Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Advice to other clubs

It's always a good idea to have at least one club member who understands internal combustion engines.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekend report April 25 - 26

Andy follows his Assembly Day writeup with this report for Sunday:

We had a good day for training. Dennis flew the Blanik, (and was first!) then later in the day a little sun started to hit the ground, and the air went right up to 6000 feet with Tim and Dakai going up with it. Karl and I took the third flight, and we averaged at least 5 knots to cloudbase for another
hour in the air.

I can report that the new Blanik flies well, and the only anomaly is that the brake sticks (on) so we'll be looking into that ASAP. In the meantime we'll avoid using it.

In other news the green golf cart is dead. Karl had planned to bring the white cart home for maintenance and we had it all loaded before the green machine died - so we switched them out and Karl will work on the green one first. Note that the left rear tire of the white cart doesn't hold air very well. It's on the list to be fixed.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

My first flight of 2015

My season opener didn't occur until I got to Perry, South Carolina, for the Region 5 North contest that I am fond of attending in April.  Unfortunately, due to a rained out practice period, I didn't even get a chance to fly until the flag dropped for the opening race!  Even "better", it was a windy blue day and I ended up flying all by myself after a late start.  Predictably, it ended early.

Here's the whole flight in SeeYou:

Here's the overhead of the end of the flight, North is up:

I thought I might have been flying  between streets of better air, hence the 90 degree jog.  It didn't work, but it was a good thing to try.

Wind was 280 at 10 - 15 knots on the ground, about 23 knots at soaring height.

Cross country flying is all about decision making and "gear changes" or transitions in your thought process.  The 270 left turn at lower right marks the gear change from "I'm racing" to "survival" and "I might need a place to park" mode.   The last two circles are more about field selection than they are trying to climb.  The point that I quit circling and over fly my eventual landing site marks the transition from "I'm trying to soar" to "I'm landing, right now". Making these transitions in a decisive manner at appropriate times is one key to safe cross country soaring.

By the way, be sure to fly a normal size/shape pattern despite the fact that your intended field might be pretty small!  SeeYou says that field is 860 feet long and I'd guess that the trees on the approach end are about 50 feet high.

Here's the landing site:

Thanks to Marshall McClung for retrieving me and sharing soaring stories over Mexican food and margaritas.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Assembly Day

Andy Lumley writes:

We had a good turnout, (I hope I remember everyone). Willy, Matt, Dennis, Tim, Sonny, Lane, Greg, Mark, Andy L., Bill Swartz, Henry, Steve and Dakai arrived early and we got the tow plane, a golf cart, the 2-33 and 1-23 assembled. The Blanik is ready to go but we didn't fly it today.

Here's a picture of the assembly crew standing in front of the only aircraft they did not assemble today.

Despite a very dead battery in the towplane we managed to get it started and did 7 or 8 flights to get Bill, Greg, Mark and Lane checked out. Others waited patiently, but by 3pm we were all pretty cold so we called it a day.

Tomorrow we'll continue with checkrides and when it gets a little warmer (and the water gets turned on) we'll get everything washed and polished.

Bill Swartz re-covered his Citabria fuselage and painted the entire plane this winter. Luckily he gave us a nice fly-by before heading back to Maine.

Monday, April 6, 2015

PAGC Opening Ceremony

The weather was beautiful as we raised the flags at the 1st FAI Pan American Gliding Championships yesterday.



And then the first contest day was rained out.