Gliders in Juan Cojo (I)

"Limping John" (Juan Cojo) is the area where local pilots found a flying site on private land.

The slope is located above the town of Girardota about 15 miles northwest of Medellín. This site features a big pasture to land in, and it also has a DS spot where you can fly without interfering with front-side traffic. At only 6000 feet, this is low-elevation flying.





Juan Cojo
We meet at a small taverna and pile all our stuff and ourselves into Carlos' pick-up for the bumpy ride to the flying site.
The road is a little rocky and steep in places. Rodolfo keeps an eye on us, while Jorge and I attempt to keep anything from sliding off.
Arrival at the finca (ranch house), where the land owners live. We are grateful for the permission to fly on their land.
Hiking across the LZ pasture to the launch spot. The main slope is on the right beyond the tree line.
View from the slope to the town of Girardota and downstream along the Medellín River valley.
North is the prevailing wind direction, and usually it blows very reliably; light at first, and increasing in the afternoon.
Jorge's Mini-Blade about to chase the chulos (vultures). We're looking east toward the "hills" around Medellín.
The black spots are chulos, which mark thermals. Careful, because they can be a bit slow in the air.
Luis (left) and Jorge have organized F3F races here. Somewhere up on the horizon is the Matasanos flying site.
I let whoever wanted to fly my Stork. Those who got over the fear of breaking it, really enjoyed it.
The slope next to the LZ behind the tree line also worked well, and there were less chulos to dodge on speed runs.
The Stork coming home. Approach and landing here were the easiest of all the sites we visited on this trip.
Jorge's son Andrés is taking a turn on the sticks. He's doing well even with Dad's quick little planes.
Carlos, Rodolfo, Dieter, and Alejandra who is flying boyfriend Rodolfo's plane. DS going on in the background.
The year-round pleasant weather gives Medellín the nickname "City of Eternal Spring."
A slope race. Jorge's plane (white) uses a Surprise-9 F5B fuselage, Rodolfo's is a Tayrona designed by Jorge.
The slope at Juan Cojo, like many around the world, is clear except for this one lonely tree...
...which occasionally jumps up to grab a plane. Trees growing on slopes are always taller than they appear...
...especially if one can look down upon it. At least, it has a nice flat "landing zone" on top.
Designed and built by Luis as a 1-design EPP racer, this prototype flew very well and by now several may be racing.
As the wind comes up in the afternoon, it's SRTL time. The one down-side of Juan Cojo is that sinking out is inadvisable...
...but the SRTL had no problem coming back up even after extended "beach runs."
Weighing a bit more than the much bigger Stork, the SRTL does land noticeably hotter...
...and at this landing, a clump of grass partially sheared off the taped-on wing as designed.
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