STEVE KANE'S INTENSE TRAINING
Very Busy Day: 23 Tows
Jeff Richardson Practicing for His Checkride.
A Winch Arrives With Opinions
1. Steve Kane was out at Avenal last weekend and after just one flight with Karl he decided to join the club. That was fast action. But not as fast as he went today. I usually start a student with two good, high tows, and then call it a day. That sort of training, especially on tow for the first time, tires one out a lot. But Steve is so intent on learning that he wanted to go for a third flight. His progress is most impressive. By the third tow, he was doing 95% of the tow, and made an unassisted landing at the end of the third flight!! I expect he will be a solo pilot in short order. That's great to see his enthusiasm for learning to fly and he'll make a fine pilot and club member. Nice going, Steve.
2. Jeff Richardson is scheduled for his checkride on March 23rd and so is making as many flights as possible between now and then. Actually his flying is fine and after 9 weeks of ground school he should be ready for the oral portion of the test. We wish him well. In addition, Pancho Herrera is also on schedule for his checkride the afternoon of the 23rd and he is at the same skill level as Jeff. Both are ready and I expect them to do well on the ride.
3. It was Annual Inspection day for some of the fiberglass sailplanes. Jan Zanutto was there to do the review and a number of our members were ready. Julie Butler, Morgan Hall, and others, Steve Schery maybe, had their glider inspections taken care of.
4. Jack Knutson arrived today ready for another 90-day sign-off for his solo privileges. He did well, and after the sign-off he went aloft looking for lift. While the day wasn't very good, he did manage to stay aloft for awhile.
5. Yutaka Buto surprised me with his visit. But he has shown up when the tow plane was operating months ago so this visit wasn't totally unexpected. He is volunteering to be a tow pilot and while Steve Smith was probably too busy to get Yutaka trained, the 1-26 was too enticing to pass up. So up went Yutaka and was able to work the lift that was out near where the cattle gather just at the foothills.
6. Andy Reistetter had a good time aloft working the same lift area where others had gathered today. At times it was hard to tell whether it was Andy or Steve Schery since they both were flying a Russia sailplane.
7. Morgan Hall needed a Biennial Flight Review so he enticed Dan Gudgel to go with him in the Duo Discus. That didn't take much convincing since Dan hasn't flown with Morgan in the Duo yet. But they remained aloft for a lot longer than the required one hour so both must have had more fun than Review. Good for them.
8. Steve Smith did a wonderful job of towing today. We haven't had so many tows since way back in early Fall. One cannot tow 23 times without feeling a bit weary and yet Steve kept going, just like the energizer bunny. But I suspect he may have crashed when he got home from the nearly continuous effort all day long. Thanks a lot, Steve, for that yeoman's effort.
9. John Harbick is progressing nicely towards his checkride. Alex Caldwell told me that it won't be long now when he schedules John with Dan Gudgel. Few deserve it more than John who, as all of you know by now, helps more members than anyone in the club. He's always ready to stop his own training in favor of others going ahead of him. We're trying to change that a bit to get John his license, but I'm sure that after his checkride he'll revert to the same John who is always ready to help others by putting himself second. Thanks for all your effort, John. And if you don't start putting yourself first at least to get your license, I'm certainly going to report it to Peggy. And you know what she'll do to you. Be careful.
10. Some of the members fronted the money to buy a winch for such launches. They really got a fantastic deal on it, worth far more than they paid for it. So now the club is considering how to integrate winch launches with aero tows and that will take some serious consideration. In the meantime there are colorful exchanges between those that love the winch and those that aren't sure of its value on our field. The discussions will go on for awhile and in the meantime the process continues on mostly safety and operational issues and how to maximize both.
See you next weekend,
Harold J. Gallagher