Visibility: High cirrus but more than 40 miles vis below.
Wind: Light and variable from the Southeast
Altitudes: 6200 msl Jan Zanutto
Time Aloft: 3.5 hours, Jan Zanutto
Max Lift: 500 fpm
Temperature: High 70's to Low 80's
Comment: New people, demo rides, beautiful day.
Tow pilot: Yutaka Buto and Harold Gallagher shared 28 tows.
Click on the photo for a large size and a slide show.
A beautiful day, with some lift in the area that was enough to remain aloft for a few hours. Some of the high performance sailplanes headed for the cumulus clouds over the mountains but for the training flights, the best lift occurred just west of the field and around the soon-to-be solar farm.
|Rick Eason is going to fly the 1-26 for the first time after he got it painted so beautifully.|
|Harry Davies flights last week were rewarded today with his first flight in the DG100.|
|Clark Woolf hasn't been out too often but his Grandpa, Allan Clark, to the left, brought him today.|
|Rick Eason is camera shy but he was caught with his shorts up in this photo.|
|Don Flinn and friend, to his right; Allan Clark, Clark Woolf, and Rick Eason.|
|Clark Woolf did his absolute best on his first tow after a few months away from Avenal.|
|Alex Caldwell hooking up the DG100 for Harry Davies first flight in a high performance sailplane.|
|Two ships waiting for pilots and they were soon filled to capacity.|
|Harry Davies about to launch in the DG100 for his first flight in that very nice sailplane.|
|Clark Woolf's second flight wasn't quite as good as the first one today. But it's a learning process.|
|Ethan Ronat is assembling his "new" glider bought recently from Steve Schery.|
|In the background note the work being done on Big Bird. The question, "Will it fly today"?|
Troy Wollman has been flying regularly since he started at Avenal. He has successfully achieved the number of solo flights in the 2-33 to be able to check out in the 1-26. So, with no delay, he took and passed the solo written exam for the 1-26, then was thoroughly checked out in the cockpit, including the standard sight picture for the three pitch positions, and was very steady on takeoff, no PIO's recorded, and had a fun flight.
|Troy Wollman taking his solo written test prior to checking out in the 1-26. He passed.|
|Kinslee Rix, Alex Caldwell, and Dwight Kroll chat about, what else? Soaring, of course.|
|Sergio Grajeda and Alex Caldwell fly one to pattern before Sergio goes solo again.|
|The 1-26 is really a great sailplane to fly, and with Rick's paint, a great one to look at.|
|Ethan Ronat's newly purchased Discus CS. He's excited about owning and flying it.|
|And here is Ethan Ronat about to fly his "new" bird, the Discus CS.|
|Dwight Kroll's buddy, Bruce from Seattle, is a sailor and wanted to see what soaring is all about.|
|Since he lives in the Seattle area, Bruce looking around Avenal was a bit of a culture shock.|
|We launched and found a bit of lift but not enough to remain up there for an hour.|
|Kinslee Rix is headed for the Air Force Academy in the Fall and wanted to experience a glider flight.|
|We had a great time aloft with plenty of lift that kept us up a bit longer than we should have.|
|Dwight Kroll headed back to Fresno in his Dakota along with friends he brought to Avenal.|
|This amazing "young man" in the cockpit hasn't flown a glider for 33 years but you wouldn't know it.|
Here is a video link from Jan as he soared over the Black Mountain area:
|Ethan Ronat's new Discus CS is resting in his hangar after giving his owner a great flight.|
Here's Jim Rickey:
The last two tows of the day were Big Bird. The first flight was a planned flight to about two feet, releasing at the tow plane hangar and feeling all controls. Second flight went up to 3400' MSL and wrung it out. I could only get it to "nibble at the stall," likely because of the CG being further forward than it would be for most pilots. Stall characteristics were about same as they have always been for me when solo.
Did 60 degree bank 720 turns both directions, flew it from minimum controllable airspeed to 95 mph. Controls are a little stiff due to paint in bushings under the floor, but in flight I cannot say it was noticeable. Was well behaved and a delight to fly!
Logbook entry of the flight has been made. It is ready for you all to fly.
Three upper rear interior panels (by the instructor's head) are not installed until we get new Dzus fasteners, as the new panels are too thick to use the old Dzus fasteners.
Before the next flight the pilot's shoulder harness needs to be lengthened at the anchor end. A yaw string also needs to be installed.
Note that the minimum solo pilot weight is 161 pounds WITHOUT the removable ballast and 127 pounds WITH the removable ballast.
Enjoy the bird!
|Jim Rickey in the cockpit of Big Bird, Martin Caskey standing by, as are someone and Alex Caldwell.|
|Big Bird is ready to launch for the first time in maybe 16 months.|
|Meanwhile, our dear downtrodden Orange Crush sits quietly in her old clothes at the end of the day, depressed.|
|Troy Wollman getting some dual instruction in the art of towing gliders.|