Saturday, April 30, 2016


Analyzing the weather and coming up with a local soaring forecast is always interesting, and usually fun.  The hard part is choosing which computerized "weather model" to use.  The available weather models, identified by strange acronyms, are so numerous that at least one of them is usually right.

Not so yesterday.  All of the models were wrong, and we were fooled by the actual weather twice in one day.

Moshe or Greg (not sure which) called a Slacker Day earlier in the week, and both were optimistic that we would be able to get an early start on Friday.

The optimists showed up at 0900, and it was immediately apparent that the day would be a bust - solid overcast at 6000 feet. We resigned ourselves to doing errands and maintenance, and trying to figure out how we could be so wrong about the weather.

But we were wrong about being wrong. Around noon, the sky cover started to break up, and as the blue areas got bigger, the gliders began to line up at the end of the runway, competition style.  We launched ten gliders in 90 minutes: one flight each for 2W, 3BA, AT, DC, EA, HG, JD, PM, RU, S1, and most of them stayed in the air until the unpredictable overcast moved in again.  Paul reported a 9 knot climb toward the end of the day.

I've gone back to looking out the window for my weather forecasts.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekend Report April 23 - 24

Another brisk, blue and breezy April weekend with good participation and some great flying conditions. The air has been so clear that, from the ground, you can see the tow rope dangling behind the towplane shortly after release.

Saturday was a bit difficult, due to a moderate crosswind, but that didn't keep Eric from getting two hour-long flights in the Blanik, with climbs to 6000 feet. Henry, Don, and Dakai each gained experience taking off and  landing in wind, but we decided to call it quits after one flight each.

The early end to flying allowed us to get an early start on the cookout, which took place indoors and drew 11 hungry members.

Sunday surprised us a bit by starting out as windy as Saturday. This was initially discouraging for those of us planning to fly the trainers, but it didn't stop the hotshots from getting off the ground early.  Andy towed 9 single-seaters in a row (one of them twice) before the first instructional flight of the day.

Evan (T8), Greg (JD), Tom (2W) and Dan (EA) were in the air for over six hours and flew all over northern New England.  Moshe (RU), Tim (AT), Doug (PM), Dennis (DC), and Mark (HG) had shorter, but just as impressive flights.  Dennis missed his 5-hour Silver/Gold duration by 4 minutes!

Meanwhile, back at Post Mills, Andy Lawrence*, Gregg, Henry, Dakai, Lane, Don, and Rick flew locally and discovered that the house thermal went to 7000 feet.

Iron man Andy towed, without relief, both days.

The 1-23 and the yellow golf cart are out of service, hopefully not for long.

*Our duplicate name situation is getting out of hand. We have a Greg and a Gregg, 2 Bills, 3 Andys, 2 Ricks, 3 Annies, 2 Marks, 2 Sams, and innumerable Petes and Sues. Any suggestions about how to keep everyone straight on the logsheet and in PMSC News will be appreciated.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Newest Hybrid Vehicle

Send your pre-production deposit to Andy G.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weekend Report April 16 - 17

After two weekends of false starts, in which we tried valiantly to find the right combination of weather, surface conditions, and volunteers, we finally were able to get out of the hangars and onto the tiedowns on April 16.  The weather was great both days of the weekend.

Club members showed up early on Saturday and assembled the Blanik, the 2-33 and 1-23 in plenty of time to go flying.  Thanks to the Slackers, the towplane was already checked out for the season, and we were able to make 18 flights on the first official day of operations!

Most of the flying was comprised of annual check rides and introductory flights for new members, although Dan (EA) and Greg (JD) were able to go off and sample the early Spring conditions in the White Mountains.  Mark (HG), who still thinks that OLC is just a fad, had his first flight of the year in his glider.

In the meantime, Evan got a full dose of instructing as he accompanied both old (above) and new members.  Here he is signing the logbook of new member Eric Woudenberg.  You can tell he's new at this instructing gig, because he still has to look at his CFI certificate for the number. Eric is already a glider pilot, so he should fit right in.

We were also pleased to welcome new student pilots Sam Freihofer and Iver Hulleberg to the Club. They have already had a couple of flights each, and they seem to like it, so far.

Before the day was over, Dennis, Paul, Sonny, Willy, Lane, and Gregg Ballou were returned to flying status.  Gregg is active with the Club again, which is good news because we still need more CFIs.

Tim towed all day Saturday.

On Sunday it was more of the same. Sixteen flights, including Moshe's first flight in PM, and flights by DC, EA, AT, and JD, all of whom struggled to stay in the air earlier in the day. Willy had a couple of solos, and we gave introductory flights to Mark Sullivan and Rick Sayles, both of whom are power pilots looking for something more interesting to do. Andy towed all day.

All in all, it was a great kickoff weekend.  Special thanks to Tim and Greg who postponed their own flying to give rides.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Slackers 1, Regulars 0, Game on

In anticipation of our Opening Day tomorrow, Dan and Greg came over to help Susan, Tim and Rick get the L19 running.  That was nice of them.  All five of us struggled  with a mystery involving the towplane's master switch and a circuit breaker that finally necessitated demounting the whole instrument panel.

We turned our back for a minute, and the next thing we knew EA and JD were assembled, and Dan and Greg were standing there with their thumbs out.

After a brief test flight, Tim towed the first two flights of the season from our home base.

Even with the first takeoff at 5pm, they had good flights. Greg reported 7 knots to 6500 feet!

The season is underway.