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Ross Hunter and his 400-km smile!

 
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Fred Wilson
HPAC/ACVL Member
Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 03:31 pm    Post subject: Ross Hunter and his 400-km smile! Reply with quote

Stewart Midwinter wrote:
It's taken 30 years for someone to fly materially farther than Willi Muller did back in the 1980s
with his Wills Wing Sport, and once again it has taken a tow launch on the prairies to do it.

Ross Hunter has just flown 400 kilometres in Saskatchewan, after a tow launch.
Had he gone much further, he would have hit the international border.
There is no truth to the rumour that he hates flying, and only did it for the money
(Vincene Muller has a $500 prize for the longest flight in a hang glider).

Ross Hunter and his 400-km smile! (Circa 248.5 Miles) (Posted with permission from Ross as he's still en-route back home to Alberta!).
http://www.xcontest.org/canada/fr/pilotes/details:Ross
http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0QAS7qIiQjYt81OzJMyVqcROWhRcgqVYh



Stewart Midwinter 5:59pm wrote:
Holy crap! A little more than six hours after he was towed up in his hang glider near Dundurn, Saskatchewan, Ross Hunter is still flying cross-country over the prairies.
He has been averaging 60 to 70 km/h over the ground, and is only 20 km from Midale, Saskatchewan.
That's nearly 370 km! His distance already exceeds the Canadian record by more than 50 km.
If he goes much further, he will hit the US border and have to land. (it's been exciting watching him, but I didn't want to say anything further for fear of jinxing him)

Update: Ross has already passed Midale, and is now covering ground at 80-90 km an hour! He is closing in on Estevan. Like Nicole says, go Ross, go!

He landed half way between Macoun and Hitcchcock Saskatchewan - about 60 Km short of Portal North Dakota.



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Fred Wilson
HPAC/ACVL Member
Joined: 10 Dec 2014
Posts: 45
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 09:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ross Hunter wrote:
Hello, After my flight last weekend I was asked to write a little story about it, so here it is.
See attached.
I hope you enjoy it, and of course you can pass it on. Cheers



Flying 400 km........ almost

A few fine flying friends have asked me to write a little about my flight, and well ....
who doesn't like to talk about their flight.

It all started a few weeks ago. After John Janssen went over 200km to a declared goal, followed shortly by Michael Schulte going 343 km open distance, I knew spring was coming to an end and if I wanted to bag a big one, I best get serious.

Looking at the forecast two weekends ago, Nanton looked real good early in the day. I convinced the crew I fly with we should go to Nanton. Well we arrived about 10:30 and so did the high overcast.
Extended sleigh rides in light lift is all we had until 4pm. Of course the sky looked great in the direction of our regular tow road. I vowed not to chase the weather anymore........this lasted about 3 days.

After spotting the good lift and winds in Saskatchewan on XC skis, I thought why not drive out there. I ran my crazy plan by my wife, Cathie, and she was on board with the idea. I called Dale and he was quick to secure tow and retrieval drivers.
Boy there was no backing out now. Cathie and I studied air space and watched XC skis the next several days, and nothing changed. I contacted Nicole to get this transponder requirement thing cleared up, and Nicole taught me a few other things about CYA's and airways. This was very helpful. Thank you Nicole.

After dinner with friends Friday night, I left home at 11pm, and started my 6 hour drive. I was wondering if I really needed some kind of therapy at this point, the hang gliding was kind of getting out of control. With the VW camper, the plan was to pull over and sleep halfway to Dale's, and drive the remainder in the morning.

Saturday morning I showed up at Dale's, had a quick breakfast, then we drove the 5 minutes to the tow road. Saturday I went about 73km, and Dale was around 40km. I may have been going too fast, and Dale got eaten up by some hail. Well we were home for a delicious rib bbq, with all the trimmings, so pretty good day, eh!

Sunday we went over to Dale's dad's for breakfast, before he towed us up. We arrived at 9:00 and set up our gliders before breakfast. It was nice to set up on grass, protected from the wind. I think this is the earliest I have ever set up my glider.
While having breakfast on the deck, the high clouds started to make their move, and it wasn't long until I was promising myself again not to chase the weather. Then I received a text from Cathie, " It looks best to go between Regina and Moose Jaw" then head more east when you get to Weyburn".....
So after I have gone further then I have ever flown, I should contine to Weyburn, then head more easterly. hmmm
I'll try my best to be a good husband and follow directions, but with this overcast its going to be a bit hard.

Dale went first and disappeared. I wasn't sure if he went to his farm, or got up and away. I launched about 45 minutes later after sorting out the rope and a few things, then glided downwind. I tried to stay positive even though the sky was less than ideal.

I did manage to get up and after about 25 km it did improve and was pretty easy cruising. I created a "go to Regina" on my gps, to see how my drift would compare to the course line, and see if I would pass to the north east or south west of Regina.
As Cathie predicted the south west side was the way to go. Regina did look big and close as I went by, and I thought I may have messed up. This did effect my head space and the next several climbs. Then I just said it will be what it will be, and just went back to concentrating on flying.

Another thing I did on this flight was have time of day displayed on my GPS. Normally I do not have time displayed, just distance to goal, but when your goal is the horizon, its nice to have the time. I would tell myself I can't check the distance I have gone until 5pm, then 6pm...
This helped keep me going, and gave little rewards at certain times.

I turned final 6.7 hours after takeoff. I checked my instrument once on the ground, and it said 395 km back to takeoff. Boy that felt good. Then as soon as the iphone fired up, it was a quick call to Cathie.
Cathie had been following the spot, and cheering me on all the way. I was quick to ask how I looked going by Regina, and she said good, right down the middle.
Now I had an even a Bigger grin. Stewart Midwinter was quick to congratulate me as he also had been following my spot page on this flight and yesterdays 73km.
Texts and calls came in, and it sure was nice to get congratulations from my friends.... even though I know some are out to beat me.

Dale had flown 260km, a mighty fine flight as well. Jenelle had already picked up Dale, and they were about 30 minutes away from me. I quickly packed up, well not really that fast, come on now....?
Wes, a local guy, was driving by and stopped to visit and chat. As we rolled my wing I told him about hang gliding, how far the furthest flight in Canada was, and answered his questions.... No, I didn't have to go to the washroom.

About 5 minutes after everthing was in the bag Dale and Jenelle showed up. We stopped for dinner and were home by 1:45 AM. Pretty sweet eh! Yes I owe Jenelle big time. Well actually I owe the whole Regehr family Big time.
Dale is very keen and enthusiastic and was great to fly with. Thanks Roger for all your help, and if it wasn't for Jenelle we would still be out there.

I also want to thank my wife who encouraged me to go do this flight. Cathie checked the XC skis with me and was biting her nails as she watched my spot cross Saskatchewan. Dale said he is going to start calling Cathie now for flight planning.

Post flight analysis.

I know now that 500 km is certainly doable on the Canadian Prairies.

The start:
Dale took off 45 minutes before me, and if someone took off 15 minutes before him, well thats one more hour, at 60km/hr, yup theres another 60 km.

Climbs:
Also looking at the IGC, in See You, I confirmed that most my climbs were around 200 feet per minute, 1 meter/second. If one could average 400 feet per minute, this would save alot of time. You could use this time to glide and climb even more Smile

Wind:
The wind was ideal on this flight, averaging about 37 km/hr. It also held its direction for the whole flight, not veering or backing. This really helps, as the wind gets stronger it becomes even harder to fly cross wind. The wind changing direction is fine for Free Distance (with up to 3 turn points) however.

OK, I have to go to my therapy session now.

Cheers Ross
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