Skydog Sports

Cloud 9, 2012

Newest at the Top

Worlds Finest Tug Pilot - Lisa Colletti

 

Brian Ridder

Mark Bolt and Patrick O'Donnell

 

Tracy and Kate

 

Kate Tandem Student

Mark Bolt and Brian Ridder

 

Tracy Takes Kate for a Birthday Tandem

 

 Brian Ridder

Patrick O'Donnell

 

 Brian Ridder Going for It

 

Patrick O'Donnell and Lisa Colletti

Kate and Tracy

 

Kate & Tracy

 

 Tracy Lift Off

 

Neighbour and Tracy

Skydog

 

Tracy Heading for a Two Hour Flight to Cloudbase

 

Skydog Taking Off

 

Tracy and Neighbours

K

Tracy Landing Alatis

 

Tracy Ready for Take-Off

 

Tracy Takes Neighbour Tandem

 

Tracy and Lisa's Alatis Sailplane

 

 Getting Ready

 

Student and Tracy

Student and Tracy

 

Tracy and Student

 

Great!!

 

Wow!!

Let's Go

 

Landing

Ready to go

 

Tandem

 

Tracy Tillman - Towes Us Up

 

Brian Ridder - Lift Off

 

Brian Ridder - WW Eagle

 

Chris Bratsis, Mark Dugan and Tracy Tillman

 

Sunset at Cloud 9

Stories Below

The Skydog Report

Here we go again after not having my computer for 35 days.

September 27 - , 2012

Thursday September 27th.

Patrick O'Donnell and I arrived at Cloud 9 Thursday before noon and the sky was overcast but by 2 pm it had cleared somewhat so we set up and at 4:15 pm Tracy towed me up to 2,500 feet and during the tow there was some outrageous lift making my 3030 scream so I was excited and when I got off tow I was in some good lift and I followed it to the west and then caught a few other lift areas and lasted for 43 minutes and finally could not find more and landed 50 feet from the spot. Patrick towed up below me and lasted 17 minutes and then we both took second tows and I only lasted 17 minutes and Patrick did 22 minutes this time.

Friday September 28 th.

We woke to mostly cloudy skies and by noon the sky was clearing with cumulous popping up and we got ready to fly. Mark Bolt set up Jim Dedes U-2 and took an early flight for an hour up to 5 grand then landed so that Jim could take a flight and Jim sure did and got up to cloud base for 1-1/2 hours. Patrick took two flights, one for 30 minutes and another for 1 hour and 52 minutes and up to cloud base at 5 grand. Brian Ridder had a great flight to base for over an hour and then did a couple of spot landing prctice flights and hit it right on. I took thee flights, the first for 1 hour and 32 minutes and then a 30 minute flight and then a 45 minute flight. My first and last flights were to 5,400 feet and that was base. Tracy flew the Alatus sailplane for two hours and we thermalled together for a while at cloudbase.

Saturday September 29 th.

Another good day up to over 6,000 feet. I had a 58 minute and a 45 minute flight. On my first one I got up to 5,500 feet flying with Mark Dugan when I decided to head upwind to another street and I  was not able to make it and eventually sunk out and took a reflight and did well again up to 6,000 feet. Scot Maue had a two hour flight up to 6,200 feet. It was quite windy like 15 mph. Guido took a tow but missed the lift.

Sunday September 30 th.

Clear skies in the morning and cummies by 1 pm and the wind picked up to 12 mph so we waited until 3:30 when the wind went down some and Tracy towed us up under over developed skies but there was great lift to base at 4,700 feet. Mark Dugan was up there and I caught up after my tow and I stayed with the big cloud that tried to suck me up into it but I kept moving ahead of it to the south and then back into the face and out again for over a half hour losing sight of Mark so I tried moving to the trailing edge of the cloud but found nothing and got down to 1,000 feet when I finally saw Mark trying to work small stuff over the Cloud 9 field so I tried to join him and Brian who was also trying to catch a ride back up but eventually all three of us landed. I hit the spot for the ninth time this year. My airtime was 39 minutes and up to 4,700 feet and mark Dugan was up for 50 minutes and got up to 4,735 feet. Brian's flight was 30 minutes.

Monday October 1, 2012

Overcast this morning following a heavy fog but Brian wants to test fly a new glider (WW Eagle) so he takes 3 flights and I take one at noon and find a thermal after getting down to 1,200 feet and take it up to 2,200 feet but then can't find another and land after 30 minutes. I was very surprised that there was any lift at all with the very overcast sky. Mark Dugan and Chris Bratsis show up at 1 pm and Mark wants to fly but expects a sledder so Brian, Mark and I get towed up by Tracy and we all find good smooth thermals even though the sky is 90 percent cloudy. Brian gets up to 3,500 feet and Mark and I dual it out at 4,400 feet tops. It was real fun thermalling with Mark Dugan as we got very close circling in the tight thermals, some reading as much as 600 feet per minute. We ventured to the west past highway 52 a ways but found the best lift about half way to 52. It was a very rewarding flight for both of us and Mark logged three and one half hours and I stayed aloft for 2 hours and 15 minutes. But Wait!! I hit the spot for the second time this day making it three in a row. I hit the last one on Sunday also. Getting Lucky again. That's eleven spot landings at Cloud 9 this year.

As of October 1, 2012 my total yearly airtime time 104H:36Ms

I have surpassed my goal of 100 hours for 2012 mostly due to Maureen my wonderful wife encouraging me to go fly so often.

 

The Mark Dugan Report

Monday August 1, 2012

I'd like to add a few highlights to Mondays flight. An hour or so into the flight, I found myself in a dog fight over SR52 with ace pilot Mr Grant trying to lay claims to the top of an inversion diced-up thermal ~>4000'. You know the lift where 1/3 strong up, 1/3 weightless down and the remaining 1/3 trying to find what direction it all went in. I didn't believe the human neck can contort in so many orientations as mine did trying to keep that #%$&^@*! Grant in my sights. Hey Bob the next time we fly that close together brush your teeth better you had a piece of food stuck between your left 1st and 2nd incisor and bring your GoPro. Anyway I came out of a high bank lifting portion of a turn to find myself right behind my target. That's right, I had that yellow wing in laser lock as I envisioned, with one press of my thumb, sending the T2C spiralling to the ground with a thick black smoking tail and returning to Cloud 9 to the cheers and adoration of 10,000 women for riding the skies of that air hog.

I have to wake up now.

that was one FUN flight, Bob & Brian !

Mark

Photos Above

The Skydog Report

August 18 & 19, 2012

I'm going to let Brian and Chris tell the stories below. My Airtime on Saturday the 18 th was 1:47 up to 6,220 and a 14 minute sledder. On Sunday the 19 th. I flew one flight for 4 hours and 13 minutes and up to 7,070 feet with Chris Bratsis.

Photos Below

Set Up

 

Youtube Video

 

Chris Bratsis

 

Chris Bratsis

Chris Bratsis  After His 5-1/2 Hour Flight

 

Another Day Set Up

 

 Chris Bratsis

 

Set Up

 

Floyd Cadwell "Flair"

 

Floyd Cadwell

Floyd Cadwell Atos

 

Chris Bratsis with Charlie

Lisa with Elly

 

Izzy

Dan maslanik "Guido"

Photos Above Stories Below

The Chris Bratsis Report

MargariTOWville 2012  at Cloud 9 Field

August 18, 2012

Just when you thought the flying could not have been better...!

I don't know what to say but WOW! have we been fortunate this summer To have had the best flying ever here at Cloud 9 field in Webberville Michigan. This was our Dragonfly Soaring Clubs annual "Margarita ville" summer bash so Expectations were high for having a safe, fun weekend of flying & celebration. There was a great turnout. I'll try to name who was there but excuse me as I am bound to leave someone out. Starting with our great hosts and master tow park operator/owners Lisa Colletti and Tracy Tillman. This site is world class and we are fortunate to be able to call this site home to DFSC. In attendance was the Incomparable and humble "SkyDog" Bob Grant, Brian Deimling, Trevor Glidersleeve & Holly Visser, Dan "Guido" Maslanik, Dave Alford, Floyd & Marlene Cadwell, Bob Reed & wife, Mark "Lightning" Bolt, Scot Maue of Traverse City, Bernie Spring, Jimmy "The Greek" Dedes, Tom & Julie Niblink of Ft Wayne Indiana. Whew!  On Saturday the weather gods cooperated allowing us to launch from the set up area. I can't remember the launch order but Tracy & Lisa pulled out all the stops by using both tugs and yanked everyone up in record time. Lisa pulled me into great lift and I pinned off at 2100 feet. I fumbled about struggling to get up with the gang. I was a bit rusty not having flown for 3 weeks. Soon I was at cloudbase with the crew. This day was so good it was hard to remember some of the specifics but a few highlights were seeing a HUGE dust devil down at the Toyota test track northeast of the field about 5 miles out. I could here Brian & Trevor on the radios chattering about it. They had flown near it on their way back from Howell during one leg of a triangle. By the way Trevor flew his first ever triangle for 36 miles and Brian knocked off a 43 miler I believe. Way to go guys! They did have some help from Mark Bolt who escorted them for part of the flight. I kept myself out of trouble and stayed high near cloud base and visited every cloud & whispy within reach. All were generating nice lift. Skydog & I shared the sky for quite a while and had a great time. Landing seemed to be an optional exercise and most came down because they were tired, cold or hungry. I came down due to all of the above. I ended up with 3.5 hours and just missed the spot by a few feet. Thanks to the DFSC club members for the great spread of food. A majority of the Thanks goes to Trevor and Holly also Tom & Julie for supplying most of the food and the cooking. This was one of the best days ever...I thought! Sunday turned out looking just like Saturday. I'll cut to the chase. The forecast was for good climbs and cloud base at 7000 ft. This day was special to me and many others as personal best were achieved. I pulled off my longest duration flight of 5.5 hours. I took off at 2:15pm and landed at 7:45pm. I was still climbing at 300 ft/min at 7:00pm. Brian flew another triangle I think besting his from the day before and Mark Bolt won the "Just Fly" comp on his antique TR3 glider. He kicks all our butts on a regular basis. Brian won the frequent flyer portion of the comp. Congrates to those 2. I ended up the weekend with 9 hours of airtime in 2 flights. That's just not normal for me!!!

Let's do it again soon!

 

The Brian Deimling Report

August 18, 2012

             MargariTOWville 2012  at Cloud 9 Field

          Hosted by the Dragon Fly Soaring Club

As the big weekend approached I had been watching the weather like a hawk. We had some mid week showers, which meant those hopefully were out of the way for our annual Margaritoville weekend and our 3 day Just Fly Comp.

On Friday the sky was filled with cuís early in the day with great cloud streets but the winds in the field where gusting over 20 mph so flying was called for the day. This gave Trevor and Tom time to mow the field and get it looking great for the weekend.

Saturdays forecast was looking awesome with light winds under 5 mph. It was great to see 14 pilots show up from all over the state and out of state. In the last Just Fly Comp I finished dead last and the comps before that I was never a threat to win. I got my glider on the cart and was in the front of the line first for a change.

Lisa towed me up and we passed through some decent lift but I pinned off in sink at 2500 agl. I immediately went back to my favorite hay field and started a slow climb at 200 fpm. I soon found the core and started climbing at 700 fpm as I watched Tracy and Lisa towing gliders up with both tugs. Soon all 14 pilots were in the air. I hooked up with Trevor and Mark Bolt and we followed Markís lead and headed north towards Howell. When we were 8 miles north when ran out of cuís so we turned around and headed back. Mark headed south down to the sailplane port and Trevor and I went west towards M52 where we could see Floyd working a thermal in his Atos. Floyd top out and head northwest. I made couple more turns to try to get to base before I left in pursuit. Floyd found a good lift line and we glided for a couple of miles without losing much altitude. Floyd didnít find anything and headed south to a good looking cu. I didnít have the glide to make it so I turned around and headed back to the last thermal. Coming in low I was desperate to make a good climb or I would be landing out. After working some light lift it turned on and I got back up to base.   Thatís when I noticed Floyd gliding low back to the club. As Floyd was just getting in to the pattern he found a thermal and made a nice low save.  Conditions were improving to the southeast towards Pinckney so I headed off that way. After two good thermals I was just a little north of Gregory. I notice the shadows on the ground growing longer and the climbs slowed to less than 200 fpm. My 6015 said I had a safe 6.5:1 glide back to the field. I didnít want to risk a good points day by not making it back to the club so I headed back. I had under dressed and was cold most of the flight. After 3.5 hours in the air that takes its toll on you. As I got closer to the field I saw many pilots still in the air still. I floated around over the field in some very buoyant air then setup for my landing and just over shot by 15 ft.

The MargariTOWville party was under way already. So many people brought great dishes to pass. We all ate until we were stuffed and told stories of an amazing day. What a great day and Sunday was looking just as good. It was nice coming back Sunday morning with my glider all set up from the day before. All the returning pilots from yesterday were anxious to get going because of the threat of a front coming through sometime in the afternoon.

Mark Bolt tested conditions for us with his motorized RC sailplane. Mark found some lift over the field and determined that it was good to launch. Everyone was quick to get their gliders on the carts and head down to the south end of the field to launch. Scot Maue was first off followed be Mark Bolt myself Bob Grant Chris Bratsis, Tom Niblick. and Lisa. It was one wild tow that gave my weak link a real work out. Tracy waved me off at 2500 agl. I felt like I got my moneys worth out of that tow. The first thermal didnít really have a core and was a mess but it was still early. I moved one cu to the west and found a more mature well organized core that Mark had just left. Conditions looked best to the west, which was slightly up wind today. I like going to the west because of the limitless landing options all the way to Lake Michigan. I was 7 miles out just north of Dansville when I spotted Mark Bolt  under the next cu to the west. He was just about at base and I had just started my climb. Just before I got to base Mark took off to the west. I headed for the cloud Mark was under but as I got closer I could see it was dying. No problem I thought Iíll just glide to the next cu that Mark went to. I thought if I came in low under Mark maybe he would wait for me. As I strained to see Mark out on the horizon I happened to look down and there was Mark 1000 feet below heading back east. Mark would not be coming back this soon on a comp weekend if he found lift.

I knew that my next decision was very critical. I had been watching a nice cu to the northwest building but there wasnít much else. It was a long glide now that I had spent most of my altitude chasing Mark. My 6015 told me that I was 9 miles out. If I could get to the next cloud I could at least make the Mason Airport on the next glide. I was down to 2000 feet now and my vario was starting to read positive numbers for the first time in a while. I had to go to the very west side of the cu to find the core, which was 11 miles out. The climb back to base was fast. It was all blue to the west and nothing new was forming. I felt I was at a dead end. I turned and headed back east down Howell Rd and made my way back to the test track. Cloud base was over 6000 now and the climbs were steady and smooth at 600 fpm. There were good clouds as far as I could see towards Ann Arbor. I thought I would have a good chance to go at least 10 miles in that direction. By the time that I had reached Pinckney it was 5:30. When I got to base over Pinckney my 6015 said I had a 6.5:1 glide back to the club so I took it. As I neared the club I only saw two gliders on the ground. Looking around above me I saw Bob and Chris still really high. I boated around for a while but never could find another climb back up. I landed at 6:25 after a 4:38 flight. It was my best and longest triangle flight measuring 42.2 miles. Bob Grant followed me down but Chris Bratsis was stubborn and out lasted everyone with an amazing 5:30 flight. The results for the Just Fly Comp were very close. The top 3 spots went to Mark Bolt, Brian Deimling, and Chris Bratsis. Bob Grant only needs about 10 hours to reach his 100 hour goal. The count down to 100 begins. According to Tracy this year has had the best soaring conditions that he has seen in his 15 years of operation. Many new distance records have been set all over the country. Come Fly with us!

                         ------Brian Deimling------

 

The Brian Deimling Report

July 28 & 29, 2012

Flight 7-29-2012

Saturday

Sometimes it just seems like your life is out of cycle with the good soaring days. That is how my flying season started this year. With only one short flight in June I was determine to make more flights in July. After struggling to stay in the air more than an hour on most of my flights, I was starting to wonder if I'd lost it. So when Bob sent me text saying he was going to be at Cloud 9 this weekend I knew we were going to have good conditions. Saturdays forecast was for high winds in the morning diminishing by mid afternoon. Bob and I were all set up waiting for the winds to die down and by 3:30 we were down at the south end of the field ready to launch. Tracy towed Bob up first and I followed. We soon joined up to work the lift together. After climbing with Bob in a few thermals it was apparent that I need to work on my climbing skills as Bob would blow by me every time. After two hours I showed Bob the way back to Cloud 9 as the lift gave way to the evening sun. Bob finished his flight by nailing the target. It was a great warm up flight for Sunday which was forecast to be epic. Sunday's forecast was for light and variable winds with strong lift up to 800 fpm between 1:30 and 7:00 pm. Looking forward to getting in the air early I launched second behind Lisa. My plans were to get in the air early and wait for Mark Dugan and follow him as long as I could keep up. Mark, the adventurer, always comes back from XC flights telling about distant lands he has explored. My plan changed 400 feet after take off when the single knot in my new weak link came apart. That's why you triple knot. I watched Lisa go straight to cloud base while I tied on a new weak link. I got back in line at the end of the line when Mark Bolt offered me his spot. New plan now as I knew Dugan had probably slipped away through a port hole to a distant land. I'll just follow my mentor Mark Bolt around. He always waits for me since I can't climb as fast as an eagle. Tracy dropped me in a boomer just south of the field which I quickly found the core and climbed between 600 and 800 fpm right past everyone to cloud base. Mark launched Guido next and I couldn't wait any longer I had to grab a handful of VG and go. New plan now. I'm going to do my first triangle task. Since conditions look better to the south and east I would make Stockbridge my first turn point. Leaving my first climb at 6300 agl I knew I could make a nice cu over Stockbridge. After reaching the center of the cloud at 3200 I didn't find the lift I was hoping to find so I flew to the south edge and found the core. That is always the biggest relief to make the next climb and know you didn't blow a great day on your first hasty decision. I climbed back to base and headed straight east to Sand Hill glider port and hopefully I'd find Mark Bolt there. Finding nothing going on at the glider port I pushed on to Pinckney where my sister lives, but of course I left my camera at home since the memory card was full and couldn't get aerial pictures of their house. Looking back to the west I could see a big blue hole so I decided to follow a pretty good street north up D19 to Howell and wait for the hole to fill in. I found a nice climb right over Howell High School. While I was climbing over the high school a nice cu started forming in the blue hole to the west. The climbs were slower now at around 300 fpm. Time to make a critical decision. I needed one good thermal to make it back to Cloud 9 or do I follow the cloud street up I 96 to Fowlerville and then head back. Tracy has always challenged me to fly out and back because it requires more skill than just running down wind. I played it safe and headed back to Cloud 9 while I had the chance. As I got to the next thermal it was already dissipating but I climbed high enough to give me an 8 to 1 glide back to Cloud 9. I could see Mark Bolt and Bob Grant at Cloud base under a nice cu right over Cloud 9 east. I came in under them at 1800 ft agl which was the lowest I had been the entire flight. I climbed back to 5400. My 6015 now said I had a 1 to 1 glide back to the field. If I screw this up now I won't every hear the end or it. When I made it back to the field I was rewarded with the most amazing lift that I have ever experienced. I always heard pilots talking about having to core sink to get down. Now I was flying in those magical conditions with Mark Dugan, Bob Grant, and Brian Ridder. Now it was endurance flying. Brian out lasted us all in a Falcon with an amazing 5 hour flight. After I down loaded my flight from my Flytec 6015 FlyChart scored my rectangle flight path as a 35 mile triangle. I measure the rectangle at 40 miles in Google Earth. It was by far my most technical flight to date and a good weekend to turn my season around.

We all had great stories to tell of our flights after we landed. Bob should be with in 15 hours now of setting his record goal of a hundred flight hours in a year. Lead on Sky Dog!

Brian Deimling

Flytec Track Click Here

 

 Brian Ridder, Mark Dugan, Tracy Tillman, Lisa Colletti, Pat Winther and Brian Deimling

 

Flash

Brian Deimling and Brian Ridder

 

Casey, Guido and Mark

 

Gliders

 

Set Up

Pat Winther

Let's Take Flash For a Swim

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Skydog Report

July 28 & 29, 2012

I arrived at Cloud 9 Saturday morning at 11 am and the sky was mostly cloudy with a forecast for partly cloudy with winds from the north at 12 mph so I was not sure if the day would be good for soaring. I took Flash our dachshund for a swim at 2pm and he enjoyed that. We waited until around 4 pm and noticed that the wind had backed off some from the 15 to 20 mph that it had been blowing. Brian Deimling and I got to the south end of the field for take offs and Tracy came down to tow us up. I was first off and Tracy tried to find a thermal for me but there was not much on tow and I got off at 2,600 feet and went searching. I finally found one to the south of the field and played in it and got up to over 3,000 feet and went on search again while Brian got into the air. I found another one at 2,600 feet and took it up to 4.200 feet and Brain joined me. This time I was determined to keep close to Brian as he is good at finding the lift and it worked out real well for me as I would always head over to his thermal and take it to the top and Brian would usually leave before we hit the top and go on search as I would try to keep an eye on him and when Brian found something I would speed on over to him and take it up to the top again. We continued this pattern for over two hours and finally just after six pm we were getting down to 3,000 feet and Brian went in for a landing after doing a big search circle and I followed but found an area of lift at 700 feet that took me back up to 1,100 feet ad then I headed in for a landing and this time I did hit the spot. My flight was 2 hours and 11 minutes long and up to 4,870 feet. Brian Ridder elected to wait for lighter conditions on Sunday. Brian and I enjoyed our thermal flight together and look forward to a great day Sunday.

Sunday was WOW! what a great day with about ten pilots enjoying the wonderful lift. Lisa takes off first followed by Brian Deimling, myself and then Brian Ridder and many others. Tracy dropped us in great lift which took me to 6,000 feet in a few minutes. From there on it was easy thermalling to cloud base at 6,785 feet ato and easy to stay above 4,000 feet. I had the GoPro onboard so I will have video real soon. My flight was 4 hours and 06 minutes and I think the longest flight was by Brian Harrison on his Falcon for 5 hours. Thermals were everywhere and I found it easy to search and find them. We have had higher days this year but not many so consistent with many thermals in easy reach.

My 2012 Airtime is 86 hours and 22 minutes as of July 29, 2012

 

The Skydog Report

July 21 & 22, 2012

I drove from London, Canada to Cloud 9 field on Friday evening and Scot Maue was there when I arrived and we were anxious to fly on Saturday as the forecast looked good. This was another monthly Just Fly comp so we expected lots of pilots to attend.

Saturday morning was sunny with light winds from the west so we set up and got ready as a few more pilots drifted in. Mark Bolt was the first to enter the sky and I was right behind him and then Scot on his Exxtacy. Brian Ridder, Jim Gibson, Brian Deimling and Antoine also got airborne. On our first tows I think that most of us found it challenging to stay airborne and I landed after 41 minutes. When Tracy drooped me off I went back and did not find the thermal that Tracy had pulled me through so I flew to the east of the field where I caught a 200 fpm thermal up to 2,800 agl and worked others back over the lake beside cloud 9 east where I got some nice lift to 3,200 feet. I got farther to the east than I like and pulled in to get back to land at Cloud 9 field West. The other pilots were telling of similar flights.

Around 4:30 Mark Bolt and I decided to try it again and the others followed along with Trevor Glidersleeve and again e had similar flights to our first ones. I tried the same lift area to the east of the field and sure enough it was still working and as I was thermalling up from 1,100 feet at 2,00 feet Mark Bold slipped in above me and we did a few turns together and then I thought that I would try to go a little farther east to where I expected to get the front of the thermal and when I looked back Mark had captured the core and was way above me and later told me that he had got up to 4,285 feet ato and the best I could do was 3,550 feet ato. On this flight I logged only 33 minutes and Mark did a 1 hour and 15 minute flight. As usual I was trying hard to hit the spot but I failed miserably. Saturday was a very challenging day and we enjoyed the challenge.

Sunday came up sunny and by 11 am the sky had clouded over but then at 1 pm it started to clear up so Mark and I tried our luck but we both had short flights. Mine was only 12 minutes and I think that Mark found some lift for a twenty minute flight. We were hoping to fly again but the wind picked up and the day was cancelled. Chris Bratsis stopped by for a visit.

Better luck next time.

My 2012 Airtime is 80 hours and 05 minutes as of July 22, 2012

 

Antoine, Brian and Christine Ridder, Lisa Colletti and Joe Katsafaras

 

Mark Bolt Thermals Up and Away Behind Me

 

Brian Deimling

 

Set Up with Scot's Exxtacy in the Foreground

 

Mark Bolt

Jim Gibson

 

Scot, Mark and Lisa

Joe Katsafaras

 

We are About 2,500 Feet AGL and Mark Goes to 4,285 Feet

 

 

 

 

 Landing Approach

 

Did You Notice the Visegrips

 

 

Wingin

 

The Chris Bratsis Report

Saturday July 15, 2012

The forecast was not very promising and my wife was working so I figured I would take Charlie out for some exercise .When I arrived at Cloud 9 Brian Deimling was already there setting up. He had been gone on vacation for the last couple of weeks and had the "Jones". The sky had some high cirrus and some nastiness way off to the west. Brian launched around 2:15 and we could tell he was in search mode. The haze domes were out there now, but Brian was getting lower. I'm guessing he was down to 1000 ft when he made a low save and took it back up. "Well Hell" I exclaimed to myself and  jumped back over the creek and sprinted back to set up. Well, sprinted may be a bit strong...how about hobbled? And as usual, just as I had completed setting up, here comes Brian in for a nice no stepper. He had about a 1 hr 45 minute flight. I think he said he got up to 4000 ft. Lisa is "on call" this weekend so she could not fly. We all harassed Tracy into flying the Alatus and by the time He and I were done setting up we launched Tracy at 4:10ish. Lisa yanked me up at 4:25.  My tow was weird, not super gnarly but strong punchy patches. Well at 1500 ft... POW! A strange unexpected blast thermal snapped my

weak link. We were south of the field but not too far. So here I am...and Tracy is up near cloud base and I'm just barely maintaining in this small thermal. The good news was the drift was from south to north so it was taking me back closer to the field. I think it took me half an hour to save myself and it was really hot and I worked too hard so it was nice to get up into the cooler air. The thermals really turned on above 3000 ft. At this point I had lost Tracy who apparently was south of C9 flying with a sailplane near Gregory. I was northwest of the field in the only lift line I could find. While I was making my save Brian had launched again. Lisa was towing him to the southeast and I was flying toward Tracy. At this point I was getting up to 4000 ft still northwest of the field over the big flat round grain silo. The thermals were strong but very tight and snaky. You had to work to stay with them. Then I noticed Brian was now due north of the field. It was strange cuz I figured he was farther south. Anyway he was lower and circling but I was going up in a good one and stayed were I was. Eventually we merged together and took this one up to near 5000 ft. We had drifted north of the field now near Mason Rd and Brian elected to head back toward the field. I saw a wispy just to the east so I slipped under it and got up to 5400 ft which is just shy of cloud base. I was now about half way between Mason Rd & I-96 so I figured I should head back. On my way I noticed Brian was back near the field and in search mode. I reached the field with 3700 ft and Brian was landing. I noticed the Alatus down on the field. Apparently Tracy was flushed in big sink and had to land after 1 hour 15 minutes. I boated around for a few more minutes and landed after 1 hour 40 minutes. So we salvaged another crappy looking day into a really fun flight. Thanks Brian for giving the extra boost I needed to get motivated, and to Lisa for towing me into that "devil lift". See You Soon!

Chris

 

The Skydog Report

July 5 & 6, 2012

Wednesday around 3 pm Rick Hines met us a Patrick's home and we loaded up for a two day trip to Cloud 9 and this would be Rick's first time at Cloud 9. We arrived around 7 pm and set up tents and got ready for a good two days of flying.

Thursday's forecast was promising and we got our gliders out to the South end of the field around 1:30 but as we waited for the tug the wind picked up and a gust front along with a storm moved in very quickly so we towed the gliders back to the hanger and gave up on Thursday.

Friday's forecast looked real good and Mark Bolt drove in around 9 am and set up an old glider that he had been keeping for a few years called a TRX. It looked like an antique. Rick Hines had to get back to work Friday evening so he has to leave by noon and did not fly but will come back next Tuesday weather permitting. Patrick Mark and myself took tows at about 1:30 but I only lasted for 20 minutes and we were all down quickly. The three of us took second tows at 3:30 and this time we all stuck and Mark and I stuck together for over an hour getting up to 4,975 feet. Mark then streaked off to the north and I lost track of him for a while but later saw him and Lisa who had launched last over to the north west so I chased them and caught up to them and thermalled with Lisa for a half hour at about 4 grand. It is always fun flying with Lisa who is another great pilot and she teaches me a lot about where to go and finding the lift. Patrick had a great  one hour flight and got up to 4,300 feet making two great landings today. Around 5 pm there was a hard sink cycle and the others all landed but I found a bubble at 1,300 feet and took it back up to 3,800 feet and noticed that Floyd Cadwell and then Chris Bratsis were being towed up and Floyd joined me for a few minutes and then I made a mistake and finally lost the lift and landed after a 2 hour and 10 minute flight. Floyd and Chris both had a over one hour flights in the 95 degree heat. This finished off our two day trip with a great feeling of joy.

My 2012 Airtime is 78 hours and 39 minutes as of July 6, 2012

 

Mark Bolt - TRX

 

Mark Bolt - Lift Off

 

Mark Bolt - Climb out

Patrick O'Donnell - on Approach

 

Patrick - Landing

Rick Hines - Frustrated Breaking Down

 

Mark Bolt and Patrick O'Donnell - Lunch

Friday

 

Mark Bolt Towed by Tracy Tillman

 

Patrick, Christine, Lisa, Tracy and Rick

Roll Cloud Gust Front Thursday

 
 

Patrick O'Donnell Sky Out

 

The Chris Bratsis Report

    Sunday July 1st. was my first flight since your & mine epic flight from a week earlier. In the morning the soaring forecast looked really good. Mark Dugan called to see if I was up for flying and I said, "Jeez! I guess"! So I packed up and headed to Cloud 9.

On the way I got a call from Trevor Gildersleeve who was in Grand Rapids and said it was raining there. Once at Cloud 9, Dugan was just setting up, I stopped him and we went to  check the radar and sure enough a "blob" of green was heading are way.  We were bummed out and quickly put the glider bag on Marks wing when the drops started. Strangely enough hardly any rain fell but the cloud cover was still there but moving east so we waited and shot the breeze with Tracy & Lisa, Jim Dedes, Patrick O'Donnell & his wife Pauli, Tom Niblink and his wife pulled in a short time later. It was about 2:15 pm and at this point and the sky was clearing so we started to set up our gliders.  It was very hot and the wind was out of the north west so we headed to the southeast corner of the field to launch. Jim Dedes launched first then myself followed by Mark Dugan. Jim seemed to be maintaining and Tracy dropped me off in a nice thermal northwest of the field. I was struggling with my harness zipper but said "screw it" so I wouldn't loose my concentration. This would be a good thing as on past flights I fought with my zipper and by the time I figured out the problem I had lost the thermal. Not this time! I was still struggling trying to stay in this thermal and saw Mark a bit west at my altitude so I decided to work where I was so Mark &I would have options for each other. Reflecting back I should have slide under Mark cuz he ended up way over me. I did not want to let go of the lift I had which was strong but narrow & snaky. As luck would have it , I was able to hold on and once above 3000ft the thermal expanded and turned ON and I was finally able to meet up with Dugan at 4500ft. All this time I could not close my harness zipper and was getting tired of holding my legs in when I discovered it was my unzip cord that was caught so I was able to free it and I was able to zip up. It made a huge difference and now I could relax. But because of this I was unable to climb to cloud base with Dugan around 5000 ft. So Mark & I were south east of the field and we were watching the action below us. It seemed as Jim Dedes had landed. Patrick, Lisa Colletti & Tom all were getting flushed. Mark & I apparently had the very short window and were able to find the lift line south of Cloud 9 field. I felt I was getting too far south and started to head back looking for lift on the way but it was spotty & light. Mark was behind me and as we were arranging our approaches Mark found a bubble while I landed. He extended is flight for another 15 minutes. We both ended up with 1.5 hours and made a decent day of flying out of what looked like a washout.

Another fun day out at Cloud 9

 

Saturday June 23,  2012

The Skydog Report

Saturday was an awesome day at Cloud 9 with about fifteen pilots enjoying great lift to cloud base. I took off third behind Jim Dedes and Scot Maue and took my first thermal to 6,000 feet ato. From there I could see Scot circling at 3 grand for a long time and then Mark Dugan and Casey Just joined Scot and they worked together for about twenty minutes not gaining a lot. I saw a pilot flying a WW Falcon way up at cloud base and later found out that it was a new pilot, Brian Ridder and wow was he ever doing well. A half hour later I saw Mark Dugan coming up out of nowhere and we played together for five minutes and then Mark took off to the east and my original plan was to keep close to Mark but somehow I decided that I should rather follow Chris Bratsis who by then was close by so we turned at five grand for a while and we got up to six grand and to my surprise Chris was speeding off to the west so I followed Chris and he took me west past Hyw. 52 and under a great street at 5,200 feet and it was easy to get up to seven grand with Chris and finally I got up o 7,360 feet ato and Chris was close by. We both watched as a large airliner (727) passed by about a thousand feet to our southwest at our altitude and then twenty minutes later another smaller jet took the same route maybe going to Lansing. Cloud base was around seven grand and I was able to slide up the side of one getting video along the way. Next Chris headed off to the southeast and I followed but then when we got closed to Cloud 9 West Chris headed off to the south and being that it was getting late like six pm. I thought that I would be safe and stay closer to the landing field and finally touched down just three feet short of the target Man, I thought I had that one for three in a row. Chris came in a half hour after me with a great landing. Chris Bratsis report below. My flight was 3 hours and 45 minutes and up to 7,360 feet. I took video so don't have photos.

My 2012 Airtime is 71 hours and 49 minutes as of June 25, 2012

The Movie Here

The Chris Bratsis Report

Saturday June 23 2012!

Wow! What a great day was last Saturday. Especially after a not so great flying day on Friday. Even though these 2 flights were short in duration they were fun in their own right with  40 & 51 minutes respectively. What made them fun was the low saves, one from 800 feet up to 1400 ft and the second flight had a save from 700 ft up to 1600ft. Besides that there was not much else to mention except for my perfect full flare belly flop landing which is proudly displayed in you photo essay of the weekends flying. So now that brings us to Saturdays flying escapade. Since this was our annual Dragon Fly Soaring Clubs weekend party it seemed like the perfect storm of weather, visiting pilots and the fun outlook everyone who attended displayed. Temperature was perfect in the mid 80's and cloud base looked high. I'll try to mention all who were there but it's possible that I'll leave someone out. If so I'll apologize here! Starting with our Great host and mentors Tracy Tillman & Lisa Colletti of Cloud 9 field and Hang Glide University, without them none of this would be possible. Scot Maue made the 4 hour trek south from Traverse City to join in the fun. Also Dan (Guido) Maslanik and Bernie Spring showed up along with Casey Just from Benton Harbor. Not to mention You "Skydog" Bob Grant from London, Ontario representing all Canadians came to show us how it's done. Brian Ridder one of our newer pilots from Merrillville Indiana was here along with Fort Wayne Indiana pilot Tom "Nibbles" Niblink. Of course most of the regular crew was here like Mark "Doggie" Dugan, Trevor "Flash" Gildersleeve & Jimmy "The Greek" Dedes. Missing though but not forgotten were Mark "Lightening" Bolt and President (DFSC) Brian Deimling who had to WORK??? On a Saturday? Boy! He would not be happy he missed this day! Well! The fun started some where around 2:30 when Scot Maue launched followed by Jim Dedes and yourself "Skydog" or is it SkyHOG Bob Grant? After which Mark Dugan & Brian Ridder launched then Myself and Bernie Spring. After that I have no clue as to the launch order. My story starts waiting to launch and seeing a couple of guys starting to sink out and me thinking maybe it's a bit early but then see other guys doing just fine so I gave the Go! Go! Go! signal and off I went. Tracy dragged me through a few thermals but nothing to get excited about until about 2100 ft when the vario was screaming. This was my pin off point and the fun started.  I vowed not to follow my escapades of previous flight where I would squander the initial thermal and flounder having to make low saves. Not This Time! I stuck to this thermal all the way to cloud base where I met Brian Ridder who was on his Falcon. Brian had a personal best flight of 2 hours and got to cloud base at 6500ft, Way to go Brian! From here I decided to head to the northwest upwind into a cloud street. I did not have to go too far when I hit another thermal and back to base it was. At this time base was around 6500 ft but would raise a bit later in the flight. I continued to the northwest cloud hopping then drifting back towards Cloud 9 just to do it all again. Now the drift had changed a bit and was now more westerly aloft. As I was heading back up to cloud base was when I met up with Skydog and we flew together for nearly the rest of the flight. We were really high now at 6800 ft. I spotted some forming wisps west of the field so I pulled the VG cord full on and headed west. I noticed Bob was on my tail so I tucked my elbows in and pointed my toes trying to shake him but our T2's are too well matched. I finally found some lift over M-52 at 3900 feet. This would be the lowest Bob and I would get until we decided to land. We bobbed up to base many times. Me reaching 7100 feet and Bob to 7400 feet. we were nearly over Dansville  thermalling when I noticed a 737 type passenger jet on its way toward Lansing AT OUR ALTITUDE! It was closer to Bob than me but was a scary moment. I was concerned about being near cloud base and keeping our clearance but still the thought of another jet was disconcerting. Bob was flying with his Go Pro video camera and would have caught the jet and the 2 of us team flying but sadly the battery ran dead at the 2hour 30 minute mark. All the fun was after that. Bob! Get a bigger battery! So Bob & I decided to head back toward Cloud 9 where we parted ways. The air was now very buoyant so I just floundered and floated my way back catching a couple more late thermals until I landed around 7:15 pm. With a perfect no step landing I might add...funny how Skydog didn't get a picture of this landing!!! I ended up with 3 hours & 40 minutes and reached 7100 feet. This was my personal best maybe not in flight time but the enjoyability factor was unsurpassed.  With spirits very high for all we settled down to great picnic food supplied by Trevor Glidersleeve and girlfriend Holly Visser along with DFSC club members. All had a great time telling stories of our flights, consuming mass quantities of food & drink. WOW! What a great day! Hope we can do it again soon.

Chris

 

Set Up

 

 

 

 

Mark Dugan and Bernie Spring Have Gliders Ready

Brian Ridder and Chris Bratsis

 

Casey Just

Casey Sets Up

 

Scot Maue - Cruising Photo by Casey Just

 

The Race

Casey Just - High

 

Mark Dugan and Bob Grant

Bob and Bernie

 

Doyle Johnson

Doyle Solo

 

Doyle Tandem with Tracy

 

Doyle Johnson Takes His First Aerotow Solo

Friday June 22,  2012

The Skydog Report

Friday - Mark Bolt did his first flight since surgery and had a good one without any instruments up to 5 grand for over an hour. Brian Deimling got up over 5 grand and I climbed up to 5,860 feet ato and Chris Bratsis took two tows as I did. Tracy dropped me off in good lift and I searched for the core and took it up to 5,600 feet and followed it south about three miles and then I was looking for Brian and Chris and I could see Chris searching way low and then I saw Brian about 500 feet above me and a bit farther south west so I zoomed over and under him and grabbed the core and spun up way above Brian and almost touched the mist at 5,860 feet ato. After a while we were both getting down to 4,000 and Brian headed East past Cloud 9 East runway and I was thinking that he was going to far out to make it back so I stayed closer to our take off field in the blue and gradually descended to a landing on the spot. Later I found out that Brian had to land out at the Cloud 9 East runway. Chris also took a second try and was down to 800 feet and caught a bubble with two hawks and took it back up to 1,700 feet and seemed to float around for a long time having a forty minute flight. My first flight was 54 minutes and then a 20 minute flight. Lots of sink between the thermals so quite challenging.

 

Chris Bratsis - Wills Wing T-2

 

Chris Take off

Skydog - T-2

 

# 12

Bob on Target

 

Chris on Approach

 

Doyle and Tracy Tandem

Lisa Always Looking Great

 

Chris Floating Around in Buoyant Air

Chris - Sky Out

 

Tracy and Doyle

 

Chris Flaring

 

Sunset at Cloud Nine After a Great Soaring Day

Sunday June 10,  2012

The Chris Bratsis Report

Hi Bob! Yes, I finally was able to crack off my best flight of the season so far. Last Sunday was finally going to cooperate weather wise without the howling winds we've been having lately. I had planned to fly Sunday since the weekdays were stuffed with work and having to hear that you had some great flights during the week. Of course Saturday was blown out! So my fingers were crossed that the winds would back off for Sunday. In the morning Mark Dugan called and asked me if I was flying. We agreed to meet out at Cloud 9 and was set up by 1:00pm. It was strange that there were only Dugan and myself along with Brian from Merrilville Indiana with his wife Chris. Also Casey Just from Benton Harbor showed up. We have not seen Casey for a while and it was good to see him again. Of course Tracy & Lisa, our great hosts at Cloud 9 are always around. But Where is everyone?  Many of the usual's were absent today.The forecast looked very good, winds were to be manageable, projected lift looked good and cloud base seemed high. Oh well, I guess it's just the 5 of us! So at 2:00pm Lisa launched Mark. Then she assisted me at 2:15pm and Lisa took off at 2:30. Tracy...as always yanked me through a huge thermal at around 1800ft. Like a dummy I was going for the full pull to 2500ft when Tracy circled back and at 2100ft. I took the hint and pinned off.  Now I figured this thermal was so big I could stow my bridle & zip up my harness and go on my merry way but...Oh crap! where did this big thermal go? Reflecting back now I think it was a bubble and I missed the boat by screwing around with my gear. I was able to locate some scrappy lift at 1600ft. but could only get up to about 3 grand. I could see Dugan thousands of feet above at cloud base it seemed and I was bummed at my mistake. I fumbled between 3 & 4 thousand feet for a while and now could only see Brian & Casey  below in their Falcons. Well, fumble was my middle name it seemed as I was sinking again. as I looked back to the south I saw Brian again gaining altitude. I floundered over toward him and finally hooked a decent thermal to over 5000ft. At this point I figured all was well and decided to head to a line of clouds west of the field but had to cross a patch of blue to get there. So I am heading southwest...and who do I notice way in the distance AT CLOUD BASE?... that damn Dugan again. So now I am stuck way west of Cloud 9 at 2500ft. I am in no determinable amount of lift, so I tuck my tail between my legs and head back to Mommy crying all the way. I figured...here we go...my first out landing, but I squeaked back to the field at 1000ft. I boxed the landing zone and unzipped for landing at 850ft. Well, luck have it I stumbled into the strongest thermal of the day. It was tight but not too much that I couldn't white knuckle it back up to my highest point of the flight to 6660ft. IT WAS AWESOME!  This was when I finally met up with Lisa who was specking out as usual, so we flew together for a while. Then we team flew in different directions to locate lift which kept us busy fora while. Then I saw Dugan coming in from below. I circled over him until we met up then traded circles up to base. We both drifted north nearly to I-96 and M-52 when I decided to head back to the field. At this point I had been up for 2 hours 15 minutes and was getting tired and gave up holding out for 3 hours. It was such a good day that from the time I decided to head back to the field and actually landed it was another 40 minutes. Lift was every where and I was having a hard time getting down. Landing was gnarly with switchy winds and thermals still  popping out of the field. I finally touched down way short of the spot (of course) at 5:25pm for a 3hour & 10minute flight. Lisa landed next with a 3 hour flight then Mark Dugan landed with 3 hours & 30 minutes. Another fine day out at Cloud 9. I'm sorry you could not have been with us!

Chris

Wednesday & Thursday June 6 & 7,  2012

The Skydog Report

On Wednesday four of us flew and Tracy towed Bernie Spring first and then I went followed by Lisa Colletti and Pat Winther. Tracy towed me into a good thermal and I took it up to over 5,000 feet then I fell out of it and searched for it finally finding it again to the south and I took it to 5,805 feet. After this I went on a search and noticed Bernie Spring well above me over to the east as I entered 4,000 feet so I searched over there and got up to over 5 grand and then Lisa and Pat joined me as we thermalled together for a good half hour getting up to 5,800 feet again. Pat eventually went to the west and I could see him sink quickly and Pat barely made it back to the landing Field. Lisa headed under a cloud bank that was moving in and landed with me following after a 1 hour and 27 minute flight. Bernie landed out about two miles from the field with a 1 hour and 12 minute flight. Lisa later told us that she got up to 6,150 feet near the first of her flight.

Thursday morning started out windier than Wednesday and I was thinking of packing up and going home but Mark Dugan and Trevor Glidersleeve showed up so we visited for a couple of hours and then I noticed that the wind slowed considerable around 2:30 so Tracy got the Dragonfly ready and we rolled our gliders to the south end of the field and I got off first followed by Trevor and then Mark Dugan. After a half hour Mark Bolt talked Lisa into flying with us. Tracy put me into a good one and I took it up to over 6,000 feet ato and noticed Trevor being towed up and Trevor also got high but quickly found some incredible sink and landed. Mark Dugan had launched and I thought that if I were to stay close to Mark that I would likely do well because Mark almost always gets the highest and longest flights at Cloud 9. Well, my plan was going very well and we were thermalling together for more that an hour and Lisa joined us as well. The three of us got back to the south about five miles and I was at 7,285 feet ato thinking that we should work ahead toward Cloud 9 field so I pulled in and headed north and looked behind to see if Mark would follow me and at first, I thought that he was following but the next time I looked back I could not find Mark ad I decided to continue hoping to find another thermal along the way but I had little luck and eventually I landed just past the target for a 1 hour and 50 minute flight. Trevor took a second tow and again found tremendous sink. We all watched as Lisa and Mark cruised around the sky well above 5 grand and eventually Mark landed and ten minutes later Lisa floated in. I think that they both had over 2-1/2 hour flights.

My airtime this year is 66 hours and 50 minutes at June 8, 2012.

Photos Below

Tracy and Lisa with Pups Izzy and Elly

 

Tracy Pulls the Tug Out

 

The New Large Tractor with Jim Dedes Operating

New Mower

 

Pat Winther

Bernie Spring

 

Nice Clouds

 

Chris Bratsis

Lisa Colletti

 

Mark Dugan  Moyes Litespeed

 

Pat Winther

Brad and Bernie

 

Brad Maryland

Lisa Landing

 

Trevor and Mark Set Up in the Shade

 

Tracy Test Flight Eagle Great Lift

Tracy Landing Brad's WW Eagle 180

 

Flash Swimming in the Pond

Mark Bold

 

Trevor Sets Up

Trevor Waits it Out

 

Chris Bratsis Shows Me Lisa and Mark Up High

Mark Dugan

 

Izzy and Elly

 

Mark Dugan Approach

Mark - A Great Landing Close to Target

 

Lisa  Floating In

Flash is Hot

 

Lisa Makes Approach

Lisa Lines the Target Up

 

Lisa a Little Short for the Target

Friday May 18, - Sunday May 20, 2012

 

The Skydog Report

Friday is a blue sky day and Scot Maue gets off first and I go next and I see scot getting down to a thousand feet while I get towed to 2,500 feet and Scot comes in under me and I use his thermal and we finally get up to 3 grand and go searching for more and while doing so I get down to 600 feet but get lucky and find a thermal that takes me out of the hole and back up to 3 grand again. Scot and I take turns getting above each other and after an hour and twenty minutes I see Trevor Glidersleeve and Chris Christophersen getting ready to launch and they both get airborne and Trevor joins Scot and I for a few minutes and then heads south and finally sinks out and then Chris joins me and we work some lift above a tractor that is working the field below and we both get above 3 grand and finally Chris heads south to the landing field and barely makes it into the north end of the field at Cloud 9 and then within five minutes I squeak in and make a perfect spot landing for a flight of 2 hours and 30 minutes. Scott did 2 hours and Trevor did about a half hour and Chris must have done 45 minutes. It was a really nice blue sky day that was very challenging.

Saturday, another blue sky day and Jim and Marzena Gibson pull in around 11 am on their way home from Virginia. I took three flights and finally on the last one at 4:30 I got a 1 hour and 13 minute flight up to 3,995 feet along with a 13 minute and a 26 minute flights. There were lots of pilots and a few did well but the sink areas were pretty big so lots of sledders. Mark Bolt visited for the day riding his new Kawasaki 650. Pilots for today were Brian Deimling, Trevor Glidersleeve, Chris Bratsis, Chris Christopersen, Scot Maue, Mark Dugan, Lisa Colletti and myself and then there were the tandems in the evening.

Sunday was an interesting day with lots of wind. At noon the wind was 14 mph gusting to 18 or more. At 2 pm Scot Maue got on a cart and tried the air and was soon on the ground. Unfortunately I jumped in right behind Scot and only lasted 14 minutes searching over a freshly ploughed field with no luck. When I landed Scot was getting his Exxtacy on a cart again and I wondered why. When Scot was towed up this time he headed toward some haze domes that were forming to the west of the field and sure enough Scot got up well over 4,000 feet so I got ready and Tracy towed me up over the field and I headed west to the domes and sure enough there was great lift and the higher I got the faster the climbs right up to 6,000 feet. Scot later said that he registered 700 fpm. I lost sight of Scot immediately but worked the lift for forty minutes and finally saw someone else take off. I worked lift over the fields to the northeast of Cloud 9 and noticed Mark Dugan and another glider flying way below. I took the lift from a tractor working a field and took it back to the north real close to hyw. 96 and finally got up to 6,745 feet ato. Feeling like I was getting a long ways away from the landing area, I pulled the bar in and flew fast toward Cloud 9 to the south likely flying through lift that I did not detect. I got back to the field with 1,400 feet and searched and lost to a good landing twenty feet from the spot. Trevor and Scot were there and I realized that about five others were in the air still and as they landed a half hour later it was evident that there was still lots of lift at six pm. Mark Dugan later old me that he finally got up to over 6 grand and that he was north of Fowlerville and that he had seen me way below as I was racing back to Cloud 9 Field west. Sure do wish that I had slowed down and caught more lift which may have extended my flight time by almost an hour. Chris Bratsis dropped in last and was excited with his great flight. My flight time was 1 hour and 38 minutes and most pilots got around two hours. Pilots for today were Brian Deimling, Trevor Glidersleeve, Chris Bratsis, Chris Christopersen, Jim Dedes, Scot Maue, Mark Dugan, and myself Dan Maslanik (Guido) helped launch on both days and Tracy Tillman towed solos on all three days and Lisa towed the tandems Friday and Saturday.

 

 

The Chris Bratsis Report

Cloud 9 Saturday and Sunday May 19 & 20, 2012

It was a fun first weekend of flying for me here at Cloud 9. The weather was not looking all that promising regarding the soaring forecast, so I figured I would come out and see if remembered how to set up my glider. I'm glad I did cuz the flying turned out to be challenging and fun. Plus many of our club regulars also crawled out their holes to come flying. Hopefully I won't forget anyone...there were: The infamous SkyDog himself, Scot Maue & Chris Christophersen both of the Traverse City area. Also Jim Dedes, Dan Maslanik, Trevor Gildersleeve, Brian Deimling and Mark Dugan & Mark Bolt.. Of course not to leave out Tracy Tillman & Lisa Colletti of Could 9. This was Saturday and Scot and Bob both decided to fly around 2:30. I was just not feeling it especially when Bob and Scot took sledders. It shows you my know how by not going for it...then Scot hopped  right back on a cart and Tracy towed him again and he stuck to the sky like Velcro. Then I think Bob launched and stuck up high and then the lemming rush began. I can't remember the order of every ones launch but I launched around 4:00 when Tracy waived me off in what seemed like marginal lift. Boy! Am I out of it because once I released that " marginal" lift was about 300 up. I took this thermal up to 4,111ft with the help of a hawk. Most of the lift I found was north of the field. With many of us in the air it was strange I did not get to fly with any one. I had a great first flight of the year of 1 hour 10 minutes. Most others were between 1 & 2 hour flights. Sunday was pretty much a carbon copy of Saturday's flying with the exception of Bob getting to 6,700 ft. I reached 6005 ft with a 1 hour 30 minute flight. I think I strayed the farthest from the field that I have ever been I was nearly over "The Boobs" at M-52 & I-96, the dome shaped grain storage elevators. I had a slight head wind on my way back and thought to myself...here we go, my first out landing. But I pulled the VG on full and the
old T2 zoomed back to Cloud 9 with 3200 ft to spare. I was flying a street of lift most of the way back which helped.
What a great way to break in the 2012 season of flying!

It was great seeing you all again too!

Chris

Photos Below

Holly

 

Dan and Tracy

 

Lisa Colletti Tugging

John and Tracy

 

John and Tracy

Dan and Tracy

 

Holly and Tracy - Holly loved it !!

 

Joanne

Dan and Tracy

 

Sunset Tandem Flight

 

John and Tracy

Holly and Tracy

 

Saturday May 19, 2012

Marzena Tries Out Chris Christopersen's Trike

Marzena and Jim Gibson

 

 Skydog Takes R/C Walt Farnsworth's Bike For a Spin

 

Take Off Eh !!

 

Scot Maue

 

Chris Christopersen

Mark Dugan

 

Tracy Tillman

 

Jim Dedes

Holly

 

The Gang

 

Guido and Marzena

Skydog

 

Jim Gibson and Trevor Glidersleeve

Lisa Colletti

 

Mark Dugan

 

Jim Dedes

Mark Bolt

 

 Scot Maue

 

Holly and Trevor

Flash

 

Mark Dugan

 

The Skydog Report

This was a Just Fly Comp. weekend and Trevor Glidersleeve won the Frequent Flyer category and I won the Best Flier category.

My total airtime this year as of  May 22, 2012 is 62 hours and thirty five minutes

**************************************************************

Thursday & Friday May 10 & 11, 2012

The Skydog Report

On Thursday Patrick O'Donnell and I drove to Cloud 9 in Michigan and we took the first flights at Cloud 9 for the 2012 season. On Thursday my first flight took me to near cloud base at 6,115 feet in front of a cloud bank moving to the south at 15 mph and when I tried to come north under the cummies there was no lift so I went back south into the blue and got up again but finally got to far south and decided to come back under the clouds and final I sank out after 48 minutes. Patrick did a 20 minute flight.

Friday was a blue sky day and I did a 17 minute and a 36 minute flight. Patrick did two sledders.

Photos Below

Tracy Fills The Tractor

 

 

Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick Landing

 

Brian Deimling and Patrick O'Donnell

 

Patrick

Patrick Flairs

 

Set Up

 

New Aerotow Release

 

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