Monday, May 21, 2012

4 Days in May

For some reason, it all came together for us at the end of last week, and we were able to string together four straight days of flying.

The Weekday Slackers kicked things off by flying PM around Vermont on Thursday and Friday. Thursday’s weather was clear blue with a moderate west wind. Tim took off before noon, intending to fly a 300 km task with a first turnpoint at Morrisville. Progress upwind proved difficult, so he changed his plan and went due north, eventually reaching Burke Mountain. He turned around and cruised handily down to Lebanon where he got clobbered by sink, probably due to wave. One last desperation climb allowed him to get home, with a total distance of 244.61 km (the reason for the precision will become clear, below).

The next day, the weather was about the same (3 knots in the blue to 6000 feet), with lighter winds. Two unbelievable things happened. Rick, if you believe him, flew to Catamount and Mount Garfield and returned with some story about a total GPS failure and no flight log. Meanwhile, Bill and Greg made an unbelievable eight flights together. This is definitely a Post Mills record for lessons in a single day, in both the instructor and student categories!

The actual weekend started with a rush of members seeking Flight Reviews and field checks. It was nice to see Nancy, Paul, Keith, Andy (not that one or that one), Doug (3J), Rich, and Christopher getting their first flights of the season. The hotshots Tom (TH), Skip (JS), and Thomas (ZP) raced around in their fancy gliders – and Bill (PM) raced around in the club’s fancy glider (after he gave 4 more lessons). Altogether we made 16 flights on Saturday, all towed by Andy (that one), including one as check pilot.

Saturday was also a good day in Florida, where Tony (7H) set out, presumably, to beat Tim’s distance from Thursday. He came up short, flying a mere 244.13 km. Better luck next time, Tony!

The first PMSC cookout of the season was well attended (20) and well supplied with food and beverage. Thanks to all who contributed, and thanks to Mary for cooking and for keeping the whole thing under control.

On Sunday the weather was a bit hazier and weaker, but still good for soaring. Keith towed all but one of the nine flights. Nancy and Moshe completed their Flight Reviews, which leaves only two to go, and Karl and Sonny got their field checks. An interesting cooling phenomenon happened in the middle of the day. Without any warning or clouds, the lift suddenly quit, and the three gliders in the air at the time all landed. Keith noted that the wind had shifted to the east, so it was probably an incursion of cold air from the river valley. What made it interesting is that an hour later it was going again, and the last two flights of the day were over an hour long, with landings after 6pm.

Update (5/22/12): Evan (T8) just posted his Sunday flight from the contest in Pennsylvania. 343 km in thermals "on the plateau." This beats both Tim and Tony for the weekend distance title. The contest ends today, so Evan should be home soon.

All in all, it was a great 4 days in May. Notable accomplishments were Greg’s 8 flights, Bill’s 14 flights, and all the towing done by Andy, Keith, and Doug.

Finally, if you get a chance to fly in a two-seater with Moshe, as Karl and Rick did on Sunday, you should not pass it up. Moshe is a master of thermaling, and it’s worth paying for a tow just to see how he does it. You can observe a lot just by watching.

Also, if you want to know the proper way to put the gear down in the Blanik, just ask Keith.


Tony said...

I'd like to pretend to be a good sport. Can't fake it as Tim nosed me out by a trifling 1,575.024' after 152 miles flown. His his SeeYou trace was clearly established using an FAI Spheroid rather than a WGS-48 Ellipsoid. Gotta claim a do over.

PMSC Member said...

Hey, Tony. I just updated the weekend report. Evan nosed you and Tim out by 100 km.

Tim said...

100 km is an insignificant 0.249% of the circumference of the earth. I would call it a tie.

ZP said...

Yeah, and if someone does 12 CAP flights for the Vaterland, on a single Sunday afternoon, that counts for nothing???

S2 said...

You should brag more, ZP.