Thursday, February 4, 2016

SATURDAY, January 16, 2016 Written by Andrew Palmer

Visibility: 25 SM+ under the overcast
Wind: Light breeze from the southeast
Altitudes: None
Time Aloft: None
Max Lift: None
Temperature: 62 deg. F maximum
Comment: No flying today!
Tow pilot: None

Click on the photos for larger sizes of all photos.

The Akafliegers were out in force today. After a long and relaxing Christmas break, the Cal Poly students returned to Avenal ready for a full year of flying.  Jennifer Bauman, Troy Wollman, Neiman Walker, Luke Bughman, Griff Malloy, Jesse McClintock, Andrew Palmer, and Beth Hotchkiss came to the field despite the warnings of inclement weather. They used their time at Avenal to clear the launch end of the field of tumbleweeds and larger plants to allow more gliders to line up and thus hopefully decrease the time between launches. There were also plans to inspect the winch line more closely by running it out along the field and looking for surface tears or fuzzy sections of the spectra but due to the muddy field this was postponed for a later weekend.

The Cal Poly group decided to work around the field when the flying wasn't going to happen.
A selfie taken by Jennifer Bauman showing the group hard at work at the launch end of runway 31.
A contest to see how far one could throw the remnants of weeds at the launch end
Not sure who won the contest but the weeds were gotten rid of nevertheless.
Mostly wrapping up the work at the end of the day.

The field was slimy on the surface with some definitive muddy spots in the morning. As the day warmed up, the field dried a little but it was still far too wet to even drive the golf cart on the main strip. Some of the Akafliegers worked to remove some of the ruts that had been created during ops the previous week and were fairly successful at smoothing them out before the ground became too dry to pack down later in the afternoon.

Jim, Martin, and Dan also came to Avenal to check on the performance of the towplane and to possibly give it a test flight. The towplane did start up and ran to their satisfaction. Martin and Jim checked the field all day to find a 600’ stretch to use for a towplane test flight, but unfortunately it was determined that the field was still too wet even at the end of the day to risk getting ruts on the field.

            A working day at Avenal! Even though there was no flying to be had, spirits were high and at the end of the day the field and the towplane were ready for another great year of soaring!

--Andrew Palmer

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