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Thread: Soaring Monday 3-9

  1. #1
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    Soaring Monday 3-9

    RASP seems to be favoring a good valley day for tomorrow.
    Unstable enough.
    Upper level cloud cover seems to be lessening. Lower level moisture seems to be decreasing.
    The movements of both the massive high and the massive low pressure well off the coast seem dynamic.
    I'm on the schedule and will fly if it continues to look favorable.
    end
    Peter Kelly

  2. #2
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    Re: Soaring Monday 3-9

    As it turns out, this is an excellent learning tool situation. I captured a few images in prep for the following tutorial, in hopes that this info will be helpful to less experienced cross-country pilots. You always need to plan ahead and watch for a good day coming, but since it not always obvious three days prior, it is difficult to plan. This may help in you r planning- this is how I go about it.

    On Saturday night (about 8 PM)
    I reviewed both RASP and Windy.com and decided it might me better on Monday than the RASP was forecasting. Since the ASW32 was unscheduled, I sent an email to Noelle before gong to sleep reguesting to be be put on the schedule.

    About 8PM Sunday night I reviewed both the RASP and Windy.com again.

    For mid-day on Monday Windy.com said the following:

    1- Surface, Low off coast of Santa Barbara, flow into it that low over wsc would be weak surface wind from the NE
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    2- 3,000 ft level, about the same
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    3- 24,000 ft level it shows the low and the high are vertical not slanted,that is, they are in same location at all levels, and the jet stream is weak to non existent, so there will be little shifting going on in the fcst.
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    4- the fcst for wsc says 9 am clouds, sun and clouds at noon, etc. light winds switching from north to a south wind at 3pm
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    The RASP looked good...

    images 5 and 6 - Soundings at WSC and 3 sisters -
    high cirrus (see chevronon top left of each, strong inversion (redlinetakes abend to the right) at cloud base (blue line and rend line nearly touch)

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    7 - cloud cover light in parts of the valley
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    8-Cu cloudbaseabout 5,000
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    end of this section.

    Next entry will cover what the RASP charts were showing on Monday morning.

    Entry after that willl be my flight report - it was a good day!
    Peter Kelly

  3. #3
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    Re: Soaring Monday 3-9


    The RASP charts allow us to reliably predict the lift we may encounter on our proposed flight.

    Here is a partial list of the RASP Menu.

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    Before flight I went down this list with Phil, from top to bottom - see next post...


    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-10-2020 at 05:05 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  4. #4
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    Re: Soaring Monday 3-9

    I gave a quick look at the RASP on Monday morning, but it only took me 3 or 4 minutes to see that RASP was telling me it was going to be a very good day!

    I phoned WSC to let them know my normally reliable First Officer Thomas D was not available, so I asked Rex if he had someone who might benefit from a ride in the back seat with me in the 32. He said Phil Bernstein was on the schedule to fly the ASW-24 at the same time I was flying the 32. How fortuitous! I knew Phil and I instantly knew he would be a great First Officer (FO).

    Arriving at WSC at noon, Phil arrived a few minutes after me, and immediately accepted my invitation, but was not interested in flying much more than two hours. That was perfect. Me neither. And/but, if I wanted to fly longer, all I had was to land for a few minutes and relaunch. This was going to be fun.


    We took a few minutes to go over the RASP charts. It took less than five minutes for me to display the charts in the order they appear on the menu (see the preceding post) and cover all of the following points, I purposely reviewed them from the list from top to bottom on the menu of the RASP page.


    1- BS Ratio OK everywhere (above values of 3 or 4, that is, there are no blue areas)
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    2 H Crit - west side of the valley … Crazy Creek to Redding - all good...

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    3- BL Top - same as hcrit - only higher
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    4- Thermal Velocity - all good (over 5 kts) Bessa towers to Redding.
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    5- Surface Temp - looks like sun is heating the ground - same areas -
    bessa towers to redding.

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    6- BL Average Wind. This is revealing, but subtle. Wind is light, but... compare avg winds with the surface winds.
    see slight diff in directions. Expect top of thermals to be squirrelly (challenging) to stay in. Also, due to the lack of strength, lift will be more in bubbles rather than in streets and convergence lines will be non existent. Topography will dictate location of the thermals.
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    7- BL Max up/down. No wind, therefore, no convergence lines
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    8 - Cu Cloudbase - not particularity high, thus a very slow and possibly difficult day for a glider with a poor glide ratio, but a very suitable day for the ASG-32
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    9 - Soundings Williams and 3 Sisters. See the high Cirrus (see chevron on top left of each sounding. See the strong inversion (red line takes a bend to the right) at 5 or 6 thousand which is also cloud base (blue line and rend line nearly touch) Also, and this is important, note the changes in wind direction at the inversion levels. A swing of about 180 degrees. There will be less benefit than usual of getting up close to the base of the clouds. The normal "cloud suck" will be probably be negated by the wind shifts.


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    end

    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-10-2020 at 03:18 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  5. #5
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    Re: Soaring Monday 3-9

    First the track and then a few photos.
    See the flight on OLC at …

    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....=&c=US&sp=2020


    While visiting that OLC page for today, take a look at Ramy's flight today - launched from Byron, flew up past Williams and then home again flying over 390 km on an early March Day.

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    Since you may want to study my flight in detail, I have attach the flight record on this posting - just in case you aren't able to download it from OLC...

    2020-03-09-CNI-VA3-03.IGC

    We requested a tow to cloud base near 3 Sisters.
    Takeoff was 1:45 (and landing was at 3:17 PM - on this flight over 2.5 hours).

    Lucien did a fine job of placing us directly below the nearest cu - which was west of the 3 Sisters TP. Phil released, but the lift was elusive under that cloud.


    I suggest we move towards the south end of Bear Vly and allowed Phil more stick time to get used to the flap setting and the rudder on this big ship.
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    after about 12 minutes we were on our way to the second thermal. The guidelines I provided were:

    • Set the proposed route, based upon the location of the cloud shadows.
    • Favor the ne side of each cloud due to the fcst wind
    • select the next target thermal,
    • don't stop along the way
    • announce what altitude you expect to be when reaching that next climb, and
    • fly to it at a speed of 82 kts.


    I demonstrated the first segment between #2 and #3, Phil flew us up to the area of cross roads/ Stonyford ....

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    The entire flight with the altitude legend, looked like this

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    Same trace, but using the speed legend...

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    Once we were below 5,000 ft and abeam Montgmery our altitude became critial for getting back to the runway at Montgomery.

    I took the controls and was able to maintain a comfortable altitude (for me) while transitioning from glide to Montgomery, to glide range to Diamond M and Elk Creek. I found a climb that allowed us to climb from 4,100 to 4,600 and then demonstrated how to find and then ride the rising air (below cloud) along the east side of the Mendos. Turning to the south at two miles from Diamond M, I monitored glide distance to Montgomery and to Elk Creek 1 - those were my two engine start locations. I came to within 100 feet/one minute of reversing course when I found that thermal four miles south of diamond m. Once at the top of that thermal, we were home free.

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    The idea that the motor will save you if you have no place to land is a common misconception among most non-motor glider pilots. Same rules apply. You must have a place to land, within glide range, at all times. In this instance, if I had not encountered that climb four miles SE of Diamond, I would have proceeded to Elk Creek/ Diamond Area, looked over my proposed landing areas and THEN attempted to start the engine. The engine is only there as a tool to facilitate aero retrieves.


    Phil elected to move towards Willows, rather than fly along the Cortina ridge, and that proved to be a wise choice. We struggled to climb to final glide altitude for WSC, but were comfortable in doing so since we were well within glide distance of Willows at all times.

    Here are two other graphics from See you that provide more insight when analyzing the flight.

    Only occasionally did we lose altitude while flying at a slow speed, and that was mostly in the latter part of the flight one we went into the Willows area

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    Reviewing vertical speed you can see we stayed in the thermals, once we found them.
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    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-10-2020 at 05:05 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  6. #6
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    Re: Soaring Monday 3-9

    A couple of happy snaps

    First one is looking to the SE while NNW of Montgomery at about 5,000 ft. The grass near the runway is very green. At this point we were about to head north to Diamond M...

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    Before we climbed at Willows I snapped the view of Goat - center of photo.
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    Once we found lift near Willows we were climbing through 4,300 ft, some 24 miles from home, well within glide, with cu ahead of us and a MC of 3.


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    ...Phil gained enough altitude for final glide to home.
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    end
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-10-2020 at 05:04 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  7. #7
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    Re: Soaring Monday 3-9

    So fortunate to have the opportunity to fly back seat with Peter. I arrived at WSC on Monday March 9 with the plan of flying OJ. Coincidentally Peter was about to fly the 32 and graciously offered to have me join him in the back seat. What an experience! As most of you know, Peter is a veteran pilot with a wealth of experience. He Also happens to be a perfect gentleman and wonderful pilot and instructor.
    Lots of “firsts” for me. We flew over areas that I have only seen on “ Google Earth”. Seeing Montgomery, “Ostrich farm”, Diamond M, land outs, up close and more. His thoughts about potential land outs, when to deploy the engine, cloud evaluation were priceless. His ability to fly this big bird was something to behold, a soaring master.
    If any of you have the opportunity to fly with Peter, grab it. Thank you Peter

  8. #8
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    Re: Soaring Monday 3-9

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    So fortunate to have the opportunity to fly back seat with Peter. I arrived at WSC on Monday March 9 with the plan of flying OJ. Coincidentally Peter was about to fly the 32 and graciously offered to have me join him in the back seat. What an experience! As most of you know, Peter is a veteran pilot with a wealth of experience. He Also happens to be a perfect gentleman and wonderful pilot and instructor.
    Lots of “firsts” for me. We flew over areas that I have only seen on “ Google Earth”. Seeing Montgomery, “Ostrich farm”, Diamond M, land outs, up close and more. His thoughts about potential land outs, when to deploy the engine, cloud evaluation were priceless. His ability to fly this big bird was something to behold, a soaring master.
    If any of you have the opportunity to fly with Peter, grab it. Thank you Peter
    Thank you for the complements Phil. It was my pleasure to have you aboard, and thanks for allowing me to post our action photos.
    I'll address the zero reliance on the motor in the flight description section above.
    And, just to clarify the your remark about "... the opportunity to fly...", I am very selective, and I only fly with pilots endorsed by Rex, thus Rex basically recommends/ approves all of my back seaters.
    And, one other clarification, I am not an instructor, but I do offer comments to the First Officer (FO)/ back seater while he is flying my plane (yes, I do recognize FO is a misnomer, but no one calls me Captain either).
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-10-2020 at 11:37 PM.
    Peter Kelly

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