Saturday, July 19, 2003

First good soaring day!!

7/19/03 - Hot & humid, clouds blowing over from a hurricane that landed in Texas. I looked enviously at a little set of lennies west of Mt. S.

Pre-flight, P cleared up some info about use of flaps. Halfway out, you get mostly lift, so they're useful during thermaling. All the way out, they increase drag as well as lift, so that helps to reduce altitude during a high landing. The extra lift they generate lowers the stall speed.

1st flight (#19): 2000' to warm up a bit and then land. Landed short - I'm not spotting the landmarks of the field very well.

2nd flight: 1500' and started finding lift around the IP, so we worked it. This is the first soaring opportunity since I started - the weather's never been favorable before. But today, even at 10:30 a.m., the heat and instability is letting a big thermal start. Two or three times, we worked it from about 2600' MSL up to 3900-4200' MSL. Fun to get altitude for free!! We worked a 1500' tow into a 45 minute flight! Lots of work, trying to circle at a constant speed, watch the vario, and keep a lookout. The thermal was kind of turbulent, yawing and bumping. Maybe they're all that way...

3rd flight: 1000' pattern tow. I worked all checklists from memory. Speed got rather high, but rollout was pretty good. P says he's being tough on me but I'm doing well. His advice: when you spot something wrong, like speed, do something about it!

I'm now up to 21 flights, about 7:15 total.

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