I flew the wave today ! Windspeeds were 15-20 G30 20 deg xwind when I launched behind a 180hp Citabria. We towed up through rotor and it was like being inside an industrial washing machine on AGITATE cycle. Lots of slack rope to deal with. I towed to a local ridge, climbed to 4500’ in ridge lift, then moved upwind into the rotor. The rotor was enhanced by thermals. I climbed in rotor, advancing upwind until I reached 6000’, then darted upwind into the wave lift zone. I contacted on my third attempt, and was right into 4 kts up for a few thousand feet. I was playing on the edge of the rotor but finally got high enough to move away from that into more reliable lift and finally into the wave. I reached 10500’ in the secondary wave, then put the nose down and flew forward over the rotor to try to reach the primary wave. I contacted the primary wave on the first try. In that, I reached 13500 before I realized that my O2 was not working. I was flying 80kts at 13500’ in 5 kt lift when I decided not to go higher. I flew across the wind for several miles in both directions. The wave window reached the horizon in both directions.

I was flying with an ASK21 and a couple of 1-26’s. The ASK reached 9000’. Only one of the 126’s reached my altitude. At 10 minutes prior sunset, he and I opened our divebrakes and descended in a race with the sun. I was descending at 1400fpm at 78kts with the brakes fully opened. I felt like I was flying the Space Shuttle on re-entry. The descent through rotor was worse than the tow. The ASI was swinging back and forth, and the ship was pitching about quite a bit. But that little Libelle was fantastic.

Tomorrow the surface winds will be very light, but we will still have 60kts at 5000’. And it will be very sunny and reaching 60F. In the morning the inversion layer will be at around 1000’, so we are going to launch at 8am and hope to tow into the wave or thermal into it later in the day.


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