Saturday, May 13, 2017

SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2017. Bennett Diamond's First Solo.

WEATHER
Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: Light and variable out of the South.
Altitudes: At or above 7200 msl. (Jeff Richardson).
Time Aloft: Neiman Walker at 4.5 hours.
Max Lift: 800 fpm.
Temperature: Mid 70's to low 80's.
Comment: Bennett Diamond's First Solo.
Tow pilot: Peter Hartmann in his Maule from Santa Ynez.

CLICK ON ANY PICTURE FOR LARGE SIZES OF ALL PICTURES.

Highlights:

Bennett Diamond soloed.
Morgan, along with Wyll Soll, did another of his long (4:02) and wide-ranging flights, including Hanford from the Benitos. Check the OLC for the details.
Neiman Walker flew for four and a half hours in the 1-26. Only his butt suffered.
Erich Harding flew his best flight to date at 42 minutes and thousands of feet gained in altitude. A first for him.
Mario Pauda landed out in a field just to the northwest of our airport and just north of the solar farm. He made friends with a tractor driver for a retrieve.
Numerous high performance gliders were aloft today.
We were towed by Peter Hartmann in his Maule.

Here's a note from Jeff Richardson:

Hi Harold,
Thanks for updating the website.
Just for clarity, I flew the DG-100 on its first flight. I flew two laps to New Coalinga and back with a max altitude at cloud base of 7,200 msl. I cut my flight short to give Troy a shot to fly the DG-100 on such an interesting day.
Thanks again,
Jeff.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Zak Yamauchi about to launch solo once again.
Erich Harding waiting to launch for his first flight in a few weeks.
Peter Hartmann flying his Maule towed all day long with only one break.
Line up of three beautiful long distance gliders.
Neiman Walker in position in the 1-26 for what turned out to be a 4.5 hour flight.
Peter Hartmann slowly taking up the tow rope slack like he did all day long.
There can't be too many gliders to equal the beauty of an ASW-20.
Julie Butler preparing for her long flight in an equally beautiful glider.
Neiman Walker taking off for his longest flight ever.
Karl Kunz biding his time while waiting for his turn to launch in his ASW-20 BL.
All ready to go. Just need pilots to complete the action.
The Maule did a very credible job all day long towing us all.
Erich Harding on his second and longest flight at 42 minutes and thousands of feet gained.
Erich circling in a thermal going up at 400 feet per minute. He did really well today.
Bennett Diamond standing by to help Jeff Richardson launch in the DG100.
On tow going into a thermal-filled sky, the Big Bird flies another one.
The wind favored runway 13L and made for easy launches.
Mario Pauda waits for the tow plane while Alex Caldwell watches for the tow rope.
Here's a happy guy. Mario Pauda about to launch on a rather short flight with a surprising ending.
Mario checks everywhere including straight up, before Morgan runs his wing.
Connor Zabrocki standing by to assist Don Flinn in the front seat for what appears to be a BFR.
Ethan Ronat preparing his glider for flight at the Northwest end of the airport.
Ethan Ronat on his way somewhere, but based on the sky, it could be anywhere.
Ethan Ronat on tow behind the Maule heading toward the prison.
Bennett Diamond has been waiting patiently most of the day to make his first three solo flights.
In the field is Mario Pauda's 1-26. He caught too much sink on a day when there was both lift and sink.
Karl Kunz finishing his flight on short final for runway 13L.
Karl Kunz had enough of a flight to be satisfied coming back before dark.
Julie Butler on short final for runway 13L and a roll out to her trailer at the far end.
Jennifer Bauman's Mom to the left watching Julie make her long landing to the trailer.
Jeff Richardson turning final in the DG-100 after an excellent flight topping 7,200 msl.
Nice shot of the DG-100 with spoilers open on short final to runway 13L.
Just overhead, the DG-100 looks awkward at this angle but it isn't at all.
Mario Pauda's 1-26 being towed out of the field with Morgan's truck.
It looks like Bennett Diamond will finally get to fly his solo flights.
Bennett Diamond on his first solo flight, off tow and entering the pattern.
Alex Caldwell agrees that Bennett did a great job on his first solo flight.
Bennett Diamond on his second launch in the Big Bird.
Bennett in good position behind the Maule towplane.
One 2-33 launching while the other is towed back to the northwest end for another flight.
Bennett Diamond in the pattern.
Bennett Diamond on base for runway 13R.
One happy guy. Bennett is now a solo pilot and looking forward to additional flights alone.
The third and final solo flight for Bennett Diamond. Well done.
Bennett concentrating on the landing which was excellent.
Troy Wollman completing another flight in the DG 100.
Don Flinn taking Connor Zabrocki for another flight lesson.
Moving the DG100 back to the launch area without horsepower to assist.
Troy Wollman waiting for another launch. He's quite comfortable flying the DG100.
Don Flinn on short final watched by Mario Pauda, Alex Caldwell and Bennett Diamond.




Mario is taking to the skies once more and this time he stayed up long enough.
Connor Zabrocki waiting for another launch. I believe he flew three flights today.
I'm not sure what Alex Caldwell is saying to Mario but it might be something like, "stay away from sink".
Morgan Hall and Wyll Soll back at Avenal after a long and wide ranging flight of 4+ hours.
Morgan is downwind for runway 7.
Duo Discus on short final for runway 7.
Just about to touch down on the grassy runway after a nice long flight.
Both are probably a bit tired but happy to have navigated all around the Central and Southern Valley.
Time for the removal of Bennett Diamond's T-shirt commemorating his solo achievement.
Bennett wore an old t-shirt so it wasn't as much fun cutting it off.
CONGRATULATIONS to our newly crowned solo pilot.
Yes, he was shocked at how much came off. And then he changed it real quick.