Tuesday, July 06, 2010

INTERdependence Day

Monday's conditions were even better than Sunday's. Winds were predicted to be light, thermals of 600-700 fpm up to 13,000' MSL in the Tehachapi area and higher to the north, with some possibility of cumulus clouds. Since I dominated the PW5 yesterday, I was not planning to fly today, but other club members were planning some moderate cross-country flights.

One of the interesting things about soaring is that although most of one's flying is done solo or at most in pairs, it's still a group activity. A soaring club is a cooperative group that works together to help each other learn to fly, to fly for fun and experience, and to expand their knowledge and skill. Stephen Covey says "Interdependence is a higher value than independence," and a soaring club is a great example of how working together can lift everyone a little higher. Here are just a few of the ways we all helped each other and learned from each other throughout this weekend:
  • C and R showed P and M some of the local landout sites.
  • M helped L put the wings on his ship.
  • L and M repaired a broken battery wire while R prepared to fly.
  • R installed a connector on an oxygen mask hose while P and M waited in line to launch.
  • L filled the O2 tank while C prepared to fly.
  • R charged the batteries for both ships overnight.
  • P took M on his first high-altitude glider flight - also his first cross-country flight - also his longest flight - and boosted M's interest in soaring after some frustrating delays in training.
  • We all pushed and pulled the gliders from one end of the runway to the other when the wind shifted direction... twice...
  • R showed P how to use the new Borgelt B400 vario in the Grob 103.
  • C loaned his van to pilots' wives for activities in town.
  • R loaned his truck to L to haul equipment around.
  • J loaned his multimeter to L for some testing.
  • R showed C how to use the memory mode on the PW5 radio.
  • L loaned his tools for various repairs.
  • R loaned P his radio charger.
  • All members and their wives pitched in for some delicious dinners.
And so on and so on.

C got a 2.5 hour flight to over 14,000 feet. P and M got a 3-hour flight out over Kelso Valley and back. L went farther and faster but had to return due to an oxygen system failure. J and B and D and others had fun flights into the southern Sierras. A very successful weekend trip!

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