Sunday, March 29, 2009

Over Before It Started

People are getting excited about gliders again. I have been emailing and meeting with three prospective students. "When can we start flying?" they ask, filling me with empathetic eagerness. The club glider had some work done over the winter, and is almost ready for its annual. The towplanes (we may have two this year) are ready. Wahoo!

Yesterday we had the kind of transitional spring weather that can get you down if you don't know how to deal with it but get you excited if you recognize it for what it is. The Salt Lake area was sunny and warm, with light south winds, but flying into Idaho got us into an area of overcast and continuous light turbulence with strong up- and downdrafts. The power pilots were bummed out, but the glider email network was abuzz with "I think I saw a lennie" (that is, a lenticular cloud) and "I flew through a 15 knotter" (that is, a 1500fpm updraft). Someone posted a satellite photo showing mountain wave activity. But nobody actually rigged up and flew. Soon!

In fact, I had shown the same satellite photo to one of my power students, who is a wonderful student with the tiny fault that he is not interested in soaring.

But it snowed all day today, and the peak gust in Pocatello was 48 knots. It snowed in Logan and along hte Wasatch Front. Needless to say there was no fun flying.

But soon!

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