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South Dakota Slope Trip 2002 notes by Bill Kuhl

Ed Berris did a great job of describing the September slope trip to South Dakota, I just wanted to add a few comments and offer the digital pictures I had taken. This was my first sloping trip to South Dakota, but it will not be my last. Most of my sailplane flying has been thermal soaring, but I have a new appreciation of slope soaring after this trip.

Taking a trip like this, you have to look at the whole experience, not just the flying. All the things you learn, the camaraderie of being around other people with similar interests, and enjoying the outdoors, no matter what the weather is like. I picked up more soaring knowledge during the meals we shared, than reading a month of Soaring Exchange.

Emil and Larry had their JW’s in the DS grove together

 

 

Observing DS for the first time was a real treat. Watching it on video, makes it look much easier than it really is. Even the very experienced pilots were bashing the hill because their planes were caught in turbulence around the DS groove. I really have an appreciation of the durability and performance of the newer EPP slope planes, how these planes survive repeated crashes on the rocky slopes is beyond me. I joked with the guys, “Imagine if DS was discovered when everyone flew balsa sailplanes?”

As far as my flying, in three and a half days of slope flying, I must of accumulated more stick time than most power flyers in my local club put in during an entire season of flying. But, next trip I will have at least one JW for sure.

Larry’s JW passing through the separation layer, Ryanchecks speed, and Rob getting ready to enter DS groove.

 

Start of another great slope soaring day

 

For those of us that did not think we could drive to the top, we unloaded and walked up

 

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