Saturday, December 19, 2020

Peter prepares to launch

Piper Baynes closes herself into the cockpit of N3613F to be launched by newly minted CCSA towpilot, her dad, Chris Baynes.

A Great Day for Training

Visibility: Clear to the Sierras above 2500'
Wind: Calm
Altitudes: Tow heights
Time Aloft: 40 mins Kyle Detke and Alex
Max Lift: Alex?
Temperature: 50s
Tow pilot: Dan Gudgel, Kyle Hyde, and Chris Bayns

Lots of activity for nearly the shortest day of the year! After Monday, we are over the hump with days getting longer and the soaring season getting ever closer.

The days started with getting the wheel back on 13F. Big thanks to Chris Bayns for taking the wheel home with him, cleaning the hub and axle up, as well as all the help with the reinstall this morning. 

Ops began around noon with Piper taking the first flight putting her new solo endorsement to use. Logan also had the opportunity for more solo flights as he works towards his commercial glider add on. 

Both Kyle Hyde and Chris Bayns flew with Dan Gudgel to complete their tow checkouts today, I had the pleasure of being on the other end of the rope from both of them and they both did a fantastic job. 

Kyle Hyde and Kyle Detke both took instructional flights with Alex today and are getting real close to soloing. 

I also had the pleasure of flying from the backseat with Carl and Frank. Carl is ready to solo, other than a paperwork formality that he will be working to clear up this week. Frank has been a long time CCSA member and has done a great deal of towing for the club in recent years. Today was his first time back on this end of the rope in a decade and he is looking forward to regaining glider currency this winter. 

Today was finally the day that Peter got his new to him ASW 20 in the air and he had nothing but great things to report on the ship. He is looking forward to getting much deserved XC time in it this spring. 

Despite the later start, everyone had a chance to get in the air today. It is great to see this enthusiasm during the offseason and I am excited to see how everyone continues to progress as the thermals return.  I hope everyone has a merry Christmas and I will see you in 2021!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Piper Banys First Solo!

Visibility: Mostly clear, with low and high clouds passing all day
Wind: Light, typically NE at 5-7 knots
Altitudes: Release height! 
Time Aloft: Sled Rides, except for one flight with some zero sink
Max Lift: Nada, zilch
Temperature: 50s
Comment: Beautiful winter training day
Tow pilot: Karl Kunz

Piper Solo'd Today!



Piper Banys made her first solo flight today.  The first solo is a flight every pilot remembers the rest of her life, and I'm sure Piper's will stick with her as well.  Her parents and brother were there to share in the special moment.  There's more training to do, of course, but let's congratulate Piper for this terrific accomplishment.

New members Kyle Hyde and Kyle Detke, who are power pilots transitioning to gliders, worked on polishing their technique as well.

Today also saw the return to the air of 22S, after some months of Covid-19 lockdown.  I'm sure some spiders were unhappy that we disturbed their habitat, but otherwise it was great to have the "Spirit of Laird" back in the sky.

We had several members out doing other tasks as well - Zach brought out a loaded fuel trailer and then did some runway smoothing / weed scraping for a while.  13F had a flat tire, so he and Chris Banys and others worked on extracting the wheel and planning on a tube replacement, clean-up and bearing-repack, etc.

Logan and a friend were out and got a flight to wrap up the day.  A big thanks, as always to Karl Kunz for towing today - we tried to keep him as busy as possible.

This fall and winter have been drier than average, so let's take advantage of these clear, cool days to finish training or brush up on your proficiency and precision.  And then you'll be ready for a pre-frontal wave day or two when they appear in the forecast.