You are here:   Pilot Blogs
  |  Login
 WW Team Blogs
This is the Wills Wing Team Pilots competition blog. Here you can keep up with the various members of our team as they progress through the competition season.
Jun 20

Written by: Jeff O'Brien
6/20/2011 11:59 AM 

Flying between Fronts

All photos courtesy of Dave Aldrich

I enjoyed driving underneath a short wave front with lightning and ominous-ness Thursday night on my way to Utah . Pulled up to the south side and passed out around 2am.

The “Dreaming Awake” crew: Dave Aldrich, Rod Clark, Jared Abrams, and Chris Collins had made the trip up from So. Cal. to hang for the weekend and they were on site @ 6am filming the sunrise. It was post frontal north, so we made the most of the morning with an interview and ancillary shots. and I’m appreciative there’s highly talented bros in the system willing to dedicate their time, talent, and enthusiasm to such a project.

Smiling despite not much sleep and no caffeine. HG's exciting regardless.

I rocked up to SLC and picked up Alex McCulloch fresh from annual airline pilot simulator testing. We got caught up over lunch and errands for the next few hours.

Mid-afternoon it was back to the north side to set up and wait for the evening breeze. The crew trickled in for what eventually turned into a quintessential north evening. Conditions were light after thermals waned and we thought we’d missed it. I got anxious and launched after Ryan Voight thinking the evening wouldn’t improve. We had a challenge benching up, but eventually things filled in enough to allow all present to get as much as they wanted.

Sweet sunset scene. Contentment after two hours of air.

I felt quite rusty during the evening session. Anything mildly aerobatic was poorly executed. It was good to get the practice. We broke down during a nice Wasatch sunset and headed for margaritas and dinner with the crew. Alex and I passed out @ the south side just before midnight.

I was sleepy-eyed Saturday morning as I set up the spectrum in the pre-dawn breeze. Light conditions built to solid wind by 8am. I set up the rocket ship as well and it was on all morning. Everyone got as much as they wanted.

Koz is awesome...

The Point is ever changing and there was more vegetation than I’ve ever seen on the lip of the ridge. It made sliders more interesting to avoid tweaking an ankle. The maneuver of the morning was Alex’s ground loop. He got rolled downwind after a landing and rather than turtle-ing over, he was picked up off the ground upside down as the glider pirouetted on the nose cone, turning around, depositing him nose into the wind back where he started. The wing was perfectly balanced as it went round, and you couldn’t repeat the move if you tried.

I took my last flights in turbulent conditions early afternoon. It had become typically mid-day rowdy, so we got a few last shots and headed out. Dave and I were going to check out the feasibility at Inspo., but mostly overcast skies coerced us into abandoning the plan.

We spent the afternoon resting and viewing footage captured from the morning. Ryan and Des hosted an BBQ and it was great to get to know the crew better and meet some new local pilots. All are life enthusiasts that were great to be around. The laughs lasted til midnight.

As I drove toward my camp spot at The Point, a wicked frontal boundary arrived with howling north winds. I stopped at the gas station and punched up the weather. The forecast had degraded to junk on Sunday, so I grabbed copious amounts of caffeine and turned toward Colorado . After 3 hours of front seat sleep, I was home before 10am.

The timing couldn’t have been better. We enjoyed friends at a wedding reception Sunday afternoon and spent the evening at a birthday celebration with the inhabitants of our exceptional neighborhood. It felt great to have an epic weekend and fall back into the comfort that surrounds home.

Airtime: 5:30. Flights: 20.


Your name:
Your website:
Add Comment   Cancel 
 Search Input