Tuesday, August 8, 2017

SATURDAY, August 5, 2017. Hot but nice for moderate soaring.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: Light and variable from the E
Altitudes: More than 4000 msl.
Time Aloft: More than two hours.
Max Lift: 9.6 m/s from Peter Sahlberg, and 600 fpm from Big Bird.
Temperature: More than 104 degrees
Comment: Not many students or pilots out today.
Tow pilot: Peter Mersino, after a few months absence.

There weren't too many ships aloft today but those that were had fun and managed to remain aloft for several hours. I'm expecting stories from Karl Kunz and Jan Zanutto, but in the meantime, Peter Sahlberg offered this description of his flight;


 Nice to see you at the field!  Here is the write up for yesterdays flight:

 I launched in the 1-35 about 1:40.  The weather service said it was 96 degrees and that felt about right.  Jan had launched and returned and Karl had gone before me; it seemed that it was still soft in the foothills.  Off at 3,500 in 2-3 knots near Tar Peak I made a hash of circling and still managed to hold my own and move farther west over the mountains.  This area had recently burned and there were still small pillars of smoke rising here and there.  I ran up the ridge toward Black and saw that the smoke columns were dust devils sucking white ash.  There was good lift here; I recorded 9.6 m/s in one bubble. I also had a visit from a hawk who didn't seem thrilled to see me.  I used that climb to run north; found nothing and came back to the ridge, climbed again and headed to Orchard Peak.  I reversed course at Orchard and once again headed back to the burn area.  I saw Jan in front of me and the hawk was close behind.  After a short climb and another hawk visit I headed back to Avenal to find Jan landing and Karl nearby.  A good 2 hour flight after a long time off.

Peter Sahlberg.

Karl Kunz assembling his ASW-20 early in the day.

Informal chat on the patio with Peter Mersino, Elee, and Peter Sahlberg.

Peter Mersino towing the first flight of the day, with Eric Burlingame in Big Bird.

Eric Burlingame solo in Big Bird as the first flight of the day. More to come soon.

Not a lot of lift early but Eric made the best of it staying aloft for perhaps 45 minutes.

A long landing by Eric but a very nice approach and touchdown.

Peter Sahlberg and Karl Kunz talk about where they might find lift after both launch.

Peter Mersino towing the 1-26 past Peter Sahlberg's Schweizer 1-35.

Neiman Walker launching in the 1-26. He returned early but had a better flight later on.

Ken Talovich walking the wing after his demo flight that he thoroughly enjoyed just observing.

Now it's Karl Kunz turn to launch and he, too, was aloft for several hours.

Jan Zanutto and his buddy launching in the Grob 103 for another of the day's long flights.

Eric Burlingame and Alex Caldwell team up for a training flight and some good thermalling.

Everything is done for the pre-launch checklist and now they're waiting on the tow plane to move into position.

Ken Talovich running the wing for Eric and Alex.

A beautiful sky all day long.

Actually he ran much farther than I thought he would. Nice going Ken.

This was the last flight of the day but Alex and Eric didn't know it at the time. 

Untying the rope used to tow the 150 back to the hangar. It balked at starting in this hot weather.

Yes, it was hot, with 4000 msl density altitude and over 104 degrees.

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