Sunday, January 11, 2015

January 10, 2015 -- Excellent activity for the date!

Visibility:         Averaged 5 miles.
Wind:              4 MPH was the highest gust reported all day at the NWS station across the street.
Altitudes:        Whatever you were released at, save for Andrew.
Time Aloft:     Andrew, 1-1/2 hours.
Max Lift:        
Temperature:  54° @ 9:00, peak of 68° shortly before 2:00
Comment:      Good "shake off the rust" day.  Weather was fantastic, air quality was terrible. 
Tow pilots:      Dan Gudgel and Harold Gallagher.

The RASP was not predicting much lift for the day.  Not a surprise for middle of January.  Peter Sahlberg said, "I got 120 FPM....for 120 milliseconds."

Andrew was able to go to the west side of the ridge and find lift.   Those of us on the ground were mostly talking about the "sled rides" and poor visibilities when somebody noted that Andrew had been gone a long time.  Talking afterwards he stated that he could have stayed up longer, but wanted to get down early enough so that he could leisurely disassemble the glider and put it in the trailer.
RASP was not predicting mush lift.  It was spot-on.

Early arrivals came across a geo-exploration/surveying crew working on the gliderport grounds.  It was a little bit disconcerting, as none of owners present knew anything about it.  After some discussions, everybody seemed to be happy.  Dan even took the foreman, Rex,  up for a ride.
Some of the geo-exploration/surveying equipment between runway 7-15 and the south fence.

One of the pieces of equipment, probably the transmitter.

Harold and Dan swapped towpilot duties during the day.

Harold about to do another launch.

Dan Gudgel is giving Philip Gerfaud instruction prior to Philip's first flight  in our 2-33.
Graeme McIntosh is running the wing for Philip on his first takeoff.

Philip's first landing.

Just a couple of inches from Philip's third and last landing for the day.  Welcome to CCSC!

For a day in January, there was an impressive amount of activity.  In the picture below are seven people, plus one in the towplane, plus one behind the camera.  Jan Zanutto and Martin Casakey were also out earlier looking at parts of the "Big Bird Project."  Eleven people that I can account for, and I may have missed others.
Seven people and (parts of) four sailplanes are in this picture.

Tyler Bishop has just broke ground in the 1-26.
Peter Sahlberg has company as he awaits the towplane to return.
Six observers plus Andy Reistetter in the pilots seat.
Andy, the canopy and your hat look real close to each other.
Tyler Bishop is hooking up Graeme McIntosh.
Andrew Ouellet is all smiles and giving a "thumbs up" to launch his recently acquired sailplane
Traffic Alert!  Andrew's launch is held when the helicopter supporting the geosurvey is over the field and moving in a path that we cannot predict.
Finally Andrew gets to launch.

Overall, a pretty good day, and if you consider the date, January 10th, it was an exceptional day!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Big Bird Gets its Feathers plucked, Day 2

Visibility:         Hazy
Temperature:  Cooler than yesterday.
Comment:      No airport operations again today.

A team gathered again to tear down Big Bird in preparation for the rebuild.  Saturday great big pieces were removed, Sunday was the small stuff.

Jan watches Andrew drill out rivets from the rudder..
Frank and Richard work on removing the seatpan which is riveted onto the frame.
John is removing the aileron bellcrank from the airframe.
Pancho is drilling out a rivet to free an aluminum "former" from the steel frame.
Frank is dosconnecting the last of the wires, etc., between the nosebowl and frame.
Several eyeballs are checking to make sure all of the rivets holding the nosebowl onto the frame have been found and drilled out.
The nosebowl is ready to be removed.
The nosebowl is off.
Many hands work to free a stubborn longeron.
 The first step of the preparation is to clean the airframe good.  Since sandblasting can actually peen over a small crack and make it invisible, any suspect areas are first scraped clean of paint.
Martin is using a knife to scrape paint off of suspect areas.
This is the right-hand attachment for the wing strut.  While not unsafe--yet--this is certainly not good and needed attention ASAP.
Right-hand wing strut attach fitting.
Rear wing spar attachment.
More rust.
More rust.
The consensus was that the dent on the tube below has been there for a long time, probably before it was painted the last time.  The dent eventually caused the crack and, and eventually would have been a complete break.
This tube is what holds the forward spar of the vertical stabilizer.

 Dent and crack on tube that holds main spar of vertical stabilizer.
Here is the frame at the end of the day.  No "attached" parts are remaining.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Big BIrd gets its Feathers Plucked

Visibility:          Great
Temperature:   Very nice
Comment:        No Operations today

Today was the appointed day to start the rebuild project on Big Bird.  The runway was still a little soft in some places from the recent rains, and it was decided no operations would take place.  Nobody minded--they came to work anyway.

Jan Zanuto lowers the tail after John Harbick removes the tail stand.
Jan pulls Big Bird to the work hangar.
Jeff Richardson and John Harbick remove the first piece.
Jan Zanutto and Richard Walker work on removing the wing strut while John Harbick works on the interior.
Strut bolts are being removed.
Right wing is on the trailer.  Jan is loosening the left wing strut bolts.
Jan Zanutto makes the first cut in the fabric to make it easier to get to the vertical stabilizer and rudder components.
John Harbick (hidden behind tail) Richard Walker, Dan Gudgel and Martin Caskey remove vertical stabilizer with rudder.

Left wing is off.
Morgan comments about how much lighter this wing is compared to 5H's wing.
Getting the wing to its storage place on the trailer.

Jan, Richard, and John wrestle the wing and trailer for the holes to line up.
Jan is slicing off more of the skin.
The left side is hanging loose.
The insides are bared.
The skin is falling off.
Skin is on the ground.
Dan Gudgel is holding the instrument panel prior to clipping the tubes.
Morgan Hall, Jeff Richeardson, Martin Caskey, Jan Zanutto and Richard Walker eye the frame.
Lifting the fuselage up to the "rotisserie," where it can be rotated.
At the end of the day.