Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fire devil

Here's a thermal that I bet even Tony could stay up in.

Headed South

After two weekends in a row of not being able to stay in the air, Tony has decided to give up and head for Florida.

It was about 90F today when Tony and Carol passed through Post Mills to say goodbye on their annual journey south to escape the cold weather. We will miss them at Gorham this year, and we look forward to their return in the Spring.

A new glider in the family

Congratulations to Moshe on the acquisition his new glider, RU. It is a "Russia," which was the entry in the World Class design competition from (you guessed it) Russia. There are about 55 of them in the country. You may remember seeing one at Franconia.

Here's a picture of Moshe and his new fuselage. We hope to see the whole thing at Post Mills soon.

Weekend report August 28 - 29

Yes, I realize that two weekends have gone by without a report. I have no excuse.

Yesterday, we made 17 flights, with Andy and Tim sharing the towing. Once again, Thomas did the instructing. The best flight was probably Evan's 1.5 hour flight, which hasn't yet showed up on OLC. But we do have flight logs from Steve and Tim, who reports that it isn't all that hard to keep up with Evan on the glides.

Today (Sunday) was a typical August day - sunny, hot, and stable. Despite the weak lift, Steve flew for2 hours in PM, and Thomas and Paul K managed to keep the 2-33 in the air for over an hour. Tom made his second flight of the weekend in TH. We had 11 flights in all. Evan towed most of the day, while Elisabeth got checked out on the golf cart.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A new Private Pilot

Congratulations to Christopher Ian, who took some time off from his powered aircraft pursuits and finished off his Private Pilot (Glider) certificate!

This was a significant accomplishment for Christopher and for PMSC. It was the first flight test at Post Mills that didn't involve Rick or Andy. Thomas was the recommending instructor, and Matt towed. It's good to see that we are finally becoming somewhat independent of the old coots.

Here's a picture of the proud instructor and his former student. Christopher is holding something I can't quite make out. It looks like Thomas's old Green Card. As I say, I wasn't there, so I can't be sure.

And here is Christopher's writeup of his day:
After one and a half seasons of flying gliders in my spare time and airplanes in my off-time, with extensive (formerly Swiss) CFI-induced flight test preparation and completed logbook compilations, I passed the oral test and 2-flight flight test to earn my private pilot certificate – with glider rating on a terrific sunny day at Post Mills. Frequent 4-600 fpm thermals in the mix to make it fun.

Examiner Bill Stinson conducted a mostly predictable oral test (“What special consideration should be taken and avoided in ground handling of the Blanik L13?” Thanks Sonny, for the answer to that one). The first flight with expected requisite maneuvers (“trim for cruise speed, now take your hands off the controls - and give a little right rudder and fly”).

Thanks to Matt for stepping up to tow on his day off from his other job towing - with Andy as backup – and to CFIs who endured enough to take 2 years off before the next BFR with honorable mention to Thomas who pulled all the strings together with ground school prep and logbook technique to be ready for testday.

To step it up a bit, for flight number two, Bill covered up the airspeed indicator and altimeter, and declared- “We are not going to tell the tow pilot how high to tow us. Release from tow when we get to 2,500 AGL” (3,200 msl) – about $33 worth for the locals. Nailing it at 3,300, off tow and out to find thermals before the expected no-spoiler approach, Bill threw another twist into the mix: “Let’s land in the other direction so we don’t have to walk as far” - but without removing the covers over the dials to test the student on a downwind, no-spoiler landing. Forgetting momentarily that he was PIC for the first time, I asked about the runways – “Do I have a choice?” And Bill, seemingly amused stated, “I don’t think so.”

So, things worked out; PMSC has a new private pilot; and the former student has earned the coveted right to not talk to another CFI till the end of the 24th month after the month of his flight test.

That would be August 31, 2012. And that was a question on the oral test, though not stated exactly as written here.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekend report August 7 - 8

Much of what follows is hearsay; I was away for most of the weekend.

Our spring-like August weather continued through Saturday, and we had 13 flights. By mid-afternoon, cloudbase was over 7000 MSL. Once again, Evan led the way with a 271 km flight in T8 to Morrisville, Sugarbush, and Dean.

Steve made a nice 107 km triangular flight to Bailey, Hanover, Mt. Cube and home in PM. Skip, master of the zigzag, went 10 km further in JS. Sonny (KX) took the "per ardua ad astra" award by flying to Franconia, landing, and bumming a ride back to Dean from the FSA towplane - from which release point, he soared home to Post Mills.

Sam, Christopher, Keith, Paul N, Moshe, and Alexander flew locally at Post Mills while Thomas instructed and Bob towed.

On Sunday, the conditions were so good for instructing that Thomas flew eleven times (Thanks, Thomas!) Thomas's list of student pilots included Chris, Paul K, and Christopher, who is getting ready for his Private Pilot flight test. It was nice to see club founder and former instructor John Gass getting back into practice in the 2-33. John's son Ryan is our newest student.

At the end of the day we had two first-in-type flights: Alexander in the 1-23, and Matt in the 304. Congratulations to both!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend report July 31 - August 1

We had excellent flying both days this weekend. On Saturday, Evan's 347 km flight was eclipsed by Alexander's first solo, a two-hour flight in the 2-33:

Sonny attempted a 5-hour flight in KX, but fell short by 20 minutes. Tim (PM) flew to Barnard, Stowe, and return for 227 km. Kevin (6Q) raced around his 100 km speed triangle, but failed to break his own state speed record. Thomas (ZP) also made a nice cross-country flight, but, as usual, refused to submit his flight log.

Although Sunday was reported as a little bit trickier, Evan managed to go two more kilometers (349) in T8, on a trip to Belvidere mine, Sugarbush and Franconia. Skip (JS) and Kevin (6Q) got late starts, but were able to add 62 and 70 km to the club total, respectively.

Meanwhile, back at Post Mills, Jason, Chris, Alexander, and Paul K flew with each other in the 2-33. Tim's contribution was to break the brake in the Blanik.

Mike takes a day off

Congratulations to Mike, who made a 239 km flight to Mt. Madison and back on his first cross-country flight of the year.

On the same day (Friday), Matt flew 3J for three hours and 94 km. Skip made a similar flight in JS, but his flight recorder conked out 41 minutes into the flight.