Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tehachapi Day 1

Several club members are at Tehachapi with the Grob 103 and PW5. I spent the morning and early afternoon doing maintenance on the Grob and figuring out the new Borgelt vario in it.

One club member brought a friend who wanted to go for a ride. We took off and let off in good lift. Although I caution newbies about thermal flight (see May 9), he wanted the whole experience, so I worked it for a while, gaining 900 feet pretty quickly. The view of the desert was spectacular! Although I kept to 30 degree banks, he did get queasy so I straightened out and cruised around over the mountains. We encountered two other gliders thermaling together but did not join them. I was able to fly through little bits of lift without circling, but eventually had to go out over the valley.

My passenger was feeling uncomfortable - said his hands were going to sleep - so I pulled the spoilers and brought us down. There was a bit of crosswind which made the last bit of final approach interesting, but it was not too bad. The runway was clear so we were able roll all the way to our tiedown area. Total flight time was 28 minutes.

Tomorrow is supposed to be even better conditions. If all goes well, I'm going to attempt a 5 hour flight in the PW5 to complete my Silver badge. My longest flight so far was about 2:50 I think. I won't go very far from the airport - probably just around and around the valley. The goal is to stay up, avoiding sink, not to do a cross-country flight over variable terrain I've already completed the distance and altitude requirements. I'll take along food, lots of water, oxygen, and the Volkslogger for proof. Music would be nice!

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