Friday, June 24, 2011

Blood on the Tracks

Friday, June 24  Blood on the Tracks

The re-setting continued, and the morning sky looked quite good, albeit with light easterly winds that were unsuitable for long flights. Still, it was flyable and we had a variety of flying objectives in mind.  BJ’s intention was to attempt a gigantic world-record distance triangle of 260 miles, Mike Barber needed to test fly his new glider locally, while the Brazilians too wanted to do some gear-sorting and experience the tow operation.  In the end, the soft lift and constant cross wind resulted in BJ’s triangle being truncated into an out’n’back to Laredo (circa 80 miles), Mike’s test flight proved his glider’s pitch to be badly out of trim, something that may have contributed to his belly- flop landing on the runway, and the Brazilians had a bunch of broken weak links, part of an unusual number that have been experienced here.

And then there’s my weak link break.  I had been looking forward to attempting an unusual eighty mile flight to the south east along the Mexican border towards McAllen.  But the instant I came off the cart my weak link broke.  That shouldn’t have been a problem as I had good speed to transition to a landing.  However, I had zipped up my harness a bit too far and couldn’t unzip it in the seconds available to me.  Still in my harness, I opted to belly land on the runway.  Unfortunately the repaved runway has an extraordinarily coarse texture, that of a heavy grit sand paper, which resulted in my harness and knee being shredded.  The harness can be fixed with Shoe Goo, but the knee required three stitches to pull together the resulting mess.  The doctor who treated me at the clinic was sufficiently impressed by it to take some pictures for his colleagues.  I was extraordinarily lucky, and can walk well and should be flying in a couple of days.

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