This story sent by Craig Shelton to the CHGPA listserv on 7/19/97.

Saturday, July 19 ... Woodstock WAS soarable! John Middleton took David Johnson (a rejuvenated new Hang 2, who flew about 10 years ago) and me out to Woodstock. Yes, I know most of you were at McConnellsburg or High Rock, but David and I are still new to the mountains, remember.

I launched my Pulse at 3:00 in about 8 to 10 straight in. Turned right and immediately found some light lift along the ridge (I had watched Ken Haupt and Scott ??? do the same thing a bit earlier). I worked my way up and down the ridge, north to just past the power lines, and then back south of launch about the same distance. I think I was maybe 800 to 1,000 above the ridge, spending about 15 minutes making these lazy passes. It was wonderful looking down at the tower, and seeing out behind the ridge. This was my first time in such conditions, and I started getting a little queasy. In that air I think I could easily have soared for another 30 minutes, but my stomah suggested calling it a day. I headed out over the LZ, getting there with lots of altitude. I practiced a series of tight 360's to lose height, and then ran short standard approach. However, I failed to keep up enough speed on final, so when a burble lifted one wing just as I was ready to flare, I banged in, taking out both down tubes. Oh, well, Oregon Ridge looks good for landing practice tomorrow. I WILL get my landings under control!

Total flying time was 25 minutes! I think I just doubled my lifetime solo flying time!

David in his Mark IV got about 15 minutes on his first launch, similar ridge running to mine. When I left, John was enjoying soaring in his RamAir (his original paragliding plan was changed as the winds picked up) , planning on landing after 2 hours so he could send David back off for a second flight around 7:00. I'll get the report on how they finished up tomorrow.

Oh, and for the record, using John's radio I also had my first transmissions using my brand new Technician license call sign, KF4TIR!

Today was fun, and a great day for flying firsts, bent aluminum and queasy tummy notwithstanding. Thanks, John, for helping me get there!

Craig Shelton