Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Saturday, September 27, 2014

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    220

    Saturday, September 27, 2014

    For those of you who couldn't make it out today, you missed a great spring-like post-frontal day at Williams! How great was it? It was so great that I came close to my first landout on a solo flight at Williams! (Kenny and I landed out twice. Once at Cooks, and once in the Pope Valley on a flight that originated at Crazy Creek.)

    Luke (SD), Matt (NT), and Tom and Drew (MG), on the other hand, had wonderful flights! Maybe they'll tell us about them. I'll post some pictures and tell you more about my flight tomorrow. But now I need to sleep!

    My flight is posted to OLC here:
    http://www.onlinecontest.org/olc-2.0...Id=-1161338326

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Schleicher ASW-24
    Posts
    2,148

    Re: Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Nice flight Pat.
    With that, your OLC score for the new season places you as # 11 in all of Region 11. Thanks for posting.

    During your flight, I was home and could see the cu over the Vaca ridge had very strong soaring shapes to them... flat bottom, bases above 6,000 ft, long and full bodied but not more than 4 ,000 ft tall.

    Looks like you had much better clouds than I had the day before.
    Peter Kelly

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    220

    Re: Saturday, September 27, 2014

    First my story and then the pics. Based on the forecast for the mountains (Hcrit-9k, Cu Base-9k), I had set a northern most latitude for myself of Black Butte (If I could even get that far). From there I planned to run south down to Mysterious Valley and possibly Berryessa Towers given the late afternoon Cu predictions (Cu Base-8k in the vicinity at 4pm).

    I launched at 1:13pm and towed out to Tree Farm. The line of clouds was a little to the west of the Goat ridge line, so I had to search a bit to find lift on the east side to get up to the clouds. I connected to the clouds near Goat South Pass and started running north at about 8,200'. It was intimidating looking north and seeing the thin gap between the cloud bases and the mountain tops and thus I picked a line more to the east where there was more of a gap but still had great looking clouds. I stopped and climbed to near cloudbase at the east side of Snow, southwest side of St John's, just east of Sheet Iron, right over Alder Springs, and a little west of M6. There were so many clouds that I was even tempted to keep going to Eagle Peak, but I reminded myself of my limit. I had done it! I had gone a little farther north of my goal and it was a great confidence booster. Maybe too much of a confidence booster!

    I went a little toward Anthony under a dark cloud base before retreating to start my southbound leg. Then I made a decision that I soon regretted. I decided to try to get back to the Snow/Goat vicinity without stopping to thermal. In hindsight that was a bad decision given a) my experience level, b) the lift was capped out at ~9k, and c) I was already at the eastern edge of the lift with no reserve on my bailout side. So off I went on my merry, blissful way only slowing down in the great lift that had served me well thus far. I kept sliding east as I was getting lower and it didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't such a good idea!

    I was still 4nm north of St John's as I was descending lower than its peak. After searching for lift unsuccessfully at St. John's, I quickly came to terms with the fact that I might have to landout at Stonyford or Indian Ranch and spent the next 45 minutes in survival mode. I was envisioning one of those pictures I've seen so many times. The glider in the field and a gorgeous cumulus-filled sky!

    I called Williams and let them know I might be landing at Indian Ranch as I continued to search for that elusive thermal that would pull my bacon out of the fire. Charlie was with a student and south of me when he radioed to let me know his position and the lift he was in. I could see the cloud he was under, but I was reluctant to leave the sure thing of Indian Ranch and go there. Once I got back up to 5,000' I made my way down to Charlie's thermal north of Walker Ridge and climbed to 7,200'. Thanks, Charlie!

    I briefly considered just calling it a day at that point and heading back to Williams. But the day was just too inviting to head back just yet. I ended up going down near Rumsey Gap before heading back.

    A few months ago I re-read "Landing Out - The Final Four Minutes" by Don Ingraham (part of Bob Wander's Gliding Mentor series). I first read it years ago. He opens with a great parable about capturing monkeys who are reluctant let go of the food in their fists in order to save their lives and draws a comparison to glider pilots who are reluctant to accept landing out. I think I will spend this afternoon reading it again in light of my experience yesterday.

    Pat

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    220

    Re: Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Here are the pictures from yesterday.

    On tow (picture is not in focus but I'm including it to show you how great it was looking on the way out).
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 02a.JPG 
Views:	192 
Size:	215.5 KB 
ID:	1971

    Heading north to Snow.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 06a.JPG 
Views:	210 
Size:	194.9 KB 
ID:	1972

    Looking west at Black Butte while headed north.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 10a.JPG 
Views:	220 
Size:	238.8 KB 
ID:	1973

    On the brief run towards Anthony Peak.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 14a.JPG 
Views:	194 
Size:	195.9 KB 
ID:	1974

    Looking southwest from the same point after turning around. Snow and St. John's are on the left in the distance.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 15a.JPG 
Views:	205 
Size:	200.1 KB 
ID:	1975

    The activity in the clouds in front of me was amazing!
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 16a.JPG 
Views:	193 
Size:	196.7 KB 
ID:	1976

    Looking south along the line I am about to head back on.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 17a.JPG 
Views:	195 
Size:	212.0 KB 
ID:	1977

    Looking east to the development on the Sierras.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 20a.JPG 
Views:	258 
Size:	281.3 KB 
ID:	1978

    After the save. The flight is back on and I'm heading south towards Rumsey Gap.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 21a.JPG 
Views:	203 
Size:	228.0 KB 
ID:	1966

    Pat
    Last edited by Pat Alford; 10-01-2014 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Trying get photo thumbnails to show in post

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    652

    Re: Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Pat, nice flight and nice write up.
    While I can certainly share the frustration of landing out in a great day, and the anxiety of landing out, I want to remind that landing out comes with the territory of cross country. I think I heard Sergio once said that if you don't land out 10% of the time you are not trying hard enough, to which I agree. I land out around 10% of the time, maybe more. While not everyone is as aggressive as Sergio and myself, I think at least one landout per year should be expected. Less than that means you are too conservative ;-)
    A disclaimer: I was given a similar advice when I started skiing. I was told if I don't fall at all that means I am too conservative, so I promptly fell and broke my leg...

    Ramy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    237

    Re: Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0152.jpg 
Views:	243 
Size:	74.6 KB 
ID:	1954

    Saturday was gr8! Although I was somewhat busy trying to keep the glider in the air, I managed to snap a pic of a cloud south of Yolla. There were some great step-clouds throughout the day.

    Ramy how was the retrieve? I heard you got a taxi from Mines road.


    Luke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    652

    Re: Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Yes, landed in a field by the road couple of miles short of the strip (was too low 400 agl to safely glide over trees the last 2 miles). Got a ride to the bar 4 miles away, had couple of beers and dinner while waiting for a cab from Livermore. Only $130 for the 1.5 hour taxi ride back to Byron. Not too bad. So my list of retrieve methods so far:
    Aerotow
    crew
    airline
    hitchike
    Taxi
    All is left is bus (yuck) and train...

    The hardest part was negotiating with the governmenet agency who owns the land to let me enter the property and retrieve my glider the next morning. Had to use all the tricks in my bag:
    1 - Can not wait till someone may show up there on Monday - Thunderstorms and wildlife will destroy the glider
    2 - I am fully responsible and carry liability insurance which will cover any damage I may cause (which could only be damage to gopher holes)

    Ramy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Fremont, CA
    Posts
    220

    Re: Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Quote Originally Posted by RamyYanetz View Post
    Pat, nice flight and nice write up.
    While I can certainly share the frustration of landing out in a great day, and the anxiety of landing out, I want to remind that landing out comes with the territory of cross country. I think I heard Sergio once said that if you don't land out 10% of the time you are not trying hard enough, to which I agree. I land out around 10% of the time, maybe more. While not everyone is as aggressive as Sergio and myself, I think at least one landout per year should be expected. Less than that means you are too conservative ;-)
    A disclaimer: I was given a similar advice when I started skiing. I was told if I don't fall at all that means I am too conservative, so I promptly fell and broke my leg...

    Ramy
    Ramy,

    Thanks! And thanks for the reminder about landouts. But I'll happily keep my flying on the conservative side for now if it will increase my chances of not landing out. I'm sure Rex and Noelle would appreciate that! That doesn't mean I won't still make silly mistakes....

    BTW, when someone told me that same thing about skiing, I promptly fell and dislocated/broke my thumb!

    P.S. The end of day clouds on Saturday were beautiful. Here's one of a flying turtle. You can also see Ginny's hand describing it!
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Soaring 14-9-27 26a.JPG 
Views:	202 
Size:	272.1 KB 
ID:	1979

    Pat

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    652

    Re: Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Good point about rental gliders. My comment was targeted more towards private owners who can afford having their glider down for repairs every now and then...
    No doubt there is higher chance to damage your glider in a landout, especially on questionable strips like Indian Valley. My only landing damage happened when trying to land in Indian Valley more than 10 years ago. I came in so low I couldnt find it and put it down in a field 1 mile away and collapsed my gear.
    So yeah, conservative is good for now, at least until you get your own glider. Speaking of which, there is an ASW27 for sale on W&W for under 70K...

    Ramy

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 10-06-2015, 10:05 AM
  2. Saturday, November 22, 2014 - A Day of Firsts
    By Pat Alford in forum News & Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-25-2014, 01:40 AM
  3. Saturday, October 25, 2014
    By Pat Alford in forum News & Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-27-2014, 04:46 PM
  4. VSA Race Day - Saturday, September 13?
    By Pat Alford in forum News & Discussion
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 09-15-2014, 09:28 PM
  5. Monday, September 8, 2014
    By Pat Alford in forum News & Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-10-2014, 12:43 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •