Saturday, November 2, 2019

Last Day of DST for 2019

Visibility:  Far
Wind: Light
Altitudes:  Modest
Time Aloft:  A bit
Max Lift: Soft
Temperature: Perfect mid 70s
Tow pilot:  Iron Man Karl Kunz

We wrapped up Daylight Saving Time in fine fashion today at Avenal.  While gliderports elsewhere are closing for the season, we are looking forward to some good flying through winter at Avenal and New Coalinga.  We did about 20 tows today and had 5 ships in the air.

For several weeks, a number of members have worked long and hard to scrape our runways clear of tumbleweeds and goathead thorn bushes.  This shot looks across the parallel runways, which are as clear and smooth as they've ever been.

 The shot above looks SE from the clubhouse down to the arrival end of Runway 31. 

The shot above looks NW toward the departure end of Runway 31.

We've used several tractors in this process, and Morgan's mother was kind enough to let us use her tractor for the final phase of the runway clean-up project.  Thanks to good work by Richard, its running again and will be put to back into action in the coming days.

We are fortunate to have weather conditions that allow us to fly year-round.  Be sure to come out and maintain your currency and proficiency over the winter.  You'll be ready and sharp when the spring season arrives.

Monday, July 29, 2019

7-27-2019 Zach Yamauchi Passes Commercial Checkride

Visibility:       10 Miles+
Wind:             Light northwest
Altitudes:       7000 (Richard)
Time Aloft:    Richard Walker; 2 Hours
Max Lift:        6 Kts.
Temperature:  105°F
Comment:       Hot, but productive.
Tow pilot:       Alex Caldwell

Dan Gudgel, Alex Caldwell, and Zach Yamauchi gathered early to test Zach's Commercial Glider skills.

Zach taking off from Runway 13 after a very low altitude PTT from Runway 31.

Try it again from Runway 31

On final approach for the final time.
About to nail the stop point, this ride is just about over.
Congratulations are in order.
Cries have already started coming in for Zach to get his CFI-G--probably won't be too long!

Way to go, Zach!

Later, new member Kris Caldwell got checked out to solo in the 1-26.  With an ATP rating and F-35 time, he won't be a glider student very long.  

About an hour later, Dan checked Kris out in the towplane--a hot day with a glider in tow has GOT to be a completely different experience than F-18s and F-35s!

Kevin had a few lessons with student Will Bergman, Aleks Radco took his ship up, Jim flew the 1-26 after Kris (with Kris at the forward end of the rope), and Zach took the 1-26 for a flight, too.

Richard Walker had a good flight in his 1-35.  He ventured out further than the 2-33 and 1-26 fliers did, and found convergence.  He by far had the longest flight of the day, (I'm guessing) 1.5 to 2 hours.

Hot, but productive.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Visibility:  Pretty far
Wind: Light
Altitudes: 3,000-ish
Time Aloft: Modest
Max Lift:Modest
Temperature:Getting to be Summer
Comment: Mellow day in Avenal
Tow pilot: Julie B.

Erich Harding Solo'd Today!

Don Flinn said "CCSA has a young man who is currently the youngest solo pilot in California.  Just a few months past his 14th birthday, Erich Harding soloed in N3613F AKA"Big Bird" for 15 minutes today, reaching an altitude of 3000ft.  Please join our instructors, all of whom enjoyed helping Erich achieve this milestone, in congratulating Erich on his accomplishment."

Just before the launch.

Taking out the slack.

About to go wings level for first solo launch.

Erich Harding's First Solo - with his instructor, Don Flinn

Julie and Bob are refueling 5U from the new fuel cart.  Jim has prepared an excellent set of instructions for how to use the new fuel cart, which can be found here.

And, also thanks to good work by Jim and Richard and others, 22S has a new metal skid, some other upgrades and is about ready to return to the air.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Steve and the Lightning Bolt

CCSA Member Steve Schery has been flying his Carat self launching sailplane out of New Coalinga Airport and contributed this cool picture along with this information: 

"It was taken from the wing tip camera of my feathered Carat on Saturday, 1 June 2019, about 2 pm pdt.  The location is northwest of Coalinga at 8000 ft near Wright Mountain, camera looking NW in the direction of Panoche.  It captures a thunderstorm in the background and small (distant) lightening flash see in front of my prop tip). I'm the pilot."

Sunday, April 7, 2019

April Workday

Visibility:  Good
Wind: Light
Altitudes:  up to ~,7000 msl
Time Aloft: hours
Max Lift:  4 knots
Temperature:  pleasant

Our spring workday at Avenal was a big success.  At least 20 members were on hand to cut, haul, hack, wrench and generally get the grounds and equipment tuned up for spring soaring.  And after the morning work, we had pizza and then flying.  I think Aleks was the last to land just before 7 pm.  A good day all around!
Equipped for Duty!

One of our several collections of Tumbleweeds.  We moved this one from the east side of the fence to our Grand Tumbleweed and Palm Frond Pile on the SE corner of the property.

Richard was kind enough to allow us to turn one of his trailers into a Tumbleweed Transport.

It took more than a few loads, but this pile is gone.

Reassembly following the annual.

Jim working; Don & Martin "assisting"(?)

By the end of the day, it was back together and ready.

Thanks to good installation work by Wyll and Neiman, supervised by Martin, the DG now has an LX8000 flight computer and linked variometer.

Alex' Nimbus stretches its wings a little after a long winter in the trailer.
Here's outgoing CCSA President Mike Paoli signing some official looking papers.  We all owe Mike a big "Thanks" for having devoted a lot of time to giving good leadership to the club through these past few years.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Visibility:       Great
Wind:             Calm, finally!

Time Aloft:    40 Minutes
Max Lift:        +200 FPM
Temperature:  80° F
Comment:      First Solo!

After many delays due to excessive winds, Jessie solos! She has been very patient for this day, and always thought, "Safety First" on the prior days when she was ready to solo, but the wind did not cooperate to let it happen.

Jessie is all smiles right after her first solo flight:

Jessie's primary instructor was Don Flinn
Proud Instructor Don gets in the picture.
First solo in the logbook, it is time to take a second flight. 
Jessie set and ready to go on her second solo flight.
Fellow Akaflieger Bennet is running the wing on her second solo flight.

Jessie has her glider in perfect position as she waits for the towplane to lift off.
Coming in for a landing after her second solo flight.  it is 4:53 PM, and it was short flight because the little bit of lift thta was earlier had evaporated.
You can see in the above two pictures there is an overcast, wind is calm, and it is getting about 4:45 PM.  Nary a bump during tow: lift was not to be found.  It was a short second solo.
Just about stopped.

Great job, Jessie!

It also needs to be mentioned that Bennet and Jessie came out early and helped with the cleaning and maintenance items on the other 2-33 and the club's 1-26.  Two Club ships annualed, a first solo, and Bennet took a flight with Don to regain currency.  An awesome day!