Monday, September 22, 2014

Slope Flying Contingency Plan

On the third Saturday of the month there are a group of us that gather for a thermal duration contest of some type organized by Wayne Norrie. When this first started it often happened to be on a windy day; we would gather and talk for a while and then go home. Wayne has been working hard to find suitable slope soaring sites with hills facing all directions which gives us a contingency plan for windy weather; last Saturday we were at another dam site that will work for east or west wind.


 Lift was good for a small hill and a variety of gliders were flown. Ray landed at the edge of the water a couple of times to start with because he was having trouble controlling his glider. Turns out he had too much control and the glider was not responding well, when he adjusted that his flying wing was flying very well. Wayne flew his Sig 2 meter riser which quickly rose fairly high compared to some of the smaller foam planes I was flying. 

 After mentioning to group we could try some type of timed racing event without much response; Wayne decided he would go for the one hour slope flight. After the first launch his Riser was back on the ground after not very long, it was launched again and the flight duration kept stretching out. On a couple of occasions the Riser came within a few feet of the top of the dam but Wayne nursed it carefully back to altitude. When it looked like 60 minutes might be within reach, the wind shifted slightly and the glider landed at 38 minutes. Rather disappointing but a darn good flight from such a small slope.

 Dave flew a Hyper DL glider; I just purchased a used one that I think flies very nice. George who had been flying his Alula but changed to his 2 meter Radian and powered up to altitude to check out the thermal lift. Even though it was windy, there was some huge thermal lift over the land areas to side of the water that appeared to be rather stationary. 

 It was a fun morning of flying and the pelicans on the water didn’t seem to mind us being there at all. 

 Bill Kuhl

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