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!

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