Scott O'Brien

Flight Number:265
Launch:TO (SSW-WSW) Burrough Mt._Tollhouse, CA
Max Distance:8987m
Max Altitude:1454m
Track Length:64097m
Wing:BGD Epic
IGC File:Download


I made it to 4LNTRN! My Tollhouse goal for the season!

It was a very interesting flight. I seemed to do OK by trying to top out every climb, and took a few more risks than I normally would with being lower when crossing from one peak to the next seeing how others do it.

The biggest thing to write up is my landing. From what I can recall, on my way back from 4LNTRN, up near "The Knob", I had decided that it was already 3:00pm, the lift was not as good as it was earlier, and I was just trying to get back to the LZ. Landing: google maps

I was trying to move up to the spine leading from "the knob", but was concerned I wouldn't have the height to clear, and was getting no lift on the way. I then made the (poor) decision to turn back, have one last ditch attempt at getting up before gliding down to land out. Once was back and looking at my height, I was a little concerned at how low I was, and know I don't have the best glide, so didn't want to find sink on the way and end up having to make the tiny spot on the other side of the highway or to land in a tree trying to scratch my way to a field. I made the decision to land on a very large rocky opening. I was cognicent of the fact that the landing was down hill, and if I was to face directly into the wind, would likely be on glide to land on the highway. My take aways from this landing are:

  • Be more concervative, head right down into the valley sooner. Don't get yourself in that situation.
  • Grab the wraps I need when setting up a tight landing. I landed into a sink cycle fairly hard on rock and wish I had more break to dampen that out. In fact, trying to take some more wraps as I was coming down to land caused my hard pitched forward landing.

For the things that went very well in this flight...

I think I'm just getting more confident at the site. My entire flight I only ever had 700ft above launch height. I was lucky enough to find some very lifty lines and spotting other pilots with good lift. I was able to make the calls to traverse out sooner, which helped me in this case. I was happy that I was focusing on my instruments and glide ratio to maximize my glide at any given point. This is the first time I've made it up that far north. I was extatic!! It's the best feeling in the world.

My homework now:

  • Evaluate the best course of action of landing spots with the locals. Find out what their train of thought is around where I was low.
  • I was talking with Dominic, who mentioned the people who do better manage to keep higher on the big ridge. I feel this was my glide out, but want to see if there was a better line I could have taken back.