Monday, January 30, 2017

SATURDAY, January 28, 2017. Flight operations resume finally.

Visibility: Unlimited, especially when above the Kettleman Hills and one could see the snowy Sierra.
Wind: Calm
Altitudes: Tow altitudes, a few to 3800 msl.
Time Aloft: Mostly tow time at about 18-20 minutes total for a 2000 agl tow.
Max Lift: A few little bumps but nothing sustainable.
Temperature: Mid 50's.
Comment: Work early on filling in gopher holes toward the northwest end of the runways.
Tow pilot: Frank Owen

Wow. What a large turnout for a Saturday after five straight weekends with no flight operations. Most of the newcomers were from college and were first timers out here at Avenal. The field was just marginal although most ruts made were deep depressions rather than ugly deep tracks. The grass everywhere reminded me of Ireland with green color at every quadrant. In no time we'll have to mow the grass because out here it grows uncommonly fast.

There were quite a few students and student pilots that wanted to fly another flight, and several that wanted to fly even a first flight but the day was too busy to fit many of them in for a flight. The day just seemed to go by slowly with only a few flights per hour. but Don and I were busy most of the time. Waiting seemed to take up an inordinate amount of the day.

I have two students who will solo next time out and another who is very close to solo. So when the next day of operations presents itself, it will be fun to watch them make the first of many solo flights in the future.

Jennifer Bauman, Wyll Soll, Bennett Diamond, and Eric Burlingame wait for a tow aloft.
Lexy Aguirre running the wing for Troy Wollman and his passenger Megan.
The college folks liked to gather around the launch area picnic table with Dulce Blanca in the middle.
Some are familiar: Eric, Olivia, Lexy, Jennifer, and Wyll Soll.
Jim Bell doing a nice steep turn to the left, getting the rust out from being away for 6 weeks.
After his flight, Jim Bell had to walk back to get the vehicle for towing back to the launch area.
Mike Paoli, Richard Walker, Nels Siverson, Karl Kunz, and Bennett Diamond taking in the warm sunshine.
Big Bird after Jim Bell's nice, safe landing in preparation for his solo next weekend.
Big Bird still continues to look great even after many months of usage. A great bird.
Wyll Soll and Don Flinn nearly ready for takeoff in the Orange Crush. Bennett Diamond wing runner.
Jim Bell and Nels Siverson swapping old war stories while waiting for a training flight.
Karl Kunz taxiing out for takeoff in his beautiful 1952 Cessna 170B.
Karl Kunz is heading home to retirement which he did last month from United Airlines.
Jennifer Bauman taking a student for a glider ride while Troy Wollman and another student run the wing.
Don Flinn waiting for the tow plane while Lexy Aguirre gets settled in for the training flight.
Troy Wollman taking another student for an introductory glider flight.
Neiman Walker departing Avenal for San Luis Obispo and back to the campus.
Surrounding the IP is a lot of standing water left by all the rains we've had lately.
The entrance to the solar farm is completely flooded and the ground is drenched at the beginning of our runway 7.

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