Flying in my Quicksilver
May 20, 2001

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On Sunday, the 20th, I took off a bit later in the morning... In fact, Jim had
replaced the sparkplugs, and it started on the first pull (it's NEVER done
that! :-) He flew for about an hour, so I didn't get in the air until about 8:40am.
The air was pretty turbulent.

The bad news about the photos (as you can easily see) is that I forgot to
turn my camera around during takeoff, so all the dew on the runway
splattered on to my lens and the result is, well, terrible!

Ok, well, forgive my mistake... but parts of the flight were spectacular... to me,
anyway. I had not yet flown above the clouds, and I had decided to try to
fly to the Alvin Airpark... and one of the pilots who had just landed told me
that it was smooth at 1500 feet. So, off I went, to 1500 feet, where I found
myself above the puffy-whites.

Looking off to my right, just over my radio, are more of the fleecy, but bumpy, clouds. But
I must say, it was almost smooth above the clouds. Soon enough, though, I had to begin
my descent as I was only about 5 miles out.

This next photo was probably the best of the lot, inasmuch as the spots weren't too
obvious... it was also a rare moment when the haze seemed to be at a minimum... Off
in the distance is the Alvin Airpark. You can see that this area is a bit more built-up
than the empty fields around Bailes. By this time I was, as you can see, below the
clouds again, and it was much bumpier.

Here, I tried to zoom in on the Airpark... because of the bumpiness, I really couldn't
get a steady shot, so this image suffered...

I attempted a landing and got down to about 20 feet AGL, but the wind was
really tossing me around, and I was a little worried about my fuel level. Consequently,
I just did the fly-by, then powered up and headed back for Bailes. The picture
below shows the haze is still evident... and the clouds had increased their altitude
so much, that there was no way I could climb above them. Plus I had a headwind and
my groundspeed was down to about 32mph.

I did, of course, make it back to Bailes, but it was slo-o-o-w going. The photo below
is about 2 miles out.

Well, that is pretty much a normal weekend of flying for me! The afternoons are
usually way too windy and/or bumpy to go up, so I am left with the morning... but
they are usually glorious! Flying an open ultralight is the _only_ way to fly! <g>


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