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[Fwd: [UTARC Chat] UX-7 Recory Attement #4]

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  • David Hoffman
    Bill, I heard about your balloon flight. But I was on top of Unaka Mountain trying to retrieve the UX-7 payload from last weekend. Below is the story: David
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2006
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      Bill, I heard about your balloon flight. But I was on top of Unaka
      Mountain trying to retrieve the UX-7 payload from last weekend. Below is
      the story:

      David Hoffman - KE4FGW


      ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
      Subject: [UTARC Chat] UX-7 Recory Attement #4
      From: "Jonathan" <jculver1@...>
      Date: Mon, March 6, 2006 6:06 pm
      To: "UTARC MAIL LIST" <chat@...>
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Friday:
      Got gear together and ready to head out on Saturday. Made a few last
      phone calls to see about securing a raft from a Contact that Greg had
      made in Bristol.

      Saturday:
      Well I had secured my own vehicle and Tom Ogle, his son (Thomas) and
      David Hoffman
      Set out early to find a place to camp and size up the payload once again.
      As they pulled off the road to spot the pay load and gaze at it with
      binoculars, one of the Unaka Mountain Search and Rescue Team vehicles
      pulled. A man stepped out and was looking with his binoculars also. Well
      Tom and David's Curiosity got the better of them and they walked over to
      the man and asked, " what are u looking for?" Sure enough he was looking
      for what they were looking for the payload.
      After some Talking Tom and David not only secured us a raft and the
      County's search and Rescue but found us a camp site right behind the
      logging company, witch also conveniently was where the Search and REscue
      team launches there raft from.
      So i arrived about 5ish and meet Tom, his son and David at the barbuque
      restaurnt. And we all had dinner. And for those how attempted the
      recovery the weekend before, the barbaque is good and it wasn't just our
      hunger speaking. We headed back to camp where i met the Duck! (it was
      actually a canidiain goose but we just called it a duck so much easier).
      This duck was insane it tried to attack my car and it tired to eat Thomas
      and almost ran off with Davids shoe. But we managed to survive that and
      once we got to our camp site the duck left us alone as long as we didn't
      get to close to it again. ONce back at our Camp we built a fire and
      stayed in front of the fire until we decided to head to bed. (time
      unknown) We believe that it got down in the teens Saturday night but we
      all survived the dreaded cold.

      Sunday
      WE got up and had some pop tarts and frozen granola bars that we
      heated with the fire that Tom had gotten up early to build. (before 7am)
      The Search and Rescue Team came right around 8am as they had promised.
      The also brought us some coffee and some busicuts from hardies. Well as
      part of the team was getting ready the Older lady (the mom of the team)
      was attacked by our friendly neighborhood duck. several phrases where
      repeated like "Ill Kick your But!!!", "Dont do it!!", "no No NO NO!!!"
      all of these were accompanied by a moving foot and the 1st phrase was
      repeated more than the others. The duck finally left her alone.
      We started off at about 830 across the river fully suited and
      everything, Life jackets, and Helmets, and oars. For most of the team
      this was our 1st White Water Rafting Experience. They also explained to
      us alot of the dangers in the river and really made me hope that when
      mike when last Tuesday that they at least had life jackets on. This
      apparently isn't a very friendly river and by the looks of the rocks as
      we rowed across i would agree with them on that.
      The left us one of there men and we started up the steep steep trail
      to the payload. I will note that the path from the Hillmans Property was
      alot easier to access the payload then the way we went. We where having
      to us trees to support our selves up the hill. and it was lot harder on
      our ankles and knees than the other way.
      2hours later we got to the payload and started to attempt to shoot a
      line w/ sling shoots at/through/near the payload and the parachute. We
      got a line thought the hoop of the parachute but when we tried to bring a
      stronger line thought it it would pass through and after several attempts
      with the cord provided we snapped the line. We then tried to secure a
      line in a tree so that Tom could use some of his equipment to climb up
      his repleing rope. Same thing happened. By this time we where all tired
      and Tom had somewhere else that he Had to be. We tried for about 3-4
      Hours to get it down and we where unsuccessful. We headed back to our
      pick up point and radioed in for our raft to come back and get up.
      The Unaka Mountain Search and Rescue Team are all licensed HAMs and
      they use HAM frequencies for a lot of there operations so that they don't
      tie up the public frequencies (sheriff, fire, etc.) So as we where
      heading up the mountain they asked us to check in so we all checked in as
      we headed up the mountain and there were a few people who actually got
      back on the repeater and said oh hey what can we do to help. well to bad
      they where not willing to bring us a lunch on the hillside but we all got
      a few qso's in and had some fun.

      Things for Next time (if there is one)

      * A Bow and arrow w/ a line attached
      o line that is high test line
      * braided nylon rope
      o there was some nylon sting there that was just twisted and
      it would get caught in any little thing and it tangled up like
      non other
      * Possibly some type of fire arm to shoot down the payload by either
      destroying the parachute or hitting the line
      o several safety measures would need to be put into place for
      this one.
      * climb the trees and use that for a better vantage pt. to either
      sling shot a line across or cut a limb off.
      * cut the branch off.
      o we rand out of time but if u could get a line across the
      branch up there and use the little saw that is in the stump in
      that area u could possibly cut the branch down. yet again u
      will want to use braided nylon rope.

      If we do this again it needs to be something that we plan on spending all
      day on. bring in a packed launch, water to last the day, and a lot of
      weights or rocks if u are going to use a sling shot. I would NOT CROSS
      THE RIVER WITHOUT the help of trained knowledgeable people, whither it be
      the Unaka Mt. Search and Rescue Team, or someone else!! THE RIVER IS VERY
      DANGEROUS!!

      We didn't recover the payload but we did have some fun and we definitely
      made some contacts. The search and rescue team has been challenged to get
      it down but they have also offered to take us across the river again.
      possibly at a different point i hope. We left the area saying wow we hope
      a nother one lands in this area. All the people were very friendly and
      helpful once u convince them that u are not drug dealers. If anyone would
      like to do it agian please let me know i would like to go up there again
      its a fun but tough adventure. Let em know if u have any other questions.

      Jonathan Culver
      KI4GBV
      UTARC President
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