Sunday, September 25, 2016

SATURDAY, September 24, 2016. Lazy day, 14 tows, mostly Cal Poly Group.

Visibility: 40 miles in haze.
Wind: Light from the East
Altitudes: 45oo msl.
Time Aloft: Just over an hour.
Max Lift: 400 fpm
Temperature: 85 degrees F.
Comment: SLO day, with both meanings.
Tow pilot: Jim Rickey, Harold Gallagher

It was one of those lazy days where most pilots weren't in any hurry to launch. And most of them were from Cal Poly. The schedule looked full but when it came  to actually getting the gliders in the air, no one was in any hurry. The weather was cool, and it seemed like not much was happening aloft, but a few pilots, Troy in particular, showed us otherwise. Later in the day, the lift that was available earlier, all but disappeared.

I had several flights with Andrew Palmer who might just have soloed today except some of his paperwork was missing. Maybe next time we'll get him aloft alone.

Jennifer Bauman was back out here for the first time all summer. Sounds like she had a wonderful time during the summer months flying a number of different gliders at a soaring site on the East Coast. And the Cal Poly group was right along with her. Jesse McClintock , Andrew Palmer, Troy Wollman, Kyle O'Connell all showed up and all at least had one or more flights, solo or in the passenger seat.

Alex Caldwell and Sergio Grajeda used the time to prepare for the upcoming checkride, not yet scheduled. Near the end of the day, they flew several flights that were intended as practice checkrides. It looks like Sergio will be ready for Dan Gudgel in about three weeks. We wish him well.

The last flight of the day was Jim Rickey in the Orange Crush. Jim and I had shared the tow duties but he at least wanted to try his hand at finding some lift. Trouble is, the lift eluded him like it had all others in late afternoon. But since the weather was beautiful, cool, and hardly windy, no one seemed particularly upset and finding mostly sink.

Fall is here and with the passing of the Autumnal Equinox the shorter days will bring on much needed cool, smooth air. And that is the best time for training. If any of you reading this have always wanted to learn to fly anything, but gliders in particular, now is the time to come out to Avenal and begin your training.

The Cal Poly group moving Big Bird back into position after a flight by one of them.
Left to right, Jesse McClintock, Andrew Palmer, Jennifer Bauman, and Kyle O'Connell.
Big Bird is unhappy because three of its current students couldn't make it out here today.
Jennifer Bauman and Kyle O'Connell waiting for the tow plane to move into position.
Troy Wollman in the 1-26 up at 4000+ msl out toward the foothills.
With a telephoto lens, the heat aloft shows wiggles on the outline of the glider.
Troy has decided to come down and let Jennifer Bauman fly the 1-26.
Even though it seems early, there is no one else scheduled in Big Bird, so back to the tie down area it goes.
No one apparently wanted to fly the Orange Crush earlier but later it was used by Alex Caldwell and Sergio Grajeda.
Troy Wollman arriving in the 1-26 after a long flight  where good lift was found.
Alex Caldwell and Sergio Grajeda awaiting another launch for practice checkride flights.
A lovely flower out in the area of the outdoor men's bathroom.
Troy Wollman in the 1-26 again ready for another launch.
Kyle O'Connell walking past Troy Wollman seated in the 1-26.
Andrew Palmer and Jennifer Bauman sharing thoughts about the current school year.
Jesse McClintock feels the wheel is better than the ground, along with the shade.
That's Jim Rickey on the nose handle of the Orange Crush tying it down after the last flight.
About 2800 msl density altitude wasn't nearly as high as it has been in the heat of summer.
I hope everyone has a nice week and is looking forward to next Saturday for a cool day of soaring or training. Great time of year for either one.

Harold Gallagher

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