Monday, October 31, 2016

SATURDAY, October 29, 2016. Felicia Ferrer's First Glider Flight.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: Light and variable from the SE, then SW.
Altitudes: 4400 msl.
Time Aloft: Less than an hour.
Max Lift: 600 fpm briefly, most at 2-300 fpm
Temperature: Mid 70's.
Comment: Not very many members flew today.
Tow pilot: Jim Rickey, Harold Gallagher

Hardly anyone showed up.In fact, early one there were only four of us, Jim Bell, Felicia Ferrer, Jim Rickey, and me. Felicia was there for a demo ride, and Jim Bell for training. Later, Yutaka Buto and Troy Wollman arrived to make six, with Alex Caldwell seventh.

The lift was spotty and erratic. Early on the cloud markers were everywhere and reasonable lift appeared underneath. But as time went on, the clouds would appear, disappear, appear in another location, and finally in mid-afternoon the high cirrus really took over and mostly killed the lift. In spite of that, Troy Wollman, flying the DG100, was able to find lift, stay up, but not get very much higher than 4400 msl that Felicia and I were able to reach during the demo flight. Even so, I compliment him on his ability to work whatever lift was there and it looked like he was having fun thermalling in the neighborhood.

Jim Bell continues his excellent training and today he really GOT THE TOW. That's a normal progression because at first, trying to stay in position on tow is frustrating at best and downright defeating at worst. But at some point, most students just finally get it!!  And from that point on, the tow begins to recede into their subconscious so that they can more easily learn other maneuvers with confidence. Jim is there and now we'll concentrate on the required maneuvers necessary for solo flight. He's already got his nice shiny plastic student pilot license sent to him compliments of the FAA after fighting through the IACRA procedures.

Jim Rickey decided to fly Big Bird when both Felicia and Jim were finished with their flights. Jim usually finds lift "where no man has gone before" but today the lift was meager and hard to find.

The same experience confronted Yutaka Buto in the 1-26. He wasn't up too long before the erratic lift bedeviled him and he landed, quickly tying the glider down for the day.

Felicia Ferrer before her first glider ride. She wasn't nervous at all.
Jim Rickey is going to tow for Jim Bell and I. Jim did the tow better than ever and is moving toward solo.
Out of necessity we enlisted Felicia in the fine art of wing running. She did very well.
Felicia is looking forward to the experience of flight without an engine. She loved it.
The clouds weren't too high and not very strong lift underneath but the day was beautiful for any flying.
Felicia Ferrer had an enjoyable flight out near the West Ridge climbing to 4400 msl under a dark cloud.
After Felicia, Jim Bell and I flew again, and this time Jim did even better on tow.
Yutaka Buto tying down the 1-26 after a not-so-great flight looking for lift that was disappearing quickly.
As you can see, the high cirrus moved in and cut off whatever lift was there earlier.
Somehow though, Troy Wollman flew the DG100 after we all had finished and he managed to stay aloft.
Troy was still flying near the end of the day when the few people there had already gone home.

See you all next week when the weather will be just as nice as today. Remember, this is the BEST time of the year for glider training so if the spirit moves you, and learning to fly is on your bucket list, start now, don't wait, it only gets better now through March.

Harold Gallagher

Sunday, October 30, 2016

SATURDAY, October 22, 2016. CCSC Annual Meeting.

Visibility: Unlimited, with high cirrus, contrails, few puffys.
Wind: From the southeast but mostly light.
Altitudes: Probably something close to 5000 msl.
Time Aloft: About an hour or so.
Max Lift: 500 fpm
Temperature: Low 80's. Very comfortable.
Comment: CCSC Annual Meeting after flights.
Tow pilot: Iron Man Andrew Ouellet, all 25 of the tows!!!

Well, the day was a success, not in terms of lift.There wasn't much. But measured on the basis of how many flights took place, how many new members signed up, and how great the food was at the banquet in the evening. I didn't get all the names but I trust Jennifer Bauman or Troy Wollman to supply me with the names of those new members who joined and bought log books from me.

In my 25 years in the club that meal last night was probably the best ever. The variety and quality of the separate dishes was superb and the meat had a flavor that was so good Raphaela had seconds and she doesn't normally ever have another portion of meat. Congratulations to all who made the evening such an enjoyable one. And the award recipients were right on. And we cannot forget Andrew Ouellet for an iron man accomplishment in towing at least 25 launches. 

Great day all around. And who cares about the weak/absence of lift. It was just wonderful seeing all our members there and adding another three Cal Poly students to the roster. 

And thanks to Peter Sahlberg we have a new and colorful wind sock on the pole. 

There were many excellent comments on the day, mostly verbal but following are comments sent via email:

Here is Alex Caldwell:

The banquet was great. It was fun hanging around all day,  working up an appetite while watching all the flying going on and the camaraderie being enjoyed. It was fun running wings, hooking up tow lines,  helping to retrieve people  and clearing out a path through the tumbleweeds so Mike Paoli could get his glider from 13R back to his hangar. Watching the newly rated glider pilots giving rides and seeing other members turn out that we had not seen as much lately was a lot of fun.   Jim Rickey giving a ride in the 2-33 to 11 y/o Eileen in the front seat ( after careful weight and balance calculation )  were highlights of the day (Ed note: Eileen chose the back seat after mulling it over). The roast pork by Morgan was fantastic,  as well as all the other dishes.  I would like to suggest  new club award for next year. It should be based on Sergio Grajeda's flight bag that survived being run over and dragged on  I-5 by a number of 18 wheelers the night  prior to his scheduled private pilot checkride.  I'm not sure what the criteria for winning the award should be, but I wouldn't want it to require the winner to endure what the flight bag went through!
Alex Caldwell

Here's Dennis Lyons:

For anyone who missed tonight's dinner at the clubhouse sure missed a great meal & great time. Well done , Julie!!

A good flying day was had by those who flew.  ( Even if it was 'flat'.)

Noticed the new windsock late in the afternoon.  Looking good.  Thanks Peter.

And Karl Kunz:

 Always enjoy the October get together, sorry I missed it this year. Karl Kunz

Dennis Lyons and Martin Caskey prepare for a long day of flying and eating dinner.
Jennifer Bauman and Troy Wollman moving the DG100 out to the launch area NW of the clubhouse.
A lot of activity already taking place out at the NW launch area.
Flights began early and continued all day long with some new Cal Poly students arriving.
Rick Eason moving the 1-26 out to the launch area, helped by Carsten Moeller.
Big Bird on takeoff Runway 13L, Sergio's first flight taking a passenger along.
Sergio Grajeda is taking his girlfriend, Dulce Blanco, for her first ride with him as Pilot.
Rick Eason, Carsten Moeller, and Jim Rickey present for the move of the 1-26 to the NW launch area.
Andrew Ouellet on one of his many turns to final after a tow and before the next one.
Andrew was tireless and kept going all day long, with a short stop for fuel.
The DG100 saw a lot of use today, mostly with Jennifer Bauman and Troy Wollman.
Looks like another of the Cal Poly students being taken on a demo flight in the Orange Crush.
A common sight all day long, with Andrew Ouellet landing on runway 31L, and getting another tow hooked up quickly.
The Schweizer 1-26 saw a lot of action today with a variety of pilots flying it.
Interesting view of the DG100 just before launching on runway 13L.
The 1-26 was flown a lot by a variety of pilots,all having fun in that nice little sailplane.
The rope is not yet taut so it will be a few seconds until the takeoff roll begins.
Peter Sahlberg has his 1-35 behind Big Bird with Carsten Moeller, Richard Walker, Martin Caskey on hand.
Big Bird's wing is up so the slack will be taken out by the tow pilot before launching.
It looks like Carsten Moeller flying Big Bird on short final to runway 13R.
Peter Sahlberg ready for launch, the tow rope is taut, and his wings are up.
The DG100 on another flight, probably piloted by either Jennifer Bauman or Troy Wollman.
Nice lineup of gliders all waiting to launch. Now all we need is another tow plane, like a Pawnee.
The line is getting busier with the latest addition of the Orange Crush
Neiman Walker launching in the 1-26 with wing runner, Sergio Grajeda.
Neiman is concentrating on the launch as the wings are level and the rope appears taut.
Mike Paoli's Libelle is in position with the help of Carsten Moeller and Sergio Grajeda.
Dennis Lyons is getting his ASW-20 ready for launching.
Sergio is about to hook up Mike Paoli in his Libelle for what turned out to be several flights.
Mike Paoli has just begun moving forward on launch behind Andrew Ouellet in the tow plane.
On short final for runway 13R, the 1-26 is certainly a fun sailplane to fly.
Our poor windsock is in tatters and has been that way for some time. Today it gets a new suit.
Peter Sahlberg climbing up to replace the tatters with a nice, new windsock he brought to Avenal today.
Jim Rickey was the lucky pilot to take Eileen Blanco for a glider ride. She has waited a few hours on the patio.
I think all Eileen needed to do was smile at Jim Rickey and he quickly offered to take her up in Big Bird.

This picture came from Steve Schery who had this to add:

Girl who upon seeing Steve Schery for the first time said my glasses were ugly and made me look like a girl. I told her thanks for the tip and I would try to get them replaced as soon as possible.

The Cal Poly group gathered near where Jennifer is going to launch in the DG100.
Jesse McClintock is going to hook up the rope to the DG100 for Jennifer Bauman.
Concentration on the tasks at hand will ensure a successful launch and flight.
It looks like Carsten Moeller flying the Orange Crush on short final to runway 13R.
Jennifer Bauman is lined up, the DG100 wings are level, the tow line is taut and she's ready for takeoff.
Elke Schmadicke from Switzerland is arriving in a Piper 180, N3958R, from Oceano Co. Airport.
Troy Wollman taking another Cal Poly student for a demo ride in Big Bird.
Jennifer Bauman on the takeoff roll in the DG100. She had a nice flight with some lift.
Some of the new students from Cal Poly helping to ready the next glider to launch.
I think at least three of those shown joined the club, bought log books and plan on beginning their training.
Andrew Ouellet is still going at it, nearing 20 tows so far, with more to come.
Eventually Big Bird will fly again but a nice conversation takes place first.
All those poles in the background are located at the Avenal State Prison three miles SE.
Jennifer Bauman is having a very nice flight, working what little lift is up there somewhere.
Jennifer was higher than this photo shows using a telephoto lens to capture her thermalling.
Yes, Big Bird is flying again with Ethan Ronat taking his oldest son, Gilad, for a glider ride.
There are enough students all around to help out wherever and whenever necessary.
Nearing the end of the day, the sun is heading for the West Ridge, while Andrew lands to the SE.
Ethan Ronat and Gilad on tow in Big Bird behind Andrew in the tow plane.
Ethan is flying in the back while Gilad is videotaping the flight from the front seat.
On tow high above the field Ethan and Gilad enjoy the setting sun that spreads a golden color on everything.
Elke Schmadicke firing up the Cherokee 180 for a return trip to Fresno Chandler airport.
The weather was perfect, the members all had fun and enjoyed one another and the food was the best ever.
Award winners: Jennifer Bauman, Jim Rickey, Carl Engel, Martin Caskey, and Harry Davies.
For those of you who missed the Annual meeting, don't miss our Annual Banquet next year.

Harold Gallagher