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Old Sep 17, 2007, 09:14 AM
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rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
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Paragon Cross Country 2K goal and Return

After nearly 4 years of trying and at least a dozen times in the truck over those years, I finally completed the 2K goal and return task. The day was pretty good. Overnight low was about 42 F and today's high in the mid 70s. Kind of overcast at the time when we started the run, but later on cleared up and puffy clouds. Wind was light and probably predominantly a head wind on the out leg.

I setup my high start and paragon about 12:45 at the Fark Farm in Holland, Indiana with the assistance of Jim Stum, Ed McGinnes, and John Bowles of my model rocket club. They had met me out at the rocket field before the club meeting to try to get this in (finally). First flight was 13 minutes of futility. I was never able to climb above 500 feet. After two more short flights, I felt a big wind shift to the left of the launch area I knew there was lift his way and figured it was strong. A bird in that area did not exactly hurt my confidence... So I launched and went that way. Got in the lift and it was climbing good, so I told John to get the truck started and we hopped in. Well, I sort of flopped in, since I kind of fell over the tailgate and Jim had to remove the hat from my face and pull me onto the truck. I had John start to creep out the driveway and I kept working that thermal. The bird started to go more towards the road and I did too. I was perhaps at 1000-1200 feet at this time and then had John pull onto the road and we were off. I stayed with the bird for a bit then went on course. After about the first Kilometer or so, right before the course goes down into a valley I was low again, perhaps 300 or so feet. I hunted for a bit and found lift and then climbed to perhaps 700-800 since I needed some altitude to get over some high tension wires and then go over a valley (that has a sewage reclamation place) and over to the top of the hill that is the 2K point. I did this and my witnesses confirmed we had gone beyond the goal and then I flew over the sewage reclamation place looking for lift. I hung around this area for at least 10 minutes. During this time, more members of the rocket club including my father started to drive by and stop to help look for lift. I Found a few bubbles that helped me maintain or gain a bit, but not what I really wanted. All this time, I was watching the streamer on my transmitter antenna and the wind was shifting, so I knew something was arriving. I was at or below 200 feet when I found what I needed and it was strong. I climbed in that thermal and had John turn the truck around and start driving back. I climbed to perhaps 1000 feet and we were driving/flying back. When I was within say 500 meters of the launch point I had used up the altitude and was at perhaps 300-200 feet and worried I was not going to make it once again. I had to make a quick decision on stopping and looking for lift or just try to make it. I had John stop a second and watched the streamer. It pointed to the thermal and the thermal was strong. 5 circles and I was good again and John drove back to the launch site and the Paragon followed. By then the entire launch area was up air and birds were everywhere. I was spinning the thing and zooming all over the sky to burn off altitude (I had neglected to plug in spoilers). One of the birds was scooting around the sky following me. I had a wingman! Finally after about 5 minutes of killing altitude I landed within perhaps 35-50 feet of where we launched from.

All in all, a great day of thermals and a great feeling to finally complete this personal goal.
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Old Sep 17, 2007, 09:50 AM
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A great achievement

Great flight Ryan. It takes a lot of skill to make a flight like that one.

Tony
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Old Sep 17, 2007, 10:26 AM
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rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
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Forgot to mention, thanks to Mike Boreman for taking the pictures. He had his digital SLR out there and always takes fantastic shots...

Also, that one bird followed me around quite a bit when I was speeding around burning off altitude and was tucking the wings to make speed. I had never seen a bird do that before...


Ryan
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Old Sep 17, 2007, 11:33 AM
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United States, IN, Carmel
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Cross country rocks

Way to go Ryan. I hope you are ready for the cross country at the Nats next summer. Lets put a team together.
Dave
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Old Sep 17, 2007, 11:47 AM
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rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
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That is my plan. I have always wanted to fly the XC Nats (I drove for Don Richmond once in the early 00s).

I have a Sagitta XC about half finished that I plan to complete this winter.

Ryan
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Old Sep 17, 2007, 10:50 PM
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Lindenwold, NJ, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwoebke
That is my plan. I have always wanted to fly the XC Nats (I drove for Don Richmond once in the early 00s).

I have a Sagitta XC about half finished that I plan to complete this winter.

Ryan
I realize that you are in the Federal Witness Protection program and that you can't tell us where you live (santa claus), but can you give us an idea where the flight took place?
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Gallagher
I realize that you are in the Federal Witness Protection program and that you can't tell us where you live (santa claus), but can you give us an idea where the flight took place?

Check his first post:

QUOTE:

I setup my high start and paragon about 12:45 at the Fark Farm in Holland, Indiana

UNQUOTE
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 08:09 AM
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rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
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Hey John,

I am telling you where I live. I live in Santa Claus, Indiana. It is the only real Santa Claus in the country (aka, my postal address is Santa Claus, IN).

And, JA is right. I flew from Holland, Indiana. Yes, I know, all these town names sound dubious. So, here is a link to a place in my town:

http://www.holidayworld.com/

I live close enough to this place I can hear the coasters from my yard.

And my rocket club:

http://www.geocities.com/launchcrue/

IIRC, you are sometimes concerned about stuff like this, so more details. This particular XC attempt I did not have a waiver, but often we have an 8,000 foot FAA waiver for rocket launching at our launches (this meeting was rescheduled so we did not have the waiver). The area we fly from is very rural. The XC attempt was done on a county road and the entire time we were on the trip we were only passed by 2 or 3 cars that were not people going to the rocket meeting. I was on course at least 30 minutes. When you travel in my area of the country, you sometimes have to be cautious popping over hills because there might be a slow moving tractor on the other side… So it is quite rural.

Ryan Woebkenberg
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 09:34 AM
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Prescott Arizona
Joined Mar 2005
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Congrats Ryan! Im sure you have inspired many others to at least give XC a try. Now that youve completed all your personal goals just carefully pack up the Paragon and send it to me.
Yeah, I didnt think so.
Enjoy,
Bob
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 09:43 AM
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United States, IN, Indianapolis
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Thanks!

Actually, I am not done with the personal goals. This Paragon still has a lot to do. I'm planning on using it for my 8 hour slope and probably my 2 hour thermal. And, it might be a part of some/all of my 20 contestant contest wins...

So it is far from retired! ;-)

I do hope it inspires folks to try XC. Of course, I'm pretty lucky to be living in a rural area (although not really lucky enough to have a 10K course in my backyard). If anybody wants more details on my course, I might have time later today to put some stuff on the map.

BTW, my course was right at 2.05 K.

Ryan
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 01:06 PM
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Terre Haute, Indiana, USA
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Ryan,

Congrats on the x-country feat! The flying lately has been very good up here in west-central Indiana, and it looks like you also got some good flying down there in Santa Claus. I attribute this good lift to the “dead standing corn” effect -- fields of dead corn can really heat-up and generate a lot of lift.

As for your quest for Level V status, I can see how you can do the 2 hour flight and the 10K run down there in Santa Claus, but the 8 hour slope flight would seem to require a trip to somewhere not too close. Where were you thinking of going? How will your Paragon do in the wind?

I too have been going for the LSF benchmarks, informally of course, since only electric gliders are practical at my field. The “dead corn effect” led to a 3+ hour flight last weekend on a single 300' climb, by far my longest on a single climb. You should try for your 2 hour flight before the harvest! I’ll have to start thinking about my X-country task. The slope event, however, will take some doing....

FF
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 02:07 PM
Turn down for what?
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
Joined Feb 2004
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Hey Forrest,

I’m still working on my Level 4. I still have some contest points to accrue before it is complete. But, this is a big hurdle I had been stuck on for a while.

I’m personally thinking I’m going to do the 2 hour last on L5. Of course, that is kind of looking far ahead since first I have to get the contest points for L4.

The 8 hour slope flight will likely be done with the Paragon in Brookville Indiana. Brookville is near Cincinnati, about a 3 hour trip for me. Brookville has a big dam by a reservoir that sits above the town and is fantastic lift with south or south west type winds and is workable with north winds too (the rocky lake side of the dam). Many folks have done the 8 hour there. The Paragon will handle the wind fine. Thing is, on the slope the wind compresses in the lift zone and when you are flying the plane, a 15 mph wind is not really like 15 mph on the flat land, it is more like a 10 mph. Plus, you have guaranteed lift (unless the wind shifts or stops) so you can run heavy. I figure the Paragon would slope up to a 25 mph wind. Of course, a 25 mph wind would really wear on the pilots. A number of people have done 8 hour slope flights with Paragons. I was at Brookville when Captain Jack did his 8 hour, it was blowing about 25 mph that day. He and his witnesses/helpers were real warriors.

I don’t think the 10K will be workable in my area. First, for level 5 I need witnesses that are Level 2s. This probably means I would go towards where there are more sailplane enthusiasts although I do have 2 new RC pilots in my area that I am hoping to get on the LSF journey. Second, southern Indiana is hilly/tree infested and the problem is that any country road that would work for XC is not long enough before it dead ends or something. The place I did the 2K for example, the turn around point was right before the start of Holland (say something population 500). Going the other direction I had hoped would work for 10K, but you can only get about 5 or 6 K before it gets unusable. For the heck of it, I am attaching a map of my trip. I have marked the launch point, the turn around point, and the “sewage place” that I referenced in the story. We parked by the entrance (it has a pull off and then a chain link fence) to the sewage place and one of the witnesses in his vehicle drove to the turn around (only about 150 feet away, but up at the top of a small hill and a bit obstructed with trees).

I have a few more ideas for southern Indiana 10K courses, but I think northern Indiana is better for long XC. It is flatter and less tree covered. For example there is a course at the AMA national flying site. There is also a fantastic course in Ft. Wayne Indiana. It is all farm roads and actually the turn around is in Ohio! So that is fun. I was there the day Mike Remus got his 10K on that course.

Ryan
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 03:01 PM
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SUPERB!!!! Well done Ryan...you should really be proud.
Like playing a violin concert.

You and the skies are now one
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 03:16 PM
Turn down for what?
rdwoebke's Avatar
United States, IN, Indianapolis
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Thanks Arukum. It makes me a bit more proud that I did this with the Paragon.

XC is really fun. I understand that not everyone is in a part of the world that it is really practical, but it is worth trying some day, even if a person has to drive a few hours to a location where it is rural enough.

That is part of the fun in the LSF tasks for me. It forces me a bit to try out new places and new locations. I always try to share my stories here on 'groups to encourage others to try the LSF program.

Ryan
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Old Sep 18, 2007, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwoebke
....I have a few more ideas for southern Indiana 10K courses, but I think northern Indiana is better for long XC. It is flatter and less tree covered. For example there is a course at the AMA national flying site. There is also a fantastic course in Ft. Wayne Indiana. It is all farm roads and actually the turn around is in Ohio! So that is fun. I was there the day Mike Remus got his 10K on that course.
Ryan,

Have you thought about doing some X-country flying in the reclaimed coal mines between you and Evansvillle? Specifically, the old Ayrshire Mine is to the NE of Evansville and south of I-64. It is (as I recall) a large grassland and thus mostly tree-less (at least no big trees), and there are some county roads through it. Below is the only link that I could find related to this old mine, but it does contain directions.

http://www.indianaaudubon.org/guide/sites/ayrshire.htm

FF

P.S. I don't doubt that the Brookville Dam is the best slope site in the state. It has been some time since I've been there, but I do recall that it is a nice big dam that would indeed be good for sloping.
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