Soaring at the Alvord Desert

Ian Henehan - September, 2001

My first flight on the wire was with Ron Poe. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the tow was no problem. The next day I took a second ride with George Edmundson. The tow went smoothly and George signed me off for the wire.

Later that day I took a ride in the Junior. The CG hook makes the tow easier. I found a little lift and got up to about 8000’MSL. The flight only lasted forty minutes, but I got a good look at the area. Wednesday, I launched in the Junior at 1:00 and headed to the west side of the lake. I spent thirty minutes struggling over the ranch before the lift started to develop. I then found lift up to 13,500’MSL. After three hours I was tired and ready for dinner.

My second good flight was on Thursday. As I crossed over a dust devil, the vario pegged immediately. I rolled up about 50 degrees into a steep right turn and climbed through 13,000’MSL in just a few minutes. John Bradford was NE a couple miles and he was on his way through 15K’. I headed that direction and continued to find strong lift. I topped out at 16,500’MSL. There was a thunderstorm over the Steens as we flew around to the south. I flew south to get a look at a brush fire that had started up near Andrews and then turned north to run the Steens. I passed over the Steens around 15’000’MSL. After about 4 hours, it was time to land. It took awhile to get down, as the lift was still very strong. I was flying at 90kts and still climbing. This was my best flight yet. The duration was 4:15 with an altitude gain of 10,300 feet.

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