Wind: From the SE but not strong enough to move launches to the NW end.
Altitudes: up to 5000 msl.
Time Aloft: More than an hour.
Max Lift: 6 knots but infrequently
Comment: Fairly slow day, not many members, but more than expected tows.
Tow pilot: Peter Mersino, Allan White, Harold Gallagher, Alex Caldwell.
It seemed like a slow day but the number of tows belied that. There might have been about 20 tows by days end driven by the number of tows early by Dan Gudgel and Rick Eason. Rick seems to be moving toward his add-on rating at warp speed. We wish him well and a successful checkride.
Peter Mersino, his wife Jennifer, and daughter Andrea, flew to Avenal this morning in their Cherokee 140, N5541F. Peter offered to tow in the morning and Andrea decided to take her Mom up flying. After Rick Eason, they did just that and had fun.
|The mountains to the south of Avenal. If we're not careful with water, all of CA will look like this.|
|And so here they are watering heavily in spite of the drought. Carrots I would guess.|
|Our red barn, the site of many continuing thermals in the area.|
|Peter Mersino ready to tow his daughter and wife.|
|This used to be someone's front yard before the dinosaurs.|
|An idyllic setting for a farm. Carrots but no cows.|
|Andrea in the backseat, Jennifer in front. Both are glider pilots. And the launch is picture perfect as well.|
|Andrea Mersino and Mom, Jennifer, flying overhead.|
|Andrea making a nice approach to runway 13R.|
|Nearing the IP, Andrea maneuvers well and confidently.|
|Looks like a perfect approach and the touchdown was equally smooth.|
|The family are all heading back to Fresno, Andrea flying as usual, with Peter in the back seat.|
|This is the nicest way to get from Avenal to Fresno. No traffic, no applicable speed limits.|
|Mike's in the cockpit going over his takeoff checklist. Photo by Jennifer Bauman.|
|Mike and Harold aloft searching for lift in the vicinity of the airport. Photo by Jennifer Bauman.|
|There wasn't a lot of lift at that time, and so a return was mandated or else a landing in the field.|
Photo by Jennifer Bauman.
|Mike touching down smoothly and in perfect position for a long roll-out.|
Photo by Jennifer Bauman.
|Mike Paoli rolling out on runway 13R past the photographer, Jennifer Bauman.|
|Over the fence at 200 feet above ground to avoid snagging the tow rope training behind.|
|Could be another painting by Renoir.|
Next up was Jennifer Bauman, but unfortunately she wasn't able to connect with whatever lift was still around at that time. It was widely scattered so it was not an easy task to find it and center it. We won't see Jennifer this summer. She's off to Europe and other nice travels for the summer but will return to finish her add-on rating around September. Have fun Jennifer and yes, she plans to fly gliders in Munich with friends of Frank Owen. They are very nice people and she'll enjoy the time there with them.
|The white buildings in the distance are 10 miles from the camera along the Avenal Cutoff.|