Tuesday, August 29, 2017

SATURDAY, August 26, 2017. Another hot day, few members out today.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: Light from the NW.
Altitudes: 5000 msl, Jan Zanutto
Time Aloft: 2 hours, Jan Zanutto
Max Lift: 800 fpm.
Temperature: 105 degrees, 4200 ft density altitude.
Comment: Hot and extremely dusty (on takeoff) day. Carlos Grajeda continues beautifying the field.
Tow pilot: Initially, no one. Then Alex Caldwell showed up so he and I could swap towing.

There were few of us at the field today. Alex Caldwell, Joe Anastasio, Ken Talovich, Jan Zanutto, and Patrick Ciolkosz. As stated above, Alex and I swapped tows for one another. Alex towed Jan and Patrick out to Black Mountain where he had this to say about his flight:

Harold, here is a brief write-up from yesterday:

My friend Patrick Ciolkosz has wanted a glider ride for quite some time. We decided yesterday was the day so we rolled the Grob out and launched around 1:45. I took a 3K tow directly to Black Mountain where we released in some good strong lift. It was a bit deceiving though, because after several attempts to break free of the magnetic pull of Black Mountain we just couldn't get a climb above 5K. We migrated back to my favorite spot at Castle Peak where there is normally a good climb but 5K was tops.

There was quite a bit of radio chatter, guys up out of Truckee hitting 16.5, and guys down at Tehachapi doing similar triumphs. There were some nice markers that looked at least 4K above us, to the north just above Center Peak, and I tried pushing out north but just couldn't connect with anything that was going to get me there. The Temblors and California Valley had nice markers as well. We heard some calls from guys launching out of Hollister and they weren't getting anything except some weak action from the normal EL spots. 

We still stayed up 2 hours in the ridge effect off of Black, doing mostly S turns and getting a look at the charred ground below us. It was nice to see that the bird population did not get snuffed out by the fires. We were accompanied by some ravens, and on one of my lower passes by the microwave tower I thought I saw one of the local eagles perched up on top of a tree.

Air quality was horrible below 5K, but as the saying goes- a bad day soaring is better than the best day at work....

Jan Zanutto and his buddy, Patrick Ciolkosz prepare the Grob for flight.

Ken Talovich waiting for his second flight in preparation for his upcoming solo flights.

Joe Anastasio and Alex Caldwell flew over an hour, enough for his single BFR flight.

Putting the Grob to bed after a nice 2-hour flight to 5000 msl.

Patrick Ciolkosz helping Jan bundle the Grob as protection from the dust and sun.

It moved above 4000 ft density altitude by late afternoon. 105 degrees on the field.

Ken Talovich leaving Avenal in his beautiful RV-8 after two good glider flights that makes him ready for solo.

Ken lifting off toward the clouds to the NW of Coalinga enroute to Merced, CA.

Very late afternoon, after all had quit flying, the clouds began marking lift over the Temblors.

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