Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good March soaring

The weather services could not agree on the max forecast temp for Saturday at Lake Elsinore: 67, 76, or 86 depending on who you believed. The temperatures aloft and the forecast sounding looked good though, forecasting lift up to 10,000' MSL if the ground temp got into the 80's.

It was a busy day. I washed and preflighted one of the Blaniks. One of our instructors was conducting BFR's for two pilots, and I'm working toward my instructor rating, so I was asked to help conduct the ground part, which takes about an hour. Then we had our monthly club meeting. Then I flew with an instructor. Then I went over to Hemet-Ryan Airport where some of our club gear is stored to pick up some aircraft log books and other. All part of being in a club!

I need three flights with an instructor within 60 days of the practical test, so this was #1. Our club requires an annual checkride to fly club ships, so this flight served that purpose as well. We took off about 1:30, and I knew that some other ships had stayed up. I was planning to box the wake but the tow pilot headed straight for the hills - did not give me a long straight run. Next time I'll know to advise him when I need to box.

It was a nice clear day, with just a little high cirrus at times. We got into some good thermal lift of up to 600-800 feet per minute. The lift seemed to be in a rough line that followed the southeast side of the Santa Ana Mountains. We speculate that the thermal lift from the sunny southeast side and an onshore flow from the ocean converge at the edge of the hills. We could go back and forth over the edge of the hills, but if we strayed too far west we got out of it. We got as high as 6400' MSL, and the other Blanik got up to 7200' at the same time. Good stuff! I practiced incipient stalls and slow-flight shallow turns. We came back down after 48 minutes. We could have stayed up all day with that lift, but I had places to go and the instructor had other students.

I love it when the lift is working!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

SoaringNV Wave Camp

Passing on an announcement:
Tuesday, March 30, 2010, pilots from around the world are invited to converge on Minden, Nevada to learn more about this type of glider piloting through a series of lectures, hands-on learning experiences and social activities. Minden is a known hub for soaring enthusiasts, due to its prime geography and weather conditions for the sport. Wave Camp was a staple on the Minden event calendar for years. This is the second year of its revival. The Camp will be held from March 30 to April 3 at SoaringNV at the Minden Airport.

The lectures will be led by some of the most notable and knowledgeable people in the sport.

Fred LaSor – Top instructor and tow pilot
Gordon Boettger – Achieved the North American sailplane distance record in 2005
Rick Walters – Member of the 2009 US Soaring Team Committee
Dr. Morgan McCarroll – Known Reno, Nevada Anesthesiologist
Harlow Voorhees – FAA FAASTeam Program Manager
Mike Moore - Top instructor and tow pilot, exclusive to SoaringNV

Glider pilots, who are interested in learning more about flying in wave, can attend either part of the Wave Camp or all of it. The social aspects of the Camp allow pilots who are interested in wave to learn from those who have done it.

Information about Wave Camp and other SoaringNV programs are available at