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Thread: WSC Database Revision for 2016

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    169

    WSC Database Revision for 2016

    The Williams database has been tended to by a number of volunteers over the years. It is not broken and remains a useful tool for most cross-country pilots in the area. However, as has been pointed out, it is somewhat in need of updating. I am opening this thread to collect comments and input for approximately the next two weeks. I’m looking for specific input such as “I landed at XYZ last season and it was rough and narrow”, “I don’t think ABC should be classified as ‘E2’ because……” or perhaps, “I flew over that strip at DEF last month and it looked great.” Please feel free to contact me by private message if there is something that you would rather not post here. However, generic suggestions for large wholesale change will be dutifully read and probably not acted upon. I don’t foresee large scale additions or deletions. The database is about the right size with around 120 data points. In the last 4 or 5 years the only brand new addition has been Montgomery. However, if you have found a new strip that needs to be included, please say so. We will probably NOT include any new farmer’s cultivated fields that may or may not be landable. Farm fields change so rapidly, that information about them is more apt to be misleading than anything else. Do your own research about places you may want to add to your personal copy of your database. Review it often. Keep it current. It is worth the effort.

    I don’t expect there will be a lot of change. Comments need to be updated but they will be out of date as soon as they are. There are a number of formatting changes that need to be made. For example, some of the names were quite abbreviated because they were created in the 1990s when GPS units were in their infancy and could only deal with a limited number of characters.

    Somewhere around February 19, I will declare an end to input. At that time I’ll review input, attempt to reconcile it with my own editorial thoughts and prepare a draft revision for review by WSC management. Following WSC review, I’ll submit the approved draft to the World Wide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange for translation into the various formats that different navigation computers use. My experience with the WWSTPX is that it always takes a few trips back and forth to get things just right. So I guess we are looking at a publication date in late March. At the time the revision is published, I will attempt to post on the forum a recap of the changes and how ‘we’ (myself, gentle pilots who were so kind as to provide input and WSC management) arrived at the different classification of datapoints (“A”, “L”, “T” – ‘A2’, ‘E3’, ‘U8’ etc.). Once this housecleaning has been completed, I envision it will be repeated on an annual basis and should be less labor intensive.

    Although this amounts to a reasonable amount of effort, don’t expect it to solve all your problems. Over reliance on data that somebody else has prepared for you is one path to an unfortunate outcome.
    Jim D. - 1B

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    WSC, San Anselmo
    Posts
    446

    Re: WSC Database Revision for 2016

    Jim,

    Thanks, on behalf of the VSA community, for clarifying the process, and for your effort and expertise. It is appreciated, and having the database allows for planning and executing safe flights.
    Ginny Farnsworth G3
    Past President
    Valley Soaring Association

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    224

    Re: WSC Database Revision for 2016

    Crazy Creek.

    The lengths shown on the attached image showing Crazy Creek were measured using the tools available in Google Earth. The graphics were added using MS Power Point.

    I spent the 2014 season here as a student pilot and used the grass strip NW of the asphalt runway and the landable dirt road and the asphalt runway on a regular basis. I never used the SE grass overrun due to the covered culvert I understand from Jim Indrebo is somewhat rough but not dangerous and if used for landing would put you far from the staging area. The asphalt runway is only 20 feet wide but has relatively smooth grass/dirt on either side so the width never seemed to be a problem. When wind is not a factor most T.O.s are done to the SE and most landings are to the NW on the asphalt runway with touch down just beyond the culvert. The staging area and tie downs are pretty rough and muddy in the rainy season. We are all spoiled with the wonderful staging at WSC.

    IMHO Crazy Creek is a very safe airport for gliders because of the many safe options for landing and TO. The staging area is in the middle of the field so you can always T.O. and land into the wind on a regular basis. IMHO the database for Crazy Creek should be changed to show a good a place to land and you can probably get a tow from the FBO. In fact I think this would be an excellent destination for a cross country flight!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Russ Pillard; 02-06-2016 at 02:40 PM. Reason: T.O. direction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    171

    Re: WSC Database Revision for 2016

    Russ,
    I had planned to comment on Crazy Creek, but you did a much better job than what I planned. Crazy Creek also has a tow plane, so if you land there they can tow you back to WSC. I have used that a couple times in the last few years. Careful about the grass areas when it has been raining. Like most areas - the fields are muddy during the rainy season. Crazy Creek is as good as Williams for landing. It deserves an R rating, not an E.
    ~ Larry Roberts

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    171

    Re: WSC Database Revision for 2016

    Additional comments on Waypoints:
    ElkC1-E5 --- ElkCreek-1 - I have landed here and been towed out by Mark in a WSC tow plane. It is wide and long enough for any size sailplane. The ground is level, firm and weeds were short the few times I was there, with some dried cow dung in a few places. I have never seen cows there, but the dried droppings suggest otherwise. I think it is better than Diamond M, (no fences along the runway) and close to the road for a ground retrieve.
    This photo is looking East at the approach side, I am positioned for takeoff. The tree on the left in the distance is approximately 40 ft. high.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In the photo below you can see my wheel track as I pushed back to position for the tow. The gate is to the left of the metal shed on the West end of the field.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    --More Comments--

    PVrwy -U9 -- I have landed here twice. Once in my ASW24, and again in my ASG29. It is a paved runway, but very tight in an 18 Meter ship. I was towed out both times, self launching. With good skills it can be done in an 18 meter, but there are pipes and poles that require keeping a good position and line. No room for error. A 15 meter ship fits better. It is a safe landout, but the obstacles need to be considered.

    I think all landable sites should be marked as such in the Waypoints list, with the E # set with comments to allow pilots to choose. I really wonder how many pilots know how to update their waypoints. It would be a great topic for a VSA winter seminar.


    Jim, thanks for taking this on. I really appreciate it. Longer names would be great, so they match what we call the waypoint when we mention it on the radio.
    ~ Larry Roberts

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Schleicher ASW-24
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    2,134

    Re: WSC Database Revision for 2016

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Roberts View Post
    Additional comments on Waypoints:
    del, del, ....
    --More Comments--

    PVrwy -U9 -- I have landed here twice. Once in my ASW24, and again in my ASG29. It is a paved runway, but very tight in an 18 Meter ship. I was towed out both times, self launching. With good skills it can be done in an 18 meter, but there are pipes and poles that require keeping a good position and line. No room for error. A 15 meter ship fits better. It is a safe landout, but the obstacles need to be considered.
    del del....
    I too thank you Jim for taking this on.

    Consider Pope Valley dirt field as well as the PV Runway. However I have no info about the current condition of either place. This background my be helpful.

    My comments about Pope Valley Runway.
    The only time I used the runway was in my two place Lark sometime about 1989 pre-GPS days, and pre-digital cameras, so not photos to share. None of the orchards had yet been planted.

    After I had my first Williams database published on the web on the WSTE (turnpoint exchange), I saw the need to create a separate one for Crazy Creek and I then proceeded to publish that one. At that time, Jim Endrebo said the dirt field, about 2 miles to the north of the runway was a much better choice for a safe landing, due new plantings making the runway area quite narrow at the airport. Thus I designated the runway (PVrwy) as U9 and then designated the dirt field (PVdrt) as E9. More research is obviously required.
    Peter Kelly

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