Sunday, March 5, 2017

SATURDAY, February 25, 2017. Two new solos, almost three.

Visibility: Unlimited under an early overcast. Late clear skies.
Wind: Mostly light and variable from the northwest.
Altitudes: Tow altitudes and not much more.
Time Aloft: Maybe 20+ minutes depending.
Max Lift: A few quick bumps to 500 fpm.
Temperature: Cold, especially aloft in the backseat of a 2-33.
Comment: Zach Yamauchi and Jim Bell first solos.
Tow pilot: Jim Rickey, Harry Davies, Harold Gallagher, Jan Zanutto

Wow, what a day. Many flights among 20 or so students and pilots. Tall grass, weeds everywhere, Mike Paoli alone behind a mask weedwacking, Jim Rickey searching for a lost ballast bar in the tall weeds, and best of all, two new solos, Zach Yamauchi and Jim Bell. There was an almost third solo, but Eric Burlingame forgot his license even though he was completely prepared to solo. He'll solo next time out.

Two happy guys who have just completed their first solo flights in a glider.
Yamauchi's First Solo

Field office at Jurassic Park.
Zach isn't short, the weeds are tall.
Jeff Richardson ready in the 1-26 for a bit more than an sled ride.
Alex Caldwell and Richard Walker after a brief flight in the Orange Crush.
Connor Zabroki, Don Flinn, Bennett Diamond, and Eric Burlingame.
Another training flight takes off on a nice grass runway. Alex Caldwell and Richard Walker.
Don Flinn backseat with Connor Zabroki in training.
Most are Cal Poly students except for Jim Bell in the background.
Jeff Richardson debating with himself about going for another launch in the 1-26.
Lexy Aguirre running the wing for another launch of the Orange Crush.
Wyll Soll and Don Flinn preparing for launch in the Orange Crush.
Zach Yamauchi adding a GoPro to the wing of Big Bird for his first solo.
Zach is definitely ready for his solo flights and will do well.
Zach on tow over the gliderport in Big Bird for his first solo.
Very nice first solo landing for Zach Yamauchi as he rolls towards the launch area.
Troy Wollman about to launch with a friend from school in the front seat.
A favorite hang-out spot for the college crowd.
Jim Bell thinking about his first solo as he finishes his launch checklist.
Jim Bell is calm and collected and confident he will do well on his first solo. He did!!
Visitors to our gliderport await their first launch in a glider.
Eric Burlingame ready for launch in Big Bird.
Beautiful emerald green patterns on the fields around the gliderport.
Late sun and the green Kettleman Hills make for a nice picture of Avenal.
Eric Burlingame maneuvering into the pattern for his landing sequence.
The K Hills never looked so good.
Our beautiful green gliderport, but up close the weeds were waist high.
Wyll Soll and Don Flinn on tow after liftoff in the Orange Crush.
Bennett Diamond and Troy Wollman combine to launch the 1-26.
Troy completing the last items on his checklist before launch in the 1-26.
Our tow plane takiing into position for launching Troy in the 1-26.
On the roll.
With the sun low over the West Ridge, the Orange Crush lands on runway 31L.
Jan Zanutto was doing the towing earlier in the day.
Jim Rickey moving Big Bird into position for launch.
Jim Rickey wandering among the wild flowers.

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