Here's a copy of the report I sent to the HGC list on Friday after I got home from flying...
I had the day off work today (yeay for office moves) and headed to Hollister intending to fly in the DG-1000 with Drew to get a bit more practice with loops. Instead, I ended up flying with Brett because Drew was gonna fly with someone (forgot who) in the Duo, hoping to go X-C in the wave. No problem! Sure enough, there were wave clouds in the sky. Brett and I launched around 12:20pm and towed toward the southeast. There was NO wind at the surface but we started encountering some bumps as low as 800 feet. Keeping an eye on the vario, we towed up to 6,700 and released when we were sure there was lift. A few times before, we watched the vario go as low and 2 knots and as high as 8. Seeing that it averaged 5-6, we released in 8 and turned into 2 knot lift toward the southwest. After hanging out a bit, I suggested that Brett grab my GPS so we could figure out what the winds were doing. We did a few shallow 360s to measure our ground speed and ground track. When heading directly into the wind (roughly 180-160 degrees true) at 50 knots IAS the GPS said we were going about 18 knots. We seemed to find a good 30-40 knot wind at 7,000-8,000 feet. We managed to climb as high as 8,500 and tried to make it back that high a few times. But after the first 45 minutes to an hour the lift got weaker and harder to find. Instead of an easy 2 knots up (with occasional 3 or 3.5) the best we got was 0.5 to 1. Just past the 1 hour mark, we got the radio call that told use the glider was due back. (Whoops. Guess who didn't think to check the schedule before chasing wave?!) We were at roughly 7,200 feet, so we headed back toward the airport and finished up my loop work on the way home. We never went terribly far away. The spot we hung out in was roughly 2-3 miles north of Bikle. A few times we drifted farther north into the valley while trying to map the lift. It was quite helpful to have Brett acting as navigator, occasionally setting waypoints to mark good lift, while we wandered the area to get a feel for where it was. All in all, it was a good way to spend a Friday. We flew for 1.5 hours and had to burn off a lot of altitude on the way back. The flight was good practice for working weak wave lift, and the DG-1000 is so quiet and peaceful when you're flying at 45-50 knots--gradually climbing. :-)
Anyway, my goal of getting signed off to fly loops is complete. :-)
Oh, and I finally got a chance to pee in a glider. It's a lot easier when you've got a co-pilot on board! That's a good skill to work on for longer flights.
Oh, also, the guys who took the DG-1000 up after us made it to 10,000 feet. Damn them! I'll just need to go up again on the next good wave day...
Posted by jzawodn at December 20, 2003 10:13 PM
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