Posted on this page by P Kelly, Jan 2012.
Here is a reprint of the very last volume of the “Soaring Diary” as it was published in 2003.
The Current Soaring Diary
This Soaring Diary begins in January 2003
and ends in late 2003.
Editor and Publisher – Peter Kelly.
Soaring Diary was started in the mid-1990’s.
All info presented here may be reprinted/ used, as long as proper acknowledgment is given.
Reports are provided by soaring enthusiasts and posted in reverse chronological order.
Reverse Chronological Order.
Begin entry for Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Soaring weather today looks poor.
I revised the NOTAM page about the latest fire. See “Williams Today” page
I revised some of the text on the previous entry (Sept 29th), and added “Reminders”.
Begin entry for Monday, September 29, 2003
Good weekend of flying. I wrote about my plans on the “William’s Today” page.
Flight Report, by Peter Kelly, for Sunday, Sept 28 – William’s…..
It didn’t look like a soaring day, but the BLIP said it would be good.
Jim was there first as usual, I arrived 20 minutes later, put two gallons (see footnote 1.) of gas on board, just in case, moved the mixture back to sea level setting (last flight was at Montague), and configured in 15 meter, as I do when flying with my buddies on their tiny ASW-20’s (gliders with 15 meters are called kiddie gliders by JJ). Key arrived in his C-182.
Footnote 1. It holds 5 gallons, but I don’t like to have the gasoline get stale over the winter. I wasn’t planning to use any more fuel this year – other than maybe get me home after some short flight. I normally take aerotows out of Williams, rather than self launch.
I offered to launch first, with Jim and Key to double tow (two ropes behind the Pawnee) as soon as soon as Kerri returned in the tow plane from dropping me near the tree farm.
I was off tow at 5,000 at 90 kts, good lift at the tree farm, but nothing over 5,300 ft. nothing over Letz Lake or the ridge above it. Jim and Key are in the air. I offer to check out St Johns, for their tow release location – all the best lift was forecast to be north of Goat. I wandered around at 4,000 at St Johns, couldn’t climb in lift, fired up the engine, but the mixture was too rich, couldn’t advance the throttle or it would bog down.
Key and Jim off tow at 6,000 over St Johns, they get above 7,000 head north, but quickly return. I circle St Johns – no lift. Back to the south foot at 4,000.
There was a big forest fire just west of Alder Springs. Smoke going up to 15,000 ft. It was blowing off to the east. Wind had to be from the west up there. Things looked promising – if we could only get started. We needed the wind down lower to switch around to the west – it was still southeast at 10 -12 knots.
Key and Jim decided to head to the Tree Farm and Goat. I decided to head to the south side of Snow – got over there, used partial power to get up to 6,000 and still couldn’t find any thermals. I decided to join the other two at the Tree Farm. Enroute – about a half a mile north along the ridge, north of Letz Lake, I hit some lift. It was steady and strong – got up to 10,000. Off I went to the north. Jim and Key used it and followed me northward.
Now we had to deal with the fire.
I then found a thermal 10 miles north of St Johns, which is about 8 miles south of Alder Springs. Noelle and Barbara were checking on restrictions for the fire bombers. I used the frequency published for the last notam, but no contact.
Barb finally came back with the restriction info. She reported that the restriction required a five mile circle, and to stay above 9,000 ft. We had been doing that, watching the tankers (DC-7, P-3 and another one or two fire bombers) the helicopter(s), the C&C bird (spotter pilot) – looked like a C-310. I carry a secondary portable radio and was monitoring the emergency frequency of 121.5 while we observed the action, while trying to climb higher. The fire was wild. It would erupt some fast sometimes. So fast, that it sometimes looked like a secondary explosion (like I used to see when directing air strikes in Vietnam). We could now see nice cu clouds formed on the top of Yolla Peak, some 30 miles to the north. The lift was good to the north! If we could just get past the fire!
We caught some lift to over 10k. Then we practiced unusual attitude recovery as we groped around in the cockpit for our oxygen connections. We got our oxygen systems turned on and working properly.
We finally got over 11,000. I then cruised past the fire stayed on the east side of the tower of smoke. I failed to realize the smoke was no longer blowing off to the east. (I had tunnel vision/ tunnel thinking on my objective of proceeding north). Now the smoke was going northeast towards Redding. I wasn’t putting 2 and 2 together. Jim was climbing really good. He got up to 13,000 in a seven knot thermal. He was coming northward. I figured maybe I could go west, get on the sunny side of the smoke, and climb up to 13000 – I was still imagining the cu was on Yolla Peak – but I couldn’t see north through the smoke.
There was no lift under the smoke – the smoke was blocking the sun! The shadow now covered most of the mountains. On the east side of the smoke the sun was hitting the ground at elevations below 5,000 feet. Not high enough into the moutains to give me any lift!
The rest of the report is easier to view, rather than read. Look at a graphic rather than read a narrative. I already spent too many hours on this essay.
Here’s my flight trace – as recorded by my GPS navigation system. Click to enlarge. It shows all the places I used my engine at partial power (200 fpm climb capability). The green line is my ground track when I was in free flight- the line changes from green to red when the engine is running.
The RED F (F) on the graphic (left side, below center) is the location of the fire.
I always had a place to land in case I got really low. Stonyford down south. Rancho Tehama Airport up north, then Diamond M, then Willows.
During my glide home, Jim had reported the wind from the south – a headwind, picked up below 2,000 feet near William’s. There had been a lot of discussion by Key and Jim about the winds. I was 600 feet below glide for WSC, all the way from Elk Creek/ Diamond M area. ( I always plan on a glide to an airport, so that I have 1,000 feet above the runway when I arrive). Cooks was reported to be OK, but I was 200 below glide for there (800 ft above the runway), and the head winds hadn’t yet increased, and I was expecting them to. I had shut down the engine due to no more fuel – I was out of options. Near Maxwell, I decided to go to Willows and refuel and adjust the dam mixture. It was actually further to Willows, than to Williams or Cooks, but I would have a tailwind going north. I didn’t want to temp fate with a possible low straight in approach either Cooks or William’s. I didn’t want to land this bird on a farmers field.
I made it to Willows OK. I was on the ground there a total of 22 minutes. That was one minute longer than my ground time down near Bakersfield, when I had to refuel before trying to cross the Sierras this past summer – but that’s another story.
Here is the altitude trace of my flight. Same ground track as the previous graphic, but now the color of the line depicts my altitude (above sea level) at any given moment – see the color scale on the right side of the graphic.
The white smoke (my crude illustration) is how it was when we were south of the fire. The long pink orange trail of smoke – going up towards Redding is how I discovered that it really was, AFTER I got north of the fire.
It was more adventure than I really wanted to have.
When I am not proficient, i.e., I haven’t flown in over two weeks, then I should fly more conservatively. Will I ever learn? I hope so.
Oktoberfest is fast approaching at William’s – the last fun event of the year.
The Stock Market is dropping this week.
Brain, Phil and I are working on the new VSA web page.
Life is short. There are only a few soaring days left before next spring. Enjoy every day. Enjoy every moment – even if you aren’t flying gliders. You are what you eat. Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. Vote! …. unless you don’t have an opinion about Governor Davis, or unless you don’t object to Arnold being the next Governor of California. You WILL become more like the people you choose to hang with. Don’t end a sentence with a preposition.
Begin entry for Thursday, September 25, 2003
As usual, now that the season is ending, there is more time to make entries on the Soaring Diary, since there are fewer people flying gliders each day , including me.
We received a report on flying over at Crazy Creek… Thanks for the report Chuck. Glad to hear that someone is doing some flying.
From: “Charles Griffin”
Subject: ccs flight report 9/10
Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:32 PM
I was the only PO flying today although there were quite a few tows out of CCS for rides and
some instruction. Wind was light and variable all day on the ground and temps in the low
90’s. I towed at about 1 pm and the hills at the end of the runway were working well so I got
off low. There was plentiful lift that appeared to be wave influenced thermals that topped at 6k.
Due to significant sink I did not feel xc was in the cards. Flight time just over 3 hours. I monitored .5 but did not hear anyone in the mountains.
Ed notes: PO is private owners, CCS is Crazy Creek Soaring, xc is cross-country flying, .5 is frequency 123.5
JJ wrote a story about “The Sweet Spot”. He assured me in the subject line that it was about flying and it wasn’t porno, so I opened the email. Here is that story….
Subject: The Sweet Spot (It’s about flying, not porno)
Date: Saturday, September 20, 2003 5:47 AM
Date: Sunday, September 14, 2003 6:20 AM
I had heard about it for years, but never found it until day 3 in this years
Montague Regionals. My son John and I were flying our ASH-25, the task that
day was a Modified Assigned Task, with only one turn point of Callahan. We got
the assigned turn and then worked our way up China Mountain. With 12 thousand
feet in hand, we crossed the valley in front of Mt. Shasta and worked the
western edge of what looked like a large overdeveloped area in Butte Valley. We got
back up to about 11 thousand and then started heading for the Medicine Lake
turn point. About 15 miles ahead a rain curtain blocked our path. We then
decided to go around the rain and get Dry Lake turn point. Just about then we saw
lightning in our intended path, about 10 miles ahead. I told John “This is a
thunderstorm, forget about Dry Lake and get us out of here.” We were under a
shelf that was about 5 miles wide and maybe 20 miles long. The varios were all
pegged up with the audio just screaming. Suddenly it came to me, we were smack
dab in the middle of the SWEET SPOT. I believe there were two thunderstorms in
a row on an east-west line. They were moving slowly to the North and we were
under the shelf, on their north side.
Thunderstorms suck up air, on their up wind side and dump it out behind. I’m
told the 5 O’clock position is the worst place to be. One may find down
bursts, rain, hall and a whole bunch of sink, there. But, we were on the up wind
side and decided to make the best of our good fortune. Altimeters was winding up
and I told John to shove it over to 120 knots. Varios were still all pegged up
and audio blaring. Altitude was now close to 16 thousand. I started to worry
about getting sucked into the clouds. I figured we were OK though because at
120 knots, the altimeter stopped going up even though everything was still
pegged full up.
We ran that sweet spot to within 5 miles of Tulelake, then held 100 knots in
and out of the turn. Arriving back under our shelf, we played the speed, in
order to arrive at the western edge of the shelf, at cloud base which still
looked to be about 16 thousand. Another exhilarating ride for 20 miles in the
sweet spot and we arrived at the western edge of the thunderstorm, at cloud base
and doing 120 knots. The only question remaining was, where do we go with this
altitude? I dialed in Duzel Rock turn point and the computer said we had more
than enough altitude to do Duzel and return to Montague. Our time was over the
3 hour minimum, so I cranked up the MacCready setting until the altitude
available would be used up in the glide. I believe it was about MacCready 3. We
then flew the speed to fly needle in and out of Duzel Rock and then home to
We turned 92.5 mph for a thousand points that day, second place went to Dale
Bush who flew 80 mph. Can’t wait to stumble into another SWEET SPOT.
In other news
Phil, as president of VSA has acquired a domain name and web page template for VSA. Brian is working on getting it on line.
William’s had the annual Craw dad Feed last weekend- It was well attended .. See the William’s Pages.
Oktoberfest is coming up at William’s.
Silent Auction/ Dinner is planned for Air Sailing
PASCO Banquet will be held this fall.
Minden is having their monthly BBQ on a regular basis – next one is Sept 27th – at Minden.
Truckee had some gliders in the air last weekend- but they are close to finishing up for the season (I saw the gliders while driving my car on Hwy 80 near Truckee.)
Temps are still in the high 90’s at William’s – there has been some good lift over the Mendicinos, but who knows how it’ll be by the weekend?
Begin entry for Sunday, September 7, 2003
It’s been a while since the last entry (two months to be exact), but time to try to fill in the gap.
The web sites for each of the soaring/gliding centers have been active.
Stories and events have been reported on the respective sites. See William’s, Hollister, Minden, others…. You can go to each one of the sites from the map page at http://www.soaringnet.com/
My trip from Minden to Avenal and back to Minden via Bishop (June 28 and 29th) was a big story that I never finished writing.
I got some of the web page constructed, but things were overcome by events. The important things I wanted to mention about that particular adventure were my experiences at Bishop. I landed there a few hours before dark, and met up with some pilots who were visiting from Southern California. This one fellow (Fernando) drove me to town, helped me find a motel, and picked me up the next morning and brought me back to the airport. Never did meet his wife – they were just finishing up a week of soaring out of Bishop, and were going back south via some national park areas. A couple of other fellows (John (c/s JET), wife Barbara, and Mark) were very friendly and helpful as well (cold beer after landing, helping me with tie down, getting the bird prepped to fly the next day, etc.). On Sunday, I was out of fuel, and had used up my reserve two stroke oil (at the refueling west of Avenal). I had bought some cheap 2 stroke oil at the mini-mart in town, but the fellow who runs the FBO (Steve) suggested I not use the cheap stuff I had purchased at the local market – saying it was not good for the engine. He suggested that it would be better if he were to drive me to town and I could buy better quality oil. He then then drove me all over town looking for some good quality stuff. We visited shops and stores, stopped some of his neighbors on the street and asked them if they might have some, and finally stopped off at a ranch house on the way back to the airport, and there one of his buddies who used to race jet ski boats had some really good quality stuff – Klotz Oil – some $ 40 a gallon stuff. He wanted me to take the entire gallon, but I only needed 13 ounces, so he cleaned up a small container for me, and he wouldn’t allow me to pay for it. I was definitely being subjected to some gracious Owens Valley hospitality by the locals. Rod was the local tow pilot, coming in to the airport on his day off to help out. I took a self launch, but Rod helped me with a top-off of my oxygen bottle. There were others on the scene as well, Dave Corchran, Mark, Pete – Spotted Owl, etc. Landing at Bishop was a good experience.
In Late July, I flew out of Truckee with Jim D and Key.
Had some good adventures, including having to work with Reno approach and my new transponder in order to avoid a thunderstorm that was north west of Reno. That same evening, Tony (1A) and this very nice local pilot at Truckee, and myself drove over to the dirt landing area near Boca Reservoir and did a ground retrieve. Key had been forced down in his ASW-20 from the downdraft of the T storms. He did a masterful job of landing the ship in some adverse conditions. But, that’s another story! (Editorial comment- it’s better to avoid the adverse conditions, rather than rely on expert flying skills – as the saying goes.)
The Ely Camp, organized by Tom Stowers of High Country Soaring Minden, was well attended and was a huge success as usual.
I did receive one flight report this season and that was from Jim H after he returned from Ely. He did three flights over 700 k, and I’m sure he wasn’t even trying. Jim just flys for enjoyment, not for records. I share the report, because I attended last year, and it is always a success. Flights of 750 k are common place on a daily basis, and as Jim says, the activities and social scene are lots of fun. It should be noted that Tom , at High Country, refused to take any reservations for this years camp until January 1st, 2003. And, on January 2nd — the camp was full! All reservations were filled within 24 hours. That tells you how popular the event is!
Here is Jim’s report….with my edits…..
From: “Jim Herd”
To: “Peter Kelly”
Subject: Ely Report
Date: Tuesday, August 05, 2003 12:31 AM
We were there for the full 2 weeks, and just got back to Minden. Since……
The drive is 6 hours, but it always seems interesting terrain and weather.
The Ely weather wasn’t too great, but we had a few pretty good days. The monsoon moisture was with us almost the whole time – so it was thunderstorms most days. It didn’t rain very often right at Ely, but there was almost always a storm somewhere within 100km each day. At least winds were light and turbulence was minimal.
My best flight was 840 km – I tried for a 1000 km triangle to Gabbs and Jackpot, but there were a few large blue holes and one heavy OD area. I was down below 10K’ a couple of times, and it was slow going. Thus, I ran out of daylight and turned short of the second turnpoint. The day before I did a 750 km, and the day before that I did 702 km. Actually, the day I did 750 km was THE best day – shudda done the 1000 km that day, it wudda been reasonably easy.
As usual, Ray Lynskey and Chris Richards were doing frequent 1000 km flights.
This year, Steve Fossett (solo balloon around the world) was at Ely attempting records with an NZ co-pilot (Terry Delore) in a motorized ASH25. I think they did a world record.
The social side was really fun. …….We had ….We took our 2 ATV’s and dirt bike, plus kayaks and mountain bikes. We didn’t even have time to go to Great Basin National Park this year. BBQ’s every night, of course.
In August, William’s relocated temporarily to Montague.
That was lots of fun. See the following web site for lots of photos…..
On Labor Day, September 1st, Brian did a record flight from Hollister to Truckee, and nearly made it all the way back on the following day. See his report at the following web site…
… http://www.soaringnet.com/bc/holl_trk.htm —-
No other reports received since my last Soaring Diary entry.
Begin entry for Sunday, July 6, 2003
Summer is already on it’s way out. Latest sunset was a couple of weeks ago – June 22nd.
With the various soaring sites maintaining their own “news/chat/message” Pages, the need for this Soaring Diary is minimal, but, no fear, I will keep it in place, at least for now.
Reverse chronological events-
July 2ish- BBQ at William’s was stolen – money is being donated to buy a new one
June 28 – Flight from Minden to Avenal to capture the Egg (PASCO Capture Trophy) – however, the egg was already stolen by Hollister, so they (me and Jim Herd) went home empty handed.
Late June – Great Transcontinental Glider Race to Kitty Hawk begins – one pilot dies on the first day. Race is still in progress.
Regional Championship at Minden June16-20) went very well – Rick Walters is one of the best, if not THE best. I remember Ty White ran one of the best contests I had ever attended, but he didn’t have the advantage of being a national champion as well – you know – one of those guys who can fly 10 to 20 percent faster than everyone else on a regular basis. Rick had an outstanding staff as well – lots of nice folks. Puts me in mind of the contest that NK always runs. There are lots of generous people out there – contributing their life’s blood so that we can enjoy soaring. We all need to contribute on a regular basis.
Been lots of other things
Several contests at Air Sailing, as well as Safari’s
Flying from and at Hollister, Avenal, Crazy Creek, and lots from Minden.
Coming up is the High Country/ Tom Stowers Encampment at Ely, Nevada – the 6th annual! It is held the last week of July and first week of August. Reservations for this year were not accepted before January 1, 2003 – Tom just would not create a waiting list – and on the 2nd of January – the event was sold out. full house – I think the most the place can accommodate is 30 pilots. There were a lot of disappointed people.
In other news – on July 3rd – Dr Jack announced that his BLIP Map program development is “frozen” for now. see his forum pages for more info. go to ….http://www.drjack.net/cgi-bin/forum.cgi
Begin entry for Thursday, June 26, 2003
Very little springtime this season. We jumped right from early Spring to mid-summer type of soaring.
They are getting good flights out of William’s, Hollister, and Minden.
Last week was the 2003 Region 11 championships for 15 meter class and standard class at Minden.
Bill Reuland, and Rick Walters along with a well qualified, highly motivated group of competent volunteers did
an excellent job. Everyone seemed to have a good experience. I sure did. My thanks to all who made it such a success.
Marc Ramsey won the title for 15 meter class and Peter Deane – the title for standard class.
Special note on Rick Endrebo…. He flew faster than everyone nearly every day. He’d average 94 or 95 mph and the next closest person would average five to ten mph less. He was really moving – every day! On the first day, he was given a penalty of 100 points, and took a zero score for the day, because he flew through a small restricted area near Hawthorne – thus he started out on day two with a negative 100 points, rather than 1,000 points. In spite of that – he competed the entire week, and nearly won. Rick is to be complemented on his good sense of sportsmanship. Many lessor pilots would have withdrawn from the competition. My hat is off to Rick.
Begin entry for Friday, May 23, 2003, 10 PM
Today we had some cool air move in from the west. Finally, a sea breeze. Didn’t think I’d ever say that. They are having some fantastic soaring on the east side of the Sierra Nevada crest – yesterday there was strong lift to over 18000, with long lines of convergence. 16 knot thermals were forecasted for today up there. Kenny reports good lift over the Mendicinos with overdevelopment seen on the Sierras this afternoon. There may be a few good flights this weekend along the Mendicinos, flying from Crazy Creek and William’s.
Begin entry for Thursday, May 22, 2003
We’ve had a short spring thus far. A taste of summer has been with us for the past five days, but it has been the worst of all worlds. In the real summer wx, we have heat in the valley, the inversion makes us cook while on the ground in the valley, but we have marine air converging along the ridge (from the west) with the bloody hot valley air, and we can soar high along the mountains.
We transitioned from early spring to mid-summer, at least temporarily. I am hoping it will return to spring soaring conditions over the weekend. The polar jet stream normally stays further south in mid-May, but it moved north, and we had a ridge of high pressure move over Oregon to replace that low that was there last week. The consequence? It caused an off-shore flow (which means a flow from the land to the sea), instead of the other way around – sea to land. Whenever that happens, and inversion sets up in the sacramento valley. The National Weather Service air mass models are not programmed to accept the fact that there will… (read with heavy german accent) VILL BE NO MIXING OF DER AIR – I meant to say, “there will be no mixing of the air” above the inversion, over the sacramento valley – period. Why can’t the NWS program that? No motivation I guess. Government employees. Priorities might be another excuse by the NWS. We need that info. Otherwise the BLIP maps are useless during these conditions. The BLIP gets its info from NWS – I think.
Here is what the BLIP said was going to happen yesterday….
to 7,000 feet… or at least 6,000 over the WSC area…..
and the bouancy sheer ratio was high….. at least above 10 all the time…
That was BLIP.
The NWS provided the balloon sounding from 5 am, and it showed the inversion at low altitude, and above that, the air mass was stable – as illustrated by the slope of the line. It would take about 100F/38C degrees near the surface to get up to about 7,000 feet where it would be 50 F/ 10 C degrees, IF the inversion went away. The blue lines either side of the 30C degree line on the right are in 10 degree increments. The forecast models for the sounding over Sacramento (SMF) said the inversion would go away after 10 am and we would have mixing. rrriiightttt….
Here is the oak sounding – I won’t bother with the faulty/ flawed/ worthless forecast sounding…
So yesterday morning I set out to relearn what I have learned over and over. I wish I could remember these things! I checked the temp several times when above 4,000 feet on the first part of my flight, and it was in the high 70’s (25 or 26 C), and I suspect it was still hotter than that above me, or at the least, very stable above me, since there was no convective activity.
We get lulled into loving the BLIP Maps when we are flying without that awful valley inversion – be it in the mountains, or in the valley area proper, in the spring, fall or winter.
Yesterday, just before 1 PM, I self launched from WSC with a full load of water and fuel, climbed to 5,000, glided to Orville – no lift above 1500 feet! Restarted, climbed to 4,500 and headed towards Brownsville – no lift below 3,500 feet! Restarted, and headed headed back into the valley. Had a 75 mile flight operating between 1,300 feet and 3,000 hopping from landing area to landing area, but finding a climb each time before I had to relight – good cross-country practice.
Here is my engine run trace – altitude is shown on the left, time line on the bottom….
And here a map view (an overhead view) of the flight….
The color of the line of the flight trace corresponds to the altitude scale on the right hand side.
To complete my study of the weather for the day, I restarted, after traversing the Sacramento Valley from East to West, and flew over the ridges to the eastern foot of the Mendicino Mountains. I observed that there a few clouds, not very thick ones, indicating good lift up to 14,00 over Yolla Bolly Wilderness – Mt Lind, and they were also over Mt Lassen. There were two power planes flying out of Orland Haigh – one was Cessna 26S, and the other I forget, but they were operating near the clouds, yakking about climbing to cloud base, and they were up to 12,500 and were still below the bases.
So I went over the first couple of ridges under power, shut down, and glided towards Diamond M (about 25 west north west of William’s gliderport). I worked lift here and there, occasionally getting ready to set up a landing pattern, but was able to stay aloft for over an hour, and ended up all the way down near Indian ranch. I attacked the mountains at least a half a dozen times. I was at tree top level near the eastern base of St. Johns, and after moving more to the south, I tried to work up towards the tree farm (on the eastern side of Goat Mt.) but couldn’t get above about 3,500 feet! It was all so hopeless. I had already used up over half a tank of gas – leaving me with about two gallons, so I couldn’t, and didn’t really want to climb up to the top of Goat Mt.. I wanted to complete my study of the atmosphere, without the motor. I wanted this study to apply to all gliders, not just motorgliders.
Over Stonyford area (20 miles west of William’s), the wind was from the east (5 to 10 kts), feeding the hills. Kenny agrees that he thinks there was a slight breeze at 5 knots or so – over the top of the hills from the west or south west – a warm breeze – not cool air. The air mass above Goat was not cool enough for the hot air on the western side of the valley (eastern side of Goat) to allow a climb up the hills. Lift was probably weak at best above Goat. If you go back to the BLIP for the top of thermals forecast (B/L top), you will see the best that was forecasted was about 9,000, but things changed since that forecast was issued. Here is an extract of the thermal height chart (BL top) See the annotations of Goat Mtn (the green circle), and William’s gliderport (the red W)…. – scale on top is the altitude scale in thousands of feet….
So this was an extensive study that I accomplished. I recorded the forecasts, I probed the atmosphere as much as I had time to do, I recorded the flight, I prepared graphics that help to explain it all to you, and I analyzed this thing to death.
So, other than using up another two days of my life, what have I accomplished?
By spending all morning, and part of the afternoon writing about this, I have reinforced what I have learned, and hopefully, you too will have learned from my experience.
The bottom line of what I know on this subject….
1. The BLIP Map is a worthless tool for the valley floor, when the inversion is set up in the sacramento valley! The NWS needs to get a better program! It’s not Dr Jack’s fault. The NWS needs better models.
Looking at my flight trace, thinking back on the day, seeing the top of the inversion (it was clearly visible), seeing how the inversion disappears around the edges of the valley as the air ebbs up the hills, I know that if I had powered up to the top of the hills – where the TERRAIN elevation was more than 3,000 feet higher than the top of inversion, that is, where the height of the terrain was above 6,000 or 7,000 feet MSL, then I would have been out of the effect of the inversion, and the BLIP Maps would once again have been useful. When there is no flow from the west above the ridge, then the hot valley air warms up the air along the tops of the ridges, and you are hard pressed to stay above the terrain. Instead of the warm air coming up on the eastern side and then entering the cool air above as a thermal, it just goes up the ridge, heats up the air, eliminating any cooler air that had been there over the ridge, and the weak “thermals” just peter out, and you go nowhere.
2. When the summer weather pattern sets up, when the inversion is in the valley, and if there is cooler air aloft, with a flow from the west, then you can take a tow to the mountains, and have a good flight on the mountains. Gary-NK proved this when flying out of Orland in the late ’80’s, and I proved this in the summer of ’94 when I did the same type of testing while flying my Pegasus, each and every weekend in August from William’s – just to prove it was doable from William’s!
3. The BLIP Map, as we all know, is a wonderful tool, and works well – everywhere, as long as there is no inversion controlling the boundary layer.
4. This lesson applies to the San Joaquin Valley as well as the Sacramento Valley, and probably to every other valley that is controlled by an inversion.
There are more summary points, but you can reread this article and glean them for yourself. I gotta get back to life.
Since this Soaring Diary Page is only read by a handful of pilots, I encourage you to contact members of the PASCO Board, or the Editor of WestWind, to help promulgate this info. This lesson is of interest to 95 percent of the pilots who belong to PASCO, since the vast majority of them occasionally fly from William’s, Hollister, Byron, Avenal, etc..
You are hereby welcome to copy, edit, reproduce, and/or publish this info, as long as credit is given to the source of the material, and, as long as it is not used for commercial purposes. Peter Kelly.
Begin entry #2 for Friday, May 2, 2003
Thought I’d share an observation that Ty sent to me – (I hope that’ OK Ty). It is something that most all pilots are unaware of, until they fly their first contest, and after that, you are in awe of the silence.
Ty puts it this way…..
Subject: Radio usage and contests
Date: Friday, May 02, 2003 9:50 AM
One irony about all this is that during a big contest, it is easy for
non-contest pilots to think no one is flying (or listening) because most of
the contest pilots are much quieter than they would be during a day of
“recreational” flying. So you end up with 15 or 25 or even 50 pilots all
keeping their mouths shut, meanwhile having to listen to 2 pilots yammering
Yes Ty, I remember there were even more than 50 pilots on frequency at the same time in that very successful contest you ran at Minden in the 90’s. The radio was unusually quiet, but you know everyone had their volume turned up, because they didn’t want to miss any calls, or clues. In commercial flying, pilots automatically keep track of other air traffic in their head – especially in the terminal areas. Same is true in gliders – you tend to want to keep a mental note of who is in the same airspace, so you listen for anyone making a report. I have found it is effective to “listen for traffic”, just like it is to “watch for traffic”, in order to prevent a mid-air collision.
I do want to once again reiterate, that the pilots who were sharing the frequency with the “contest” pilots last weekend were unaware that there was any interference between them and any other pilots on the frequency.
I find Japan Air Napa to be very intrusive for a variety of reasons. I could make a list…
Power planes seem to have stronger transmitter, at least they are more effective. That may be the case with the Stemme as well.
The FCC really screwed up by allowing flight schools to use that same frequency. That annoys me on 123.3 with Travis Aero Club as well. — but everything seems to annoy me.
The SSA should have been more effective in preventing the loss of that frequency to power traffic.
The SSA should recognize we have a problem. Procedure Alpha on the White Mountains needs a quiet frequency, and we don’t have one.
When there is excess traffic, you tend not to listen as much.
I heard the dispatcher giving ATIS info to the pilot at JAL last week – that may be because their lack of fluency in the English language prevents them from copying the info directly – but that may be another misperception – it might be because they are out of radio range of ATIS, but can hear the seemingly 50,000 watt dispatcher transmitter quite clearly! — ….As we all are able to do.
I guess I’ll get back to other things – I need a life (not really).
Begin entry for Friday, May 2, 2003
Two biggies. Misperception about radio usage during the contest last weekend, and The Egg.
Perception is not always reality.
That phrase is overused by Mercedes in their auto ads. Things are not always what they may seem to be. How true it is.
That was the case when I went off on a tear about the Stemme Motorglider guys who were overusing the frequency last Saturday and Sunday. As it turns out, they weren’t hearing us, and were totally unaware that they were causing a problem.
When Milt read the Soaring Diary entry, he went right to the heart of the matter to clear it up. He has flown with Marty, and Milt knew there had to be another explanation, and he was right.
I received the following note from Marty and John…… I responded to them, and subsequently received permission to print their message here….. since so many of you were witness to the situation, you too may have formed an erroneous opinion. Here the email…..
From: “Martin Hellman”
Subject: Radio Interference
Date: Thursday, May 01, 2003 9:24 AM
Milt Hare forwarded us a copy of your diary from the William’s
contest. First, we want to apologize to the affected pilots for the
inconvenience we caused them. While your account paints a very
different picture, we try to be considerate pilots and would never
intentionally interfere with others and would give priority to
contest use of a frequency once we are aware of its use. We also
listen before transmitting so as to minimize the risk of blocking
other’s transmissions. Also, recognizing congestion on the aircraft
VHF band (and often being frustrated by it as you were on this day),
Marty got his ham license several weeks ago and John is in the
We were not aware of the contest at William’s, nor did we hear any
intelligible radio calls from anyone until your call mentioned in
your diary, at which point we immediately changed frequency. We did
hear a few calls from gliders in the William’s area (none directed at
us), but when we called them asking about conditions, did not receive
a response. None mentioned a contest. Otherwise, where we were, there
was very little traffic that could be heard on 123.5, other than the
usual JAL. Most transmissions we heard sounded so weak and
unintelligible that we assumed we would be no more interference to
them than they were to us. We do not know why the interference was
“one-way,” but please be assured that it was.
Also be assured that, had we known of the contest, or heard others on
frequency, or even one complaint, we would have changed frequency
immediately, as we in fact did.
Turning from our apology, we also need to address the nature of your
posting. While we got a very different impression of you on first
reading it (much as you did of us from our communications), Milt
assures us that you are a reasonable guy. So we encourage you to
re-read your post after your frustration has subsided and apply the
same standard of reasonableness and courtesy that we all agree should
be the norm. We also would have appreciated the opportunity to
respond to your concerns before seeing such a negative depiction of
us posted in a public forum.
Again regretting the inconvenience we caused the contest,
Well I certainly did write from an emotional perspective.
Like I said, Marty said it was ok to put his letter here, and even added a suggestion that PASCO West Wind could pick up on contest dates, so that ALL glider pilots might be more aware of when a contest is being held. Good idea.
This is already probably more info then you need, but I’ve taken you this far, and you are apparently interested enough to still be reading, so, before you get back to work, here is the rest of the story – including my response to Marty (it is at the bottom of the following supplementary message).
From: “Martin Hellman”
To: “Peter Kelly”
Cc: “John Morgan”
Subject: Re: Radio Interference
Date: Thursday, May 01, 2003 7:42 PM
Thank you for your most reasoned reply. You have both John’s and my
permission (I checked with John) to post our earlier response on the
diary with any additional comments you might want to add. You also
have my permission if you wish to post this second response.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience we caused the contestants
and are taking measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In
addition to moving to the 2 meter ham band as soon as John gets his
license and we figure out what transceiver, etc. to use, in the
future, I intend to mark all contest dates on my calendar with a
reminder not to use 123.3 or 123.5 on those days. I get West Wind and
probably saw the notice of the contest, but since I wasn’t interested
in entering, forgot about it. I imagine there are many other pilots
who just skip over the contest information. It might be a good idea
to have a notice in West Wind every once in a while (similar to the
“PASCO recommends transponders in the Minden area” notices), asking
all pilots to note contest dates and to minimize use of the glider
frequencies on those dates. Perhaps SOARING magazine could do the
same. John and I sympathize with the frustration of those who were
inconvenienced and, if something positive could come out of this
incident to help prevent repetitions with other pilots, that would be
>Dear Marty and John,
>Thank you for clearing all of that up.
>Obviously it was my mistake to assume you were choosing to not answer.
>Sorry about that.
>I won’t post your personal message to me – without your permission, but I
>would like to put it on the diary page as is. May I do that? or another
>version of it?
>You make a lot of good points in your message including the last paragraph
>which says in part…
>> re-read your post after your frustration has subsided and apply the
>> same standard of reasonableness and courtesy that we all agree should
>> be the norm.
>Yes, you’re right about that.
>Yes, my response was emotional.
>Hopefully, you will look all the better after I make the next entry. There
>were many others besides me who felt the frustration of the situation.
>After the posting, I received three emails that supported my comments, so
>others were already thinking the same thoughts. This will clear it all up.
>The ‘soaring diary’ is meant to be informal – and I do edit.
>I don’t let other people make themselves look bad, if I can help it.
>I will make an entry in any case, and explain the circumstances of the
>frequency conflict. But I’ll wait to hear again from you.
>Again, thank you for taking the time to write to me.
As most pilots in northern California are acutely aware, the PASCO Capture Trophy – called “The Egg” has become a popular entity. In 2002, Brian and Ramy flew up from Hollister to William’s and captured the trophy. Before any pilot from William’s could get it back to William’s, pilots from Avenal captured it. It has subsequently been back to Hollister and now it is once again back at Avenal (as of this past week).
Bob Korves has been asked by PASCO to educate pilots about the trophy, and to revise the rules as necessary. Bob sent me a copy of the old rules, so I’ve made up a web site, and we’ll use that site to post a copy of the rules as they exist now, and will revise the rules as Bob directs. Please visit the web site for the egg at:
Begin entry #2 for Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Had a message that couldn’t wait until tomorrow. I had heard on Saturday night that Rick and Kat Ogden had a new baby, but I failed to mention it on my earlier musings.
Rick makes a good point about the ham radios.
Congratulations to Rick and Kat.
Here is Rick’s message…
From: “Rick and Kat”
Subject: A New Ogden
Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 3:44 PM
It looks like it was a great contest this year. I’m sorry I missed it. But alas, I was a little busy that weekend. Please post the atch in your diary.
It was unfortunate to hear about the radio problems you guys had. Since they’re Stemme pilots, I’m assuming “Marty and John” probably could afford to get ham radios and licenses. Just a friendly suggestion.
Photo with the email – click to enlarge…
Begin entry for Tuesday, April 29, 2003
There has been lots of activity – soaring, contest flying, and talking about things. It is mostly all reported on the William’s Today page. I think Hollister had some good flights also, but that was probably reported on the Hollister page. I don’t know, I didn’t receive any reports.
The Egg – (the PASCO capture trophy)
There has been talk about the PASCO Egg – the capture trophy. That too was discussed on the William’s Today page. Bottom line of that conversation, reinforced by other pilots who had opinions and that I talked with over the weekend was that following:
the rules need to be Updated/Modified
printed out and
attached to the trophy.
Bob Korves is willing to do the work, but some official in PASCO needs to contact Bob and ask him to take on the job. So far, Bob has heard nothing from PASCO, so either there is no one at the helm that stays tuned to this undercurrent of energy by pilots, or Bob is not invited to address the problem. We’ll see what evolves.
The Contest weekend at William’s.
This last weekend was the three days contest weekend at William’s. Pilots were competing for the Doc Mayes trophy, now in its 15th year (actually the trophy has only been around for three years, but it’s been 15 years since Doc was killed in the biplane accident at Vacaville.) There has been a flying contest and big dinner ever since, commemorating the loss of Doc – Rex and Rusty’s Dad.
A second contest has been a part of this weekend as well. The Chico Club had what was called a “Distance Camp”, where pilots each tried to fly the greatest distance. The “Camp” was three days in duration, thus it was a Friday through Sunday event. But, this was the final year for the Lee Peterson Trophy. Lee Peterson was a soaring pilot with the Chico Soaring Club, but as of this year, that club has officially been dissolved. I don’t know where the trophy will reside. Maybe it’ll just sit at William’s – who knows – that decision is probably the responsibility of the old guard of the Chico Club. The trophy was paid for by the family of Lee Peterson in his memory after he was killed in an auto accident in the Sacramento Valley – probably in the 1970’s Any way, there is no more room on the face of the trophy for any more winners names, the Chico Club is gone, so why not make room for another trophy. Members of the Valley Soaring Association are conferring with Rex Mayes and Rick Anderson to create a new trophy – this one is in memory of Joe Findley. Most all glider pilots in California knew Joe before he died in a tragic glider accident high above the east shore of Lake Tahoe just last spring.
Rules for the Joe Findley trophy. Some that have been bantered about – in a light manner…
It’ll probably be only a two day contest – which is just as well, since the Friday activity day was usually poorly attended – at least in recent memory, and besides Joe rarely attended an entire contest if it was too long.
No one will be allowed to arrive at the field before the pilot meeting begins, so everyone will miss the pilot meeting, but then you need to rig and get into the air.
If you bring your own ground crew, then you receive a 25 point penalty.
If you get lots of people to help you get into the air, then the 25 “no crew penalty” is erased.
If you fly the furthest, you don’t win.
If you fly the second furthest, then your name goes on the trophy.
Pilot scores are ranked from furthest to shortest distance flown. Those in the top half of the group each are required to tell about their flight during the dinner ceremony, if you finish in the bottom half of the competing pilots, then you aren’t allowed to talk about your flight, unless you land out.
Joe was a fun person, and always flew well. These were just some of the ideas I heard. I doubt it’ll be organized like that.
As for a debrief on this past weekend…. well, I didn’t receive anything from anyone – unfortunately.
It was a nice dinner, but no one wrote about it, and there was some great flying, but no flight files or messages have yet been received. If I get any, then I’ll post them here.
I’ll give you my perspective, and share my opinions and observations.
The contest started on Friday and continued through to Sunday – the longest single, handicapped flight was the winner of the Lee Peterson Trophy. And, the pilot who had the greatest combined handicapped distance on their best two flights was the winner of the Doc Mayes Trophy.
The dinner was a BBQ of tri-tip, beans, salad, bread, and desert, along with beverages. It was organized and prepared by WSC. The food was delicious and plentiful. The conversations both before, during and after dinner were warm and pleasant, enjoyable and entertaining. There were lots of people. It was nice to see some veterans glider pilots and friends who attended the dinner. Some of the attendees were: Dick Carter, Dolly Frauens, JJ and Pat, Ray G., Bob Klemendson, Mike Green, John App, Chuck Griffin, Pete Alexander, and lots of others. I never have enough time to talk to everyone in those few hours after flying all day, but I always give it a try. It is so heart warming to visit with old and dear friends and acquaintances, as well as the “newbies”. There is never enough time. Rick Walters dropped in before dinner, but he was on his way back to Crazy Creek in his glider, so he took a tow back out again before the BBQ got started.
As for the flying…
On Friday, this is my flight trace…
As usual, click on the image to enlarge.
On each of the traces the alternating color between red and blue occurs every fifteen minutes, so you can get an idea of the time element.
Doc Mayes Contest
Friday = TO at 3:44,
ATE = 3+02,
Raw Statute Miles (over authorized TP’s)=59
See You optimized distance = 92 statute miles
On Saturday, this is my flight trace….
Doc Mayes Contest
Saturday = TO at 10:30,
ATE = 6+27,
Raw Statute Miles (over authorized TP’s)=258
See You optimized distance = 258 statute miles
On Sunday, this is my flight trace…
Doc Mayes Contest
Sunday = TO at 11:18,
ATE = 4+42,
Raw Statute Miles (over authorized TP’s)=199
See You optimized distance = 175 statute miles
Here is more detail about the flying – at least from my limited perspective…..
On Friday I was there for the pilot meeting at 10 am (which never happened), and it rained well past noon. We rigged about 2 PM and launched sometime after 3 pm. I was first off, followed by Jim in 1B and then Bob I., in MJ. no one else flew. As you can see from my trace, I wandered southward, but couldn’t connect. I circumnavigated a rain shower, just north of Capay Valley, went around the south and west sides of it, and made it back to the Charters area where I chased after Jim, who had connected with the wave and was already above 6,000 feet. I kept chasing him- but never got within a few miles of him. He topped out at 12,500 feet, I made it to 11,000. I was trying to pick up some miles, but didn’t want to sacrifice losing the wave to make a turnpoint. We had to pass within 0.25 miles of a turnpoint for it to count.
On Saturday it was a gorgeous day.
Jim was jazzed, since he beat me the day prior, and he was first in line, launching at 10:29. We had two tow planes going, so I launched at 10:30. We all took low tows, so the other dozen or so pilots were in the air quickly. The gate was scheduled to close at 6 PM, so as to force all pilots back on to the ground at a reasonable time. At about noon I was passing from south to north over William’s, heading for Chico, and at that point I had already been in the air for an hour an a half, but I still had six hours to go. It was going to be a long day! Somewhat fortunately, mother nature stepped in. I was returning south bound out of Redding when I heard JJ heading to Nut Tree, but shortly thereafter, I heard someone else make a general advisory that high cirrus was moving in across the south end of the Sacramento valley – effectively shutting down all the lift. As I passed Red Bluff I could see it. I managed to get to Cal Worthington’s strip, and then to Willows. There I joined Bob K – 5K and Luke – C1 under the last dark cloud in the area. We managed to get up to 6,000 and headed for home. Meanwhile, Jim – 1B was at 3,000 over a pig farm at Orland, working the hot gasses – I guess. He limped back to Willows, and used that same dark cloud that we had previously used, and Jim too made it back to William’s.
Larry H – HD had pulled a Joe Findley, arriving late, and then going far and fast. Larry turned Redding, and was on his way out of the Chico area when he ran out of lift, decided to park it at Chico Ranchero, and called for an aero retrieve
Sergio had chosen to fly near to the rain showers that persisted along the foothills on the west side of the valley. He made it back, had the most handicapped miles, and won the day – in fact it was the best score for the entire weekend.
On Sunday it started later.
BLIP Map said … lift to 5,000, strength at 500 feet per minute, with a B/S (bouncy/sheer) ratio of less than 8 or 9.
That was accurate, I guess. After a while, there was strong lift in certain spots, but you really had to be in the center of the lift. They were hard to work.
(Note by Editor, added – May 2: The next several paragraphs – talking about radio congestion, are misleading info, that stem from misperceptions. See the entry on May 2 to clear it all up.)
I was totally frustrated by the radio chatter by two Stemme Motor Glider pilots who kept over-using the frequency. It was Marty and John. On saturday they used call signs the first couple of times, I thank it was ZZ and WT. There were probably 20 other pilots on frequency, plus Japan Air Napa, but the transmissions between those two pilots amounted to probably 90 percent of the traffic on frequency, and even after Ray G. asked them to avoid “overusing the frequency”, they continued to chatter. On Sunday they once again launched out of Napa, shut down their engines over Fairfield, and then soared over to Nut Tree at 5,000 and then over to the Vaca Ridge. Everyone knew all about where they were and what they were doing every minute, because they never shut up. Several people made remarks about their noisy chatter, but they were unfazed. I asked them if they would use 123.3, but received no response. I even tried three times to talk directly to them calling Marty by name and even using the Stemme ZZ callsign and the WT callsign, but they wouldn’t answer me. They said (talking to each other) that they were heading towards Sonoma, and one of them had to be on the ground at 2:30. I was just north of Rumsey gap. Looking west, I could see the lift was as good there, as anywhere else. I decided to fly over to them, intercept them in the air, and tell them more directly to share the frequency. I didn’t have any guns or missiles, unfortunately.
I turned Walker ridge and headed for Sonoma. I turned Calistoga, and was working a thermal just to the sw of St. Helena. The Stemme, piloted by John, said he was right under Marty, but Marty said he was 12 miles out of Napa, and John was saying he was 22 miles out of Napa. He finally pulled his head out of his rear and realized that he was circling below a different glider – it was me! I had seen him leave the palisades north of Calistoga, and as he approached my position I had found lift. I was circling very steeply, trying to make the thermal look as good as possible, and I was going up at 6 knots. He came under me by about 1500 feet, still talking on the radio. That was my golden opportunity. Once he said – “…that must be another glider above me”, I keyed the mike, and said……..
this is glider 2PK, and I am the glider above you, I told him
that Marty was some 10 or so miles to the south,
that we were having a three day contest at William’s, and that
it would be courteous of him to switch to another frequency if they needed to talk to each other so much.
They went over to .85 at that point. Good riddance. Those two give motor glider pilots a bad name. Unfortunately, most motor glider guys don’t have enough glider experience for them to know about the protocols and courtesies that are standards to glider pilots.
An hour or two later, while I was coming back from Letz Lake towards Antelope Valley, Luke-C1 made a remark that the radio was very quiet. He wasn’t sure we were all still in the air. Most all us us were either changing frequencies periodically, or turning the volume very low, to avoid listening to those other two. Not a good thing to have to do from a safety standpoint. Luke had a good reason to be making a query. He began asking about places to land, and wanted some info. Luke subsequently landed at Cal Worthington’s strip, and got an aero retrieve home.
Sergio had gone over to Calistoga just a bit after me, and returned to log some more miles before landing. He won the second day as well as the first day, thus Sergio will have his name on both trophies. Congratulations to Sergio.
Overall it was a very nice contest. We were blessed by the weather gods, and everyone enjoyed themselves, both in flight and on the ground.
A big thank you to Rex and Noelle – and the staff, for hosting such a wonderful event. I am already looking forward to next year.
Begin entry for Thursday nite, April 10, 2003
JJ wants to know the soaring weather outlook for tomorrow. See the William’s Today Page.
I can’t put stuff there unless it is short – that system is too trying to work with – except for short comments.
My take on the weather for Friday (tomorrow)….
Don’t you just love the weather talk…..
From NWS, the Eureka Area Forecast Discussion says to watch out for the “cyclogenesis” and the “mesoscale w.w.g.” …. but off shore initially on Saturday.
In Part ….”SECONDARY RISE IN COMBINED SEAS HEIGHTS TO 14 FT OFF CAPE BLANCO …PER GWW SOMETIME LATE SATURDAY NIGHT AND/OR SUNDAY MORNING HINTS AT SURFACE CYCLOGENESIS AND MESOSCALE WIND WAVE GENERATION AREA JUST OFF NORTHERN WATERS. THIS LOOKS LIKE WHEN THE WINDY WEATHER AND POSSIBLE THUNDERSTORMS…OFFSHORE INITIALLY… FIRST BEGIN TO IMPACT THE AREA. FORECASTS LOOK FINE AND WILL PAINT THE GRIDS WITH A LITTLE CONVECTION IN COASTAL WATERS SATURDAY…”
and the Monery Area Discussion says we have a “diffluent jet” to contend with ….. but that too is Saturday.
In Part…. “BY SAT AFTN DYNAMICS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE WITH STRONG THICKNESS DIFFLUENCE AND THE LEFT FRONT QUADRANT OF A STRONG DIFFLUENT JET MOVING INTO OUR AREA. ALL THIS LIFT IS REFLECTED IN A ROBUST OMEGA FIELD. THE ONLY QUESTION MIGHT BE TIMING. THE ETA IS A LITTLE SLOWER BRINGING RAIN INTO THE DISTRICT LATE FRI NIGHT/SAT MRNG THAN THE 18Z GFS ”
Yeh, I think “pete-98” may have a pretty good forecast, but always optimistic. Good in the morning to mid-afternoon, possibly giving way to pre-frontal wave in the afternoon, sure looks possible, but looking at the wind direction, it may be too southerly to give us any decent wave. And with all the clouds that went through late today (Thursday) and knowing there is a lot of moisture, we might just be working below an overcast, rather than having nice puffies. But it might be good.
Begin entry for Monday, April 7, 2003
Big weekend – see the William’s Today page for lots of chatter – it’s pretty easy to follow.
I won’t put a graphic or a debrief of my flight attempt to Hollister here because I am too embarrassed to share it. I started out with High Hopes, but was not successful on ANY of my objectives. That evening I felt like dead meat. I flew on Sunday, and redeemed my self esteem (WSC-Woodland-Yolo-Nut Tree- WSC), while others had trouble, I had none – (on Sunday that is- yesterday).
The Assault on Hollister.
There was a lot of dedication, even courage, shown by a crew (call it a posse, if you like) from William’s. These guys were no Big Hats (see below – for April 4th). These guys fly the miles. Chuck G from Crazy Creek was about to join the posse, but then used good judgment by not venturing south across the Delta. The cloud base was about 5,000. We were all on the band wagon – as far as our thinking was concerned. Individually, I doubt/know that any of us would have crossed the Delta under those conditions. I think it is all Tom Hubbard’s fault – egging us on like that.
Noteworthy performance by Luke Ashcroft flying as -C1. I have never seen him fly as well. He got within glide distance of Hollister, and followed it up with good judgment by reversing course and catching up with the rest of us who had long since turned tail – with the exception of Sergio.
What do you expect from a record holder, Hilton Champion, etc., etc.. Sergio was flying as -C2. He took off after most of us, crossed the Delta, turned directly overhead Hollister, and made it back about as far as the rest of us. None of us made it all the way back to William’s. It was solid overcast north of Yolo County. Sergio has a new digital motion picture camera, and he proudly displayed the images overhead the ridges heading south, and the view of Hollister Airport and the surrounding valley from directly overhead hollister. We all went out to dinner after we got back, and we all had a chance to view the movies- very cool!
As for stats, I don’t have much to offer. Jim -1B, myself -PK, and Luke -C1 all landed at Woodland Watts. Sergio -C2 landed at University at Davis , and Key -PS landed at Nut Tree at Vacaville. Everyone had a good time.
As for The Egg, the Avenal bunch just might screw it all up by allowing The Egg to be taken by pilots from another Region of SSA. They are threatening that they may give The Egg to Region 12 pilots, if they ask to take it home with them (see the William’s Today page). Of course, that’s thinking “outside the box” for sure. Shelton aka- “zero cinco”, always thinks on a grander scale. I’m not sure the soaring community has the sophistication for evolving to an “America’s Egg”. Maybe they are just giddy over having captured The Egg for the first time. We’ll see how that pans out.
Here is a debrief from Chuck….
From: “Charles Griffin”
Subject: flight 4/5/03
Date: Sunday, April 06, 2003 3:11 PM
Enjoyed hearing your transmissions on the way to hollister. Quite a challenging flight. Flying with no crew made it a bridge too far for me. I had a nice run from Moskowite to Ukia and return to Pope and Crazy. I read that the egg was scrambled before you guys made it. I am sure that made little difference to you guys. Post your impressions of the flight, I am sure everyone would love to read it. A igc file would be nice too. 4 PO’s flew at Crazy and there was one land out at Esparto by Jim Congden (RD). Big Jim Indrebo was flying the 27 and had a nice run to Nut Tree, William’s and return with a low save near 3 sisters. I was wishing for heated shoes by the end of the flight!
Chuck Griffin (99)
Chuck, and everyone else in the world who ever send email to me……
Please eliminate my old email address of “firstname.lastname@example.org”
I have terminated that account. I found sbc to be unsatisfactory for a variety of reasons.
I will also use email@example.com
I need to change all of my web pages, but I can’t get to it right now.
Begin entry for Friday, April 4, 2003
Tom Hubbard posted the following on William’s Today….
Re: Thursday is going…. Plus, Wx outlook, and, The Egg on…
From: Tom Hubbard
Date: 03 Apr 2003
Ramy, Maybe we should fly down to William’s Sat and help those guys fly back to Hollister. Old saying big hat no cattle. All talk no distance. You know what I mean.
There are some Big Hats down in Hollister who say they’ll come up and get The Egg on Sunday, IF we come down and get it on Saturday – tomorrow.
OK, so we gotta rise to the occasion. This challenge can’t go unanswered.
Brief at 0900 at WSC. Here’s some intel – get more from the SSA TP exchange as you need it.
Bring a sectional – you gottta stay out of the Class B airspace- besides the emergency enroute alternate landing fields might be Reed-Hillview and Buchannan Field, so you need those frequencies (as well as Travis).
The Hollister target area…
Gliders normally land either rwy 31 or runway 24, depending on winds. Gliders and other fixed wing aircraft all use a left hand traffic for all runways. The CTAF Freq is 123.0
If you land on 31, roll past the intersection of the runways, and pulloff to the right into the glider ops area, just north east of the intersection.
If you land on 24, pull into the glider ops area on your right.
Watch for gliders getting ready to launch on 24 – don’t block their launch by landing long on 24. If you don’t have any headwind on 24, you might be better off landing on 31 and rolling past the intersection.
and here’s the parking area…
Brief at 0900 saturday at WSC.
Begin entry for Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Milts Soaring Weather Forecasting Guide.
I mentioned on the last entry (Mar 19th) that Milt had written that guide. I have it linked to my weather page. I find it very useful for jumping from one NWS Forecast Discussion to another. Read it if you have an opportunity.
Flying last weekend.
Most all of the conversation and news has been on the William’s Today page. A week ago we decided we’d fly on saturday. The evening before (friday nite) we could see it would be a ridge/ wave day on saturday. We launched about 1 pm, and struggled for quite a while because the pressure patterns didn’t move as forecasted, but by mid-afternoon the wave kicked in and it was a glorious day.
Here is what I put on the William’s Today Page, on Sunday the 23rd.
Re: Outlook for Saturday as of 6 AM Saturday
Date: 23 Mar 2003
I might as well write my own reply – tell you how it turned out on Saturday, the 22nd of March.
Kenny had a few flights before noon. He reported that the wind was from the south, even at 3,000 feet. Jim, Key and I towed off around one-ish.
Weak wave northeast of the Hwy 20 Gap (that area where 20 passes through the first ridge by 3 sisters). We drifted downwind, almost to Maxwell trying to get up to 4,000.
After about two of drifting around, we dropped down to 2,000 then back up to 4,000 – up and down, watching the wind shift from 190 to 230 and back again, with a velocity of 10 to 20 knots, then FINALLY,,,, the wind finally began to swing to a westerly.
Key was first to break 6,000, and then 7, but there was another wind shift. I broke through 12,000 and traveled along hwy 20 to bear valley, where it remained clear from the surface to blue sky above. I moved north to Stonyford, wind 240 at 57 knots at 14,000, ground clearly visible all the time. I couldn’t go further north that the north end of East Park reservoir. Broken walls of cloud to my east and west, but I could always see the valley floor near Arbuckle, etc. Key eventually ended up at 15,000, parking over tp of the 3 sisters area, Jim was near 11,000 over Maxwell. Key headed back, I chased, and we all assembled in formation at 10,000 overhead William’s – Colusa actually, so we could stay in descending air until we got down below 6,000 – the cloud base of the rows of lennies.
It was something out of the movies. From 10k down, I did 90 degree banked wing overs, diving and zooming from 130 knots down to 45 knots, I led a few tight turns on some reverses as the nose dropped and we began to accelerate. I could see PS right behind me, and 1B right behind him. Finally at 5,000 ft Jim offered to let me have some of the fun so we swapped leads. I was number 3 and Jim was number one. We looked spectacular as we zoomed upward at 30 degree angles towards the lennies. We could have done that for hours, since the lift was a solid four knots of smooth air on the upwind side of those lennies, just west of I-5.
We finally called it quits and returned to earth about 5 PM. What a great day! Dinner with Rex, Noelle and the boys at Granzellas to finish it off. We all went home tired but happy. That was a day to remember.
Maybe we can put the GPS traces on display at the gliderport. It will be cool for you to see the three of us in formation in slo-mo, three dimension, on a display in See You. I’ll have to work on that!!!
Chuck (99) Griffin flew on Saturday the 22nd out of Crazy Creek. He sent us a flight report.
Charles Griffin flight report 3/22 Sat 3/22/2003 9:32 PM 4 KB
A quick flight report from Crazy Creek. Conditions on the ground were not too pleasant with a stiff cool breeze at 15 kts or so. I was the only PO flying with a couple of rides up while I was in the air. Launch at about 11 am and found very good wave just upwind of the first row of clouds at about 3000 agl. I broke off at 12,500 with 2 on the averager with no O2 on board. I had a nice run down to Lampson losing only about 1000 each way. 6 on the averager was the best I ever saw. Approach and landing were very marginal due to strong conditions, a 90 x wind and serious cobwebs from no flying at all this winter. Flight time 2.5.
Outlook for this next weekend.
Yesterday I submitted to William’s Today that this weekend might be a very good one. However, today, I have a few reservations, with the north wind setting up, as it usually does after a low goes through. I can’t make it, but I still hope it turns out to be a good one. It is springtime!
Begin entry for Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Milt created a new guide to understanding weather, forecasting, terms, links, etc, etc. Go to Milt’s new guide page at wx-guide.html
Soaring weather is changeable. Watch the forecasts and the discussions.
Begin entry for Tuesday, March 18, 2003
NK had a 275 mile flight yesterday – read about it on William’s Today .
Begin entry for Monday, March 17, 2003
The weekend at William’s was a blast.
The Spring Fling – aka Frog Fling was well attended and a lot of fun. We go some wrinkles ironed out, and the next “Fling” will be even better organized, better food (- if that ‘s possible), etc. Plan on Saturday the 18th of April. Go read the William’s Today pages for the latest scoop.
Here are some pictures..
Click on image to enlarge.
Begin entry for Friday, March 7, 2003
Tomorrow is the day for the cross-country seminar, see below for details.
Would you like to own an ASK-21??? See note below from Charlie Hayes.
Hollister has a cross-country program for this season, see details in email below.
Ramy had a new personal record last weekend. Here is that note, also in an email…
Subject: New personal record…
Date: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 12:55 AM
I sent the following story to the Hollister list. Feel free to share it with
your readers (but not before you tell them about the Hollister League):
OK. Now the story can be told…
This last weekend was a record weekend for me – 2 landouts and 1 relight in a
Saturday looked great both in blipmap and by looking at the sky. However once
airborne I found only weak lift and low cloud base (3K). While blipmap is very
accurate in dry days, it still cannot accurately predict cloud base in moist days. My mistake was flying the forecast instead of the weather! I was committed to go south, which I could if I would have taken a
high tow and glide to the higher bases at Panoche. However instead I took a
local 1.5K tow and tried working my way south. I spent the next hour near the
south end of Q.Sabe between 2K-3K, most of the time less than 1000ft AGL! I
needed at least couple of thousand feet more to even think about continuing
further south. When I finally realized it is not going to happen, I tried to
stretch a glide from a little over pattern for Bickle (2000ft) towards some
clouds near christensen. My flight computer told me I have christensen in a
straight in glide, but it didn’t take into account the hills along the way!
Since I knew there are good fields along the way, I decided to give it a try.
To make long story short, I decided to put it down in a nice looking field by
the road when I got below 500ft AGL and I couldn’t even see Christensen
behind the hills! Good landing and easy retrieve thanks to a local who found
the key to the gate and gave me a ride back to Hollister.
1 – Fly the weather, not the forecast!
2 – Don’t stretch glides unless you absolutely sure you can land along the way (which I did).
Sunday looked much better. However I was overly optimistic and took an early
tow towards the clouds over Fremont Pk, then released early and glided
towards the clouds. Unfortunately the whole mountain was covered with shadow
and I couldn’t find any lift under the clouds. I started exploring south but
wasn’t high enough to get under the nicer looking sky further south and had
to turn around with my tail between my legs to land in Hollister for a
Lessons learned: Either release in good lift or take a high tow. I did
By now I started believing I’m having a bad Karma. I didn’t give up though
and took another tow, this time a high tow to Q.Sabe. (By now of course a
high tow wasn’t needed…) Things went well all the way to Hernandez, although not very high (6K-7K). My guts told me to turn around at San Benito bMt.ut 8L (Hugo) was much further south and I couldn’t let him take all the glory alone, so I pushed on.Soon I found myself under deteriorating skies. Hugo took a more westerly route and stayed high, but I fell below the peaks and was committed to the Coalinga route south. I struggled to get back above the mountains all the way
to Avenal, when I finally managed to climb back over Black mtn. This whole
struggle cost me precious time and by now my way back north was blocked with
overcast. I checked on 8L only to find out he is continuing south towards New Cuyama! Great job Hugo! I looked around my cockpit and since I didn’t find a throttle I realized I better turn around and hope for the best.
I had to take a big detour to the west to stay in the sun, struggling low the
whole way in weak lift, occasionally getting back to 6K, but for the most
part I was looking down at fields couple of thousand below me. This is
deffinitly going to be my most difficult XC out of Hollister so far. Flying
from one low save to another, I finally made it back to Hernandez. My relief
was short though. It was now after 5PM and all I could find at the Hernandez
elevator was weak lift to 5K, which wasn’t enough to get out of the valley. I
made few attempts to continue north but had to retreat and take the honor of
the first landout in Hernandez. Good landing in the middle section of the
I called 8L who was now on final glide after using his motor to fly back from
near New Cuyama. He relayed my situation back to Hollister where Miguel
volunteered to retrieve me with my trailer. I was back home by 11PM. Thanks Miguel for the retrieve and Hugo for the relay. I will write more about the Hernandez landing strip in a another note.
1 – It is still too early in the season for reliable long XC flights. The sun is still low which creates lots of shadow early in the day, similar to summer evenings. But heck, I still managed to fly 150 miles, and it is only the beginning of March!
2 – Don’t follow Hugo unless you have a motor 😉
CROSS COUNTRY SEMINAR
THE FIFTH ANNUAL
PASCO CROSS COUNTRY SEMINAR
Safety margins to consider when confronted with a new soaring environment
By Carl Herold, Sumner Davis and “The Seminar Team”
Where: The New LeConte Physics Building, Room 4,
University of California, Berkeley, California
Date: Saturday, March 8, 2003
Time: 7:15 a.m. to 8 a.m. for continental breakfast,
lectures from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Pre-Registration: Cost $60.00, Mail check made out to Carl Herold, PASCO XC
P.O.Box 5879, Reno, NV 89513, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be late registration ($60.00) at the door, but please RSVP.
This price includes a CD for each seminar delegate.
PROGRAM SCHEDULE: 8 a.m.. to 6 p.m. with a 1.5-hour lunch break
· KEMPTON IZUNO: An outline for a budding XC pilot desiring to fly safely for a week out of Tonopah, NV.
· WALTER CANNON: Glider pilots’ health, physiology, and equipment information
· CARL HEROLD: Spoilers open at the beginning of your take-off roll: When and where does this apply?
· MARC RAMSEY: Pro and con trade-offs re: available GPS, glide computers, & moving map displays for racing, records, badges, fun, & recreational soaring
· 24-MINUTE FILM: A riveting movie showing pilot work load in researching an accident
· KEY DISMUKES: Observations from a glider pilot on: Concepts of Error, Threat, and Risk Management to Glider Operations.
· CARL HEROLD: Tactical margins in flying close to the ground: in the flat land, in the hills, and at high density altitude in the mountains
· THE SPEAKERS PANEL: Delegate questions and answers
Hollister League this spring
From:Subject: Hollister League this spring
Please spread the word:
We will be running a series of contests at Hollister this spring. The goal
is to fly x-c and have fun in a competitive environment by creating an
informal series of contests based on the honor system with minimum rules. The
idea is to give incentive to both novice and experienced pilots to fly XC out
of Hollister, and an opportunity for non-club members to participate in the
2-day race for just the cost of a one-day membership. Tows are only $0.85 per
100’! There will be an emphasis on assisting novice pilots with flight
planning, strategies, and helping them out if they are struggling on course.
Radio communication for this purpose will be encouraged.
Contest dates are:
For more information go to http://www.soarhollister.com/league.htm
or email email@example.com
ASK-21 for sale
From: “Charlie & Rosemary”
Subject: ASK-21 for sale
Date: Sunday, January 05, 2003 3:17 PM
I have decided to sell my ASK-21 in order to make way for the DG-1000
coming in 2003.
Following are details also included in an attachment:
1985 Schleicher ASK-21 N129KS
3530 hours TT
Microair radio w/front and back boom mikes
M-Nav w/rear repeater
2 airspeed indicators
compass in front
empty weight 889#
payload 434 #
Operated at William’s, Hollister and Air Sailing since new (except original
10 hours at Hemet)
Major repairs to fuselage and wings 1989 and to fuselage in 1990. Repairs
done by JJ Sinclair both times, forms 337 in logs, TT airframe 230 hrs.
Since that time the glider has flown 3300 hours and flies like new. No
major repairs since 230 hours.
Glider was refinished in 1999 by Dean Aldinger at William’s Soaring Center .
Old gelcoat was removed and all surfaces primed with sander surfacer,
sealed with epoxy primer and top coated with PPG acrylic urethane. It is
2002 – new Schroth 5 point seat belts front and rear, new brake disc,
caliper and backing plate, main wheel fairing refinished, new elevator and
aileron gap seals, new main tire at 3530 hrs, good rubber nose and tail
A new Cambridge 2-place audio vario system is also available.
I would like to sell by January 31. I would sell the glider for $45,000 and
this would include a fresh annual. I would be open to a two month (Feb/Mar)
leaseback at $1000/month to Palomino Valley Soaring until the DG arrives.
That would make the cost $43,000 ($45,000-$2000 leaseback).
It presently is without oxygen but I could have a 2 place system installed
for an additional $700. It also does not have a trailer. I will deliver
anywhere in the Western US.
Contact Charlie Hayes at 775-475-2440, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Begin entry for Friday, February 28, 2003
Big ….OOOPPPs yesterday at William’s…..,
but everybody has to experience such an incident and learn from it. Some just quit at that point (which I could never comprehend), while others log it in as another stepping stone, and learn not to do that again.
My congratulations to Phil H for his successful off-field landing yesterday
Weather forecast is loook’n good for the 15th of March – our first gliding / Soaring outing for the 2003 Soaring Season.
I won’t bother to put up the charts again, you can see them yourself at
The bottom line is… rain on the 8th of march, showery for a few days, more rain on the 12th (according to those charts – some 13 days in advance). AND, clearing on Friday the 14th – that looks like a great spring gliding day (the best yet this year). AND, on Saturday the high is building, but it is only a ridge of high pressure, so it shouldn’t kill all the lift. Saturday the 15th (for right now) looks VERY promising.
Begin entry for Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Weather yesterday looked good. Very soarable over the hills west of Vacaville. Long wide Cu based about 3,500ft. It hung there for hours.
Time to start looking ahead to the 15th of March.
It looks dry for a while, but there will be precip between now and then -I figure two episodes. But, all I can see is 384 hours on the GFS Model. If you want to know what a GFS model is, then click here.
A forecast of 384 hours from now, puts us out to Thursday March 13, at 5 AM local time.
Here is the 10,000 ft chart
Here is the 18,000 ft chart
These are very long range forecasts!
It shows the jet stream is going north out there by the date line, and then coming back in over the west coast. The low centered over Canada will be spinning cold air towards us from the Gulf of Alaska. The ridge of high pressure us several hundred miles off the coast. Assuming the jet moves to the east, this looks promising. If the jet moves easterly, we may get that low to migrate further east, and we’ll have a fantastic day on Saturday, if the “front” passes overhead, and we get the first day of that ridge of high pressure starting to build. But that’s over two weeks away. We can look at it again next week. You can see this yourself, and you can watch it change as the charts go out to Saturday the 15th of March. See it, by going to my weather page and visiting the ggweather link (“500” in the url gives you 18,000 ft charts. …, change it to “700” to see 10,000 ft.). The charts are updated regularly.
I better get to work. Gotta have the ship ready to fly and I need to have all of my chores done, so I can go out and play.
See you all on the 15th.
Oh! One more thing. Is everything all set?
Have we talked much about the spot landing competition, the bomb drops, the categories of recognition for the flights for the day (or the seminars that we might have if the weather is lousy) for the 15th???
I suggest that everyone read the cross-country training page that we just finished.
If everyone reads it now, and then we get together on Saturday the 15th, we could get lots of opinions on what is real and what is not about flying cross country.
Every glider pilot flys cross country. If you ever needed a thermal to get back to the field (and who hasn’t?), then you have been on a cross-country glider flight!
Do some people always have a safe landing site in range???
Do some pilots not always have a safe landing site within range???
(it sure depends on how you ask the question,doesn’t it?)
What kind of speed do you fly between thermals???
Who adheres to that “Thermal Soaring Protocol”???
What L/D do you count on having if you start getting low??
Are those radio procedures for real??
How about those visual signals??
If it is a rain day, I will be glad to moderate a discussion of the above subject.
We could have an open forum – but heavily moderated.
We could tell examples (read “war stories”) that illustrate why we do certain things while flying out in the woods.
We could start the discussion at 3 PM – that way we could do other things earlier (get the trailers cleaned, and polished, etc), and at the same time, be ready for cocktails and dinner at 5 and 6 PM.
No one will be allowed to enter the discussion unless they have a print out of the cross-country training program page . This would be an indication that they read it, and also, we can refer to chapter and verse (page and paragraph) as we tear it apart/ or add to it.
Begin entry for Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Yesterday I published the TP list for William’s/ Crazy Creek. It is important to have as much info availalbe as possible when we are making a decision on which field to use for an outlanding. We need to get the TP list refined, and update the info as often as possible.
Last year a pilot was flying a glider out of Crazy Creek, and he had to make a choice on where to make an emergency landing.
He was between Stonyford/ Diamond M area and the Paskenta/Eagle peak area. He landed on a road near the TP’s we call BuroGap. I don’t know if he had a GPS, or if he had the latest turnpoint list for that area, and even if he did have the list, with all of the emergency fields, we don’t know if it would have changed anything.
Any way, this is the kind of thing that keeps me motivated to get a data base of emergency landing fields set up and maintained. Hopefully, we will have more photos of landing areas soon.
The ship was totaled, but the pilot was ok, but it was a close one.
Here is an email JJ that sent to us, for publication here on this page …
From: Subject: Re: Proof Loading JJ G2 wing
Date: Monday, February 24, 2003 12:52 PM
We have been busy this winter, at what is left of JJ Glider Repair. I ended up with the Genesis 2 that was totaled after a road landing somewhere northwest of William’s. The pilot was on a flight out of Crazy Creek, running with Jim and Rick Indrebo. He fell off the mountains at Black Butte Mt. and ran in sink all the way to the valley — couldn’t get to an airport, so decided to put her on a road (bad idea) and landed on a paved road 10 miles north of Stony Gorge Reservoir. He put it down OK and was on landing roll when the left wing tip caught on a barbed wire fence, about six inches from the tip.
It spun him into the barbed wire fence. It could have been a very serious accident because three barbed wires broke the canopy and hooked on the GPS mounted on top of the instrument panel and ripped it out. The wires ended up at the pilots head. Scary just to think about it. All the momentum had been dissipated and the pilot received rather minor cuts and abrasions as a result of his encounter with barbed wire. He was treated at the emergency room. Thankfully, his injuries were more superficial in nature. He knows, as do the rest of us, that roads make a very poor choice when it comes to picking a landing spot for a sailplane.
I ended up with the high bid on the salvage market and the practically new Genesis 2 became mine. Only problem is about 8 feet of the left wing was severed as a result of it’s encounter with the fence. One of the fence posts hit at exactly the wrong place – right in line with a large inspection hole and also another hole in the drag spar for the aileron push-rod. The fence post destroyed the *D* tube and there was precious little structure remaining due to the aforementioned holes. Result, the spar snapped as the wing tip swung back and 8 foot of the left wing fell on the ground.
I bought it for parts, hoping somebody would need a right wing or fuselage, someday. Got to looking at it and came up with a plan. The spar caps consist on bundles of 1/8 inch carbon rods, why not replace the rods, one at a time, on a 150 to 1 scarf ratio? Kind of *strip-mine* them out with a handheld power saw and a carbide blade.
I wrote up my repair scheme and submitted it to the designer, Jim Marske. He said, “Go for it”, so we did. The accompanying photo is the …..
test of repaired wing
proof loading of my repaired left wing under 5.3 G’s. The wing is inverted in the stands so that sand bags placed on the bottom of the wing will produce positive G’s.
I have already entered the Genesis in our Montague Nationals, Is that confidence or what?
Keep up the good work on the Soaring Diary,
Begin entry for Monday, February 24, 2003
I spent lots of time developing a Cross-Country Training Program for use at William’s. If you have your Gold Badge, then you are needed as a Mentor. Please read the program. If you want to learn to fly cross-country then see the new page . If you don’t want to learn cross-country, then see an instructor, and try to understand what you are missing – it is the essence of soaring! If you don’t learn it, then you will probably quit the sport. And, it might be just as well, because you probably aren’t safe anyway (if you have no desire to learn to fly cross-country).
In anticipation of the new soaring season, I have revised the turnpoint list for William’s and Crazy Creek. I have been receiving help from Kenny/ Chuck Griffin, Jim Conger, Dan Dunkel, and others. See the “Fields” file as well as the “What, Why and How of TP’s” file. And, the bottom line is…
…….Get the latest TP list from the page called tp-list.html
I am looking fwd to the 15th of March at William’s.
We may have landing contests, bombing contests, and flying awards.
Big BBQ all arranged…
I sure hope it is a soaring day – that will really make it the very best!!
Begin entry for Firday, February 21, 2003
There is chat on the WSC site about the cu over the hills today.
Here’s the sat photo
8 minutes before the web cam view at 1 pm friday
You can see Lake Beryessa is clear (lower right) as is Clear Lake (under cross hairs)
the cu are visible from Alder Springs northward.
We need better resolution if we are going to really get excited.
Plan on going to the March 15 fling at William’s
It promises to be a good outing
see the note below for details.
I hope it is a great soaring day.
I’ll be looking at it on the five days prior to the 15th.
Begin entry for Thurs, February 20, 2003
Nice note from Mark Hall to an inquiry about Turnpoints on the sectional (nice graphic and link to an aviation URL), also good inputs from Milt and Luke to Hang glider guys planning 100 mile flights out of St. Johns. See the William’s Today/ William’s Live page for last week.
There have been a few flights. Spring is coming. I hope I can get ready in time. Looks like we have a kick off date for out first outing!
The Big News is…….
VSA is organizing a Spring Fling
Here is the announcement sent to us by our President – Phil Henry, VSA …..
Flying, Food & Fun
Valley Soaring Association
March Meeting/Barbecue/Potluck with Fun Flying Contest
William’s Soaring Center
Saturday March 15, 2003
BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair
The New Year is well underway. Spring is approaching and it is time to have a party, I mean…… meeting. I would like for this get together to be the beginning of monthly events to be held on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Fly or hang out all day at the gliderport and party all evening.
We will have the barbecue going around 5pm with dinner ready to serve at 6:00 – 6:30. Chicken, beef, sausage….not really sure. I am open to suggestions. Any wine or beer suggestions? Potluck items are welcome.
Cost: $10.00 per person or $20.00 per family.
Everyone is welcome regardless of membership status.
RSVP to: Phil Henry or Noelle Mayes
916-646-6555 William’s Soaring Center
email@example.com (530) 473-5600
For Spring Fling updates see “William’s Today” at http://www.williamssoaring.com/
A special invitation to those of you who are thinking of learning to soar… Please come on out, meet some great people and have some fun. You will discover a community unlike any other. This is a sport where it is “OK” to be the newcomer.
Phil Henry (A Newbie)
Valley Soaring Association
Begin entry for Monday, February 10, 2003
It’s been a little slow.
I took a glider ride a few days ago. See web page
My Flight with John
Karol H is selling her glider. See web page
Karol selling ASW-24
Sumner D is selling his glider. See web page
Rex selling the LS-6
The web cam is back up at William’s. See link
Lot of progress on the new renovations at William’s
Sorry, I didn’t have time to put the photos up.
Rex and Kenny went to the Soaring Convention in Dayton, as did Jim D., Paul., and a few others from the local area.
Rick Anderson has moved into the shop at William’s. Rick will be doing sailplane repairs, modifications, and all manner of fiberglass work. He’ll have a web page up soon to tell you about it.
Rex appears to be booked pretty heavily, he has been doing some annuals, and minor shop work.
There is a VSA meeting tentatively scheduled for the third week in March. A confirmation and more details to follow. stay tuned.
I received a photo from Bob T. He says these are not sheep. If you think so, then you need glasses. I guess if you were at 1,000 feet, they would appear to be sheep.not sheep
This is the first entry to this Soaring Diary.
New volume started!
See previous volumes for older, or more recent, Soaring Diaries (the link to the index of previous versions is at the top of this page).
Begin entry for Thursday, January 2, 2003
New volume of the diary started.
See the recent photos received from Brian on December 20, 2002.
I’m still hoping we may get a wave day on Valentines Day (Feb 14th), if not before.
Phil and Rick had a flight over Goat a few days ago – in between rain storms.
See that info on the Live Page.
END OF THIS VOLUME OF THE SOARING DIARY