This story sent by Mike Buckley to the CHGPA listserv on 12/28/97.

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Today was a beautiful day at High Rock. The snow was clinging to the trees and the sun was occasionally brilliant. The winds were so light that people weren't anxious to launch until Marvin proved that it was soarable. After everyone except Raean, Lewis, Mike Chevalier, and myself had launched, I got up for my first launch at High Rock. (I actually made it up on launch on Friday, but the conditions got too strong and I backed off.)

Today's conditions were excellent for my first flight there. The wind was moderate with a slight West cross. After getting a feel for the conditions, I yelled "Clear!" and leapt into space. It was an intense moment that I'm sure you all remember! Once in the air, I turned left and flew along the ridge in light lift. I rose to about 100' over before slowly losing altitude. When I was about 100' below launch, I headed to the LZ for my aircraft approach.

I made a mistake and didn't see Lewis behind me, but Christy yelled up from the LZ, "Hurry up and land!" I did as ordered and had an excellent nostepper landing! What a rush! I was anxious to get up again and Danny Brotto offered to observe me and help me set up. By the time I was ready to launch, conditions were very light and I got to try a 4 step launch run. I got off fine, although as Danny observed, I allowed my right wing to pop up when I dropped to the base tube too soon. A good lesson there. Anyway, ridge lift was gone by then and I flew to the LZ and had another good approach and landing.

Finally, I broke through the barrier and flew High Rock! A great day for me. Thanks to Mike and Danny for their wisdom and aid, and to Raean and Steve Vogel for wiring for me!!!

Hope to see ya'll up there soon!

Mike Buckley
Baltimore, MD