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.


kevin brooker said...

Pilot's carrying radios who give good tow money saving advice should split the difference. Especially when they take off at 9:50 AM.

Wave was present and again we took off too late to fly in it for very long. At release we found 2 to 3 kts. to 7,500 before the 6 and occasionally 8 kt.s convection started killing the wave. It was pretty fun watching the clouds transition from banding perpendicular to the wind to lined up in streets. The Blanik starts getting noisy at 80 mph and talking requires a strong voice at 90 mph.

There were times while climbing I think I heard the gears in the altimeter whirling we were ascending so fast.

I had a passenger with me which added to the fun. Jason, a friend we met through the kids at school, jumped into the front seat. 3 hours with me in an unescapable situation can be tough. Add in the thermaling and other motion sickness generating potential and his stamina is amazing.

During the flight we also shared a thermal for a few turns with a Bald Eagle.

Transitioning from street-to-street was difficult. Big sink in the big blue areas.

I have yet to put together a sustained wave flight this year. Spring-like thermal lift in November is a pretty good booby prize.

kevin brooker said...

Here is a link to a trip report along with photos.

Rick said...

Hey, nice pictures! You should convince Jason to join the club.

Anonymous said...

Although you can't tell from my flight logs there were excellent conditions under the clouds until about 12:30 when high clouds shut things down. It doesn't take much sun to get the thermals going this time of year. But thermals ending at 12:30???