Saturday, August 19, 2006

Blown out, sort of

Today the forecast was for pretty good lift, and I was planning to fly the PW5. The club had some work to do, and a general meeting, and a lunch, and other stuff to do, so I wasn't ready to go until about 2:30. The wind picked up to a fairly constant 13 to 15 kts, more than the NWS or DUATS had predicted. I would be OK with the wind, but no one was staying up because the thermals were getting shredded and there was a fairly strong inversion. Instructor came back down and said that they had found no lift at all in two flights. So I decided not to spend $60 on a sled ride.

J and L took off in the Blanik just a few minutes before I would have, and they ended up getting at least an hour flight. It turns out that a shear line, which I had been seeing in the distance all early afternoon, worked its way into the valley and they were able to fly it over to the "S" ridge and back. I probably could have too... I've used convergence lift before and this one was quite visible (the Serengeti sunglasses help a lot). So by 3:30 I was kicking myself for not having gone up. I should have trusted my instincts and gone up even though the wind was blowing out the thermals - that shear line was really obvious.

I finally got my PDA / GPS system working again. It seems that one of the airspace files I use was corrupt or at least causing SeeYou to crash. I went back to a smaller airspace file and now it's working fine.

Next opportunity: club trip to Tehachapi over Labor Day weekend. We'll take a Blanik and the PW5.

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