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Greg and Tracy take a short drive to Crystal Ridge

04/21/01 – I flew the Vindicator first and had trouble finding the lift. I ended up landing it at the bottom of the hill in a convient field. I was not going to throw the Prodij off, but after some peer pressure from Tracy I gave it a throw. I worked a bit different area and was able to get about a 20 minute flight. I ended up landing the Prodij at the bottom of the hill too. The LZ at the top is small and rocks and buildings said don’t try it up here today. I would not say it was all that much fun. 45 mph may be too strong for this hill.

This was my first attempt at this hill. The wind direction seemed good, but the lift band was very narrow. I think a more Southerly or Westerly wind would work better because Southwest seems to get split on the corner of the hill. Tracy has flown in lighter winds and reports good lift

Tracy takes off a day of work to fly at Crystal Ridge

Crystal Ridge- Milwaukee, WI

Tracy’s Report – 04/13/01

I took Friday off to do nothing other than fly my planes. Bright and early Friday I went to Crystal Ridge to fly the Zagi off of the west face of the hill. Nice westerly wind, not too fast, but just right for my first try with this plane. The hawks were VERY interested in this new bird in their sky. I had one that flew about three feet off of the wing, mirroring every turn I made. He flew off after a while but returned with wings folded doing about 50mph! He screamed to a halt right along side the Zagi and again mirrored every movement. It was definitely the best soaring moment I’ve ever had!

Later on, I saw a group of four of them in a tight circle, thermalling over the trees below the hill. I flew over to them to get in their lift and none of them seemed to mind except a really bright red one. He descended to get a better look, then after deciding that I wasn’t much of a threat, let out a cry which was echoed by the other three. Too cool.

I also flew the Majestic with my new high-start to some amazing heights and one incredible 24 minute flight that could have gone much longer. I got nervous when a curiously low Sun Country jet flew almost right over the ski-hill. I came in for a landing immediately after that. I’m sure that the jet was over 6,000 feet and my plane never got above 2,000, but better safe than to be the cause of a disaster.

Later that day I flew the XterminatorĀ at the local school. It was going great until I hit a light pole 50 feet off the ground with the wing. Depth perception was incredibly difficult against the clear blue sky. I thought I was well beyond the light pole. The plane skidded down along the pole toward the concrete base and shattered the fuse when it hit. Believe it or not, the plane still flew after the accident, even with the nose section splintered from the plane. After an hour repair job, I was back at the school with about 25 more flights (the next day my arm was so sore that I thought it would fall off!)

I went back to the ski hill on Saturday morning with the Zagi. The wind was blowing a lot more than the day before, so there was a LOT more lift. I had some incredible flights, very fast. Faster I think than I’ve ever flown before…which explains the crashes. It’s very easy to get disoriented with a flying wing. Did I mention that I love EPP? No damage done. I just tossed it out again for more abuse. I practiced bleeding off speed by coming up the face of the hill and plopping it down on the ridge on which I was standing. Got pretty good at it too. Landing a foam and glass ship will be tricky as the hill face is nothing but dirt and broken concrete. I think I’ll watch you do it before I try it with a plane of my own. The hill is excellent in northwest to southeast winds. You’ve got to try it.

Greg Flys at The Big M

Flying at The Big M

Platteville, WI – 04/01/01 Greg

I got the opportunity to fly at the Big M today. I was coming back from a wedding in Iowa and routed the return trip past this large mound in Southwest Wisconsin.

This was the second flight for the SH-50 and the conditions were perfect to test the plane more thoroughly than the first test flight, which was done in 6 or 7 mph winds. Today was about 15-18 mph. It was coming a bit more northerly than is ideal, but this place has very good lift and I had no problem putting the SH-50 through it’s paces. This plane flies very well! It accelerates quickly, rolls very fast and loops are tight. Pylon turns are quick and it is easy to work a small area of the slope. I flew it unballasted at about 17 oz. I can’t wait to ballast it up.

If you are going to be in the area and would like to fly here contact:

Greg Smith – ( I am a couple of hours away, but can make the trip with enough notice.)

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