Tag Archives: Texas

Winter Spooling

I love being online. Payout towing is a great way to get some miles and a great way to get some landing practice.

After trying various techniques to maximize a tow in a limited amount of tow lane, I have come to a conclusion. Mountains are rare hard to find sites but so are tow lanes. You can try to maximize a tow on a short lane, but the easiest, simplest way to safely, consistently reach altitudes of +1500ft without circuit tows or weaklink breaking pressure is to find a long tow lane.

Hearne is 7000ft. I find this to be a perfect starting point. I have climbed out of shorter (1 mile) tow lanes like Wells Lane, but it is much more difficult. With a mile tow lane, I find it difficult to get over 1000ft.

In 2012, I plan on hitting some long tow lanes. There is a 2 mile lane near Corpus Christi, Big Spring is 8800ft, Hobbs close to 10,000ft. Ft Davis and Van Horn have several lanes in the multi-mile range.

Here is a look from the tow vehicle from earlier this year.

Time with my mistress – Llano Attempt 2

View the flight here

2 passes before climbing out to 4600 over and then gliding NW 8 miles….
Target: Llano

Result: Fail….. and a whole bunch of fun…. climb up… bomb out. 8 miles – 36 minutes.

A Look at Pack Thermals

My climb out – get up, get out

The last three XC attempts

One last gratuitous wing shot

2011 Pack XC continues

Who rocks?


On 3-18 he flew out of Pack on a very similar path as I did on 2-20. I decked it when failing to push west, Dan when he pushed further down wind for a bit over 15 miles.

A few images of his flight and mine on GE. Similarities are amazing. It appears we fly in formation even if on different days. That is how the Black Sheep Squadron rolls! 😉

You can see similarities in the pic below. I can’t help but to notice Dan seems to make more circles* 😉

* I poke fun, but keep in mind, not just 2 different pilots and wings, but 2 different days and conditions.

Dan landed in hostile territory…

Hostile LZ

Llano Attempt 1 – Packsaddle XC

My 1st cross country out of Packsaddle. I have flown to the airport in Kingsland. I went north, then west towards Llano airport for a total distance of 13 miles before turning around and decking it 5 miles east of Llano airport – 12 miles from Packsaddle.

My mistress

Mark has some footage of me before I left the scene. Thanks Mark! I am in the 1st minutes… check it out.

It was a cloudy day but looked like plenty of ridge lift. Dan punched off 1st.

It looked like just ridge lift until Dan jumped west and made a good climb out stinking high. At this point, I just tried to copy what Dan did and climb out. When I did, I just kept going.

I headed down 29 west after choosing not to drift further north. I caught another good climb after going west. The more you climb, the more you drift until I had drifted to far north and didn’t have altitude to keep charging west. Drifting at this point would have only taken me further away from an easy retrieve. Land.

Here comes the cavalry


My declared goal for the day was to not land at Packsaddle. Goal setting works.
Goal setting works both ways. Had I started towards the Llano airport, I may have made it – Instead of ever changing goals – Kingsland airport, then flatrock, then 29, then Llano airport.
Radios – was nice to be able to radio my intentions to go when I went.