Hi All,

After a day of booming thermals on Tuesday and a day of good thermals on Wednesday, we literally ‘returned to earth’ today. Most of today’s flights ‘returned to earth’ in less than 30 minutes, because there was very little lift. There were gusty winds from the northwest, bringing a lot of smoke and haze from the on-going Canadian wildfires. The combination of wind and smoky haze prevented solid thermals from forming, so shorter duration flights were the order of the day.

Despite the weak thermals, we flew a total of twenty-two sorties today. We had ten CAP Cadet sorties scheduled this morning. However, an un-forecast thunderstorm forced us to delay the start of flight operations, canceling the first four CAP flights. The club flew sixteen sorties in the afternoon. First up was Steve R. giving a ride to Steve M. with the CAP. Matt R. then gave three rides, followed by Lexy for a solo flight. Jim D. flew a solo flight, and then Steve then flew a FAST Kit flight for Beth C., followed by a paid ride for a friend of Jim Cu. We launched Jeff in his 1-26 glider, and then Liam G. took the Grob up for his first Grob flight. Liam flew a second Grob flight later. Matt and Jaime A. did a flight together, which included an attempted spot landing. They landed with a quartering tailwind and overshot their stopping point; the L-23 is a lot of glider to stop in 500′ with a tailwind. I flew one flight, taking my nephew’s son for a ride. Steve jumped back into the L-23 for Teodoro’s second FAST Kit flight. Jeff tried another flight in his 1-26, but the lift he found was very near the Class C airspace, and he landed after a short flight. Matt flew the hangar flight, giving another ride. Both Frank M. and Dave O. did the towing.

A frequent topic of conversation over the past couple of years, where we’ve flown many more sorties than in prior years, has been the pace of flights and how long some members and visitors have sat while waiting for a flight. In an attempt to make our flights operations more efficient without compromising safety, some simple improvements could be seen today. First, the spare white rope was staged along the west side of the runway. If the main rope had had an issue (a knot or fraying at either end of the rope), we could quickly switch to the spare rope until the primary rope was repaired. Second, the seat cushions that are added and removed for weight or height adjustments were staged near the L-23, vs. running to and from the operations trailer as they’re needed. Third, once a flight took off, the next glider was immediately moved into position with the correct rope at hand, if needed. Finally, when landing on runway 31, gliders made sure to move to the left before stopping, leaving the runway clear for the Pawnee to land or take-off with the next sortie. Gliders were recovered between sorties. I think these small changes did make a positive difference today.

Despite the wind and haze, it was still a nice day to be outside. Clouds and rain are forecast for the next ten days, and we probably won’t be flying. We’ll be back when the weather improves.

Thanks all for a great day.

Liam G prepares for his first Grob-102 flight.