Sunday, August 2, 2015

August 1, 2015

Visibility:         Hazy with a little smoke from the wildfires.
Wind:             Light.  Most gusts recorded were in the 5-9 MPH range, one gust recorded at 16 MPH.
Altitudes:        6000' ± MSL
Time Aloft:     Nobody was up for a long time today.
Max Lift:        8 knots
Temperature:   Hot.
Comment:       A slow, low-key (and hot!) but good day.
Tow pilot:       Jim

It was a hot day; 80°F before 8:00 AM. 90°F a few minutes after 10 AM, and 100°F or more from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM.  Beat the forecasts by a considerable margin.  Dewpoints were in the 50s all day. 

No doubt the hot temperatures and the soaring forecast that the previous few days that did not look very good kept the turnout low.  But the lift was better than forecast, and everybody who did fly found lift.

Early in the day the lift was good just two fields to the west of the gliderport.  The ground had been recently plowed in a nice square pattern that one would almost swear focused the lift.  Later in the day it was not working as good, but by then there was lift all around.  For quite a while it was pretty common to see 6 dust devils at a time--with one or two of them being huge--in an arc about 2-3 miles away, starting just west of the prison and arcing clockwise to straight off the end of runway 31.

Granted, you had to be in the right place.  On the last tow of the day I went to the field again.  There were two small dust devils in it.  Saw a bigger one straight ahead about a mile and went for it.  Was a waste of time, because in between we were descending 200-300 feet per minute in tow.  Got reconnected with the lift back over the faithful field, and tried a straight line, which maintained 1100-1200 feet per minute climb until the glider released and I turned away.

The first activity of the day was Jan and Martin working on Big Bird.
Jan Zanutto and Martin Caskey sanding the nosebowl on Big Bird.

Roman Franco and Sergio Grajeda both had training flights with Harold in the morning.  Sergio went up with Harold in the morning, then Harold briefed Alex on what was next, and Alex went up with him in the afternoon to finish off the day.

Mike Paoli took his new-to him Libelle out of the trailer.  I did not get a chance to examine it closely, but those that did said he got a good one.

Joe Anastasio went up for a flight.  He came back quicker than I would have expected--he said he could have stayed up much longer, but he started not feeling well, so he came back.  Good decision making!

John Harbick went up for a brief flight in Orange Crush.  He, too, commented that conditions were such that he could have stayed up longer, but chose to keep it short.

Alex did a demo flight for Carrollann, which was a present from her husband.  There was talk of her being a future student, but I was not in on enough of it to tell whether it was her idea or the scheme of those around her.  She really had a great attitude!
Harold watches as Alex explains to Carrollann what to expect.

All smiles before the flight.

Great--still smiling and enthusiastic after the flight!

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