Sunday, April 1, 2018

SATURDAY, March 31, 2018. A beautiful weather day at Avenal.

Visibility: Unlimited
Wind: Calm
Altitudes: About 4000 msl
Time Aloft: 2 hours, Karl Kunz
Max Lift: 600 fpm
Temperature: Warm, mid 80's
Comment: John Harbick's first flight in the 1-26
Tow pilot: Jim Rickey (90%), Neiman Walker, Karl Kunz


Great day for training. A little bit of lift to be found around the field and out to the West Ridge where Karl Kunz worked for several hours in his beautiful ASW-20BL. Later on, the lift improved all quadrants.

Jim Rickey did most of the towing, as usual. Wyll Soll flew the 1-26 twice. John Harbick soloed in the 1-26 for the first time and did a great job of control on takeoff and landing. Bob Crooks had three flights and is very close to solo.  Neiman Walker arrived mid-afternoon, did some towing, then flew Big Bird. The lift got a bit better as the afternoon wore on but then high cirrus clouds obscured the sun and the lift energy went down considerably. Jim Rickey flew the 1-26 after 3:00 pm when the lift should have been better. Neiman Walker flew Big Bird after having been towed aloft by Karl Kunz.

John Harbick moving Big Bird out to the launch area.

Jim Rickey, John Harbick and Mike Paoli all waiting for John to get his three landings and takeoffs in at noon.

Bob Crooks joined the group and Jim will shortly head to the tow plane for John's launch.

John Harbick about to launch with Mike Paoli the wing walker (his version).

John Harbick on tow above the field where we all were waiting and watching.

Jim Rickey landing on runway 7 in time for another launch by John H.

John on final in Big Bird and about to launch again for this required three.

John in great position landing runway 7.

Three aircraft all parked near one another.

John ready for his third and last flight in the Big Bird. Then he switches over to Casper (1-26).

In the meantime, Wyll Soll is launching in Casper with Bob Crooks running the wing.

Bob Crooks signaling the wing runner to lift the wing prior to launch.

Bob Crooks had about an hour of thermalling practice on two separate flights.

Wyll Soll beneath us the 1-26 but not for long. He moved even then thermalled over us. Good practice.

Bob also got good practice thermalling with another glider. Here he watches for Wyll Soll and still has 4 knots of lift.

Karl Kunz just about to launch in his ASW-20. He couldn't find lift on the first launch, but did well after his relight.

Wyll Soll below us and sharing our thermal. He moved up and over us with good, safe maneuvers.

Wyll Soll concentrating on his thermalling but always aware of us above.

As Wyll reaches our altitude we both moved position to be exactly on the other side of the thermal.

Lots of grass and lovely yellow flowers at Avenal this time of year. But the mowing will soon be needed.

John Harbick's first solo in the 1-26 is about to be a reality.

John and Bob are signalling the tow pilot for release altitude.

The tow plane is in position and John is ready for his first 1-26 launch.

John's takeoff was very good with no discernible PIO, where it is to be expected.

Bob Crooks on final from his third flight of the day and at pattern in preparation for solo flight.

Bob has the landing set up correctly and did well all the way to touchdown.

Karl Kunz arrived back after his two hour tour of the West Ridge and surrounding areas.

After touring with us in the thermals, Wyll Soll decided to launch again after his first flight.

Karl in the wing moving his ASW-20 back to the trailer for disassembly.

Jay Jaeckel arrived mid afternoon and joined the group discussion.

Not sure whose 1-26 this is but likely either Richard Walker's, Rick Eason's, or Mario Pauda's.

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