06-23-19 | How’s A Little Blue For Ya?

Sorry for a missing daily report yesterday; we had a great day but got in late after a long drive. I was a bit too tired to get my thoughts together.

Noah and I were tired from our two long soaring days. It looked like the third day of the nice stretch of weather was going to give a shorter, but still quite reasonable soaring window. We decided to take this one easy, especially since we were going to make the drive up to Harris Hill in the evening.

It took a while for the day to trigger and when it finally did in the early afternoon, it was blue. We took off a little after 1pm and had no trouble staying up, but couldn’t climb much above 4300ft. At that point, we set a short two hour Turn Area task that took us up and down the valley. This would keep us in close proximity to the airport and felt like a reasonable task for the day.

Closer to 2pm, the conditions started improving and we headed out on task. Team flying in the blue works very very well. We spread out and sampled the air. When one pilot was in consistently better air, the other would adjust for his line. We were able to find thermals more frequently and center them more efficiently. We practiced leaving efficiently, with the leading pilot “overextending” on the exit, thereby letting the trailing pilot catch up. This took away the need for the trailing pilot having to accelerate substantially to catch up to the leading pilot and losing a bit of altitude.

The conditions were a little suppressed by Tyrone and Noah was a little bit concerned. He had thoughts to turn back to Ridge Soaring at that point. I said that if this was a contest day, we would have no hesitation to keep going; it was the middle of the day, there was a ridge ahead with infrastructure below. I said, “There’s gotta be a thermal ahead.”

“Yeah, but things can go south quick here,” Noah replied.

“I think it’s going to work fine.”

We edged down to around 3500ft or so and I reminded myself we were just a hair lower than 3000ft AGL, still plenty high. And then we finally connected with reasonable lift. Moreover, there were clouds forming ahead and a wonderful line forming off to the side. We worked our way up to 6500ft and the air looked glorious.

Then Noah said, “Sorry that I was being a bit of a chicken today.” We both perked up when we had nice Cu to look forward to!

We worked our way over to the line and finally connected at 5000ft MSL. At this point we were in great shape. To add excitement, a Nimbus 3 joined our thermal up high. Now we have someone to fly with!

He left the thermal and headed to the NE, the same direction we were headed. We made good work of this opportunity, kicking into gear and flying the energy line as best as we could. We were keeping up with the fellow! The thermals along the line were somewhat broken up, but the lift was still more or less working. We’d hook into a thermal every once in a while, keeping a close eye on the Flying Whale. When the line was about to run out, we found a nice one and the unfortunate fellow had to return back to our thermal, 500 ft below.

Gotta admit, it felt good being in an LS4, above a Nimbus 3!

The thermal gave us enough height to make the turnpoint and most of the way home. This worked out well because the air was not great toward Ridge Soaring. We found one more thermal and we figured this was good enough to call it a day, hit the turnpoint and head back.

After we landed, we had the ships apart and all our stuff ready to go in a little over an hour. At 5pm, we hit the road for Harris Hill. Along the way we picked up dinner and we arrived at the gliderport at 8pm.

When we arrived, Noah looked at the setting sun and the perfectly still windsock.

Want to go fly the Super Cub?

“Heck yeah!” I replied.

Within 10 minutes, we were on the runway ready to go. Noah is a heck of a pilot. Sitting in the back, I was amazed watching how comfortable he was with this airplane. “I hadn’t flown it in several months!” Well it didn’t show one bit. Every one of his movements was effortless and efficient. And several moments later, we were off the ground and in the beautiful, still air.

Harris Hill in the summer time is absolutely gorgeous. The whole Chemung valley lights up in a brilliant glow. With the door open on the Cub, you really feel like you’re flying. It’s great to be back here.

Find my flight log here.

And Noah’s here.

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Thanks a million to Aero Club Albatross and Harris Hill Soaring Corporation for letting us use their club ships toward training for the Junior Worlds.

06-22-19 | Slogging Upwind

Now that we had the easy ridge running out of our system, Noah and I were looking for some challenges. Today, we flew to the east of Ridge Soaring to get to the better air. Our first leg took us downwind and over to the Blairstown ridges and worked out great. We were down on the ridges from Bear Mountain all the way to Fairview Lake, in tight formation.

After rounding Fairview at 1:45 or so, we started heading upwind toward the Pocono Plateau. If the streets were to work well, we thought we may have a shot at making a nice run up to Harris Hill. But the upwind leg was considerably more difficult than either of us expected. We couldn’t climb above 4500ft MSL and the wind picked up to 23 knots. This made progress painfully slow. The lift was completely torn up. I remembered remarking to Noah that we’re as likely to find an honest thermal around here as an honest lawyer. But we kept struggling along, keeping East Stroudsburg and the ridge in glide behind us.

It took us over an hour to go from the Upper Reservoir over Pocono airport. Ahead of us there was a beautiful looking street. “Looks like we’re home free!” But unfortunately not. In between each cloud was six down sink. Most of the clouds did not work. The ones that did had lift that was highly unorganized. We just kept throwing ourselves into the wind.

Across the Wyoming Valley near Scranton, we dipped down to 3800ft. After slowly climbing and working a couple bubbles into the wind, we realized we only went five miles in around 20 minutes. It was just brutal.

At this point, it became clear that we had to think about heading back home. Home being 110 miles to the west of course. The initial strategy was to try to get around and behind the Alleghany plateau and then drop down to Williamsport. We made it to the upwind edge, but then the clouds started fizzling out. We couldn’t get much above 5,500ft most of the time and the wind was still quite strong. Our only option was to stay on the back edge of the plateau, where there were a bunch of short cloud streets going crosswind. We hopped along, getting down to 4000ft or so and up to 5500ft in weak lift. A couple times we nearly bagged it and dumped downwind to the Scranton ridge. This would have been a nearly assured landout for both of us.

But we kept plodding along, pretty much exhausted. Our radio communications became less coherent. My thermalling was not quite up to my normal standard. But we kept at it, knowing that time was running out.

36 miles to go to Williamsport. The ridge should be working out there. 2000ft low and settling down. A couple more little thermals and it’ll do.

Down to 3800ft and a 2 knot thermal finally made it work. We climbed up and now we had a clean glide to Williamsport. Noah had second thoughts about flying the ridge since the wind was quite northerly and it was progged to weaken farther south. I replied that we hardly had a choice since the day was likely to die before we would get home. And that if we fly the ridge now we might still be able to get a final climb at Lockhaven.

No trouble settling down on the ridge; the trees were dancing and we cruised along at 90 knots. We backed off approaching Lockhaven as we approached the bend in the mountain. At this point we floated up into the high band of the ridge, ~3000ft MSL. Subsequently it was a glorious ride home. Smooth air, tailwind, mostly at 55-60 knots in the “evening magic”. We couldn’t believe it that we were going to make it home today.

We glided on back home and landed to the northeast. Both of us stopped exactly at the mid-field taxiway leading to the hangars and both of our ships are put away for the night. We worked harder today than on most worlds-level tasks. We managed to stay together well and helped each other along, especially in finding and coring these really challenging thermals today. In the past two days, we had flown 14 hours in synchrony. It’s really freakin’ awesome!

Find Noah’s flight log here.

Find my flight log here.

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Thanks a million to Aero Club Albatross and Harris Hill Soaring Corporation for supporting us by giving us their club ships to train in for the Junior Worlds!

06-21-19 | Ridge Soaring with Noah

The Junior Worlds are a little over a month away. Noah and I dedicated the Standard Class Nationals toward team training. We were going to get the rust off our team-flying techniques and do some racing as practice. But then at 9am Thursday morning, when I was five minutes away from Blairstown airport to pick up the club LS4 and hit the road, I received a call from Hank Nixon that the Standards are cancelled! This threw our plans for a spin.

Noah and I quickly reassessed our options. The soaring weather looked good in the northeast, so perhaps we could simply use the same time flying on our own. Ridge Soaring gliderport looked particularly inviting for Friday since it promised a pretty nice ridge day. The following two days are forecast to bring great thermal conditions. We quickly got the ball rolling with our respective clubs, Aero Club Albatross and Harris Hill Soaring Corporation. Both clubs supported our change of plan and we were on our way.

I had a very relaxing day as my drive got cut down from 9 hours down to less than three. But poor Noah already had his glider up at CCSC and had to make the whole drive to Ohio and back. He made it to Julian, PA a little past midnight.

The ridge day worked out as advertised. Late start due to lots of moisture (thanks to the two inches of rain during the night). But the wind was solid and the cool airmass cooked off nice thermals. We took the flight more leisurely, trying to keep good margin on the transitions. We decided to head SW along the back ridges, as this was where the better thermals were going to be.

No real trouble except a lowish jump over to Shade. After climbing off of Jacks, the thermal crapped out and we had to beeline to the ridge about a third of the way below ridge top. Otherwise all the jumps were low stress. We made it down to Wardensville on Great Northern Mountain (aka: Blairstown Wall) without too many challenges. Subsequently we got back up to Lockhaven and down to Altoona and back home to Julian.

It was really really fun flying together again. Noah makes the Discus sing and it was a blast to share a ridge day together. We were generally less than 100 yards apart and hardly ever farther than a quarter mile. I don’t think I had ever flown for six hours in such synchrony with another aircraft.

The thermalling worked out beautifully and we had a couple really gorgeous runs up streets. One especially great run was off of Jacks Mountain. A shower rolled through the area and we caught a seven knotter to cloudbase and then a street all the way to Tussey.

Another interesting moment was coming back from Lockhaven to Julian, PA. A shower was about ready to dump near Milesburg Gap, bad news. We didn’t want to drive in there low. So we gingerly climbed up in weak lift, both getting higher and letting some time go by so that the shower would finally pass. Noah correctly assessed the development of the shower and I did a good job of finding and centering the smooth two knotter near Howard Dam.

It was a blast flying with Noah again and I can’t wait till tomorrow. Tomorrow we’ll be flying to Blairstown and maybe Harris Hill… we’ll see. But the conditions look even more promising than today, with thermals going up to 7000ft MSL. This should work out very well.

______________________

Thanks a million to Aero Club Albatross and Harris Hill Soaring Corporation for supporting our training with their respective club ships!

See Noah’s flight here and my flight here. If you have SeeYou, download them and play them together. It’s pretty cool!

05-21-19 | Celebration Day | 500km Triangle

On Monday, I graduated from New York University with a Master’s degree in Psychology. It has been hard work over the past couple of months getting my thesis done and my final classes completed. It has been a great ride, the capstone with a study on Emotional Intelligence and Bargaining Behavior. But between the lack of good soaring weather and my studies, I haven’t gotten to fly all that much over the past spring. So come the end of May, with my projects complete and good weather on the horizon, I was almost caught off guard; surprised by the prospect of getting to do a whole bunch of flying over the next couple of months! And when a nice day rolled in a day after my graduation, I figured what better way to celebrate than to go fly?

Gliderpilots are strange creatures. We think that it is fun to strap into a couple hundred pounds of fiberglass, close the canopy and seclude ourselves from the world. And to go in circles all day.

But no matter, this was a good day to fly. Finally, an honest-to-god cold front rolled through, bringing unstable, NW flow. The tricky bits were that the wind was to die off to the SW. Not a good day to go to the Potomac, with weak and northerly winds beyond Burnt Cabins. But what about to the North? Maybe we could do another triangle? I played with a whole bunch of options, hoping for a 600km triangle that took me into the plateau. Up near Williamsport, it was forecast that we could get Cu to 6000ft, plenty to ease into the high terrain.

There were few souls at the airport in the morning. Steve Beer was gung ho, raring to attempt a Diamond Distance in a 1-26. He helped me throw the LS4 and Duckhawk together and I returned the favor by being his official observer and running his wing. Tommy went off to get breakfast and I went to finish up putting the ships together.

Getting closer to launch time, still no gliderpilots to be seen. I decided to push the LS4 by hand to the end of the runway; bad idea. The grass was high and halfway I got completely winded. I summoned the energy to push the ship in 80 yard spurts, then stopping to catch my breath. By the time I got the ship to the end of the runway, I was glad to collapse in one of the handy lawn chairs by the runway. Ten minutes later, my heart rate finally returned to normal and I was satisfied that my cardio exercise for the day was complete. Seeing Tommy hustling back from breakfast, I was ready to go.

Wing down takeoff, no problem and a quick tow to the ridge. It was completely solid and I dropped onto the trees. No trouble moving along at a solid 95-100 knots, about as fast as I am normally willing to go in the ‘4.

The ridge band was a little odd today; more like a typical SE day than NW. It was a very thin, but solid band of lift. 400ft above the trees, you could hardly sustain. Down on the trees, you could make some serious speed. This was especially pronounced by the flat spot by Snyders. I like to float up to 2000ft in a high performance ship to make that crossing. This was a bit trickier today as the lift band was hardly getting up there.

By 11am, the thermals were on. The last bits of morning Cu had finally withered away, but there was not much too much trouble finding the thermal to make the crossing to Sharp. 3800ft, a good line and I was across to Second Mountain. Gold mine line and I was on Sharp at 1750ft. I figured that Sharp was working, but was not in a real dying rush. I picked up a thermal quickly after making the crossing, still in touch with the fields off the back. This set me up nicely to thermal across the whole section. No real trouble making it across to the Mahantango, which surprisingly worked very well. The wind was starting to die down now; less than 13 knots. But the lift band kept cranking.

On the Tuscarora, it started getting soft. When the wind is less than 15 mph at ridge top, the ridge band gets quite varied; sometimes it is cranking, sometimes it gets soft. By the time I hit Burnt Cabins, it was not working well at all.

Maybe I could make a run down to Dickeys on thermals? It was early yet; the thermals might get a lot better! The crappy thermal at Sidneys Knob minimized my motivation, especially with a wind reading ~340 degrees at 9 knots. Not fun to be at the bend at McConnellsburg with this kind of wind! I decided to instead proceed on my task and headed over to Shade Mountain. The challenge now was to make it across all the transitions to Williamsport. This turned out to be considerably trickier than I thought.

On Shade, I started settling down and down. I wasn’t too concerned as the ridge worked reasonably well on the Tuscarora; it should sustain me if I was in a real bind. But I did keep one eye at the fields and the other on the ridge. When I found thermals, I took them, just floating along in the higher band. The farther NE I go, the better the wind should get, no need to drive low and in a rush.

Near Mt.Union, I made the transition upwind. I had the choice to fly Stone or Jacks Mountains. I generally prefer Stone Mountain as it is a much better springboard for the next upwind jump across Seven Mountains to Nittany. However, with the weak, northerly wind, I thought twice of flying Stone. The fields at the base of it are not all that great. Moreover, some serious cirrus rolled in over Mifflin. And to add insult to injury, it was totally blue; no Cu to mark the thermals. It wasn’t going to be a cakewalk getting upwind. Maybe I could find some stragglers from the regional contest to mark a couple thermals? In any case, I decided to head along Jacks Mountain today.

With the high cloud cover moved in, the ridge and thermals softened up. It was a struggle climbing off the ridge. I hate dealing with the blue, especially alone. Finally having to resort to reading the ground, I figured, hoped that the quarry upwind might trigger something. And it did! Nice when it works out that way.

It was only good enough for 4,500ft. Looking at Seven Mountains, I wasn’t terribly pleased. The glide angle just looked too flat for comfort, despite the encouragement from the glide computer. But not able to get any higher, I edged forward. I managed to keep the meh angle, until halfway into Seven Mountains. Then I got into good air and I had it totally made. One major hurdle down!

At this point, I hoped to connect with a reasonable thermal and make it to Nittany in one go. No joy on that one and at 3000ft I started heading along First Mountain. This is the same place where I got into trouble last week. It was weird looking down at the places I scratched out of.

The stratocirrus got thicker and the thermals got ever worse. I settled down and down, going the whole length of the mountain without finding a climb. On the northeastern end, I finally had to turn around. Shortly thereafter, I settled right down onto the trees, maybe even a hair below ridge top at 55 knots. That certainly got my attention! The ridge was so weak that any bits of thermal sink were enough to wash it out. The little bubble ahead had a couple turkey vultures and a couple S-turns finally got me out of this predicament.

One of the things that astounds me is just how tenuous soaring flight can be. One wrong move and I would have been on the ground. One bad turn, another 20-30 feet below ridge top and the flight would’ve been over. It’s amazing how efficient these machines are at extracting the little bits of energy out of the air.

Now I was backtracking in relation to my task. But looking ahead, the skies parted and sunshine finally reached the ground. Appreciating this divine intervention, I headed on over and finally found some solid lift. As I was climbing, I dialed my task back to a 500km triangle. I figured that with this high cloud cover I ought to head back sooner than I originally anticipated. Normally 4pm would be a reasonable time to turn an upwind turn, but a little after 3 would have to do today. The climb got me high enough to reach Nittany Mountain; much better shape!

Once established on Nittany, things looked a lot better. In fact, there were small cumulus ahead, quite high up. I thought about getting my nerve back to go for the upwind turnpoint. When I hit a little thermal by the Talladega jump and looked at the high cloud cover behind me, this squashed this enthusiasm. The sun was swinging around and setting to the west and yet more and more moisture was marching in from the west. The net effect was that I was racing the shade! Enough, time to get to Williamsport and call it quits.

I had no trouble climbing up to 5,800ft. This was as high the bubble went and I gingerly pointed downwind. I’ll admit, it was a bit scary. Flying in the blue is really intimidating to me; who knows where and when you’ll find the next thermal. But I was high enough to make downwind ridges, which eased my worries. And feeling active air along the way was all the better, especially with another solid climb to 6,900ft. It turned out that the thermals were quite active and I had no troubles going downwind to Blue Mountain.

The ridge was still working solid, so it felt like a crime to just call it quits when I got back home. Why not do another lap for good measure?

As I neared the Delaware Water Gap, I saw Bill Thar screaming along in his Duckhawk. I asked him he wanted to join me on the lap and he most happily agreed to come. Apparently it gave him endless satisfaction to float up behind, pass me and then float up again behind me again. Usually pilots only get the satisfaction to pass a glider once, you know?

I floated off the end of Hawk Mountain and came back square at ridge top. It was a bit softer than I would’ve liked and was having a hard time floating up for the journey back across Snyders. Slowly but surely I made it back up to 2000ft; afterwards Bill and I floated like “gentleman” back home.

What a fun day!

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Thanks a million Tommy for towing and Aero Club Albatross for giving me the chance to fly this sweet bird today.

Find the flight log here.

05-16-19 | By the Skin of My Teeth- A 500km Thermal Triangle

I don’t think a soaring forecast drove me as crazy as this one did. A backdoor cold front was to sweep through the area, but was incredibly finicky. Moisture in the ground, wind, cloudbase, and high cloud cover were all huge variables. I tracked the weather and changed the task with every model run. A little more wind, the ridge would work to Hawk. That would be a good way to start the day… run the ridge before the day triggers and cash in the 60 miles for free. Then the forecast showed a shower in the Harrisburg area; maybe I could skirt around it by going NW? It drove me crazy because it looked like there was a path toward a big flight, if I could just find the right way to go.

I had no less than eight 500km+ triangles in my Garmin, ready to go if the weather changed. The night before, I settled on one that I liked; Upper Reservoir –> Tussey (near Woodward) –> Reading –> Fairview Lake –> Upper Reservoir. I didn’t get much rest; the gears in my mind churned away.

Bill Thar graciously let me use his ship on this day. I took hold of the opportunity, figuring the performance would help. It surely did. When I launched at 11am, the lift was spotty. A couple hanging, wispy cu over the ridge that didn’t do me much good. I found the climb near the Delaware Water Gap down at 2400ft. Looking back toward Blairstown, it seemed it was cycling down. At 5000ft, I decided to get out of dodge and on my way.

Most of the clouds were not working and the lift was far apart. It seemed like whatever moisture got up to cloudbase just hung around there. Nice looking Cu lied. This was a risk-minimization day.

And it worked out very well. I took pretty much every viable thermal in my path and deviated for anything that looked promising. I floated at 80 knots, a very comfortable angle in the Duckhawk. In the good air, the automatic flaps clicked and clacked away. Those couple hundred feet every glide paid today.

This was especially the case when I transitioned into the Pocono Plateau. This is high ground; good lift, but with not much room to work with. I tiptoed through the area, keeping fields in my pocket, but gingerly working all the air along the way. The clouds that worked had a higher cloudbase than the rest. I was very happy with this segment of the flight; I felt that I walked the tightrope to stay connected nicely.

Across the high ground and I see the Susquehanna valley of death ahead me. I climbed as high as I could. I thought about deviating to stay with the high terrain, but the clouds didn’t look promising there. I had to throw my lot in with the valley and floated on in.

The sink between the thermals was horrendous. It paid big to stay with the lines. For the most part, this worked out fine. But at one point I started dropping out into the valley. Any thermal would do and I struggled up to 4,500ft. The lift was hardly working higher and I moved on. I was at the edge of my seat the whole time, getting into lower and wetter ground. But the air was actually very nice. I managed to go many miles just floating along, well below cloudbase. I don’t know how I pulled that off, but it certainly made the difference; there were hardly any thermals along the way there…. I would’ve climbed if they worked!

Curiously, the thermal I did hit was pretty much in the middle between the two branches of the Susquehanna River. I was a bit leery going in there… figuring this about the lowest ground around. But over some infrastructure, the thermal popped up and gave me enough to make it over to the ridges on the other side. Phew!

Pushing through a lot of sink, I finally flopped over to the extension of Jacks Mountain. 5 knot thermal! Yippee, I made it across! 6300ft and nice clouds in front of me all the way to Seven Mountains. It’s 1pm and clearly the conditions had finally kicked *on*. What to do but speed up to 90 knots and start rocking and rolling?

The first cloud didn’t work.

The second cloud didn’t work.

The third cloud didn’t work.

Darn it, the fourth(!!!) cloud didn’t work!

Now I’m at the edge of Seven Mountains contemplating whether I should back track or make a death dive to Tussey. My turnpoint was on this ridge and it was going to be oh so painful to go backwards. I opted to make the transition, keeping the fields in check off of my right shoulder. Diving to 100 knots, I punched through the sink and made it across with 700ft to spare.

At this point, I finally appreciated the entirety of my blunder. Ahead, the few clouds were torn up. A thin band of cirrus moved in. The wind was showing 10 knots from 300; the ridge isn’t going to save me. Gulp.

I started settling down. Come on baby, any bubble would do. I kept settling… and settling. I am paying a lot of attention to the not so great fields at the base of the ridge. I keep settling, not a burble. A little bump right before a gap, not enough to turn in. I crossed the gap and found nothing on the other side. My only hope is to turn back and hope to work that little bubble.

Ridge pilots know that this is an incredibly desperate thing to do. Turning back rarely does you any good. I found a bubble several hundred feet above ridge top, though it was just barely working. In fact, for several minutes I was just slowly losing, drifting along with it. I felt so totally screwed at this point. That field at the base of the ridge has my name on it, that’s for sure.

But then it picked up to 1.5 knots. One turn, two turns, four turns and the mountain is slowly dropping away. Well who would have thought?

I struggled up to 4000ft, at which point it started falling apart. A sigh of relief and I glanced at my Garmin to check on my turnpoint. Only 3.5 miles further. A promising cu ahead. It would be painful to turn home with the turnpoint so close; I edged forward.

Settling down. Under the nice cu, nothing but diddly squat! I am now beyond the turnpoint, searching for something, anything off of the ridge. Oh Daniel, you stupid dope! You’re now going to land out after having had that improbable save!  No way you’re going to get lucky a second time!

Now several hundred feet above the ridge. Another measly bubble, not good enough. I crossed another little gap, no joy. Another field picked out and I made another desperation attempt for that bubble behind me. Down to 200ft over ridge top and it just barely picked up. 55 knots, heart’s racing. One eye on the field, the other eye on the ridge. Airspeed, yawstring. Don’t turn into the mountain. I fell out of the back side of this narrow thermal almost every turn. I had to remind myself to breathe every once in a while.

I was astounded. I was now edging my way up over the mountain, up to 3000ft. Oh damn it, not high enough to go across Seven Mountains! I dejectedly pushed upwind to the next cu. Good air… good air. Bang! 2 knots! I tightened into that sucker and started spiraling up… 4000ft, 5000ft. I’m out of the doghouse now.

I was exhausted. My body ached as the pressure finally subsided. I felt like a wet noodle. With the tailwind and true airspeed bonus, I was doing 105 knots. I was perfectly content to just float this one out, no rush. No more of this low altitude nonsense.

The lift perked up a bit now, but it was still hard to center and far apart. Any reasonable thermal, I was taking it. Probably the most fun moment was up at 6800ft after leaving a thermal. I picked up to 90 knots and just hit a thermal smack in the middle. I hauled on the stick and catapulted straight up. The flaps kicked right in and I gained 600ft on the one pull. Very nice!

3:35pm and at the turn. Just make it over the ridge and you’re home free. 2.8 knots in the thermals, no sweat… there’s plenty of time. Just stay high and float on home.

By 5pm, I crossed my finish at the Upper Reservoir. Thoroughly pooped out, I called it quits pretty quickly after that.

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Thanks Brandon for towing and Ron for running the line in the morning! Aero Club Albatross did really great yesterday; 22 tows on a weekday! I think this is a record for club operations! And thanks a million to Bill Thar for letting me fly your spectacular ship. It made the difference today.

Find the flight log here.