Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inspection Day '09

First, I would like to welcome 2 new members to our club. Steve and Vince Cusumano. Both were out Saturday to help with preparing the club ships for inspection.

With the tow plane, 3 club gliders and 5 private ships assembled and ready for inspection, Dave Jones went right down the line and checked all our ships.

From near to far. Don w/ Russia; Jeff w/Cirrus; George's Libelle.

David Jones CCaviators

I love the smell of Jet fuel...

With the inspection complete. Jeff Shingleton and Danny Guido decided to fly. With changeable conditions timing was everything. Unfortunately for Danny in the club L-33 a shower moved through the area just as he was towed up.

Jeff launched later in his Club Libelle and found good lift.

From Jeff,

I did get a nice appx 2 hour flight in after inspections were complete. I launched at around 3:00 into low gray skies with scattered rain. I probably would not have flown under normal circumstances, but had decided that I would be DARNED if I was going to rig the glider (for the inspection) and NOT fly. So with a feeling of resignation and anticipating a short flight, I launched behind Jay and Ames in 18L.

Jay took me to near cloudbase of 3500’ over the village, where I released into zero sink. Promising! Well, in 20 minutes I managed to lose 1000’, and was prepared to maneuver for pattern entry, when I finally kinda figured out the lift, and made a connection to 1 kt going up. There was not much wind so it seemed I was grinding away in the same spot SW of the airfield for twenty more minutes. I finally made release altitude and cloudbase. Whoopee! In fact I could net get over 3900’ the entire flight. Cloudbase varied between 3000’ and 3900’. The clouds were raggedy, and most of the good lift was around the cloudbase perimeter. The center of the cloudbase actually had sink, there was so much moisture in the clouds. And where the lift was working, there was definite cloudsuck going on. At one point, I was going 100kts in a 45 degree bank in a big sweeping circle around the cloud perimeter, and was being sucked up into the cloud. During the worst of that, I looked over my shoulder and 80’ above me, in the cloud, was a turkey vulture, circling. I think that he was lost, because no way could he see the ground. One minute later, as I darted in and out of the cloud, there was the vulture 50’ below me. He too had found a way out of the cloud.

Jay’s and Danny’s advice was good – Get high and stay high! That was the ONLY place today that there was any lift.

Interesting skies...

Is this wave?

Danny, Amy and Don

A couple hours later Jeff returns

Jeff pulling up into the pattern

All this and pizza afterwards!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A beautiful day! Jeff and I flew up to Rose, NY (just south of Sodus Bay) for breakfast at the EAA1017 annual fly-in before cruising over to Hamilton for the afternoon.

We had a good turn out of members and 2 rides flown by Jeff K in the clubs' 2-33.

Randy Baker, one of our CFIGs rode in on an electric bike and allowed anyone interested to take it for a spin.

Greg Natke showed his "green" side by bringing his Army truck to the field. It also serves as mobile bleachers and I imagine could tow all the gliders to the staging point in one trip.

Brett took up the club L-33

Jeff launched in the Lambada right behind Jay in his ASW-15b, then returned to pick me up for some air to air photos. Unfortunately Brett found only sink and was in the pattern before we could join up with him. Jay headed W and we passed below him on his return from the Tully area.

We found pretty good lift and managed to climb up to cloud base with the engine off before turning west towards Skaneateles. Hamilton is visible just to the left of the nose.

When we were just west of Hamilton a call came on the radio from a Guard C-130 that it would be transitioning the Hamilton area at 500'. Shortly afterwards we spotted it below moving fast.

Most of the flight back was made with the engine idling. If we weren't headed upwind we might have been able to soar the entire distance. Looking north some large buildups could be seen in the distance near Canada.

Flight to visit the Pitcairns

Jeff and I flew down to Vansant Airport near Allentown, PA then a couple miles south to the Pitcairn's airport to meet another Lambada owner and compare possible structural changes to the Lambada.

Along the way our traffic watching was aided by this little device that watches for transponder signals from nearby aircraft. It compares the broadcast altitude from an encoding transponder to its own pressure altitude to determine how far above or below it is. The signal strength is used to calculate distance. Until the nearby aircraft is spotted it feel like something out of a scary movie, you know something is approaching but you can't see it...

Two Lambadas.

Lauren Pitcairn and his son David. A very interesting family history. Pittsburgh Plate Glass; Pitcairn Aircraft
Family History
John Pitcairn

Looking for any difference in construction.

As we were leaving David fired up the Stearman for some air-to-air photography.

Some interesting cloudscapes returning to CNY.

Approaching Skaneateles, we spotted Jim Murphy departing Frozen Ocean and were treated to a brief fly-by of his newly built RV

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Soaring

The soaring forecast predicted good lift early in the afternoon but moisture and upper level instability promised some over-development and afternoon showers. Cloud development looked great on the flight over from Skaneateles.

Arriving in Hamilton Don was already rigged and ready to fly his Russia.

Jeff and Phil launched in the Lambada right behind Don and followed him on climb. After about an hour of soaring they returned with the engine off and made a dead-stick landing on the grass. Brett flew with Jeff next.

Here, Don is talking about the advantages to flying with a flight computer.

Soooo cute... I understand Don has matching PJs (with feet)

Phil, Brett, Greg, Don, Jeff

Charging the L-33 gear strut with nitrogen

Mennonite farmer at work.

Dodging showers on the return. We managed to avoid the heaviest thanks to Jeff's Garmin 496 and XM Weather

Monday, April 27, 2009

Assembly Day and Season Start

By early last week the weekend forecast was looking good and a work day was called for Sunday to ready our fleet for the season.

Seven current and one new member turned out. With plenty of hands both the 1-26, then the 2-33 were ready for flight in short order.

Welcome our newest member Jeff Kleinwaks who is a CFIG and tow pilot. Coming from the Triple City Soaring in Endicott. His knowledge, experience and enthusiasm is a welcome addition to our small group. Jeff is flying a Cirrus.

Jack, a CFI, glider pilot and also one of our tow pilots tightens pins on the 1-26

Kevin, our Sunday tow pilot, steadies the 2-33 until the wings were attached

Marc had the job of standing in the cockpit to connect pins and controls as the wings were placed

Randy, our CFIG, flew the test flight in "Big Red" the clubs 2-33

Greg readies himself in the 1-26 ahead of its first flight of the season

Brett landing 1-26 after making the longest flight of the day. With no batteries and thus no vario he demonstrated some great "seat of the pants" soaring as we watched him climbing in lift just west of the field

On Saturday, the Sunday forecast called for cloudy skies, chance of showers and a high of under 70. Under mostly sunny skies afternoon temperatures reached 80 with some well developed CU

I took a ride in the 1-26 at the end of the day. There was still plenty of lift and I managed to soar for a while without a vario. This shot is a 100% crop of our tie-down / assembly area from ~3,000'.