Skywackers — Pilot Log Book

SW Virginia Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Pilot Log Book

Log Book

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Name: Ricky Arnold
Flying Site: NW Eagle Rock
Flight Date: 2-15-09 (Date Posted: Feb 18 2009, 19:09 )
Duration:32 minutes Max Gain: 357 feet XC Distance:
Log Entry: I had a great time with all the people that showed up to fly and watch. There was quite a crowd for a short notice. Anyway to get to my flights. This was the first flights on my old Arcus in more than 2 years, maybe 3 years. It really felt good to be flying it again with the feel of its flight characteristic`s coming back instantly. I launched into a thermal that had just started coming through to gain 357 feet in front of launch. With the lift disapating I flew to the right and away from the mountain. Setphan had indicated that thermals were happening over the LZ. So I headed to the LZ to catch them. With a third of the way there I started hitting sink. At first it was only for 5 or 10 seconds at a time. Then it turned into constant hole of decent. After a few seconds of this it was time to get on the speedbar all the way to the tree line in the LZ. After sinking at 860 feet per minute I was ready for some lift. I found plenty of lift over the LZ and started climbing back up. Then there was gusty winds and a huge spike that gave me a right wing tip collaspe. After some easer thermaling I hit another bullet thermal with the same results as before. As most of you know I havn`t been flying much for the last 3 or 4 yaers. So being uneasy with air I was in, I went looking for sink. I found it in the far corner of the field next to the road. I simple stayed in the sink until I was low enough to setup for landing. I had flown for a total of 32 minutes and found plenty of up and even more down.
On my second flight it was simply a sleder, but a fun flight all the same. I hope to do more flying this year and learn all the new people`s names. Until next time... wishing everone good flights.


Name: Richard Cobb, Tim Kingsbury, Alan Walker, Phil Givens
Flying Site: Big Walker
Flight Date: Oct 18, 2008 (Date Posted: Oct 19 2008, 01:39 )
Duration:Various Max Gain: Various XC Distance:
Log Entry: Nice flights after stacking wood for Jim. Chilly and cloudy day, but the air was smooth and the colors spectacular! Richard C got to 1200 over on the sole HG, the others (PG's) had nice flights too.

Name: John Harper
Flying Site: Tobacco Row
Flight Date: Aug 11, 2008 (Date Posted: Aug 12 2008, 10:30 )
Duration:4.5 hrs Max Gain: 7500 ft XC Distance: 135 Miles
Log Entry: [Posted by Shane Moreland]
I just got a call from John Harper who flew is Wills Wing Talon from Tobacco Row mountain and landed in Enfield, NC for a 135 mile straight line flight!!

This ties Nelson Lewis' record setting flight of 135 miles last year.

John says he experienced some of the strongest lift he's ever been in. At one point he says he just wanted to get back on the ground but had a feeling it would get manageable. He launched at 1:30p (late) and landed just before 6pm. John said he only flew in mountain lift for 15 minutes or so and piled over the back at 4400' because the clouds were behind the mountain and none in front. It was very rough on the mountain he says, but once over the back he flew from cloud to cloud. He topped out at 7500' during his flight. He says he went on final glide for 20+ miles in smooth air.

John told me all of his best/longest flights happened later in the Summer during dry periods as opposed to the Spring.

Congratulations John!

Name: David Mundy [P-2]
Flying Site: Spruce Knob
Flight Date: Spring /07 (Date Posted: May 16 2008, 18:31 )
Duration:2.40 hours Max Gain: 2600 ft over launch XC Distance:
Log Entry:

Name: Posted by Larry Dennis, many pilots
Flying Site: Big Walker
Flight Date: Jan 19, 2008 (Date Posted: Feb 24 2008, 12:47 )
Duration:1 1/2 hrs Max Gain: 1000 ft XC Distance:
Log Entry: Since no one has put out a report, I will put out a short one. On Saturday, six
of us (Carl, Phil, Danny, Tim, Ricky (who?) Arnold and I packed as much gear as
we could for the drive to BW. After spending some time with Jim & Irma as well
as borrowing a chain saw from Jim, we drove to the top and started back the
road. Several smaller trees were down which required some machine work from Tim
with the rest of us dragging the timber off the road. We arrived on launch to
find the conditions cold but the wind a little strong, but essentially perfect
on a snow covered launch (see the pictures on the Skywackers website).

Since Tim & Ricky hadn't flown in some time and were itching to get their feet
off the ground, Tim launched first, going pretty much straight up off launch but
with no difficulty penetrating. We all coached Ricky off the ground next while
he made pretty much of a textbook launch and ascended to the upper reaches of
the lift band in short order. Danny, Carl & I followed after ensuring that we
were bundled up warmly. There was plenty of lift along the ridge, but I don't
believe anyone got above 800-1000 feet over the launch but all could stay up as
long as wanted. Carl "Givensed" (I believe that's how to spell it) out due to
the cold. The rest of us flew til nearly sunset, with flights in the 1 to 1 1/2
hours or so range wandering quite a distance up and down the ridge.

The air was reasonably smooth and it was very pretty with the snow all around.
The launch was slippery due to the snow with my wing sliding down the snow
before I could pull it up. Even though it was about 26-28 degrees on launch, we
were generally warm, although fingers, toes and faces got a little cool.
Landing was a little tricky since at dusk there was decreased depth perception
due to the snow and no shadows, making it difficult to time the flare. However,
everyone did land safely without incident. As BW usually performs, it was
another great day of flying there, one of the more enjoyable flights I have had
there in a while.

We were all happy to be able to fly BW again, since it has been some time since
some of us have flown there. The Skywackers club meeting was last evening also
and was well attended with Jim Bogle going to the meeting as well. The flying
though made some of us a little late for dinner. Interestingly, this is the
third year in a row that club members have gotten to fly on the day of the
annual club meeting. Two years ago we flew Eagle Rock on the club meeting day
while last year there was flying on that day at Daniels mountain. Perhaps we
should have a club meeting every weekend so we would have flying every weekend.

Again thanks to Richard and Jean for a great dinner and for hosting the meeting
at their house. As is usual for the club meeting night, it always seems to be
quite cool (and usually cold) outside, but in their house it was cozy and very
comfortable. Everyone seemed to have a great time and it was again nice to see
some of the pilots we don't see very frequently.

See you on the mountain. The days are a getting longer and summer will be here

Name: Carl, Stephan, Allen, Phil, Danny, John, Larry, Mark
Flying Site: Eagle Rock
Flight Date: Jan 12, 2008 (Date Posted: Feb 24 2008, 12:43 )
Duration:Multiple Sledders Max Gain: XC Distance:
Log Entry: Actually, we have been posting about doing a little work and a little flying
today up at ER. We ended up with eight of us there : Carl, Stephan, Allen,
Phil, Danny, John (from Blacksburg), Mark Lemon and me. I don't believe I left
anyone out, but I will apologize in advance if I did forget someone. I got
there about 10:30 AM with the finding of winds coming up the NW side at a few
miles per miles--light, but definitely launchable. I had left a message on
Carl's cell phone to pick me up at the LZ, but he missed it until he was on his
way up the mountain. Carl & Stephan got on launch just as I had started to lay
out. Stephan threw his stuff out on launch and Carl headed back down to the NW
LZ. I launched--little lift, but very smooth and buoyant air which required
bleeding off altitude over the fields. The landing was easier than usual since
there was a trickle of air which was coming down from the mountain, the exact
opposite of what the wind was on the launch. The two of us landed and all three
of us went back to the top. Carl then laid out his gear, hooked in and then
satttttttttttt and waiteddddddd. The wind was NW, then NE, then SE, then S,
then 0 mph then back to NE. After a while we decided that it wasn't going to be
flyable for a while.

Danny, Phil and Allen had arrived by this time so we all decided to get some
work done. Over the course of the day we cleaned up some of the brush in the SE
bailout LZ, worked on the NW launch some and cleared some brush below the SE
launch. Phil also put down some lime and fertilizer and hopefully there will be
rain tomorrow. There is still work to do, but it does look better than when we
arrived. Everyone ate lunch with an eye on the wind. While standing in the SE
LZ it looked like it was blowing in SE. Allen and I headed back to the top to
find Phil on the NW launch, trying to entice us to launch from the NW side.
Allen & I went to the SE launch to find Carl hooked in waiting to launch the SE
side--and waiting, waiting and waiting, while the wind appeared to be coming
from the NW side. Allen made his way back to the NW side and set up his wing.
In the meantime the wind was again creeping up the SE side also. We had nearly
simultaneous launches from the NW side (Allen) and the SE side (Carl), although
there was a short time difference between the two launches of about 10 minutes
or so. Although I didn't see Allen's flight, he enjoyed it and found the air
very smooth. Carl's first launch off the SE side brought him in over the
hay-bale field probably only 200 feet below launch, if not higher. It seemed
that he would never make it down to the LZ. Next time we'll cut some of his
lines so it is easier to get down to the ground.

After that it was a free-for-all with a number of flights from the SE side until
nearly dark. Three of us (Allen, Stephan & I) were able to fly both the NW and
the SE side today, with each of us having three flights today in great air. I
believe everyone else had at least two flights bringing the total to about 18-20
flights off the mountain today. The wind continued be light as the afternoon
progressed, but most of the time was reasonably straight up the launch making it
possible to launch if you waited a little for a window. Mark Lemon and I both
did forward launches off the SE side for the last two flights of the day.

Today we landed in Mr. Deisher's field, Frank Thomas's field and the hay-bale
field. No one used the bail-out LZ and everyone was high approaching the LZ
since the air was so buoyant.

Although no one soared today and no one got more than a few feet above launch at
the most, it turned out to be a productive, enjoyable day on the mountain.
Perhaps we can all do this again next Saturday. Stay tuned. Ricky, hope you
can get up in the air there again with us in the near future.

Name: Larry Dennis
Flying Site: Eagle Rock
Flight Date: Dec 14, 2007 (Date Posted: Feb 24 2008, 12:38 )
Duration:30-45 min - multiple Max Gain: 550 ft XC Distance:
Log Entry: Phil and I headed up to ER this afternoon on a day which had potential although
we both were concerned that it may be a little light. On driving up US 220,
most of the flags were down, or only tickled by a little NW wind. After meeting
in the LZ we made our way up the mountain, arriving to find a nice (albeit
light) straight in wind. We both wondered whether we would be able to stay up
at all, but Phil was anxious to try out his new harness ( to see if he could get
to ground as fast with this one as with his old harness ). He laid out the
wing, quadruple checked all of his connections and finally pulled up the wing (
I believe he was sprouting a little, somewhat like a potato on launch ).

Phil had a perfect launch and looked like a professional leaving the mountain
and found good (not great, but good) lift in a lot of places. The new harness
seemed to work quite well for him. Unfortunately, Phil was thinking he was
already in Guatemala, wearing shorts, a hawaiian t-shirt and flip-flops, and
thus he did not tolerate the cooler weather once he was in the air. Perhaps if
he had put on a little more sun-screen he would have been warmer.

I laid out and had to wait a little for enough wind to launch, but once airborne
found lift up and down the ridge as well as out in front of the mountain. Phil
flew about 30-45 minutes while I was up a few minutes short of an hour. Phil
did not have a vario, but was at least 300 feet over launch while I managed to
top out somewhere about 550 feet over. The air today was some of the smoothest
we have flown in in a while. It probably was flyable most of the afternoon,
although we landed probably 30 minutes sooner than we needed, since we both were
getting a little cool. We could have stayed up until long after dark.

It turned out to be a GREAT flying day! ! Much enjoyed by both of us since it
has been a while since we have been in the air.

After landing and retrieving vehicles, we delivered the gifts to the landowners,
all of whom appeared to be pleased. We both enjoyed spending some time with the
neighbors there tonight.

Hopefully we'll continue to have some good flying over the next few months,
although I suppose it will be somewhat cool for some time to come. Longer days
start in 7 more days. Pray for SE winds.

Name: Richard Cobb
Flying Site: Big Walker
Flight Date: Nov 10, 2007 (Date Posted: Feb 24 2008, 12:28 )
Duration:1 hr Max Gain: 2300 ft XC Distance:
Log Entry: This was after the Big Walker Wood Stacking work session for Jim.

We got all of Jim's wood hauled and stacked by lunch time, when it was
time for Erma's feast - pan made corn bread, potato stew, and her
not-to-be missed Southwest chili. Oh yeah, and dessert(s!)

Then it was on to the mountain top. For the lone dinosaur HG pilot
the winds were a perfect 10 to 15 (Hey Phil, get a hang glider! ;-) ,
if a bit chilly.

After debating for a bit I could not find any reason *not* to set up.
I planned a long launch run and was surprised to find myself flying
after one step. Easily up and out of the slot. At first it looked
like it was mainly 2-300 ft over ridge lift, but I soon found the
thermals. It took a little bit of work to get my first 1000 over, and
after that it was almost too easy. I found some that were giving me
steady climbs of 800 to 1000 fpm, with the vario afterwards showing a
peak of 1300 fpm. Nice stuff, though, nothing particularly rocky or

By 2000 over I was starting to wonder about getting any higher - it
was getting misty, although the cloud bottoms weren't real well
defined. But they were big, covering maybe 60-70% of the sky, and
trying to run out from under one not real likely to happen. I think I
got 22 or 2300 over launch when I finally decided that was high enough
and stuffed the bar.

With the bar stuffed until my arms were locked I must have been doing
at least 40 mph, but that managed to put me into negative lift, and
after covering what seemed like a mile or so of ridge I had lost about
500 ft, and found an area that wasn't going up.

I kept running into lift and getting high again though, which, while
fun, was also freezing my hands. After 45 minutes Iɽ decided I had
had enough and went out to land, and had lift all the way to the LZ
and even over the woods on the upwind side, so I was back to 2000 over

I finally found a little sink hole and cored it for all I was worth.
I had lost maybe 5-600 feet when I fell out of it and was in lift
again. It took me another 15 minutes to get down - I couldn't believe
there was that much lift without a corresponding amount of sink. Even
at 3-400 feet over the LZ it seemed that there was still lift
everywhere I went, but it was getting all bumpy and not much fun.

The wind socks weren't showing it to be that strong, and I finally got
down to a landing I was pleased with. And then spent 15 minutes
thawing out my frozen fingers.

Anyhow, a nice hour flight on a day when I hadn't expected one. Would
have been nice to have others to fly with though! For most of the
flight I don't think the air was too rough for a PG, although perhaps
there might have been penetration problems, and I'm sure some active
piloting would have been necessary. But I would not have wanted to be
on a PG coming into that LZ. While not scary on a HG, I'm guessing a
PG wing would have taken on some creative shapes in those conditions.

Log Entry Form

Pilot Name:

E-mail (For reference only, will not be shown in log book):

Flying Site:

Date of Flight:

Duration:Max Altitude Gain:XC Distance:
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