South Dakota Slopin’ Safari – July 2001

South Dakota Slopin’ Safari – July 2001
by Ed Berris

Walt Huemmer, Dave Engleson, Dave Fisher, Lee Berris (my son) and I drove to Central South Dakota for the 2001 slope expedition. We met Mirko Bodul and South Dakota slope guide and all around good guy, Rob Hurd waiting for us on the side of the road off interstate 90.  Mirko had left Milwaukee on the 18th so he already had plenty of flying time completed by the time we arrived early Friday afternoon.

Walt, Ed, Dave E. and Dave F. at the ranch in South Dakoa


We wasted no time heading to what turned out to be the most fantastic slope site I’ve visited and that includes Torrey Pines in San Diego. The hill was over 500 feet tall and the bowl shaped area we flew in extended all the way down to the river/lake below. It was not only beautiful but also a fantastic place to fly from.

The farmer that owned the land came up each day we were there to watch us fly and to visit. He and his son couldn’t have been friendlier and we also enjoyed their company. On Saturday night he (the land owner) suggested that we visit one of the restaurants that he was familiar with. He told us to be sure to tell the hostess that we were flying on his land and to treat us right.  Actually, we didn’t have to do that because while we were waiting to be seated for dinner, he called the restaurant himself to tell the owner that we were guests of his and to make sure they took good care of us.

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Installing ballast in the Prodij

I used a piece of PVC type electrical conduit that is Shoo-Gooed to the side of the fuse along side the servos. I can get about 12 oz with a steel bar and more with lead, although I have not cast the lead piece yet. On this plane 12oz is pretty good. The thing is already fast because of the thin airfoil and the clean wing so the weight helps it really cook.

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