Thursday, November 11, 2021

Ballooning records are goofy

 A new altitude record for standing on top of a balloon.

This is probably why we don't hear about flagpole sitting any more.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Wave Camp 2021

Don the Ironman Towpilot writes:

Peter emailed and asked what wave week was like. Here is a short summary.

From the first Saturday through the next Saturday, it was all high-pressure warm stable air. Wind was calm on the ground, temperatures in the 70s made for short pants and T-shirt weather, the only flights were soaring or minor ridge lift on the Carters and Moriah.

Karl drove up with his RV and held a campfire the first several nights with supper and stories. About 10 or more pilots assembled for the evenings events.

After Saturday’s cold front blew through,the wind picked up to about 30 on the summit, and was blowing a steady 10 to 15 with higher gusts on the ground. Wind was mostly down the runway, but still had its squirrelly moments. One take off, I started the tow with a head wind, a third of the way on the roll had a bunch of left aileron in correcting for air spilling off of Pine Mountain, a couple hundred feet later the wind sock was standing out straight with a cross wind from the right, and by the time I was off the ground and climbing it was a straight on head wind again.

 Cloud cover on Sunday kept anyone from launching until about 1 PM. Six guys launched and were in week wave up to about 14 K. They were finding it mostly between the horn and Carter Dome. I heard once that Dan found some wave on the east end of the golf course.

All said we probably had about 40 tows for the whole week. I have not looked up the exact number.

Gorham/Mount Washington is a great place to fly even if you’re not looking for wave. It was really enjoyable for me in the tow plane to be able to learn the area without having to fly through the turbulence machine each time. I did get some tighten my seat belt moments (after it was already tightened) on Sunday.

My impression is most of the pilots participating were from GBSC and FSA.

A big thanks to Sonny and David for making two each 4 hour round trips to bring trailers to Gorham, to Dan for fueling the tow plane and trailer without being asked, to Tim and Dennis for coordinating logistics and planning, to Andy for towing on the first Saturday and helping deliver myself on the last Sunday.  It takes a lot of effort from PMSC and the other cubs to make this happen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Feel free to go in any direction

Sometimes we have to be reminded how lucky we are to be able to romp around without any significant airspace restrictions.

Here's a graphic showing a whole season of flying on New Zealand's North Island.  The two gliding centers, Taupo and Matamata, are easily identifiable.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Weekend report May 7 - 9

It's not easy being a newsletter editor when you're out of town on a spectacular soaring day and nobody writes their story.  All of the following is scraped from the OLC, a few emails, and the forum.

On Friday, technically a Slacker Day, there were eight flights posted, for a total of 2979 kilometers.  Everybody ran up to Mount Washington (probably together), and either came home directly (NT, DC, 2C) or via an excursion over to the Green Mountains JR, T8, AG).  Tim (BU) did the run twice, for 516 kilometers.  David (505) racked up 69 kilometers in the local area in the 1-26.

That was a lot of good flying, and congratulations to everyone.

But if you think that was special, consider this:  Tim (BU), Evan (T8), and Greg (JR) flew all the way across the Champlain valley into New York on Sunday.  This has never been done before.

The next day Evan wrote:

Yesterday, Tim, Greg and I kicked over the left side of the Post Mills sandbox, crossed the Lake Champlain valley and flew to the highest point in New York State.

One of the reasons for trying this on Sunday was that the weather forecast seemed to indicate less likelihood of overdevelopment on the Adirondacks.  Another is that the wind direction (SW) would keep us out of the wind shadow of the big part of Lake Champlain.
The second bit worked as designed. The first not so much. It OD’d on us hard, but we managed to find the climbs we needed to make it back. Patience and teamwork were required. Glider performance helps too!
Last night I emailed Adirondack Soaring to tell them we’d planted our flag on Mount Marcy and claimed it for the republic of Post Mills.
I added “next time we’ll try to bring better weather.”
I don't know what's more amazing, the flight or the fact that Evan wrote about it.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Weekend report April 24 - 25

Saturday was a spectacular soaring day, and we might have accomplished more if the wind had not been a factor.  In deference to the blustery conditions and overall conservatism of a bunch of rusty pilots, we weren't as eager as usual to fly at first.

The air was unstable, which gave us good thermals initially and overdevelopment in the late afternoon.  The rainshowers were widely scattered and fairly easy to avoid.  Some of them were snowshowers. 

Greg (JR), and Tim (BU) were first to launch, and they promptly disappeared for the rest of the day.  They flew together up to Mount Washington, then Colebrook and Newport, and over to the Green Mountains, where Tim got a bit low.  Greg took the opportunity to dash up to Jay Peak and back.  They made it home in good shape with long final glides from the northwest.

Here's a picture Tim took of Greg over the Presidential Range.

And this was Greg's view at the time.

Here is Newport and Lake Memphremagog:

Back at Post Mills, Peter K (3BA), Dennis (DC), Henry (67), Darrek (67) and Matt (3BA) dodged rainshowers in the local area and enjoyed some good climbs to 9000 feet.

And, for the first time ever, Sonny (LT) flew his airplane and his glider on the same day.  He took a quick morning trip to Gorham in the L-16, then worked all day helping other people fly (as usual), and finally had a nice flight in the ASW-19 after the sun came back out in the late afternoon.

We also received this report from Greg H (YZ), who flew at Springfield:

I too had a special flight on Saturday in my Std Cirrus. Released at 2,800ft at 12:15 pm, climbed to 9,500 within 25 minutes. Headed upstream and left cloudbase at 10,200 and immediately flew into wave (5 miles west of KVSF) at 1 pm. Pretty constant at 300 to 500 ft/min lift. I wiggled and waggled @ 41 mph to find the edges and best lift but never could hit it perfectly. Left wave at 13,200 feet still producing 350 ft/min due to some concern I had about being so high for too long a time (I was above 12,500 ft for just 3 minutes at the time), but I heard a Citation was in the area and got chicken. At least 1000 feet above the highest Cu.
Wish I had my O2 tank filled and bought a mask.

We didn't fly on Sunday, but Saturday was enough to call it a successful weekend.

Oh, and the Perry contest ended.  Be sure to congratulate Evan, who was the winner in the 15m/Std class!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wave day at Springfield

Tuesday was blustery and cold, but it was the day NESA chose to check out a new towpilot.  That's all the excuse Tim (BU) needed.

After struggling in the rotor for a good while, he connected with the Okemo wave for a nice climb to 9800 feet.

PMSC at the races

 Keith (AG) and Evan (T8) are participating in the Region 5N competition in South Carolina this week.

Yesterday was the second day of the contest, and Evan blew everybody away with a decisive win (more than 100 points margin over 2nd place).  This puts him in first place overall.

The contest runs through April 24.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Weekend report April 17 - 18

The best news from the weekend is that we had a ground school session inside the clubhouse with five fully vaccinated attendees!  It has been a long time since something so normal has seemed normal.

Both days were cold.  Saturday was a bust due to drizzly conditions, and Sunday got off to a slow start with the overcast, wind, and ground school session.  Finally, Greg and Rick went up in the Blanik for a review of spins, and Henry and Rick flew the 2-33 which really needs some sealing work.

Tim stopped towing and took off in BU at 4pm, for a very interesting 2.5 hour flight.  At 6pm he reported that he was five miles out and would be landing shortly.  The cloudstreet that brought him back to Post Mills kept on going for 20 more miles.  He turned around somewhere around Canaan, New Hampshire and rode the street all the way back home.

Three members with perfectly good gliders (Sonny, Don, Dennis) stayed on the ground and worked as ground crew.  This was much appreciated, but they missed some good flying at the end of the day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Std. Cirrus flies

 Congratulations to Greg Hunter on flying his new Standard Cirrus yesterday at Springfield!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Assembly Day

 It is rare for us to go flying on Assembly Day.  It is even rarer for us to assemble and fly at Post Mills before April 15.  This year we did both, thanks to hard working members, an accommodating insurance agent, and climate change.

On Saturday, Darrek, Dennis, Don, Eric, Greg, Henry, John, Kari, Keith, Moshe, Rick, Sonny, and Tim all showed up early, and by midday, three club gliders were assembled and two of them flew!

The first flight of the year was accomplished by Tim towing Moshe solo in the 2-33.  One more just like that one, and Moshe became our first current instructor.  Here's a picture of him keeping his wings level on our sloped runway.

He wound up flying with Dennis, Sonny, Eric, and Henry.  Thanks, Moshe!

While this was going on, the overcast broke apart, and it turned into a decent soaring day.  Tim assembled BU and took off.

Greg stood next to his new glider and listened patiently while Rick told him things he already knew about it.  Then he had his first flight in the glider that will be known shortly as "JR."

Meanwhile, Darrek improved our tiedowns, Don improved the towplane tailwheel, and Eric organized the clubhouse.

Eric and Dennis bought the beer this time.

We are off to a good start!