Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

We may not be flying (much) this time of year, but at least we can look forward to some social events.

We can expect the 2012 Breakfast Schedule any day now. I'll look for a copy posted at the local library. Our annual meeting will probably occur in early February, as usual.

The NESA party will be January 21 in Springfield.

There will be a combined birthday/Mardi Gras party in February, at an undisclosed location in Post Mills. Details to follow.

Rumor has it that one of our more handsome members is featured in the 2012 SSA Calendar. I'd like to get one, but I can't afford the postage. If anyone can think of an economical way to get a hold of a calendar or two, let me know.

Happy 2012!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wright Brothers Day 2011

108 years after Orville and Wilbur ruined their best glider by putting an engine on it, a few hardy PMSC members celebrated by going flying. Andy, Rich, Rick, and Tim took off from Post Mills in various airplanes and headed for Springfield where the hardiest of all NESA members, Walter Striedieck, was preparing a gliding operation.

We flew the PW-6 (I1) four times, and Tim found a nice 2-knot December thermal that gives us the right to claim that soaring is a year-round sport in Vermont.

Meanwhile, Tony (7H) had almost as much fun on a 159km jaunt down in Florida. He must be practicing for his Diamond Distance flight later this Spring.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Near miss

At 1:50 in the video. You never know what you will find up there.



[Thanks a lot, Gregg. You can give the next club safety briefing. -Ed.]

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ski season started today

Congratulations to Tim and Andy for getting into the air on skis today. Rick and Rich are in a tight race for last place again, what else is new?

Come join us this winter. It's an easy and fun way to stay in practice between soaring seasons.

Hemisphere shift


South of the equator, it's Spring, and once again, our friend Roy B is on his annual African Safari. He will be reporting his flying adventures at Bloemfontein for the next week or so using an unsophisticated blog-like thing called Google Docs.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Club Statistics for 2011

We had a slow year compared to last year...

SGS 2-33: 62 flts 60:15 hrs (Average 0:58 hrs/flt)
Super Blanik L-23: 5 flts 8:30 hrs (Average 1:42 hrs/flt)
SGS 1-23: 39 flts 36:53 hrs (Average 0:57 hrs/flt)
HPH 304: 48 flts 86:31 hrs (Average 1:48 hrs/flt)

All club gliders: 154 flts 192:19 hrs (Average 1:15 hrs/flt)

For Comparison 2010 totals were:
All club gliders: 419 flts 309:00 hrs (Average 0:44 hrs/flt)


Towplane Usage:

Tows to Club Members (includes encampments): 233 (including 26 tows by Stowe and NESA)
Tows by our Birddog: 234 (including 24 to non-members)
Altitude Towed by our Birddog: 654,300' (124 miles)
Busiest Tow Pilot: Andy L. - 127 tows
Most Tows Given in a Day: 13 (on 10/8/11)
Most Tows by a Pilot in a Day: Andy L - 13 (on 10/8/11)

Instruction:

Formal Dual Instructional Flights - 24
Formal Dual Instructional Flight Time - 17:14 hrs
Busiest Instructor: Rick - 24 flights
Number of First Solo: 1
Number of New Pilot Certificates: 0


Name That Tow Plane

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Double retrieve

Trailer retrieves are usually pretty easy. Sometimes, when two gliders land in the same field, a double retrieve is necessary. This is somewhat harder, but not usually a big deal. It gets really interesting when nobody in the crew is familiar with disassembling the two aircraft.

At the end of Wave Camp this year, we were faced with trailering home PI (our borrowed Blanik L-23) and our towplane, having put neither one on a trailer before. It was a 2-day ordeal.

On Friday, Mike and Andy put our Blanik trailer back on the road, which involved building wing stands in order to liberate the trailer saddles, and the usual struggle to get the trailer lights working.

The next day, a hardy band of volunteers (Andy, Andy, Bob, Christopher, George, Karl, Tim, Sonny, Walter) traveled back to Gorham and pounced on the L-19. After a couple hours of work, the fuselage and wings were lashed onto trailers provided by Bob and Karl (thanks, guys).

The team then moved on to the L-23 which went onto our old trailer without too much fuss, once they figured out how to remove the horizontal stabilizer.

By 2pm, the convoy was on the road for Post Mills, with the Blanik in the lead, followed by the L-19 fuselage, the L-19 wings, and Andy bringing up the rear in his rolling toolbox.

Back home, they unloaded the wings so Karl could take his trailer home. In all, the double retrieve required 35 man-hours of work, and it isn't over yet. Winter is coming and we still have to move all the bits and pieces of our fleet into their final storage and work spaces. Don't forget to volunteer, especially if you weren't part of the fun last weekend.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wave Camp



Great wave camp. There were wave flights on all weekend and holiday days (5). My three flights went to 12K, 26K and 18K msl. How did everyone else do?

Tim

Thursday, October 6, 2011

T8's Wx Links for Mt Washington

I put all of these in a folder on my toolbar called "Mt Wash WX". Then all I need to do to get all the weather I need is click on the folder and select "Open All in Tabs".

There: I just saved you about three minutes a session and at least one case of carpal tunnel syndrome at the margin.

To use these, create a new bookmarks folder, then select the following list of bookmarks (as text) and copy into your new folder.

http://www.drjack.info/BLIP/ETA/NE/FCST/wfpm.curr.18z.png
http://www.drjack.info/BLIP/ETA/NE/FCST/blwindkt_blwinddeg.curr.18z.png
http://www.drjack.info/BLIP/ETA/NE/FCST/hft.curr.18z.png
http://www.drjack.info/BLIP/ETA/NE/FCST/sfcsunwm2.curr.18z.png
http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/cam/ravines/index.php
http://weather.yahoo.com/united-states/new-hampshire/gorham-2412336/
http://aviationweather.gov/adds/satellite/displaySat.php?region=ALB&isingle=multiple&itype=vis
http://aviationweather.gov/adds/progs/
http://aviationweather.gov/adds/winds/
http://www-frd.fsl.noaa.gov/mab/soundings/java/plot_soundings.cgi?airport=bml&start=latest&n_hrs=16&data_source=MAPS

I don't have an opinion on which sounding model is "best", let alone for what reasons. In addition to forecasting possible wave, it's useful to get some idea of temps aloft and forecast possibility of extensive clouds (alt., depth, timing). Maybe someone can chime in here if they have researched this.

Additional useful links solicited.

-T8

Monday, October 3, 2011

Evolution

Our pile of lumber seems to be returning to its original configuration.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Name that Sailplane


A clue: Name that airport, then guess the date.

Another photo of this beautiful bird:



Here's the tow plane:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Name that sailplane

Hint: This is the "short span" (23 meter) configuration. This one goes to 28.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Timing is everything

Tim had an adventurous flight yesterday. He dashed up to Twin Mountain where he got low. He ridge soared back to Franconia where he got high. Then he took a cloudstreet over to Cabot where he got low again. Two hours later he was higher, but not high enough to make the crossing from the central Vermont plateau back to Post Mills. During his struggle, he talked with Moshe, who was nearing the end of his 87 km flight out of Morrisville.

Timing is everything. The day ended half an hour earlier than Tim was hoping, and he called it quits at Montpelier after a 205 km flight. He rolled up to the same spot on Runway 35 that he had visited five days earlier.

This time his crew was ready (and motivated by the prospect of a dinner on the town). Just over an hour after landing out, the 304 was back in the trailer at Post Mills, and the Slackers were off to get pizza.

We beat the crowd at Stella's by a slim margin. Timing is everything.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Montpelier Flytrap

Montpelier airport is very attractive, like the carnivorous plant in Little Shop of Horrors.

The role of the victim was played today by Tim.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Places to land

Also from Andy:

A project of mine is to map landable fields and little known airports on Google Maps so everyone can peruse them from the comfort of their favorite web surfing chair.

Check out PMSC Landpoints.

If you'd like to add ones you know about, log in with the same info as XCSkies (ask Andy how to do this -Ed.), hit the Edit button and enter a waypoint or address in the searchbar. Drop a marker, name it, and enter the appropriate comments.

I have Rick's landpoint database and will continue to add from that list, but again please feel free to help out.

Also there's a Google Earth plug-in for your browser. If you need it, click on the map icon in the upper right. You should see the Google Earth icon. Click that and you'll get a prompt to install the plug-in.

Weekend report August 13 - 14

From Andy:

Saturday turned out to be a very busy day and despite the overcast some flights managed to stay up for a while.

Andy Lawrence finally decided it was time to get back in the air so he got a check ride with Tim and then flew the 1-23 at least once, maybe twice. Alexander is back in the area for a few weeks and his last flight in the 1-23 was for one hour. Nice job Alexander!

Tim gave a ride to a friend from California and I gave 4 introductory rides to a family from Hartland VT and one of them is seriously interested in joining.

Thanks to Sonny for saving the day by making yet another gas run and no, there were no other volunteers for this job which is a serious problem for which we need a solution!

Sunday was a no-fly day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Things you can watch on the internet today

1. Open Class Nationals at Uvalde, Texas
Reports from John Good
Reports from Frank Paynter and Bill Elliott

2. Junior World Gliding Championships in Germany
Official website
US Team blog

3. European Gliding Championships in Lithuania
Official website, with link to tracking
Unofficial website, with better reporting

4. Two crazy guys flying around the world in a Rotax-powered two-seat airplane
Website
Twitter

Friday, August 5, 2011

Gold rush

After reading his story of almost making it, we knew it wouldn't be long before we would hear of Tony's successful 300 km Gold Distance flight on August 3rd.


Details are sketchy, but we know that he took a long tow from Minden (possibly to avoid an early outlanding), and that the flight lasted only 3 hours and 45 minutes. At that speed (92 kph), he could easily achieve his next milestone, 500 km. That would be a rush.

Congratulations Tony! Send us the story.

Weekend report July 30 - 31

After a slow day Saturday (one flight in 3J by Bill), Sunday turned into a good day for cross-country flying.

Paul (S1) and Tim (PM) flew to Mount Washington and back while Sonny (LT) was taking a 175 km tour of central Vermont. Constrained by time, Skip (JS) and Andy (PM) made extended local flights.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Where's Motorhead?

We haven't had a trivia contest recently, so here we go. Where was this recent photo taken?

Hints: not here or here. The answer will appear in the commments.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend report July 23 - 24

It was too hot to fly on Saturday, but Tim did it anyway. He took a high tow in pursuit of some lenticulars, but failed to connect with the wave. Back below cloudbase, he made a 66 km, 1.5 hour flight. The rest of us went swimming.

Sunday was a pretty good flying day, but not many of us showed up to take advantage of it. Skip (JS) had the longest flight, 111 km, but Steve (PM) had the most fun with a local flight that included a climbout from 863 feet above the spectators. It was nice to see Mike S back on the field. After a month's layoff, he resumed his training right where he left off, making a couple of nice climbs to 6000 feet in the 2-33. Moshe (RU) accumulated 115 km on both sides of the valley at Morrisville.

Meanwhile, Andy, Andrew, and Mike washed the 2-33, and Andy and Andy fixed both towplane problems (a leaky intake manifold and a worn out flap actuator). We thank them all.

Last weekend's report got lost, sorry.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Spectator sport

The World Sailplane Grand Prix has started. This competition is held every two years, (under normal circumstances - the last one was one and a half years ago in the Southern Hemisphere).

This time the event will be held at the Wasserkuppe in Germany, where our sport originated.

The Grand Prix format is distinct from all other forms of sailplane racing. Its purpose is to promote gliding to the uninitiated, and it is the closest we ever get to being able to call soaring a "spectator sport."

Unlike in conventional races, the gliders all start at the same time, and whoever gets home first wins. The winner gets 10 points, second place gets 8, and subsequent finishers get one less per place.

The gliders carry tracking devices, and for the next seven days we can watch the races live on the web. The gliders will be in the air from 6 to 10 am EDT, roughly.

The races are narrated in German and English (although it seemed to be mostly in German today). When the narrator takes a break, they play soothing elevator music.

They have a good website, which includes a live webcam view of the airfield, and a twitter feed.

Today's weather was not so good, but the long term forecast is looking better.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Update from Minden

Tony writes:

Last Friday the auguries shouted Gold distance. Cumulus clouds were popping at 9:30AM after weeks of blue sky. The Reno soaring forecast projected strong thermals with tops to 17,900. The meadow next to the airport was suddenly in full flower clear to the Sierras.


And it was my flight instructor's 60th birthday.

I launched into a 5 knot thermal directly over the airport, jumped off tow at 1,500 feet, shot up to 4,000 feet AGL, and headed toward the hills and ridges that ladder up east to the Pine Nut Range and my declared start point.

That's when it fell apart. Soon there was nothing but sink with the vario hitting as much as 10 knots down. Thinking that big sink had to mean huge lift ahead, I put the nose over and pressed on. I arrived low at the first house thermal, got zero lift, and then more sink. Now I had to start searching ahead for a place to land, since a return to Minden over unlandable terrain through the same sink wasn't an option.

The only choice was one of the cultivated fields in a sea of sagebrush that surrounded some odd-shaped, symmetrical buildings. I noticed guard towers and concertina wire but the fields appeared to be on the outside.



I lined up with the plowed furrows and came to a quick stop in a cushion of loam. Then I saw the SUV's with yellow strobe lights racing toward me.

Bad news. I had landed at the prison farm, part of the Northern Nevada Correctional Center at Carson City.


And the good news? After checking my ID the warden got a farm hand to drive me to my trailer at Minden. Even better, when I returned seven trustees were waiting to help load my ship.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Man of leisure

Luckily for us, Pete Dodd decided to get away from it all and reestablish a presence, temporarily, in Post Mills. Pete's idea of a great vacation is to rent a rudimentary cabin on a grass strip, work on gliders all day, and occasionally go flying. We are lucky to have such a hardworking volunteer.

He heads back to Maryland tomorrow, so we'll have to wait till the Gorham encampment to take advantage of him again. Thanks for the visit, Pete!



(We used Pete's high-res camera to take these pictures. Click on the photos to admire the detail).

Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Run a Glider Contest

In one quick video.

Kevin's exercises

If you've ever found yourself overhead without a clue or a plan, or if you want to practice your cross-country skills on a day when you absolutely must be home for dinner, Kevin has developed a task just for you.

He has defined four visually identifiable turnpoints surrounding Post Mills. They are Mud Pond, Miller Pond, West Fairlee Center, and the I-91 overpass. Each leg of this quadrilateral is about five miles long. You can fly laps or take the longer diagonal legs, which go right over the airport.

What's the point? The point is that you can practice leaving thermals on course, rounding specified turnpoints, judging the value of a detour, and seeing how far your glider can go between climbs, all while staying within gliding range of home. And you'll be surprised at how many miles you can actually achieve.

Kevin's exercises are a lot more interesting and instructive than circling all day at the top of one or two thermals.

Here's the master himself demonstrating a 2-lap version of the exercise last weekend:

75 km without leaving home. Not bad, 6Q.

Trivigintennial cookout




Friday, July 15, 2011

Today's word of the day: Liftless

The soaring conditions yesterday were definitely not as good as they looked from the ground. Moshe sent in this report:
It was supposed to be a good soaring day, but the wind was blowing and the lift was shifty, and the thermals seemed to evaporate at 4000 feet. The sink was stronger than the lift for a while. It took me 90 minutes to break through the 4000MSL barrier. Then, with good cu bringing me up to almost 7000 feet, I got suckered away from the airport. On the way back I ran into a big liftless hole. Landed out on a cut hayfield outside of Hardwick.
Here's a view of the last couple of minutes of his flight. It shows what a nice hayfield looks like from the air:


and here's a closeup view:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tour

Here's where Tim went today:


It took him a while to get off the plateau north of Post Mills and into the high ground. He then elected to head to Franconia, then Littleton, and eventually back home. All the good climbs were out in the flats, and in fact, the Franconia ridge was no help at all. It just goes to show you that you can't trust conventional wisdom when it comes to soaring. Another 168 km for our team. Good flying, Tim!

Pete (3J and PM) and Tom (TH) flew locally, but were unable to get connected to the clouds, which stayed frustatingly out of reach for most of the day.

Meanwhile, back at Morrisville, Moshe (RU) flew 103 km, not quite enough to get back home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New PMSC Poster

Emma L. created a beautiful poster for us to use at the Montshire (I think Pete took all the pictures). We can also use it to post on bulletin boards around the area. Thanks Emma.


Tim

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend report July 9 - 10

(Updated to reflect corrections found in the comments)

Both days were beautiful.

On Saturday we divided our forces between Post Mills and Hanover Norwich. Half the crew went flying, and the other half assembled the 304 at the Montshire Museum (see previous post). One of us (Steve) did both.

The Montshire caper was a success, resulting in a bunch of kids and parents learning about soaring and about our club. Tim gets credit for organizing the event.

The glider made the transition from static display to flying machine in the late afternoon. Steve brought it home, reassembled it, and made a 2h45 flight that ended at 6:40pm with a dead battery. This made up for the weak effort made by Kevin and Bill, who went sailing on Lake Fairlee.

There was some good flying on Sunday if you got in the air early enough. Moshe (RU), Pete (3J), Evan (T8), and Sonny (LT) were able to do this and made nice flights. Sonny made his first trip to the summit of Mount Moosilauke. Local flights were made by Skip, Tom, and our new neighbor Al, who is thinking of joining.

Evan changed his mind about not going flying that day and wound up making a 276 km tour of northern New England. He was conservative in the boonies and bolder near the airports. He improved his speed by plunging into Franconia, where the lift is reliable. This is how it's done.

At the end of the day, Pete upstaged Evan's showy arrival back home by soloing the 304 (twice). Pete seems to be enjoying his vacation in Post Mills. You gotta love it when a club member's idea of a great vacation is staying in a cabin and working on gliders, trailers, and the golf cart all day. If he gets tired of renting, he could always buy a luxury vacation home in Post Mills.

PMSC at the Montshire

We had a great turn out of volunteers at the 'Exploring How Things Move through the Air' program at the Montshire. Thanks Christina, Lucy, Pete, Andy, Sonny, Steve, Christopher, Skip, Rick and Delano. And thank you Rebecca Haynes of the Montshire for having us.


Tim

Jet Pilot

It's always amusing to hear the initial reaction of pilots to their first experience in a high-performance sailplane. At the end of the day yesterday (following a 2 hour flight in 3J), Pete strapped on the 304 and made two flawless flights. Afterwards, when he finally stopped grinning, his first words were "It flies like a jet."

Well, Pete, I'm not a 767 pilot like you, but I guess that means you liked it. Congratulations!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Stowe report July 2 - 4

From Andy:

The Stowe encampment was a great success on all accounts with excellent flying conditions (for most) on both Saturday and Monday.

To name a few accomplishments:
  • Paul flew 5.75 hours on Saturday
  • Steve, Tim and Andy all had great flights in the 304
  • We finally got to fly with Moshe again, and this time he was in his new Russia
  • I served up a zillion hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages and veggie burgers at the Ski Inn without completely burning my fingers off (must have a longer spatula), and a good time was had by all
  • There were many flights made. It would be interesting to to know the total number of hours/miles flown, etc. Maybe we can get those numbers together*.
Sunday was mostly cloudy so some headed to the airshow at Sugarbush, others went hiking or biking, and our man Pete got to polishing the 1-23 which is now looking fantastic.

We decamped on Monday afternoon and all equipment is back at 2B9 safe and sound. Great Time!
*OK, here are most of them:
Tom TH 0:29 35 km
Skip JS 0:12 16 km
Tom TH 1:58 50 km
Steve PM 1:02 60 km
Andy PM 1:33 74 km
Tim PM 1:39 86 km
Sonny LT 2:22 103 km
Moshe RU 2:06 102 km
Rick 6Q 2:01 121 km
Paul S1 5:30 217 km
Tom TH 0:34 26 km
Skip JS 1:42 51 km
Sonny LT 2:48 58 km
Tim PM 1:32 81 km
Andy PM 1:02 84 km
Moshe RU 4:15 125 km

Thursday, July 7, 2011

News from the west

Tony sent this report from Nevada.

Carol and I decamped this summer, 1-35C trailer in tow, seeking an alternative to Vermont and Florida soaring weather. Friends recommended Air Sailing ("ASI"), a glider club northeast of Reno which holds a six-day XC Camp in mid-June.

ASI is in the high desert at 4700 feet where rocks and sage brush predominate (Click on the photos to see the full size versions).


Mountains on either side reliably generate ridge, wave and even convergence lift from strong southwesterly winds.




Fourteen pilots participated in the camp. Prior experience ranged from little cross country to a half dozen 300km OLC flights but no declared Gold distance. Chalk talks started at 8:00AM and covered local conditions, land outs, weather, hydration, thermaling, wave and ridge flight and XC in the Sierra Nevadas.

Afternoons two students flew paired with an instructor. Those with little experience got one-on-one mentoring. We started with short XC and ridge flights, extending the task legs each day.

For Friday's graduation flight some of us declared a Diamond Goal out-and-return south in the Pine Nut range of the Sierras to Mt. Patterson/Lobdell Lake and return. The terrain is beautiful but rugged and remote. This picture south of the turnpoint gives a sense of the route except that it did not cross the large landable farmland visible in the foreground.


Unfortunately, I forgot some sound advice from Paul Natkiel, or was it Rick, and placed my turnpoint 10 miles into what developed to be unlandable terrain. That proved costly as I had to turn back just short of the goal when the lift softened.

Now that I know the area and conditions, I can't imagine flying in the Sierras without something like the ASI camp. I know, you're thinking that the biggest challenge in the land of booming thermals is filling out a proper Diamond distance declaration. And yes, many aspects of soaring don't require week-long training. For example, if dust devils tear up the flight line don't check Dr. Jack, just jump in your ship and launch.


Nonetheless, western conditions create a host of challenges we never experience in the east. Most of the desert and the Sierras are unlandable. Outlandings on roads are strongly disfavored. That leaves widely-spaced airfields, occasional alfalfa fields, and dry lake beds, most of which are still wet.

Strong winds generate tremendous wave, ridge and convergence lift. But they blow until sunset so returning flights battle stiff head winds. Ridge turbulence can be far greater than say Franconia or Mt Washington. Afternoon winds also create venturi effect and huge sink in west facing mountain passes between the Sierras and ASI.

But my current source of heartburn is something well known in the east-elusive soarable conditions. So after hauling my ship 3,000 miles based on reports of Diamond and Gold mines in the west, it has been tied down for two weeks. That's because there have been no days with the marker CU's I want for my first XC flights in challenging territory and strong winds have been breaking up the blue sky thermals.

They claim this weather is an aberration. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An old joke

Q: What do you call the day after two days of rain in Vermont?

A: Monday. Ha Ha.

Sure enough, the work week started off with a terrific soaring day. Fortunately, the Weekday Slackers rose to the occasion. Tim flew a clockwise triangle of 183 km out of Post Mills, and Moshe traveled counterclockwise out of Morrisville for 149 km. Interestingly, they both went to the Catamount turnpoint. If Tim had gone counterclockwise, they might have seen each other.

Tom flew locally in TH, and Rick, Rich, and Andy flew airplanes on a flyby mission in Randolph.

Our soaring season started out as a joke, but now we can finally laugh about it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend report June 25 - 26

Not much to shout about this past weekend.

Both days were overcast, with Saturday a complete washout. On Sunday, Sonny was able to make a couple of practice flights in LT, and he did a good job.

The highlight of the weekend was the party Saturday night, featuring soups, breads, salads, and the usual excellent hospitality at Lumruss.

Next weekend we will be at Morrisville. Don't forget to volunteer to help organize the encampment.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nice looking tree

OK, it's not a glider, so it doesn't qualify as a DLTHTY, but something compelled me to publish this picture. It happened a couple of days ago in Texas. It makes you want to believe the old adage, "You can't get hurt in a Cub."




Source

The end of the good weather

The good weekend weather lasted two more days, and two of our members were able to take advantage of it.

On Monday Moshe took RU out on a nice 123 km triangle from Morrisville, with turnpoints at Belvidere and West Danville. He got a bit low at the first turn but managed to find a 4.5 knot climb that took him straight back to cloudbase, and he never got low after that. One of these days, we'll see him in the sky over Post Mills.

The next day Tim (PM) dashed up to the White Mountains, arriving at Mount Madison below the summit. He zigzagged his way up to the Mount Washington Observatory in lift that was not as strong as he would have liked. His best climb was on the way back: 3 knots to 7500 feet at Moosilauke, which was plenty to get him home. That's the second time this year that someone has climbed Washington from the north. I'll have to try that some day.

So this week's "Slacker of the Week" is awarded jointly to Moshe and Tim. I doubt there will be any more contenders. Here's the current satellite visible image. It probably won't stop raining for a while.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Weekend report June 18 - 19

Our string of unflyable days ended with the passage of a weak cold front Friday evening.

It was still drizzly and foggy Saturday morning and we almost called the day off after breakfast. That would have been disappointing for our towpilot, Bob, who drove all the way down from St. Johnsbury (Thanks, Bob). The day turned out to be surprisingly good, with weak lift under every single cloud. The bases were low, however, and you had to spend most of your time circling. Tim and Steve (both in PM) earned some OLC points in the local area. Mike S and Sam both had good flights in the 2-33. Sam impressed his instructor with how little his year-long layoff has affected his stick-and-rudder skills.

In the afternoon, the sky to the northwest turned black, and we started to hear thunder. Everyone landed, and we hustled to put everything away. We were running for cover by 4:30 pm. This allowed an early start to the cookout, which was well supplied and enjoyable, as usual.

Sunday was the kind of day we dream about. The lift started early and cloudbase eventually reached 6500 feet. Almost everyone had a long flight. Mike S kept the 2-33 in the air for 1.7 hours, and got to 6300 feet, both personal records. He flew with Tim (PM) for a while, on Tim's jaunt to the northwest, a flight that was not recorded, alas. Tom (TH) got stuck at low altitude over West Fairlee and was forced to creep home early. Skip (JS) headed for the White Mountains but was unable to get past Mount Lafayette, where he turned around, completing a nice 121 km flight. The best flight of the day was made either by Evan (T8) or Thomas (ZP). They both were gone for over five hours, but only one of them turned in a flight log.

Andy towed all day and finally got to do a ride flight in the 2-33 at the end of the day (Thanks, Andy).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Moonscape

It appears (from OLC) that Tony finally got his Gold Distance/Diamond Goal! It appears (from this image) that he did it somewhere on the Moon.


This shows the southern end of his 335 km out and return flight from Air Sailing (north is to the left).

Congratulations, Tony! Send us your story.