Monday, February 1, 2010

Cuesta Today Feb. 1st 2010

Today was the day we all decided to fly Cuesta for the first time in months.  It didn't look like it would be stellar, by any measure; but it was time.  The sky was filled with mid-level clouds and looked very stable, with high cirrostratus blocking out much of the heating of the sun.

The group consisted of Jack, Dave, Eric, Patrick, Bill, and me.  We all met at the top at 12:30 and were happy to see nice weak cycles coming up the face of launch.  Bill was flying his first PG flight at Cuesta and got the nod from Patrick that today was the day.  He suited up and was the first in the air.  Soon after, Jack & I launched and toyed with some small thermals in front of launch.  Patrick, Dave, and Eric were soon in the air also.

The lift was weak but kept us at launch altitude for quite a while before a few flushed out.  I headed over by the towers and found my own sink zone that put me below the lift band on the ridge and forced me to head in front for lift.  I was down to 1700' when I found a very weak but smooth thermal that danced with me for a awhile.  I was able to milk a climb until. finally, it filled in and took me to 1000' over launch.  I flew some laps along the ridge until a down cycle sent me to the LZ, after 55 minutes of flying.

Here's a video of the thermal that took me back to 1000' over from 300' below launch.  It's a bit like watching paint drying unless you consider thermaling to be a mystery - you can see me modifying the circle here & there to find the sweet-spot.
Moderately Low Save from Tim O'Neill on Vimeo.
Congrats to Bill who had a great first PG flight at the Cuesta Grade.
My flight track is HERE

It was a good day.



Anonymous said...

... good move sending the newbie off first as wind dummy ;-)

wingnut (SB)

Tim said...

Yeah - They always fall for the 'Call for volunteers'