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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Weekend report

We had a good weekend here. Leah was out of town Saturday but I stayed up late Friday finishing up the panel on 373Y and getting it loaded into the trailer thanks to help from my friend Brad.  The panel went together OK although I had trouble with the leads on the voltmeter so it isn't currently working.  I also got some 1/4" birch plywood at Lowes and fashioned a seatback out of it. I don't think it will be the final iteration but it is a good start.

Flying on Saturday was good. I was the duty instructor for the day and first order of business was to help Summer get back in the Ka-6.  We assembled both the Ka-6 and 3Y and started Summer to work with a couple of spot landings.  She did well so I put the logger in the glider and launched her up for some soaring.  I was planning to join her in 3Y for some lead/follow cross country flying, probably to Kingman and back.  A student showed up though so I flew with him in the 2-33 and got him solo'd agian.  We also did some thermalling on about a 40 minute flight which was his first exposure to actual soaring. I sent him back up solo to do it himself, which he did with a 45 minute solo flight.  Then I launched in 3Y and found Summer.  We had a great thermal to about 6400 feet.  The audio vario worked GREAT!  I am happy to report that the Cherokee II will outclimb the Ka-6.  By this time Summer's handheld radio battery had died but she followed me off to the southwest anyway.  We flew about 8 miles out but encountered no real lift so turned back.  We were shallow to the airport but I was optimistic.  Summer was behind and below me but I figured with the Ka-6's superior glide she would be OK.  I kept a beeline for the airport when I noticed summer was starting to fly an odd pattern below me, flying straight east and then north instead of northeast to the airport.  Then she turned SOUTH!.  Then she opened the airbrakes!  About that time I realized she was landing.

And she did!  She made a nice approach over the powerlines and slipped into a good dirt field.  I called up the guys on the ground and a few other gliders flying around to report that she had landed.  Let them know where she was at (Arlington Road and K-17) and decided that I would land with her.  I was marginal to make it back to the airport to begin with anyway and had spent some more altitude circling to watch her landing.  Plus, landing out is better with friends and I wanted to make sure she was OK.  So I came in over the powerlines and Summer got to watch me make a nice landing in the dirt too. 

We had a good time visiting with the neighbors and waiting for the crews to arrive (thanks Steve, Brian, and Steve)  We all got back to the airport and put everything away, then retired to supper where I looked at Summer's trace and let her know that not only had she achieved personal best duration and made her first landout, but had also gotten silver altitude!  It was a great day.

Today was a blowout, plus the dewpoints were high and what if any lift was probably not that great.  We helped annual the club trainers and then came home.  I worked out the analysis on 53T's left wing and the damage to the spar is OK, still have plenty of margin at an 8G Ultimate load.  So I am pretty happy about that.  We'll just have to smooth out the chewed up area and varnish it.  I also trimmed up a piece of birch plywood and epoxied it in place on the bottom of fuselage truss where we made the repairs.  All that will be left with that little project is to scarf in a new section of the lower stringer and then varnish everything.  So we're pretty excited to get that done with. 

Plan for this week is more progress on 53T. It is the only glider in the garage right now.  I've also got another rowing shell that needs some fiberglass work.

Unfortunately no lift was to be found

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