Sunday, May 1, 2016

SATURDAY, April 23, 2016. New Member, Joshua Egorov. Welcome Josh.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: Mostly steady from the NNW.
Altitudes:6000 +
Time Aloft: Several hours.
Max Lift: 500 fpm
Temperature: High 70's
Comment: Clark Woolf best flight ever. Jim Rickey up a long time, showing where the lift was.
Tow pilot: Ethan Ronat

It was an interesting day because very few high performance sailplane pilots showed up. The weather turned out to be excellent for soaring above 6000 msl. Clark Woolf and I were first aloft and it took no time at all to reach 5000 msl. Then Clark struggled to find out how to descend from that height when the thermals were everywhere and he couldn't get down, even with the dive brakes open, and the nose pointed down at 60 mph. In spite of that, it was his best flight ever and he worked the thermals completely without any input from me in the back seat.

We are fortunate to have another young man, a high school student, Joshua Egorov, join the club today. He came out with his Dad, Gary and brother, all to offer support in Josh's pursuit of a new hobby. Unfortunately by the time they arrived in late afternoon the lift had begun it's daily demise, with all the cloud markers disappearing at the same time. That's an interesting phenomenon because it shows the moment when the air mass changes quickly and lift ceases. So, we didn't have a lot of time in the air and the lift break up was accompanied by a lot of rough air, mostly sink. Next time will be much better for Josh.

Those who showed up today were glad they did. Those who chose to stay home missed a fun day well above 4000 msl, with clear blue skies and mild temperatures.

Clark Woolf preflighting the glider before his training lessons.
Sergio Grajeda doing a walk-around of the glider he's soon to fly.
Sergio Grajeda and Alex Caldwell nearly ready to launch for another training flight.
Clark Woolf at 5000 msl on his best flight ever, highest and longest.
We lingered at 5000 msl because the lift was so strong we struggled to descend.
One weekend of the year they have sand drags just south of Avenal.
We can't deny the beauty of Big Bird as she flies around the area.
Sergio and Alex having fun beneath our thermal, sometimes they marked the thermals.
Much easier photographing the glider from above rather than when they were higher.
You can almost see Sergio's curly hair in this sharp photo.
Nice view against the mountain background. They had fun for more than an hour.
Andy Reistetter enjoying the 1-26 and the great lift he found.
Looks like we could jump into the cockpit with Andy as he flies underneath us.
Andy finally outclimbed us so no more photographs.
All those nice cumulus were beckoning to everyone, including the 2-33 fliers.
Alex  about to take a visitor for a demo ride in the Orange Crush.
Luis Mendoza showed up with two friends from the area and he suggested a glider ride.
Luis here after the ride and really enjoyed the experience.
Sergio Grajeda walking past the glider he enjoys flying.
Andy Reistetter is going flying again in the 1-26, for another good time aloft.
Finally as the day progressed, Jim Rickey decided it was his turn to soar.
And did he ever soar, over 6000 msl, up several hours, showing everyone where the lift was.
Jim is always allowing everyone else to fly before him and it's about time he took a turn.
Jim is looking good behind the tow plane and just about to lift the wheel off the runway.
Big Bird is airborne and clearing the obstructions.
We didn't see Jim for a long time since he's good at finding and working thermals.
This time Sergio decided to take the Orange Crush with Peter Sahlberg running the wing..
Richard Walker about to board his Schweizer 1-35 and head for the lift where others were.
Jim Rickey high above 6000 msl with photo taken with a telephoto lens.
Jim working the lift and those coming after him can't miss that yellow Big Bird.
Richard Walker launching in the 1-35 will also find the lift that was in very specific areas.
Andy Reistetter is back from his second flight of the day, and happy to have done it.

A snaky dust devil arises from the work area of the soon-to-be solar farm.
Richard Walker is going flying again and this time should be much better than last.
Joshua Egorov in the Orange Crush for his first flight lesson as a new CCSC member. Dad, Gary, and brother alongside providing support for his choice of a new hobby.
Linda from Avenal, along with Andy Reistetter and Peter Sahlberg enjoy the beautiful day.
Linda's friend, Linda, on the pole, with Steve Schery sitting and Andy listening to the chatter.
On Sunday, April 24th, Peter Mersino flew to Harris Ranch to retrieve Carl Engel whose glider is to the left. They did well on the retrieve off a short and narrow runway and returned home to Avenal successfully.

We look forward to seeing all of you back at Avenal next Saturday when we trust the lift will be as good or better than today.

Harold Gallagher

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

SATURDAY, April 16, 2016. New Students and Demo Flights

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: N at 8 kts
Altitudes: More than 6000 msl
Time Aloft: More than 3 hours
Max Lift: 800 fpm
Temperature: Low 80's
Comment: Good lift and heavy sink.
Tow pilot: Julie Butler, Yutaka Buto, Harold Gallagher

Beautiful weather, a smaller crowd of high performance sailplanes, student training, a new demo flight,, visitors from Mendota, and the beginning of cross-country camp week rounded out the day's activities.

Ethan Ronat's glider is first. But others are assembling. Dave Greenhill, and Peter Deane were welcome visitors.
Bob Glougie is chatting with Paul Scheibel while Joe Oldham prepares Big Bird.
The launch line is busy as usual. Peter Deane is first, Julie Butler second, and Dave Greenhill third. All long flights.
Paul Finck visited and waited patiently for his chance at a demo flight.
Paul's photo of the gliders lined up for launch.
Joe Oldham working hard to maintain thermal updraft. He did very well.
Joe is working with a three knot thermal, but saw much stronger during his flight.
Charles Johnson, Director of Administrative Services for Mendota and his kids.
Andy Reistetter waiting for the tow plane to return and launch him.
Paul Scheibel's first glider flight, courtesy of his lady friend as a gift to him.
Yes, Paul was excited and really enjoyed the time aloft. He did two flights as a member of CCSC.
Larry Johnson went flying with Thomas Greenhill while Thomas' Dad flew in the mountains.
The hills behind Tar Peak are still green.

Well, not all of them. But rain is forecast over the next two weeks so they may stay green.

At least there are enough green hills to make the scenery enjoyable from a glider.

The Cross-Country camp, headed by Julie Butler, began with flights on Saturday, April 16th and continued on through Wednesday, April 20th. There were excellent flights, at high altitudes, for long duration, and everyone had a great time. Ethan Ronat send the following photos of his flight on April 18th and it's fairly representative of all the flights during the Camp. Strong thermals, even at high altitudes, were nearly common for the time everyone spent soaring. The names of the participants were not available at press time, but most of the high performance gliders and pilots were on hand.

Note the vario pegged while at 11,000 msl.
The cloud forms were most beautiful in all quadrants while Ethan flew all afternoon.
Ethan captioned this, "Many clouds were cheating". Not sure what he meant.
First view of Hernandez Reservoir below the glider.
Another view of Hernandez Reservoir and one of the possible landout spots.
Ethan is on his way back to Avenal after a beautiful flight.
Beautiful sunset over the glider just before it gets put away in the hangar.
The end of a great day of soaring in the Temblor Mountains both north and south.
We'll look for you next Saturday. Bring friends and neighbors for a fun time even if it's just on the patio watching the launches and landings.


Harold Gallagher