Hi from the USA

Hi from the USA

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Hello NOVA Pilots Team,

This is Nate Scales from Hailey Idaho in the USA.  I’m sorry that I was not able to attend the NPT meeting, so I just wanted to say ‘hello’ and touch base with everyone.

This year I flew the Triton 2 Light, size M.  It is a truly amazing glider. Thanks a lot Phillip and everyone else on the team for designing such a fun, stable, and good performing wing.  I can best describe the handling of the glider as ‘silky’ , although I would not call the pressure from the brakes or the speed bar light, they are extremely smooth and easy to use.

I have swapped out the standard NOVA brake toggles for a pair of ‘T’ toggles, and I would recommend that everyone try a pair, I think the handling becomes even more direct, and I also think my fingers stay warmer instead of taking a wrap.  In my not very scientific studies I have found the hook-in sweet spot to be around 108 kg, the handling is great, and the performance seems to be very good, I would love to hear where other pilots are hooking in on this glider.


The actual flying was the really fun part.  It didn’t seem like I was able to fly quite as much as I hoped, and I wasn’t able to regain the state record or brake the 300 km triangle barrier but I did have some super cool flights.  Our season started in May. The boys from Jackson met me at King mountain in the Lost River Range and we had a beautiful fly down to Mt. Borah (the highest peak in the state) and back to launch (about 125 km).  My vario went out on the way up to Borah, but the day was so good I was able to make it back with out any instruments (or able to log my flight).  The scenery was spectacular and I was able to pick out a couple of ski lines that I came back for later in the spring.

In the middle of August I organized the ‘Intermountain Wide-Open’ for the second year.  This is an informal contest for pilots in Idaho, Nevada, Montana and Wyoming (the Intermountain region).  The idea is an informal contest scored by XContest to promote flying and trash talking amongst the pilots in the neighboring states.  Entry is $100 and most of the money goes back to the pilots as prize money.  Each pilot is scored on their best 4 scores over a 2 week period, there are 2 classes, Scary comp ships (anything EN D and above), and Scared middle age (anything below EN D).  The comp had 17 pilots this year up from 12 last year. Nick Greece won the open class and I won the certified class.

The flying was great during the contest, but I think everyone there will remember the rescue for ever.  On the best day of the comp, and probably the summer, a large group of us took off from Baldy, the local site with a goal of Bozeman Montana, about 350 km away, the day was epic and we covered the first 50 km in a little over an hour, until we heard one of the pilots screaming into his radio that he was hurt (broken femur), and needed help.  A group of us landed as quickly as possible (not so easy on a booming day in the desert mountains) and we were able to carry him out of the mountains and get him into a helicopter in less than 3 hours and before the local search and rescue even arrived.  It was an amazing experience to see a group of competitors instantly come together to help a friend.

In September I got a call from Matt Dadam in Utah that the weather looked good for sky camping in the Wasatch.  I hopped in my truck and drove down immediately.  We had three days of some of the nicest flying I can ever remember, unbelievably smooth lift, and outrageous clouds.  I don’t think I’m exaggerating to say that we spent more than 25% of our time in the air above cloud base, soaring along the edges of the clouds and diving thru cloud tunnels, a truly religious experience.



The XC season is finished for the most part, but I’ve been having fun doing hike & fly’s and beginning to teach my 10 year old daughter how to ground handle.  I promised her she could start to learn to fly when she turned 10 (she’s been asking since she was 4, and 10 seemed reasonable to me at the time).  But 10 is really young, so we’ve decided she is only going to fly on the ground till she’s at least 12.  If any of you have an old xxs glider you want to get rid for a good price please let me know.

I hope you all had a great season.  Although I don’t yet know many of you, I am super proud to be a member of the NPT.  I really enjoy seeing your names and looking at your flights on XContest.  If you have any desire to come and fly the American West please look me up.  I will be running the Wide-Open again next year, and it is a great time to come a fly XC with a group of Dudes that are really hungry for distance and looking for a good time.

Get high, Go far,

Nate Scales

hailey, idaho USA