Sunday, February 9, 2020

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Visibility: Probably about 8 miles in haze below the inversion. Unlimited above the inversion, which was at about 3,200 ft MSL.
Wind: Light and variable most of the day. Out of the ENE late in the day,  at about 5-10 kts.
Altitudes: 3,100 ft. MSL
Time Aloft: 30 min.
Max Lift: 2-3 kts at times.
Temperature: 70 deg. F.
Comment: Dual control soaring simulator running Condor2 software at the field.
Tow pilot: Karl Kunz

We had 5 students that flew today from the Cal Poly Akaflieg group.  Will Beaudoin, Anthony Bellanti, Thomas Wolfe, Alan Lewis, and Lux Vadakin all flew.  Everybody got 2 flights in. One of Alan Lewis's flights was a shortened one, with a practice rope break he got because he's ready for that phase of training. Otherwise,  we towed to 2,000 ft. AGL,  2,500 ft. AGL,  or on one flight to 3000 ft. AGL.   For a while,  we had 2  of our 2-33s  flying when Zach Yamauchi flew a friend. Also flying today was Luca Soares in the SGS 1-26. I think Luca flew at least 2 flights in the 1-26, maybe more.  On one flight in the 2-33, we had some lift,  and climbed the better part of 1,000 ft. from our low point,  up to just a little over our release point at about 3,100 ft. MSL, if I remember correctly. On the flight just before that, we had some zero sink type lift.  The lift window for the day was pretty narrow, as on the next flight, I think we couldn't find anything. By then, the wind had also come up just a bit out of the ENE, at maybe 5-10 kts.,  and it seemed to put a damper on any further lift.  I thought the temperature also felt like it had dropped with the arrival of the wind. Perhaps a cooler airmass had moved in, maybe a convergence line had crossed over the field as the new wind arrived?

Zach Yamauchi brought out a glider flight simulator set up that's on loan from Truckee Soaring to the Akaflieg group.  It has 2 seats with dual controls.  It was made by Mike Mayo and loaned to the Cal Poly Akaflieg group until the Truckee Soaring season opens. It's quite impressive,  and must have taken a lot of thought and creativity to get it all working. My first impression was that it might have been made from an IKEA kit, as it's mostly wood.   It has an ingenious system of pulleys, cables and electronic sensors to feed control input data to the program running on the associated computer.  It's running a copy of the new Condor2 software, which is a giant leap in performance and the realism of the terrain and scenery over the original Condor.  Zach has asked that we use it only when a checked out Cal Poly Akaflieg member is present to supervise,  and not allow unsupervised children to use it, etc. It could be breakable if not treated with a lot of care.  I watched a couple of the Cal Poly flight students using it.   I think it is a valid way, with a supervised, well thought out training syllabus,  to practice a lot of training maneuvers that would otherwise cost a lot of money for tows, and would also require waiting for the right weather conditions, etc.  Thanks to Zach!
Thanks also to Karl Kunz for donating his whole day to provide the excellent towing!

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