Tuesday, December 20, 2016

SATURDAY, December 10, 2016.

Visibility: More than 40 miles under the cloud deck.
Wind: NNW at 5-8 knots
Altitudes: 4000 msl.
Time Aloft: Less than an hour.
Max Lift: 500 fpm.
Temperature: Low 60's to high 50's.
Comment:  Waves to the south, cold air aloft.
Tow pilot: Dan Gudgel, Neiman Walker

It was a busy day with many people out here, both demo flights and training. We had three visitors who just may come back one day as members of the club. Anthony Azevedo has a business nearby in Five Points which makes a quick trip to Avenal possible. Anthony seemed interested in perhaps learning to fly.

The other visitors were Pete Goulding and Kat Winkelman who live in Paso Robles. Pete just acquired a modified HP-18 and is planning to bring it to Avenal after some work needs to be done on it. Some of us knew Bruce Patton who also built his own HP-18 but not modified much from plans.

Fortunately I had two college students for training flights today and one very young  student, Erich Harding, who is doing well for his age of 11 yrs. The college guys are Zak Yamauchi and Eric Burlingame and both are progressing nicely. Eric already holds a power rating so his progress is moving along more quickly. He will likely solo soon after he returns from the holidays.

Don Flinn had the majority of students that included Bennett Diamond, Connor Zabrocki, Alexia Aguirre, and Andrew Ochoa. There were numerous flights today and it kept Neiman Walker busy both learning early with Dan Gudgel and later on towing alone. All agreed his performance was excellent.

There were two demo flights today from construction workers temporarily stationed at Lemoore Naval Air Station. They were just a few days away from returning home to Maryland where they have homes.

We were happy to see John Harbick finally show up once again after being away for several months. But in that time he had to endure more "stuff" than anyone should expect. Hopefully the holidays will be kinder to him and Peggy than they have so far.

Lenticular clouds to the south but fairly mild winds here in Avenal.
Erich Harding keeps progressing nicely, especially for an 11 year old young man.

Erich's landing was almost completely unassisted with a nice smooth touchdown.
The Orange Crush is just beginning its takeoff roll. 
Sergio Grajeda and Larry Johnson helping Joe Anastasio assemble the PW-5.
Dan Gudgel is teaching Neiman Walker how to fly the tow plane expertly.
Don Flinn and student launching in the Orange Crush.
Alex Caldwell and John Harbick going for a nice flight together. It's about time John flew again.
Typical lineup of gliders waiting for a tow.
Neiman Walker learning quickly and is doing very well for first time towing.
Don Flinn and student launching in the Orange Crush.
Glider inbound on short final for runway 31L.
Alex Caldwell and John Harbick on tow again in Big Bird
The PW-5 sits between the two trainers. Joe Anastasio is flying today along with a few more college students.
Zak Yamauchi, Bennett Diamond, Connor Zabrocki, Wyll Soll, and Andy Ochoa.
Zak Yamauchi ready for another training flight with great enthusiasm.
Jim Rickey, surprise, about to fly the 1-26 after a few weeks of helping others. Connor standing by.
Neiman Walker now flying tows with no guidance from Dan. He's doing quite well.
Jim Rickey ready for launch. That's Wyll Soll running the left wing.
Now that's what we liked to see. Jim Rickey enjoying the momentary launch.
Don Flinn and Bennett Diamond on final for runway 31L. Nice picture.
Don Flinn launching with Andy Ochoa in the Orange Crush.
Andy Ochoa and Don Flinn on final in the Orange Crush landing runway 31L.
Eric Burlingame waiting in Big Bird for the Orange Crush to land on runway 31L.
Another good day of training with the air smooth enough for good tow experience. Get as much training in these winter days as possible and you'll be happy you did when the really good soaring conditions arrive in Spring.

Harold Gallagher

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