I decided to start posting my experiences with the Florida comps before I even get there. I leave tomorrow morning, April 11, at 6:15 for Florida from rainy Northern California. For the last couple of months I have been preparing for this trip, physically (running 20 to 30 miles a week), mentally and financially (working weekends when I can, which cuts into flying). All I can think about for the last several days is “have I forgotten anything?” I installed a new Wills Wing control frame on my Atos and purchased a new Rotor harness. Transferring my radio installation, parachute, water bag, hook knife etc has been a pain. I made a couple of mods to the glider in addition to the control frame. I received my replacement tow bridle, but it looks a little short. I will have to compare it with others once I get there. I have not been able to try my vario mount on a tow cart, another item to check once I am there.

I made room reservations, car reservation and shipped my glider ($317 insured for $9,000). The glider arrived at Wallaby last week with a small hole in the crate. Now I have to wonder about damage. I arranged a driver for both meets. I still have to build some kind of rack on the rental car. I only have Friday to do that. I should have left a day earlier. I was able to fit all my stuff in two bags. One bag has my harness, vario, gps, second gps (for the retrieve car), radio, flying clothes, and other miscellaneous items. It weighs 50 pounds. The second bag has my clothes, tool kit, third radio, car antenna, batteries, cables and a bunch of junk I thought would be useful. Now I wonder what the airport screeners are going to think when they see all these batteries, wires, radios etc. I just heard today that the bomb squad at San Francisco blew up a guy's shoes because he had electric heaters in them. They blew them up AFTER they knew it was just electric heaters. I guess they figured since they were there anyway……..

I really hate flying commercial. I only like to fly if I am in the left front seat. I prefer to be the master of my own destiny. I am reminded of an old joke that goes like this: A priest if sitting next to an elderly lady who is praying as the airplane is taxing for takeoff. The priest says to her “there is no need to worry, if your time is up, your time is up”, to which the lady responds, “I am praying that the pilot's time is not up”. The airline seats are too small for me as well. And I won’t go into all the bad things that have happened to me on commercial flights, too many to list. But, I hate driving more than I hate flying commercial. I will be glad when I can fly myself to the comp.

I don’t know how much time I will have to read email and to post to the list. I will probably be posting in the blind. Don’t take offence if I fail to respond.

Vince