Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saturday November 5th Gorse Hunt Puuloa

Weapon: Backpack Sprayer, 5 gallons water, poison will be provided
Target: Gorse of any age around Puuloa cindercone, no bag limit
Time: best before the mist comes up the mountain, 8:30 ish
Carpool & Questions: Check with Neil Morriss 895-1048, Scott Gee 854-1994 Charlie Crocker 938-9825 Secretary Gene Dursin 328-8514 or President Moku 896-2118

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Awesome day at the Bay

Wednesday 10/05 was another awesome day at K-bay. The 1st flight started at about 9:30 and everyone that launched got up. That would include Sam, Dennis, Charlie and Me; with Gene following over an hour and a half later. Greg, who gave us our 1st ride up to launch, unfortunately made the decission to skip flying today. The lift was moderate, but widespread. The Lava was pulsing; it was working over McCoy's, Kalamalani, the Bananas, behind the Brown, at the Church, and even over the bay side of the Pali. Almost every cloud I flew to took me up. Base was a little low, but I was smelling roasting coffee at 2800 ft. at one point, without being in the clouds. There was even a little rubbish fire at McCoy's to follow the smoke up from. Everyone had at least one good flight, and some 2, before it finally clouded over and started to sprinkle on the hill. Let's hope this is an indication of good things to come for the rest of the fall and winter.
Ramjet Out

Monday, August 22, 2011

1st Flight at Whittington

Well, here's the story I promised last month. After a lot of good ground work and scouting by Ted, (not to mention the sales pitch to Sam and me) Sam and I took a look at the launch above Whittington Beach park and it looked doable with survivable consequences for failure .It was about 5 pm, with a cloud layer from the hills in back, out over the water, and a fairly steady breeze blowing in at 8-10 mph on launch. No white-caps on the water. I took the first shot at it, and after some difficulty getting the Delta up cleanly, I got off on the very shallow slope. There was some turbulence early, but enough small pockets of lift to give me a little cushion above terra firma. Then I ran into the compression zone and seeing 0's to neg. numbers, got on the bar and pushed it back up to 8 or 9 mph. I was only using about 1/2 bar so had plenty left if it had gotten worse. That was enough to get me over the edge of the hill and into mellower air. Now I had the LZ in easy reach with over 800 ft. of altitude. And what an LZ it is. Huge, flat, open, with mostly short grass. Wish we could move it over to K-bay! After landing, Sam took off and had a rather uneventful flight as well (ignoring my advice on the radio, not to launch). Ted handled the retrieve and we all celebrated another Big Island site pioneered. I believe that there is certainly some caution needed in deciding when to fly this site, but there may also be some big rewards in the area of XC's and great views for someone getting the timing right.
Ramjet Out

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Good day at Woodrat

Just got back from a trip to the Mainland. Main purpose was for visiting friends and family and scattering ashes, but managed to get in one flight at Woodrat Mtn. Aparently, it's been a record wet spring in the Medford area, and I think I got the first good day in months. After registering at the country store, my 1st instructor and good friend John Ivey gave me a site intro and drove me up to the lower launch. It was blowing up fine, so I went ahead and launched there. Thermals were fairly big and strong (by Big Island standards) and easy enough to find once in their general vicinity, so I quickly benched up, from out front, to over launch. I was drifting behind the ridge, and wasn't sure I had enough altitude above it to be safe, so went back to the windward side. That only got me lower, but it wasn't long before I got back into the same flow and after getting back to about the same spot, this time I took it on up over the top of the mountain. I should have gone on to base, but spotted a cloud forming over the valley and went out to explore it. That didn't work, so I went back to plan A and got pretty high again; but it was getting late, so I tried one last exploration to the ridge to the North where I figured the plowed field below would be a good source, and the finger extending towards it, a good trigger. Since I was getting deeper into the side valley, I set a minimum altitude for my exploration, and luckily so. As soon as I bailed for the LZ, I hit maximum sink, and had to mash bar to make it into my pattern with good height for an aircraft aproach. I set it down nicely, by the pond, and didn't hit a single cow pie. Just as I landed, some other pilots showed up. Sorry I didn't have time for another flight, as I think it would have been easy to go somewhere, with company, and I believe it may even have been Alex and some of the other Oahu guys, as it looked like his Niviuk.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Help for Daniel

Here is a link for those who might want to help our friend and fellow pilot Daniel who had a bad crash flying on Maui. Aloha, Neil

Friday, March 11, 2011

K-bay Carnage

3-11-11 was a date to remember. Huge quake near Japan that sent a small (luckily) Tsunami racing across the pacific and into Kealekua Bay. Our good friends and fellow pilot Bill M. and Darlene narrowly escaped harm while trying to return to thier home to assess any damage. At least one home on the bay is now in the bay, along with a great deal of debris from other properties. I was fortunate enough to get some altitude on my new Delta, and took a few pictures of the area. Not too good, as I didn't want to have to end up landing at the church, and have to walk back out (since the lower portion of Napoopo road was closed). Best wishes to Bill and Darlene for a speedy recovery to normalcy at their house on the bay.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kealakekua New Altitude Record

Saturday January 8th was what we refer to as a "clear air thermal" day with few clouds and low humidity. It was a low pressure day with vario's recording 2,000 feet plus at our 1,900 foot elevation launch. Scotty Gee said the forcast was for dew point to be reached at 6,000 feet. Several people had soared above launch on the early 10am flight. By the time we got back up to launch there were cats paws from the north showing at Keei point. It was "northy" on launch, clear hot and sunny. "Blown out, my log book clearly states don't launch in this!" Of course we were obliged to wait till noon. Visiting pilot Dave pulled up the Keahole airport real time wind and it had turned mellow. We looked out to the north and the ocean was calm. The cat's paws died down out front. The tremendous heating of the lava all day started to send cycles strait up launch. I put my boots on. I layed out my wing and waited for a good strait cycle. I pulled up my wing and had to follow it up hill to keep from being lifted off launch. I flew away from launch, and then in a southerly direction and I felt the nibble of what turned out to be a nice strong thermal. I turned into it and proceeded to go up. I concentrated on finding the best part of it, not letting the rough edges intimidate me. It just got better, over 1,000 feet per minute up at times. Just short of 6,000 feet I topped out and I noticed a hint of a cloud popped over my head. The lift had mysteriously disappeared, nowhere to be found! Hmmmm, that latent heat in the parcel of air I was riding in had just been released to the air above! So at 5,954 feet I pulled out my camera! Pictures are clockwise from Kealakekua bay: North to Kailua-Kona, Haleakala in Distance, Hualalai, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa with new snow on them, 100,000 acres of Boogabooga land to the South.

Thank you all that helped me experience this!

Neil Morriss