MIGRATION DAY 81 – DOWN DAY 1 Jan.19,2012 This morning was a good illustration of why we say we never know for sure whether or not we’ll be able to fly any given morning. We can check the weather sites over and over, and postulate all we want, but in the end, until a trike is in the air at flight time, we can never be sure. Case in point. We were excited to see the weather sites this morning calling for a significant improvement over what they were reporting yesterday afternoon. In fact, the conditions they were calling for had us believing it would be a fly day. As usual the team got ready and well before sunrise, the ground crew and the tracking van were on the road to get in position. All three trikes pushed out of the hangar and Joe and Richard took off first. We watched as immediately after launching they bounced and bobbled in rough air. It was scant minutes – so fast in fact that Brooke hadn’t as yet even gotten into the air – before they announced that they couldn’t get any speed up and unanimously called it a Down Day. Contrary to what was reported, 0 – 3 WSW surface winds, Richard measured the winds at close to 10mph out of the southeast. Aloft, instead of finding what was supposed to be ~5mph westerly wind, the trikes encountered SE 30mph winds. While Richard said the air smoothed out at 1500 feet, his speed over the ground was down to 11mph. This photo, taken by Brooke Pennypacker, shows the Class of 2011 in their mobile pen at our new Franklin County ‘short-stop’.