I headed down to Hollister around 12:30 today with a 3-5pm reservation in the Grob. I drove through a lot of rain to get there and was convinced the airport was going to be rained out. But while I was still 10 minutes out, Lance called to tell me the DG-1000 was now free (he had just finished) for the rest of the day. Did I want it?
I convinced Darren to ride in the back seat and we got ready to fly. The rain was getting closer and did get the airport wet for a few minutes. We took off when it stopped at 2pm and I asked to tow plane to take us toward Fremont Peak (as Darren and I had discussed on the ground). By crossing back over the airport at about 2,500 feet we hit a good thermal. The vario was above 8 knots for at least 5 seconds, so I pulled the release.
It had been quite a while since I released that low in lift at Hollister, but given the abundant clouds I figured we stood a good chance of staying up for a while.
As luck would have it, we spent the next hour hopping among several of the nearby clouds but never got terribly high--maybe 3,200 feet or so. And then at one point we found ourselves at 1,700 feet near the intersection. I was just about to move my hand to the gear handle when the vario got all excited. We climbed out of that hole and flew for another hour before landing.
The highest we got was about 4,200 over downtown Hollister. From there we tried to run over to Fremont Peak but chickened out after not finding much lift and ended up playing around west of the airport--then south and east. We had some fun drifting into the east hills while getting to the cloud base again.
All in all it was a fun day considering how crappy it looked at home. I expected I'd be up for an hour if I got lucky. A two hour flight was more than either of us expected. But it was what I was hoping for. :-)
Posted by jzawodn at September 19, 2004 07:33 PM