P A R A G L I D I N G  


>> 67 Mile Cross Country Flight 

>> on Beginner Paraglider

>> Pilot: Evan Schelter

>> Paraglider: DHV 1 Gin Bolero Plus

(Evan started flying with Seattle Paragliding in April, 2004).


From: Evan Schelter
To: marc@seattleparagliding.com
Subject: Chelan weekend


Spent last weekend in Chelan for a cross country distance flying fest. I did this 2 years ago with Chris Santacroce (Team Seattle Paragliding) and had a stellar time.


This year surpassed... with all the stuff they hauled in: huge bbq grill, shade tent, music, weed eater to mow the tent sites, quiet generator for lamps, porta potties, and even a 10 foot swimming pool that they had a water truck come out to fill.




Saturday, I did a 12 mile flight and others had maybe 16 mile adventures. When I was a new pilot, with Chris, he wisely didn't let me fly during the cranking afternoons. Now with more experience, this time I did.


I must say, the dust devils are truly impressive from the air.

Chases of dust devils in Australia.


Sunday, things were looking very promising, with cumulus clouds forming to the north and southwest. Winds aloft forecast called for generally west at all altitudes. I launched at 12:45 when clouds were forming east of us, and worked them around the south end of Jameson Lake.






I eventually reached the clouds at 13000'. They were small friendly clouds. Used that to glide over the badlands ahead, then encountered nothing but 800-1000 fpm (feet per minute) sink till I was down to 1000' agl. But finally I found a burble of lift, patiently worked it back up to 10000 and flew over Coulee City and beyond.


Again, I found myself down to 1000' of the ground before blundering into a good thermal which took me all the way back up. Clouds kept forming ahead of me and I used them to reach 11,000' over Wilbur. Continued to parallel hwy 2 to a bit past Creston. It was 5:15 by then and there were no longer clouds ahead of me to mark lift. The sky and myself were both running low on energy, and the landing fields were cooling down so it was safer to land in a nice green field after 4 hr 31 min in the air.



Straight-line distance from the map is 67 miles
71 miles if you follow my flight path which curved south and then north.


All on an ENTRY LEVEL, beginner Bolero Plus Paraglider made by Gin.


Can't wait to get my new performance wing and try again next year!


The only depressing thing  was I learned afterwards someone left their tiny dog in camp with little shade and no cool water (just a hot puddle from the pool overflow) - he had died from the heat when they returned an hour later. You shouldn't bring animals along when it's that hot. I mean, you were hot in Issaquah, but we were cooking over there (the sign in Creston said 107 deg at 5:45 pm makes for great thermals though).


Things learned: patience to work that lift when it's light until you get higher and it really kicks in (this flight required two low saves). My variometer (instrument flight deck) recorded a has maximum of 1500 fpm up.


All in all, a wonderful experience!






Come Learn to Paraglide!

Paragliding in Seattle is FANTASTIC at Tiger Mountain (Issaquah)

and Chelan!!!




Localized heating and associated convection can develop into dramatic small scale vortices. These pick up available dust and debris, creating dust devils.