I need to find a place to fly like this here in Idaho. I hear that it exists, but I have a feeling it is hiding from me. I sure as hell don’t want to go to Brazil to find it.


Flying Swan Falls

Made it out to Swan Falls to do some flying. The wind felt a little strong when we got there, and some pilots talked about going over to Pickle. Mark and Bruce had just come from there and reported that it was cycling through weak.

With this info Mark launched and flew for a while. After he landed he said it was pretty rough. I already had me gear out so I tried kiting for a little bit. After pulling up my wing a few times, I didn’t think the conditions where that strong so I launched.

I flew the bowl in front of launch a few times, and not getting hit by any gusts or overly strong lift, I headed east down the ridge. The wind had a different feel than Swan usually does, but the lift was there so I cruised down and back a couple of times.

I ran into some bumps, but nothing extreme. The thermals rolling through launch were turbulent, but the ridge lift was laminar. After I made a couple passes everyone else saddled up and flew as well. I tried to work one of the thermals in front of launch but it was over my head and really turbulent. Mark said later that it was extremely rough and he though that me turning out of the lift was a smart decision. Otherwise he said after a certain altitude that the lift was abundant, but really rough. We speculated it had something to do with the inversion layer, but who would really know?

I flew for about 25 minutes before I miss timed a cycle and got flushed out. I scratched but couldn’t make it back up to ridge level. I felt vindicated a few minutes after I landed when I spied Greg, Rob, and Bruce on the same flight path I was on. See the video below, Greg (yellow and white wing) flew almost the same pattern I did. It helped him as much as me.


Overall I thought it was a good day of flying. Swan is always a great place to fly when it is working.

Flying on Sunday

Got out flying on Sunday, and had a good time. The wind was strong, but smooth with a good amount of lift. I followed Mark down the hill to launch.

My first attempt really showed the rust from lack of flying in the winter. So much for kiting in the part on Saturday. The second attempt was better and I got off the hill and climbed out. I flew for about 45 minutes and landed behind main launch.

I took off again after getting some water and a snack. That launch was much better, and I flew again for 45 minutes. Could of flown much longer, but the sun was going down and I had places to be. So I top landed just about where I took off. Overall a great day.

Pleanty of people out. Bruce, Greg, Chris, Mark, Blaine and me. We could use some new blood, or even old blood that doesn’t get circulated much.

Brad, a new HG pilot, was out for his first soaring flight. I got video of him taking off and landing.



I was also able to get my camera replaced. I picked up the same model that I had before, only this time it cost about 80% less.  So there are pictures too.


I’ve made it out to King Mountain a couple times this year. Have yet to get high and go somewhere, but I am working on it.

On my most recent visit I was able to fly from lower launch on King, to John Kangas’ glider park. I followed a hang glider pilot in and landed on the run way after I did some maneuvers to loose a little altitude.

Greg landed right beside me, but landing at the runway was a little close for him. So no cool pictures of Greg landing in the evening light. Maybe next time.

If you look at the picture above, you can see some sailplanes in the background. I had a good time watching them flying at King mountain. The way those pilots fly those ships in the mountain air is extremely cool. If I had not broken my camera, I would of had some really good pictures.

I’m going to try and get over to Sun Valley this year to fly Baldy. I have heard of some really good flights from there. Two guys even flew from there to Mackay, Idaho. That is about 40 mile over some pretty rough country. Maybe I’ll get good enough to do that one of these days.

Until then, enjoy this video of Tyler landing after a flight from 8th street.


Flying on Saturday

Bruce called and said he was going to try and catch a glass off at Pickle, I told him I’d go. I’m really glad he called. Thanks Bruce.

When I got there Bruce was already there, and he said the breeze had died. We stood around talking and about 5-10 minutes later a thermal started pushing wind over the main launch. This lasted about 25-30 minutes, tappered off again for about 5-10 and started over.

I didn’t need any more convincing, and neither did Bruce. We suited up and took off. I left the ridge and scratched for quite a while before making in up to launch height. We flew around for a while hitting good lift between main launch and Calbus launch. Bruce and I flew for about an hour before landing and getting everyone else going.

On my second flight I was doing about the same as the first when I hooked a nicely formed thermal over near the west launch, this took me, Bruce, Justin, and Rob for a nice ride up to around 1000′ over. I got out the camera and took some pictures and promptly fell out of the lift like a rookie.  Justin rode it out for a while longer before coming back to the ridge.

It was a lot of fun, and a really good time. Thanks again for the call Bruce.