Sunday, June 11, 2006

Two so-so flights

The forecast was for 261 to 4650' if it heated up to the trigger temp of 81. Forecast highs ranged from 78 to 80. There was to be an inversion, but weaker than it usually is. See last week's blog... if the temp exceeds the trigger temp even a little, I'm hoping for some thermal activity. As I drove out, weather reports were showing about 81 to 82.

I got to the field later than I had planned, and took off about 2:15 in the PW-5. It was Sunday, and although I didn't expect many club members to be out, I thought some might be since the airport was closed for an air show on Saturday. Nope, no one else there. But the PW5 is light enough to push out by myself. Well, I did get another guy to help since the wind was a little gusty. He reported a little lift but not very long flights in their PW-6.

First flight I found a few bumps, no major sink. Some turbulence - I think the wind was knocking down the thermals. But there were some hints, and the day was so nice I couldn't just settle for a 19-minute sled ride.

So I went right up again. By now it's 3:22. Again I glided around without finding much. I tried over a burned area, thinking the black ground might be working - no luck. But just a few hundred feet from the pattern altitude, I found a weak thermal, averaging maybe 1.5 to 2 knots. It took a while but I got about 900' out of it (max altitude probably 3900'). Not quite as high as the NWS and I forecast, but it was better than nothing! I couldn't find any more, so I finished up with a 38-minute flight.

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