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Thread: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    628

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    I’ll let Kempton complete his pirep. Just want to say thank you to kempton for the wave alerts, the encouragement to fly, and leading the way. And special thanks to Ben and Nick for the early morning challenging tows, and to WSC for providing services on their day off to the die hards.

    both my flights with pirep are on OLC:
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3.0/gliding/flightinfo.html?dsId=8247047
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=8247288

    Monday was mostly a follow kempton scenic flight which thanks to flarm allowed us a near formation flight.
    Tuesday I managed to use the skysight wave layout on my LX9000 which was very helpful most of the time as FNX turned around early so I was left alone to follow Kempton’s directions. I went as far north as I could towards Hoopa until the wave petered out.

    I’ll try to attach couple of photos and the skysight overlay from Tuesday

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    Ramy

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
    Posts
    956

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    Waking up Tuesday morning, the winds didn't seem too bad that night. At the Travelers Inn, I was on the windward side, and could hear the wind all night, but at least there wasn’t any rattling. Rattling make you feel like it’s worse, so I’m thankful I wasn’t exposed to that!

    Ben comes into the Pilot’s lounge at 0-dark-30 and he cheerfully says “Oh yeah it’s blowing, the chimney starts singing over 30mph” 8^)
    Ground winds at WSC are measured in mph as those are the units of the office weather station...

    Ramy then texts and he’s circumspect about the whole thing. When he’s hesitant that gives me pause. We were both concerned that we might be putting the tow pilots, Ben and Nick, in a pretty high risk situation. I’ve already endangered both of the Mayes boys each once in my flying career, and I don’t want to do that ever again. We brought this up with Ben, and he suggested due to the extreme easterly wind and 50 kt at ridgeline that we gain altitude first over Indian valley, then head for the saddle between Snow and Goat to test for wave on the west side. I was concerned based on my wave flight in early December that there may not be any wave at Goat because of the extreme easterly flow. Thus, we'd try west of the saddle, then to west of Goat peak, then if neither of those work, then tow part way back to WSC and release to land.

    Ramy then came up with the idea that Walker ridge might work because it’s oriented perfectly for the forecast 090 winds (and closer to WSC). So the revised plan is, go together to Walker and get off only if we saw 10+ kts or better on tow. We que up for takeoff, with Ben towing me & Jim, and Nick towing Ramy. Later Ben said that that was the shortest takeoff run he’d ever had and told Nick just "firewall it!" when he got going. The crab angle was outrageous, with the wind switched per forecast around 3000 feet from northerly to easterly. As we come around the southside of Walker on the far side of the reservoir, sure enough the climb rate starts going up to maybe 8 kts. I get off, and Ramy gets off right after me. Then later on the ground, Ben said to us "I thought you said you'd get off only in 10 kt or better?" I blamed a bad soaring impulse on that one.

    So now we’re only getting 1-2 kts at 8000 feet just holding our own in 70kts of wind. We eventually find a stronger area and get to 12k working our way very slowly north so that we have a shot at the Goat wave. We were there for probably 45 minutes then finally headed over to the Goat wave where BOOM! we had 11+ kts and better. We had launched at 9a, so of course if we’d gone directly to Goat at sunrise we would’ve gained 2 1/2 hours on where we are, oh well. I was extra cautious as we had two major risk factors 1) A condition I’d not see before (the direct east flow) and 2) the ridgeline wind of 50+ kts so together, these could interact in ways that could put the tow pilots or us in jeopardy. Thankfully Nick and Ben got back on the ground in a sporting but uneventful landing.

    Another strangeness when in strong wind wave. My PowerFLARM indicates where nearby targets are relative to your direction of travel. Normally that's straight ahead, or maybe a few degrees left or right. But in severe wind, we were pointed north-northeast, and sliding on purpose to the northwest, so the direction of travel is almost 90 degrees to my left. Looking at FLARM to find Ramy it shows he's straight ahead, but that does not mean in front of the nose, but almost off our left wing. Took me a minute to figure that out. Very disorienting!

    Once up in the wave we quickly got to altitude and then headed north following the ridgeline past Snow then on to the burn area and Black Butte. Ramy was doing better than we were although we were in visual range most of the time. As we left the west side on the way to Ruth, I had to turn back, but Ramy pushed on to past the Hyampom Gap. He reported that the ridge north of there which should have work, did not. But he did get the furthest north, maybe 4-5 miles further than Thomas and I did a couple years ago.

    On our way back to Williams the air was so bouncy, that we briefly stopped to work some wave over the Cortinas, amazing!

    The ground winds were supposed to start subsiding after noon, and we headed in around 1:15p. Surface winds had dropped a bit from a peak of 50 mph to a somewhat steady state of 34-36 mph, maybe 6-10 mph more than Monday. The previous day I had come in as I always do with full flaps even on windy days, as I believe it gets you through the turbulence and sink sooner. When you read a flapped ship manual, they say to land in windy conditions with no landing flap, but never giving a reason for it. Well I think I know why now.

    On downwind for landing, I said,"we should come in higher than we did yesterday". Well, I came in a bit higher, put on the landing flap and saw we weren’t going to make the runway so I quickly took it off and back in thermal flap. We were fine for making the runway and it didn’t really change things from then on to final and flare. If you ever have to do it, you must decide to go from landing to thermal flap at least 200 feet up and in a smooth fashion, otherwise you'll suddenly drop causing other problems. I can see now a reason they say don’t use landing flap on a very windy day is that in order to make the field in extremely windy conditions, you'd need to be so high that your sightview is way out of normal, thus you'd not be high enough yet it's what was needed.

    Ramy kept on task and did a great job of spanning the greatest distance yet in NE wave along the Mendos from NW of Hyampom to almost Napa, so about 170 statute miles.

    Now we know that such conditions can produce spectacular wave, and that it’s more a factor of wind speed than necessarily angle to the ridge as Goat proved out. The next time this happens, and I hope it happens sooner than 7+years since my flight with Pat Alford in November 2013, we can go directly to Goat, get up to the same point Ramy did, back to Goat, back to near Hyampom, then down to Napa/Marin Headlands and back to WSC for 1000km.

    Thanks again so much to Ben and Nick for the tow of course and just as important, discussing openly on what we were getting into; Noelle and Rex for their unwavering support for our edgy flights; Danny for getting FNX ready; Jim Darke for co-piloting and this whole community for their interest and support. We will get that 1000k wave flight from WSC at some point.

    OLC trace:
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=8247265
    Last edited by Kempton; 01-24-2021 at 09:31 PM.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    168

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    It is always a pleasure to watch a master practice his craft. I was fortunate enough to do that when I rode along with Kemp on this flight that took me a fair distance beyond anywhere I had been in a glider. Watching/listening to Ramy and Kemp interact was frosting on the cake.
    True to form, Kemp’s writeup is complete and informative. I’d just like to add a couple of pictures to the pile.
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    Last edited by Jim Darke; 01-23-2021 at 10:09 AM.
    Jim D. - 1B

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    221

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    Ramy/Kempton, your fans greatly appreciate your detailed reports. I was glued to my computer screen both days following your trace on the Garmin website map and texting other of your fans about your next moves!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    628

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    Thanks Russ. I try to make it easier to follow by having 3 entries on the SSA tracker. One for my Inreach, one from my IGCDroid smartphone app and one from my powerflarm via OGN. I wish everyone will take few minutes to follow the steps so we can make flight following in real time much easier. I hope Kempton will do this as well, as his trace never shows up in the SSA tracker:
    1- if you are not showing in the SSA tracker, register your Inreach/spot on http://glideport.aero/
    2- follow the steps described in the following link to register your powerflarm on OGN And The SSA tracker: https://www.pacificsoaring.org/artic...using-ogn.html
    3- register your powerflarm on flarmnet: https://www.flarmnet.org/flarmnet/
    4- if you have an android smartphone, download the tracker app “IGCDroid”.

    Ramy

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    220

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    Kempton and Ramy, I echo Russ' sentiments. Thank you both so much for your very informative write ups! Great flights and it was great fun following your progress on both days!

    Pat

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Schleicher ASW-24
    Posts
    2,114

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    All of you guys are doing a great service to the soaring community.


    We fly because it's fun, and being able to follow along, or even to just read about the planning and execution's of those plans is fun in itself.

    Flying vicariously is plenty enough stimulation for me this time of year.
    Besides the flight following and the writeups, the photos are extraordinary.

    Thanks to all.
    Peter Kelly

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
    Posts
    956

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    Thanks Russ, Pat, Peter, and all of our fabulous community here. The support, interest and participation in our wave XC is unparalleled in this country. I've decided I'll write an article for SOARING or perhaps for general posting on what we do here. From what I see, no other soaring operation, other than the Sierra ones, has any wave XC going on. And to me, the Sierra ones don't count as that is well mapped, so there is not "exploring and mapping" that we do here. We are true explorers, mapping the rivers of the air. Not many things are left to be explored in this world, but this is one of them. Onward! 8^)

    P.S. For Ramy, I'll run thru the steps to get registered above. I thought I did that already.....
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
    Posts
    956

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    Ok to close out, I've done all the tracking tasks that Ramy assigned to me above. With luck, I'll actually show up next time!
    Last edited by Kempton; 01-24-2021 at 09:27 PM.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    300

    Re: Wave watch: Mon Jan 18 (MLK day)

    Kemp, Jim & Ramy ~ Thanks for the reports and photos.

    Kemp: You should submit an article with photos to Soaring Magazine. I would expect that they are looking for an interesting article, since Covid has slowed down flying quite a bit. Especially, about wave in a "new" location too many with views of SF and the Golden Gate Bridge. Articles are due on the 15th of each month, about 1,500 words, with 5 - 6 jpeg photos in the highest resolution you have. You already have 80% or so of the article written.
    Pete Alexander -- 98

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