Road Trip to SF – Day 7 – Flying Funston

The sinus infection kept me sleeping a lot and resting at the hotel. But this morning I woke up feeling a little better and having some energy. I checked the webcam and people were flying at the Fort. I headed over there about 11:30 after taking my time getting ready. There were quite a few gliders setup with half a dozen in the air. I took my time setting up and talking with a few of the locals.

I got all suited up and headed over to launch. It was blowing straight in about 15 or so. I waited for a good clearing and off I went. I worked the ridge a bit and decided to do my first top landing. I did a nice setup but it turned out to be a tiny bit to close. I glided on final right to the edge and kept going. I ended up taking a step or two and launched again. After another pass I did another approach and had a nice landing.

Later a did another round that ended in a less graceful landing. This one ended up being a light whack on the nose. No harm done.

My third round for the day was the eventful round. It started off with a bad launch. I let the glider fly me instead of the other way around. I was standing on launch. The glider was off my arms flying in the wind. I was waiting for a good clear spot when the glider started pulling my forward. I didn’t do enough to stop it. As I drifted forward the right wing started to drop. Uh oh. I finally took over. I shifted my weight to level the wings and I started to run. In the end I got off fairly uneventfully but I was not happy with myself. I generally have good strong launches. I can’t let things like this happen.

Once in the air I spent some time working the ridge. There were 6 other gliders in the air with some landing and some taking off. It was a fun time.

But I was getting tired (I’m still sick) so I decided to land. I had to wait a pass or two for gliders and people to be clear enough. I had my opening and did a right hand approach starting over the bushes by the setup area. I turned 180 onto final and came across a huge surprise. There was another glider on final just 3 feet off of my wingtip. Holy crap – how did this happen? We ended up landing at the same time less than 10 feet apart. Turns out we did opposite approaches at the same time with neither of us seeing each other until on final. Close but harm done. We talked together after and neither of us felt we screwed up. But we both agreed to keep a better eye out from now on.

Overall it was a great day. I could have flown all day but I was wiped out so I left while it was still nice. Hopefully Sunday brings more of the same but without the close calls.

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