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Aug 26

Written by: Jeff O'Brien
8/26/2009 8:25 PM 

Over the weekend, a few of the locals got together and Owen took me on an excursion. OWEN'S WEBSITE HERE Peter was super cool to offer to drive and fly his PG. We shuttled up the hill, Peter assisted Dexa in setting up and getting her off the hill and Owen and I followed as she specked out.

Owen's got the out and return run 15 miles or so to the east dialed, and after a quick climb in 700fpm, he led out to Crestline ridge and east. The run follows a prominent ridge, but there are low sloping foothills out front with thin landings and it's mostly roadless. Not a place to make too many mistakes. I was thankful to have the guide.

Owen's got altitude benchmarks memorized and reliable thermal triggers along the way, and he led me toward Keller peak. At one point, I did get quite low for my taste next to the trees on the main ridge. Found 4-500fpm that got me back in the game.

The air was rough at times, and we took a couple of tight climbs over Keller peak up to around 9000ft. Cloud base was another 1000ft. higher, but we couldn't quite get into the wispys.

Owen had a great run from Keller maybe 20 miles to the Cahon pass without making a turn. I had to stop low over the high school for three circles, and used Owen ahead of me as incentive to catch up.

Near the antennas by the pass, I was smartly turned over past 90 degrees by turbulence. As I turned over and fell toward the ground, I saw Owen get slapped by the same anomaly and pitched way over. As the purple flight suit PG boys? at Torrey like to exclaim, "The thermals really had some teeth."

Owen suggested we push south to get on a bigger range, and I was game, so I led out. The wind proved to be too much to push into and after fully committing to the south, I landed around the base of the foothills west of I-15. Owen attempted to run downwind back to the LZ and his car, but landed short. Bruce Barmakian (sp?) was kind enough to come out and fetch us.

Good camaraderie racing down and back with Owen. Fun to try to make a jump and land out.

Airtime: 1:55. Flights: 1. Miles: 30.

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5 comment(s) so far...

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