Monday, June 25, 2007

Weekend Report June 23 - 24

All the gliders have passed their annual inspections. Thanks to all who helped on Saturday morning.

Saturday was tricky. There was too much wind for instruction, almost too much for flying. It was gratifying to see several members realistically assess their abilities in the face of a 10 knot crosswind. We had just 3 flights. On one of them, Paul Natkiel returned to active flying status with a 2 hour battle with the wind in the Blanik.

The cookout, lightly attended due to the discouraging flying conditions, was fun nevertheless. Food and drink were provided by Nancy, Mary, Marsha, and Sue Marsha. Topics of conversation included why men are so bad at providing food, and included an interesting review of a magazine article. I miss the days when all we talked about was flying :)

An interesting day. Weak, widely-spaced, but high thermals, exactly as forecast by Pete Dodd and Tony, our newest weather gurus. Evan had a couple of hours in PM, and Pete finally got to fly the 1-23 he's been restoring. We had plenty of tow pilots and instructors, so I went flying myself. Thanks, others, for the "CFI Care."

1. We seem to be losing sight of our objective of operating efficiently. Let's make a bigger effort to think ahead to the next tow, keep the golf cart moving, parking gliders in takeoff order, etc. We had a big delay on Sunday when the golf cart ran out of fuel.

2. The log sheet is very difficult to read. I know it's hard to fill out a form on a high-speed golf cart, but have some pity on the club secretary and treasurer, who have to make sense of what happened. If you make a mistake, cross out the entire row and start over in a new row. Also, let's start identifying the gliders by the competition ID (the big numbers on the tail), whenever possible. This will avoid ambiguities.

3. If you haven't already done so, please let Andy know what days you will be attending the Franconia encampment, and whether you will be there for the party on Saturday night. It is not too late to participate in this survey. An accurate roster of attendees really helps planning.

In case you haven't heard, we will be flying at the Franconia, New Hampshire airport from June 30 through July 4. No flying at Post Mills on those days.

Several members have volunteered to move gliders and equipment to Franconia for next weekend. Stay tuned for assignments. The long term weather forecast for Friday looks good. The Blanik and both 1-23s could soar there. This is encouraged. If you're not an XC pilot, volunteer to crew for someone. If your car has a trailer hitch, do not depart for Franconia with an empty hitch. Check with Gregg, Andy, or me for the current trailer-dragging plan.

Contact Rick if you have any questions about any of this.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Weekend Report June 16 - 17

It was a pretty quiet week in Post Mills, my home town...

We had a decent weekend of flying, not great. We had 11 flights on Saturday, with Tony sharpening his skills in preparation for his flight test and Tom beginning his transition to the Blanik. A few people showed up and didn't fly. I'm not sure if this was due to the weather or to missed opportunities. Members (especially students) are reminded that we could be starting much earlier. It is easy to get three lessons in a day if you show up early. On Sunday, we flew as much as weather would allow, which was just 4 flights. Sonny had a nice flight in the second-most-beautiful 1-23 in Post Mills.

The cookout featured a motorglider in the backyard undergoing repairs, good food, and rain. Gregg gets credit for buying the beer. Somebody else's turn next time.

The 1-23 ailerons are sealed and the electrical system is installed (see #4, below). Radio and oxygen are next. Also, it could use some sound baffling/blocking in the rear fuselage. The Blanik has been waxed and it now sports some high-tech wingtip skids. Thanks to Tom and Pete for volunteering beyond the call of duty.

The club uses only one battery type and one battery connector. All gliders, present and future, use the standard battery. All privately owned gliders use the club standard battery, with one exception. Paul Natkiel's LS-4 uses a different battery (long and skinny). Do not attempt to use Paul's battery in any club glider! Let's all put pressure on Paul to convert his batteries to the club standard connector.

Several gliders will undergo their annual inspections on Saturday, June 23. This will take most of the day, and we are looking for volunteers to help lift wings, move trailers, etc. Show up early, please.

Volunteers are needed to fly, tow, or drag gliders to Franconia. for the so-called 4th of July weekend. Soaring of club gliders from here to there is encouraged. Cubs and Champs are available for pilot retrieves. Contact Andy or me about this if you are interested.


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