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   xoxoxoBruce  Monday Aug 10 03:30 PM

August 10th, 2015: Soft Landing

Mike Graves took his beautiful JS 1 up into New Mexico’s skies to score some OLC points for his club. After 223 kilometers he figured he couldn’t make it back home and decided to land in a dry lake bed in the Estancia Valley, 30 miles south of Moriarty’s airfield.

Usually a good place to safely bring a glider back down… He left his high performance ship on site, headed back home and uploaded the flight to OLC, adding an interesting comment: “Hopefully this plea will be seen by my fellow MSC pilots for whom I try to log miles.

I will depart Moriarty airport tomorrow at 6 am to make an interesting retrieve from a muddy dry lakebed. Please wear old shoes and clothes.”

In an all-day effort five people fortunately rescued the “poor” JS-1. Mark Mocho who did not witness the scene himself but was the first to listen to the rescue-team's stories explains: “These guys deserve the Navy Cross for superb efforts in a hostile and excessively soggy theater of combat. The retrieve was a punishment suitable for the ninth circle of Hell.

The only thing that might have made it worse would be salt water crocodiles. But crocodiles might have provided some traction, which was sorely lacking. Everybody was forced to work barefoot, as the ooze sucked your shoes off immediately. And the smell was a bouquet of sulfur, farts and rotting skunks.”
Thank God we don't have odor-photography yet! Imagine your facebook friend tries to share that picture with you...

Mike's fine glider had to be elevated and moved over muddy surface about 80 meters to the lake border and then wheeled another 250 meters to where the trailer could be loaded on firmer soil. Mark thinks that only a $100,000+ glider is worth the effort. “A pilot of a less valuable ship should simply leave it out there, notify the insurance company and file a claim. No adjuster would volunteer to examine the ‘wreckage’.”

Gravdigr  Monday Aug 10 03:34 PM

Well, that stinks.

Great find, Bruce.

Undertoad  Monday Aug 10 07:10 PM

outstanding find, great pic great story!

Gravdigr  Tuesday Aug 11 03:01 PM

I liked the pic, too. It tells the story itself. Well, except the mudstank.

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