Friday, December 1, 2017

SATURDAY, November 25, 2017. Only a few souls arrived.

Visibility: Hazy but more than 30 miles
Wind: From the SE 5-7 knots
Altitudes: Release altitudes only.  Smooth air all day.
Time Aloft: Less than 30 minutes
Max Lift: Maybe 100-150 kts.
Temperature: Cool 70's
Comment: Hardly anyone showed up.
Tow pilot: Jim Rickey mostly, Harold once.

Post-Thanksgiving weekends are usually pretty lightly attended and this weekend was no exception. Just a few members made it out today so the operations were smooth and easily handled. Trevor Harding brought his son, Erich, out to continue his training. Erich is not yet 13 but is making excellent progress. His flight handling today was the best ever and he proved that he is determined to be ready for solo well before his 14th birthday.

Steve Schery showed up flying his Carat motorglider from Hollister. Steve's been a long time club member who also has flown quite extensively at Moriarty Sailport east of Albuquerque. He lives in the Bay area and works for NASA at Moffett field on some pretty interesting projects.

Jay Jaeckel lives in Newman, about 2 hours north of Avenal. He feels that the drive is worth flying at Avenal and has been taking instruction from Alex Caldwell. I flew with him today and believe that the only thing keeping him from soloing again (he did solo 40 years ago) is a strong level of confidence. He's got the skills necessary to fly safely but isn't quite sure of that himself. Jay will make it soon.

Ken Talovich is moving swiftly through the instruction curriculum and soloed the 1-26 today. He did very well probably because he flies an RV-8 which is similar in control sensitivity to the 1-26.

Jim Rickey, as usual, spent hours working on the radios for the 1-26 in his own quiet way. He's one of those gem members who continues to do club work when most of us don't realize how much he's accomplished. For that we are eminently grateful. Thanks Jim!!

Steve Schery taxiing to the far end of runway 31 for takeoff on runway 13.
Steve just at liftoff heading down runway 13 enroute to home base at Hollister.
Nice power takeoff in the Carat Motorglider enjoyed by Steve Schery.
Jim Rickey completing the final installation of the variometers and reinstalling the radio.
Erich Harding doing the preflight on our newest 2-33, N5722S.
Erich in the cockpit of 5722S at the far end, ready for takeoff on runway 13.
In flight Erich does very well. He's also making excellent progress on doing all of the tow.
We had fun with the aerial maneuvers necessary for solo flight but that flight is a ways off.
Erich just completed another good unassisted landing on runway 13.
Back goes the glider to the launch end but that wasn't far away based on his good landing.
Jim Rickey continues his quiet but efficient manner of working on projects for the benefit of the club.
On the ground ready for another flight in 5722S.
That completes two very good training flights for Erich and his progress is outstanding.
Ken Talovich is about to solo the 1-26 and I'm certain he'll do well.
Now that's a confident look. Ken seems pretty sure of himself and he proved it with this flight.
Jay Jaeckel decided to fly with me since Alex Caldwell didn't make it out today.
Jay's flying is very good and a few lessons of confidence will allow him to solo again after 40 years.
Jay is setting up for landing on runway 13 near launch end for one more flight.
Ken Talovich and Jim Rickey comparing notes on anything aviation.
Jay is about to launch on his second flight, this to pattern altitude.
Ken Talovich departing on runway 13 in his immaculate RV-8 painted by Michelangelo, I think.
Homeward Bound.

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