Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gust Kiss Land

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Rippling gusts played with the newly forming leaves in the trees.  The moving air went across the short strands of wheat in the nearby fields, like waves over a tossed pond surface.

Checking the local weather, even with gusts to 26mph, I had to do it.


Extraordinary beauty.

Dusk approaches, takeoff, strut view.

Everywhere I look, I see the sea of wheat.  I see the wind rippling through it.  I see the shadows.  I see the green.

Sea Of Wheat
I make four or five touch and goes.  They are challenging:  the gusts are testing my alertness on the controls.  My UltraCub cuts through them.

While resting on the runway, I take a picture of the wind sock.

Wind Sock
I take off again, rise through the chopped air, and take more pictures.

View of our fields
Coming in one last time, somehow I manage to get video of my approach and landing.

It's gusty.  The airplane descends to the grass field, and the wheels reach for the grass like a man seeking a kiss at the end of a date.  Then the kiss happens, and it is beautiful.

70 feet later, the airplane has rolled to a stop.

See it here on youtube.

Technical comments:

1)  Yes it was very windy.  The UltraCub did fine, but I made all takeoffs and landings with zero flaps.  This is unusual.

2)  The slow stall speed of the UltraCub is an advantage for the very short ground roll, both on takeoff and landing.

3)  All my turns in the air were very flat and measured.

4)  Climbouts were also flat so as to gain airspeed and ensure against a gust caused stall.

5)  You can see the three pointer landing at full stall working to my advantage.  When the plane stalled, I was as slow as possible and the gusts on the ground no longer made a difference.

6)  I am a high time pilot with sharp taildragger skills.  This is dangerous stuff and I was above our recommended Belite conditions.  You do it at your own risk, OK?  That's what our liability agreement says anyway.

7)  It was beautiful.  Gust Kiss Land.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi James, been watching the progress of these birds for some time with you. I have a kit that I purchased a few years ago and now wish so badly I would have your kit. Sadly I will have to make the best with what I have as it is nearing completion. Good on you and your vision to keep UL sport alive !
Regards, Mike