Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Visibility: 30 miles but a but hazy
Wind: 5 knots from the South
Altitudes: 3000 msl at the West Ridge
Time Aloft: Almost 2 hours
Max Lift: 3 knots
Temperature: Mid 80's
Comment: Well attended Annual Barbecue
Tow pilot: Jim Rickey, Harold Gallagher


It was an excellent day for training students to tow but the lift existed mainly at low level out at the West Ridge. A good summary for the day is that Jan Zanutto and Martin Caskey played catch-em out at the Ridge for more than an hour but didn't get high and went nowhere special. There were also six students from Cal Poly, five plus Jennifer Bauman, representing the best of the aerospace engineering crowd, all somehow linked to Troy Wollman because they ranged from freshmen to seniors. However Jenn deserves the credit for starting the process, along with whoever brought her out initially. They are a great group of young people and should make us all proud that someday these fine students will be the leaders in their respective technology areas. I am proud of them and how well they have taken to their glider training. Fine additions to our CCSC and representative of Cal Poly, a great a university we have there in San Luis Obispo.

Now for the details. There were a few flights before our barbecue and the first few up included Rick Eason in the Orange Crush, Mario Pauda, with Jim Rickey towing. Then Alex Caldwell and Sergio Grajeda found time to launch as well as my new student, Luke Bughman. Later on, the six students from Cal Poly included Troy Wollman, Neiman Walker, Griff Malloy, Andrew Palmer, and of course, Jennifer Bauman. Jennifer, Troy, and Andrew are all members, having joined several weeks ago. Today, two more students joined the club, Luke Bughman and Griff Malloy. What's interesting is that even the students who were taking their first glider flight were amazingly good at the tow right from the beginning. I'm not sure how that happened but it must reflect the high caliber of young people attending Cal Poly. Either that or someone's teaching them glider towing while teaching them to engineer aerospace. Good for us.

Lunchtime found Julie Butler not only providing good food but being the Mistress of Ceremonies as well. It was quite nice to see so many show up for the Barbeque. I can't remember the last time we had that many members and family out here for any reason. The club membership rolls are swelling and that makes for good attendance and better club facilities for the future.

Mario Pauda launching in the Orange Crush.
Alex Caldwell and Sergio Grajeda talk about how far along Sergio has progressed.
Not sure what Alex is saying but Sergio doesn't look too happy.
Alex tells me that Sergio is very close to solo. He already has his Student Pilot's license and whenever Alex thinks he's ready, all the documents are in place for his presolo exam and solo flight.

Morgan Hall, Rick Eason, Peter Mersino, Dennis Lyons, Mario Pauda, Jim Rickey, Jan Zanutto, Ed Mandibles, Alex Caldwell, and Sergio Grajeda.
At this time, the brake fluid reservoir is being refilled. Brakes are important.
Nearing completion and will be able to launch for someone.
I know, Morgan can't believe it. The little cart is filled with Cal Poly students.
Attendance at our Annual Barbeque was excellent. About 30 or more showed up.
Julie Butler was great as MC and food provider.
The awards were given out as folks finished lunch and prepared to go flying.
Jan Zanutto had a brief speech to make as a result of his award.
Sitting quietly to the left of Jennifer Mersino is one of our best and most productive club members whose presence at Avenal has been sorely missed. Bart Klusek is back and we welcome him warmly. Bart, over the years, has contributed so much to the club that it's easy to forget that he has one of the longest commutes to Avenal of anyone. He lives in Davis a mere 216 miles from Avenal, a drive that usually takes more than 3 hours (3:16). Welcome back Bart. He also went flying in the 1-26 and found as little lift as anyone today. By the way, he's also responsible for finally fixing the golf cart, a condition that has plagued us for many months until Bart took a look and solved the problem. Thanks for all you do for the club, Bart.

The Cal Poly table was filled with new and returning CCSC members.
A few of the member's wives were there to grace our gathering.
Jeff Richardson wasn't going flying. Just storing the A/C registration in the cockpit.
Peter and Jennifer Mersino arrived in time for lunch, then departed shortly thereafter in their Cherokee 140.
Rick Eason's first launch in the 1-26 after receiving his Commercial License several weeks ago.
The launch area got a little busy at mid-day with gliders lined up four at a time.
Peter Sahlberg's 1-35 and Mike Paoli's Libelle will wait until Rick Eason launches in the 1-26.
The local Avenal Ghost visited our gliderport and was warmly greeted by a few brave members.
After waiting for the tow plane to refuel, Rick Eason is now ready for his first 1-26 flight.
Mike Paoli made at least three launches in his Libelle, getting much better with each of them.
Jan Zanutto is back after spending 90 minutes near Tar Canyon, flying around with Martin Caskey.
Jan said that there was only an amount of lift necessary to stay aloft a long time but no significant altitude and without being able to fly any long distance. He stayed near the upslope of the West Ridge, either in some kind of ridge lift, or as he said, might have been small thermals that were being pushed against the ridge by the largely eastern wind flow. Here is a video provided by Jan while soaring with Martin:

The camera is on Jan's ASW-20, flying near Martin in his Nugget.

Here's a short video clip of Martin and I chasing each other on Tar ridge. We both released around 3000 AGL and found that there was really nothing there, even over the mountains. So the gradual sled ride down put us into contact with what was either some minor ridge lift at Tar or thermals being blown against the ridge and stacked up to form some pretty good ridge lift effect. I was there for an hour and a half and I could have stayed longer if I had wanted.

Jan Z

Peter Sahlberg is finally able to launch after quite a few gliders launched ahead of him.
Jennifer Bauman is going for her first flight in the 1-26 and flew it very well, especially on takeoff.
Some of the Cal Poly contingent waiting in the weeds for their chance to fly.
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible next weekend. Remember, this is the best time for training with smooth air and a few scattered thermals to make things interesting.

Harold Gallagher.

No comments:

Post a Comment