Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Saturday January 24, 2015

Visibility: Hazy down low, but unlimited above the low inversion.
Wind: 5-10 kt out of the South
Altitudes: 3000ft. AGL - tow release altitude
Time Aloft: 25 minutes
Max Lift: None encountered
Temperature: 60ish (F.)
Comment: Very smooth air. Fog hanging over the top of the Kettleman Hills and over the Central Valley. But hazy sun at Avenal. Some fog South of the field at times,  but never over the field,  and it stayed clear to the North towards Coalinga, and to the West.
Tow pilot: Frank Owen came out from San Luis Obispo in the Aeronca. Frank left when it looked like clouds/fog might move in from the South. However, it ended up remaining clear over the airport.  Later,  Harold towed us.

Tyler Bishop was out and flew at least three times in the 1-26, doing quite well with his aero towing, patterns and landings. There was no lift, or I'm sure he would have been up quite a while.

Steve Valentine, who is a friend of Jan Zanutto's from motorcycle riding,  and Sylvia de la Torre came out. Steve went for an introductory lesson and submitted this video and a number of pictures from his flight. He enjoyed it, and says he is coming back out. We hope so, with the proviso that he brings Sylvia with him each time.  I don't have any pictures of Sylvia, unfortunately!

You can see the fog bank hanging over the Kettleman Hills and the Central Valley was socked in with fog. You can see how clear it is above the low level inversion.  I'm told it did get sunny in Fresno in the afternoon. I told Steve he could put his feet on the rudder pedals, but he wasn't taking any chances, I guess, so he kept them in the middle of the floor!   

Looking NorthEast towards the Sierras,  and Fresno.

Looking NorthEast,  towards edge of fog bank hanging over crest of  Kettleman Hills

The Avenal Aerodrome and beautiful metropolitan Avenal,  looking East from just West of the field.

Holding Steve's Iphone while he gets situated in cockpit.

Getting ready to tow the Orange Crush to the North end of the field for take off on runway 13, due to the South Wind.

Just before we towed the glider to the take off area on runway 13.

Mutually admiring the lines and beauty of the Orange Crush, along with expressing kudos to the design genius of the Schweizer brothers!
Adjusting seat belts and shoulder harness.

Last part of the pre-flight briefing.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

January 10, 2015 -- Excellent activity for the date!

Visibility:         Averaged 5 miles.
Wind:              4 MPH was the highest gust reported all day at the NWS station across the street.
Altitudes:        Whatever you were released at, save for Andrew.
Time Aloft:     Andrew, 1-1/2 hours.
Max Lift:        
Temperature:  54° @ 9:00, peak of 68° shortly before 2:00
Comment:      Good "shake off the rust" day.  Weather was fantastic, air quality was terrible. 
Tow pilots:      Dan Gudgel and Harold Gallagher.

The RASP was not predicting much lift for the day.  Not a surprise for middle of January.  Peter Sahlberg said, "I got 120 FPM....for 120 milliseconds."

Andrew was able to go to the west side of the ridge and find lift.   Those of us on the ground were mostly talking about the "sled rides" and poor visibilities when somebody noted that Andrew had been gone a long time.  Talking afterwards he stated that he could have stayed up longer, but wanted to get down early enough so that he could leisurely disassemble the glider and put it in the trailer.
RASP was not predicting mush lift.  It was spot-on.

Early arrivals came across a geo-exploration/surveying crew working on the gliderport grounds.  It was a little bit disconcerting, as none of owners present knew anything about it.  After some discussions, everybody seemed to be happy.  Dan even took the foreman, Rex,  up for a ride.
Some of the geo-exploration/surveying equipment between runway 7-15 and the south fence.

One of the pieces of equipment, probably the transmitter.

Harold and Dan swapped towpilot duties during the day.

Harold about to do another launch.

Dan Gudgel is giving Philip Gerfaud instruction prior to Philip's first flight  in our 2-33.
Graeme McIntosh is running the wing for Philip on his first takeoff.

Philip's first landing.

Just a couple of inches from Philip's third and last landing for the day.  Welcome to CCSC!

For a day in January, there was an impressive amount of activity.  In the picture below are seven people, plus one in the towplane, plus one behind the camera.  Jan Zanutto and Martin Casakey were also out earlier looking at parts of the "Big Bird Project."  Eleven people that I can account for, and I may have missed others.
Seven people and (parts of) four sailplanes are in this picture.

Tyler Bishop has just broke ground in the 1-26.
Peter Sahlberg has company as he awaits the towplane to return.
Six observers plus Andy Reistetter in the pilots seat.
Andy, the canopy and your hat look real close to each other.
Tyler Bishop is hooking up Graeme McIntosh.
Andrew Ouellet is all smiles and giving a "thumbs up" to launch his recently acquired sailplane
Traffic Alert!  Andrew's launch is held when the helicopter supporting the geosurvey is over the field and moving in a path that we cannot predict.
Finally Andrew gets to launch.

Overall, a pretty good day, and if you consider the date, January 10th, it was an exceptional day!