Saturday, April 2, 2011

A really bad day hovering 2

Sorry no pictures of this adventure trust me you really wouldn't want to see any if I had the time to take them read on and you'll see what I mean
After flying east on this river that is dubbed the “Worlds shallowest longest lake” I was able to turn the craft around and head toward my real destination goal on this river and that was the dam just to the west of the launch. I had flown over the dam with my GT and I felt pretty confident I could do the same with my 800. I had already picked out a point I could run the small craft over with relative smooth accent to the top side of the rock dam, I think this was used as a mill dam at one time but I’m not sure. There is some type of foundation on one side of this thing so I can only imagine that is what it was used for. It is a very crude dam. On the way up the dam I stayed to the path I had taken with my small 10 foot hover, much to my surprise and dismay the 800 hit bottom going up this thing. I wasn’t to keen about smacking the bottom again so after flying only a few yards up this rather narrow river that pretty much ended about 100 yards west due to a massive tree jam I turned and headed back toward the dam considering my options. I really didn’t want to hit bottom again so I hovered at the top of the dam while I picked out a spot that had a greater amount of water running over it. (Did you know that the reason more water runs over a certain part of a rock dam is because the rocks are larger in that spot? I didn’t but I do now!) With the idea of protecting the bottom of the craft I stayed to the left of where I had flown up the dam and revved up the engine and the craft lunged toward my predetermined "easier" to descend the dam spot. It didn’t take long for me to discover the aforementioned truth about the cause of more water/larger rocks concept. The front of the hover struck the big and I mean really big bolder that was covered by the large amount of water. It would have been bad enough had this bolder been a typical stream type rock that was smoothed out by erosion but this thing had a jagged crown to it so not only did the hover hit the bolder but it lodged on the jagged crown of this thing and hung there like a speared carp, in horror I glanced at my youngest son whom I had nearly launched out of the craft and the look on his face told me I had really screwed up. First when we hit the bolder it threw him forward and he hit one of the panels on the windshield and popped it out. The panel projected from it’s housing like a ping-pong ball off a paddle and was nowhere to be seen. I realized at that point we were in big trouble I glanced back at my sons friends who were nearly vomiting in the back of the hover as I’m sure they thought their young lives were over with all the noise and confusion of the hover and water and damage and shear terror of the moment. It is weird what runs through your mind at that point but all I could think about was I wonder where that window panel is at and can I find it? In what I now believe was the providence of the hover god something told me to gun the engine and with that our moment of terror ceased as the hover lunged forward scrapping the entire length of the bottom of the hovercraft as it went forward and off the bolder into the lower part of the river. We had survived the ordeal and no one drowned. A sigh of relief came out of my mouth as I flew the fifty yards to the boat launch, turned a 90 degree angle and brought the hover to rest on the bank just west of the boat launch. I thought this tragedy is bad but at least it’s over. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

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