Sunday, April 10, 2016

SATURDAY, April 2, 2016. Great OLC Flights.

Visibility: Ceiling and Vis unlimited early, some cloud cover later.
Wind: Light and variable from the North
Altitudes: 9500+;  Ethan Ronat
Time Aloft: 4 hours: Ethan Ronat
Max Lift: 10 knots
Temperature: 80 deg plus.
Comment: We dominated Region 11 on the "On Line Contest" (OLC).
Tow pilot: Harry Davies, Jim Rickey, Alex Caldwell


The day didn't start out looking very good but the high performance glider pilots proved otherwise. Early on, lift was a bit difficult to find and stay in, especially for the student pilots. There were small beginning markers over the West Ridge, north and south, but they didn't seem too promising. However the day seemed very busy with nine gliders at a time waiting to be launched. Today we sure could have used either another tow plane or a much more powerful one. A few of the higher performance gliders couldn't get launched until well into the afternoon lift. Here are two blogs from Ethan Ronat and Bart Klusek:

Ethan Ronat:

Hi Harold,

For Saturday’s blog, the dry data from my flight:

Max altitude: 9500’ MSL
Time aloft: 4 hours
Max lift: 10 knots
Route: south to Soda Lake, then back north to the foothills north of Coalinga, and back south close to Paramount Farms, before returning to land at Avenal after 7pm.

Total of 320km, in my first X-country flight in the Discus CS.
No pictures, sorry. 


And Bart Klusek:


I heard rumors that the Russia was sad in her trailer and the forecast was decent so, after a long break, I came to Avenal. 
I launched after 2pm, and by then the conditions were good enough for me to stay up. Eventually I made it to the Black Mountain, found a nice thermal in the usual spot, climbed to 9-ish thousand feet and went north. I turned back some 15 miles past Coalinga, and landed after two and a half hours. Overall, a nice start to the season!


Morgan Hall sent around a nice email showing the results for Region 11 on the OLC. Check it out and you'll be impressed with what our pilots accomplished with their long distance soaring today. If you didn't keep a copy of that email, ask again for one from Morgan, then enjoy what the CCSC was able to do.

The assembly area is busy with high performance gliders being put together.
There are (ONLY?) 7 gliders waiting to be launched but later on it went to 9.
Jan Zanutto hovering over his ASW-20, just before his excellent flight.
Jim Rickey watching Morgan Hall and Troy Wollman prepare for their flight in the Duo Discus.
Harry Davies and Julie Butler assemble the DG100 for Harry's nice first cross-country flight. Yutaka Buto watches.
After launching a few gliders there were still SEVEN waiting to be pulled into the Wild Blue Yonder.
Our brand new CCSC member, Joseph Oldham, after his first glider flight ever. He loved it.
Joe Oldham is a long-time power pilot from Fresno and a member of the Central Valley Aviation Association who attended a presentation on glider flying for power pilots. He caught the bug and is now a member of the CCSC. WELCOME AND CONGRATULATIONS, JOE!!!

Jan Zanutto launching in his ASW-20 for one of his better flights.
Andrew Palmer and Neiman Walker moving Big Bird back to the launch area.
Julie Butler, Jan Zanutto, Dennis Lyons, and Karl Kunz chatting while waiting for the tow plane.
Bill Campbell from Fresno walking on the left, took his first Avenal glider ride.
Neiman Walker decided to check out in the 1-26 today and made a very good takeoff and landing after finding lift and remaining aloft for quite some time. He was steady on takeoff with no discernible PIO in any phase of his flight.

Neiman Walker on tow in his first flight in the 1-26. He did very well.
Bart Klusek ready for launch in the Russia and a nice flight described above.
Dan Clark and Yutaka Buto talking under the wing of Big Bird.
Nine gliders waiting at the launch area, everyone wanting to fly as soon as possible. The 1-26 is in the foreground.
Harry Davies rolling on tow, heading for an excellent first long cross-country flight in the DG100.
Julie Butler on tow, finally, after a long wait at the launch area.
Bill Campbell about to go for his first Avenal glider ride. He's had several flights years ago.
Bill Campbell is a long time power pilot who used to buy and sell the Valor, Light Sport Aircraft in the Fresno area. Bill has been at Avenal several times in his maroon Valor but never quite got a chance to fly. This time, not only did he fly, but worked very hard thermalling, gaining a lot of altitude and understanding the thermaling process. Bill has had some prior glider experience but too long ago and too little to remember much. He also is a member of the Central Valley Aviation Association and lives in Clovis.
After his flight, Bill said his shirt was soaked with sweat because of all the thermalling he was doing.
Morgan Hall in the Duo Discus following the bird on final to switch back seat passengers.
The bird did a go-around so it cleared final for Morgan Hall and Troy Wollman.
Morgan landed long to launch from the NW end of runway 31R.
Karl Kunz, finally, almost ready to launch in his beautiful ASW-20BL
Wow, that beautiful Big Bird, wild color and all, makes an impressive splash on the horizon.
Moving the Orange Crush back quickly so the tow pilot doesn't have to wait too long.
Jennifer Bauman launching in the 1-26 and had a fun flight coming up.
The tow plane launching from the NW end with a large glider in tow.
This time it's Morgan Hall and Neiman Walker flying in the Duo Discus.
The Duo Discus makes a beautiful picture, for the cover of  Soaring Magazine?
Late afternoon, Yutaka Buto is ready to launch in the 1-26.
I believe he may be one of the last to launch for the rest of the day.
A good way to end the story of April 2nd, with Yutaka looking very relaxed in the 1-26.

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