Flyable wind direction NW (315)
1650 ft (750 AGL)
Glide to LZ 4:1
Location Elmira, NY
FL moderate slope grassy slot
H2 P2 with observer
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Post Flight reports
Dec 29, 2020, 8:13:47 PM
Landing flag planted in the lz, no snow there, nice frozen green turf.
The road up was ok at first, welcoming us up. Well that turned sour at about where that metal culvert crosses the road. Treacherous! I thought if I kept the speed up I could make it...no way! It was basically a sheet of ice on the first uphill. Truck stopped and slid sideways with front end sliding sideways, then backing up it turned into a J-turn with the front end sliding downhill, aha, that was actually good. Parked and unloaded glider and the fixings. Julie and I carried the glider and all the gear up at once taking a few breaks on the way.
The tower was called. The flight began about 3:30 and ended about 4:15. At 2:30 it was still blowing hard...freight trains in the trees. So just waited a bit and things calmed down. Julie launched me and it was about a 3 or 4 stepper.
It was partly sunny and some thermal activity, but mostly ridge lift. I was really happy to get a chance to experiment more with my NW Liberty 158. I'm getting more comfortable with it after this 3rd flight ever...it handles so much differently than my Sting 175. Love the Liberty! The day today was much like the last time we flew Harris like 3 weeks ago...at first you questioned why you came, but then it turned nice!
Ended up with 45 minutes and about 725 over launch...still soarable on deciding to land...I was cold and didn't want the FAA after me. Safe launch and landing.
A friend from Hyner, Steve VanEerden hiked up to Hyner launch the other day with his PG in like 30 inches of snow, that was a big encouragement to push on to do today's little hike to launch with the HG (of course I had a great crew with Julie assisting!).
Tower was called upon landing.
As we were packing up the full moon started creeping up above the mountain.
Let's fly soon!
While heading over to plant the wind flag in the lz, I got a charlie horse cramp from high stepping the deep snow along the access road...but out in the lz itself there was only 2-4 inches with little bare spots.
It turned into a winter expedition to get uptop. Bob came over and brought a shovel and sled. Julie was along also and we had a sled. The snow on the road up was much deeper say 10" and ice crusted...deeper in drifted areas . At first it was a fiasco trying to use a boat sled to carry the glider, but after a few attempts we figured out how to bungee it on there on top of a foam pad... and try to evenly pull it with a long rope...still it toppled over on its side a few times.
We made it uptop by 11:30, wind looked good, so setup and called the tower.
Bob shoveled the launch area.
The flight itself was quite fun...today flew the Sting 175. The air was textured with some good ridge lift and some punchy thermals and sink pockets. 47 min., about 500 over was about the best I could climb...did a few few single turn 360s and lots of dog bone ridge scratching.
The wind up higher was pretty strong so in a 360 I'd get blown back a bit then slowly penetrate back out front.
When everything is mostly white on the ground it is kind of odd and difficult to see the exact lz area from 700 ft. There were thermals out over the lz...so once I got out there I had to circle a while. Fortunately the landing was a non-event, no slips and falls.
Tower was called.
Big thanks to Bob and Julie for the help on the expedition. Without the help it probably would not been possible to get a flight in. No vehicle besides maybe a Bombi could have made it up there today.
The sled idea works, but it needs some definite refinements before the next attempt.
Spring is coming!
Let's fly soon,
Dave, Mark, Chris and I flew Harris today. It was pretty much as expected... Mostly West, a mix of bumps and smooth ... Not real high, but not bad ...
All in all a good first day back after a 2 month dry spell.
It was a little muddy but not bad.
Interesting to see that when we flew (between 2 and 4), the HHSC weather station was reporting 15-20, but my instrument never registered more than 20, even 1000' over launch
A beautiful and great day to be out flying! A few cu's above were being captured by the sailplane pilots. Ed was the first one off the hill about 2:30 PM followed by Mark D, then Chris T. Wind direction was good with 8-12 mph velocity. Thermal gusts were apparent and pilots reported bumpy air with flight durations of 15-30 mins to an altitude of about 500 ft. ATO. I wasn't paying to close attention to the flying because I was setting up my new falcon 4 hg. I guess a down cycle caused those pilots to land except for Ed who had other commitments and had to leave early New club member PG Kunal Bhuta from Syracuse took off mid afternoon and a had a short flight not finding any ridge lift or thermal lift.
The wind gusts tempered a bit followed by a steadier consistent velocity at 5 PM. First off was Kunal, followed by Chris T, JK, PG pilot Bill Selent from Cleveland Ohio, Karl and Katrin. I thought the thermals were a bit small and had significant drift. The wonder wind stated at 6 PM and lasted to about 7:30 PM. Everyone reveled in the generous uplifting air currents. My vario registered 700 fpm up with 700 ATO as my highest altitude for the day. Chris T. got to 1100 feet over TO by the white house. Everyone seemed to love the generous wonder wind getting 1 to 1.5 hrs of airtime. Roy Webb the LZ house owner who mows our LZ at times was gracious enough to to give us a ride back to launch for our vehicles. Michelle D. was with Mark enjoyed the sunny weather. Bob S. a hg student from the Rochester area observed and gave assistance to the pilots on TO. In pre pandemic fashion we finished the day with a nice dinner at Tag's and then walked out into a star filled night time sky. Feel free to correct any inconsistencies I may have written.
The season flying season has just begun.
See you next time.
Steve, Bill, Jim Black and I met at HPort at noon. We checked out the site but winds were variable with every now and then a cycle blowing through. We did some site maintenance but then Jim B reported that everyone was at Harris. Arriving at Harris the situation was not much different. Everybody was waiting for better conditions when Air Ed stepped up to launch and showed us how it was done. Wait for a perfect cycle, launch, take it up high, stay high. Anyone who did not follow Ed's example had a hard time scratching down low until they finally found an elevator ride up. Not everybody did. Bill V made it up and reported narrow thermals with rough edges, not easy to stay in. PG newbies Steve, Bill, and Jim said they found lift everywhere. They were high but Ed was highest of all. It must have been more than 4000 MSL. Jimmy K flew later in the light wonder. Pilots out there were Bill V, Jimmy K, Rick B, Tim L, Ed, Oded, Bill and Steve from Ohio, Jim B and Karl. Longest flight was only a little over two hours and not as high as some of the others, even though some thought it must have been at least three hours and much higher. Tags ended the day. - Katrin P.
Much soaring to be had despite a significant cross wind. JB had an hour flight in the mid afternoon in his bamboo bomber. Aron had an extended sled run. About 5:30 PM with a 30 to 45 degree right cross Lee had an exciting take off and surprisingly began soaring over our heads in a beginning wonder wind which lasted until 7 PM. Aron, Bill U, and Tim followed all having good launches and soaring flights to 300 feet ATO. The wind direction seemed to straighten out as the evening progressed. Good landings were had by all despite the huge tractor in our landing notch and the 10 foot high corn ringing the LZ. Lee M. was top dog with a one and a half hour flight. Nine of us finished the night on the top deck at Tags eating and listening to the singing duo. I am told the tractor will be moved this weekend. - James Kolynich
When we started launching, the wind was like 8-12 strait in.
Mark was first off, went up with a few passes...then way up. Moritz went next, up and away. Aron went next and after a few passes was up.
We flew around a while and had nice ridge lift lift and thermals under the big cumulus clouds.
Pat launched and had a nice first soaring flight on a day that wasn't all peaches and cream.
Aron: I'll say this...today at Harris scared me. After reaching 1500 over it was lift everywhere...nice thermal, smooth, then it got crazy...cloud suck...up around 2400 over. I ran from the monster cloud, pulling vg and pulling in alot...hopefully not exceeding structural limits. Turbulence rocking me and over the falls a couple times...I thought that maybe the glider might tumble or something. Back down to 2100 over it felt ok again, starting to relax. Then baaam! back up to 2600 over and it got wild again...repeat, look for sink and bask in it.
I think Mark experienced similar...he said he was 2600 over and bar stuffed trying to get down...even unzipped harness and got out trying for drag, but still climbing.
How sweet it was to get the sink warning on the vario.
Once I got down to 1000 over it felt normal and smooth then whack...another major jarring patch of turbulence to the left of launch.
Soon after that widespread sink happened.
Landings were another story...
Conditions changed suddenly and we all landed pretty soon. Wind was totally parallel to the ridge out of the north east...we kind of all were forced to land rather quickly in widespread sink.
...couldn't believe my eyes...flags in lz were opposite, so started setting up for a north east approach, on my base leg it switched again so I just landed into the wind but way into the corn by the slot...becoming an expert at corn landings here! Thanks for the help guys on the glider retieve...4 people holding the glider up above their heads walking it out of the corn was a sight to behold.
Other folks landings were not so much fun either. Nobody got wounded fortunately and no broken aluminum.
Jim and Tim did not get to fly with the abrupt change to cross conditions. Thank you Jim for coming out and assisting launching people.
I'd say Mark had the flight of the day for overall time in the air...way to go you brave soul!
Pat had an awsome first soaring flight in challenging conditions...and with no vario.
There is better air than today! Learned something today for sure.
I like winter flying, more mellow air and no mosquitoes...
Seriously it was great to see a nice turnout for flying today.
Let's fly soon!
Jim K. and Julie came out to assist...big thanks!
Early on it was cloudy, but the wind was good!
Rocco launched into a nice cycle and went right up. He had his first true soaring flight of approximately 30 minutes! He did well launching, working the ridge lift, and had a safe landing. I'd guess Rocco got 500-600ft over?
Aron flew next and was in the air 30 minutes, part of the time while Rocco was up and tried to stay out of the way of Rocco on the ridge. About 400 over most of the time.
Mark showed up a bit later and had nice flight in sun and clouds mix. As we looked on from the lz it looked like he was finding some thermal action... a 39 minute flight, and 925ft over...the flight of the day.
Tower was called before and after flying.
Cold day but it sure was fun!
Let's fly soon!
George, Bob, and Jim flew yesterday at Harris. When we arrived and got up top at about 1:30 pm, it was blowing in fairly straight at about 8-10, gusting to about 14 mph. We waited a bit and it smoothed out.
George was up first and landed at the glider port after about 2 hrs. Jim B was off next and had 1hr. 10min. flight. Bob got about 30 minutes and landed to check out his equipment.
There was widespread lift from about 2:30-4:00. It was practically unnecessary to turn in thermals... I just flew around and went up :) It was fairly smooth but strong (15-17 mph at about 1,000 over launch).
Oh... it was cold!
I'll write this even though George got the longest ( 3hrs + ), highest ( 4000 MSL ) flight today.
Bob, George and I showed up around Noon and started setting up right away.
Karl and Katrin were over at Jimmy K's, so they stopped up to say Hey around 1.
Not sure what happened to Ron and Aaron.
The actual was exactly as forecast ... Straight in 12G15.
I think Bill Vickery showed up for a visit in there somewhere too.
I played wind dummy, and George was in the air before I could make a first turn.
We scratched for a bit, but soon were a few hundred feet over, riding primarily ridge lift and a few really thin lift lines. Smooth, cold, buttery air, and lots of buoyant air.
It was easy to get to the glider port and back, as well as travel out into the valley.
There was a pair of adult bald eagles marking the thermals, and a single hawk looking for dinner.
I headed just short of two hours when I realized that my car keys were in my pocket and not in the car where I told Bob that they'd be. ( Luckily Karl and Katrin gave Bob and his daughter Katy a ride down, then over to Draught Hill )
George stayed up fooorrrreeeevvvveeer and disappeared into the clouds at 4K at one point.
He made it down at a legal hour and the tower was called without any sunset concerns.
Karl and Katrin were nice enough to take my dumbass back up top to get my car, and by the time I was down George was on final.
Not a bad day for December 26 ...
Pics, vids, and .igc track to follow.
Mark, George, Aron & Julie met in the Lz about 10am.
Getting up the road all the way to the top was not possible with a vehicle...got the Dodge up there almost...till we got to the 3ft deep drifted area. That was the test run to break trail. We had to use sleds and carry the rest of the gear from the icy bend area on the second run.
We had 3 gliders set up by 1pm...but we waited and prepped gear more till around 2:30pm. Several trips back to grab forgotten gear and warm feet, eat, etc.
Tower was called.
Mark launched first and went right up. He was flying in ridge lift and found some nice thermals getting up to like 1400 over? Mark had the flight of the day for time and altitude...don't know how long, maybe 30-45 minutes? The cold and wind chill was nasty.
Aron was next, went right up, working ridge and some little thermals found along the ridge and maybe got to 600-700 over? The air was really smooth and hardly any gusts felt. The flight had to be cut short due to a mechanical issue (on the Airborne Sting)...I noticed major wing flutter on the left wing tip. The elastic cord that holds the far left end straight batten in had somehow came off the knock area partially...I thought holy crap what if it comes off altogether and the straight batten slips out? ...it might cause a turn or make the wing uncontrollable??? So went out immediately to land after noticing it...but it took a while becase there was lift out there...took turns very gentle and didn't go real fast...keeping stress as consistent as stable as possible on that left wing. Made it down ok and flared hard above the 10" snow coming to a total stop and plunking in on my feet from 2-3 feet up...only to be driven to my knees in the snow by the dropping momentum.
George was next and went right up. He flew around a while and decided to land due to the wind chill...it was wicked on the face or any exposed skin.
The wind was good and could have been flyable till dark.
Tower called after...
Breaking down the gliders with frozen fingers really sucked!
Best air we have seen lately, smooth and wonderful...just too darned cold to enjoy it very long. Invigorating!
It was a great day to be out. Big thanks to Julie for helping us crazies get some flights in.
Come on springtime! -Aron
Arrived about Noon:30
We ( Karl, Bob, I ) all had 2 flights each.
Bob and I got extended sledders first time around, Karl got high and stayed up about 45 minuetes ( of course ).
Second round we all got about 20 - 30 minutes.
We went up for round 3 ( Jimmy K ran taxi ) but it completely shut down, so we left about 5:30
Not a great day, but not a shutout either .
I think folks are looking at tomorrow afternoon as well as Sunday / Monday.
Rob S, Karl, Bob S, Bill S, Bill V, Jim K , Pat M, Jim F, and I turned out to Harris. The PG’s all flew with flights ranging from sledders to over an hour. Jim K and Bill V set up their gliders but didn’t fly. It was mostly ridge lift with some punchy thermals mixed in. Early on the day looked promising with cumulous clouds, but they gave way to clear blue skies in the afternoon. Pat M had a nice soaring flight on the ridge……making his first attempt at thermaling. Jim K helped with launching and shuttling pilots.
The wind direction went more north as the day went on, so we decide to head to the cliffs in hope of an evening wonder. Rob S, Bill S, Jim F and I all flew paragliders, and Pat M flew his hang glider. Congrats to Pat who had two soaring flights at two different sites in one day. Flights ranged from 1-1.5 hours , and about 1500 ft over launch. Bill Sellent had the flight of the day. He flew his paraglider all over the valley at the cliffs, and just came up short of his attempt to land over at Harris.
Timing is everything. Eight PG and HG pilots got up to three flights
each from 1:20 PM to 6:30 PM in challenging textured air which switched
from NW to WNW by the end of the day. Flight times ranged from 13 minutes
to one hour. Dan G was the rock star of the day when he launched his WW
falcon at 4:20 PM and climbed to 4400 feet above TO punching through
two inversions in Ron Kittredge's old harness.
There was a mild wonder at 6 PM reported by Dave K. Other participates
included new member Dylan Christopherson from the Plattsburgh area,
Amy R, Karl L, Chris T, Bill V, Jim K and Andy M.
The tower was called prior and after the flying Activity.
What a day. Looked good with nice flat bottom cu's in the morning. Seven pilots showed up for the challenge of fighting Gravity. Aron and Mark took off about 1:45 resulting in 1 hour flights in punchy air with good landings. Bill V was third to go with a nice TO but did not get above the ridge. He landed a short while later. Next Chris took to the air having a nice 1.5 hour flight getting 1000 ft over TO despite nice looking clouds. Our newly minted H2 pilot Patrick was eager to go despite the 15 mph winds. Launching at 3:45 PM he did a great job soaring and following the rules of the ridge resulting in a 2 hour flight. He had a nice landing near the bulls eye and was ecstatic. Rob launched before Patrick. While getting him ready to go Oded called my about flying conditions in Elmira since it was overcast and blown out in Brockport. An ominous clue as a forthcoming scenario. Rob got 1.5 to 2 hrs, 4.2 K over and landed in near the keyhole. Julie assisted my TO at 5:05 PM after backing off due to gusty conditions. It was somewhat bumpy but not bad. Just before 6 PM Rob and I found a strong big thermal that took us over 4K MSL with a sailplane just above us. The view was stellar in the clear air. Seneca Lake could be seen to the North. Now the good part. Remember Oded's call? Thought I would wait a while to land until the wind and turbulence decreased as the sun was getting lower in the sky. Both got worse to my dismay. A mini front with increased velocity and rough air resulting in going weightless and being parked over the hilltop. My plan was to wait it out until the thermals stopped moving through the corn below. Finally the thermals abated and I went out to land as the air smoothed out and decreased in velocity below 300 feet. An aircraft approach was chosen resulting in an uneventful landing just before the keyhole. The wind readings at the airport were NW 7-20 at 5 PM, NW14-23 at 7 PM, and NW14-21 at 8 PM when I landed. My trusty Falcon 4 flew well in the challenging conditions. A huge thank you to Julie and Michelle for launch assistance and shuttling cars. Thank you to Aron, Julie and Chris for waiting in the LZ for me to land. That is all I have to say. Jim K.
Based on the forecast and the cloud streets, we went to Harris Tuesday with hopes of cloubase, PRs, and XC flights. That wasn’t quite what we experienced . 4 PG pilots….. Chris , Karl, Bill S and Bob S came out. Bill V and Jim K also showed. Conditions were very light and mostly out of the west. Bill never set up. Jim setup hoping for an evening wonder, but never flew…. He opted to cut the grass instead. The PG’s took sledders . Bill S took off and found a thermal in front of launch taking him to 500 over, but that was it and resulted in an extended sledder. Karl had the flight of the day……scratching for 20 minutes and getting 100-200 over in the evening “wonder “ that never happened. The sailplanes had a field day. We just couldn’t get to them. Next time…. Chris T.
Zowie! I didn't think the flying was going to fair well. It was raining from a local cell as I was loading my Hg on the pickup truck. Met Oded and Chris in the LZ at 2:15 PM . It was blowing 5-7 mph under cloudy skies. We all started setting up our flying machines hoping for soaring conditions to slowly improve. Chris T was first off followed by Bill S. in their PG at 3:30 PM. The flights lasted 18 and 11minutes respectively. Around 5 PM the sunshine powered wind and thermal activity started to increase our chances of soaring. HG Rob S was first off at 5:20 PM followed by HG Chris T. They waxed the ridge up to 200 feet above and at launch level until conditions improved allowing them to gain more altitude. It was my turn as a rocketed out of launch at 6 PM quickly gaining altitude in my Sport 3 135. We were turning in small thermals and gaining altitude following lift lines upwind. Rob and I caught a nice one at 6:16 taking it to 2756 feet MSL or 1100 ft over. IT was PG Bill's turn again as the wind smoothed out a bit at 6:25 PM. Rob flew past the sailplane runway and in back over the cell tower just making it back to the West ridge. Chris had a nice landing near the bullseye as the wonder wind glass off began. His flight time was 1hr and 10 min. JK was next with an aircraft approach with one go around and a nice landing in the keyhole. A flight time of 1 hour and 3 minutes. PG Bill S got 500 feet over and 1 hour of airtime. Air hog for the day Rob S got 2 hours and 11 minutes and ended his flight with another good landing in the keyhole. We celebrate our successful flights with Bill's home brewed beer in the LZ and dinner at Tags. Oded did not fly his Atos as there was a problem with his old harness rubbing the base bar with a prelaunch hang check. He was kind enough to drive my truck down to the LZ. See you tomorrow. Jim K.
It was a good turnout at Harris and there was good flying also. Bill V. launched first around 2:20 pm but hit a sink cycle and sank out right away. I was next, launching at 3:07 and stayed up for the next 4 hours. I pushed upwind toward South Corning and spent the next several hours playing around over the hills and valleys to the west of Harris Hill. If you want to see where exactly, here are the XContest and Ayvri links:
My max altitude was 6260' MSL but I was deliberately staying clear of cloudbase (lots of aviation activity in the area), so base was probably another 500' higher. The clouds were working well and there were even some decent lift lines at times, so most of the time I was over 4000' which made for a fun, non-stressful flight. By 5:30 climbs were lightening to where the drift/climb ratio was too high for my old Sport 2, so I returned to the ridge at 5:50 just before the start of the smoother evening air.
Ed was on launch around 6:00 but saw me struggling to stay up in sinky N cross, so he broke down and left. A few minutes later, the lifty air returned and Bill V. launched and had a nice 55 minute flight with mellow thermals to maybe 800' over launch and lifty lines. One by one the rest of the pilots launched. Moritz flew for 40 minutes as did Jim K. Before launching himself, though, Jim helped get Zach launched and Zach had his second ridge soaring flight (the first being a short one at Harris the previous evening, which Jim also helped him with). Zach flew for 20 minutes in his Falcon and eked it into the LZ just past the tall corn. Way to go Zach! If there is to be any future in this sport of HG, it is going to be from enthusiastic young people like him, with the help of patient, knowledgeable mentors like Jim. Thank you, JK!
According to Jim, sometime in the afternoon Tim L. flew and had 18 minutes and Rick B. had 5, but they had both left before the evening air.
"The night was dark, the sky was blue;
Around the corner, the shit wagon flew" Who else remembers the rest of this childhood ditty?
It was DARK indeed by the time Aron, JK, & BV departed the LZ at 9:15. When retrieving vehicles, the lights and sounds from a Tags concert were observed, which some visiting pilots attended. It was too strong for them earlier, but yet another fantastic day for the sailplanes.
When we arrived, it was due west- high teens, gusts low 20s, and becoming predominantly BLUE. Jim F wisely cut his losses, sensing it wouldnt be PGable until sunset. Hot dry hang waiting ensued, reminiscent of a few days before. Thinking I was perhaps waiting too long again, I went to the slot in a lull, but "pulled out" sensing too much SHIT potential and the LZ was worrisome. Aron later did the same. Funny how you interpret things different in the window once you have a glider on your shoulders.
Then, in short order, the west cross became a somewhat north cross.
Once the high wind take off guy, I was glad when Aron led the way showing it was A ok. I was next and
JK managed self launching a bit later. He got something like a half hour/400', and Aron and I each got an hour, with 1000' and 1300'. I was golden on top of the ridge wave pretty much the whole flight.
Nice evening landing conditions flowed down the keyway through the intimidating corn. JK had a neat approach. As with wonderwinds, there is an 88% chance of a video coming soon 😀 The sun was setting as we began pulling battons and telling out tales.
Thank you Aron for twisting our arms!