Saturday, August 30, 2003

Tehachapi... almost

8/30/03 - The club is having a campout at Tehachapi this weekend, but I can only drive up for the day. 2.5 hours, not too bad. The site is greener than I expected (I thought it would be desert) but at 4400' MSL it's a nice place. Long runways, though they slope. Nice little campground right there, 400' from the gliderport! Bigger office and operation than at home - even a little restaurant

When we went to unload the Blanik to assemble it, the tailwheel was missing! Fell off? Stolen? Whatever, the trainer is grounded! No local repair hangar has one. All the club members who brought their own ships have single-seaters, so I can't fly. Someone will bring a wheel up tonight, but I'll be gone by then. So... I just talked with the instructor, watched takeoffs and landings, discussed winds and slopes. I need to study airspace etc.

Took some pictures, looked at the TG-2 and Bowlus parked ouside the Vintage Sailplane Assn. meeting going on. Then 2.5 hours back home...

I hope to fly next weekend, because I've now missed 4! Need to get in on assembling the Blanik.

Sunday, August 24, 2003


8/24/03 - Hot & humid again, thunderstorms all around but not near the airport. Little CU consistently popping - M said the soaring was great.

But as we were getting ready to go, the t-storm 5-10 miles to the south started blowing up. M could see the dust rising and knew it would get windy, so we cancelled and pushed back. We thought that if we took off and didn't find lift, we couldn't get back down before the storm would finish pushing through. Sure enough, even before finishing tying down, it got really windy. We wouldn't have even had time to take off.

Before long, there was a 30-40 kt wind at 90 degrees to the runway. Two gliders already up had a hard time landing, so we ran out to help stabilize them once they were on the ground. Afterward, I talked with M and M, and their consensus was the student pilot should have chosen an upwind landing, across the airport, instead of going into a pattern and then having to deal with a 35 kt 90 degree crosswind landing. Let's see... normal 50 kt + 15 kt (half the wind) = 65 kt airspeed. Groundspeed would be 65 - 35 = 30 kt, for a nice gentle (but steep) landing. Lots of good learnings even though I never left the ground.

I picked up a book: "Weather Patterns and Phenomena: A Pilot's Guide".

Sunday, August 10, 2003


8/x/03 - I practiced emergency returns in Sailors of the Sky!

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Emergency decisions

8/3/03 - We were planning to do a 1000' pattern tow, but P pulled off at about 800'. I thought he was just entering the pattern early, not liking the position. Truth is, he was simulating a rather high rope break, and I was supposed to return for a downwind landing! I didn't get it, and entered the pattern low. I guess I really didn't think he'd pull an emergency this early, since my upwind landings aren't all that consistent. Surprise! So... now I'll be alert for any pull-offs before 800'.

I also had one takeoff go crooked. The first two landings had some problems, but the third was really very good.

Demonstrated and practiced forward slips - pretty cool. I went away that day mad at myself.

Total: 25 flights, about 8:40. P advises I should get my Student Pilot Certificate soon - maybe that means solo is approaching?