Looking at the thermal index for Thursday, it beckoned lots of soaring with lift to 7000ft possible. As I left work and headed to the airport at noon, cumulus clouds building to the east seemed to confirm the forecast. However, approaching Blair airport, it was apparent the mid-level moisture was moving in with broken mid-level clouds. Oh well, nothing’s perfect. When I arrived at the airport, the Blanik was doing a series of pattern tows, Dan Peterson getting current with Steve Stevens towing. I extract my Russia, and Bob Dyer and Jerry Adams had their respect Russia’s out as well. After Dan finished his three pattern tows, Paul Jelinek took the L-23 up on a solo flight. Jerry Adams has been having trouble with the cruise mode on his flight computer, so asked me to fly his ship to compare his cruise mode with mine since we have the same system. I launched in Jerry’s ship and found strong thermals (the high clouds had parted enough to let the sun through). I also confirmed his problem with the cruise mode. While I was up, Bob Dyer launched in his Russia and Pat Greenwood and Whitt Bonifant launched in the L-23. After I landed, Jerry got into his ship and launched. Mac McKain and Jaime launched next in the L-23, and then I launched in my Russia. While I was up, Dan Peterson and Steve Stevens took the L-23 up. Lift was still good but the mid-level clouds were blocking more of the sun and this led reduced thermals and me and Jerry landing about the same time. I landed on 13R so I was out of the way when the L-23 landed about a minute later. The mid-level clouds thinned out somewhat and started to take on a wave appearance. Mike Boska launched in the L-23 followed by Bob Dyer and me in our respective Russia’s. Lift was picking up with climbs over 5000ft MSL. I flew years ago in a wave lift over Blair and this was starting to look like it would support that again. Bob, Mike, and I all soared together for a while before Mike had to return the L-23 for Dan Peterson and a friend to take it up on the hanger flight. Bob and I continued exploring the clouds. I eventually was able to climb to 6300ft near cloud base (there were some wispy CU underneath the wave clouds). The hope was to climb to near cloud base and then move to the upwind side of the wave cloud and see if weak lift would be encountered. Along the leading edge, the sink rate was near 0 at times but not enough to climb above the leading edge of the clouds ( something I had done years ago). It was sure fun to exploring these cloud to determine the best locations for lift. I headed down after a two hour flight. Bob and landed before me after a one hour and 30 minute flight. Jaime and Bob had stuck around after everything else was put away and Bob helped me get my ship into the hanger. I left the airport at 6pm.
So the day turned out quite good despite the clouds with 15 flights.