Monday, January 29, 2018

SATURDAY, January 27, 2018. Ops only until 1:30 pm.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: From the NW at 4-6 kts
Altitudes: Release since not much lift.
Time Aloft: Unknown
Max Lift: 1-2 kts
Temperature: Cool, low 60's
Comment: Unable to soar after 1:30 pm
Tow pilot: Kyle Jason

Well, we flew at least in the morning until about 1:30 pm when the towplane tire sprung a leak. For various reasons we had to cancel the afternoon flights, disappointing to all of us who hadn't flown yet. But these things happen and we'll make up for it next weekend.

We borrowed Doug Morris' tractor to remove the pile of dirt in the middle of the runway left over from previous land smoothing operations. Doug is one of the nicest and most generous people you would ever know and he's done so much for the club in many ways, mostly unknown to the general membership.

As a result, Ken Talovich took Doug for a ride in his beautiful RV-8 just after Doug delivered his tractor once again for us to use. Later on, after I'd finished leveling the runway, I called Doug to inquire about his flight. He repeated three times, "That was a ride of a lifetime". Thanks to Ken, Doug has wonderful memories and in a small way, a gift to him for all his efforts on behalf of the club.Thanks Ken.

Most of the pictures shown here were taken from the tractor about midfield, waiting for each launch or landing. We coordinated our efforts closely and the morning ops were conducted without delay and very safely. Finally that dirt pile disappeared into the infield.

22S on its way aloft with Cal Poly folks and Alex Caldwell flying most of the morning.
Moving the 1-26 out to the launch area to be flown by several members.
Doug Morris inspecting the procedure for entry shown by Ken Talovich.
Now its Doug's turn to climb aboard into the snug back seat of the RV-8.
They're hooking up the seat belts and getting the headset ready to wear during the flight.
Ken's explaining the mechanism for moving the canopy back and forth beyond a pinned setting.
Ken is just about ready to fire up the engine and head off to the runway.
Yes, that's Doug smiling. He's never had a ride in an RV-8 before and is pretty excited about this one.
Ken and Doug are taxiing to the runway for launch on 31R.
Off they go just as Ken raises the tail off the ground and readies for lift off.
Flight operations at the launch end, taken from the tractor midfield where I'm leveling a pile of dirt.
I'm waiting for the glider wing to go level as a sign for me to get off the runway and let them launch.
Sitting by the side of the runway offered a good chance to take photos as they flew by.
Big Bird looks great from any angle, especially against a blue sky.
Not sure who was flying the 1-26 but there were several flights of it before ops were discontinued at 1:30 pm.
One of these days someone will take the initiative and paint some sharp and colorful stripes on this very nice glider.
Dan Gudgel was flying with Kyle Jason for a few ops, then let him tow solo.
Looks like Alex Caldwell in the back seat but not sure who was in front.
I'm nearly finished leveling  the runway as the 1-26 launches again.
Always a nice sight to see a glider on tow behind our Cessna 150 over a smooth, wide, and safe runway.
At left, Neiman Walker chatting with Ken Talovich, and Alex Caldwell engaged in conversation with Bob Crooks, while Zach's Mom waits patiently in the sunshine on our picnic bench.

Monday, January 22, 2018

SATURDAY, January 20, 2018. Beautiful weather, good turnout.

Visibility: Unlimited with puffy white clouds against a deep blue sky.
Wind: Northwest at 5 kts
Altitudes: 4500+ msl
Time Aloft: 2+ hours
Max Lift: 4 kts
Temperature: Cool 60's
Comment: A picturesque day.
Tow pilot: Dan Gudgel tow training and Julie Butler towing.

Dan Gudgel was out early doing tow training. Don Flinn had a group from Cal Poly learning to fly and so it turned out to be a fairly busy day. Kyle Jason did get the approval from Dan to tow on his own so we've added another good pilot to the tow roster. Kyle is a pilot from Lemoore much as we have trained some of those pilots in the past.

Ken Talovich and I flew out in Ken's beautiful RV-8 and did three flights in preparation for his checkride which we need to schedule for the near term. He's doing well, up to speed on the required maneuvers and lacks only the prep for the oral portion of the checkride plus another few flights to polish his skills even more.

Lawrence Golomb flew the DG100 this afternoon but no report from him yet.

Julie Butler towed in the afternoon after Dan Gudgel had trained Kyle Jason on towing. Here is a picture she took of the beautiful day at Avenal:

Julie Butler's nice photo of the cloud street from north along runway 31.

Here is Peter Sahlberg's write up on his flight today.


  I came out Saturday for the sole purpose of going up and coming back down, twice.  I have not flown much and it looked like the weather would be clear enough for a couple of tows and landings.

  The rain left a partly cloudy sky and the RASP said that there would be lift over the mountains in the early afternoon.  This was a pleasant surprise, but I still expected to go up and right back down.

  Take off was at 12:30 with clouds over the field and mountains.  This was not the "up and down" weather I had expected.  I got off at 3,000 feet over the hills to the east.  This area had clouds forming and decaying and it was a great learning experience as some would provide lift and others would not.  Every effort was made to stay above 3,000 feet as I felt that getting back up from below that altitude would not be easy.

  I did want to see what had developed over the mountains so after working the clouds over highway 33, I headed over.  There was more cloud coverage and it was interesting to see how the mountain sides with burned areas disappeared when they were in shadow.  Two forays looking for the convergence got me below 3,000 feet and the rest is history.  I made the trek back to Avenal and never found the bump needed so I landed on runway 31 with 1.4 hours to log.
 I did not take another tow for the second landing! For those interested, the trace is on OLC.

Peter Sahlberg

Jan Zanutto flew in with his buddy Sam, in his newly acquired Cessna 172. Here is Jan's response:

Yesterday I flew into Avenal and was pleased to see the CU development along Black and up to Coalinga.

My friend Sam
 wanted to shoot some approaches at Coalinga, and while inbound to there we hit some pretty good bumps that gave us a good ride. Wish I would have been in a glider instead! 

Here's what it looked like.....

  Jan Zanutto

Here are the only pictures I took today since I forgot my camera and my cell phone was nearly out of battery power. The ships flying today were the 2-33's, the 1-26, the DG100, and the Schweizer 1-35. We had three arrivals in powered aircraft including a 1966 Cessna 172G from the Coast (registered to a James Odell from Gilroy), Jan's Cessna 172 from FCH, and Ken's RV-8 from Pine Mountain Lake airport.

The group from Cal Poly gathered around preparing to go aloft with Don Flinn. Most I don't recognize and perhaps they'll supply names for this blog.

Peter Sahlberg preparing for his launch that lasted 1.4 hours as told in his story above. It has been months since we've seen Peter and he recognized that before he launched. He's a careful and safe pilot.

Ken Talovich and I saw this very nice 2-33 just sitting there, lonely, and waiting for someone to fly it. So we grabbed it and went flying. Turns out there was enough time in 2-33's for everyone.

Kirk Robertson flying our 1-26 for the first time, on short final runway 31L. He's had enough time in a 1-26 at the previous airport he trained at.
Ken Talovich ready to launch on the first of three checkride prep flights. This was a simulated rope break at 200 agl because he was least expecting it. He did well and got back safely and rolled out smoothly.
Ken Talovich boxing the wake. Yes, he's too far down and too far left but otherwise a nice smooth exercise and practice for the checkride. I think he ran Julie out of left rudder at that point.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

SUNDAY, January 7, 2018. Few members, slow day.

Visibility: Unlimited in haze
Wind: From the SE 6-7 knots
Altitudes: Release altitudes
Time Aloft: Less than an hour.
Max Lift: 100 fpm with spikes of 200 fpm.
Temperature: In the 60's.
Comment: Not much going on.
 Tow pilot: Jim Rickey

Jim Rickey
Bob Crooks
Bob Crooks
Bob Crooks
Zach Yamauchi
Bob Crooks
Bob Crooks and Kirk Robertson
Kirk Robertson

CCSC Clubhouse
Zach Yamauchi
Zach Yamauchi and friend
Zach piloting
Kirk Robertson
Bob Crooks and Kirk Robertson

Monday, January 1, 2018

SATURDAY, December 9, 2017. Slow day but fun for all.

Visibility: Hazy with 20 miles horizontal vis.
Wind: Light and variable from the NW
Altitudes: Release altitudes only
Time Aloft: Probably no more than 20-30 minutes
Max Lift: Almost non-existent, but maybe 100 fpm.
Temperature: Cool 60's
Comment: Low turnout but an easy relaxed day.
Tow pilot: Griffin Schwarz.

Lexy Aguirre, Bennett Diamond and a photographer all smiles on the patio.

Bob Crooks awaiting his demo flights. He's joining the club this week and will train in earnest.

At the moment, a sober crew. They livened up a few minutes later.

Griffin, Lexy, Don, and Rick enjoying the warm sunshine before flight ops begin in earnest. 
In hazy conditions, Don Flinn and Jay Jaeckel on tow for a training flight.

Later in the day, the AGC Board met to discuss interesting and valuable issues for CCSC.

Dan Gudgel, Rick Eason, Mike Paoli, and Richard Walker pondering the distribution of a largesse.