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Thread: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

  1. #1
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    Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    This past Thursday I looked ahead and it looks good for next week.
    Key (PS) and I are planning to fly on Thursday 3/24
    High is building, winds might not be too strong, flow from NW is bringing in cooler, dry air aloft.
    Should be mild instability over the Mendos. Plenty of sunshine.
    March Equinox in Sacramento, is tonight, Saturday, March 19 at 9:30 PM PDT
    Night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours.
    Thus, it it might be good from now on.
    Peter Kelly

  2. #2
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    Re: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    Now predawn on Tuesday, and I'm still planning to fly on Thursday, but...
    I'm looking at 3 day fcst charts, and +2 preliminary (night before) RASP and blipmaps.
    Haze above 20,000 filtering sun, unstable, but only up to 5,000. Wind is not unfavorable, probably blue thermals West of WSC, and cloud base only 5,000 over first ridge. I'll wait and see if Key thinks the trip up here from San Jose is worth two hours of easy thermal flying along the first ridge. Only a one hr drive for me.. Each way.

    Not booming xc conditions, but a good day for fun flying for currency.
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-22-2016 at 09:23 AM.
    Peter Kelly

  3. #3
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    Re: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    The day has arrived (waited over 6 days for today) and we have decided to fly, but it must be acknowledged that two days ago, Tuesday was the day to fly. I snapped a photo of the clouds as I looked to the NW in the direction of Bessa Towers from Vacaville...

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    Wednesday was also/ sort of/ ok, with not as much cu, and then a high deck of clouds came over in late afternoon and the sky went dead.

    Today looks ok.
    Plan is to :
    Launch about 1 PM, 2500 tow over near charters, Run down to rumsey, maybe bessa towers or casino, then up to walker via 20/16.

    This will only be Key's second flight in his new 27, so he declined my invitation to race. I already had a task laid out. Start at Rumsey, south to Casino, then NW to goat area, but probably finish at Walker.
    RASP sill supports most of that task, but the upper level atmosphere is doing us in. Jet stream is just north of us. high level moisture with it. Lower air s becoming more stable, but still OK for thermals up to 5 or 6,000 along the west side of the valley. Guess we'll evaluate again at noon. We should be at WSC just about then.


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    Looking at it today, I can see that third graphic (which I created yesterday morning, with the lift line drawn in fuzzy red) is more to the west on today's RASP, so we'll probably stay over the west side of Capay Vly, cross the Gold mines and then go towards Goat. We'll see.
    You may see a post flight report. I see Ginny and Pete-98 are on the schedule today also.
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-24-2016 at 09:44 AM.
    Peter Kelly

  4. #4
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    Re: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    Yup, Pete and Ginny were there, and Key as well. Russ was there to fly OJ and Karin (Power CFI from Wisconsin) was there for her Glider add on.

    Sky looked grim but at 1 PM we said it was time to go. Pete-98 organized the grid. Thank you Pete.
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    In spite of the awful sky, we launched.
    Ginny went first.
    Pete 98, Key-PS and the Me, Russ was last off, and Karin did some local flights.

    Pete is next - getting ready to go.

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    I get the camera on at 1,000 feet. Steely eyed selfie, taken by accident.

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    The Boss is towing me to Walker.
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    Key was there, waiting for me, marking a thermal, such as it was.


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    It's such a pleasure sharing thermals with Pilots like Key and Pete. No surprises, all is predictable, consummate professionals when it some to flying for sure.

    Ginny had left already and Key soon followed. It gets boring just circling in min sink over the top of Walker at 5,000 ft.

    Pete had gone to Tree farm ( had the record for the day for longest on tow) and later came over and joined me . I just wanted to be in the air, so I kept circling.

    I eventually headed south, hoping the "said convergence line" was working somewhat, and it was, but just barely.

    Here is my track.

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    Flight is posted on OLC.

    Continued below...
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-24-2016 at 09:55 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  5. #5
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    Re: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    I'm not sure if I can add too many more photos- it used to be five max per post. Larry fixed that problem years ago, but I forget what the solution was.

    OK, I'm back- sorry about that.
    Fixed a homemade pizza yada yada...

    So here I was after I turned Rumsey, heading for home with plenty of Altitude but heading for that brown patch to get a bit more altitude.
    At 3,000 ft 15 miles out - plenty of altitude

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    And here is why we fly. .... Sharing the thermal with a golden eagle.....
    How cool is that? As Ginny would say...


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    Bottom line - it was a good day.

    See the flight on OLC if you care about performance details.

    The lift was not there today. RASP has a hard time taking into account the high cirrus and the wet ground, but still - it was a great day. I flew.
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-24-2016 at 09:51 PM.
    Peter Kelly

  6. #6
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    Re: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    Key just sent me an email and said...

    Peter,
    We should have launched from Lagoon Valley. Cloud bases at 1700 hours were around 5000ft.
    Funny he says that.
    He flew his RANS back to San Jose and made that observation. Coincidentally I had thought the same thing, and decided to snap a photo of those clouds whie I was driving back to Vacaville at about 17:20, passing the winters area and noted the clouds myself.

    I snapped a couple of shots out the front window with my cell phone... sorry about the bugs on the windscreen....
    The good news is, I didn't drive off the road while snapping the photos.


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    Yeah.... I know - irresponsible....
    Peter Kelly

  7. #7
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    Re: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    So, we DID fly, and PK and 98 DID get extended flights - early spring soaring??? I would like a nice valley day with cloud base at 4-5000 with some solid lift.

    That said, it was good to get in the air. Thanks to everybody at WSC for getting us out to the hills for some airtime. You're the BEST!!!
    Ginny Farnsworth G3
    Past President
    Valley Soaring Association

  8. #8
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    Re: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    More bird photos in that last thermal.

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    Peter Kelly

  9. #9
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    Re: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    Nice pictures. The eagle must have been as desperate for lift as we were to stay in the thermal with you. Or maybe he just recognizes another eagle spirit.

  10. #10
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    Re: Fly - Thursday 3/24/2016

    Funny you should mention spirit.
    Every glider pilot launches with such a spirit.
    We are going to fly safely, and we are going to return to the field.
    How do we do that ? What speed do we fly? and at what times do we fly that speed and then change speeds? ..and what is our minimum altitude at certain distance from the field?
    So many questions. It's no wonder so few glider pilots continue on to cross country after they get their license. The subject area is complex.

    I have a question for Pete-98, Key, Ginny, and Russ, regarding flights on Thursday, 3/24/16.
    Did any one of you get outside of glide distance of WSC?
    I know I did not.
    Last edited by Peter Kelly; 03-27-2016 at 03:44 AM. Reason: simplify comments
    Peter Kelly

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