First Off-Field Landing in 2008

5/18/08

This flight wasn't quite what I had planned. Walt and I had set out to do a "flat triangle": First fly SE 65 miles from Osceola (OEO), to just South of Eau Claire, then make a 180 degree about-face, and fly 130 miles due NW to just South of Lake Mille Lacs, then back to OEO.Well, from the title of this writeup, you know that I didn't make it all the way. Well, not even 1/2 of the way! I made my first turnpoint, and was was returning to OEO, but only made it about 25 miles on the return leg.

I was penetrating back into a 15-20 mph head wind, and ran into too much sink. I put the glider into a rolling grass field about 10 miles East of Baldwin, just North of I-94. Steve Kennedy and Walt Johnson crewed for me on this retrieve. The lift was quite variable on this flight. Roger Lee put me into a 7 knot thermal at the start of the flight, which made me excited about the prospects for the day. I didn't find that strong of lift again except for one thermal on my return leg. Most of the lift was around 3kts.

The flight was 104.8 miles (168.61 km; OLC Classic), in 2.5 hrs, with an average ground speed of 41.07 mph (66.09 km/h). OLC Link.