Saturday, January 2, 2016


Visibility: More than 30 miles
Wind: Light and variable from the northwest
Altitudes: Tow altitudes only
Time Aloft: 20 minutes plus or minus
Max Lift: 50 fpm when you could find it.
Temperature: Mid 70's
Comment: Cal Poly students made up most of the activity.
Tow pilot: Jim Rickey and Harold Gallagher

Click on the photos for larger sizes of all photos.

It wasn't much of an operations day but the Cal Poly students made it fun. While Jim Rickey and his help worked on Big Bird, there were a few training flights. First up was Clark Woolf who continues to develop a good set of flight skills. Today he was rusty from not flying for a few weeks and he recognized how that kind of a layoff can affect one's skills. But by the end of the second flight he had regained what he had lost during the past weeks. His progress is excellent and there is no doubt he'll solo on his 14th birthday.

Clark Woolf going over his pre-launch checklist for safety and a fun flight.
 The Cal Poly students were out in force, totaling eight, with one new member added. Beth Hotchkiss joined the club today and we welcome her as part of that great group of students from San Luis Obispo. Richard Walker took her for a first ride while I did the towing when I could. Jim Rickey filled in when there was no other alternative and I appreciated his help. The only student who elected to take a training flight was Andrew Palmer who is working diligently toward his solo flight. He will solo soon enough as I notice his skills getting better and his decision making is right on target.

It was a good day for the students who dominated use of the Orange Crush and had no competition for it during the day.

A little help from Troy checking the fuel level before riding in the tow plane.
Now it's Troy's turn to make a solo flight just to stay current.
The students gathering around while the Orange Crush is readied for launch.
It's nice to see them all supporting one another all day long, not tiring at all.
The tow plane is taxing into place for Troy's launch.
Rope is nearly taut and when that happens, Troy can signal he's ready to go.
The tow plane aloft en-route back to the field for another try.
Moving the Crush back quickly so that another flight or two can launch before sunset.
They almost put it away but another student wanted one more flight.
It's back to the launch area for one more flight before the sun drops below the West Ridge.
Here they all are after a fun-filled day of watching, helping, flying, and tying down.

They can pick which of the three photos of the group they want to save.

The end of the day and now they will all head home for the Holidays. Have fun and we'll see you all next year.

Harold Gallagher

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