FlyBC "Site of the Day" - February 28/2015



Tapalpa Despegue Hoy
“Pies . . . para que los quiero, si tengo alas para volar?" - Frida Kahlo


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Date
        Site        
Forecast
Winds
@
3000'
in knots
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Rate
°C/1000'
Cloud
Base
in Meters
Comments
2/28/15
Tapalpa & San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Plentiful sunshine. High 28C. Winds S at 15 km/h.
140° @ 7
-3.2°C (unstable)
3500 metres
Coaches Corner for February 28, 2015 - Tapalpa looks like the place to be. Sunny right now.



Used Gear List:

Ozone Element II L EN-A in Burgundy/Yellow - $1400 with 40 hours
Ozone Mojo 3 XL EN-A from 2011 - $1250 with 50 hours
Gin Atlas S new demo stock - EN-B - $3300 with 2 hours, no taxes.
Icaro WildCat M EN-B from 2011 - $1200 with 65 hours
Ozone Rush 3 M EN-B in red/yellow from 2013 - $2000 CDN less than 60 hours

Ozone Delta 1 M in Red from 2011 - $1400 CDN 60 hours.
Ozone Delta 2 ML (2 in stock from 2013) in orange/blue - $2700 CDN 80 hours
Ozone Delta 2 L in green/black - $2700 CDN 60 hours
Ozone Delta 2 S in orange/blue - $2700 CDN 80 hours
Gin Tribe M in grey/blue (90-110 kgs) - $1500 CDN with 30 hours (one year old)

Fantom 220 Paramotor for sale - $3999 with 5 hours total time. Paramotor only, no wing. We have new & used paramotor wings in stock.

Current Demo Gear: Gin Atlas (S), Gin Fuse Tandem (2 - Size 41), Gin Tribe (ML), Ozone Delta 2 (ML & S), SupAir XA13 Pod Harness L.



FlyBC is an authorized distributor for Ozone , Gin , SupAir, Flytec, Nova, ParaJet Paramotors, Blackhawk Paramotors, APCO, Wills Wing.

2/27/15
San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Plentiful sunshine. High 28C. Winds SW at 15 to 25 km/h.
270° @ 12
-3.2°C (unstable)
3200 metres
San Marcos Report - San Marcos looked windy again today so we went there early arriving at 11 am.

We had light cycles and birds starting to thermal so Matt & Mark got ready to fly.

Matt was practicing the A'S & C's technique and had a really nice launch . . . except he clipped the flag pole and broke the stabilo line so he had to fly straight out. The Delta 2 flies well without a stabilo line.

Mark took off after Matt and was thermalling around but was in the Kordich Airfield when I arrived.

From Feb2015
We went back up hopeful for another stronger flight, and it was pumping up well at Los Banos Launch, even enough that the guys were considerering it. I encouraged them to start higher with better chance of finding a thermal from there.

Matt launched well this time and missed the flag pole, and once Mark launched they were both climbing to the north peak.

From Feb2015
They both headed south to the Saddle, Mark hugged the spine and had enough height to slide over to the back fields as Matt was low out front of Los Banos Launch, where he found a nice climb. There were dust devils forming on the dry lake so it was thermic.

From Feb2015
He was over the saddle doing well but lost his thermal and was soon down at Chela's LZ.

I drove down to get Matt, while Mark was nestled under a shade tree when we arrived and we went back up for one last try as it seemed oddly calm over the backside.

We bumped into Norm & Bev, as they parked in the shade at Chela's. Norm had flown off Los Banos and got flushed. Somehow they missed our shuttle trips up.

We got back on top at 5 pm and it was strong. I hap a nap while waiting and the guys discussed strategies.

A group of wild pig hunters arrived from San Marcos, with a request for some water as their truck overheated on the climb up. I had a jug of water and drove it down to the truck to get them going, while 3 of the hunters went looking for the pigs.

From Feb2015
They found no pigs today but invited us to a BBQ when they get one!

Then magically at 6 pm it became flyable, and Matt launched very nicely with A's & C's and was climbing fast to the north peak with no turns.

Mark launched about 10 minutes later as it gusted up and we had to wait. He climbed fast too.

From Feb2015
Once I knew they were good to climb out I headed down to Los Banos to wait to see where they were headed and I never saw them. None of the radios seemed to be working today either.

I figured they would fly east over the back so I started to head down and saw Matt on approach to Colleen's LZ. He was parked in strong east winds? It was strong SW on top?

I found Mark as he had landed more NW in a field hidden from the view of the highway, before waiting at the Pemex for Matt.

Good day: three flights, about 1.5 hrs airtime, no mayhem!

The tour is winding down as Mark leaves tomorrow, Matt & Colleen leave Sunday and I have a flight home on Monday. Norm & Bev will stay til the 15th.

From Feb2015
2/26/15
Road trip to Colima for flying

Guadalajara Mexico

Abundant sunshine. High around 30C. Winds SSW at 15 to 25 km/h.
270° @ 10
-3.4°C (unstable)
3900 metres
Colima Report - San Marcos looked windy again today so Colima was our choice today.

We left the hotel at 8 am, stopped for coffee at the Centro and picked up Norm and headed south.

It was a quick drive with a few construction stops and we arrived at launch at 11 am, and we had perfect cycles.

Mark launched first, but turned north to chase a bird and got caught in sink and was on the ground in a few minutes in Kirril's field (from a 2003 episode).

Norm was off next following some French Canadians (Julie, Michel & Daniel) and they all climbed out.

From Feb2015
Matt as having some launch issues but he got off and headed south to the soaring bowl and was still in the air as I arrived to pick up Mark.

From Feb2015
The LZs here are nasty with thorn bushes and small trees, so the French folks headed north to the Police Station LZ with Norm following and apparently they had vertical landings as the winds picked up from the SW. Matt had a nice approach into the Piano LZ and a nice landing but caught the wing in some crap so he took a long time getting to the truck.

We headed back to San Marcos as it was blown out by now here, Colima is "a one shot deal" due to the sea breezes.

We arrived at San Marcos Los Banos Launch and it was strong, so up to the top launch where it was even stronger! We waited an hour before heading to the taco stands for dinner in Joco.

2/25/15
San Marcos early

Guadalajara Mexico

Plenty of sunshine. High 28C. Winds W at 15 to 30 km/h.
270° @ 17
-3.4°C (unstable)
3900 metres
San Marcos Report - San Marcos was an early possibility today with forecast strong NW winds of 17 knots plus.

We left at 9 am to head straight to launch arriving to manageable cycles and a few vultures circling out front.

From Feb2015
Matt launched first, still a bit shaken by his reserve ride yesterday but "right back on the horse".

There was some light lift to the south that he worked, while Mark launched next and headed north.

From Feb2015
Mark snagged a good climb by the gravel pits, while Matt came in too low to grab it and landed across from Kordich's Airfield in a hay field.

Mark was climbing when I drove down but as I arrived at Kordich Airfield 25 minutes later, he was packed up and waiting in the parking lot.

We decided to go back up to check it out. Los Banos Launch had good infow cycles despite the north component in the air. We kept driving up to the top.

At the top, it was howling strong, at least 30+ kph but straight in.

On the dry lakebed we saw dust storms starting to form with strong NW winds, so we bailed and headed to Ajiic for the Market & shopping with Colleen.

From Feb2015
After shopping, we headed to San Juan Cosala Beach for kiting as 4-5 kite boarders were plying the waters there too.

From Feb2015
The guys kited til dark and then we went to visit Samuel the Mechanic, to borrow some tools to install the new air horns (cause the old stock horn does not match the Suburban).

2/24/15
San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunny. High 29C. Winds SW 15-25 kph.
270° @ 11
-3.4°C (unstable)
3900 metres
San Marcos Mayhem Report - San Marcos was definitely "ON" today!

After getting the tailpipe replaced on the Suburban (while Matt & Mark had breakfast at the fancy El Chante Spa Hotel just down the road from our El Chante Futball Field), we headed to San Marcos with Colleen & Karina in Karina's SUV.

From Feb2015
Karina has not been flying tandem for many years and has never flown off San Marcos, so we were hopeful we would have a good flight.

We arrived to nice but strongish cycles as we got ready first. Karina is pretty small but we got away without ballasting. The Fuse is a great tandem, but use the A's & C's method in strong winds.

From Feb2015
We found mostly NW winds aloft and the thermals were not that friendly . . . until I made a move to the Saddle where we caught a nice climb and got to 2500 metres.

As we thermalled south, it got pretty ratty in the air. No collapses but big pitches back & forth requiring some big brake inputs.

Once to the south side of the Saddle the winds should have been going straight up that slope, but we got nothing but bumps there.

I decided to head over the back of the mountain to the flats to try my luck there. Nothing but sink!

We floated over the farm fields for 10 minutes checking out the winds in the fires in the valley and it was strong NW here at the Pemex where we left Karina's SUV.

We setup a landing pattern into the wind and landed in the cornfield behind the Pemex. Good logistics except that Colleen had the keys for Karina's SUV and she was busy helping Matt get a wing out of a tree???

Matt followed us off launch but had a piano down to Chela's, so the retrieve was going to be up to me.

Colleen arrived and they took off in Karina's rig and I had to go get mark and head back to launch to help Matt.

Partway up to launch I got a text from Matt saying he had the wing on the ground and would wait for us.

It was howling from the SW when we arrived so I had a nap in the truck as Matt & Mark discussed their strategies for the day.

One lone HGer came in below launch, Antoine Boisselier, training here for the Worlds in Valle. He had somehow launched at Tapalpa and flown to San Marcos in the NW winds. Amazing skills!

From Feb2015
Matt took out his SCirroco to kite as it got lighter and played with it for awhile in the lulls.

Mark encouraged Matt to fly off as it looked good and Matt started soaring to the north peak.

A few top-landing approaches were too high and Matt was practicing wingovers.

From Feb2015
While I looked away, Mark saw Matt take a collapse and he said "wow", I looked up and saw the SCirroco had reinflated but Matt seemed to have a riser twist. No problem as he was flying away from the ridge and could untwist . . . except that we saw his reserve come out! NO!

Reserve worked as designed and Matt came down in front of the old competition launch in a gulley. We hiked up to the top of the ridge but could not see him as he was not hung up in a tree. He had no radio but we were getting texts that he was okay and would hike out.



When we got back to launch, Herminio arrived to do a movie stunt and gave Matt a "high five" and a beer. They watched the show from Kordich's Airfield before coming up.

We watched the show as Antoinne was now the PG tandem pilot taking a camera man on some climbing slings below and facing backwards to get some shots of tricks and stalls by Heminio on his SOL acro glider.

From Feb2015
It was still very windy and they climbed was too easily so we drove home for dinner.

2/23/15
Tapalpa

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunny. High 28C. Winds light.
140° @ 9
-3.2°C (unstable)
3900 metres
Tapalpa Report - Tapalpa was the only place to fly today with NE winds aloft.

We arrived on launch to very nice cycles but no birds. We waited for the birds to show us the way and Matt launched his Delta 2.

We had discussed strategies for NE winds, ie: staying on the windward side of the ridges but once in the air Matt had his own ideas, none of which worked as he kept going in the lee?

Eventually I talked him into heading out to the flats where he found great flatland thermals and he got back to launch altitude and we decided a flight to Sayula looked like a good goal.

Norm launched next and stayed high heading south, as usual!

Mark launched and had to go out to the flats to get higher, as it was all about launch timing to stay high.

I drove down after paying the launch fees and chased the guys to Sayula.

As I drove onto the main highway I heard Norm report in over Sayula, saying Matt was with him.

As I passed the Piano LZ I saw Mark down low setting up a landing to the south in the "One Tree Field", now renamed "Burr Field" as the burrs are growing fast and made a mess of Matt's Swift.

I picked up Mark, drove straight to Norm's LZ, but could not see Matt. He misunderstood SW side of town and landed in another Futball Fn anotherthe NW side of town and an epic retrieve ensued. 1.5 hours later, we found him and headed to San Marcos.

At San Marcos, we got there too late and the winds werrewere to catabatic so off to dinner early.



Woodside BC Report - Kevin reports +4.1 m/s lift and easy top-landings today. Spring has sprung at Woodside. Apparently, 20+ pilots were out plying their thermalling skills Sunday too for 2 hours ubder low clouds at 1100 metres, says Nicole.

2/23/15
Tapalpa

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunny. High 28C. Winds light.
140° @ 7
-3.2°C (unstable)
3900 metres
Tapalpa Report - Tapalpa was on today. And it was busy at Launch as many tandems were flown.

From Feb2015
Camilo had two tandems to do so I offered to fly one of them to save time. My passenger Bernice spoke little english (actually none), so it was just "corre corre" at launch and landing.

I saw many pilots launch & land quickly at the Piano LZ at 11:30 am, so I suggested we wait til noon.

I took off first right at noon, and caught a climb right off launch. Camilo took off right after me and we were climbing together.

The main problem was that I like to turn right and Camilo was right there in formations so I turned left and started to climb as he turned right and also climbed so we could map out the thermals and we eventually got above launch.

It was strong and later I heard Miguel say he had a +6 m/s climb right with us (I only had a IQSonic audi only vario).

We were soon through 2500 metres and well behind launch and there were 4 tandems now in the same thermal, Bob & Miguel joined us after seeing us climb out fast.

After 20 minutes of fast climbs, I headed to the top-landing field and it was bumpy trying to get down as thermals were "cracking off". Just be patient and look for sink and then head in on final.

We had a soft landing and Bernice loved the flight!

Camilo, Bob & Miguel all landed next to us and we had many happy passengers.

By the time I got back to launch all of our pilots had taken off: Colleen first off had some nice climbs further out landing at the Piano after an hour of soaring, Matt & Mark were trying to follow Norm but stayed close to launch in the "fishbowl" and never got away but they did top-land to eat lunch after 2+ hours of thermalling around.

Norm last reported in near the Cross under some nice developing clouds, but we never found out where he got to as Camilo & Andres chased him.

From Feb2015
After lunch at La Ceja we drove down as it was shaded in and not really launchable, so off to San Marcos.

A group of pilots from Reunion Island followed us to San Marcos and I shuttled there gear to launch as they hiked up, and Matt & Mark showed them where the lift was.

From Feb2015
I drove down and found everyone in the south LZ near Chela's Beer Store.

2/21/15
San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunny. High 28C. Winds West 10-15 kph.
270° @ 6
-3.2°C (unstable)
3900 metres
San Marcos Report - San Marcos was a definite possibility today with west winds on the Lake early and it was sunny.

After breakfast in Joco El Centro, we headed to Launch with Colleen, Matt, Mark and Nelson (who was enjoying his last day here today).

We launched Nelson first and he had a great inflation & launch on his new Ozone Element II. Not many thermals for flight #6, but he had a good approach and miss-timed his flare but he was down safe at Kordich Airfield.

after Nelson flew off, Matt & I worked on clearing some trees and brush to the south of the launch ram in order to improve airflow. I carefuly cut the stumps down low just in case someone ended up in there.

Next off was Colleen and she was climbing as I drove down to retrieve Nelson.

From Feb2015
Mark & Matt followed Colleen off launch after I left.

There were light winds on the flats as I drove down.

From Feb2015
I almost hit this huge lizard as I drove down, but I stopped and it did too, thinking I could not see it. It looked between 18-24 inches long, and I think this is the same one that used to sun on the rocks.

From Feb2015
I was down in the LZ as Mark & Matt landed and it was getting a bit thermic in the LZ.

From Feb2015
Back on launch around 1 pm, I decided to fly and check out the air for Nelson.

Definitely too thermic for a beginner, rough and unproductive climbs so I top-landed to wait a bit.

We then watched Matt have a few launch attempts. Then on his last launch he got turned the wrong way and went off with a riser twist right into the area we had just cleared earlier. His wing was up in a tree but undamaged and his SupAir Acro3 harness saved his butt from injury.

After we sorted Matt's gear out, I re-launched to check the air for the others.

Much better climbs but too strong as I got "hoovered off" and headed north. Mark launched after me and also went north as I headed south early where I saw some birds climbing near the Los Banos Launch.

I caught a strong leeside thermal and at times I was parked facing north but going up so I stayed with it.

From Feb2015
Mark had spent too long on the north side and found nothing but sink as he headed south arriving below me at almost ground level but he worked his way out of the sink and was headed to the saddle as I headed down the ridge towards the Magic Hill.

From Feb2015
We did not need the "magic" of Magic Hill as we climbed to 3000 metres at the second saddle, with Mark constantly outclimbing me on his Swift I!

I signalled the chase crew who was headed down to retrieve Matt (who had sunk out after his next launch) and said we were headed east to Jocotepec.

Good tailwind as we got 50 kph groundspeeds on trim. A few thermals but overall it was just buoyant we crossed Joco Hill.

From Feb2015
I passed over El Chante Launch high and radioed to Mark to do the same as I saw him down low, so I abandoned the idea of making San Juan Beach. I had it on glide but Mark would have been stuck somewhere else so I headed back to the El Chante Futball Field.

SW winds aloft but east winds on the lake, but no shear layers. Just smooth hands off flying all the way in to a perfect spot landing in the middle of some kids.

From Feb2015
We got picked up at the Hotel by Colleen and headed straight back to launch for Nelson's last flight of the tour and his 10th flight.

Perfect launch conditions as Herminio & Bob launched tandems, and Nelson got a nice launch and he found dome nice thermals to get him above launch and he spent 35 minutes soaring around with some HGers and PGers before he made a perfect landing. Nice way to end off the trip!

Colleen, Mark & Matt (on my Delta II) launched and soared above launch as I headed down to get Nelson.

From Feb2015
Colleen & Mark got to the south ridge and were climbing but they felt not enough to go to Jocotepec so they hung out near the saddle and landed as I called in that I was in San Marcos.

From Feb2015
Last call from Matt was that he was at 3000 metres and that "I may have lost my Delta II" as he headed home to Jocotepec.

What a great day!

2/20/15
San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunny. High 28C. Winds West 10-15 kph.
270° @ 9
-3.2°C (unstable)
3900 metres
San Marcos Report - San Marcos was on today.

After a nice waffle breakfast in Jocotepec, we headed to the top launch.

It was blowing in nicely at Los Banos Lower Launch but we did not have any takers, so we kept driving up.

James flew off first on his Element II L and I suggested he go check out the gravel pits to the north as it was lifty & buoyant. Unfortunately, he called back to say okay and triggered the FM receiver on the radio and all he heard for awhile was mexican music, so he did not hear me tell him to start heading out to the LZ.

After some time he clued in that there was no communication and called back to say he was heading out to the LZ which turned off the FM.

Matt & others on launch were getting nervous but there was no wind so he glided out to a nice landing at Kordich Airfield.

Next up was Nelson, also on an Element II, and he had a decent launch, and flew out and when he hit a small thermal I got him to 360 right, and then left and he found a nice climb and stayed with it well and got back above launch. Very nicely coordinated turns!

From Feb2015
As he flew out to the LZ there was lift everyhwere to the north of the Airfield, so I suggested heading south to the alternate fields, and when he found sink he could go back to the airfield. He too had a decent standup landing.

I drove down to get the boys, leaving Matt & Mark to manage themselves and as I drove down saw them both climbing nicely.

We drove back to the top, and Los Banos was still pumping up the face.

On top, James stood down as he is leaving tomorrow and he has had a good 7 days flying everyday and he wasted to end on a good note.

His "spidy-senses" must have been working as as Nelson launched he faltered a bit, turned his shoulders right and flew into the flagpole snapping it off clean and launching almost into the tress! Thank goodness he was on an Element II as it flew him away!

His flight was uneventful after that, no thermals, and another good approach and landing.

We reinstalled the flag pole into its socket, somewhat lower, and headed down for lunch as Matt had landed before Nelson. Mark was still at 3000 metres doing well so I suggested heading out towards Acatlan and lunch.

From Feb2015
Norm was heading in to Los Banos as we drove out to the San Marcos road, with Andres as driver.

We found Mark partway to the Libramento and went for seafood in Acatlan.

we went back to San Marcos after 4 pm and it was still working at Los Banos and really strong on top. We waited about 20 minutes and it was clearly not student friendly as Matt took out his SCirroco 17 metre speedwing and set up.

He had a good launch and was climbing easily on the SCirroco, and was trying to do low passes over launch but it was too lifty.

From Feb2015
We decided to head down and got about 1/2 a kilometer down when we bumped into Herminio who was heading up in a friends truck and he had his 21 metre acro wing, so we went back for the acro show!

After Herminio got in the air and he started spiralling down to the ramp, it started to calm down to around 25 kph, so I got out mey Delta 2 and launched and climbed to around 2500 metres watching the show from above.

From Feb2015
Mark launched too and we had a plan to fly back towards Joco as the students drove down to find Matt out front.

Mark got to around 3000 metres at the north peak, as I headed south following some vultures that had a good line.

I was partway dowwn to south ridgeline to the Magic Hill but it was very light lift and I did not want to make the students chase me. I was able to stay above the ridge but not higher, so I headed back and met Mark at the saddle and suggested we bail over the back now.

He was concerned about turbulence as it had been quite windy on the front but I said it would be okay . . . and it was as we landed at Colleen's LZ near the far Pemex.

From Feb2015
We walked out to the Beer Store as we knew it would be some time before we were picked up, and had a few cold ones by the highway.

Off to La Vita Bella for dinner as it is James' last night here.

We later heard Norm had flown back to San Juan Cosala so three XC flights from Los Banos for him now.

2/19/15
Tapalpa and then San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunny. High 28C. Winds light and variable.
270° @ 5
-3.4°C (unstable)
3500 metres
Tapalpa Report - Tapalpa/San Marcos was a possibility today. Sunny right at 9 am when I picked up the crew.

We picked up a Bodega Breakfast and ate on the road and when we arrived at launch at Tapalpa at 11 am, it was perfect 10-15 kph straight in and we launched Nelson first aiming for the One Tree Field.

He kept geting knocked off course by thermals but eventually he headed over to the field and had a nice stand up landing!

James launched next and had a better line but somehow decided he should land far from the tree and road and had a long walk in, the field is huge.

From Feb2015
Mark & Matt waited for the second round as they wanted to go high. Also, Matt had forgot his boots in the Suburban.

Nelson got in one more flight and James bailed on flight number 2 as it was getting too strong after he duffed a few attempts. This time Nelson landed in the regular Piano LZ with some south winds.

COLIMA Nevado was belching as we drove down to get Nelson.

From Feb2015
Norm drove to Tapalpa in his Vocho with Bev and flew off before Mark and was soon on his way north.

From Feb2015
Norm last reported it was `ruff` at the Cross Ridge where the CUs were popping.

From Feb2015
Matt had a few low saves before landing short of the Piano LZ and had a hike back to the road, where we picked him up.

Mark had a really nice flight but did not commit to the Cross Ridge and he ended up in the Cross Roads LZ where we picked him up before heading to San Marcos.

As we crossed the dry lake bed to San Marcos he heard Norm reporting in at San Marcos Town where he planned to land at Chela's Beer Store area. Nice +55 km flight, and he said crossing from the Cross Ridge to San Marcos was "full bar and beeps all the way".

He had trouble landing as it was so lifty, I saw -3.4C lapse rate today down low in the forecasxt and it was apparent at San Marcos.

One other pilot was reporting 3900 metre cloudbase and +5 m/s up with associated -5 m/s sink.

We waited til 5 pm to head up to launch and only Mark & Matt flew as James & Nelson were tired and are not fond of San Marcos Launch.

Matt & Mark got away clean and had nice smooth climbs and after 40 minutes they flew over the back to save the retrieve. Thanks Guys!

From Feb2015
2/18/15
Tapalpa all day

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunny. High 28C. Winds light and variable.
140° @ 8
-3.3°C (unstable)
3500 metres
Tapalpa/San Marcos Report - Tapalpa was a possibility today. SE all day long and sunny right now, so we raced to the launch as soon as we finished breakfast.

We arrived to great launch cycles and Herminio & Warenka (a female tandem pilot from Colima) were doing a video shoot for an upcoming film on female athletes. They launched and did some close action footage before top-landing back on launch.

From Feb2015
The boys got ready and James & Nelson took off for their flights as Mark & Matt got ready to fly off later.

Nelson flew off first and had a nice flight with a good approach into the One Tree Field. James followed him out 15 minutes later.

Mark climbed out fast and was seen thermalling with Wolfie, Stefan, Frank and others and he eventually landed at the Cross Road LZ, after 1.5 hours.

Matt launched and was down low as I drove down, and I could not find him but he texted me that he had top-landed and would meet us at La Ceja for pizzas.

From Feb2015
By the time we got back to launch, it was blowing SW so off to San Marcos.

At San Marcos we had perfect launch conditions on top, and Nelson was practicing reverse launch techniques as Mark & Matt took off into the massive glass-off. James was standing down as he got overheated at Tapalpa.

We stood Nelson down as the German Contingent arrived on launch, and we got to watch them all launch and go up.

After multiple duffs and getting "turtled" we bagged Nelson up and headed to Jocotepec, after advising Matt & Mark to fly over the back. They landed at the farthest Pemex in Colleen's field.

2/17/15
San Marcos all day

Guadalajara Mexico

Partly cloudy. High 26C. Winds light and variable.
250° @ 10
-3.3°C (unstable)
3500 metres
San Marcos Report - we went to San Marcos today. SW all day long and sunny.

We got there late as an un-named pilot got lost in Jocotepec for 30 minutes walking from EL Centro to the Hotel, one block away, but it did not matter in the long run as we had to wait for cycles til noon.

Then at noon it magically started pumping in and we launched Mark & Matt & Colleen. Nice smooth lift and I told Colleen to stay in the air as I tried to launch the other new students.

From Feb2015
James took off on his first flight today after a few duffs and headed south looking for lift (on his second solo!). He disappeared from my view going the same way we went on our tandem a few days ago, but forgot to check his glide ratio and came up a few fields short of the LZ.

From Feb2015
Newest addition, Nelson, arrived late after his flights got cancelled joined us today fresh from a week of paramotoring in Baja. He wants to learn free-flight too, and this was to be his first solo free-flight and we launched him and Colleen guided him in.

Mark & Matt got a good climb and were soon at cloudbase before it shaded them out after 40 minutes while I drove down.

Colleen's colleague Nadine joined us today to go tandem, so we waited for the second round to hopefully get better thermics.

We arrived back on launch around 2 pm with the entire group, and the cycles were perfect for kiting & launching.

Unfortunately, some of the group were having lots of issues kiting so we had to keep sending them back into the queue as they blew three launch attempts in a row . . . over and over again.

We finally got Matt & James off, Mark had launched easily the first try. Leaving Nelson to kite until he was too frazzled to do any more trying.

Finally, Nadine & I clipped in and the wind went tail as the clouds came over from Zacoalco.

We had to wait 20 minutes for cycles, and we launched first time in a north cycle and started thermalling south towards San Marcos and the beer stores.

There were some good climbs but the north winds were ragging the thermals out a bit, and it was rough in the LZ as thermals blasted off the sand. I had advised Nadine to do a butt-landing as she has a game knee from slipping on some ice in London a few weeks ago, and we had a nice soft touch down near Chela's store.

We went back up with the entire crew at 5 pm, but there was only tailwinds.

Tomorrow promises to be a good Tapalpa day.

2/16/15
San Marcos all day

Guadalajara Mexico

Mainly cloudy. A few peeks of sunshine possible. High 24C. Winds W at 10 to 15 km/h.
250° @ 10
-3.3°C (unstable)
3000 metres
San Marcos Report - after a yummy breakfast in Joco el Centro, we headed straigh to San Marcos.

It was blowing in nicely at Los Banos Launch but we have not got it ready for newbies yet, some more trimming needed.

It was coming in lightly at the top launch when we arrived at 11 am, and we tried a few forward attempts with James trying to get his first solo but he was not that motivated so we stood down after three tries and let Mark & Matt fly off.

Matt also had many duffs but finally got off. He was trying to soar but it was too early and he ended up in Kordich's.

Mark got awy clean first try and was also doing abit of soaring but also ended up in the airfield out front.

By now it was coming in beautifully at 10-15 kph and it was James' turn. He did a great forward inflation from way back and "kind of ran it off" launching at the ramp and he got a great flight with multiple 360s, figure-8s, S-turns, weight shift only turns and he had a great approach into a grassy section on the lakebed and landed on his feet.

From Feb2015
I drove down to get them and reported to Norm that the Los Banos Launch was working and he was on launch by the time we got back up there.

We watched Norm fly off Los Banos and it was strong there and he climbed out fast.

From Feb2015
By the time we arrived on top, Norm was way above that launch.

Mark & Matt flew off but I deemed it too strong for a second solo as it was now 1:30 pm.

I had great hopes for Mark & Matt as they too climbed out above launch. Our plan was to fly back towards Joco, get lunch and check everyone into a new Hotel as our hotel was overbooked for a few days.

From Feb2015
Mark reported heading over the back so we drove that way to get him, the only problem was that Matt had sunk out in the front and had no radio as he left it in the Suburban. We had to go down to get him taking an additional hour.

Once we got Matt we drove to town, where Norm had already gone past on his Milk Run to san Juan Cosala.

We got the rooms, the guys got fed in el Centro, Colleen was now with us and we headed back to San Marcos.

It had gone cross now and Matt got off and had a windy sledder, so we bagged up and headed down to retrieve him.

From Feb2015
A successful day, one flight for James (solo #1), two flights for Mark, and Matty bagged three flights.

2/15/15
El Chante & maybe San Marcos later

Guadalajara Mexico

Cloudy early with scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High around 20C. Winds S at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 40%.
180° @ 13
-3.3°C (unstable)
2700 metres
Mexico Report - it is hard to believe that the weather back in BC is drier than here in Mexico, but El Chante and San Marcos Los Banos Launch were a possibility today.

I headed up El Chante with Mark as Colleen stayed on the beach with new student James from Victoria. It was calm on the beach but forward launch practice is always a good thing (see Kevin's report from Elk below to see why).

From Feb2015
The drive up El Chante was greasy from the recent rains but the new HiFly Tires work very well! We drove all the way to the top barely slipping at all.

Up on El Chante we had nice SE cycles and the birds were circling out front.

Mark has not flown since he was here last year, too busy with other sports back home so it took some kiting to get the kinks out before he launched and scratched around. He landed in the triangle field below as I drove down through town.

From Feb2015
When we arrived at the beach it had become nicely kite-able and James was doing great reverse launches.

From Feb2015
Mark joined James and did some kiting practice too.

From Feb2015
After some time we headed to San Marcos as it was going to turn SW by 3 pm.

At Los Banos Launch it was blowing tail and there was rain on the Zacoalco side.

From Feb2015
We kept driving up to the top and arrived to tailwinds.

We waited for some time and finally gave up and drove down.

From Feb2015
We arrived to Los Banos Launch and it was coming in nicely, but I have not even flown this site solo yet, so I was a bit nervous to take James tandem here.

There are some snaggy sticks still lying here and there so it would be nice to have more wind to stabilize the wing and check for tangles.

We drove back to the top launch and behold . . . it was coming in straight and strong! Yessss!

I got James clipped in fast and Colleen had laid out the Gin Fuse Tandem and we were off first try after kiting the wing up and picking a good cycle to launch into.

James took control and flew us out to the South LZ just below Los Banos Launch where there was no wind. We had a beautiful landing and watched Mark follow us in. Good training day so far for James.

We packed up and walked to town and Colleen arrived at the same time and we raced back up to try to get one more flight in. It as now 5 pm and we had 2 more hours of daylight.

We arrived to nice cycles but by the time Colleen got laid out, it started spitting rain and the cycles died. Denied a last flight but we had a good day so far.

James was ready for his solo flight too, but we have many more days and the weather looks sunny for the balance of the week.

We headed to La Vita Bella for dinner & drinks as Matt arrived from Whistler today.

From Feb2015




Elk Rewards Program Opens its Doors - Feb 15.15. The RASP forecast was dodgy - 50/50, I’d say with lots of outflow predicted . . . enough to send many pilots off to ski or snowshoe - the guaranteed option.

However, three of us, Al T, Gary P and moi, decided just to “go for it”, prepared to enjoy the splendiferous day regardless of whether we could fly or hike back down. Al even took his full rig so he got plenty of exercise.

We arrived on top around around 12:30 to pretty calm conditions with the odd nice little thermal puffs to encourage us. We took our time thinking it could only get more thermic. However, by the time we were set up, those puffs had all but disappeared and we were having to use our support crews to uncurl our wings from the tail winds that were the new “cycles”. What encouraged us was the large number of birds working the weak lift all over the place. A few even got above launch.

Eventually we all launched into calm air between the down cycles and started working it. There were some nice moments of lift and some some strong sinky cycles, so we bobbed and bobbed. Each of us tried to go east only to begin sinking and beat a hurried path back to the lift that was out a ways in front of launch. I took my turn and got low and felt like I was scunging for quite a while as Al and Gary ventured east again.

From Feb2015
Eventually, I got something really nice and worked it to about 200 meters over and then began my pilgrimage to Thurston as Al and Gary came back. As I neared the West Shoulder at ridge height, I saw at least ten birds working lift out in front and joined them. I didn’t leave this thermal until I was at about 1700 meters and then I began exploring east again only to hit another boomer that took me so high I was level with the tops of Cheam and McFarlane (2000 m). I couldn’t resist the eastward pull and went past Thurston proper til I was over the historic East Thurston launch we used to use back in the olden days.

From Feb2015
At this point I could have glided to the military artillery range at Slesse or even the nursery . . . but I didn’t. I cranked the A2 back, topped up in a few places and followed Al and Gary out to Prest.

I was still at 1,000 meters when I got over the Fraser Valley so I flew out to the corner of Prest and McGuire before turning back to Prest and Bailey to land in very smooth 15-20 km/hr air. What a day!

Soaring with so many thermal marking eagles and ravens was surreal.

The cherry on the cake was when the landowner, Mr. Mceachern came out to chat and officially give his permission to use the field with a reminder NOT to leave any items, (particularly of the solid sort) that could mess up the blades of his machinery. This news was most welcome as years ago, he had told us not to land in the field.

From Feb2015
I would suggest as well that pilots either stuff their wings into their vehicles or at least get off the grass as much as possible when packing up. Bring on Spring! - Kevin



Savona Report - WTF, Savona or Mexico?

You decide looking at this photo, no snow and driveable to launch in February.

From Feb2015
The Swift 4 is amazing! Comes up great and even makes my reverse launches semi-decent.

Best purchase I've made yet. Thanks Jim & Colleen - Dale

2/14/15
Tapalpa

Guadalajara Mexico

Cloudy with light rain this morning. High around 20C. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 80%.
130° @ 13
-3.2°C (unstable)
2500 metres
Tapalpa Report - Happy Valentines Day from Tapalpa where only Jeff flew today.

There are new launch fees at Tapalpa, now 160 pesos or $12 USD per day. Quit complaining about the Riverside Landing fees!

From Feb2015
Don & Richard were leaving at 5 pm, so they were not so motivated to get their wings wet and we kept getting sprinkles on Tapalpa Main Launch.

We were not the only desperadoes as Herminio, Humberto and a few others were here hoping to do tandems for Valentine's Day.

Jeff got ready at 11:45 am, and had good launch cycles and a non-rainy window and flew off and got some mini-cloudsuck and some moderate South headwinds.

From Feb2015
Being safety minded as he has to go back to work tomorrow, he flew out to the Piano LZ and had pretty good headwinds until about 200 metres off the LZ where there was no wind.

Meanwhile . . . back at Eagle Ranch it was sunny with low cloudbase. Looking forward to heading back in a few weeks.

From Feb2015
2/13/15
Tapalpa

Guadalajara Mexico

Rain showers this morning with overcast skies during the afternoon hours. High around 20C. Winds ESE at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 90%.
140° @ 10
-3.2°C (unstable)
3200 metres
Tapalpa Report - we had a huge thunderstorm dump lots of rain on us last night, and it was still raining at 9 am when we left the hotel.

But we were optimistic as there was brighter skies towards Tapalpa.

We arrived on Tapalpa Launch at 11 am, and it was blowing straight up. Cloudbase was right at launch and birds were soaring.

From Feb2015
Jeff was first off the mountain and it was very buoyant all the way out as he climbed out. No need for `big ears` as cloudbase was rising.

From Feb2015
Next off was Don and he executed a near perfect reverse launch.

From Feb2015
Last off was Richard on his shiny new Buzz Z4 with a perfect reverse launch.

From Feb2015
They all ended up in the Piano LZ for no winder approaches as I drove down to get them. There were a few sprinkles on the windshield as I drove down.

We arrived back on launch and I was hurrying the guys to get ready fast as the wind was switching to SW. Only Jeff got off before the switch so we drove down to find him sleeping under a tree in the LZ as it started to rain on him.

We headed to San Marcos and the new Los Banos Launch hoping for a flight as it was SW on Tapalpa, but we arrived to find tailwinds?

At least we salvaged the day and got a few flights in. This is the first rain since December 28!



Europe looks like it has better snow than BC right now!

Speedflying Chamonix // Plan Praz (Brévent) 2015 from Marius Beck Dahle on Vimeo.

2/12/15
El Chante & San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunshine and clouds mixed. High around 25C. Winds S at 10 to 15 km/h.
180° @ 10
-3.2°C (unstable)
3200 metres
Tour Report - we headed to El Chante early with Colleen hiking up and a group of Quebecers following us in their rental cars.

Colleen launched first to cool off after hike. She even beat us up to launch!

Don & Richard decided to wait for San Marcos, but Jeff S was keen to fly following Colleen into the air.

They both landed at the Futball Field to the screams of little ninos.

The French folks started hucking off as we drove their rigs down to the Futball Field, where Colleen was treated to exciting landings!

We then headed to San Marcos where Norm was working on the new Los Banos Launch and we dropped off the weedwhacker and the chain saw.

It was coming in nicely at 1 pm at the new launch site, nicer than El Chante.

We drove to the top and Jeff flew off getting "hoovered into the air", confirming what I thought . . that it was too strong for beginners. So we drove down to San Marcos Town to get some drinks and wait out the winds.

From Feb2015
Jeff had a windy sled ride to Kordich Airfield, where I picked him up as the duststorms grew.

From Feb2015
It calmed down around 4 pm, and we arrived back on top to find the French Group setting up and soaring in the glassoff.

From Feb2015
After they all flew off, Richard & Don followed Jeff off for a nice evening flight into a no wind LZ at Kordich Airfield.

Colleen flew off last as I drove down to help Norm & Francisco (the faller) get the last trees off Los Banos Launch.

From Feb2015
While I was there I was amazed by the steady cycles up the gulley, and then I saw the next dust storms brewing on the south Lakebeds, so I called Colleen to warn her but she apparently saw them and spiralled down to land safely before the next blow-out.

Meanwhile, Wolfie had launched from Tapalpa earlier. He had flown to San Marcos and did a return flight to Zacoalco where he could catch a bus back to Tapalpa for about a 65 km out & return on his Ozone Rush III.

2/11/15
San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunshine and clouds mixed. High around 25C. Winds W at 10 to 15 km/h.
240° @ 5
-3.2°C (unstable)
3200 metres
San Marcos Report - we headed to San Marcos as it was forecast to be SW by noon, after a nice breakfast in sunny Jocotepec after last nights thunderstorms.

We stopped at the new Los Banos Launch and the birds were already soaring and we had solid straight-in cycles.

From Feb2015
Norm got his Delta 2 ready and after one abort due to a tangle, he was off and soaring!

From Feb2015
He made many passes being patient and was finally rewarded!

From Feb2015
We packed up and headed to the top so Don & Jeff could fly off the top launch, and Richard was sitting out today as his "mule landing" last night gave him a sore foot.

From Feb2015
Nice cycles on top too as Jeff flew off to join Norm who had climbed out from the lower Los Banos Launch at 1750 metres (only 250 metres lower than the main launch).

From Feb2015
Don had a nice reverse launch and flew south to land at the Chela LZ.

We drove down and got Don, Jeff & Norm and headed back up.

It was still blowing in nicely at Los Banos Launch, as we kept on going to the top.

This time it was 1:15 pm, and it was too strong for Don, so Jeff setup and launched and started climbing.

The plan was to get Jeff to fly towards Jocotepec so we could go for lunch and wait out the winds.

Jeff got to 2500 metres before heading east. He caught some valley climbs but they were short-lived as the sky shaded over. He landed at the Pemex and we picked him up.

We got back to San Marcos around 4:30 pm, and it had calmed down considerably. Reports from Tapalpa were saying that they had thunderstorms and rain earlier but we were dry. Across the valley on the Zacoalco ridge it was raining though.

Jeff & Don launched with instructions to head out at the first signs of wind . . . Don did a straight glide to Chela's but Jeff insisted on staying in the air too long and got caught in some south winds and he could not penetrate so he had to land at Kordich Airfield.

From Feb2015
Meanwhile Norm & I were working on the Los Banos Launch without communications and could not figure out why it took so long to pick up Don and it was getting dark.

A decent day despite the forecast thunderstorm threat.



2/10/15
Tapalpa and San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunshine and a few afternoon clouds. High 26C. Winds light and variable.
090° @ 5
-3.2°C (unstable)
3500 metres
El Chante/San Marcos Report - we had planned to go Tapalpa early as we have E winds in the morning switching to SW later, but after a long wait for breakfast I decided El Chante was a better choice as we might only get one flight at Tapalapa before it switched to SW.

We arrived at EL Chante Launch at 11 am, to find nice 10-15 kph SE cycles.

I suggested Don go first as Jeff takes some time to get his multiple GoPros setup and I did not want to miss an opportunity for the students to get a flight.

Don had a few aborts and then had one of the hairiest takeoffs ever as he hammered the brakes on the Element II on and off multiple times, and the wing just hung there waiting for him to relax and he flew off!

Jeff had a few aborts too, but was last seen soaring over El Chante town before landing at the Futball Field.

From Feb2015
Richard got off pretty well after a few aborts too, and landed down below with Don in the corn field.

We then headed to the beach to kite but we had light winds suggesting San Marcos might be on!

Off to San Marcos at we got a nice set of flights for the three guys, with Richard climbing above launch on his shiny new Buzz Z4!

Don was above launch too for a few minutes on his Element II but it was short lived.

From Feb2015
Landings were more challenging as there was no wind in the LZ so everyone was overshooting their targets.

Norm and I hoped the new South Lan=unch would work but the winds were fickle today.

2/9/15
Tapalpa

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunny. High 27C. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 km/h.
090° @ 5
-3.2°C (unstable)
4000 metres
Tapalpa Report - we headed to Tapalpa early as we have E winds all day.

We could have slept in as it was too strong to fly until after 1 pm with gusty east winds.

Herminio took off on his normal sized SOL glider and was getting trashed about before he top-landed.

He waited for 30 minutes before taking his tandem out and taking Florenzia for a ride and top-landing nicely after 20 minutes of soaring around.

From Feb2015
Jeff was the first of our group to launch and on his Birthday too!

From Feb2015
He was doing fine well above launch, as we got Don ready. Don had a nice launch and was off and soaring around the La Amiga Hump before landing at the alternate One Tree LZ which is bigger and has no powerlines.

Richard launched next on his 4th solo flight and headed out to join Don. We found a nice thermal and Richard was climbing fast and smoothly up to around 3000 metres and only had one big surge when he forgot to keep brake tension on . . . resulting in nothing as he is on a Buzz Z4. He topped out and I suggested a flight to the HG LZ at the Crossroads where there are huge alfalfa fields right next to the highway up to launch. He made it with lots of height despite a north headwind.

From Feb2015
Norm drove down to get the guys and I ordered pizzas at La Ceja and we had a late lunch & we got one more flight in before heading home at 6 pm.

2/8/15
El Chante & San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. High 28C. Winds SW at 15 to 25 km/h.
240° @ 9
-3.2°C (unstable)
3500 metres
San Marcos Report - we decided on a San Marcos flight as we now have 5 students along on the tour, some with a weeks experience and some experience and some just starting.

First item on the agenda was to do some kiting at Kordich Airfield, while there was some lighter winds and lower temps. Forecast high today is 28C, and no clouds so it will get hot on the ground.

We now have Adam, Jeff S, Derek (who is leaving today), Richard & Don on tour. This is why we have a Suburban! With Colleen & I there is little room for gear.

We also had Samuel the Mechanic meet us as he wanted to go flying today.

Good light wind kiting conditions at the bottom of San Marcos and everyone got a few runs in looking like "SuperStars", hopefully the muscle memory kicks in for the launch sequences.

Pedro had gone up with some begimmer HGers and they were launching and landing as we packed up.

I set up a simulator to fit harnesses under the BBQ Pit roof as we had some fit problems with the new guys harnesses.

All the adjustments were complete and we were on the road to the top.

We had good cycles for launching, but we sent Jeff first as he was signed off last fall and has had some great flights here already.

From Feb2015
Jeff had a great launch and was "hoovered" right off launch and was last seen at 3000 metres at the North Peak. It was looking too strong for the newbies, so I took Samuel tandem.

From Feb2015
Samuel is a little guy and he did not have much leg muscles to help accelerate off launch, so Colleen helped ballast him. We were off and climbing and it was bumpy and the thermals had some punch to them.

We started to get a good climb around the 15 minute mark and near the North Peak when he said he was not feeling too good.

I headed out to Kordich Airfield and it was going up everywhere. Dusties were forming all over the lakebeds.

I headed south to the Saddle, infamous for sinky air and we were still going up as Samuel unloaded over the right side.

I was trying to get down over the green field north of San Marcos town and it was not allowing us to sink even sith big ears. Why is it that when you want to go up, it is sinky around here but today when I want to get down it is so lifty.

After 20 minutes of big ears, spirals and searching for sink we landed right near Chela's on a grassy strip reserved for pukey passengers that is a short walk to water or beer.

Jeff was now at 3500 metres and headed east towards Joco.

Colleen drove down to get us at Chela's and chase Jeff down and get some lunch.

The other guys were disappointed but happy they did not go through the "washing machine" air we endured.

We had lunch in Joco after finding Jeff near the El Chante turnoff as he could not get thru through the Joco Gap, and were back on launch by 5 pm as it settled down for the new guys.

From Feb2015
Adam was still feeling a bit dizzy (we now suspect heat stroke), so he stood down and watched Jeff & Colleen launch first. Richard & Don both had great launches, a direct result of kiting earlier today. The glassoff was happening.

From Feb2015
Conditions at the airfield were perfect with 10-15 kph of North Wind to land into, and both guys had perfect approaches. Somehow Don lost radio contact on his first solo but had a perfect approach (a result of over-doing the ground school briefing). Of course after he landed the radio worked fine!

From Feb2015
Colleen flew over to Chela's to land before dark and Jeff flew out to hang with Don & Richard until I got there.

The new launch to the south looks great but it is not for North Winds as it was draining down there tonight.

From Feb2015
The Colima Volcano was erupting again!

We heard Norm flew home from Tapalpa to San Juan Cosala getting to 3700 metres midvalley, a good day for all.

2/7/15
Tapalpa

Guadalajara Mexico

A mix of clouds and sun. High 24C. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 km/h.
090° @ 6
-3.2°C (unstable)
3500 metres
Tapalpa Report - we arrived at Tapalpa at 1130 am, for Camilo had a tandem to do for Miguelon.

We had nice launch conditions as Colleen flew off after Derek (who was flying the Mojo3 XL today).

From Feb2015
Derek thermalled around for 30 minutes before landing at the Piano LZ.

The Piano LZ is not named for its shape, rather that if you fly like a Piano (with a bad glide ratio), you end up there!

From Feb2015
Colleen had reported that it was rough over the spines and gulleys & thermic over the LZ, but Richard had just arrived last night with his new Buzz Z4 and was itching for a first high flight. We had him launch after some kiting, and he was off heading to the LZ. He clearly had lost radio contact somewhere as he knocked the radio off-line trying to get into his seat.

From Feb2015
He managed to remember the landing briefing Colleen had skillufully administered on the whiteboard at launch, and had a nice approach and good flare into a kneeplant, but he was pumped!

Jeff S was here and had not flown his new Buzz Z4 much this summer, and was "stoked" to get in some flights as he just arrived too last night.

He got high to the south but also hit some good sink and almost did not make the LZ. He thanked the powerline thermals after he landed.

Adam was not feeling good today, headache and dizzy, so he offered to drive as I took Don tandem for his first high flight. We climbed out at least 300 metres over launch in a few minutes and it was clearly too rough for student flights now as the sheer layers were quite dramatic!

From Feb2015
It was smooth enough further out for Don to fly, but over the Piano LZ it was quite thermic so we headed to the Crossroads LZ upwind.

From Feb2015
Adam picked us up and we all headed in the Mighty Suburban to San marcos.

From Feb2015
After an LZ briefing at Kordich Airfield, and a windsock check we headed up.

We stopped at Chela's for refreshments and looked for Francisco the Faller to discuss the new launch cleanup.

As Camilo was talking to Chela, the President of the Ejido that owns the land where the new proposed launch is situated came by. Camilo asked for permission to clean off some trees and Senor Fausto Corona approved the launch!

Francisco arrived on San Marcos Launch with his chainsaw as Jeff & Camilo had already launched so Adam & I took him down to the new launch to start working.

From Feb2015
There are about 15 trees to go, mostly crappy softwood trees and one Nopal Cactus, and he had about 8 of them down before his saw died.

He is coming back tomorrow to finish the job and with the right winds Norm & might try it out!

Meanwhile Jeff & Camilo got to 3000 metres and Camilo headed east to the Joco Malecon on Adam's Element II (the Element II is Ozone's most basic trainer but it still does awesome XC).

From Feb2015
Jeff looked like he was having fun, until he got to 3000 metres as he said it was getting rough and he was cold.

From Feb2015
Jeff had Joco on glide but headed back to the north, and hit a wall of wind and landed 4 kms south of town and had a big hike back.

From Feb2015
Derek had an awesome 1+ hour flight getting high soaring the ridge with Colleen, but as he flew over the new launch spot he got flushed and landed near Chela's beer store with Colleen. He has learned a lot in a week here, and is super confident to fly in thermals and stronger lift.

Richard launched after Derek as I got back to launch, and hit some nice lift and had a good approach with some guidance from the top.

Don and I kited for about 30 minutes but never got a solid wing so we drove down, more kiting in the am.

It took some time to locate everyone and it was very dark as we drove home to Joco for dinner.

From Feb2015


From Feb2015
2/6/15
Tapalpa

Guadalajara Mexico

A mix of clouds and sun. High 24C. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 km/h.
090° @ 6
-3.2°C (unstable)
3500 metres
Tapalpa Report - we headed to Tapalpa early as the E winds are here to stay, after Samuel changed my wiing to fix the taillight problems (just a wire shorting to the tailpipe).

We arrived at 11 am, to hear Granger's Rangers had flown one sleddy so far, as the guys got ready in nice laminar NE winds.

Yesterdays kiting session paid off as both Adam & Derek had brilliant launches (especially compared to some of the others).

Some light thermalling on flight #1 took both pilots to the Piano LZ where it was blowing due north.

From Feb2015
Flight #2 was somewhat stronger on launch but again both guys had perfect reverse launches, and were soon above launch. They are both flying Ozone Element II gliders with identical wing loadings but the Large one Derek is flying just gets higher every time (must be the higher Reynolds Number?).

From Feb2015
Derek made the Piano LZ with lots of altitude, but Adam's line got him too low and he had to chose an alternate field on the hill side of the big powerlines. He is taking video and you can hear my guiding which he ignores but he landed safely.

We headed to Sayula for lunch and chainsaw shopping. First stop the Comida China for Adam & Derek, as I went to the shop which was closed. They have many more choices than the Joco shop but it did me no good today.

Right after lunch we headed back up to Tapalpa Launch as we saw some gliders soaring.

It was Stefan, Wolfie & Russell (the Whitehorse Crew) all soaring above launch, looks good as the guys get ready for flight #3.

From Feb2015
Moderate launch cycles and again perfect form as they both took off and headed upwind to the Piano, Adam leading the pack.

Thermals were drifitng them south so I suggested an alternate field just south of the avocado trees. It is a huge field right next to the dirt road. I watched them set up and land perfectly in 15 kph north winds before I drove down.

Russell & Stefan top-landed as I drove down, and Wolfie was with my guys in the alternate LZ so we gave him a ride to the Crossroads as we headed to San Marcos.

From Feb2015
2/5/15
Tapalpa

Guadalajara Mexico

A mix of clouds and sun. High 24C. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 km/h.
090° @ 6
-3.2°C (unstable)
3500 metres
El Chante Report - we had planned to go to Tapalpa early as the E winds were stay all day long but it was cloudy and a long drive so we opted for El Chante instead.

We arrived on launch at 1030 am, and Jonathon from QC launched first as he has his student Phil here QC training, so we had a wind tech. We also had many birds showing that it was lightly soarable and smooth.

From Feb2015
Conditions started out light but by the time Jonathon & Phil had launched it was now 1130 am and getting stronger (10-15 kph).

Adam had a few duffs trying to reverse so we opted for a forward launch and he got off very nicely.

From Feb2015
Derek did a forward too and brought the wing up first time, kited it nicely with some coaching and then launched but put his left hand down too much and was in a left turn as he launched so I said "hands up" and he did that but grabbed the risers again giving up all control! I had a mild heart attack but got him back on the brakes and away from the slope. More kiting needed.

After the boys landed, I took them to the El Chante Malecon for a 2 hour kiting session and left them to their own resources to learn how to control the wing and by the end they looked smooth both forward & reverse launching.

From Feb2015
Norm called us that he was headed to the new Toilet Bowl Launch so we got some lunch and then headed over to work on the launch prep work.

Adam talked me out of buying a chain saw, instead we got some Bow Saws that proved ineffective, but the new weed whacker works well.

From Feb2015
The fall line looks good once the trees are removed.

From Feb2015
2/4/15
Tapalpa

Guadalajara Mexico

Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High 24C. Winds light and variable.
140° @ 8
-3.2°C (unstable)
3300 metres
Tapalpa Report - we headed to Tapalpa early as the SE winds were forecast to stay all day long so we can get the guys many flights today.

We arrived at 11 am and some of Granger's Rangers already had flown a sledder doen to the Piano.

Adam & Derek got ready and were off first time with nice reverse launches (gear checks completed perfectly).

Derek was finding some nice lift out past La Amiga and Adam found some further north.

I suggested Adam stay with the lift and let if take him to the big Crossroad LZ but then Granger suggested his wife could pick our guys up as she had already left to drive down. I recommended Adam fly back to the Piano LZ and he made it with plenty of height as it was light south winds.

Norm launched after Adam and was last seen further south before he caught any good climbs.

From Feb2015
Wolfie & Russell are here from the Yukon, escaping the -35C cold for a week or two. Wolfie got off just in time, as Russell had one abort and then it started to blow down as Adam & Derek arrived.

From Feb2015
While we were on launch the Colima Volcano erupted again.

From Feb2015
We went for lunch at La Ceja and then drove to San Marcos.

Granger arrived at San Marcos just after us as the Suburban powered out on the long climb through the rocky section. It was a fuel pump problem again so I backed down to the flats to get her going. Everyone got out and walked down.

Granger's Nissan 4x4 could not make it up the hill either as his front diff was not engaging. Bad day for trucks.

I thought we just did not have enough gas in the tank so I drove down to the closest Pemex and filled up, but we then powered out a kilometer past the rocky section completely dead.

I replumbed the electric fuel pump removing the fuel filter recently installed because I had an air leak somewhere so the pump could not make suction, thanks to Adam for being our second mechanic!

We finally got the fuel pumping and got the guys up to launch to find perfect launching conditions and the "glassoff" setting up.

We heard that it was too strong til just before we arrived and the early launchers were already on the ground.

Adam & Derek both got to soar and Derek landed at Kordich Airfield. Adam was having so much fun thermalling in the northwest winds that he drifted almost to San Marcos town and had to pick a different field.

From Feb2015
Norm launched last and had a nice soarfest landing just before dark.

From Feb2015
The Suburban got us home, tomorrow it goes in the shop for a new pump and filter.

2/3/15
San Marcos

Guadalajara Mexico

Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy this afternoon. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 21C. Winds SW at 10 to 15 km/h.
240° @ 15
-3.1°C (unstable)
2700 metres
San Marcos Report - we headed to San Marcos early as the SW winds are forecast to be strong later.

after breakfast I stopped at the Ferretaria to buy a weed whacker for some new launch building, as I was in a rush I did not get them to show me how to run it. Mistake #1.

We arrived up at San Marcos Launch at 10:30 am, to strongish cycles but certainly manageable ones. We tried to start the weedwhacker but "no fuego". It was odd that it already had fuel in the tank?

Derek suited up first and had a good inflation and turned to go but dropped his left hand on the forward run and skidded through the red anthill on his side and slid to a stop unhurt.

He bundled up his wing and tried a few more times getting frustrated so we stood down and got Adam ready. If you blow more than 3 launch attempts in a row, it is time to stop and re-assess the conditions and/or attitude.

In the meantime, Bev walked too close to the anthill and the ants were already pissed off by Derek's slide through their home and attacked her. We are renaming the launch to "Ants-in-the-Pants" just like Chelan.

Adam had a brilliant launch with good loading and a proper run and he was off before the ramp on a perfect track and had about a 20 minute flight with a perfect landing. It was blowing about 25 kph at the bottom so he floated in to Kordich Airfield.

From Feb2015
Derek got ready and this time after a rest he had a perfect inflation and run and was also in the air before the ramp.

From Feb2015
Derek was on his way out to the airfield when he started hitting some thermals, so I suggested some 360s. He was soon almost back to launch altitude over the lakebed.

He moved forward, upwind of the LZ and found some normal air and did figure-8s back into the LZ and landed almost the space place as Adam. A perfect flight for his 3rd solo.

Both guys are flying Ozone Element II paragliders and they are the prerfect tool for training in Mexico. Solid launching gliders and super stable in turbulence, and with good performance in high winds, we are very happy with these ships. Thanks, Ozone!

We drove down to get the guys and came back up to check out the new proposed launch spot, now called the Toilet Bowl as there is a cast away toilet there?

From Feb2015
It needs some trees cut down but they are not nice trees anyway. The launch slope is good for students and it funnels into a gulley that we often work to climb out so we know the thermals are good there.

The nice thing with this spot is that it is just off the main road and any car can make it in here, so faster turnaround for students. The south LZ is right in front of the launch too.

We went back to town as it was getting too windy to fly with dust storms forming on the south lakebed, so we headed to town to go kiting and get the qweedwhacker fixed.

Back at the shop, where they don't speak english I was telling them in my limited spanish that it would not start. They took the unit to the local repair shop and they guy took it apart and found the piston was scored and he was trying to say there was no oil in the gas because it was not tinted blue. I explained that the Truper brand oil is not coloured. Long story short, he put it back together and we headed back to the shop.

From Feb2015
After 15 minutes of "hemming & hawing", the Truper factory rep was there and they agreed to get us a new one after we started practicing the word "reembolso" - refund.

I suspect someone bought the unit, forgot to mix the gas and fried it and brought it back and they resold it without testing it.

After the fiasco with the weedwhacker we went to the San Juan Cosala beach to kite but it was pretty strong unless you were Norm or me, as we kited the Element II M, but if you were not careful you could get dragged in a gust.

From Feb2015
Early dinner at Viva Mexico and then home to bed.

Tomorrow looks like a Tapalpa Day!



We haven't flown in NZ for about 5 years, maybe it is time to go back???

2/2/15
El Chante early, if it looks too windy then off to Colima

Guadalajara Mexico

Cloudy this morning. Scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High 21C. Winds SSE at 15 to 30 km/h. Chance of rain 60%.
180° @ 19
-3.1°C (unstable)
2700 metres
El Chante Report - I had counted on either El Chante or driving to Colima early as the SW winds forecast was to be strong all day.

We passed the Lagunita on the way to the highway and it was showing light east winds? Why not try El Chante as it is close and won't take up too much driving time.

The road up was a bit greasy but the new offroad tires (HighFly) worked very well and we arrived on launch to perfect inflow conditions with a calm glassy lake. Perfect for the boys second solo flights!

Adam tried about five times and ultimately ended up with his Element 2 on the barbed wire fence behind launch as he refused to load his wing. We removed it undamaged and gave Derek a turn.

Derek did a perfect forward inflation and was off and soaring the launch face with nice turns.

From Feb2015
I guided him down to the cornfield LZ below launch and he had good figure 8s but then started S turning into the field a bit high but he landed softly on his butt, good thing we use certified SupAir Airbag harnesses for the students!

Adam got off after a few more duffs again not loading the wing getting up on his toes, and got to soar too! Even higher and the lake was still calm below.

From Feb2015
After about 15 minutes I noticed some gust lines coming from the East so we got Adam to practice Big Ears to lose some altitude. Always good to know that maneuver!

From Feb2015
Adam had a perfect approach into the LZ below and landed soft as a feather on his feet.

Perfect flights for the boys!

It was looking like it was switching to SW so we headed up San Marcos and when we got to launch there were some ripping thermal coming up the launch face, way to strong for students or me!

From Feb2015
We waited a bit and as the sun started to get lower it switched to South or SE, again not good for launching so we drove down to the lkae to do some kiting.

On the San Juan Cosala Beach it was getting very calm but we practiced running reverse launches and the guys did really well controlling and running under the wings.

It was a pretty successful dy without a 4-5 hour drive!

Here are the boys posing under El Chante Launch!

From Feb2015
2/1/15
San Marcos early, if it looks too wet then off to Colima

Guadalajara Mexico

Partly cloudy early. Thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High 21C. Winds SW at 15 to 25 km/h. Chance of rain 90%.
210° @ 9
-3.1°C (unstable)
2700 metres
Colima Report - we had breakfast in Jocotepec El Centro in the rain.

From Feb2015
After that the plan was to head to San Marcos to check out the conditions and then if it was bad we head to Colima early as the SW winds stay all day long and will get strong later.

At Kordich Airfield it was blowing +30 kph from the SE, too strong even for student kiting. We headed south on the Libramento to Tapalpa.

At the Tapalpa Piano LZ it was light and variable, and Miguel said it was "over the back" on launch.

We kept going towards Colima and it was windy on the Cuota Highway, and we hit rain just 20 kms from Colima . . . but I am an optimist and kept going.

As we rounded the turnoff to launch, we saw a glider in the air and heard spanish radio chatter on 145.950 mhz.

It was Warenka, a local female tandem instructor, who was soaring and trying to top-land on her solo glider as we got to the top.

We had a small rain cell pass through and some of the pilots hid under the overhanging roofs to keep the rain off their gliders and when the cell passed a few pilots flew off.

It was lifty and bouyant, not rough at all. Colleen flew off and went soaring for 20 minutes while we got Adam ready for his first solo flight.

From Feb2015
As we got him ready the wind shut down for some time, so we parawaited.

As the wind picked up again to maybe +10 kph Adam reverse kited his Element II and was off and flying on his first solo flight. Artsy rendering by iPhone on this shot!

From Feb2015
Derek was ready for some light wind kiting on top, so we laid out his Mojo 3 and we started practicing reverse and forward launches in the light winds.

As Adam landed in the Piano LZ, we started to get stronger winds so I was showing Derek how to use As & Cs and he got a nice wing and I had him fly off for his first solo off a high launch. He had flown some training hill flights and was ready for the big hill.

I drove down to get everyone and we went back up hoping for another flight but it was getting late and a few raindrops got us so we headed home.

We arrived back in Joco at 8:45 pm, a long but productive day!





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