WRE - First day was good with challenges!
Kinda bush league mistakes made today. Good to get them out of the way! Great view early in the day.
Below is the 2nd issue but the first clouds of the flights were right here at Laredo and helped me dig out of the issue with a hard cross-wind adjustment to clear the airspace. After Laredo, it was on like donkey kong. Some 7-800 fpm and most climbs were strong and to cloudbase with good strong tailwinds up high. EPIC!! Anyway, hoped to make up for lost time and all was good till the high level cirrus shaded the hill country.
Craig Thompson and Hallie (copilot) getting ready for the LONG drive back to Zapata.
Jonny's getting pulled up somewhere in the distance.
The man, the legend.... G.O. aka birddog
285.6 miles :) Somewhere around 120 miles out, things got really slow as I tried to cross the shaded portion. Had to endure lots of broken lift that had me frisbee'ing down wind 100-200 fpm sometimes low. After a long struggle to gain 1000 ft, the cirrus outran me I was back in the sun and had to dive into the shade again. COME ON MAN!!!!! The hill country and the rest of my flight (until the last half hour) was under this shade deck. Decided to turn upwind and setup for landing in one of the rare nice LZ's twice and once I even unzipped in preparation to land but both times, right after the decision, lift arrived.
Also twice when low, a gaggle of birds showed me where the elevator ride was.
Saw 3 different F16's (or something like them) and each time, they were at my altitude. Really cool day with lots of struggles and awe.
Huge thanks to Pam, Craig, Hallie, and Rocky for picking me and and all the work they've done to help make this flight a possibility.
The dream is alive. Maybe tomorrow is the day! NO CIRRUS SCUD PLEASE!
Airtime: 9 hr 3 min