Tuesday, November 21, 2017

SATURDAY, November 18, 2017. Good training, more demos.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: Light and variable mostly from the NW.
Altitudes: Not much above tow altitude.
Time Aloft: Less than one hour.
Max Lift: 4-5 kts sporadically
Temperature: mid 70's
Comment: Use of both 2-33's made it an easy scheduling day.
Tow pilot: Jan Zanutto, thanks for your time today.

It was a nice easy day for glider scheduling and towing so Jan had time to take a few photos during his reign as towplane King. Here are the four he submitted, followed by the rest taken by me during various times:

Jan named this picture "bb". You'll have to ask him. It probably means Big Bird.
And this one he called "aliens". Carrot field with circular irrigation west of the field.
And this one, simply "towing". The digital cameras all stop the prop in weird positions and shapes.
And this one Jan named "lard". Hope it doesn't apply to anyone in particular.
Don Flinn working with his student, our newest tow pilot, Griffin.
Nothing like having the club President, Mike Paoli, hooking up the cable with a few others watching.
Two good friends from Fresno, Bob and his son Brad Crooks. Brad is first up for his demo flight.
Brad is looking over the checklist while his dad, Bob, observes carefully.
Brad is observing the bank angle while we search for lift. We found enough to remain up for 34 minutes.
Here we are in a 4 knot thermal and managed to gain back 1100 feet after sinking low enough to enter the pattern.
A bit of exaggeration on the bank angle. Look at the horizon. We are in zero sink.
Brad and I are just about to head into the pattern after milking this weak thermal for 34 minutes.
This is Bob Crooks first ride in a glider. He's the proud builder and owner of a great RV-10.
Bob acknowledged that glider flying is definitely different than power flying.
We managed to milk the same thermal that Brad and I had earlier but this time could only stay up 27 minutes.
Sam McHam arrived from Clovis with his brother, Glenn and went for his first glider ride.
Glenn videoed the flight and let's hope it came out OK. Sam was having fun up front.
We did a tour of the area including over Avenal and Sam got in a good demo flight if not necessarily very high or long.
Back on the ground, Sam was exhilarated by the new experience. I wonder if he'll return someday.
Sam on the left and Glenn McHam are two very nice brothers from Clovis.

Monday, November 20, 2017

SATURDAY, November 11, 2017.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: 3-4 kts from the NW
Altitudes: Mostly tow altitude
Time Aloft: Half hour
Max Lift: 3-4 kts.
Temperature: Mild, in the 70's.
Comment: Both 2-33's put to good use.
Tow pilot: Griffin

Generally a very nice day with limited but definite lift to be found on non-training flights.

Looks like a very nice day for some not-so-high soaring.

Rick Eason and Jan Zanutto are putting their Grob 103 into the box for a trip to Merced. Winterizing it.

Jim Rickey pondering over the variometers in the 1-26. He puzzled most of the day.

Rick had lots of hands to help put the big sailplane in the box.

Looks like it will go in this time. It is definitely not a fragile, dainty sailplane.

Ken Talovich preparing for one of his three solo flights today. After today, he's ready for a 1-26 checkout.

Ken's a guy that really, really loves to fly and it always shows on him.

Ken is flying the newest 2-33 in our fleet, bought from a site in upper Oregon.

Back for another solo flight. Ken Talovich now has about 10 solo flights in the 2-33.

Thanks for help from Jay piloting the golf cart while Ken walks the wing.

A nice position on tow for yet another solo flight. Ken's really doing well.

Ken is turning final for runway 31 and in excellent position.

Jay and Griffin working as a team going out and gathering up gliders that have landed short of the takeoff area.

This should be the last of Ken's solo flights in the 2-33. Next time out, he will solo the 1-26.

SATURDAY, September 30, 2017.

Visibility: Clear
Wind: Variable from NW and SE
Altitudes: 4900 msl, Alex Caldwell
Time Aloft: 2+ hours
Max Lift: 6 knots
Temperature: Cool and beautiful
Tow pilot: Jim Rickey, Dan Gudgel, Griffin

Here is Richard Walker's flight description:

Thanks to everyone on the ground for assistance in getting a late afternoon tow.  Our new Tow Pilot Griffin did the honors and dropped me off in 4 knot lift.  

Gaining about 400 ft I went in search of additional lift.  Found some North of the prison and generally worked lift in that area. I worked lift from hwy 33 to the hills.  I didn't find much to the west and headed back toward the Barn and found some lift there.  I was down to 2200' so it was find lift or land.  After getting back up to  3,000'  I went exploring again.

I saw Big Bird a little north east and tried to join them, but some moderate sink prevented that.  They moved south west of me as I was searching for other lift to the west.  Finding mostly a line of lift and sink I eventually retreated to the Barn area keeping an eye on ALex and his student in Big Bird. I got up to 4600 and Alex I think said he was at 48 or 4900 after I landed maybe higher.

With 4600' I set off for tar canyon as I was a couple miles south of there.  I found a bit of lift and tried to get to Black only to make a retreat at about 3600'  With 600' above glide seemed likely I would make it with the scattered lift I had going in.  Found light lift again, but was a gradual down flight from there.  

All in all an enjoyable 1.1 hr flight.  Taking off at 4 pm I didn't expect much more than a 20 minute flight. 

Thanks Griffin for a nice tow. 

Dan Gudgel and student on short final for runway 31.

That was a good flight and we should do another one.

Down at the far end of runway 31, they launch again with Erich Harding running the wing.

On the takeoff roll, and a very dusty runway after Carlos smoothed it all out.

All day today we were simply IFR, "I Follow Rope".

When they return, it will be Erich Harding's turn to fly. He's ready for it.

Erich is doing well on his training and likes to fly with two hands on the stick. So do most.

He is trying to decide whether to fly one more time or just end it at that. He decided to fly.

His second flight was so much better than the first, including an unassisted smooth landing.

Erich is a much happier young man after that excellent second flight.

 A typical mid-afternoon gathering on the patio.

Dan Gudgel is holding court with Jay and friend.

Don Flinn explaining flight info with Troy Wollman and Bennett Diamond.

Things are slowing down a bit at this time of day.

Alex Caldwell seems to occupy that seat on the back bench most of the time.

The PW-5 and the Pipistrel behind it are nearly ready to fly today.

Joe Anastasio finishing assembly of the PW-5 while the Pipistrel only needs a horizontal stabilizer.

They're probably chatting about the potential for a good flight based on current lift conditions.