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.

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