Last week I finally got to head back up to Kagel to do some hang gliding. It had been a number of months since I last flew, and I was tired of my glider collecting dust.
There was an incident on the mountain however. One of the other inexperienced pilots who launched right before me had made an error in judgment. He got too close to the mountain ridge and crashed! I’m not sure of the details, but they’ll be forthcoming in the next few weeks, I’m sure. They’re really not important. Another pilot and I had run down the ridge trying to see if we could get to him. But it was hard to locate him from the ground, and a rescue helicopter arrived before we got to him. We stood out of the way and let the pros do their job. I was stuck on the mountain for a while waiting for the airspace to be clear again. His incident didn’t frighten me, but it did make me a little more cautious. I’d rather watch and learn from someone else’s mistakes than make them myself. Flying isn’t a completely safe sport, but if I give myself a wide berth in the direction of safety, I think it can be enjoyed without incident. It pays to never stop learning. I always ask the pros about my launch and landings to see if they can offer tips. It’s probably the best way to get better.
I had a great flight though. I missed the lift from earlier in the day, so it was a short one. My landing approach wasn’t the best, as I had let myself get too low before making the base and final turns. I landed a little short, but other than that it was fine. Next time I’ll start my approach with a little more altitude.
Afterward we had a great picnic with friends who had come to watch Kristy and I fly. Kristy was taking her first tandem flight, and was very excited. What a great day it was!