Red Tailed Hawk Dsing - RC Groups
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Nov 29, 2006, 07:19 PM
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Tehachapi Jim's Avatar

Red Tailed Hawk Dsing

I tried a new hill between Mojave and Rosamond today. The air was dirty, but it was DSable. I got a lot of laps in, some fast for me, some crazy, the rotor/layer was moving up and down alot. I stripped a servo arm coming in for a landing to take some weight off the nose, as this was the re-re-re-maiden of my battered JW60. It just won't die, and it flew great today.

The cool part was as I was leaving. I watched a Red Tail Hawk DS the same area I was DSing earlier. It kept going above the slope and dropping into the backside. Then it went up, caught a thermal, went way up, tucked its wings and dove all the way into the backside of the next hill, I mean fast, and then circled to frontside and just hovered. That was way cool. It made the trip worthwhile.

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Nov 29, 2006, 08:22 PM
screamin' eagle's Avatar
Awesome story - I LOVE red-tailed hawks.
Nov 29, 2006, 09:05 PM
The Flying Kiwi
I can relate to your birdwatching! Where I fly we have a lot of seagulls as well as a few hawks, phesants and quail. They can all be quite fascinating.

The type of nasty rotor you mention can't be appreciated by anyone until you fly into it. I was shocked the first time I saw my plane at about 70 mph, get stood vertically on its nose then get rolled upside down against full opposite aileron all in about 1 second!!! It gets the blood pumping!!
Nov 29, 2006, 09:48 PM
"just one more pass"
marfish's Avatar
cool story Jim.
I wish I could have joined you today.
Nov 30, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Sleedo's Avatar
Last time I was out at Cape Cod I witnessed a bunch of Swifts or Barn Swallows DSing. They were all hanging behind the lip of the bluff catching bugs I assume but would ocassionally make a loop out into the lift and right back in to the back side. They looked like the shot out of a potato gun when they came back, wonder how fast they were really going?
Nov 30, 2006, 02:28 PM
screamin' eagle's Avatar
I've had swifts DSing about 3 feet away from my head whizzing by. Awesome spectacle...and the sound they make!
Nov 30, 2006, 04:21 PM
Twisted and Confused
flyonline's Avatar
Swifts also DS in and out of thermals as well, I heard the same thing but on the front and the swifts were playing follow the leader chasing insects caught up in the updraft.

Nov 30, 2006, 09:01 PM
Generation DS
tom in tennessee's Avatar
yesterday we hiked to our slope to see a couple of crows pumping half-pipes
i seen birds do that before so nothing new. but then i made the comment about the crow flapping in the big lift when all the sudden the darn thing tucks and rolls inverted!
i yelled, my buddy looked at me, as we both said "did that just happen" then again
the bugger did it again for our amusement. worth the hour hike up the mountain alone.
Dec 01, 2006, 04:15 PM
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Sleedo's Avatar
Oh yeah, they come close, kind of like bats at night. the guys I was with didn't even notice, they were so psyched to fly in some good lift. But I sat there just envying those little bug eaters being able to do something so cool.

Originally Posted by screamin' eagle
I've had swifts DSing about 3 feet away from my head whizzing by. Awesome spectacle...and the sound they make!
Dec 08, 2006, 09:43 AM
Avery and I were DS'ing at Goat Rock, where we have a number of Perigren Falcons who are aggressive and often dive at, and with our planes, usually speeding right past (Variable wing loading, I'm jealous), but this day, one particular falcon decided to chase after my 2M Carbon Blade. When I dropped into the backside he followed me right back and went around right on my Blade's behind for about 5 or 6 laps, then he started cheating and cutting the circles tighter, but he was DS'ing with my Blade at 100 plus, then he started to get outgunned. Totally awesome!
Dec 08, 2006, 02:53 PM
Suspended Account
DSers are good bird watchers. Birds can teach us a lot. Crows always keep me company when I fly alone at Parker. Amazing discovery is these crows know the backside is turbulent and never venture into backside DS. Smart.
Dec 09, 2006, 06:13 AM
Today it was very light at Parker, the wind switched, but at times there were birds sloping both sides simultaniously. Got to see my first swifts cranking around, super fast. I read they do not land except to nest, cannot walk or land on a wire or branch, cannot launch themselves from the ground, they sleep on the wing at around 3000 to 10,000 feet up! Apus means "no foot" they can only cling to vertical surfaces.
Dec 09, 2006, 02:24 PM
auto-tune remix
slopemeno's Avatar
Mike- I'm surprised youve never see the swifts at Tick. The last couple of years they have been everywhere. Joe and I were standing about 5-10' apart and a swift flew between us and turned 90 degrees at the layer-they're amazing flyers.
Dec 09, 2006, 10:06 PM
I think I watched them and thought they were sparrows, but really, I watched them at Parker and do not ever remember being impressed they way I was.

Speaking of Birds, I maidened my Big Bird today at Vincent!

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