Visibility: Hazy but good at 40 miles.
Wind: Light and variable, early from the SE
Altitudes: 5000 msl
Time Aloft: 2+ hours
Max Lift: 800 fpm
Temperature: 103 degrees, 4000 ft density altitude.
Comment: Way too hot for humans in flight.
Tow pilot: Dan Gudgel, Harold Gallagher
It was another hot day at Avenal. So, as a result, there were only a few hardy souls to brave the extreme heat. My guess is that it was about 120 degrees right on the field based on observations I made a few years ago with an accurate thermometer and a shade device.
Zach Yamauchi's excuse for being there was a need to practice checkride maneuvers for his upcoming checkride. We flew two training flights, one to 3300 msl and the second to pattern, and got in all the necessary maneuvers. Before putting Big Bird away, Mike Paoli decided he'd like to fly one good flight with me just as a refresher. So we headed to pattern altitude, thermaled a bit in the heat, and landed. As we waited for a tow back to the launch area, Dan Gudgel had an emergency at home and left immediately. I'm happy to report that the issue was resolved without further difficulty. In the meantime, I took over towing duties while Richard Walker and Luca Soares still had time for a launch. After that, and in the heat of the day we put the aircraft away and left.
|Mike Paoli thermalling in the heat and while he successfully gained altitude, the heat went along with it.|
|Richard Walker worked on his Schweizer in the morning and flew in the early afternoon.|
|Big Bird waits patiently for someone interested in flying. Not many on the field to go flying.|
|You can see what the heat does to the picture of the tow plane. That's what it was doing to us on the field.|
|Sergio Grajeda's Dad, Carlos, was using Doug Morris' tractor and scraper all day. New scenes are now available.|
|Richard Walker nearing launch with Mike Paoli helping out and running the wing.|
|One more checklist item and Mike will raise the wing for the launch. I start moving into position in the tow plane.|
|At the end of the day, Richard Walker helped me move the tow plane back into its hangar.|
|One large dust devil just sat there on the runway, hardly moving, but churning up a nice column.|
|You can see the wind gradient bending the thermal over to the left in this picture.|