Autumn '22 saw some good days out at Avenal.
It started on the last day of Summer. The soaring forecast showed good lift, and relatively high bases over the Valley. Sure enough, our XC guys had some nice flights and even a couple of the club Schweizers were up and away on multi-hour flights. Some flight logs are here -
Here is Eric's comment on his flight -
"I deviated from my plan of heading north along the ridge after releasing over tar peak when I began to chase clouds to the southwest. I ended up flying through Avenal canyon at low altitude without a good land-out picked out. Because I was so focused on finding lift under the clouds I was chasing, and because I was in 6kts+ of sink, by the time I noticed my glide computer drop below glide back to Avenal, it was impossible to turn around and fly back through the sink. I was able to spot what looked like a good land-out when I was at about 2500 feet, and around 3 miles away. It was a long and straight dirt road with a house next to it. As I dropped my gear and prepared to fly a pattern, I found a good climb and got out of the valley then proceeded to have an enjoyable flight. I'll be inspecting the condition of the road and noting any fences on my way out to Avenal next time I go. Before this, I hadn't experienced tunnel vision(chasing clouds stupidly) while soaring, but now that I know I'm susceptible to it, I can recognize it and avoid it in the future."
In October, we had a work-day at Avenal and got a lot of good maintenance and clean-up work done. Zach summarized some of the accomplishments from the day:
Club house bathrooms sprayed for insects and deep cleaned
Cessna Hangar decluttered and cleaned
Patio and picnic tables power washed
Vegetation on the runway and shade structure removed
Shelters and trash removed and transported to the dump
Barbed wire fence repaired around staging area
Black Golfcart tire changed
Club Gliders washed
Shade structure cleared for towplane use
Mid-November saw David get checked out in the 1-26. His technique on launch and landing was very good. Larry got this video -
Later in November, Chris added a Glider rating to his commercial pilot certificate. Dan was the DPE administering the practical test.
Pre-frontal, wet wave brought some great early December flights by Morgan & Zach - logs & spectacular pictures are here -
Here's Morgan's description of the day -
"Very wet wave made for well marked lines, but cut routes shorter than we hoped for. Raining at dawn and the field was nearly IFR at times. Cleared enough to let us launch, but concern about the timing of the frontal arrival had us call it a day early. Would have liked to jump down towards the San Gabriel’s, but the tops of the lennies were well above 18k. Thanks to Jim for towing, Chris for running wings and Zach for being the motivator."
On our last day of operations this Autumn, Chris got his 1-26 checkout and his flights too were really smooth and precise. Brandon took these shots -
We will likely have some good soaring days over the winter months - watch the soaring forecasts and stay current so you'll be ready to take advantage.
Happy Holidays and here's looking forward to 2023 at Avenal.
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