Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SATURDAY, May 28, 2016. Memorial Day Weekend. Camp outs.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: NNW 7 kts
Altitudes: 6000 msl +
Time Aloft: More than three hours.
Max Lift: 8 kts.
Temperature: Low 80's.
Comment: Nice beginning to the Memorial Day weekend.
Tow pilot: Harold Gallagher, Alex Caldwell.


It was a good beginning to the long weekend. The lift got better as the afternoon progressed so that by the time I took Rick Harvey for his first glider ride, the lift was nearly everywhere in the area called "The Avenal Effect". There weren't too many members out today, perhaps because it was the holiday weekend and many folks head to the mountains or the shore. Those that arrived had a good day with lift evident much of the day and in many areas, with cloud streets showing up as great markers.

Early in the day, Dan Gudgel took Carsten Moeller up in the Orange Crush and after a few flights, turned him loose since Carsten had already amassed sufficient glider flight time. Carsten lives in SLO but came from northwest Germany, south of Kiel, near Schleswig-Holstein.

Carl Engel arrived for soaring today, planning to stay overnight, and flying again tomorrow. I think Mario was also planning on an overnight camp out but not sure how many others were as well. I wasn't around when Carl returned from his long flight but with his latest aerial conquests, he likely had a long and high flight.

Clark Woolf had tow pattern tows which are preceding the all-important solo phase of his training. Since he won't be 14 until July 11, he still has time for more training flights and a renewed interest in, and focus on, the crucial issues of glider flying. We wish him much luck.

Mario Pauda after running the wing for the launch of the 1-26 piloted by Rick Eason.
Dan Gudgel helps Peter Sahlberg get ready for his launch in the 1-35.
Mario Pauda helping Clark Woolf wipe the canopy on the Orange Crush.
Don Flinn waiting for Carsten Moeller to go through the takeoff checklist.
Dan Gudgel waiting for Peter Sahlberg's pre-takeoff checklist to be finished.
Clark Woolf is just about to launch in the Orange Crush for pre-solo pattern flights.
Ethan Ronat readies his glider while Carsten and Mario look on.
Sarah Woolf running up her Cherokee 140 prior to heading back to Fresno with Clark as co-pilot.
Troy Wollman and Neiman Walker move the 1-26 back into position for a subsequent launch.
Two good guys from Cal Poly SLO, Troy Wollman and Neiman Walker.
Finally, Ethan gets his turn to launch and promises to send a story for publication.
Ethan Ronat launching down runway 31R for a nice long flight.
Mario, Troy, and Neiman preparing the rope link for another 1-26 flight.
Mario hooks up the Schweizer link while Neiman waits patiently.
Big Bird waiting for the afternoon's introductory flight for Rick Harvey.
Alex Caldwell took over the tow duties from Harold Gallagher for the remainder of the day.
Neiman Walker going up again since he had a good flight the first time.
Rick Eason flying home to Merced in his immaculate RV-?, (I keep getting mixed up on numbers.)
Most of the prevailing lift came from the heated metal supports of the solar farm.
Mario Pauda wanted a back seat checkout in the Orange Crush and got one for 45 minutes.
The under-construction solar farm to the southwest of our gliderport.
Markers were showing everywhere up and down the Temblor Range making cross country easier.
The solar farm has been a good neighbor ever since construction began.
Martin Caskey flying his Nugget in and around our Orange Crush flown by Mario Pauda.
Martin Caskey's Nugget in flight almost looks like an oil painting with clouds as background.
Martin may want to pick the best picture out of those shown here.
All good shots but some are sharper in focus than others. Martin had fun flying around us.
Neiman Walker flying the 1-26 in the same thermal as we, in the Orange Crush.
Neiman kept his distance but when higher could have moved more in front of us.
Rick Harvey was given a gift glider ride from his son, Scott. He really enjoyed the superb lift.
Rick Harvey after enjoying about a 36 minute flight.
Now that's a cloud street, maybe all the way down to San Diego, maybe!!! Also note Neiman Walker is landing the 1-26 on runway 31L after a very long flight, sharing our thermal.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

SATURDAY, May 21, 2016. A lot of fun flying.

Visibility: Unlimited under the cloud deck. Overdeveloped late afternoon.
Wind: 7 kts from the SE, changing to NW in late afternoon.
Altitudes: Above 8000 msl.
Time Aloft: Up to 5 hours for the high performance ships.
Max Lift: 8-10 kts early afternoon.
Temperature: Mid to high 70's.
Comment: Many excellent flights. New member, Joaquin Riviera.
Tow pilot: Julie Butler, Jim Rickey, Harold Gallagher

Click on the pictures for larger sizes.

It was an excellent day for both long and high flights. Morgan and Julie headed to the Pacific Coast along which they flew for more than 4 hours, easily the best flight of the day. I'm sure they posted that great flight on the OLC which most of you have a link taking you there.

Harry Davies and Ethan Ronat also flew long and high flights in their high performance sailplanes.

The Cal Poly group were out today flying both solo and preparing for their checkride for Troy Wollman and Jennifer Bauman.

Alex Caldwell assembled his Nimbus 3 for the first time in a long time and enjoyed the lift ever present under the overdeveloped cloud deck.

Our newest member, Joaquin Riviera brought his son, Joaquin, Jr. out to watch his Dad soar up over 5200 msl. in his first training flight as a member of CCSC.

Jesse McClintock flew again with me for the first time in many months. He just has to put two good weekends together of flying with me and he'll solo. That''s a hint, Jesse. :-)

Jennifer Bauman is closest to her checkride, with Troy Wollman not far behind. Good luck to both on getting their licenses.

Neiman Walker and Griff Malloy both flew solo flights and did well, both in time and altitude gained.

Thanks to Julie Butler early, and Jim Rickey later on, for their towing services especially when I had students and couldn't do both. Although we talked about the comedic scene if I did try to tow and head back to the glider along the tow rope. Easy to get back there, but tougher to return to the tow plane, assuming it's still tracking and climbing steadily. Good laughs.

The nice part about this is that Jim Rickey had a great flight after releasing in very strong lift. He wandered about the area above 6000 msl mostly and at times, at 7100 msl. In an earlier time frame, we had to call Troy Wollman to come down or he would have been up there until dark, naturally having fun.

Joaquin Riviera walks the wing of Big Bird for his second training flight, first as a member of CCSC.
Heading up, Joaquin Riviera continues to thermal very well.
Reaching 5000 msl, Joaquin is one happy pilot, his highest level.
5200 msl wasn't the highest of this thermal but we needed to get the glider back down.
Jesse McClintock waiting for the tow plane to move into position.
Jesse is going past 4000 msl on his way to a nice thermalling flight.
Ethan Ronat on tow passing the tow car. He had a very nice flight well into the mountains.
Mario Pauda flying the 1-26 in anticipation of bringing his own 1-26 to our gliderport.
Mario is launching into some pretty good thermals, with height and longevity.
Griff Malloy and Jennifer Bauman wait for the tow vehicle after Griff's flight.
The overdevelopment strangely didn't stop the thermals from reaching well above 7000 msl.
The high performance ships headed south along the cloud deck pictured above.
PG&E's solution to the danger of wires. Orange balls are legally to protect only them.
I don't think anyone at PG&E or Bolthouse ever flew an aircraft while trying to see these little balls from the air.
Jennifer Bauman on one of her pre-checkride flights required by the PTS.
Griff Malloy about to launch in Big Bird with Jesse McClintock assisting.
The wing is up, the tow plane takes out the tow rope slack and the launch is on.
Mario Pauda, Troy Wollman, Jennifer Bauman, and Jesse McClintock watch the sky for the tow plane.
Aha,  they've found it, up there against the cloudy sky. Look closely.
Big cloud street extending south all the way to Santa Barbara.
Alex Caldwell returning in his Nimbus 3 after an easy flight with such great L/D performance.
Alex on short final showing why it's critical to look carefully at incoming gliders. Hard to see, isn't it?
Alex landing his Nimbus 3, accompanied by no noise at all, as we always warn newcomers to our gliderport.
Harry Davies, Don Flinn, Morgan Hall, Julie Butler, and Jennifer Bauman all talk about the long flight.
With the over-development, the day remained beautifully cool, and comfortable, especially for the pilots inside those cockpits. Well until late in the day when Jim Rickey flew, the lift continued to push the gliders up over 6000 msl. A very interesting and satisfying day for all who ventured aloft.

See you all next weekend, Memorial Day, and hope we see more of the wonderful lift we've been getting almost every weekend this year.


Harold Gallagher