We woke up in Vegas to more strong winds. But there was reason to hope it would lighten up later in the day. About 1pm we decided to head to the Jean Lake Bed to do some payout winch truck towing. Radwhacker and I were met with Ron, Wayne, and Carl. Ron is Rad’s next door neighbor. He’s a biwingual pilot and instructor and all around nice guy. Great person to have living next door.
By the time we arrived and setup the thermals were about gone. We had a good time but all of the flights were mostly sled rides. This was a new experience for me not having done this sort of towing before. Rad went first then Wayne. I got ready and headed to the cart. We went over all the details and I was set to go. I gave the "go to cruise" command and Ron headed down the lake bed in the truck. Moments later I started rolling in the dolly – just like aero towing. I got to speed and let go of the handles and shot up into the air.
You tow at a much higher nose angle than aero towing so it takes some effort to not pull in too much. I was pulled in too much at the beginning but got better as the tow went on. It’s easier to PIO when pulled in because you are flying too fast. I also over corrected a few times to get the wings level. Overall it was a good first tow and I released once Ron got to the end of the lake bed.
Once off tow I needed to pull in a bunch since you are so nose high and gravity is now along a much different vector. No big deal but you need to remember to pull in right away. I did a 180 and headed back in the general direction of the gang on the ground. There was no lift at all to be found so I just boated around and setup a nice approach. The wind was blowing in nicely and I was able to pull off a nice no step landing.
I walked back and got right back on the dolly and went up for another tow. This 2nd tow went a little better. I had better pitch position and only over controlled a little. But again, there was little lift to be found though I made a couple of 360’s near the landing area. I did a bunch of S-turns and turned on final. I turned too high and boated further than I wanted. No problem due to the immense LZ but I’m trying to work on my spot landings for my H3.
Shortly after Ron and Carl towed up in their paragliders for some sled rides. We all had some beers as we broke down and we got to hear some interesting flying stories.
Thanks a lot to Ron and the gang for getting me in the air today. The forecast is looking good for flying one of the mountain sites south of Las Vegas on Monday.
Here’s a few shots of our own Radwhacker – he didn’t earn his nickname today