Sunday, November 19, 2017

That's a wrap

Congratulations to everyone on a successful season.  We made 597 flights, flew 22476 OLC kilometers, and added three new members and a glider. One of three derelict gliders came back to life, and we have high hopes for the other two for next season.

Thanks to Andy, Dan, David, Dennis, Don, Greg, Henry, Josh, Kari, Karl, Lane, Paul, Peter, Sonny, and Tim who made quick work of disassembling and storing the gliders and mothballing the towplane.

PM is headed for Kari's barn for some work, so it won't be flying at Springfield this winter.  There's always skiflying, though.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Left stick, right pedal

Congratulations to Kari Mettinen, who slipped a Private Pilot flight test into our 2017 season at the very end.

And congratulations to Evan on his first flight test recommendation as CFI.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Sugarbush Wave

I had a nice wave flight today.  Lift was rarely over 1.5 kts.  Clouds were few and far between but I did mange to get to 8,300'.  Wind was about 40 kts right from Sugarbush.  Thank you Rick for towing!

 Sugarbush and Camels Hump.  Adirondacks in the background.
Union Village Dam in the foreground and my neighborhood.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

New glider on the field

Congratulations to Gregg on the first flight in his new 1-26!

By my count, this is the 19th glider based at Post Mills.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

6Q is back in the air

Congratulations to Kevin for putting 6Q back in the air after an extended time in its box.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Wave camp report - October 7

Still more aviation happened today.  We woke to pretty nice conditions, blue skies, some cloud, a little wind.  Your forecaster was a bit surprised as it did not look like the sounding.  The wind on the ground was slightly favoring easterly takeoffs, wind aloft was south south west.  There were wave indications, just not in the usual places.
I  took off to the east and flew to the Carters, not expecting them to work, but we were seeing some vertical development that looked to have wave influence on the south facing spur of the northern most peak.  Indeed I found some rotor, and then wave, and was able to climb to around 8000 feet.  However, from the start of the climb, our lovely blue sky was filling in fast, and more worrisome was very low, very wet looking clouds at the south end of the valley.  As things were filling in, I descended to below the overcast that was now covering the airport.  Cloudbase there was around 5000 feet, but with plenty of lift - so if you wanted to stay up, you could.

There were about ten flights in total, with the high flight near 10,000 feet.  The day did end in a bit of rain at 3:00 but good flying was had. 

I am less optimistic for tomorrow and Monday, but later in the week could be very nice.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Gorham early report

Wave camp has started. Here is a report from Rick Roelke.

Driving up through the rain, I did not hold out much hope for the day, but having 1000lbs of Ox in the back, and thinking someone might want it, I soldiered on.

The rain stopped shortly after my arrival, and we could see bits of blue, so it looked like it might work. Walter was delayed due to the weather, but we rigged anyway. Peter Stauble was the wind dummy, with a tow to the carters, not far behind, I did my first self-launch at Gorham and it worked great.

I motored to the top of Mt Hayes, where I found the crescent wave. Very slow at first, getting better with altitude. The carters in the meantime were not turning out to be the easy way. Roy, however, did find his way into the primary from near wildcat after a sporting round with the rotor there. I left the crescent wave at 7k and joined Roy in the primary where I found a brief bit of 8 kts, climbing to 20k for the first diamond of camp. Roy would have me point out that he got above 20k in a "real glider"...

John Good also got high, and then (intentionally) headed down wind to explore four cycles of wave east of the carters, and then landing at Bethel. 

I think we had 7ish flights today, good time had by all.

All in all, a good start to camp, particularly after a drive up in the rain...

The big question is what will the weather bring. It looks flyable the next few days, with wave opportunitys, but plagued with excessive moisture. Today we had solid undercast for as far as you could see upwind, but the valley was open all day. So forecasting is difficult. I will tell you it is not optimum conditions, but don't shoot the forecaster if we sneak in a few high flights.

all for now.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Long range forecast

From today until March 22, it will be mostly dark.

Season's Greetings!

52165 feet

The Perlan team claimed the World Altitude Record earlier this month, and this is probably the first time that a non-rocket-powered glider has made the cover of Aviation Week and Space Technology.

Contest in progress

New Castle, Virginia is a special place for glider pilots.

Today is the second-to-last day of the annual competition known as "New Castle," and whose official title is "Region 4 South."

Evan Ludeman (T8), Dan MacMonagle (EA), and John Good (X) are all competing. This year, as usual, the partying at this contest is better than the weather - and the weather has been very good!

Yesterday John, Evan, and Dan were 2nd, 3rd, and 5th - not bad!

Mountain Flying, Explained, Again

Here is another video describing how airplane pilots can get in trouble flying near mountains.

It is amusing in at least two ways.  First, it actually contains some humor, which is unusual for a safety video.  But it also contains a fair amount of misinformation, which always brings a smile to my face.

We went through this with AOPA, whose Air Safety Foundation made three attempts to create a lesson on Mountain Flying for power pilots. The final version was OK, and they get credit for correcting their initial errors.

You can’t blame the guys in this video for trying to keep ignorant power pilots away from the turbulence and sink. But why can’t they ever make the distinction between turbulence and sink?  And why don’t they ever mention how smooth it can get?

And, of course, they never explain why some pilots are actually attracted to mountain waves.

Here’s a challenge.  Let’s collect a list of inaccuracies in the comments. I’ll go first.

Thanks to Andy G for finding the video.