Sunday, March 19, 2017

SATURDAY, March 18, 2017. Grajeda Familia Visits

Visibility: Unlimited all quadrants.
Wind: Light and variable from the northwest mostly.
Altitudes: 4000+
Time Aloft: Less than an hour.
Max Lift: 400 fpm.
Temperature: Warm low 80's.
Comment: Beautiful day at Avenal.
Tow pilot: Luciano Whorl (Looch).


Harry Davies is leaving the CCSC and California for the East Coast and a desired assignment entering the Test Pilot School. See the last photograph in this series for Harry and more information.

Here's a note from Peter Sahlberg about his flight today in the Schweizer 1-35:

I made two flights; release on the first was over town where I found some 200 fpm and one 400 fpm.  I tried to run upwind to see if there was lift elsewhere and quickly found that there was none.  Below 2,200 the air was very smooth and the landing was uneventful.  I took a second tow at about 1:40 out to the foothills to the west and found 500 fpm down.  I ran back toward town and found some 100 fpm up along the way.  I continued east until I was over the town and slowly descended until it was pattern time.  It was a very nice day with green grass everywhere, blue skies, white clouds but not a lot of lift! 


Today Luciano (Looch) Whorl's Dad, (Greg) came to visit. He lives in Seattle, is a CFI at a local flying field and is on vacation to visit with his son. Greg and I had a nice long chat about glider flying soon after he went for a ride here at Avenal. There are two glider fields nearby, one a bit farther east but probably better lift there than in the immediate Seattle area. So Greg just might seek out one of those gliderports and maybe get involved in soaring. I think he'd really get hooked on gliders.

Joe Oldham regaling Nels Siverson, Greg Luciano, and Aly Tawfik with war stories
Alex Caldwell conducting a  Biennial Flight Review for Dennis.

Joe and Aly head back to Fresno Chandler in Joe's light sport aircraft.
They just barely fit in that nice Light Sport aircraft that sometimes flies like a glider.
Alex and Dennis after one of the three required flights for his BFR.
Peter Sahlberg is going to fly his Schweizer 1-35 after a few weeks of being on the ground.
While Peter flies the 1-35, Richard Walker will fly the 1-26 with Eric Burlingame standing by.
Alex and Dennis in more conversation about the BFR.
Nels Siverson about to launch on another of his training flights.
Nels is enjoying a 3 knot thermal on a day when good lift was hard to find.
 A close look at the variometer showing the 3 knot lift Nels was working.
Peter Sahlberg about to launch in his 1-35 while Dennis Lyons runs the wing.
Richard Walker on short final in the 1-26 for runway 31L.
Concentration is essential with just a few seconds to go before touchdown on runway 31L.
Wings up, slack out of the rope, tail wagged, tow plane begins the takeoff.
Dan Gudgel taking a friend for his first glider ride.
Peter Sahlberg on short final for runway 31L.
Nice  landing on an equally nice grass runway at Avenal.
Bennett Diamond continuing his quest for solo flight in the near future.
Eric Burlingame running the wing on Big Bird for Dan's demo flight.
A lovely Bird.
Tobias Grajeda about to take his first glider ride with his uncle Sergio Grajeda.
Both are excited about flying together with Toby's Dad nearby.
Paul Grajeda, Sr., Paul Jr., Tobias Grajeda, and Sergio Grajeda.
Neiman Walker landing the tow plane overhead and onto runway 31R.
Bennett Diamond scanning the sky for other gliders before running the wing of the Orange Crush.
Big Bird is launching while another crew waits to assist the Orange Crush.
Most of those shown are from Cal Poly just before finals week. 
Another really nice guy leaves the CCSC. Harry Davies is headed to the East Coast and Patuxent River NAS.
Harry has been a great addition to our club, both towing and owning his Libelle, housed in the trailer that says, ASW 27B. Harry got a very choice assignment to Pax River to enter the Test Pilot School and we wish him a world of good luck and many happy years ahead. Thanks for being such a great member of CCSC, Harry. Come back whenever you can and stay in touch with us via any media you choose. Buena Suerte, good friend.

SATURDAY March 11, 2017.

Visibility: Unlimited.
Wind: Light and variable from the northwest.
Altitudes: Not much more than tow height.
Time Aloft: More than an hour.
Max Lift: 800 fpm.
Temperature: Cool 70's.
Comment: Beautiful day for flying anything.
Tow pilot: Andrew Ouellet

Another normal day at Avenal. Can't hardly beat the kind of weather we get here most of the year. Today there was plenty of flight training going on between Don Flinn, Alex Caldwell, and me. It was enhanced by the quick turnaround of the Maule tow plane. It's great to tow behind that power even with a gross weight 2-33. There wasn't too much waiting time on the ground.

Today we had to say goodbye to another of our great CCSC members. Andrew Ouellet is heading north to Seattle for a career in a Space development company. Andrew is one of those wonderful guys that you want to have in the club for as long as possible. He's also a brilliant mind and will make a huge contribution to the things going on in Space development. Watch for his name in the future of space.

God Speed Andrew. All of us will miss your smiling face, boundless energy, and willingness to make a significant contribution to CCSC. Stay in touch and visit us again when you're back in the area.

Clark Woolf thermalling in a nice strong, 8 knot thermal. Note the variometer.
Connor Zabroki nearing launch while Jennifer Bauman is ready to hook up the tow rope.
The grass is still a bit high but the yellow flowers makes it all look so inviting. 
Peter Hartmann's beautiful 1972 Maule, a very good tow plane with power and climb rate.
Another launch on our temporary grass runway. That's temporary grass, not runway. 
Maybe one more tow and the Maule heads back south towards Santa Barbara.
Don Flinn and Andrew Ochoa waiting for a tow and another training flight.

SATURDAY, March 4, 2017. Gliderport Cleanup Day. Eric Solos.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: 10-12 kts direct crosswind, from 220 degrees.
Altitudes: Tow altitudes mostly
Time Aloft: Less than 30 minutes including tow.
Max Lift: Sometimes 3-400 fpm
Temperature: Cool in the high 60's.
Comment: Dennis Lyons organized a cleanup day.
Tow pilot: Andrew Ouellet, Jim Rickey.


The fruit of Dennis Lyons organization skill consisting of numerous Club Members is seen in the following  photos.

Patio Before, 2-25-17
Patio After, 3-4-17
Front Lawn Before, 2-25-17
Front Lawn After, 3-4-17
Tie Down Area, 3-4-17
A massive cleanup job worked on by many members wielding rakes, weedwackers, pitchforks, trucks and trailers, tractors, shovels, hoes, hands and feet. There was so much weed around the field it seemed impossible to get it all done in a single day. But most of it is gone and with a little less rain in the coming months, we may not have to do any more this season.

Thanks, Dennis, for organizing the effort and thanks to all the members who came early and worked until mid afternoon. The field looks great!

Jim Bell getting Big Bird ready to haul out to the launch area at 11:00 am for expected immediate flights.
Dennis Lyons accessory for cutting lawn needs a belt for the drive wheels.
Two members in the photo work hard around the clubhouse and have made significant progress as shown.
Not sure how many members it takes to change a drive belt on the mower.
Unfortunately we see our runway in such beautiful shape just once a year after the rains.
Sergio Grajeda preparing passengers for their demo ride.
Erich Harding, our youngest member, after a very nice flight with a skill set beyond his years.
Clark Woolf back at Avenal after 5 months off.  He soloed in August 2016 but now needs multiple refresher flights.
Alex and friend just standing around waiting for a flight. Christiana is new to our field.
Eric Burlingame about to take his first solo flight in Big Bird from the far northwest end.
Concentration is evident on Eric's face as he prepares for the launch.
Eric off tow and flying downwind for runway 13R. He's in good position.
Eric passing over the launch end of the runway at the right height for a nice midfield landing.
Alex Caldwell taking another passenger up for a demo ride.
Members pushing Big Bird out of the way for the next launch.
Ready to launch on runway 13L with ground crew standing by.
Big Bird parked at the launch end after Eric Burlingame's first solo flight.
Alex Caldwell flying with Olivia Lockhart for a field checkout.
View of the tow plane just ahead of the Orange Crush prior to launch.
Jennifer Bauman in a pensive pose.
Olivia's liftoff puts the glider is good position behind the tow plane.
Olivia is maybe a bit high and slightly to the left of center.