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Flying in South East Michigan


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#1 Andrew Brown

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:35 AM

I wanted to start a new topic as "My son stole my Rev" was starting to get hi-jacked by us in SE Michigan.
Pete and Cgregurich73, it sounds like we should find a time to fly. Jason and I don't normally fly at Lyon Twp Park, but we would be willing to meet up some time. We don't have a "normal" flying time, thanks to swimming, cub scouts, baseball, the random weather here, etc. We do try to make it out to SchoolCraft on Wed nights, but that looks like a show stopper for Pete. I'm open to suggestions.

Are there any others in the area?


Thanks,

Andy

#2 --Pete

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:58 PM

Like I said, my "off" times are Sun, Mon, and Wed after about 4 PM. I'm retired, so I can do days, or any of the other 4 evenings.

I'm based near M-14 just east of Ann Arbor, so Scoolcraft and Lyon are each about 1/2 hour for me. If there are other fields, especially up I-96 a bit, to be closer to Cgregurich73, I'd be willing to consider them.
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#3 cgregurich73

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 01:16 PM

Like I said, my "off" times are Sun, Mon, and Wed after about 4 PM. I'm retired, so I can do days, or any of the other 4 evenings.

I'm based near M-14 just east of Ann Arbor, so Scoolcraft and Lyon are each about 1/2 hour for me. If there are other fields, especially up I-96 a bit, to be closer to Cgregurich73, I'd be willing to consider them.

I have been out to school craft several times on weds never see rev flyers lol I am willing to meet any were lyon twn is closer.
So we should meet.

Chris
My wife can't tell me to go fly a kite anymore..

#4 Andrew Brown

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 05:05 PM

Chris,


When I fly at Schoolcraft, I'm normally out with my Widow Maker (Blue and Yellow, of course....). Unfortunately, my schedule prohibits me from flying there on a Wednesday until probably mid July. As for Lyon Twp Park, this week is tough for me, but my calendar says we are open the evenings of Tue and Thur of next week (6/21 and 6/23). Do either of those days work?


Thanks,
Andy

#5 cgregurich73

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 05:12 PM

I have been out to school craft several times on weds never see rev flyers lol I am willing to meet any were lyon twn is closer.
So we should meet.

Chris

Thursday might work wife is out of town for a concert just have to figure when I have tto drop her off at her friend.
My wife can't tell me to go fly a kite anymore..

#6 --Pete

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:39 PM

Tuesday 6/21 would work. Thursday 6/23 is a little iffier; I have a zoning variance meeting over in Algonac (90 min from home and then 30+ min to either flying field). If I plan well (like packing kites ahead of time), I should be able to reach either field at a reasonable hour.

Note well: Lyon Twp Park is a very large place. Finding each other will require some planning or some kind of recognition sign. My banner is pretty good, but I might be late getting there Thursday.

Posted Image
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#7 Andrew Brown

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:08 AM

I'm based near M-14 just east of Ann Arbor, so Scoolcraft and Lyon are each about 1/2 hour for me. If there are other fields, especially up I-96 a bit, to be closer to Cgregurich73, I'd be willing to consider them.


Pete, I have an office in Ann Arbor (Hogback and Washtenaw) and pass by you fairly often . Some nice mornings, like today, I stop for an hour at Northville Community Park and fly. I have no attachment to that park other than it is on the way, and can stop by a closer field to you on the way if you want to fly in the mornings.

-Andy

#8 --Pete

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:36 AM

LOL It depends on what you call 'mornings'. I can't think of a good field which is both on your way and handy for me (Ford Rd, east of Prospect).

You would think I could find a place to fly on 50 acres, but it is mostly trees and scrub fields. I hate to get started mowing large areas, and the surrounding trees would scramble the wind anyway.

I suppose we could do some "street" flying in front of the house:

Posted Image

Most of the time there aren't a bunch of pickups parked out front.

I took that one day when we had a 70' man-lift around for some other purpose.
I figured out how to run it, but chickened out at about 60'. It just moved around too much.
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#9 Andrew Brown

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:34 AM

Pete,

That's quite a setup you've got going there! I pulled up the sat images of the area and there looks like a pretty open field next door to you to the West. Is that not usable? Otherwise, you are right, there is a lot of forest all around.

Andy

#10 --Pete

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:43 PM

The field to the west is planted to crops, and the guy who farms it wouldn't like a lot of trampling around. It makes it hard to harvest. I haven't checked to see what is planted this year, but the local standard is corn (sucking all the nitrogen out) alternating yearly with soybeans (replacing it).

I have what is called a "farm strip". 800 feet wide and a half mile deep, but mine hasn't been farmed since the mid-60s. I'm trying to hurry it into an Oak Savannah where suitable, since that is what it would turn into if left alone for a couple thousand years. I have most of the invasive species under control (Buckthorn and Autumn Olive, mostly) but it's an on-going battle. We do prescribed burns every year. The oaks like fire; the invasives don't. The 15-20 acres of swamp north of the house get along without much interference from us.

The only (partially) open areas are east of the house (small/tree surrounded and a bat house on a pole) and down near the road and east of the drive (scrubby/line tangly). The place that looks like a circular clearing partway down the drive is a 40' high spoil pile from digging the foundations.

Like I said: street flying. Surrounded by wind obstacles and not too much area. The light circle in the center is about 40' across; the full circle 90'. Asphalt with pavers in the middle. You would want skid-guards on your end-caps or wear them out fast.
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#11 Baloo

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:08 PM

Get that Man lift back in, you should be able to find some clean wind at 70ft I would think.

Now that WOULD be worth watching :kid_devlish:

Nice looking place Pete.

#12 --Pete

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 04:38 AM

I would not like to have a 70 foot man-lift UP in good kite-flying winds, much less ADD the pull of a kite sideways! (I've actually got official training for running a man-lift when the construction crew got their training.)

I had more time on the construction site than any other single person. I was out here for at least 6 hours a day for nearly nine years during construction, plus I spent about 20 hours a week for 10 years making design decisions. (This is the most "over-designed" house in the world, maybe.)

The New House. (with more pics)

BTW, the house is one of the reasons I didn't get any kite flying in for 20 years. I was pretty much fully-occupied.
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#13 Andrew Brown

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 07:28 AM

Pete,


Your house is amazing! Your trim carpenters must have loved you. Let me know if you remove any decent sized trees as woodturning is my primary hobby (kites, well probably not a good thing to say on this forum, is secondary). I'm always looking to reclaim fresh cut logs into salad bowls, decorative bowls, and hollow forms, and I usually compensate the supplier with a few! For your Oak Savannah, are you replanting the oaks or clearing out around it to encourage oak growth? I'm trying to track down a couple of small white oaks for my yard and I'm striking out at local nursaries. Christianson's has a few, but they don't really like dealing with DIY'ers. I was wondering if you had a few tips.

When I was driving in to work today, I looked over at the soccer fields on the north side of Geddes by Concordia College as a reasonable site not too far from you or where I work. If mornings are too early (9ish), lunch time or early afternoons on my way home may work as well. Let me know a date though as I'm not always in Ann Arbor during the week.

Andy

#14 --Pete

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:10 AM

It's funny. I knew of those fields (and the ones by WCC) but (based on my old flying habits of long dual lines and single line kites) I've never liked them because of the nearby (hi-voltage!!!) power lines. They would make great Rev fields.

Mostly, we are burning around existing oaks (oaks don't mind fire much) to free them up to grow. I've planted a few oaks in places where they were thin, but they have been all different kinds of oaks. As a wood, I certainly prefer white oak (and quarter-sawn, to boot) to any other variety of oak. I have a bit of local cherry, ricked and dried, but no oak that I can recall. Any sizeable trees removed were a long time ago, and we dodged them where possible (you can see the twists in my driveway).

And, yes, the trim carpenters did love me. One guy plus an assistant, spent over three months doing the ceiling trim in the living-room. Actually, almost all the the construction guys loved this job. There were a few who just didn't like working to such a high standard, but they drifted away or were let go fairly quickly. There were plenty of guys who wanted a chance to work on a project like that. A few came from as far as Texas and California, just because they had HEARD about this house, and moved here just to take a chance that they MIGHT be able to get hired on. We actually made almost all of our trim (over 100 different trim profiles) and millwork on site. The local shops just couldn't provide high enough quality. We had router, shaper, and mill-working knives made for all the non-standard profiles.

We had a full crew (4-6 guys) of electricians who were on this job for nearly 8 years. You should see the beautiful, parallel-bend conduit arrays they made. All wiring in the house (power and signal) is in conduit. Miles and miles of it. We tapered down to a two-man crew (the two Chucks) towards the end. The smart-house guys (computer house control) never really finished; we just ran out of money to keep them here. They still have to come back for detail work occasionally.
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#15 cgregurich73

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:55 PM

Yeah pete,

Your house is absolutely awsome I love the photography done to it I see he did what is called hdr photography for it. Its used in alot for architecture and landscape. Shoot u can street fly in the driveway. lol
My wife can't tell me to go fly a kite anymore..

#16 --Pete

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:34 PM

Yeah pete,

Your house is absolutely awsome I love the photography done to it I see he did what is called hdr photography for it. Its used in alot for architecture and landscape. Shoot u can street fly in the driveway. lol


Stanley Livingston did a great job photographing the house. Unfortunately he passed away last year, very unexpectedly. He was also a great photographer of blues musicians, and had a book in progress: "Blues in Black and White".

Just checked: he finished the BOOK.
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#17 --Pete

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 02:46 PM

New SLK flyer based in Northville on the Kitelife forum is also interested, but may have a conflict for 6/23.

He is getting a 16' Sky Bird (delta-like) as his first kite. I expect it would be good if there were some experienced people around the first time he flies it.
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#18 Andrew Brown

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:14 PM

Pete,

I tried to touch base with him through the kitelife forum, but my account seems to be messed up and I cannot post (I just created a new account and it doesn't seem to be properly activated). A 16' kite is a handful and I don't think I'd want to try it as a first "big" kite. You may want to recommend to him to go out to Schoolcraft on a Wed as Jon and Wayne have been putting up some large ones, wind permitting, and I'm sure would be happy to help him out for the maiden launch.

Are we still on for 6/23? I'm thinking we won't make it out there until about 6 pm. I am also not very familiar with the park other than my brief trip there for the kite festival a couple of weeks ago. Where do you want to meet?

Thanks,

Andy

#19 --Pete

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 08:36 PM

I still plan to try for the 23rd. It will (as always) depend on the weather. Not going to high ground in a thunderstorm. Not driving up there for a dead calm, either. We will have a better idea when we get closer to the day.

My single experience with the park suggests that the best flying is on the downwind end of the "mesa". There seems to be quite a bit of turbulence where the wind has freshly risen up to the top. Beyond that, look for kites and then look for me in the yellow cap. I also suggest printing out a "map" of the park from google earth. The paved roads and the dirt roads are a bit of a challenge from ground level. I think it might be easier with some kind of reference. (Watch out for badly eroded roads where they go up or down steep hills.)
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#20 Andrew Brown

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 11:51 AM

Pete and Chris,


Just checking if we are still on for flying 6/23 at Lyon Park. I'll try to be there about 6, weather permitting. It looks hit and miss. I'll have my teal and black B-series, and my son will probably be up with a black and red 1.5.

Thanks,
Andy




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