With the wind forecast of more northwesterly, the task committee decided to send us downwind to the Porterville airport, about 82km away. I actually found the condi
tions slightly better than yesterday, although over Delilah it was the usual roughness. I was able to stick with the lead gaggle for pretty much the entire flight, and only Josh was ahead of us as he charged ahead alone.
Most of the flight was pretty uneventful with plenty of lift. Our gaggle (Dean, Brad G, Eric, and Brett) kept to the small hills for the most part, not going too deep or flying the flats, but when we came to big gaps we'd jump the gap rather than follow the terrain around. So in some spots we had to slow down to catch mid-valley climbs before reaching the other side and continuing on.
|Getting off the mountain on day 2. |
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Phinney.
The only time we got really low was about 10km from goal, when we were going a gap crossing and got very low and had to frisbee ourselves across some vineyards to the climb that Josh was beaming out on. But after that it was pretty much an easy glide into goal, and in fact the last part was 3-4m/s up. Goal was an active (but uncontrolled so OK to land at) airport with several Forest Service aircraft coming and going on their way to a forest fire, so we made sure to land well away from the active runway. Brad had an interesting landing as he cut it very fine and barely made the 400m goal cylinder, slaloming through some hangars to reach it and surprising the airport manager who didn't see him coming ;)
|Big aircraft were coming and going as we came into goal.|
In the end we had about 13 pilots in goal, with many others scattered along the courseline and a few who landed just short. All in all a good day with lots of happy pilots on the way home! Tomorrow is forecast to be quite windy so we may have a day off...we'll see what we get for actual weather tomorrow.