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Thread: Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Menlo Park, CA

    Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

    Flying time this season has been pretty light for me, except for time at the April SoaringNV Wave Camp. I plan to be at Oktoberfest, so it's exciting to see the possibility for N wind wave:

    Saturday 4p
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    Sunday morn 4a
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    so afternoon of Saturday thru afternoon of Sunday, best on Sunday at dawn, fading but still good thru Sunday afternoon. If this happens, this will be 3 out of 4 O'fests with wave, last year was no wave, but 2015 & 2016 had west wind wave....

    Of course, it's still 7 days out, but there's been some kind of wave in the forecast for O'fest for the last week, so with luck this holds.

    I plan to arrive Friday to prep, so a gentle reminder, if you want to fly the wave, to check your Oxygen and dress appropriately...

    >> This setup is very similar to my first San Francisco overflight of April 30, 2016
    >> and much better than last year's SF attempt. Ramy, John, Russ, Pat, Luke (!), think about it!

    More as we get closer.
    Last edited by Kempton; 09-29-2018 at 04:35 PM.
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Menlo Park, CA

    Re: Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

    Looking good for Sunday morning
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    and afternoon
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    Panoche RASP, 11a Sunday
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    Plus the wind speed is only 50-55kts at 18K, so civilized. Late Saturday wave too.

    Sunday looks to be possibly an even better setup for a San Francisco mission than the April 30, 2016 mission:
    Last edited by Kempton; 10-04-2018 at 03:37 PM.
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

    Thursday, October 4th - I received a text from Kempton 9:21PM - “was wondering if you might be interested in flying on Sunday. It would be a 6-7 hour wave mission from Goat over San Francisco and return.”

    I was stoked.

    Since joining the community at WSC I have been fascinated by the long flights folks are able to complete. Particularly, the wave flights Kempton has detailed on the forum. I refer to Kempton as Magellan amongst my friends for the way he continually adds and refines his “wave map”.

    Sunday - 10/7/2018
    Wave Flight from WSC to San Francisco to WSC
    Kempton Izuno / David Moruzzi
    Launched: 8:05AM
    Landed: 3:19PM

    Use known wave locations to push south to San Francisco. While in route, scout out and confirm less documented wave locations. Stitch all wave locations together to form a contiguous wave route between Goat Mountain and San Francisco.

    Wave locations:
    Mt St Helena
    Mt Tam (aka lochness)

    Here are a few things I learned during the journey.

    Wave Lift:
    ~2kts = Good
    +4kts = Great

    PLANNING IS KEY - Thank you Kempton for your surgical approach and attention to detail

    In particular for this weather pattern:

    Believe in the wave (it will be there ) if the weather pattern is correct
    Fog in Round Valley to the NW of Goat is a good indicator weather is similar to past attempts.

    Before the flight, my longest solo flight was ~3.5hrs - After completing a 7hr flight, I realize there is much more out there for me to obtain. My goal is to be in one of the extra ships when others soar the wave map.

    Flying next to Ramy - see attached photos - was amazing. Kempton and Ramy were “in the mission” and made things look easy, fun and safe.

    Thank you Kempton and Ramy for having me along. Amazing!

    Quotes of the journey:
    "The mountains have not moved in 10,000 years" - "We're making too much money, stop making so much money"

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Re: Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

    Nice write up David! It was a blast sharing that day with you and Kempton. These sorts of experiences is what keeps me hooked on soaring after nearly 40 years and over 7000 hours.
    Here are few more photos from my collection. Thanks for the photos of my glider!

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Santa Rosa

    Re: Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

    David, Great report/review. I hope hear more about your flights in the future!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Menlo Park, CA

    Re: Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

    It is very difficult to predict — especially the future.” - various

    Much as it can be futile, I like to predict the future, especially soaring weather! When the predicted weather materializes and it actually works, well, it’s simply amazing...

    The goal on this flight, San Francisco Flight #3 (SFF3) was to confirm four wave lift points encountered on my first San Francisco overflight of April 30th 2016, (SFF1):

    My names for these points are Kenwood, Petaluma, Novato, Mt Tam:
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ID:	4831 The four wave points, trace from SFF3

    My only other attempt to do the same was the Mar 31 2017 flight (SFF2):
    with Russ Pillard, where we did NOT find lift at the Kenwood and Petaluma locations, as the wind on that flight was 10 degrees more northerly, so confirming the sensitivity of those locations to wind direction differences. The Novato wave area worked on all three flights.

    Copilot was David Moruzzi, a fellow tech worker. David is an ideal co-pilot as he had some soaring experience, but not an extended cross country, and only one wave experience. His longest flight until this one was 3.5 hours, and we more than doubled that on this flight. The day before, the Saturday of Oktoberfest, I flew with Addison Huddy and Danny Schaefer. Both flights showed the Goat wave starting to work. We got David fitted and set up so that we’d have minimal work to do on Sunday morning, as launch time was 8a. Ramy flew up from Byron for Oktoberfest, but more importantly, to fly with me on Sunday. I worked on Pete Alexander to convince him this was a low risk flight, but he declined 8^(

    The forecast had winds in the same direction as SFF1, but instead of 75 knot winds at 18,000ft it was now only 55 knots. This is great news as I could expect into the wind glide angles of 8-20:1, vs. 4-12:1 which is what we experienced on SFF1. Much below 55 knots at 18,000ft and the wave may get less organized. One feature I noticed for the first time (as I think it's been there many times but I hadn’t noticed) is the river of air coming from the Fall River Mills area, down the central valley and then spilling over through what happens to be our task area:
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ID:	4832 WindyT rendition of Sunday’s 850mb winds

    I had never noticed this before, but this would explain why, in northerly wave, north of Round Valley wave can be weak due to the weaker low level flow. But that’s a topic for another thread...

    We’re up before dawn aiming for an 8a launch:
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ID:	4833 Preparing for launch, 7:10a (Ramy)

    Genese help get us launched at 8:05a towed by Kerry with Ramy right behind towed by Ben. Ramy released right with me in the Goat wave so we could be pair flying within sight of each other for most of our shared task. This was to be very helpful in almost all the climbs.

    Goat wave works as expected, 4-6 kts to 17.9k, and with the frequent north wind wave symptom of coastal valley fog due to the stable low level air:
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ID:	4834 Just departing Goat wave, 17,500 ft, note fog in valleys near the Pacific (David)

    We then zip over to the St. Helena wave. On the way, we felt the Clear Lake wave, just downwind of Goat. I’d not seen this work before, so good to see it confirmed. Down to 15k by St. Helena, but the wave was working 2-4 knots where we left to then try the Kenwood wave point, the first unproven wave point, just 5 minutes downwind of St. Helena:
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ID:	4835 In the Kenwood wave at 17,000 ft, Santa Rosa in the background (Ramy)

    And sure enough, 6 knots! Since we only lost 1,500ft since St. Helena, we stayed for just a couple minutes and pushed on to the Petaluma wave point, 6 minutes downwind. Again, good strong lift, 4 kts. and we lost only 1,000 ft downwind, so again, only stayed a couple minutes.

    Then 4 minutes downwind to the Novato wave point again only losing a thousand feet. Weaker lift here, only 2 knots, so a bit longer here:
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ID:	4836 In the Novato wave at 17,000 ft, TG with Pt. Reyes coastline in the background

    Onto Mt Tam!

    Now Ramy had flown the Tam wave several years ago, but I’ve been here twice in SFF1 & 2 with no luck. We looked along Stinson Beach where Ramy had found it before, but nothing:
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ID:	4837 View over Stinson Beach at 16,500 ft.

    Then on Ramy’s hunch, we moved directly downwind of the Tam ridgeline, just inland of Muir Beach and found 2 -3 knots!


    Right then I get a radio call from Noelle at Williams. Apparently Oakland Center called Williams asking if there were any gliders around Pt. Reyes. Well of course that's us, as FNX has a transponder, and Ramy has ADS-B. We’d seen several airliners pass by, but since we were clearly outside of the Class B airspace and the TFR for the Blue Angels later that morning, we didn't think we were a problem. Noelle said the same on the phone with Oakland Center, but they said that's not the issue, they had been diverting traffic around us as Mt. Tam is right on an airway into SFO. I relayed this to Ramy, and we decided the best course of action was instead of overflying San Francisco, was to clearly show that we were leaving the area and so we headed north back to the Novato wave point:
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ID:	4838 FNX over Novato climbing in wave northbound, 15k

    BTW, Noelle said the interaction with Oakland was very courteous, professional and they thanked her for helping them out.

    Trudging upwind with “only” a 55 knot headwind, we make good time stopping at each wave point, and we’re back in the St. Helena wave from Tam in only 1.6 hours. We had anticipated not going across SF, and doing a wishbone task, now down to Mt. Diablo. Tracking the Napa wave, we see waviness as evidenced by the Travis fire:
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    We both fly down the Napa valley wave until it dies out, between Yountville and Napa. My thinking originally was to go to the Diablo wave, then return. But even with the moderate 45 knot headwind, the distance from where the last Napa valley lift is to the Diablo wave is about 40 nautical miles. If we leave the Diablo wave at 18k, at a 26:1 glide, that means getting back into lift at 9,000 ft, and that’s with no sink or increased headwinds. I’ve not ever flown from the Diablo wave and connected with the Napa wave, although Ramy has, but it's marginal, judging from Ramy’s traces and narrative.

    So I elect to turn around at American Canyon at 14.4k ft, knowing we have sink and an upwind slough to get back to lift. We get some patches of lift on the way north, and re-connect with strong lift around the town of St. Helena at a low of 10.5k. We’re both glad we didn’t go to Diablo! Ramy continues to Diablo, Fremont and Santa Cruz, and lands back at Byron.

    We head back to the Goat wave and probe around Hull, then return to Williams via Maxwell so I can show David the many landout spots on the way. We land at 3:18p for a 7.2 hour flight.

    For me, this was very satisfying as the wave spots were there as expected, plus confirming the Tam wave. David received quite the exposure to an infrequent type of soaring, and we got to pairfly with Ramy. All good!

    Thanks to Rex, Noelle, Ben and Nick for executive support (and help assembling), Genese for driving up just for Oktoberfest and launching us, Kerry for tow, David M for being an enthusiastic co-pilot, Ramy for saying yes to crazy ideas, and the Williams soaring community for super support and encouragement.

    Last edited by Kempton; 10-24-2018 at 07:55 AM.
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Schleicher ASW-24

    Re: Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

    Super great flight and great analysis and report.
    Thanks Kemp.
    As I've done before on several of your previous flights, I have created a VSA web page by copying the posting from the forum.
    Readers access the pages by going to the VSA home page. See. ..
    Peter Kelly

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    San Francisco

    Re: Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

    Thank you for writing up the flight report!

    Thought I'd add these two photos I took from the East Bay on Sunday of wave evidence from the Travis Fire:

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Re: Oktoberfest 2018 WX, wave?

    I flew over the Travis smoke on my way south to Mt Diablo. I flew a direct line to Diablo which was not aligned well with the smoke marking the wave, so managed to find the sink over the smoke. I had enough altitude to get to the Mt Diablo wave so decided not to waste time deviating over the smoke. But it was an interesting sight nonetheless.


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