The alarm went off at 4:30 a.m., and I woke full of optimism, only to hear the rain drip, drip, dripping. Darn! A friend had spent the night and we were hoping to be wheels off at 6:00 a.m., heading to the very tip of southeastern Oregon for a fly-in. Of course, it’s been raining for days, only partially clearing in the last afternoon and early evenings. Yet I had been so hopeful!
My fat-ultralight-type LSA Talon Typhoon has been almost completely rebuilt since last summer’s fiasco. It didn’t have major damage, but the master mechanic and his “elves” as he calls them had taken delight in re-creating the plane. All new wiring, new instrument panel, moving the regulator, the radiator overflow bottle, the battery. And on and on and on. They had such fun doing it, and I was delighted. My old Rotax 582 was toast, so I bit the bullet and bought a new one.
The test flight went flawlessly – except for oil leakage from the exhaust manifold. So that was repaired and then I did another test flight. It’s trimmed out so perfectly that I did two patterns around the Independence (Oregon) airport using only rudder – never touching the stick. Since then I’ve put about 20 hours on the plane, and am ready for a long flight.
A friend in southeastern Oregon has invited all his Kolb friends – and others – to his home airstrip for a week of flying, barbeque-ing and hot tubbing. His place is really isolated in the back country high desert, near the Owyhee River. He knows the place like the back of his hand, having been flying it for decades. I’ve flown into his airstrip several times, but always on the way to somewhere else. Now I’ll have a chance to fly the canyons with him and with a whole gaggle of other ultralight-type aircraft.
But – we won’t be leaving at 6:00 a.m.! We called for a weather briefing and found out that it’s supposed to start getting better about 11:00 a.m. So – since we were already up, we had breakfast and then I loaned Bob a car so he could go home to get some sandals he forgot.
Now it’s 10:30 a.m. and it’s clearing. Bob is back and we called for another weather briefing. Still a little dicey, but there’s lots of blue sky and cumulous clouds. Our route will take us east up the Columbia River Gorge and then south-south-east. If you want to follow our track, I’ll be using my SPOT Tracker and you can see us in real time at
I won’t be blogging while I’m gone, but expect a detailed report when I get home.