To have begun so promising, this season shut down hard. Steve Lee said when the rains came it turned off like a switch. We went very quickly from more XC flights than we could stand in a week to total lack of soarable air for almost a month. Sure, cumulus look promising in late morning, but by early afternoon they're dark and grumbling. Hang gliding, therefore, has recently been a low altitude endeavor.
Most of that low altitude hang gliding was at First Baptist Church last week. At Pastor Tom Gholson's invitation, Curly and Katie Dunn took the TTT simulator for demonstrations at FBC's Vacation Bible School. Curly and Katie estimated about 140 prospective future Tennessee Tree Toppers got some early instruction on how to maneuver these wings about the sky... or the parking lot. They said the kids had a great time. Perhaps some of them will be flying with us someday!
Of those that got a little farther from the earth, Chris Field, Mark Furst, Steve Lee, Kathy Lee, Susan Murdoch, Adam Hunt, and I have taken sled runs. Adam, from Australia and on a hang gliding tour of the world, said of all the hang gliding facilities he's seen around the globe, the Tree Toppers have the best!
The forecast calls for more summer doldrums. The closest front will probably stall north of the Mason-Dixon, leaving us in hot, stable air. Any day this week highs are likely to be in the 90s with light and variable or southerly winds. In these conditions try to beat the heat, stagnation, and overdevelopment by launching earlier when there's still a little cool air to provide the temp differential necessary for convection. Be a launch lizard, watch for a sign, take your best shot, and we'll see you in the sky!