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Soar Utah 2006
Posted by Greg Smith on Sep 11, 2006, 00:09


While the actual Soar Utah event does not start until Friday, many pilots arrive in the afternoon on Thursday. So it was for the 2006 Soar Utah as well.

We couldn't check in at the hotel (Comfort Suites in Sandy) until 3PM so we wandered around the Salt Lake area for a while.

We made a trip out to the gate of Antelope Island but with the flag hanging limp, we decided not to pay the $9 entry fee and instead headed to Point of the Mountain where Thursday usually sees the arrival of quite a few pilots.

When we arived at Point of the Mountain there was a light wind blowing from the North East so we went up the north side where we found a few pilots already there. The air was light but Weasels and hand launches were able to fly so Dave and I got a couple of planes ready.

Electrics Thomas and Sam flew fast electrics. Sam's Trinity had a 33-volt LiPo pack with something like 18 LiPo cells! Whoa.

I flew my Pixel, Extreme and Weasel. I had a blast Weaseling with Carlski, Dave and Fred. Still one of the funnest planes out there

Conditions were OK for DSing later in the afternoon but not great. I did get to fly Marty's JW and get in some practice laps. Brian, from Hawaii, had a blast learning something about the DS groove.


Soar Utah opened with a trip on Friday to Butterfield Canyon. The flying site is located on the mountain peak above the Kennecott Copper mine. The elevation of the peak is about 8,900 feet. This is a fantastic flying spot that provides an great view of the mine. While this is a 360-degree flying site for both slope and thermal flying, today was primarily a thermal day.

Flying over the terraced pit of the copper mine is a unique experience. the sheer scale of the pit is amazing. Just goes to show what happens when you dig a hole continuously for over 100 years. Wonder how long it would take at this pace to dig through to China!

A contingent of the IMSF club hauled trailers up and had breakfast on the peak ready. Very cool!

Most of the lift was light but there were good thermals and hand launches as well as larger TD type planes were doing fine. Clarence had a huge Bubble Dancer with extended tips. A super-huge hand launch!

I flew my Erwin and the Frankenplane DLG. Both flew well but apparently the DLG had a bad battery pack. Fortunately, the plane had a wish to come home since it made the turn to final and the approach all without my help. I had a brief bit of control at the very end and plunked it down fine.

A bit of extracurricular activities included whacking a golf ball towards the pit.

The main bummer at the Butterfield location is that Kennecott mine is going to be expanding so it looks like this is the last Soar Utah that we will be able to utilize this spot.

After a couple of hours we headed over to the aerotow held on a salt flat near Grantsville, UT. Saw Brian Laird's big, red L-213 go up, Robert Cavazos' big ship as well. In all there were probably 20 pilots and a lot of folks looking on. Nice turn out for a new portion of the event. I look forward to participating in the aerotow next Soar Utah.

Finally, we headed to Point of the Mountain (POM) North for some afternoon flying. Lift was decent if not spectacular.

Friday evening was registration at POM South with a turkey dinner of those who made it early enough.

Butterfield Summit

Erik doing the DLG fling

Brian's L-213


TFLG's Spitire at POM North


Yeah, it was light but the afternoon thermals let most guys fly if they wanted to. Toss 'em out and make it work! Lots of span gave you the best flights. TFLG's modified DG-505 was really sweet!

I had the Pixel, Extreme and Weasel working.

Best time for The Canuck, Jellyman and I was night flying about 10PM. We had good wind and great lift. The best all day by far. Andrew's lighting kit for my Weasel made it really easy to see. Even got some DS turns in. DS at night! What a blast! The Canuck had his lit Bee and Jellyman had a Weasel with 8 LEDs. Really easy to see.

Marty's Weasel

Brian's DG-505

Night flying at POM South

Carl's Aerostream

Louie heaving the Minimoa

Sam and his Pike

Marty and his Bird

Thomas winding up to throw his Focus


Better day on the South side today. Lots of planes in the air. I maidened my Slope Scale P-63, flew the Opus, Pixel and Extreme.

Lots of planes with span were able to really maximize the slermally lift.

I flew the World Slope Tour Dominator. The plane seems to fly well. Only had it for a couple of minutes but I signed the book. Cool deal.

I also made a brief appearance on the local FOX news channel. There was a camera man filming on the South side of POM. He asked a bunch of questions and they used one of my responses on  the 5PM and 9PM FOX news.

Doug Barry's 3-meter Ka-6

Phil's 2-meter Fox

Brian McLean and a prototype Vindy


I had a great time at Francis Peak. The lift started at about 10AM with a couple of flights from the Pixel and then the Extreme but Francis is really all about span. The 4-plus meter scale ships, Thomas' Klemm FS, Sam's Pike and my RaceM were able to really take advantage of the lift by ranging far and wide. Arthur's wing was also flying well. Smaller planes flew too with the lift still building when Dave and I had to leave at 2PM for the drive home to Milwaukee.

I had an excellent time at Soar Utah. The flying was decent every day if not spectacular and getting together with 85 slope heads is a once every two years treat that I look forward to repeating in 2008! For me, it is the camaraderie, as much as the flying, that makes this one of the best events in the country.

Look for a big Gallery soon. Over 900 pix. Gotta weed that out a bit.

Thomas' Opus

Sam sure loves his Pike

Thomas launching the 4-meter FS

Arthur's Big wing

Francis Peak

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