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Thread: Friday and Saturday May 15 - 16

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Menlo Park CA

    Friday and Saturday May 15 - 16

    Both days are looking wonderful, including valley thermals but also nice over the mountains. The usual question marks here and there, but start looking at the forecasts!

    John Cochrane BB

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

    Re: Friday and Saturday May 15 - 16

    Yes, Saturday could be an all day wave day. Look at how low the wave is in the morning, 5,000 ft people!:
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    and strong at 18K, with light winds, only 40kts, damn!
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ID:	5654and going strong late too: Click image for larger version. 

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    Timing is good with the incoming front:
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ID:	5656 Alas, I can't fly, but somebody has to. John, you and Thomas are nominated! Should be well marked all day.
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Schleicher ASW-24

    Re: Friday and Saturday May 15 - 16

    Good call Kempton. It turned out good.

    Looks like Alex in his 20 and Leon - flying the 23 gave us a good demo of how good it was.

    Here are the two flights - as posted to OLC:
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    Other pilots may not download those flight unless they sign in to OLC, and I won't post the flight here, since they are not my flights, but I would like to show a few screen shots so everyone can see the type of day it was. I hope this is OK with Alex and Leon.

    Alex took a high tow directly to Snow, and once over Tree farm (with the wind at 222/24 kts) he had a fast climb to 12,000. Nice ride up to Sheet Iron and all the way down to Rumsey gap with some climbs in between.

    Leon was in the 23 and stayed very local, had a long flight and never getting more than 10 miles from the field, but enjoying three or four tightly cored thermals - flying with some great style!

    Thanks to both for sharing your flights with us. Some nice flying by each of you.

    Here are the Altitude legends for each flight and, I added a second image of Leon's flight which shows the vario legend - look at those nice tight thermal turns at constant bank angle and constant speed. Looks like that best thermal was created by the warm wind wind collecting and then releasing on the Husted Rd overpass over I-5. What fun! I'm envious that I didn't go flying.

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    Peter Kelly

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2018

    Re: Friday and Saturday May 15 - 16

    This is great Peter! Please always feel free to interrogate my OLC. I will never post anything there that I do not intend to be public domain anyways

    It was quite an interesting day. Plenty of high cloud. I spent the morning helping Peter Deane get Evan Simmons set up and all checked out to fly 5T (which he did, very successfully).

    I towed to snow, and should have towed directly into the lee of Goat Peak (near the rock face). That was where I was able to find the wave initially. I stopped my climb at 12,500 due to running into a ceiling of cirrus and lenticular. Managed to fly at ~80knots not really losing much altitude (loving my new netto vario so far) on my first leg north.

    Made the classic beginner mistake of not crabbing into the wind enough, and on my return leg south right before st john I fell into some of the most extreme rotor turbulence I have ever experienced, combined with a ton of strong up and very strong down. My sandwich took a small xc from the side pocket of my cockpit onto my flap handle on the other side of the cockpit. Pointed straight into the wind, and experienced the sudden transition through the shear layer back into the laminar flow, and into 7knots of lift. Fascinating experience.

    Climbed back up to the ceiling at goat, and realized that the conditions north of me had turned into mostly rain showers with low bases, indicative of the approaching cold front + precip.

    The view south was significantly more blue with rotor cu behind Rumsey, and behind Walker ridge, so I went for the walker wave, and found a climb back up into the working band. Rinse and repeat the same story from walker to Rumsey. I decided I was ready to fly back into the valley, and recorded a 166mph ground speed flying downwind from Rumsey back to Williams!

    I arrived at Williams very high (7700ft or so), and found another(!!) weak wave climb directly over I-5. Too good of an opportunity to pass up. I suspected it was likely a secondary or tertiary coming off the mountains, but it was marked by a very weak lenticular. I tried my best to align myself with it, flew south, and climbed all the way back up to 9000ft by the time i arrived at Dunnigan.

    I turned north at this point and made the same exact mistake (grrr) of not crabbing into the wind enough (it was probably stronger than anticipated back up at altitude), and found myself decidedly in the sinky bit of the sky. Sustained 12-13knots of sink forced me to momentarily consider not being able to make it back to Williams (from Dunnigan at 9000ft remember). That was an unpleasant experience, but I had Strain and Millers, so I was not worried per-se...

    Once I had been sufficiently flushed out of the sky, I think I fell back into the boundary layer, and was decoupled from the wave band, found diminished sink, and had Williams back on glide.

    Each wave flight I've had so far as been a tremendous learning experience, and I think the more I fly it the less I understand it.

    I posted a bunch of pictures on my personal facebook, as I have found this forum a tough medium to share photos/videos...

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