Monday, May 16, 2016

SATURDAY, May 14, and SUNDAY, May 15, 2016

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: 5-7 knots from the NW
Altitudes: 6000+ msl.
Time Aloft: Several hours.
Max Lift: 8 knots
Temperature: A cool day in the mid 70's
Comment: Busy weekend for many
Tow pilot: Karl Kunz on Saturday, Jim Rickey on Sunday.

Click on any picture and they all will be viewed large size.

I just cannot say enough about the beautiful work done on Big Bird by the men and women of CCSC. You all must be really proud of how great that glider looks, either from a few feet away or from a few thousand feet aloft. It is a beacon of light when viewed from 5000 msl out by the foothills. Even standing on the ground at the patio and looking up when Jim Rickey made his northwest towing pass the stunning yellow glider against the blue sky is awesome. We don't worry about microscopic views. Few things look good when viewed too closely. But stand just a few feet away from Big Bird and feel the pride of workmanship and be happy that nice glider is part of our fleet. Shawn Knight flew in from Santa Inez and remarked that one could never miss seeing that beautiful glider in the air or on the ground.

Thanks to the restoration team for a job more-than-well done.

May 14th at Avenal ......................

Glider Row where the assembly takes place for most of the high performance sailplanes.
Andrew Ouellet, Julie Butler, and Daniel Clark assembling gliders.
Karl Kunz and Martin Caskey chat next to Martin's Nugget.
Glider Row is now longer and busier and ready for a fine soaring day.
Big Bird is on its way to the launch area for several demo flights scheduled today.
Alex Caldwell and Joan Anton on the right wing, David Anton on the left wing.
A Cessna 185 landing with Martin Caskey's friend aboard.
Turning final, flaps down, and a nice wheel landing follows.
A nice wheel landing, and it looks like a very well kept Cessna.
Alex Caldwell taking Joan Anton for her first glider ride. She loves speed and things that go fast.
Carl Engel waiting for the tow plane to move into position for his launch.
Carl working a 4-knot thermal and gaining plenty of altitude.
Now Carl turns that 4 knot thermal into a 6 knot thermal and heads up high.
The Orange Crush and two high performance sailplanes wait for their turn to launch.
Shawn Knight and his buddy on short final for runway 31R.
Shawn and his friend came to look over the Blanik possibly using it for parts on their L-23.
Carl Engel walking the wing after his BFR flights were completed.
Shawn and friend on board and ready to fire it up for a departure to Santa Inez.
Dan Clark in the DG100 who reported he got over Black Mountain. Good show, Dan.
Julie Butler arrived and before the truck arrived she determined to push the glider all the way back.
Dan Clark following Karl Kunz in the tow plane enroute to a good long flight.
Dan Clark in the DG100 on tow above the field.
A nice dust devil created at the solar farm work area.
Now it's David Anton's turn for a ride with Alex Caldwell. They stayed up over an hour.
Ethan Ronat pulling his glider out to the launch area.
David Anton aloft in Big Bird, still on tow, but probably releasing soon.
The clouds promised good soaring and it did get even better in late afternoon.
David Anton and Alex Caldwell on tow behind Karl Kunz flying the tow plane.
Sergio Grajeda helping Carl Engel prepare for launch in the 1-26.
Mike Paoli working on his Libelle preparing to fly it this afternoon.
Carl Engel's just about ready to launch so Sergio will hook up the tow rope.
Karl Kunz was our indefatigable tow pilot all day long.
Carl is launching in the 1-26, a bit less than his high performance sailplane but fun nonetheless.
In good position and just about to lift off the runway.
Mike Paoli at one of our favorite lunch counters, Subway in Avenal.
Cynthia Figueroa, Sergio Grajeda, Eileen Blanco, and Dulce Blanco.
Cynthia Figueroa getting hooked up for her first glider flight. Nervous but excited.
Ethan launching so fast I couldn't get all of the glider in the photo.
Ethan went out and had a nice long, high flight in a lazy afternoon with markers everywhere.
At the end of the day, the ships start coming back from wherever they flew.

Peter Sahlberg was here today but hardly a presence either launching or landing. I barely saw him for a few minutes. In the early photos you can see him in the far background with his 1-35 out of the hangar.


May 15th at Avenal ............................

There weren't too many members here on Sunday, made up mostly of the students from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. In particular, Jennifer Bauman and Troy Wollman are busy working on preparations for their check rides within the next three weeks.

Don Flinn was here today and took one of the new Cal Poly students, Lucas Payne, for a demo ride. Then later on Don flew with Troy Wollman.

Jenn and I did three flights, the same number with Troy, and on the longer flights both were up over 4500 msl, with Jenn getting just about to 5000 msl.

Paul Scheibel went on his fourth training flight and is making progress each time. The key is relaxing while flying a glider so that your somatosensory system can more easily tell you what's going on with the glider and the air surrounding it.

Jennifer Bauman had an epiphany of sorts during her final flight today. She said she worked extremely hard at not over-controlling the glider. It made quite a difference, especially on tow where the glider settled into a smooth sequence without all the adverse yaw moving the nose around and affecting the overall tow experience.

Finally, our Iron Man, Jim Rickey, who towed all day in rough air, then helped put gliders away, then helped put the tow plane away, then just when you thought he might collapse from exhaustion, he decides to stay around Avenal in the early evening and change the oil in the tow plane!!!! I don't know whether he just never has to rest or has more energy than four people. Whatever it is, he never seems to stop his activities on the field or off. Thanks for your tireless efforts, Iron Man Jim. Whew!!

The Cal Poly students preparing the gliders for launching.
Jennifer Bauman is walking the wing on Big Bird that will be first to launch.
The markers started forming about 11:30 am and continued most of the day.
Even looking south there were sufficient markers to entice one to fly there for the lift.
Now the Orange Crush is towed to the launch area where Don Flinn and Lucas Payne plan to fly it.
I know, I know. I'm going to have to stop taking pictures of this beautiful glider.
Troy Wollman seated in Big Bird thermalling in strong lift.
Andrew Ouellet about to fly his beautiful sailplane, but this time, not two long cross country flights.
Andrew was up for about an hour and a half and just did some relaxing sightseeing.
Jesse McClintock about to launch his amazing RC glider while Jennifer Bauman watches.
Just watching Jesse launch his model glider is impressive at how high he gets it.
Troy Wollman going for another flight to hone his skills for his soon-to-be checkride.
Soaring over 4000 msl in good lift we finally had to get back and lose all that good altitude.
The Avenal Effect was working today in keeping us aloft even though we needed to descend.
Troy Wollman seated comfortably? in Big Bird while practicing his checkride maneuvers.
That ended the soaring day and everyone had a chance to get aloft and stay there. As the late afternoon wore on, the lift was plenty and everywhere. But with fewer members out here today, only the Cal Poly students took advantage.

Hopefully we'll see more members out at the field next Saturday since this great weather has been showing up every weekend.



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