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Thread: Soaring on Saturday, March 20, 2021

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Schleicher ASW-24

    Soaring on Saturday, March 20, 2021


    Mid-March 2021, one year after the start of the Pandemic. What a day!

    The Airport was too crowded to accommodate any more gliders!
    On OLC there are 13 pilots that launched from Williams that submitted their flights for review. See OLC logs for the day:
    Daily Score OLC-Plus 2021 - USA - Mar 20, 2021 (

    The RASP Forecast was very accurate.
    Very illustrative RASP charts with photos and flight logs to confirm the forecast. A lot can be learned from studying the RASP carefully.

    You were either in the lift or you were not. We found large areas of sink as well as some strong thermals.

    It was a cold day.
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    Freezing level fcst for 2 PM on said it would be at about 3800 ft.

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    The SkewT on RASP told the story. Unstable air up to 7,000 ft.

    I had the controls on tow, as we passed 5,000 ft, with a big cu less than a half mile in front of us. I said, "I'm gonna release the tow rope... we'll zip over there at 90 kts, ... lose about 200 ft and then... up we'll go."

    I wasn't looking for a response from the back seat, as I proceeded with my plan. The next five minutes were pure embarrassment for me as I failed to connect with the lift. I then demonstrated to the chief instructor, my methodology of safe motor-glider flying by maneuvering back to Bear Vly for a safe place to land, before attempting an engine start. Of course, as soon as I had it started I was in lift, so we ran it for a total of four minutes as I climbed back up to release altitude, of 5,000 ft. You'll note on OLC that I adjusted our start of soaring time, thus OLC did not give us a score for the day, since our engine noise monitor was not functioning properly on the IGC recorder. But, looking at the stats, of ALL of the 27 gliders that reported flying in Region 11 on this day, we flew the fastest of any of them - from the start of free flight to the landing. That average speed was 115.94 km/h (72 MPH). Of course that is somewhat insignificant recognizing that pilots will fly slower until they are out of the start gate and will fly slower on the way home to conserve altitude... but we were flying the fast all day - it was that kind of day.

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    When over Gold mines...
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    looking back, the flat bottom clouds behind us to the north... and next...

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    the view to the south... Once under the middle of it, this one just kept pulling us up at 10 kts. I had to slide out from under it to the left (east) to stay out of it! We went straight to Bessa Dam in the blue, once we passed the SE corner of this cloud...

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    see the happy back seater enjoying himself

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    see the views to the east and...

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    to the south - past Lake Berryessa and beyond.

    We saw 2T heading north and BB was still further south when we turned the Dam and headed to the finish at 3 Sisters. Saw four or five paragliders enjoying the day near the Bessa Twrs TP, and a couple up towards Rumsey TP as well.

    A careful review of the RASP charts told the story very well. See dashed line on the 850 mb chart.

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    see the lift (ylw-red) along that line on the next RASP chart. This is the "Wind-Parallel Sect.... "
    The hardest part of reading this chart is deciding if the wind it right to left or left to right as you look at it.... you need to go back and see the terrain below the dashed line on the 850 chart to figure it out.
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    See the down air (blue) along that line!

    Good Lift, but bad air too!

    All in all, a wonderful but challenging day.

    Thanks to the Mayes Family and staff for all your support.
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-22-2021 at 03:14 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Re: Soaring on Saturday, March 20, 2021

    Yes, was a great postfrontal day to really kickoff the soaring season. WSC deserves a real thankyou for providing such special venue for us. For an extremely busy day at Williams everything ran very smoothly. Nick running ground operations keep everything moving well, and Ben provided us with a fun task with more to come in the future.

    Thankyou WSC
    Jim E2

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