Sunday, March 20, 2005

Second passenger - great thermal flight

3-20-05 Long time no fly! Weather, camping, weather, SSA convention, etc. have really gotten in the way.

Today, the day after a minor storm, lots of little CU marking lift of up to about 350 fpm. Daughter N’s first flight. I let off at 5300’ MSL, or 3800’ AGL, just about cloudbase. She was OK on the tow and the first bit of flying around (lots of 400-500’ sink!), so when we hit some lift and she insisted she was fine, we worked it. One or two thermals got us back up to 5300’ so we could cruise around. Lots of fun.

My radio quit after just a few minutes. I had charged the NiMh battery the night before, so maybe I have a bad pack. Not much traffic to worry about, but we did get to see a couple other gliders in the area. Didn’t find any more significant lift, so we came back in, ending up with a 50 minute flight.

Landing critique: the wind sock seemed to indicate crosswind, but our thermal drifting indicated more of a headwind. On final, the headwind component really took over and I ended up landing steeper than I expected. Looking back, I should have tightened up the base leg a bit. With the field all covered with flowers, I couldn’t spot the lines so I ended up landing (quite nicely) in the rough and just stopping at the start of the box. Need to look at the paved runway for reference next time.