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Wisconsin Slope Safari - Mini Version - UPDATED
Posted by Greg Smith on Oct 27, 2007, 23:37

Dave K and I had planned to take a trip to South Dakota this weekend and so he had a couple of days off from work. It is hunting season in SD and rooms are few and far between. Our favorite motel in Chamberlain was all booked so we decided to stay local. With the opening of our new site at the Omega Hills landfill it was a safe bet that we would get some flying in if there was wind.

Thursday Dave and I met at Omega HIlls and found a due east wind at 8-10 mph. We flew the face that faces Northeast and while it was not spectacular it was very flyable. Dave flew his Spyder and I few my Pixel. After about 45 minutes the lure of the east wind prompted us to head to Concordia.

At Concordia we found that even though the coast of Lake Michigan is only about 15 miles from the landfill site the wind was more northeast. We did fly some at Concordia. Dave had his Lumberjack out and I flew my LEG P-51. The wind was off the hill by about 35 degrees but the lift was OK. Much smoother than the inland site. I always knew that costal sites are smoother but it really drives it home when you fly both on the same day. We did a bit of Weasel flying too but with the northeast wind direction we knew there were better slopes down the coast a bit.

First stop on the way south was at Big Bay. I flew the Pixel for a bit but the wind favored Atwater only a couple of miles down the road so we headed that way. One thing that I was reminded of at Big Bay. That place is small! When the wind is more north you can fly into the wind some to slow down on a landing approach. Not so much when it is from the right or straight in. Big Bay remains the most northerly coastal site we have but I am betting I'll head to Omega hills more often on winds that are too north for Atwater.

Michael's Very Visible Weasel at Atwater Beach

At Atwater Beach the wind was blowing about 15-18 mph. Really good at this site. We met Michael at the slope and stayed there for quite a while. I flew my LEG Mustang, Pixel, Bee and Weasel. Michael had his Fitness and Weasel going well and Dave flew his Lumberjack, Spyder and Weasel.

We are still experiencing random radio glitches at Atwater and at this point I'd recommend foam or planes on 2.4GHz only. The glitches are random and have hit on every 72MHz frequency we fly and over a range of receivers including my Pixel's Hitec Supreme that has been bullet proof, Michael's Berg 7, Mirko's JR's, Seeker 6s and several others. the glitch is very short sometimes dropping a flap or a quick elevator glitch and we have not had any glitch related crashes, yet, but if it happened at exactly the wrong time that could happen. In addition there are people in the park and planes MUST remain under control at all times.

After Atwater we had a good Mexican lunch at Conjito's on our way to Sheridan Park.

Michael's Storm at Sheridan Park - Milwaukee in the Background

Sheridan Park is a deceptive slope. It is only about 70 feet high but it curves a bit from east to northeast and has a two-tier face. The lower slope is right on the water and about 30 feet high while the second rise is about 40 feet high. A flat spot of 50 feet or so separates the two. the lift at Sheridan is often better that the look of the slope would predict. I flew my Pixel, Wizard Compact and Skip Miller Slope (Mach Dart). Michael flew his Fitness and Soaring USA Storm while Dave wrung out his Spyder. Dave also flew the Weasel, Lumberjack (I think) and Opus DS V.

Getting Ready at Sheridan Park

Michael and I dialed the flap elevator compensation in on his Storm and he made a couple of nice landings. His Fitness did not fare as well. A recurrence of the Berg 7 delayed response syndrome showed up and unnerved him enough to cause a harsh arrival for the Fitness. Some damage but not terminal. I had experienced a similar delayed response syndrome with an older Berg 5 resulting in a crash of my Fitness. The symptom is a delay from the control input at the radio to the response at the receiver. My Berg 5 was really long, about 1.5 seconds and did not resolve itself in the 30-45 seconds before I got the Fitness on the ground. I don't think Michael's was as severe, and it was a one time shot, but expecting the plane to turn and then having a delay, even of half a second, makes controlling the plane next to impossible.

Dave's Spyder at Sheridan Park

So, All in all a pretty good day of flying around Milwaukee.

The coming weekend looks promising and we will continue the mini Safari through Sunday.

Michael, Dave, Mirko and I hit the Omega Hills slope on Saturday for some decent action in a west wind see slope reports here and here.

Dave's Opus at Omega Hills

On Sunday I got a call from Mirko that the wind was coming in decent at Concordia so I rushed up there and found Mirko already half an hour into a flight with his Wizard Compact II. Looks like the conditions were better that the weather people predicted! I love it when they get it wrong!

I got my Pixel out and had a good flight with it. I practiced a few different landing approaches on the new terrain at the south end of the property. Construction on the slope is pretty much done and the fences are down. It looks like we will have a really nice spot on the south end as well as the north bowl.

After landing the Wiz in an appropriate weed patch, Mirko flew his Airtech Dynamic.

As the wind was getting lighter I took advantage of the Weasels ability to have fun in light air! I also had a good flight with my Mini Ellipse. I love the hollow-molded whistle of that guy.

So all in all we had a good Mini Safari in Wisconsin with flyable conditions 3 out of 4 days. If this keeps up we may be able to start having events here with pretty good likelihood of flyable conditions. The Omega Hills Slope looks like the missing link.

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