I headed to Hollister this morning because of the amazing looking BLIPMAP. Thermals in the area were predicted to be 500-700fpm and as high as 10,000 feet. The forecast was dead on. It was really hot.
I flew twice in the Grob. My first flight sucked. I released at 2,400 after going thru a few strong thermals. I turned around to get them and couldn't find anything but sink. I was back on the ground in less than 15 minutes.
I waited a while before going up again. Launching well after noon, I towed to the Three Sisters--where all the action was. A bunch of other gliders found 6-8 knot thermals. I released at 5,400 in a thermal and found some 4-5 knot thermal activity but it was surrounded by 8-10 knot sink. I lost 1,000 feet and then gained 600. Then lost 800 and gained 400. And I was heading away from the airport.
I decided to head back toward the airport. Just at the edge of the foothills, I found a good 5 knot thermal at 2,700. It took be back up to 4,000. Having re-gained some confidence (it was in short supply), I took some big drinks of water (damn it was hot!) and headed south to look for more.
I found sink again. I got out of it quickly and headed toward the junk yard. It was sink all the way there but then I found 2-3 knots lift. Compared to what others found in the hills, it was crap, but it was better than nothing.
While trying to center the thermal, I started to realize that the heat was really getting to me. So I decided to go land. Just before I made my pattern entry, I found more lift and worked it for 2 minutes before heading in.
I got hit with more lift in the pattern and came in with full dive brakes. In fact, I landed long. It was either that or fly a 360 on final to drop altitude. I could have done that but I knew that my brain was not working at full power, so I just let the brakes do their thing. I even added a slip for good measure.
I went home, took a cold shower, and decided never to soar in 100 degree heat again.
Posted by jzawodn at June 26, 2003 09:00 PM