Monday June 26, 2006
Today was the day
Windy on the 24th and rainy on the 25th, today was the day. I planned on flying all the way to Hays, Kansas (HYS) non-stop. Depending in the winds Michael planned on landing either at Oakley, or an airport an hour further on.
Winds were as predicted: None. Therefore Michael landed at Oakley (unfortunately he needed a bit of a tailwind to make it to the next airport), and Rusty picked him up. Then they drove to another airport 35 miles from Hays and waited for me to make the decision as to if I'd land there or venture on.
We'd left Kit Carson at 5, and at 9 the thermals really started to kick in. Luckily they didn't diminish forward progress, and I decided to go all the way to Hays. I radioed my intentions to Rusty and Michael, and flew on.
After 4 hours 30 minutes in the air I was in new territory. Yes, I knew that theoretically I have 6 hours of fuel, but theory and reality sometimes differ. Finally Hays appeared, and I landed into a 12 mph wind from the north, on the grass in front of the ramp.A reporter and photographer (as well as Michael and Rusty and a few local people who've been following the trip online) were there to greet me. There were 3 gallons of fuel left in the tank. Gotta love that HKS!! Liftoff to touchdown was exactly 5 hours, and I'd flown 165 miles. Both personal bests. (Are those also unofficial powered parachute records? If anyone knows, please let me know.)
As you can see from the photos, the land we're not flying over is... flat! Very flat. The antithesis of what we were flying through only a few weeks ago. Am I tired if flat? Not yet. I'll let you know.
We'll be in Hays for a day or so. If you're nearby, c'mon down and visit. Maybe bring your PPC and fly.