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Thread: Memorial Day wknd outlook, nice!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    645

    Re: Memorial Day wknd outlook, nice!

    This year was an exceptional year for me from Williams and yesterday was no difference including flights I never attempted before. I don’t think I had any flight short of the Trinities/Shasta area, but in particular multiple flights around the horn and as far as the Warner mountains near Lakeview to the NE, and Truckee and Jackson to the SE and all around the valley. Also to Avenal and Hollister to capture the egg. Yesterday FNX and TG crossed from Yolla to near Lassen area and then across the sierras to beyond Truckee and back to Williams. A first for me.
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=8393076

    Ramy

  2. #12
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
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    983

    Re: Memorial Day wknd outlook, nice!

    Will post more shortly, but FNX's back to back flights up to Yolla, flat glide across to W of Lake Almanor then on to Mt. Rose (Sat) and Squaw Valley (Sun) were fantastic!

    With David Moruzzi Saturday
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=8395202

    With Barbara Donovan Sunday:
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=8407071
    Last edited by Kempton; 06-05-2021 at 04:14 PM.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  3. #13
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    Jan 2011
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    Menlo Park, CA
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    983

    Re: Memorial Day wknd outlook, nice!

    Sat, May 29

    Per the outlook, co-pilot David Moruzzi and I planned to cross from Yolla to south of Lassen, down past Lake Tahoe and back up to around Quincy for final glide to WSC. The flight was pretty close to plan, but as always with a little drama. David and I had flown together once before, a wave flight to San Francisco 3 years ago, so this would be completely different for him. Different for me too since my last east crossing from Yolla was about 8 years ago.

    Rolling at 10:40a, release over Stonyford, glide across St. John to the meadow area. Found our first climb within 10 minutes of arrival and got going especially with the encouragement of high, but very short lived cu shreds to the north. At Yolla, we decide to head north to add some distance while waiting for the cu to form a bit more on east Yolla, but Ramy catches up and heads out now ahead of us across the valley. We decide to go back to the highest clouds and follow, the cu forming 8 miles west of Yolla at 14.5k which adds 10 miles to the glide east. Weíll get to the Sierra foothills low, but there are cu over there, just hope those are on the ridgeline.

    Itís a 55 minute flat glide to this point, but recall we started 8 miles west of Yolla, so add 10 nm to this track:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ramy canít find a climb and is sinking along the foothills looking for a climb. Not encouraging! Heís out there somewhere (view S approaching first climb):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thereís a fair amount of tension as you drop in altitude, the terrain comes up at you, and youíre headed away from your safety airport. I did this a fair amount in my east crossings of the Sierra in the '26E motorglider so I was used to the sight picture, but the tension is still there.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6425 Below us here is where we got our first climb at 6.9k
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ID:	6424 The view below as we're about to climb, I'm guessing the cleared area are firebreak lines on the edge of this canyon.

    We connect with the convergence driven cloud street, 13-14k bases:
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    Got low just west of the ridgeline on the west side of the Lakes Basin Rec Area. This is a section of the Sierra I had never been to either flying or hiking, so didn't recognize much here, but the lakes are all full and it's beautiful. Ramy scraped himself up off the deck from 4k and passes us. Onto Truckee:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6433 Mt. Rose in the distance.
    Last edited by Kempton; 06-05-2021 at 04:19 PM.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Re: Memorial Day wknd outlook, nice!

    continued (think I hit my image upload limit...)

    We make good speed here with David doing most of the flying. Followed the cloud street to Mt. Rose and head back towards Quincy. Short video panning the area:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tqh...ew?usp=sharing

    We didn't go any further south as there were no clouds connecting to the south, and beyond South Lake Tahoe was wiped out anyway:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6434 437p Truckee view S

    SE of the Sierra Buttes, a lightning strike from this cloud had us push away a bit to the east at 448p:
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    The convergence line at the Sierra Buttes, looking alot like a Mendos convergence day:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Our final glide of 70nm started about 10nm S of Quincy over the start of the S fork of the Feather River canyon, 13.6k for a 30:1 on WSC, so 85kts indicated or so. The northerly flow and the OD are much more apparent as we get out in the valley:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6437 527p, view E of the Sierra S of Lake Tahoe, look at that OD, spaced out like sentinels.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6438 The view from where we came from, the left most cu was start of final glide.
    What a super day, and lots of good thermal time for David. It was warm when we landed, a good harbinger for the next day.
    Last edited by Kempton; 06-05-2021 at 02:00 PM.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
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    983

    Re: Memorial Day wknd outlook, nice!

    Sunday May 30

    Many of you have met one of our youngest pilots, Barbara Donovan. She's coming up on 16 and has already amassed a good amount of flight time. I asked her if she was interested in a cross-country flight and she enthusiastically said yes. Now normally Iíd not take a local-only pilot on a 300+ mile flight, however Barbara looks to be made of good stock so we decided to give it a go. Having learned from my flight with David the day before, and planning to do exactly the same flight, that is Yolla crossing to the Sierra, down to Tahoe and return, but do it faster, I thought we could keep it to 5 hours. And that's pretty much what we did.

    By launching only with confirmed cu on the Mendos, along with slightly better conditions than yesterday, we had 15% better speed. Rolling at 12:45p, Nick got us quickly to Stonyford, where we released and got our first climb on St. John, then headed north to the cu field. From St. John to Yolla was only 30 minutes, then worked two thermals for the climb. With departure altitude of 14.5k and 10nm further east than yesterday, we were in much better shape:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6439 Over Yolla, view E to Lassen, the clouds still look far away, 2p

    Flat glided to the same spot, we hit mild sink in the last few minutes so we arrived at the same altitude as the previous day, about 7k. The lift started a couple miles further west tho, so the climb was better. Reaching the clouds we follow the line paralleling the crestline, while I purposely was a bit more conservative to avoid falling into the same hole as the previous day. Cloudbase was 500ft higher, the moisture slightly less and the speeds better.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6440 View SE towards Tahoe, over S Feather River Canyon 323p

    And a short video near the same point: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EPF...ew?usp=sharing

    Continuing to work the clouds along the Sierra crest with only one circling climb, we quickly closed in on the part of the street at Squaw Valley which had the highest cloud (above and to the right of Barb):
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6441 View SE, Lake Tahoe in distance.

    We could have gone further south, but those clouds were lower, and I didnít want to exhaust Barbara on XC flying. Topped out at 16.3k, a highest altitude for Barbara, and giving us plenty of height to cover the return leg;
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	6442 Still looking great at 430p, view NW from just W of Squaw Valley.

    Chatted with a few Truckee pilots, it was a strong day. I guessed that final glide would start more west as the clouds were more west. We did start much closer and lower than the previous day, but still on a 28-30:1 glide to WSC. It sure got hot as we got lower, ground temps peaked at 106F ! Barbara seemed to enjoy the flight, save for an ergonomic issue I have to fix. Hope to continue to see more of Barbara and her very supportive parents in the new few years!

    OLC:
    https://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-3....l?dsId=8407071
    Last edited by Kempton; 07-21-2021 at 08:51 AM.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA
    Posts
    983

    Re: Memorial Day wknd outlook, nice!

    As new accounts will be open after the Forum migration, I'm posting Barbara's flight writeup on her behalf:


    I want to thank Kempton for bringing me along on this fantastic flight! I haven't experienced much upper-level soaring and was skeptical that one could fly a glider to 16,400 feet high from Williams to Lake Tahoe and back. Now I know that it's possible as well as phenomenal, an experience I will never forget. I learned a lot, like when you're up at 16,000 feet, you can see everything! The view was magnificent! Even though the flight was 5.2 hours long, it wasn't too uncomfortable sitting for that long. I learned that putting sunscreen on my hands and fingers will be a great idea next time as they got sunburned. After the flight, my body was sore for a couple of days which I somewhat expected. I'm not used to sitting for 5 hours without the ability to stand up. The advice I'd give to someone else who might try this sport is to get used to not moving around for a few hours and do some stretching exercises. I thought that maybe sitting for 5 hours would come easy because I could go for a three-hour bike ride but, the two pursuits don't correlate. I kept telling myself that to make me feel better, but soaring is a lot different. Not being able to stretch your legs all the way is something you have to prepare for beforehand. Even on the shorter glider flights I do, I'm going to need to start stretching before and after.

    To begin with, the Phoenix felt different from flying the lighter ASK-21 and ASK-23. My analogy is that the Phoenix feels like riding a big Clydesdale draft horse. The ASK-21 feels like a quarter horse, and the ASK-23 is like riding a pony. It took a lot more control input to turn the Phoenix with its extra-long wings! It was also interesting how they curved upward. The controls felt heavier. I could feel it when we were hitting lift, and I had to slow down. Then we had to speed up through the sink. Soaring close to the clouds was incredible as well! I took lots of pictures! Kempton taught me the strategy of flying from cloud to cloud, finding lift along the way. He found tons of thermals, and I was enjoying the ride. Around and around, we went. It's nice when the variometer has the background beeping to determine when we're in the lift or not. And I saw how Kempton was using it to determine when he should turn. I also learned that you shouldn't do reversal turns to find the lift because a reversal turn moves you too far away from where you had located the thermal. On other glider flights, I used to get a bit disoriented flying in thermals. I never got disoriented once on this long adventure.

    Second, I learned that oxygen makes a huge difference. I have felt hypoxic before at 13,000'. When we were flying at 16,000' with the oxygen, I felt fine. I used a cannula for the first time on this flight. It was a weird sensation at first having a bit of oxygen shot into your nose, but I got used to it. It would make a hissing noise, which was interesting.

    All the glider pilots at Williams were looking at Dr. Jack's RASP before the flight. They said the forecast looked fantastic for soaring! It was! The temperature was perfect! I did wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt in case it got cold. At the lower altitudes, it did get warmer, but I could open the vent to get some air. And at higher altitudes, it got colder under the cloud bases, so it was nice to have some warmer clothing.

    At the end of the flight, we did a low fly-by, which was lots of fun! I've never gone faster in a glider, and then we pulled up, joined the pattern, and landed. I believe we passed by the ground around 138 knots. When I climbed out of the Phoenix, it felt terrific to get to stand up finally, and it felt bizarre to walk. Overall, this experience taught me a lot about aviation, soaring, and I learned a lot about myself.
    Kemp
    ASH-25 (FNX)

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