Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Best glide

How calm would you be if you had to fly a 17:1 glider toward an unknown night?

Watch this presentation - from AOPA.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Matt gets his commercial glider rating

Everyone please congratulate Matt for passing his check ride today.

We had a nice day for it and Tim, Pete and Christopher all showed up to help and or just provide moral support, it all came off without a hitch.

That makes how many this year?


If Ida known

We're averaging just under 15 launches per day here at winch camp in Jefferson, South Carolina. We had 44 on Monday and none since then. Thanks a lot, Tropical Storm Ida. I guess I should have stayed up north.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Late season slacking

Today was not Kevin's day as a weatherman, and Tim is glad he installed a radio in PM.

Last night, Kevin predicted morning wave conditions for today. He and Tim showed up early and helped each other prepare 89 and PM for flight. Kevin went first and took a high tow into smooth (dead) air. As he slipped back beneath the clouds he called Tim on the ground and advised against the high tow. Tim took the advice and the two spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon in thermals. Cloudbase was around 4700 feet and the lift was sometimes as strong as 6 knots.

Tim took a gamble that didn't pan out and wound up landing back home. He was off again at 2pm for another hour's flying. Kevin flew the Blanik for over three hours, which is saying something, since the entire day, sunrise to sunset, was only 10 hours long.

Tim's flights are on the OLC. Kevin's is not, because the club electronics expert put the batteries in backwards.

Mount Washington Video

As I promised in my previous post, here are 2 very nice videos from the L-19 on our flight around the observatory.

Video credit: Bill Swartz.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Congratulations to Jason Cohen for getting his New Hampshire driver's license and his Private Pilot Certificate in the same season!

When Jason joined the club two seasons ago, he was determined to become a Private Pilot at the minimum allowable age, which is 16. Today he took Bill Stinson for a couple of rides in the Blanik, and when it was over, Bill couldn't think of any reason to do the third flight. Jason met his goal by six months.

I'm sure he'd be happy to give any of you a ride before the end of the season.

If you've never seen a picture of a determined 14-year-old, here's one:

His hair is a lot longer now.

All in a single season

Here's a picture of Christopher at the conclusion of his first flight in 3J. He had a nice 50 minute flight at the end of the day today.

That makes three new types in a single season. He wants to go for four. His next objective is the big one: the Schweizer 2-33.

Mount Washington Observatory

Bill and I had a fine ride around the top of Mt. Washington after towing Jason this past encampment and this shot proves what a spectacular day it was.

We took the scenic route back to Gorham airport, video to follow.

See full size image here.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekend Report October 31 - November 1

The forecasters' bad luck streak ended on Saturday. They told us we would have a warm south wind all day, followed by lowering skies and rain by sunset. Amazingly, they were right this time.

Andy spent the early afternoon fixing the towplane's flat tire and leaky brake while the rest of us sat around and watched. By the time we were ready to fly, the sky was overcast and the wind had picked up. After a great deal of discussion about the forecast, we stood down and dispersed to our homes to hand out Halloween candy.

Later in the evening we reconvened at Skip and Laurie's for a nice chili dinner. It wasn't completely clear who the party-goers were, due to some very clever costumes. All I can say is that the celebrity guests included Little Red Riding Hood, Indiana Jenkyn, the Cat in the Hat, and King Arthur himself.

Sunday's weather was spectacular. The post-frontal winds were not as strong as forecast, and we were able to find the wave at the beginning and the end of the day, with thermals in between. In the early wave, Kevin (6Q) got to 8500 feet and Tim (PM) made it to just over 9000 feet, before making a round trip to Montpelier. Andy and Bill (89) had a long flight in thermals, and Christopher and Jason also made some good climbs. Perhaps the most interesting flight was made by Bill (3J) at the end of the day. He was in the air for the return of wave conditions and was able to make the thermal-to-wave transition twice, eventually reaching 9300 feet.