Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Visibility: Clear
Wind: Variable N - SE
Altitudes: 6000 msl.
Time Aloft: 3 hours
Max Lift: 6 knots
Temperature: Late 80's, low 90's.
Comment: Cooler day than it has been in a few months.
Tow pilot: Jim Rickey


Normally it's not a big deal for someone to get their BFR but in this case, Mario hasn't flown in awhile and needed a BFR to resume his flying career. He's a power pilot and a glider pilot but there weren't any gliders in his recent past and so needed a few more refresher flights to regain currency. He did very well and with very few exceptions due to skill rust, he's back flying again and having fun.

First up this morning was Rick Eason, which isn't surprising since he prefers to fly early mornings and has done so all during his glider add-on rating training with Dan Gudgel. Rick won't be back at Avenal for a few weeks due to business commitments, but we can count on him to return to Avenal with enthusiasm.

Rick Eason ready to launch on the first full day of being a Commercial Pilot - Glider.

About mid-morning, Mario Pauda finished his BFR and couldn't wait to go flying alone. So, off he went and was able to remain aloft quite some time, although not as high as he would have liked. The thermals just weren't strong enough to get much above 3800 msl in late morning.

Ed Mandibles signals the tow pilot for takeoff with Mario alone in the Orange Crush.
Once Mario had flown, Ed Mandibles, who soloed last weekend, flew the Orange Crush for several flights today just having fun. He stays aloft long enough so that we have to use our cell phones to retrieve him back down to earth for the next pilot scheduled.

Ed Mandibles on takeoff for a series of solo flights today.

On this flight, we had to call Ed Mandibles to come down. He loved staying in lift.
We finally got Ed back on the ground for another training flight scheduled for Alex Caldwell and Sergio Grajeda.

Another young man in the mold of Jack Weigand, Tyler Bishop, and others, Clark Woolf, started in full today in his training to become another of the young persons to solo on their 14th birthday. Clark is 13 and has more than enough time ahead to easily become proficient enough to solo on that magic day. His Mom, Sarah, came with him, and supports his training with encouragement and confidence.

Clark Woolf after a ground session prior to the formal start of his glider training.

Clark doing an excellent job of thermalling even in the weakest thermals. A good start to his training.
With just a little prompting, Jim Rickey decided to fly the 1-26 even though it was later in the afternoon. He didn't think the thermals were good enough, but after remaining aloft for quite some time, he was convinced the flight was worth going on. His was about the last one aloft since Alex Caldwell and Sergio Grajeda had landed a bit earlier. That proved to be the end of the day and those who were here, had fun.

Jim Rickey is securing the 1-26 with the help of Ed Mandibles and his buddy, Mike Madrid, from Lompoc.
Hopefully we'll see more members out here next weekend,

Harold Gallagher

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