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Posted by mfwilliams | Feb 01, 2021 @ 11:06 PM | 12,013 Views
Saturday was another South Wind, 12-15mph. So off I went to the dam. Only a few sprinkles as I left the house. And for once the weather accommodated. No more rain. I was able to get three planes up and tested. Didn’t quite get the results I wanted. There’s a strange rotor on the slope that’s caused by the a group of trees below the dam. Chris had warned me about them last year, but that was in the summer, with full foliage. I stupidly assumed that leave-less trees would not be an issue. No so. The only solution around it would be to go much further out on the dam. After all three planes were thrown down in rough landings, a light bulb went off.
So, I ended up flying a shorter pattern a race course about 100’ one way and 200’ down wind the other. That way I avoided the mid-slope rotor. Then it got to be fun. I was able to pull some awesome half-pipes as I went ripping back and forth with a big grin on my face. After a ½ hour of this I had to give up. The wind had picked up and it was getting awfully cold.
Looking to warm up, I packed up all my planes. Then headed over to Tullahoma where my wife had called in a BBQ order for pickup. Couldn’t wait to get home and curl up in front of the fireplace while having some southern BBQ.

All in all. Not a bad day. Just a shame it wasn’t a little warmer.

Posted by mfwilliams | Jan 28, 2021 @ 08:37 PM | 8,048 Views
Started looking a little more intently on the weather forecasts this last week.
And lo and behold, Sunday shows a 12-15mph South breeze with wind gusts over 20. Sounded good to me. So I prepped a few slope planes for testing. Especially the ones I had just moved over to the Taranis. Plus I had added my ASK21 to the old JR 9303 and needed to get it dialed in.
And I know it’s hard to believe, but had my new Explorer 1500 (aka Max Thrust Lightning) already setup for first flight.
I gave Poh and Chris a heads up, to see if they wanted to meet me over at the dam.
Never heard from Chris, he was probably out of town on a charter. Poh was going to try, although the weather looked iffy (and was).
It took me about 50 minutes ago to get to the dam. Unfortunately, just as I pulled in the parking lot, the sky opened up. I spent a 1 ½ hours trying to wait out the rain. But no such luck. The rain would stop I’d start to get a plane out and the rain would restart. I finally threw in the towel and started to trek back to the “Boro”. So the day wasn’t a total loss, I took the long route home enjoying the rolling countryside. Not a good day, but at least I got out of the house and got some fresh air.

On another note I’ve started converting my smaller planes that run AAA nicad packs to 2S lipo packs. I’m finding that as I don’t fly them enough, the batteries seem to need to be replaced every other season.
I’m changing out 750-1000mah 4 cell Nicad packs with Tattu 800mah...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Dec 31, 2020 @ 08:12 PM | 13,466 Views
I had some free time this week. Christmas break at work. The weather report for Wednesday looked good for sloping at the dam. I sent emails to a couple friends for a meet up, but everyone was still busy with work and family, so it was just me.
I’d gotten a Xmas present plane, but it wasn’t ready yet. So I ended up bringing 3 of my older slopers that I’d switched out to Frsky receivers to confirm trim and flight settings.
When I arrived, the wind was about 15-20 out of the South, which is pretty darn good for this site.
My Art Hobby Falco and FVK Gillette were my weapons of choice. I had also brought my Rifle 1M (converted from electric to sloper), but couldn’t get it to bind correctly to my radio.
Spent about an hour wringing out the Falco and Gillette. Unfortunately the wind started a shift to the SW and the wind actually increased (25+), creating some shearing and “choppy lift”.
After a couple of tough landings, I counted my blessings and packed up early.

Trying to enjoy the rest of the afternoon, I did some site seeing around the dam and then took the long road home, country roads, no Interstate. I snapped a few pictures along the way…...enjoy.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Oct 20, 2020 @ 07:40 PM | 12,503 Views
It’s been eons since I have sloped. Actually over two years! This weekend, the wind gods sent us a decent southerlywind, perfect for our local slope. So with no valid excuses I met up with Poh Khaw and Chris Woodward at the dam on Sunday.

It was an excellent early fall day with a decent wind of about 10mph (as predicted). Trees were just starting to show some color. Lots of boaters were out, behind the dam, enjoying probably one of the last warm days on the water.

We went out about 1/3 of the way out on the dam and setup “camp”.
Chris brought his one flyable plane, a Multiplex Easy Glider Pro. Poh brought his Radian and HK Ridge Runner. I brought my FVK Gillette, HL Jerry, Zulu and AH Falco.
Obviously if were counting quantity of planes, then I won.

While Poh and Chris concentrated on catching slermals and riding up and far out. I concentrated on ripping up and down the slope. We garnered quite a bit of attention from families on their Sunday walks across the top of the dam. As you might have imagined.

We flew for over three hours. Or rather we talked and flew for over three hours. Only thing interesting of note was Chris and Poh performing a mid-air, almost right in front of us. Poh’s Radian didn’t get much damage. But as you can see in the pictures, Chris had his tail cut cleanly off. But a little epoxy and he’ll be ready for the next slope trip.

As we packed up, Chris asked us if we like to see some full scale (1:1) stuff. Of course...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Jul 03, 2019 @ 05:24 PM | 11,527 Views
Wow, I'm getting old and lazy. Went out and flew with Poh and the boys from Tullahoma on Monday. I realized I hadn't touched the sticks since the NW trip last year, June 2018. Yikes! I still haven't programmed my Shadow 2 and Shadow 2 E. So I ended up with the Gentle Lady for the winch and the Radian for electric. I only flew for about an 1-1/2 hours. Thermals were great, but I was way rusty. In retrospect, the Gentle Lady and Radian were great choices. I really looked pretty sloppy up there. Would have hated to see the results if I was maidening the new Shadows. Better to look sloppy and rusty then have twisted piles of wrecked moldies….right? Also, felt better flying 72 MHz on the GL and only flying 2.4 on the foamy Radian. The guys related to me how yesterday, the military had been practicing shooting down drones on 2,4 with their new jammer/guns, just a few blocks up the road. A sobering thought.
Eventually we had to pack up the winch trailer and call it a day. Poh, Bill, his wife and I headed over to the Celtic Cup in Tullahoma for lunch. About a mile or two from the field. Interesting place, it wasn't an Irish pub, but an Irish Coffee house/giftshop. Food was good and it was nice and cool on the inside (94deg outside). We had soup, panini's and salads. We broke up about 2pm. I headed back up to Murfreesboro via the backroads, instead of I-24 to enjoy the rolling countryside and quaint little towns. All in all, a great day, with no crashes and great scenery.

Mike W
Posted by mfwilliams | Mar 07, 2019 @ 10:47 PM | 13,803 Views
I haven't flown anything nor posted in RC groups since our NW trip in May/June. Talk about rusty. Well, Carlos from "the Hill" sent me some photos last week and I thought it was high time that I posted something. Carlos has built a little sloper and he and two or three of the guys have started flying it. It looks like a scaled down, v tailed, mini-coyote. They appropriately call it the MCV (mini-coyote v). I'll post the three pictures he sent.
Looks like the guys are still having great fun "over Pompano". I surely miss the flying , the weather and camaraderie.

Thanks Carlos.

Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 02, 2018 @ 10:18 PM | 43,812 Views
Our last full flying day in the Northwest. Sad, but all good things must come to an end.
Lumber was the flavor of the day. We ran around Hood River most of the morning, then headed out to the slope just after noon. It was blowing when we got up top. At least 25mph, straight on to the slope. Very gusty and turbulent. If you didn’t get your plane out front quick, it was going to get slammed into the ground. We had a couple of full size sailplanes working the ridge. A Schweizer 1-26 and a Stemme S-10. They made passes over us several times. I’m sure they were working the ridge, but it looked like they were checking us out a few times. We flew our brains out, had very little plane damage. Amazing with the conditions. Only had some wing tip scuffs and Amadeo had a wing rod pulled out in a mid-air with Tom.
We stopped, early for us, at 5:00PM and headed down to Hood River for “First Friday”. Hood was packed with visitors and closed streets. So we went to dinner near Safeway (Thai food) and hit the car wash across the street. We topped off the perfect day with Mike’s Ice Cream.
Good bye NW! Next year the 6-pack!
Mike and the Pompano Hill flyers....Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 01, 2018 @ 11:16 AM | 43,425 Views
Thursday was an official Eagle Butte-Kiona-SDR day. So we got up early (for us) and packed all the planes, hit Bettie’s and then straight to Richland. Doc had surmised that Thursday would be the best day this week and he was right on. Wind was light when we arrived but quickly built up to 15-20mph.
Tom finally got a chance to fly his big molded Swift and Ben his HK Russell hotliner (converted to sloper). The highlights of the day was getting 5 Gulps/Moths into formation flying while pulling big pumps. And almost forgot, we had DJ and Jose pulling “dueling banjos” with DJ’s Energic and Jose’s Schwing. One after another they would pull screaming passes trying to get the loudest “moldie whistle.” That went on for 10 minutes straight.
We ended the perfect day with rain starting at 5PM. Tired and windburned it was time to head back to Hood before dark and hit a good restaurant. Double Mountain was a hit the other night, so performed a repeat performance. We also tried to hit Mike’s Ice Cream, but no luck, they close at 8PM on weekdays. Called it an early night and limped back to our rooms.
Friday, our final day, looks like Lumber.
Mike and the Pompano Hill...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | May 31, 2018 @ 12:49 AM | 43,560 Views
Today, Wednesday, we decided to check out some new sites. Wind was light in the Gorge and it seemed like a good time to try to discover or re-discover some good slopes. We headed over to the WA side and tried to access our old site of “Windago Lane”. We found several back roads that looked promising, but were posted with no trespassing or private drive signs. Windago Lane itself had two no trespassing signs and a private drive sign. So no joy there. We also swung by Courtney lane, which looked to be promising for a South or Southwest wind. We cut our losses and headed toward Diamond Ridge to see how it would work. On the way we encountered a freshly born fawn and her mom in the center of the road. Mom, bounded off, but the fawn was so fresh, she could only crawl. She hid herself on the side of the road. So we grabbed a few pics and left her so mom would rejoin her.
Once we reached Diamond Ridge, we walked in the final 500ft so as not to scratch up the rental trucks.
Air was very light at Diamond. DJ was able to fly his Rifle 1M (electric version obviously). He had a couple tough landings but his plane survived. Before we left Diamond we did a once over to check out any future flying sites. No real luck and worse, we found recent evidence of a really big bear (huge skat) in the vicinity.
By now the day was exhausted and it was time to head back to Hood River. We checked out some windsurfers at the beach area at Hood before grabbing dinner at the Pfriem...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | May 30, 2018 @ 03:17 AM | 43,302 Views
Our merry group headed out to Lumber about 12:30. We met up with TomFlyer and his wife. He was trimming out a Vindicator and also flew his PSS Flokerschmitt. It was a cold day for a change. Temp was shown to be 60 deg., but up on the slope with a 30+ wind it felt more like 45 deg. Our whole group stayed huddled near the bushes on the left side of the slope to stay warm. We flew most of what we brought. As always had a great time. I don’t believe any of guys had had major damage (maybe a few stress cracks and some broken bolts). We had some great screaming speed runs. Lots of ballast was used. I actually got my Gulp to perform an “egg beater” just like we use to perform with the FVK Bandit electric. It was awesome. As an added benefit we had a couple full size gliders play around on the ridge, working the ridge line above us. Also a USAF C-17 made a low flyby heading South from Hood River.
We flew on for a bit after TomFlyer left. Then we headed down to Double Mountain Taphouse. Had 3 pizzas and tried out the some local brews. We called it a night about 8:15 and headed back to our rental for some rest. Tomorrow we are planning for Diamond Ridge, with a stop by Windago lane (White Salmon) to see if it is now accessible. There has been some new construction in the area and Miami Mike suggested we check it out for access.

Goodnight all
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Posted by mfwilliams | May 29, 2018 @ 03:17 AM | 43,722 Views
With a big NW breakfast under our belt, we headed over to the Washington side to test out Klickitat.
The wind was really rockin in Klickitat. Jose saw 33 mph on his wind meter (and the gusts were much stronger). Lift was tremendous at Klick. You just could not bring your planes down. We were forced to land all our planes on the road or along the slope. Unfortunately, our favorite landing site, across the road, now is closed to us. The new landowner has built a house, entry gate and has No Treaspassing signs posted quite predominately on all the fences. We accidentally landed a plane on his property and he was very reluctant to allow us to retrieve it. He also informed us that the slope side of the road is private property. So, it looks like future slope flying at the Klickitat site may be difficult if not impossible. After this depressing news we packed up and headed over to Grayback Mtn. Grayback had not changed much. There was plenty of “alpine lift” that went way out over the valley. Only two incidents of note happed while were there. Jose damaged his Mini-Destiny and DJ had the bejessus scared out of him when a snake went by his feet while he was flying (turned out to be just a rat snake).
We called it quits about 5PM to head back to Hood for a dinner at the Thai restaurant.
Tomorrow we’re planning to return to Lumber.
...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | May 28, 2018 @ 02:52 AM | 43,423 Views
A very good day flying. We started our morning with breakfast at Betty’s dinner. Then spent most of the morning in Hood River, getting supplies (suntan lotion, ice, water, soft drinks, etc.) Our choice of Lumber site was almost perfect for the wind direction. Wind was strong with only a few dropouts. No real crashes to speak. Only tragedies, were Ben leaving his 2nd transmitter antenna at home, I left a transmitter module back in the rental and DJ left his a wing rod back at the rental.
We flew until 4:30 and then headed into Hood for RC parts at the hobby shop.
No joy at the hobby shop for most of the parts we needed. So, it was off to Taqueria’s for a yummy Mexican dinner. After dinner we returned to the rental for an early night and watch the sun set from our balconies. Another awesome day in the NorthWest
Planning on hitting Klickitat for Monday.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | May 27, 2018 @ 02:51 AM | 43,634 Views
After two years we’re back out in the NorthWest. Today is a blur. Most of us had gone to bed at midnight, gotten up at 4:30AM and then spent almost all day flying across the country. By the time we had rounded up our rental cars and reached Hood River it was 5PM and we only had a couple hours of light left. We elected to head to The Dalles slope. It was close and easily accessible by car. The wind was whipping at 30mph and Tom swore he felt a gust twice that amount as we reached the site. DJ pulled out his combat wing. Amadeo his Electron. Tom and Ben had their Gulps. Jose and I elected to take pics. The air was a little to strong and turbulent for unleaded foamies. After an hour, with fading sunlight, we packed up and headed down to Clock Tower Ales for some IPA’s and good grub.
As I write this, Tom and I discussed the best slope(s) for tomorrow. With a 20mph wnw wind we think we’ll hit Lumber.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Apr 07, 2018 @ 04:14 PM | 43,172 Views
I’ve been busy with a couple of projects. My stepson had sent me a Mavic Pro for my birthday, so I’ve started learning about drones and aerial photography. My TD plane (Shadow) had gotten long in the tooth and been through one crash. So I petitioned the finance minister for a new Shadow 2. Thank you Wifey and SoaringUSA. And not to forget, the South Florida Boys are returning to Oregon this May for a slope-cation. That means I’m on a repair/building frenzy on my slope ships for a late May departure.
I did squeeze in some flying this week. Poh prompted me into pulling out some birds. Thursday looked like good thermal conditions. So I met up with him at about 11AM at Eagleville soaring club with my Jerry, Radian, Gentle Lady and DJI Mavic Pro.
It was mixed clouds and sun. Suprisingly good lift. Poh flew his E-Shadow 1. At one point he had 35 minutes flight time on one launch. One of those days, if you got above the layer, you could stay up all day. I had some great times with my Jerry. It’s a lead sled, but the lift was everywhere above a certain altitude, and it could do no wrong. Trying out the Mavic Pro was fun. I’m not really a drone enthusiast, but the aerial photography side of it appeals to me. I shot a few movies and a couple pics. One is attached to the blog. Spent too much time fussing with my Radian. I had converted it from 72mhz to the FrSky system last week. It tested great at home, but the receiver wouldn’t even light it’s LED at the...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Mar 17, 2018 @ 01:14 PM | 43,655 Views
He's back! Been busy with work for the past 8 months. Now that my work project is done, I'm back home enjoying the retired life. Knowing this, Poh called me up and coerced me to join him and Gary at Eagleville for some thermal flying.
I caught up with them about noon at E'ville. Gary and Poh were already specking out. Amazing, since the wind was about 10-15 with 20mph gusts. I was going to fly my Radian, but backed off. It was just too gusty for a lightweight bird. Luckily, I had charged my Jerry warmliner and brought it along just in case. Thermals were strong, but very fast moving as you would expect. I actually thermalled the Jerry out ( not an easy task). After about two hours of flying we called it a day. No crashes, no damage for anyone. So it was a good day. Then it was off to the Maple Street grill in E'ville for some comfort food and jaw-jacking.
Mike...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 24, 2017 @ 08:56 PM | 46,808 Views
This Saturday was the "Longest Day" club picnic at the Tullahoma Coffee Airfoilers. Poh had sent me a note about it and I remembered the wonderful chili fun fly the club had last fall. So it didn’t take much of a nudge for me to drive the 48 miles down for a Southern homestyle dinner.
As always, the food was to die for. I spent about 3 hours munching and talking to the Tullahoma boys.
I had hoped to wait until nightfall to enjoy the scheduled “night fly”. But the wife called and was worried about me driving in the dark back to Murfreesboro, so I packed it in about 8pm.
Thanks Coffee Airfoilers
Great food and great flying
Mike...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | May 31, 2017 @ 10:58 PM | 47,143 Views
Spent the weekend at the MidSouth Sailplane competition in South Carolina. I’d never been to the MidSouth, always wanted to go. Poh Khaw and I left on Thursday so as to arrive at the hotel before Friday’s ALES. I only competed in the TD and RES events. Poh competed in all the events (ALES, TD and RES). I didn’t have my repaired Shadow fully setup on my Taranis. So I flew my heavy, old Acacia 2 and didn’t place well (that’s my excuse). For RES, I flew my brother Brian’s 30-year old GL on a 20-year old Vision radio (it actually flew quite well, earning me a best round award on Monday). Poh flew his trusty Shadow E, new Stork 6 and SkyBird.
I hadn’t been to Triple Tree Aerodrome before. It was impressive. Definitely a “world class” facility.
Golf course grass, full camping hookups, large bath house, and an onsite aviation hanger/museum.
Poh and I had a great time. Poh spent lots of time after flying, fishing at the lake. He actually caught several sunfish and a bass. Tom Broeski pulled a 20lb catfish out of the lake while we were there.
The food service was great. We had an on site hot breakfast, lunch and dinner on the weekend. The main dinner Saturday night was scrumptious. With pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken, sausage, mac ‘n cheese, brussel sprouts, baked beans, broccoli, salad, pound cake, brownies and sweet tea. Yum, yum.
I’ll be back next year.

PS I posted my 100+ pictures on the MidSouth thread:
Posted by mfwilliams | May 17, 2017 @ 12:17 AM | 47,325 Views
My step son’s graduation was this last Saturday in Miami Beach. So my wife and I headed down to South Florida that weekend. Saturday morning, before the graduation, I snuck out for a few hours to fly with my old club members on the “hill”.
It was great to see the old guys. A small group turned up for flying on the SE Bowl. The wind was a steady 10-15mph out of the South with some strong gusts. There was no problem catching slope or thermal lift. I saw Larry S speck out his Olympic II several times. Since I had arrived empty handed (no planes), I had multiple offers to catch some stick time. Mike Naylor let me have time on his Weasel Trek. Mark Atzel lent me his HK Ridge Rider. Finally, I tried out Amadeo’s Gulp 48”.
Thankfully, all the planes were returned in good shape. I was worried that I was getting a little rusty with my slope flying. Unfortunately, Ben and Larry weren’t as lucky. Ben’s Filip and Larry’s Olympic met half way down the slope and it wasn’t pretty.
While there, I got to see a couple new planes on their maiden flights. Amadeo got his Gizmo 36 flying. It looked pretty good and fast on it’s trim flights. Tom tested his Windrider Bat 2 using 3, 2 and 1 vertical fins. Tom and I had both ordered Bat 2’s from Ming and he had gotten his flying first (mine is still in the box). Tom had also set his Bat up with 2 elevons and one elevator. He hopes to setup a crow configuration. The Bat 2 was pretty fast, but Tom is still working out CG and best...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | May 09, 2017 @ 09:59 PM | 46,830 Views
Went to the Tullahoma spring ALES contest this Sunday. Friday flying was scheduled as a "foamy" only event. I had planned to attend, but it was rained out. Saturday was very breezy, so I skipped it. Especially since my only ALES bird was a Radian. I only flew the Sunday contest and conditions were excellent.
I posted my photos on the contest thread at :

Posted by mfwilliams | Apr 20, 2017 @ 06:31 PM | 47,782 Views
Flying twice in one week? Unheard of for me. But, just after flying on Wednesday, Poh suggested we go flying on Saturday. Actually, some F&F. That’s “Flying and Fishing”. So Saturday morning I drove South to the Normandy for some slope flying. I found Poh already fishing below the dam on the spillway. He had no bites. So we headed to the top of the dam for the real fun.
We parked just off to the side of the dam top. Don’t want to park and block the top access gate. Sure way to get into trouble. Since it was the first time I’d flown on a weekend (holiday weeked actually), I was surprised at the quantity of people on and around the dam. There were boaters launching, fisherman at the dock and spillway, joggers on top of the dam, and families launching kites.
Poh brought his HK Ridge Rider and his Radian. I brought my Gillette, Twist, Zulu and ASK-21.
Predictions were for 10mph out of the South, which is great for the site. In actuality it turned out to be more like 12-15mph with 25mph gusts. Plenty of lift, a bit turbulent in places. We both flew all our planes. I flew my Multiplex Twist long enough to spin it in due to low battery (no real damage, just cracked wing rod).
We stopped at about 3PM with a slight wind/sunburn and no fish. We packed everything up and headed up to Belle Buckle for a late lunch.

It was a great F&F day

Mike W

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