Author Topic: THERMAL SOARING REPORT - START OF THE NEW FLYING SEASON 4/18/14  (Read 4104 times)

KEEPER OTF

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April 2014 my first time out for the season. The weather report called for cloudy skies and cool temperatures. I contacted one of my flying buddies earlier in the week and we decided to give it  try.
Mid morning at the field was cold, lucky I decided to wear my winter coat, I needed it. The winds were around 8MPH out of the east, ideal. My flying friend was doing final trim settings on a new sailplane and I was trying out a new radio.
With everything set up, equipment checked it was time to fly. Despite the overcast cloudy skies there was lift to be found. You do not need a bright sunny day in order to get good thermal soaring conditions. The temperature differential from the night to the day was all we needed. The first flight I got my feet wet again after a lull from flying since last November. Its like riding a bike, you never forget. The new radio felt very comfortable, the weight was just slightly more than my other radio and the sailplane performed as I remembered from last year. The second flight found lift, it was still mid morning with longer flights ahead. I took a break from flying to help my friend do final trim adjustments. After about six flights the sailplane was tuned to perfection. It looked great in the air, was very stable and responded as designed in lift. Back to my sailplane. The lift was abundant and strong. It did not take much effort to find. Remember we are in cloudy, overcast conditions. As the day progressed the sun would break through providing needed warmth and keeping lift conditions active. On one flight, the lift was so powerfull, I had to deploy the spoilers to drop altitude. I have not yet installed the altitude telemetry sensor, but from the ground it was a high as I would want to be flying. One other point we both noted was our ability to see our sailplanes in high altitude against the sky. Both of our planes are bright colors and at times they were difficult to see. We packed things up around 2PM and called it a successful day of thermal soaring. We have an entire season ahead to enjoy our great hobby.