Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekend Report April 23 - 24

Another brisk, blue and breezy April weekend with good participation and some great flying conditions. The air has been so clear that, from the ground, you can see the tow rope dangling behind the towplane shortly after release.

Saturday was a bit difficult, due to a moderate crosswind, but that didn't keep Eric from getting two hour-long flights in the Blanik, with climbs to 6000 feet. Henry, Don, and Dakai each gained experience taking off and  landing in wind, but we decided to call it quits after one flight each.

The early end to flying allowed us to get an early start on the cookout, which took place indoors and drew 11 hungry members.

Sunday surprised us a bit by starting out as windy as Saturday. This was initially discouraging for those of us planning to fly the trainers, but it didn't stop the hotshots from getting off the ground early.  Andy towed 9 single-seaters in a row (one of them twice) before the first instructional flight of the day.

Evan (T8), Greg (JD), Tom (2W) and Dan (EA) were in the air for over six hours and flew all over northern New England.  Moshe (RU), Tim (AT), Doug (PM), Dennis (DC), and Mark (HG) had shorter, but just as impressive flights.  Dennis missed his 5-hour Silver/Gold duration by 4 minutes!

Meanwhile, back at Post Mills, Andy Lawrence*, Gregg, Henry, Dakai, Lane, Don, and Rick flew locally and discovered that the house thermal went to 7000 feet.

Iron man Andy towed, without relief, both days.

The 1-23 and the yellow golf cart are out of service, hopefully not for long.

*Our duplicate name situation is getting out of hand. We have a Greg and a Gregg, 2 Bills, 3 Andys, 2 Ricks, 3 Annies, 2 Marks, 2 Sams, and innumerable Petes and Sues. Any suggestions about how to keep everyone straight on the logsheet and in PMSC News will be appreciated.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Newest Hybrid Vehicle

Send your pre-production deposit to Andy G.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weekend Report April 16 - 17

After two weekends of false starts, in which we tried valiantly to find the right combination of weather, surface conditions, and volunteers, we finally were able to get out of the hangars and onto the tiedowns on April 16.  The weather was great both days of the weekend.

Club members showed up early on Saturday and assembled the Blanik, the 2-33 and 1-23 in plenty of time to go flying.  Thanks to the Slackers, the towplane was already checked out for the season, and we were able to make 18 flights on the first official day of operations!

Most of the flying was comprised of annual check rides and introductory flights for new members, although Dan (EA) and Greg (JD) were able to go off and sample the early Spring conditions in the White Mountains.  Mark (HG), who still thinks that OLC is just a fad, had his first flight of the year in his glider.

In the meantime, Evan got a full dose of instructing as he accompanied both old (above) and new members.  Here he is signing the logbook of new member Eric Woudenberg.  You can tell he's new at this instructing gig, because he still has to look at his CFI certificate for the number. Eric is already a glider pilot, so he should fit right in.

We were also pleased to welcome new student pilots Sam Freihofer and Iver Hulleberg to the Club. They have already had a couple of flights each, and they seem to like it, so far.

Before the day was over, Dennis, Paul, Sonny, Willy, Lane, and Gregg Ballou were returned to flying status.  Gregg is active with the Club again, which is good news because we still need more CFIs.

Tim towed all day Saturday.

On Sunday it was more of the same. Sixteen flights, including Moshe's first flight in PM, and flights by DC, EA, AT, and JD, all of whom struggled to stay in the air earlier in the day. Willy had a couple of solos, and we gave introductory flights to Mark Sullivan and Rick Sayles, both of whom are power pilots looking for something more interesting to do. Andy towed all day.

All in all, it was a great kickoff weekend.  Special thanks to Tim and Greg who postponed their own flying to give rides.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Slackers 1, Regulars 0, Game on

In anticipation of our Opening Day tomorrow, Dan and Greg came over to help Susan, Tim and Rick get the L19 running.  That was nice of them.  All five of us struggled  with a mystery involving the towplane's master switch and a circuit breaker that finally necessitated demounting the whole instrument panel.

We turned our back for a minute, and the next thing we knew EA and JD were assembled, and Dan and Greg were standing there with their thumbs out.

After a brief test flight, Tim towed the first two flights of the season from our home base.

Even with the first takeoff at 5pm, they had good flights. Greg reported 7 knots to 6500 feet!

The season is underway.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Off to a good start

Of the thousand or so winter-weary glider pilots who showed up at the biennial SSA Convention in Greenville, South Carolina, four of them were members of our club. One of them was Bill O'Donnell, who, for reasons unknown, seems to prefer hanging out in Florida during our cool season.

In Greenville, Bill met Frank and Jayne Reid, proprietors of the nearby Bermuda High Soaring School. On his way back to Florida, Bill checked in at BHSS and arranged for some flight instruction later in March.  Upon his return a week ago, Bill so impressed Frank with his aeronautical skill that Frank had no choice but to give him a new rating.

Congratulations to Bill O'Donnell on his new Private Pilot Glider rating!

The Club's 2016 season is off to a good start, thanks to Bill.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Wave Flights - March 12

Saturday was a warm, cloudless, wave day.  Tim (AT), Tom (2W), Dan (EA), Evan (T8), and Jerry and Larry (i1) flew out of Springfield VT (VSF) with the assistance of Andy L. in the Pawnee.  Evan found the highest climb to 16,000'.

I (Tim) took the first tow around 11 AM followed by Tom.  We found week wave to 8,500'.  I was in the primary and Tom in the secondary.  At 12:40 the wave shut off and sent us scrambling to find lift.  I hung out by ridge soaring the west face of Okemo until the wave lift returned about 20 minutes later.  Tom never fully recovered and landed about an hour later.

I found the Okemo wave to have a very short wavelength.  My climb was only 2.5 nm from the summit and I found lift as close as 1.6 nm (over the base of the ski lifts) from the summit.  Evan and Dan's climbs were about 3.5 nm from the summit.  Once I topped out at 9,000' I headed for Killington.  Thinking the wavelength for the day was short I stayed to the west of Rt 100.  I was rewarded with sink all the way.  At 6,000' I was just about to head back to VSF when I found the Killington wave.  Evan and Dan followed a line further west to Killington and did much better.

Dan topped out at Killington at 12,500' and lead the way to Sugarbush.  Evan stuck around a little longer and got to 16,000'.  Dan, Evan and I found our climbs 4 nm - 4.5 nm from the summit, so it looked like the wavelength was longer than Okemo.

At Sugarbush we all found climbs right over the airport at 5-5.5 nm from the summit to about 15,000'.  We all continued north but Dan was the only one brave enough to hop the I89 gap at Waterbury.  Dan made it up to Mt. Mansfield but could not find the lift and had to land at Morrisville.  Evan and I stuck our tails between our legs and headed for home.

The wind was a bit out of the north and made the return to VSF easy.  From Sugarbush to Killington I gained about 500'.  From Killington to VSF I flew as fast as 120 kts IAS which worked out to 153 kts TAS or 176 mph.  With the quartering tail wind the ground speed hit 216 mph!  Evan and I landed about a half hour after Dan.  We packed everything up quickly and I was off to get Dan.

My new theory about wave in the Green Mountains is that the best lift is at the major ski areas (Okemo, Killington, Sugarbush and Stowe).  The best terrain for skiing (tallest peak, moderate steep slope, bowl shape) is also the best terrain for wave.  As an added bonus 3 of the 4 ski areas have airports near by.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Midwinter classic

Once again, a fine pancake breakfast at Eaton's Sugarhouse.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Breakfast at the Norwich Inn

Big turn out for Sunday's breakfast at the Norwich Inn.  Next week - Eaton's Sugar House.
photo by Keith