Saturday, February 28, 2004

Booming lift

2/28/04 - Two awesome solo flights in N5 on a booming day after a storm. First flight, P says I touched a wing, and although I knew it dipped I didn't feel or hear anything.

The tow pilot ("Alaska John") took me right into lift under a cloud. Right away I was in 5 kts, and shortly into 8-9 kts. I went from 4500 to 5000 (just under cloud base) in no time. Lots of small, gray cu's to play around under! First flight, I never got below about 2000' AGL, so no problem staying aloft. I touched down after 1:02. Pretty good landing, smooth and in the box but wandered a bit and touched down a wing wheel while still moving pretty fast.

Second flight, lift not as strong, but still lots of 5 kt thermals. Some very strong, pushed me around quite a bit as I blundered into them - takes a little getting used to, getting reoriented. So much lift, I had to use slips to lose about 1000' to get back down. Next time I'll try spoilers to come down faster. Second flight: 1:15! Same issue on landing - wandered a bit, but better. Need to focus on rollout. Also: N5 definitely pulls to the right - takes a lot of left aileron just to stay level!