Saturday 1/19/13 report:
A banner day for flying at Springfield, everyone had great flights.
The PW6 is back in service so Walter and Jerry gave it a few test flights, all is good.
Tim went next in the 304 but struggled over Ascutney to no avail.
Greg made into wave twice and flew for about 2 hours. Very happy camper.
I had towed all day and was pretty much satisfied to call it quits but when Walter offered me the PW along with a free tow AND I learned that Jerry and Steve (new FBO guy) went to 9300′ I immediately put Tim in the back seat and off we went for a very exiting flight.
Jerry was our tow pilot and I told him to bring us to where he found lift and at just below cloud deck (~5000′ msl) I radioed to ask what the plan was. He replied with “just hang a bit longer” and then about 6 bits later he completely vanished into the clouds. Pop goes the rope release and forward goes the stick! I flew straight west in no lift and very very murky conditions for a few minutes knowing that the the winds were 40 plus knots so the airport was not far behind us. Eventually we flew into the clear just a few miles south east of Okemo, connected to the wave and proceeded to 10,000ft to a fantastic view.
I had been keeping an eye on a reasonable sized hole in the clouds maybe 8 miles behind us and with Tim’s blessing I turned downwind and with 150 mph ground speed I raced to the hole with full spoilers but Tim said hey why not see if you can find lift again so I closed the spoilers, made a few small turns and then my gut told me it was time to descend, oops, too late, hole started to close right up, had to pick a small spot that was still semi open, closed the spoilers to fly over to it, pulled them back on, rocketed through to the other side which brought us out near Ascutney with lift everywhere (this is like 4:15pm). It was perfect.
So there’s no reason to not be flying this winter, just dress warmly and go for it!
Nice report. That cloud deck appears as ominous as the writer’s tone. Not for the faint of heart or the unwary flyer, either towing into or descending back down through the murk. Hats off to the courageous and intrepid, (dare I say bold) pilots.
Can we see the rest of the pictures?
Interesting cloud deck in the picture. Do you have any trouble spotting the holes when the ground/trees below are covered with snow?