Allan Carstensen sent in this story.
Hi Greg. I noticed that you don’t have many flying sites listed in Northern California. Well I’ve got a great site for you. I’m usually the only RC’er there and once in a while I get to fly along with an occasional hang glider or paraglider, as well as hawks, osprey and gulls.
The spot is Goat Rock State Park on the Sonoma County coastline, where the Russian River empties into the Pacific. You can fly in winds from the north-west to the south.
After a nearly disastrous start to my Airtech Fitness’s life I got the maiden flight out of the way and found the plane an excellent flyer.
|Fitness ready to go
The disaster nearly happened on my first maiden voyage attempt at Big Bay. The wind was coming in at about 20 and I felt it would be a good first flight day. Plenty of lift! So, I range checked it and tossed it off the hill. Got about 70 feet. Looks good! In the next few seconds I had visions of the Wizard going in the lake as the Fitness was not responding to control inputs and threatening to follow suit. Wait, there, it turned back towards the hill. Oh, no input, not responding and it is heading over my head! More mashing of the controls and the plane dives into the ground going 40 or 50 mph. I got that sick feeling you get when a plane crashes and it seems like it will be toast.
Mirko got his Wizard BPV Crosstail set up and took a couple of pix.
|Mirko and his new Wizard BPV in Renault livery
Hey, y’all sorry for the delay with the report. I recently spent several days with Jack Cooper of Leading Edge Gliders working on a video project that you will see in the not too distant future. We are at the editing stage which often takes longer than I expect but I think the effort will be worth it. Jack is a super builder and we got a lot of his most prized tips on tape. As you probably already know, Jack is a great guy and really knows his stuff.
Of course the shoot went longer than I’d planned which meant that I was way behind when I got home. Been catching up since. Well that and we have had a couple of days of flyable weather here and that almost always tends to derail my plans. As you know, you gotta fly when the conditions permit!
The plane in the sunset shots is one of Jack’s Hughes H-1s and it flies pretty much like all his 60-inch planes which is to say really sweet. This one is actually belongs to and was built by Erik Eaton but he let us borrow it for some pix. Erik did a really sweet job shaping and finishing the plane. He is somewhat of a perfectionist and it shows. Well, that and access to Jack’s shop can’t hurt! The wind never really got blowing but the Hughes works well even in 10 mph of wind.