Beating the Winter Blues

It’s been an unusually poor-flying winter here in San Diego this year. Not that I haven’t still had some great flights, but this weekend warrior has been skunked more than expected. The optimist in me says things are about to change. The weather is getting more dynamic and spring promises to give us some epic flying. And to top it off, I expect to have big flying news to announce in a few weeks.

In the meantime, enjoy this photo snapped of Tecolote Canyon on a day that Torrey was epic—and I sadly was gliderless as I passed by after work.


Rainy Day Task

I didn’t expect to start work toward instructing this early in the year, but the opportunity is a-knockin’. Hopefully in a little over a month I’ll be California’s newest instructor. I can’t wait to start helping produce more pilots to fly with. San Diego can definitely use more hang pilots.

Of course, instructing would require a lot of new gear. For me I would also need a more site accessible vehicle. However, the biggest issue standing in the way of teaching is finding a suitable training hill. Still new to the politics of free flight in San Diego, I am unclear where we are and are not welcome. Then there are commercial activity restrictions imposed by San Diego government in parks and open spaces. Despite the road blocks, I am undeterred from pursuing a path toward instructing.

This area of the country offers flying conditions that are much to great to only have advanced sites and no training.

Hang Dreaming: When we can’t fly

Learning to fly in San Diego has many advantages. For one, nearly every weekend of the year is flyable, somewhere within an hour and a half drive (come visit us *hint* *hint*). Included in the site list are Lake Elsinore and Mount Laguna, two epic thermal and convergence sites in the summer, and in the winter great ridge soaring sites. But wait, there’s more…within two hours we have Crestline/Marshall, one of the best sites in the country (so I’m told). Basically, I am a spoiled bird.

However, occasionally we all have to miss a few days of flying. For me that is next week. Tonight I head off to Georgia for the week. Contrary to my previous post, I sadly will miss flying Super Bowl Sunday. I hear there is great flying in Georgia (who knows, maybe I’ll be back in a few months), but I will—also sadly—be far removed from any site or glider.

Now in the grand scheme of things, we are very lucky to do what we do. We’ve been gifted with health and wellness, enough prosperity and free-time, living at a time where modern hang gliders exist, and the mental ability to control them. I am truly humbled to have this opportunity, and any absence away from flying merely proves to me more how privileged I am, but also how much flying means to me.

What will I do–flying related–in the meantime?

Well I am taking my 6030 manual. Will I actually read it? Maybe. Am I a dork? Probably. So far I’ve learned more using the vario in the air than on the ground.

Hopefully find time to run and bike, ya know, to make sure I’m in tip top shape for flying. And after all this is a vacation.

I also need to, seriously, think about my goals and dreams for the year. A 50 mile flight would be great, but as I almost did that last year may not stretch my aim enough…granted this is not the sport to push too hard. Maybe a comp or two. Adding 75 or more hours to my logbook would be great too.

Time to board…