Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday Sept 8th. Challenging, yet rewarding day.

Visibility: +10SM, some haze
Wind: Calm. Coalinga AWOS reported 9kt.
Altitudes: 12k in the mountains, 4k in the valley
Time Aloft:  3hr
Lift: 4 knots average
Temperature:38C, according to Coalinga AWOS
Tow pilot: Steve Schery

1. Weather forecast was decent. +10k in the mountains, 6kt lift and nice convergence. This made the low turnout rather surprising.
2. By the time I (Bart) arrived, Steve Schery and Richard Walker made independent fuel runs. We seem to be well supplied for now.
3. Richard launched first. By the time me and Steve were overflying the infamous carrot field, we heard Richard entering the pattern for landing.
4. I released at 2k over the power lines in what I thought was lift. Then I made it back to the airport just in time to see Richard take his second tow of the day.
5. My second flight did not seem to be much better at first. We went to the Tar Canyon, then flew over the ridge, looking for lift. Finally, over the power lines I released and - in no time at all - was making another beeline for the airport. Fortunately I found a nice thermal in the valley, got back to the ridge and slowly made it to the Black Mountain and the convergence line. Flying became much easier there. Half an hour later I was at 12k, enjoying the view and nice, cold air. To make it even better, every once in a while a small Cu would pop up, marking the best lift.
6. Richard took another tow as well, but could not connect to the lift on the mountains. He did, however, find what seemed to be another convergence line in the valley and had fun.

 Richard launches; the 1-26 waits for its turn.

 Nice and cool up here.

Late afternoon, and the clouds are still there.

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