Saturday, November 04, 2006

A short flight

The weather was sunny and warm with a few high cirrus. The forecast high for Hemet was 76F, and because the forecast soundings were pretty warm that would have meant poor or no lift. Fortunately it was much warmer, about 87F by about 1:30. There were enough thermals for a few folks to get 1 to 1.5 hour flights. I got 39 minutes. Although I found a couple of thermals, they only averaged about 1.5 kt and I could not get above 3500' AGL.

I shared a thermal with one of the commercial Schweitzer 2-33's. Neither of us went up very much. They ended up returning right at the same time I did - I adjusted my pattern a bit to avoid them. Wouldn't you know, I found weak lift on downwind. They were way low and I was way high!

I'm still having an issue with landings. I think I've figured out part of it. I think I'm coming down a little too steeply and rounding out too early, which puts me too far from the landing area. Then I end up closing spoilers a bit - I know not to stretch the glide with elevator! But I do end up slow at just about 1 foot off the ground, and setting down hard as it stalls out. I think I need to pull my base leg closer to the runway so I can keep the spoilers and glide slope about the same, and round out later.

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