Sunday, November 27, 2011
In support of our negotiations with the County of Riverside regarding soaring at Hemet-Ryan Airport, I have conducted a study of the number of sailplanes based there from 1996 through 2009. The source of data for the study was historical images from Google Earth: I counted the gliders, hangars, and trailers in each image and did some analysis and graphs. The study is available here.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
There were lenticular clouds to the north, but way too far away to be useful... that's common at Crystal.
I took the rear seat, and G as PIC took the front. He said he had not had much experience with wave or ridge soaring, so he thought maybe I'd do much of the flying and he'd to the takeoff and landing. Fine with me. I took myPDA/GPS device hoping to get a trace of our flight. As we were pushing out to the runway, a cigar-shaped lenticular cloud formed right between us and the mountain, so smooth wave was happening. But by the time we took off, it was gone.
Another pilot reported that the rumored ridge lift on Mt. Lewis was not working, and the spillover clouds were really getting thick, so we let off at 8500' kind of in front of the mountain and went looking for ridge lift in various places. G didn't find anything so after a while he turned it over to me. I had seen some raggedy little clouds in a rough SW-NE line that I thought might be weak rotor clouds, but there was no real lift next to them.
Didn't find much after that, and eventually got low enough over the ridges that I decided to head toward a weak little lenticular could that was perched over the airport. I found neither good lift nor good sink on the way, and by the time we got there the lennie had disappeared. I gave the plane back to G and he went in search of thermal lift on the way back to the landing pattern. There may have been a little, but it was pretty weak and not working.
We had seen a glider above us and later below us when we were working the one area of mysterious lift. Back on the ground, instructor D asked, if that was us he saw, and commented that the shear line had been good but had disappeared as we worked it. Then the light went on! The wind from the south over the mountain, and the wind from the west, were colliding and going up. It wasn't ridge, or wave, or "bow wave", or thermal - it was convergence! I'm gonna need a checklist just for all the different kinds of lift we find in the chaotic environment over the mountains!