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."


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


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.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mount Washington Flyby

A little video highlight from the Post Mills XC milk run to Mt Washington.

Check out the Cu marking the convergence zone over the Northern Presidentials at the end.

Best in HD / full screen.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thermals to twelve thousand feet

I don't know if you've noticed, but for the past three days, Tony has been tearing up the skies in the Palomino Valley of western Nevada. His best flight so far was 200 km. Here's hoping he sends us a report one of these days.

In the meantime, we'll have to be satisfied with checking out his flights on OLC.

Spar modification approved

Yesterday, the European authority approved the Blanik spar modification developed by the German company AD&C. FAA approval should follow, but it's anybody's guess how long that will take.

Here's the EASA approval (pdf).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend Report June 11 - 12

For reasons unknown, the Slackers missed a beautiful looking day on Friday and regretted it all weekend. It rained pretty much continuously all day Saturday and half of Sunday.

The only highlight of the weekend was the Saturday cookout which drew 16 hungry participants for a mostly indoor party.

Christopher fixed the golf cart and Andy & Andy fixed the towplane, so we'll be ready for the great weather coming next weekend. Good for them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Out Standing in His Field

This was back in April near Perry, SC.

Here's the video. Check out those clouds, ain't they pretty? They sure weren't up to working very hard. The mystery was revealed when I stepped out of the cockpit... into a muddy field. Not for sensitive ears.

Slacker Finds New Place to Land in West Corinth

My flight on Wednesday ended up in a field in West Corinth about 10 miles north of the airport. My first land-out.

I knew it was going to be a marginal day but I haven't been able to fly much this spring so I decided to go-for-it anyway. I was pleased to be able to stay up after Rick gave me to 3K' tow. There were little ragged cumulus clouds but they seem to dry up before I got to them or produced no lift. There was the occasional good thermal (unrelated to the clouds) and I had got up to 5K several times. As I headed north for the second time there were some bigger, thicker clouds over the high ground between Post Mills and Montpelier. Up until now I was keeping the arrival height for Post Mills at 2,000' or more on the glide computer (to make sure I could get back to the airport with plenty of altitude). I was about 12 miles from the airport and about 3-4 miles from the better looking clouds (the clouds were about 15 miles from the airport). I came up with a plan. 1) fly to the clouds and go up, 2) if 1 didn't work, head back towards the airport and find a little lift along the way to get me home, and 3) if 2 didn't work, land in a field.

You can see what happened from the pictures (sorry about the quality-I didn't know how to use my phone as a camera) and flight log.

I picked a huge field that had a nice up hill slope to land in. I didn't realize (and I was thinking about it) until I touched down that it was tall grass (about 2.5'). The grass decelerated the glider very quickly, then grabbed the right wing and swung the glider 90 degrees. Total landing roll was about 100 feet. Luckily there was no damage. I will definitely try to avoid tall grass in the future.

A guy was working in his garage across the street from the field and I used his phone to called Rick to come get me. We packed the glider up in about 10 minutes and arrived back home before 5.

Thanks Rick for pulling me up (tow) and pulling me out (of the field).


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, Tuesday

Hey, Evan, you were right. You missed a good day on Monday. Keith left work at noon, drove to Post Mills, and staged the 1-23 by himself. After stretching out the rope, he inspected the towplane and warmed it up by buzzing the neighbor. The neighbor finally realized what was going on and wandered over to give Keith a tow. The result was a three-hour flight in 3J. Not bad for a workday.

The next day, Tuesday, Keith again left work at lunchtime (things must be slow at the Academy these days). He gave Paul (S1) a tow and allegedly went back to work. Paul flew 139 km and reports that his gear doors and plumbing modifications are both working well.

The golf cart, which came to life mysteriously on Monday, died again on Tuesday. Christopher and Andy are working on it. Thank them.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday, Monday

And I'm at work, of course. It's gorgeous outside. That satellite view is the current one, and it's pretty good! Even more interesting is the satellite loop for the last couple of hours. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to capture this. But it shows, among other things, that the cu that are decorating the PA ridges are moving SW along the ridge tops, clearly marking thermal convergence lift of the type that I've been talking about with some of you these last couple of weekends.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekend report June 4 - 5

We had a decent flying day on Saturday. The conditions were variable all day, and, for the cross-country fliers, the strategy of running away from the stratus clouds worked.

Evan (T8) made it to the Mount Washington Observatory by a non-standard route: via Mount Madison. He reported no prevailing wind at the summit, with convergence winds on all sides. We'll have to take his word for it; Evan seems to have forsaken OLC.

The rest of us enjoyed local and semi-local flights at Post Mills. Paul (S1) flew for two hours without his landing gear doors, which were not quite reinstalled after servicing the hinges. Skip (JS), Tom (TH), and Steve (3J) had nice flights. Bill (PM) had a good flight, but he left his Flight Recorder in the cockpit, and we weren't able to download it till Wednesday (after the OLC deadline). There was a rumor that Moshe (RU) would visit Post Mills this weekend, but that turned out to be a hoax.

The Saturday night cookout was as pleasant as ever, and we owe our thanks to the usual contributors. Let's keep this tradition going!

On Sunday our weather was dead flat calm with a solid overcast - perfect for flight instruction. We were able to congratulate our newest member, Mike, for making his first complete flight as sole manipulator of the controls. The rest of us stood around and watched Paul install his gear doors.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weekend report May 28 - 30

After one nice day of flying last week, the steamy August weather returned for the Memorial Day weekend. The unstable conditions caused overdevelopment during the days and scattered thunderstorms each evening.

For the second weekend in a row, the partying was better than the flying. On Saturday A gregarious gang of glider guiders, groundlings, and groupies gathered at the grill. The potluck meal featured a variety of entrees, representing most of the animal kingdom. The salads were good too, but the theme of the evening was definitely carnivorous.

Following a weather delay on Sunday, we were able to make four flights in the afternoon. There was a brief sunny period in which Tim made two attempts in PM and our newest member, Mike Stzrelecki got a couple of lessons. There were bumps, but no lift.

Monday was sunny, hot and stable at the lower levels. It would have been a nice day for boating or picknicking, but we stubbornly attempted to go flying instead. After painstakingly removing the fourth robin nest in a week from the towplane engine compartment, Evan towed Skip (JS), Bill (3J), and Sonny (LT). Sonny managed to stay up for an hour and seems to really be enjoying his new sailplane.

It's June already. What happened to our Spring?