THURSDAY, June 29: Four 1-26s launched from the Inyokern airport.
Lane Decker (050)
Mickey, with his loyal crew, Valerie (aka “Sweetie”) cheering him on, flew Silver Distance. Lane flew north along
the Sierras, crossed the Owens Valley to the Inyos at the Switchbacks and landed at the Lone Pine airport.
(65 miles). CONGRATULATIONS!
George Powell (198)
Hawkeye flew up the Sierras, got caught in a rain squall near Mt. Tinnemaha, crossed the Owens Valley at Big Pine,
got shot down by another storm east of the White Mountains, staggered along Highway 6 while his trusty crew, Greg
Sperbeck, found the perfect landing site at a VOR site 6 miles east of Coaldale, Nevada. (163 miles)
Garry Dickson (024)
Two by Four spent the first part of the flight trying to catch up with Hangman, who had launched first. Garry
caught up with Doug near Mt. Whitney. After that they team flew across the Whites toward Tonopah. Garry landed
at a private strip on the Northwest side of the town of Tonopah. Garry was followed by his faithful two man crew:
Jim Leary and Brian Dickson. (167 miles).
Doug Levy (317)
After a couple of hairy saves, Hangman made it all the way from Inyokern to the Tonopah airport, making him “Sky
King” for the day. He was supported by his mixed gender crew, Mike and Darla Longwell. (170 miles)
- Friday, June 30: Four 1-26s launched from the Tonopah airport.
Cloud streets along the mountain ranges to the north of Tonopah made it possible to zoom along at cloudbase at
altitudes exceeding 17,000’ and ground speeds in excess of 100 mph. About the time we reached Eureka, the clouds
overdeveloped and heavy rain to the north caused the day to die quickly.
Hangman and Mickey landed at the Eureka airport. (122 miles).
Two by Four landed in a pasture and Hawkeye landed on a road in the Pine Valley about 35 miles north of Eureka
and 58 miles south of Elko. (147 miles)
- Saturday, July 1: Three 1-26s launched from Bishop and two from Tonopah.
Hangman and Mickey drove to Bishop Saturday morning. Hangman had made arrangements to fly in the Owens Valley
with his hang gliding buddies. Jimmy Zapata (Tweety Bird) landed his big UAL Airbus at LAX Friday evening about
7PM. He was met by his dedicated crew, Jim Sweet, with glider in tow. They drove from LA to Bishop Friday night
and rendezvoused with Mickey and Hangman. Tweety’s goal was to fly diamond distance, thus earning all three
diamonds in his 1-26.
Hangman flew with his buddies. (mileage unknown).
Mickey spent the day traversing the White Mountains and circling above Highway 6 watching while his crew got the
tow vehicle unstuck.(83 Sweepstakes miles). Mickey and Sweetie drove home Saturday evening.
Tweety made a valiant attempt at the distance diamond flying up and down the Owens Valley until the sun went down.
With strong south winds predicted, and dryer conditions along the mountains, 2x4 and Hawkeye decided to launch
from Tonopah and attempt another flight to Jackpot, NV. Jackpot is near the Idaho border, 300 miles north of
Good lift and a steady 20 knot tailwind made up for a slow start by Hawkeye.
We passed over Eureka at 17,000’ at about the same time of day as on Friday. A flat bottom, blackish-looking
cloud street ahead gave us hope that we might actually make it to Jackpot or at least to Wells. It was not to
be. As we connected with the beautiful Ruby mountain range, the day began to die and we slid east off the
mountains into the Ruby Valley.
2x4 landed in an alfalfa field and Hawkeye in a pasture. (198 miles).
We had made it 2/3 of the way to Jackpot. Our crews found us at sunset, having driven over 360 miles since
- Sunday, July 2: Two by Four, Hawkeye and their crews spent all day driving to San Diego via Jean
where we stopped and said “Howdy” to the Las Vegas Valley Soaring gang. Ralph Biesmeyer reported that the
Haul Road Wind Sock is safely stowed at the office awaiting Goal Strike XII.
Hangman flew south toward home from Bishop to Lone Pine. (60 mi.)
Meanwhile, Jimmy Zapata FLEW DIAMOND DISTANCE in the Tweetybird!
His route was from a remote start near Bishop along the Sierras to the Switchbacks, north to Montgomery Pass,
south to the Dolomite Mine and a white knuckle return to the Bishop airport, for a total of 510 Kilometers.
HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS TO JIMMY ZAPATA AND HIS CREW, JIM SWEET !!!!!
It was a wonderful trip. Many thanks to all of you who made it possible.