View Full Version : My day in the middle of nowhere

Aero Ace Ace
01-20-2007, 10:07 AM
Well, I wasn't really in the middle of nowhere...I was in the middle of San Luis Obispo County, CA...but I was far enough away from anything that resembled civilization. I had seen TV Rower Road from the 101 freeway and wondered where it might lead. As the name suggests, the road is mainly used by maintenance vehicles for the TV/Radio/Cell towers that run along the Cuesta Ridge. The land is mostly state owned, some of it by a military camp, and some by the parks. The road is terrible. I would recommend an SUV, but I was able to make it, carefully, in my Honda Civic. I found a spot about 8 miles from the freeway, along the ridge with a North facing slope. On one side I could see Morro Bay, and Los Osos. On the other, Atascadero, Templeton, and Paso Robles. A 10-15 mph breeze was blowing up the hill. And while the slope was covered is heavy brush, there were no trees.

I tossed my EasyGlider into the wind, and almost magically, without any input at all, it began to climb straight up like a home sick angel. The lift was abundant far forward from the slope, I could pretty much fly anywhere and in any direction without sinking. With my chair placed out of the wind there was almost complete silence. The only sound came from the occasional bird, the buzz from a servo as I brought it in for a close pass, or the wind rushing over the wings during a steep dive. I can't say I was free from spectators, there were a few other slope soarers, the kind that don't need batteries. And a few of them came in for a closer look.

I had only partially charged one of my transmitter batteries, and after landing to swap for a fresh one, I saw a single engine cessna approaching. He was flying west along the ridge line, on the north side, and in about the same place I was flying a few minutes before. So I waited for him to pass before I put my plane in the air again. He must have seen me (he was flying very close) because as soon as I launched, he banked to the left and flew over the ridge behind me, and then back over in front of me again before proceeding west. He was probably 300 feet to the north and 100 feet above me. I hope he got a good enough look that he won't try that again....

Jason T
01-20-2007, 01:50 PM
Very nice!

01-20-2007, 09:10 PM
What's really scary is when you're flying on a coastal cliff-top site and light aircraft come around the corner of the cliff BELOW your models and quite close in (sometimes U couldn't hear them coming). It happened to us on a few different occasions. I lived on a very scenic strip of coast and it wasn't unknown for pilots to "stretch the law a little" and fly lower than 500ft along this coastal route. Considering the height of the cliff was 480ft ASL, we usually got a very close view of any aircraft flying past !

And sometimes the local rescue helicopter would scoot past at about half the height of the cliff, so it was rather weird looking down onto him.

At the other end of the same ridge (about 4km long), there was another site facing almost the same direction (East) with a similar blind corner. I'll never forget the afternoon I was flying there alone with my 2m floater when one of our coastal patrol aircraft (a Lockheed P3C Orion) performed a beautiful "crank & bank" around the corner and flew past in front of me fairly close in (perhaps 100m out from the edge). Thankfully my model was fairly close in to the ridge... but it copped his wake turbulence about a minute after he'd passed... :) Awesome sight tho... and boy, do I love the sound of those things.... such a smooooooth drrrroooooonnnneee... :)