Monday, June 27, 2016

SATURDAY, June 25, 2016, Hot and Rough; just a few members.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: NW at 6 knots
Altitudes: 5100 msl - Jim Rickey
Time Aloft: 2 hours - Jim Rickey
Max Lift: 8 knots
Temperature: 100 deg F.
Comment: Slow day, few members, more training.
Tow pilot: Allen White, Jim Rickey, Yutaka Buto, Harold Gallagher



Troy's rollout on his second checkride flight.
Troy Wollman and Dan Gudgel after Troy's successful checkride for his Private Pilot's License - Glider.

It wasn't an exceptionally busy day here at Avenal. Most of the flights consisted of training in both Schweizer 2-33's. Joaquin Riviera, Carsten Moeller, Sergio Grajeda, and Troy Wollman made most of the training flights in those aircraft. The high performance sailplanes that were flown today included the DG100, Harry Davies' newly purchased Libelle (from Moab, UT) and our own 1-26 flown by Mike Paoli.

Allen White arrived this morning and flew several tows just to keep his hands on the yoke. The heat takes its toll so Allen passed off the towing to Yutaka, and later to Jim Rickey. I towed only three times.

It was hot today and thermal heights were mostly 4500 msl, with one brief fling at 5100 msl by Jim Rickey. At least getting above about 2500 msl proved to be worth it because of the cooler air.

The air was very rough and pushed the 2-33's around on tow quite a bit. The newer students struggled with tow position and the heat in the cockpit at lower altitudes made for a sometimes queasy flight. All worked out OK but this time of year, with temps over 100 deg F, makes for uncomfortable training flights. It was a lot warmer than that on the ground since the runway dirt surface was very hot to the touch.

Joaquin Riviera brought his son, Joaquin, Jr, along and the young boy was a model of good behavior on the patio. Joaquin, Sr, and I flew two training flights and he continues to progress towards his solo flying.

Troy Wollman and I did three good prep flights in anticipation of his checkride on Monday. We also spent three additional hours in preparing for the oral portion of the checkride. When I finally left Avenal at 7:15 pm, I felt that Troy was ready for the testing. He had scored a 92% on his written exam and that was a good indicator of the work he did on his own in preparation. So I felt he had an excellent chance to pass the checkride for his Private Pilot License - Glider. We wish him luck on Monday.

Finally, Jim Rickey went aloft in Big Bird just after Yutaka Buto had flown the 1-26. Yutaka's flight was a bit short since there was sink everywhere the lift wasn't. It made finding lift and staying in it a rather interesting challenge. Somehow Jim Rickey manages to find lift where the rest of us can't, and today was no exception. There he was, one moment looking like he was entering the pattern, the next minute he was so high we couldn't visually spot him easily. Nice going Jim.

Joaquin Riviera running the wing for Sergio Grajeda.
Carsten Moeller flying several pattern tows landing on runway 7.
Harry Davies about to fly his newly purchased Libelle for the first time.
Carsten Moeller finishing one of his pattern tows, landing on ruway 7.
Harry is ready, wings up, signal given to the tow plane and off he went.
Good takeoff, no discernible PIO, in good position, and had a good flight.
Jeff Richardson flying the DG100 just to keep his skills sharp without too much time off.
MikePaoli flying the 1-26 instead of his Libelle because it's easier to get ready to fly.
Troy Wollman in Big Bird for his last practice flights before his checkride.
Troy on takeoff still over runway 31R behind the tow plane.
One day soon we need to clear this area for a longer takeoff run on runway 31R.
Two of the three club workhorses, the Orange Crush and the 1-26.
Troy downwind for landing runway 13R.
Troy's last flight before his checkride on Monday, June 27th. We wish him luck.
Sergio Grajeda on final one of his many pattern tows in the Orange Crush.
A good pattern and landing on runway 13L for Sergio.
Jim Rickey, the amazing thermal seeker, finally lands after about 2 hours aloft.
Jim's nice landing and roll out right up to the tie down area. The last flight of the day.
That's all folks, see you next weekend when the weather will still be hot and above the 100 mark.


Harold Gallagher

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