A Family Adventure

in the mountains, ocean, and air

Smokey Gliding

July 1, 2023
Emilie Phillips

The weather has not been good for gliding recently. It has been foggy, drizzling, and roving thunderstorms for the past month. In some ways, this has worked out for Tyson. He doesn’t need excellent soaring conditions as an early student. A bunch of pattern tows is good practice. And with few people coming out to fly, he has been doing 5 flights a weekend day. That was unheard of for me as a student last year.

Tyson’s most recent accomplishment was he moved from flying the two seat trainer (2-33) solo, to first flights in a single place glider. Tyson picked the single place Schweizer, so it would be similar to the two place he had been flying. That day, the morning started out foggy and drizzling. We had to drive down from NH. The forecast said the fog and clouds were supposed to clear off around 10AM. What happened is the blue grey turned to orange grey. We spent a couple hours on the ground watching the neighboring hills fade in and out of the Canadian wildfire smoke before the tow pilot decided he could tow to pattern altitude.

Tyson got his flights in and got signed off on the SGS 1-26. I got signed off in the new club Blanik L-33. The smoke thinned enough that we started doing 2,000′ tows. One person with their own composite glider launched. He stayed up for two hours in the soup. I could see cumulus clouds. And I could feel occasional lift. But I couldn’t catch any of it. I need some good soaring days so I can stay aloft long enough to improve my thermalling technique.

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