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Thread: Fri May 10: Wave Alert

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
    Posts
    780

    Fri May 10: Wave Alert

    A second cutoff low in a week is setting up the Thu super thermal day, and a potential Fri wave day:
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    This looks a lot like the Nov 2013 offshore flow day:
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    when Pat Alford and I went out to the coast:
    https://www.williamssoaring.com/news...89-Friday-Wave

    but I'm having a hard time reconciling the forecast with an 88F temp on the ground!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And look at that shearline late in the day:
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    So lets see how this shapes up in the Thu morning forecast run.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    544

    Re: Fri May 10: Wave Alert

    https://share.garmin.com/KemptonIzuno

    Thursday
    6:00pm Ben and Nick rig FNX
    7:30pm Kempton arrives to finish preparing FNX

    Friday
    5:45am Kempton and Thomas arrive getting ready for the days flight
    6:50am FNX launched (winds at WSC light and variable)
    7:13am FNX Goat Wave 8500' in 3 Kt + Wave (winds at WSC picking up to 10-15 NNW)
    7:15am FNX reporting 10,500 5-5.5 kts
    7:25am FNX reporting 13,000 5-6 kts
    7:48am FNX reporting 16,200 JSO Black Butte
    8:57am FNX reporting 16.5 NW of Ruth
    10:27am FNX reporting North of Willats in 6 knots lift at 16,500 ft
    1:35pm FNX reporting 17,500' Ukiah Northbound (Kempton said they just dug themselves out of a hole)
    *****Day got busy and didn't post all updates
    5:51pm FNX landed safely back at Williams

    11 hours and 1 minute flight today!
    Last edited by Noelle Mayes; 05-10-2019 at 06:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    544

    Re: Fri May 10: Wave Alert

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    Kempton Izuno and Thomas Greenhill strapped in and ready to go for a 1300K attempt

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    Thank you Nick for the early morning tow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    San Carlos
    Posts
    36

    Re: Fri May 10: Wave Alert

    They appear to be making excellent progress hindered only by Class A airspace.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    San Carlos
    Posts
    36

    Re: Fri May 10: Wave Alert

    Click image for larger version. 

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    FNX position report from SSA live tracker as of 1145.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
    Posts
    780

    Re: Fri May 10: Wave Alert

    I just posted the flight, 987.4km OLC distance, just short of 1000km:
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=7147776

    11 hours, 1 minute. More later, I have to recover more still....
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
    Posts
    780

    Re: Fri May 10: Wave Alert

    Unlike previous attempts, I hadn't really expect it to fly this until about 36 hours ahead of time when Thomas Greenhill pointed out how good it looked. That is, too good to pass up! Of course this required rearranging a few big things, like work.

    This is my 3rd flight with Thomas. He’s got more Open Class experience than the average 19 year old pilot, with 60+ hours wrassling Mallory’s ASW-22 around the sky.

    With the ever incredible support from WSC, FNX was rigged by the time I arrived Thu eve. I'm glad (selfishly) that the rice fields were not flooded, as there are much fewer bugs in the air to bother me while I prepped after sunset. The evening sky showed promise with

    Next morning Thomas and I arrive at the plane at the same time and completed our prep. Takeoffs on north wind days can often be dramatic as once you leave the shallow stable layer, like a few hundred feet thick, then suddenly your perceived climb angle is very steep. Such was the case on our takeoff even though the ground winds were calm. We could see dust blowing from the north so we knew that we had taken off right before the stable layer mixed. Nick took us to the meadow downwind of Goat, a common release point for NE wind wave days. Started with 3-4 knots but got stronger and we left at 17.5k. This was Thomas's first time flying in NE wave at Williams so he was taking it all in.

    From previous experience we could scoot around Snow Mt. while in lift, then head directly downwind of Black Butte for the next climb, then Anthony where we saw 6-8 knots. The view of the Yolla Wilderness from 17K:
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    From there we went to SW of T15 where the Skysight forecast showed lift, and it indeed was there.

    A short climb there, then on to the Ruth wave point, proven by an earlier flight by Ramy (all these wave waypoints were posted to this forum earlier this year). From Ruth northwest I had always believed that the wave would work as there’s a nice smooth continuous ridge. Indeed it was there and worked past Hyampon. This was the highlight of the flight, as we had reached the end of what I saw as a series of stepping-stones to get to nearly Hoopa.

    We turned around and headed south thinking we’d pick up the wave north of Round Valley at the Island Mountain or North Fork wave waypoints. There was lift there but weak, so we continue down to the ridge on the westside of Round Valley where I had seen lift before, but now it was weak and scattered. We limped along to San Hedrin for a small gain, but high enough to head south to the Mayacamas (where the geothermal plants are) then onto Mt. St Helena for a reliable, 4-7 kt climb. Onward to turn at Napa airport, the Napa valley wave worked about two-thirds of the way, then we hit sink and decided to turn around about six miles short and scoot back to the St Helena wave by 11:45a:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QP...v5V7t7MxNKgC5s

    At this point, the forecast said the wave structures starts to decay, but I got a little too confident and should have stayed in the St Helena wave to max altitude, but we pressed on. We plunged along our previous path for Ukiah and could not find anything and wound up below 8k at right over the Ukiah airport. We could feel the bumps and decided that we had entered the thermal part of our flight (gear shift #1), so worked the thermals with the intent of heading out into the Central valley. The first thermal we started climbing and felt too smooth, so almost by reflex, once I got a few circles in I headed crosswind and sure enough we were in a (blue) wave bar, and climbed up to 17.8k (gear shift #2):
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_r...Zqui7aTYAT-l4P

    Over to San Hedrin and worked our way towards Black Butte, but there was little wave activity, so sinking near Black Butte we decided that now we really are in thermal mode.

    By this time, it’s a bit before 3p. From here on we worked blue thermals (gear shift #3), with frequent sustained very strong sink. We guessed that the Cortina ridge would kickoff thermals from the hot air blown to the west side of Central valley. We got ok climbs, one good one at Rumsey Gap, but the bouts of sink were impressive. Turned at Bessa Towers, and regained some altitude again at Rumsey Gap. Elk Creek was our stated goal as we came abeam of East Park reservoir, but we then noticed both on our flight computers and by the ripples on the lake that the wind had changed to straight west when it had been out of the NE for quite a while. At that point we again shifted gears (#4) and said ok the marine air is coming in, time to head home. We were coming up on 11 hours and the fatigue was starting to set in.

    We headed back to WSC and landed to the north even though it was a very light northwind. Noelle greeted us along with Peter Fuss and Cindy Donovan. Athough the adrenaline kept me going, and Thomas had his youth, we both started to feel very tired very quickly. We managed to disassemble the ship without dropping anything, then all went to dinner at the Chinese restaurant. It took a couple days after that too for me to recover, and Thomas felt the same.

    OVerall, it was very satisfying for the pure exploration point, and that we were able to recognize, accept, and act on the mental “gear changes” required. Another puzzling moment was when we got the AWOS reading for altimeter from Santa Rosa, I felt it was too low!

    Thanks again to Noelle, Ben and Nick for ground support, Thomas for co-piloting, Peter and Cindy for disassembly support. We have a great group at WSC!

    OLC:
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=7147776
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Williams
    Posts
    10

    Re: Fri May 10: Wave Alert

    It was an absolutely epic flight, my longest flight ever also, and we proved that if you fly consistently slow for a very long time you can go a very long way
    Having two pilots for such long flights is definitely a luxury...

    A couple things I wanted to add:
    On long flights like this where we were sometimes returning to the same spots for climbs, I found it extremely useful to write down the time & place of climbs, and to what altitude, as well as some other details that might be useful later.
    I was taking notes roughly every 30 minutes when Kempton was flying, and at some point on our second northbound leg when we fell out of the wave and needed a climb behind black butte/anthony peak, we actually used it to remember which of the two gave a solid climb many hours earlier.

    Also, as Kempton mentioned, we both immediately felt the exhaustion when we landed.
    The scary thing for me was that I didn't notice that I was tired at all ten minutes earlier when in the air, and although I was likely being spurred on by adrenaline, I have no doubt that after 11 hours in the cockpit my decision might have been impaired, even if I didn't realize it.
    So, in the future, I need to realize that even though I might not feel tired after 9 hours of flying, I need to be very disciplined about thinking my decisions through before executing.

    I hope we get another day like this sometime and that more people get to experience it. It was absolutely epic.
    I have a bunch of video logs I plan to compile when I get a chance, stay tuned for that.

    Thank you Kempton, for having me as your copilot and to the Mayes for making it happen!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    535

    Re: Fri May 10: Wave Alert

    Epic flight. I wish I joined you guys. Epic distance too, but probably not quiet 987km since OLC scored you from takeoff to landing. You need to adjust your release time.

    Ramy

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