Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Present for PMSC

Santa sent a present to the club. It's 24 lbs of ballast in the form of Kennedy half dollars.
He had to send it in 2 packages. Here are the notes he sent along with them.
Thank you Santa!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Overseas report

Many of you know Roy Bourgeois, our friend from MITSA and GBSC, who has done many favors for our club, including lending us a glider way back when.

Roy has trouble getting out of instructor duty, so for the past nine Novembers, he has escaped his club and taken a trip to South Africa, where the soaring season is just getting started. Every year he creates a blog-style document for the folks back home. His flying, his adventures, and his writing have improved steadily over this period.

You really should take half an hour and read this year's report.

This is what our sport is all about.

Hint: The web page is large and takes a long time to load.  Be patient.  The beginning is at the bottom.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Disassembly day

In the fine tradition of the Post Mills Soaring Club a large number of volunteers, consisting of both active and inactive members, showed up at the field to take gliders apart, move trailers, and hangar the towplane.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the field:

and also to those who were there but didn't make it into the picture.  The volunteer-of-the-week award goes to Bill Swartz, who drove all the way from Portland, Maine to be a part of the crew.  The only member who lives farther away is Tony, whom we expect to show up next year.

The tiedown area at Post Mills is looking bare again.  It's time to look forward to flying at Springfield, skiflying, and breakfasts!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Weekend report November 22 - 23

Christopher writes:

We came, we flew, we winterized.

Tim flew his new PIK-20D (AT) in good lift, Greg & Mark ventured out in the Blanik to 5 grand, and Dennis dragooned Christopher into the backseat for another Blanik adventure, with snow falling sideways as he maintained plus numbers.  3K tow with scenes of the late Fall countryside from 4,400 feet, sustaining on workable if weak lift for an hour as the ceiling and snow came down to 3,000 feet, bringing them home early.

Ben and Ben's father (some call him Steve) came by just too late for Ben to get his 5th flight of the season. (Come back in December when the lines for a glider are shorter) [Editor's note: that trick might work, but only until December 16].

Someone needs to put in a PMSC requisition for an ice scraper to keep the canopy clean for late Fall soaring.  There's still time.

Three flights, with Andy towing, just enough interruptions as he was cobbling his Champ engine back to workable Winter form.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A pair of club records

Congratulations to Karl Strassberger for passing his Private Pilot checkride on Wednesday, a day on which two club records were set!

Once again, our indefatigable Designated Examiner, Bill Stinson, made the trip to Post Mills to administer the test. Andy was the towpilot this time. It isn't clear whether there was anyone else there that day, such as someone who knows how to take a photograph.

This sets the calendar record for the latest flight test in our club's history (November 20). Thanks go to Tim, Greg, Dennis, Karl, and Andy for arranging to extend our flying season and for keeping the towplane operational.

The other club record is for the lowest-resolution photo of a member's accomplishment ever taken.


Monday, October 21, 2013

PM at FL160

PM at 16,000' over Mount Washington yesterday.  Photo ship was N331BA piloted by Dan.  Photograph by Greg.  Earlier in the week Pete took PM over 24,000' to earn his altitude diamond. - Tim

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On the Way to Gorham

Last Friday, on the way to Gorham, Rick and Tim (ferrying the towplane and L-23) stopped in Franconia to help Mark with his first flight in his Discus.  Mark took a high tow and made a beautiful landing about 45 minutes later.  On Saturday Mark made a 3 hour flight in his Discus.  Judging from his smile on both days, I think he is hooked! - Tim

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

OLC Summary

We flew over 7 billion inches this season.

Next year, let's go for a trillion.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

First solo for Henry

Congratulations to Henry Swayze on his first solo today!  Here's a picture of Thomas and Henry just after Henry landed, and just before sunset.  Thomas and Henry both left work at the last minute in order to make this happen.  One less pre-solo student for Thomas. Yay!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend report September 28 - 29

We had two beautiful soaring days with light winds and decent lift to 4500 feet both days.

The weekend started early with an organized effort to wash and polish the Blanik.  Andy, Lane, Henry, Dakai, Dennis, Karl, Greg did most of the work.  (I may have missed someone.  I just showed up long enough to take this picture; I didn't do any work at all).

Karl flew for 2.5 hours in 3J, without a flight recorder, and Andy made a pair of Blanik flights for an hour each, with the help of Tim and Dennis.  Evan, Greg (JD), and Dan (EA) chased the clouds to the west and made a modest tour up to Washington and down just past Lebanon.

On Sunday, we made 18 more flights, with Keith towing all but one (Keith made 31 tows this weekend, and Thomas did a dozen instructional flights.  Thanks, guys.)  Skip (JS) flew for an hour and a half,  Dan (EA, EA) flew twice, and Greg (JD) had some low-save practice in the middle of a three hour flight.

And welcome back, Christopher! You showed up just in time to fix the golf cart. Again.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Combining our two hobbies

Let's face it, we have two hobbies:  Flying and cruising around in golf carts.

Why not combine the two?

Name That Club Member

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Private Pilot

Friday was a spectacular late summer day, with lots of activity at Post Mills Airport.  We had scientists doing aerodynamic experiments on the runway, and bunch of volunteers working on a new exhibit in the museum.

But the highlight of the day involved actual flying, as it should.

Kasie Cavagnaro drove her dad to the field to do some flying with Bill Stinson. Dennis and Bill took the 2-33 up for a variety of exercises, and when it was over, they were ready to pose for pictures. Congratulations to Dennis Cavagnaro, our club's newest Private Pilot!

And thanks once again to our indefatigable examiner, Bill Stinson, who has done so much for gliding in our region.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend report August 24 - 25

We had a pleasant couple of days with light winds and plenty of sunshine. Greg and Dan were ready to go early on both days, hoping to make one last jaunt up to the White Mountains before the end of August. But the conditions didn't support their ambitions, and they made local flights, along with everyone else. Rich had an hour flight in 3J without a battery or flight recorder, making it to 5400 feet.

Thomas instructed both days and our new student pilot, Henry, made some good progress. Greg and Andy Lawrence took care of the guest rides.  Skip and Dennis flew both days, and Karl and Nancy flew on Sunday.

Nancy brought her camera and took a late afternoon flight in the Blanik, which still does not have a call sign. Put your suggestions in the comments!

Twenty four flights in all, counting Moshe's at Morrisville.

No place like home

Sometimes we forget how beautiful this place is.

Friday, August 23, 2013

New glider on the field

It's a good Slacker day when you come home with a new glider. Thanks, Tim, Greg, and Sonny for fetching the L-23.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend report August 17 - 18

We had a three-day weekend, if you want to count Sunday, which was grey and barely flyable.

On Friday, a trio of slackers (EA, JS, and JD) went out for a total of 457 OLC kilometers.  On Saturday, nine different gliders took off from Post Mills, which may be a record for this year.  It would have been ten, but Sonny's plan for the day changed when the radiator in his car split open on the way to the airfield. Moshe (RU) had a flight at Morrisville, so that makes it ten (and that doesn't count Tony, who flew on Saturday, but he seems to have switched loyalties from his friendly, supportive, club-of-origin to a dessicated impersonal wasteland operation with nothing more than pecuniary interests, and probably nowhere near as good a social infrastructure.)

Anyway, back at Post Mills, Greg (JD) and Dan (EA) held hands around a bow-tie shaped course:

Greg in red, Dan in blue
and Skip (JS) and Rick (6Q) joined up at Dean where they set out for home together, with mixed results:

Rick in red, Skip in blue
(Evan and Paul also landed out, but they aren't men enough to post their flight logs).

But never mind the flying part - the highlight of the weekend was the dining.  We had 23 at the cookout:
Andy, Christina, Dan, Dennis, Evan, Geoff, Greg, Henry, Laurie, Lynne, Marsha, Mike, Paul, Peter, Petey, Keith, Mary, Rick, Sawyer, Sherry, Skip, Sue, Tim
and thanks partly to the season, but mostly to our volunteer chefs, we enjoyed an amazing assortment of side dishes to go with our chicken, sausage, salmon, pizza, and beer!  Let's do it again next weekend!

Oh, yes, there's a rumor going around that we bought another glider!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekend report August 3 - 4

The weekend was a bit of a dud.  We made only three flights on Saturday in the strong, shifty winds, and Sunday was a complete loss due to thunderstorms. Doug probably got wet on his ride back home on the motorcycle.

Sometimes we forget how much we depend on our towpilots, and how far some of them drive to get here. Evan, Doug, and Bob have driven hundreds of miles this summer so that we can go flying. Don't forget to thank them, next chance you get.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The latest flap

As you can clearly see from this photo, the L-19 flaps are fixed, and our towplane is back in service.


Thanks to Andy Gelston and his lovely and talented assistant Sonny for all their hard work on this project!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lafayette Noda

Today's Valley News has an article about the life of our distinguished passenger of last summer, Lafayette Noda.

Name those club members

All of them.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Weekend report July 13 - 14

Saturday got off to a slow start, but Mark, Sam, Pete, and Dennis were able to make the most of an overcast day with pattern tows, spot landings, and a stunt video.  Evan towed all day, and then crashed his model (Thanks, Evan, and sorry).

The party Saturday night was well supplied and well attended. Dennis, Dorothy, Evan, Hans, Janet, Karl, Keith, Kevin, Mary, Mike, Moshe, Pete, Rick, and Sue all enjoyed Mary's BBQ chicken.

Sunday got off to an even slower start, but eventually we got out of our hanging chairs and went flying.  Bob towed and Moshe had the best flight, 3 hours in RU.  It was a good day for practicing low saves.

Karl arriving
Evan returning
(It was terrific to have Pete back for his annual summer visit to Post Mills and Franconia. He did a fair amount of flying and took a lot of great photos while he was here. We miss him already.)


I came across this photo this past weekend. I don't know when it was taken. It looks like Post Mills. If anybody can identify the airplanes or the people, put it in the comments. I wonder if those guys are still around?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's an omen's orld

Update 07/13/2013:  Thanks to a tie for second, Sarah was awarded the Bronze!

Our friend Sarah Arnold from Tennessee has a very good shot at the podium in the 7th Women's World Gliding Championships (WWGC). The competition is in France, and the races are over at about noon our time each day.

Today is the 9th of 10 days of competition.  Going into today, Sarah was standing 3rd, only 26 points behind the leader.  She completed the task today, but (as of this posting) has not yet been scored.

Here is the Results page from the WWGC website.  Look for Sarah in the Club Class results.  And look for her again tomorrow afternoon, when it will all be over.

The US Team has a blog, as well.

If you don't understand the title of this post, it's because I don't understand the official logo of the contest. I find it strangely attractive, however.

More pictures from Franconia

Thanks, Judy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Franconia Report July 3 - 8

Sometimes it's fun to review our history. I'll explain why it's fun in a moment.

Every year, the Post Mills Soaring Club pulls up stakes on the 4th of July weekend and heads to another gliderport for a visit.  It's nice to get out of town for a change, and it is always nice to go fly in the mountains. These encampments have been going on since before Andy started this blog.

For the first few years, we went to Stowe, but starting about 10 years ago, we seem to have settled on Franconia, and beginning in 2007, we wrote stories about our experiences.  We had fun-filled weekends at Franconia in 2008, 2009, 2010, but not in 2011. And for some reason, I failed to write the 2012 report. All we got last year was a brief story about a young punk in a Blanik.

So why is it fun to review all this?  It's fun because last weekend, Lane told me that he enjoys reading this blog, and that he always clicks on all the links. Have at it, Lane. That was fun.

In 2013, it went like this:

As usual, we faced the logistical challenge of getting all the gliders and trailers to Franconia in time for the first  scheduled flying opportunity, which was Thursday morning. After work on Wednesday, Andy and Andrew drove PM to Franconia, parked it at the airport, and checked in at the Gale River Motel. Paul and Marsha also checked in and wondered what was behind that closet door (petri dishes, perhaps?). Sonny and Pete dropped off the golf cart and returned home.

For the first time in several years, we did not have a Blanik at our disposal on the 4th of July.  The Franconia Soaring Association was kind enough to allow us to use PI (the one we flew last year) for our advanced training, but we decided to cover our bases and bring our 2-33 as well.  Tim and Rick dodged the low clouds Thursday morning and delivered the glider to Franconia.

It turned out that, other than a couple of guest rides, most of the Thursday flying was solo.  Most notably, Dan had his first flight in Papa Mike.  Congratulations, Dan!

I'd rather be flying EA
The ridge wasn't working, and Tim had the best flight of the day, about an hour and a half in PM.  A few of us celebrated our arrival by going out to dinner at the local downtown restaurant.  Don't go there if you're in a hurry.

Despite the low clouds and lack of obvious ridge winds, we assembled ourselves and our gliders by noon.  We stood around for a while and eventually made 13 flights, all but one of which were solo.  Dan and Tim shared PM, and, thanks to Andy Gelston (who wasn't able to join us), Tom was able to make a nice rollout in TH following a brief local flight. Skip (JS) also flew locally.  The best flight was turned in by Greg (JD) who traversed the Lafayette ridge twice and wandered down to Mount Moosilauke twice.  Both visits to Moosilauke were disappointing, altitudewise, and he made his final glide in light rain.

The rest of us did a poor job of flight recording.  Pete, Sam, and Bob flew 3J without taking any data, and likewise for Dennis, who made his first solo flight at Franconia.  Paul (S1) probably recorded his flight, but he never turned anything in.

We had dinner at a Mexican joint in Littleton, where the food and music were both excellent (your opinion may vary).

Saturday started out with a solid overcast, drizzle, and widespread pessimism. While we were still drinking our morning coffee, one of the FSA pilots damaged the left wing of PI by rolling out into a Christmas tree following a normal landing.  It was sad to see such a valuable glider taken out of service in what appears to be a really avoidable accident.  We were planning to use it this day, and we were lucky we had brought our 2-33.

At about noon the weather started to improve, and it never looked back.  We had gangbuster thermal, ridge and wave conditions till sunset.  Tom, Dan, Tim, Skip, Greg, and Andy (Lawrence) posted some extended flights.  Greg visited the usual peaks: Lafayette, Garfield, and Moosilauke, rarely getting very far above the ground.

 And he took some nice pictures:

As did Skip:

Pete taped a video camera to the nose of the 1-23 and recorded a 40-minute movie that turned out to be really boring.  Here's the first frame of the movie.  Note the liberal use of duct tape.

The flying part of the day ended with Dennis's first flight in 3J (without the duct tape).  Congratulations, Dennis!

I'd rather be flying DC
After flying, we adjourned to the motel for our annual extravagant barbecue and club summer meeting (if you didn't know that we had an annual summer meeting, well, we used to have one.  We're trying to bring it back).  The turnout was 30+ hungry party-goers, and I can't believe we don't have any pictures from the party, other than this crooked one that Skip took with his cell phone before most of the aviators arrived.  If you're holding back any party pictures, c'mon, let's have them!

The party was a big success, which is no surprise, since Judy and Marsha were in charge of it.  They shopped and prepared all afternoon while the rest of us were out enjoying ourselves.  Someone should make a point of thanking them.  And while you're at it, make sure Judy gets your $10 contribution, if you haven't done that already.

After the party we had a lively meeting in which we approved the improved Bylaws, and in which Paul gave us the update on our efforts to buy a glider.  There should be more news about this soon.

The last day of the encampment was pure denouement.  We flew a little, congratulated ourselves a lot, packed up, went home, and dozed off in our own beds.