Friday, September 16, 2016

Solo effort

It isn't easy to go soaring without any help. On Monday, Henry came to the field to fly, got his glider ready, waited for the towpilot to show up, and then had a nice flight. He writes:

A dew point spread in the high 20s and the sky was completely blue. Postponed launch until after 2:00 waiting for some cloud development but none developed anywhere near the field.

I decided to get the rust off and see what I could find planning a high tow. Rick towed me in 3J to 4400 feet and after doubling back on a modest thermal southwest of the field I released. I got back to the thermal, and tried a turn or two with little gain so went shopping. Found a better section of perhaps the same thermal at about 3700 feet and put on 500 feet - then I lost it.

Moved further north over fields southwest of Tug and played with the thermals there, losing a bit all the time. Headed over to the lake to see if there was any lift there. No luck so came back towards the IP thinking that my ride might be done, At 2700 feet, I found the best lift of the day over the east edge of airport and got 200 fpm all the way back up to 4500 feet.

In straight flight I would occasionally see 400 or even 500 fpm for a brief moment but never found it while circling. Now I was high and saw the big fields of the Connecticut River beckoning so went over to try them. Went east and then north almost to the Fairlee bridge with nothing better than holding even. Time to get back home as the field was looking low on my glide slope. When I got to the east side of the airport I had 2300 feet , maybe enough to just get to the IP at 1900. I circled twice to to see if I could gain a bit of altitude but not much there.

I had sat long enough on the thin cushion I have to use to fit in 3J and decided to enter a long downwind with a lot of spoiler to burn off my height. Good landing, coming to rest at the windsock.

Later Brian helped me tow it to tie down. 1 hour and 30 minutes in the air!

So don't be afraid of sharpening your skills on a blue day. Just take a high tow. I am glad I did.


Tim said...

Nice flight Henry.

Anyone can thermal on a good day. You learn a lot more on the weak days (and on weekdays).

Thanks for the write-up.

DG said...

Great Henry. I heard you'd been out. Did not know it was such a notable flight. Good job.