Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Our club is very lucky to be made up of so many dedicated volunteers, and the secret to our success is the willingness of everyone to help everyone else get in the air.

Yesterday and today, this volunteerism was exemplified in spades by two of our members, who successfully made the transition from "Expert Pilot" to "Rookie Flight Instructor."

Congratulations to CFI Evan Ludeman and CFI Moshe Braner!

Becoming a Certificated Flight Instructor isn't easy or cheap. Knowledge, experience, and skill are only the beginning.  You have to have a Commercial Certificate and then pass two more written tests and a flight test administered by an FAA Flight Inspector.

Moshe and Evan spent a week at CFI Camp in September and completed their Commercial Certificates at the end of that month. Then they sat around and waited for a month for the FAA to find a qualified Inspector, eventually choosing the obvious guy, the only one within 1000 miles of here.

The two flight tests went very well, unsurprisingly, and Evan and Moshe can now transfer their expertise to you, complete with a signature in your logbook.

CFIs are not all alike, and we are fortunate to have these two in our club.

Evan and Moshe will make us all better pilots, and they will do way better than whoever soloed this guy:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Let it snow

A little bit of snow last weekend didn't stop Willy from making the transition to the 1-23.

The plan was to tow to 3000 feet AGL to give him plenty of time to get familiar with his new glider - but after a waveoff at 2000 due to an approaching flurry, he made a few turns over Tug Mountain, flew around the snow, entered the pattern, and made a perfect spot landing.

The hardest part of the whole thing was finding enough lead ballast to go with him.

Congratulatons, Willy!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Roughing it

Back when Pete was a 1-23 pilot, he was a man of leisure.  Now that he is flying the 304, he has returned to the basics.

Here he is trying to decide whether to sleep in the glider or in the back of his truck.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wave Camp ends

After a successful day of flying on Thursday, including a flight by Tim (AT) to 20000 feet and a cross-country flight by Greg (JD) from Gorham to Post Mills, the wet weather moved in.

Without much hope for soarable conditions in the mountains this weekend, the MWSA called it off early.

The countdown to the next wave camp has started!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

More stories from Gorham

We've completed the first full weekend of the MWSA wave camp, and the results, so far have been outstanding.

Here are some more stories from club members:

Tim (AT) writes:
On Saturday, I fell off the Carters and got stuck on Pine Mountain for over an hour! Finally I found wave near Mount Hayes and climbed to 10000 feet. The most interesting part is that I could go to the bow wave over Durand Ridge and maintain 10K while everyone else went to the front side of Mount Washington or landed. After a while I went back to the primary and got to 20000 feet. 
On Sunday it was an easy climb to 23000 feet where I caught up to Daniel Sazhin in the red 1-26. Then I thought I was all alone at 24K when I saw another glider. It turned out to be Greg (JD). We flew together up to 25K for his Lennie and to complete his Diamond Badge (Greg doesn't like doing anything alone). 
I thought I could get the Maine state altitude record by flying into the sliver of Maine that is in the Glider Area at 24K but apparently it doesn't work that way [Read the rules, Tim -Ed.] 
I was towpilot on Monday. The highlight was watching an HP-14 make a landing while I was picking up gas in Berlin. I hooked him up and he was on his way home in about 6 minutes.
 Moshe (MP) writes about Monday:
My flight with John Good in the Duo was fabulous. We started with weak ridge lift on the front side of Mount Washington - polishing the rocks, just about knocked the hats off the hikers. We eventually climbed and transitioned to wave in front of the one lennie that showed up in the valley (southeast of the Horn). We made a slow climb to 17500 feet, and cruised down to Moosilauke searching, without luck, for more wave lift.  We turned around and followed the Carter range back home.

Gorham report October 12

Here is Rick Roelke's report from yesterday:
While not the day we had yesterday (I expect it will be another 10 years before we see that again) it was a fine day at camp.
Monday had very low winds on the surface, but enough wind up high to soar the front face of the Presidential Range. This is not a shabby place to be hanging out, and the early flights had no problem getting up and over the summit in smooth ridge lift. 
It was unclear if the wave would be working, but the thought was to soar up the front side, and then dive over the crest and see if we could connect with the lee wave.
I was not the first launch, but I was the first to attempt the transition, and I found 2-3 knots of wave lift in the Tuckerman ravine. But I quickly lost it. I then ventured around the Horn, and did find some week lift there, accompanied by MP. We gained back most of our lost height from traversing the sink to get there, but we decided to move back to the front side again. 
On the second attempt, we had better luck, with a slow initial climb in the ravine that gradually turned into 3 knots.  I could see to the west that a bit of moisture coming our way was producing some upwind lenticular clouds. Soon we had one over Mount Washington. I think the base was around 11k. We climbed up past that, and I topped out at 18500 feet, with MP and RC close behind. 
Unfortunately, the winds were dying, and the later launchers were stuck at "only" 15500 feet.
The day was bright and clear, and very warm on the ground.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Gorham report October 11

Rick Roelke writes:
Hard to find the right words for today, as all the superlatives seem to fall short. It turned out to be one of the best, if not the best day of all the encampments I have been involved in. Our first launch was a 1-26 with Daniel Sazhin at the "wheel". Daniel had already completed his diamond distance and diamond goal in his 1-26, and today completed his diamond climb, and was just short of a single Lennie.
[Editor's note;  This is a tremendous achievement.  Daniel becomes the 39th pilot in history to complete all three Diamonds in a 1-26.  The first one was in 1965.]
The day had spectacular lennies, at times stacked 4 high over the primary. But they were evident nearly everywhere. I flew with MP up north for as far as we could (there was a lot of undercast to the north) but in the relative clear to the south, there were many clearly marked lennie routes to try. We had many diamond climbs, several single lennie climbs, but Evan Ludeman, took top honors at, wait for it, 31,000ft...

We had opened the airspace to 27000 feet, but later in the afternoon the conditions improved and we called for more space, and Boston responded quickly opening it to 35k. In the morning, good climbs were had -  6 to 8 knots down low, but still good, perhaps 4 knots at 18000 feet.  Later in the day, 12 to 13 knots could be found at the lower levels (8000 feet) and still 6+ knots at 18000 feet.

Winds and temperatures on the ground were reasonable to delightful. While there were some rough tows in the morning, and some bumps in the pattern, we experienced no real issues. Actually it was dead calm for the first few launches.

The clouds were just amazing. While it did stay clagged over up north, it seemed that the border between the overcast and the clear air was right along the White Mountains. I made a foray to the wave behind Moosilauke, stopping for lift at Lafayette, and Cannon along the way.

The view from 31000 feet

Evan encountered very little traffic up there.