Monday, January 22, 2018

SATURDAY, January 20, 2018. Beautiful weather, good turnout.

Visibility: Unlimited with puffy white clouds against a deep blue sky.
Wind: Northwest at 5 kts
Altitudes: 4500+ msl
Time Aloft: 2+ hours
Max Lift: 4 kts
Temperature: Cool 60's
Comment: A picturesque day.
Tow pilot: Dan Gudgel tow training and Julie Butler towing.

Dan Gudgel was out early doing tow training. Don Flinn had a group from Cal Poly learning to fly and so it turned out to be a fairly busy day. Kyle Jason did get the approval from Dan to tow on his own so we've added another good pilot to the tow roster. Kyle is a pilot from Lemoore much as we have trained some of those pilots in the past.

Ken Talovich and I flew out in Ken's beautiful RV-8 and did three flights in preparation for his checkride which we need to schedule for the near term. He's doing well, up to speed on the required maneuvers and lacks only the prep for the oral portion of the checkride plus another few flights to polish his skills even more.

Lawrence Golomb flew the DG100 this afternoon but no report from him yet.

Julie Butler towed in the afternoon after Dan Gudgel had trained Kyle Jason on towing. Here is a picture she took of the beautiful day at Avenal:

Julie Butler's nice photo of the cloud street from north along runway 31.

Here is Peter Sahlberg's write up on his flight today.


  I came out Saturday for the sole purpose of going up and coming back down, twice.  I have not flown much and it looked like the weather would be clear enough for a couple of tows and landings.

  The rain left a partly cloudy sky and the RASP said that there would be lift over the mountains in the early afternoon.  This was a pleasant surprise, but I still expected to go up and right back down.

  Take off was at 12:30 with clouds over the field and mountains.  This was not the "up and down" weather I had expected.  I got off at 3,000 feet over the hills to the east.  This area had clouds forming and decaying and it was a great learning experience as some would provide lift and others would not.  Every effort was made to stay above 3,000 feet as I felt that getting back up from below that altitude would not be easy.

  I did want to see what had developed over the mountains so after working the clouds over highway 33, I headed over.  There was more cloud coverage and it was interesting to see how the mountain sides with burned areas disappeared when they were in shadow.  Two forays looking for the convergence got me below 3,000 feet and the rest is history.  I made the trek back to Avenal and never found the bump needed so I landed on runway 31 with 1.4 hours to log.
 I did not take another tow for the second landing! For those interested, the trace is on OLC.

Peter Sahlberg

Jan Zanutto flew in with his buddy Sam, in his newly acquired Cessna 172. Here is Jan's response:

Yesterday I flew into Avenal and was pleased to see the CU development along Black and up to Coalinga.

My friend Sam
 wanted to shoot some approaches at Coalinga, and while inbound to there we hit some pretty good bumps that gave us a good ride. Wish I would have been in a glider instead! 

Here's what it looked like.....

  Jan Zanutto

Here are the only pictures I took today since I forgot my camera and my cell phone was nearly out of battery power. The ships flying today were the 2-33's, the 1-26, the DG100, and the Schweizer 1-35. We had three arrivals in powered aircraft including a 1966 Cessna 172G from the Coast (registered to a James Odell from Gilroy), Jan's Cessna 172 from FCH, and Ken's RV-8 from Pine Mountain Lake airport.

The group from Cal Poly gathered around preparing to go aloft with Don Flinn. Most I don't recognize and perhaps they'll supply names for this blog.

Peter Sahlberg preparing for his launch that lasted 1.4 hours as told in his story above. It has been months since we've seen Peter and he recognized that before he launched. He's a careful and safe pilot.

Ken Talovich and I saw this very nice 2-33 just sitting there, lonely, and waiting for someone to fly it. So we grabbed it and went flying. Turns out there was enough time in 2-33's for everyone.

Kirk Robertson flying our 1-26 for the first time, on short final runway 31L. He's had enough time in a 1-26 at the previous airport he trained at.
Ken Talovich ready to launch on the first of three checkride prep flights. This was a simulated rope break at 200 agl because he was least expecting it. He did well and got back safely and rolled out smoothly.
Ken Talovich boxing the wake. Yes, he's too far down and too far left but otherwise a nice smooth exercise and practice for the checkride. I think he ran Julie out of left rudder at that point.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

SUNDAY, January 7, 2018. Few members, slow day.

Visibility: Unlimited in haze
Wind: From the SE 6-7 knots
Altitudes: Release altitudes
Time Aloft: Less than an hour.
Max Lift: 100 fpm with spikes of 200 fpm.
Temperature: In the 60's.
Comment: Not much going on.
 Tow pilot: Jim Rickey

Jim Rickey
Bob Crooks
Bob Crooks
Bob Crooks
Zach Yamauchi
Bob Crooks
Bob Crooks and Kirk Robertson
Kirk Robertson

CCSC Clubhouse
Zach Yamauchi
Zach Yamauchi and friend
Zach piloting
Kirk Robertson
Bob Crooks and Kirk Robertson

Monday, January 1, 2018

SATURDAY, December 9, 2017. Slow day but fun for all.

Visibility: Hazy with 20 miles horizontal vis.
Wind: Light and variable from the NW
Altitudes: Release altitudes only
Time Aloft: Probably no more than 20-30 minutes
Max Lift: Almost non-existent, but maybe 100 fpm.
Temperature: Cool 60's
Comment: Low turnout but an easy relaxed day.
Tow pilot: Griffin Schwarz.

Lexy Aguirre, Bennett Diamond and a photographer all smiles on the patio.

Bob Crooks awaiting his demo flights. He's joining the club this week and will train in earnest.

At the moment, a sober crew. They livened up a few minutes later.

Griffin, Lexy, Don, and Rick enjoying the warm sunshine before flight ops begin in earnest. 
In hazy conditions, Don Flinn and Jay Jaeckel on tow for a training flight.

Later in the day, the AGC Board met to discuss interesting and valuable issues for CCSC.

Dan Gudgel, Rick Eason, Mike Paoli, and Richard Walker pondering the distribution of a largesse.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

December 8, 2017

Visibility:          Yuck down low, 100 nuatical miles plus above the haze.
Wind:              Light, max gust recorded was 11 MPH.
Altitudes:         Whatever you released at.
Time Aloft:      Sled rides.
Max Lift:         Enough for the Ravens to soar in a tight circle up to 1000' AGL
Temperature:   Hit 71°F early afternoon!
Comment:       Training Day
Tow pilot:        Jim

As the RASP had predicted, there was no soaring to be had.  One time I saw a raven in a thermal at about 500' AGL, somebody else gave a later sighting at 1000' AGL.  Early in the day the haze topped at about 1500' MSL, and viability was fantastic. As the day warmed up the haze layer crept up, but the thickest part never got past 2500' MSL.

What it was was a great day for student training ops.  A very relaxed pace, time for briefings and debriefings, etc.

Bennett worked on on his check-ride prep.  Sitting up there in the towplane I could "feel" him doing an awesome job boxing the wake.  Instructor-towpilot planned rock-offs, simulated towplane engine failure, instructor induced slack rope, he handled it all just fine.

Wyll and Griffen are still in training phase:

Wyll was given steep turns on tow and followed them very well.  On the way down Don had him do airwork.

Griff was made to work on boxing the wake, as well as airwork on the sled ride "home"  and accuracy landings.  From my perch aloft it looked like he had stopped 2-3 feet shy of the cone that had been set out.  Great!

A very productive day for the students that came!  New member Jay came out and was enthusiastic as he always is, but we ran out of daylight, so he did not get a ride.  Bummer!

*         *         *         *        *

After one glider released I had time to snatch this image of the smoke from the wildfires that are ravaging Ventura County.  The smoke in the distance is approximately 100 nautical miles away.  If I had taken the camera on the first tow, a couple of hours earlier, you would have seen the smoke in a thinner, straighter column, towering about twice as high as seen here, with less haze obscuring it.

Smoke from Ventura County fire, taken just west of the Avenal Prison, taken 1:17 PST at about 3000' MSL.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

SATURDAY, December 1, 2017. CCSC Board Meeting

Visibility: 8-10 miles in haze.
Wind: Light and variable.
Altitudes: Release altitudes
Time Aloft: Probably less than a half hour
Max Lift: Reported up to 2 knots.
Temperature: Very cool, in the high 60's
Comment: Excellent Board Meeting.
Tow pilot: Griffin Schwarz.

For those of you who couldn't make it out here today, you missed one of the better Board meetings we've had. President Mike Paoli and the Board members put on a detailed, friendly, orderly, fact-filled, wide-ranging, and member-involved meeting. The Board members were prepared, confident about their material, anxious for member input, and the whole affair pleasantly and smoothly unfolded. Congratulations to all the Board members and to the members who attended and contributed to the array of information valuable in its content.

Thick haze predominated in early morning and did dissipate to some degree after 1:00 pm. There was some flying but not too much. Most members in attendance came just to engage in the Board meeting and that's a great sign of member interest and involvement.

Daniel Slezak did  two flights today and each one better than the next. He is progressing at a highly satisfactory rate and I'm expecting good things from him in the next few weeks.

Don Flinn took Tammy Golomb for two demo rides in the Big Bird and I assume she enjoyed the experience.

Bennett Diamond did some flying in Big Bird but that was later in the afternoon after I left for the day.

As I left for the day, I noticed the 1-26 being towed to the launch area. Then I saw Jim Rickey heading out that way so perhaps Jim did have some time to go flying, maybe to check on the newly installed instruments.

To understand the breadth and scope of what was discussed at the nearly 2.5 hour Board meeting, look for the minutes to be distributed when they get time to complete them.

Excellent turnout, interested members, smooth presentations, and a very friendly atmosphere.
Mike, Jim, and Pancho put on presentations that kept the interest of the attendees
Pancho Herrera is doing his best to get his arms around the club finances and billings.
Bennett, Griffin, and Alex all were intently observing the meeting and assimilating the information presented.
Don Flinn in the backseat taking Tammy Golomb for a demo ride in Big Bird.
Two flight instructors comparing notes on how we do things here at Avenal.
Mount up!!! Ken Talovich climbing aboard his RV-8 and then bound for Pine Mountain Lake airport.
Ken's low pass was so fast it blurred the photo and I nearly didn't get it all in the frame.
Another flight for Tammy Golomb with Don Flinn piloting from the back seat.
Daniel Slezak ready for his first training flight of the day.
We finished the first flight and now Daniel is waiting for the second. Both were flown very well.
Daniel Slezak up in the haze and nearing pattern altitude on his second, and best flight.

Bennett Diamond moving Big Bird out of the way until he's ready for his flights.