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Dixon's Notes

14. Spring Time Considerations

The sun is spending more time above the horizon, birds are soaring, it's actually getting warm during the day, ahhh it's spring!

Had to dig my glider out from under all the ski and skate equipment and blow off the dust. There's a nagging voice that I should have sent the glider off for an inspection and reserve repack while it was still Winter. I said out loud, to override the sensible voice in my head, "It can't hurt to take advantage of at least one weekend, it look so good and all my friends are heading out." It's amazing how one weekend leads to another and another and then it's mid Summer and that inspection and reserve repack are destined to get done the following Winter. Chances are that I'll never need that reserve anyway.

The sky is clear; it's a crisp morning, but quickly warming. It's early in the season and it doesn't seem like conditions could be too strong, maybe someone else will have checked the weather. Where are those notes on how to check the weather, does checking the weather ever pay-off anyway? What was the rule about checking for NOTAMs, there won't be any XC anyway, will there? What's the phone number for calling the weather liar, (the briefer)? Heck, you just have to fly what you get, if you can get off launch, that's all that counts. Gotta fly no matter what, a little excitement is a good thing. It doesn't matter if I chose to add a little risk to my life, if I'm dead and they close the site because of my accident, what will I care? This pattern could continue throughout the summer, it's amazing how one weekend leads to another and then another and getting into the habit of studying the WX, and making sense of what conditions are best, never seems to happen, oh well.

How embarrassing, just laid out the glider upside down, hope no one saw that bonehead move. Man oh man, just hooked the glider to the harness with everything's all screwy, and everyone is watching, they must be laughing. What can anyone expect, that I might have gone out to the park and worked through my stuff and practiced some launches before getting out to the mountain? Who really has time for that kind of anal behavior? Must admit, the tension is mounting, if only I could get off launch, I'm really good in the air, maybe should have done some practice at the park. Maybe a forward launch will go better, can't afford to blow a 6th try at a reverse launch. Whoops, while facing forward for the launch a gust came through and the glider was blown over some rocks, only 2 attachment points got pulled out, should be "ok", if it will launch it should fly just fine.

Sure wish I'd had something better than a bicycle helmet, looks like my nose is flat as a pancake from the face plant, will blood clean off the glider? While turning the glider right side up it was easier to undo the leg straps to move around, would have been nice to have found them undone during a pre-flight - how does that pre-flight checklist read? Hope someone helps get me out of this tree, has a tree saw, has a rope, called 911 and knew the coordinates of where I'm hanging. Wait, it looks like everyone is having so much fun flying that they don't want to help me! Maybe they can't see me down here, sure wish the radio battery were charged, guess 5 months in the closet drained the battery.

Now there are 2 more broken lines and a slight 15-inch rip in the wing from the tree landing. Might have to send the glider off next week for a repair, then the inspection can get done and the reserve can be repacked. I should probably go through the reserve deployment sequence with an instructor at some point, hmmmm.

Great, lost yesterday to that silly leg-strap pre-flight error, but today seems ok, at least the sky is mostly blue; man those higher clouds look like space ships. Wonder if anyone will show up with the WX stuff today, seems like no one had a clue yesterday. Got to get off launch, maybe my friend can spot me. Yippeee, 'in the air again, like a brood of geese we fly through the ridge lift.' Man is this harness uncomfortable, need to let go of the brakes to grab the seat and get myself just right. What's with the guy yelling something about following ridge rules, I was here first, he should have gotten out of my way - jerk. Seems as though the wind is picking up, I'm right over the top of the hill and can't seem to penetrate forward. Whew, just barely made it out and away from the hill, would have been loads easier if the speed bar had been hooked up, need to remember it next time, where's that pre-flight check list?

Can't seem to get down to the LZ, going to have to land in that tree-lined drive way. Pulling big-ears is done with the outer "B" line, right? Oh crap, pulled the one outer "B" and the glider is spinning, guess I should pull the brake on the other side. Now the glider is spinning to the other side and I've got a terrible riser twist, how come my reserve won't pull out of the deployment bag? Now that I'm looking at the reserve I see I wasn't pulling the handle but the side strap, should have looked at the handle. Should I land on my butt or my feet, how does that PLF position work?

Had no idea heaven would provide such a great view of the flying site. Too bad about the site being closed, too bad about the whole sport being regulated by the FAA because it turned out there was a NOTAM for no VFR flights on the day of my wreck. At least I'm an angel and get to fly around heaven, but wait, isn't that God over there with a paraglider bag, I didn't know he flew? He's looking over at me and pointing at the "down only" elevator…

It's spring, get it? Study, practice, review take it easy.