Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Camrose May 12

Today's weather was pretty similar to yesterday's except for more wind, so we went back to the Galahad E-W tow road.  With 2 winches it's possible to actually have multiple pilots in the local air at the same time; I was scratching out when Andrew towed up next to me and Brett was just towing up when we started heading west.  Then cu's started popping overhead around 2pm and it was on!

The winds had a touch of south so I flew north of Buffalo Lake instead of south like yesterday.  The going was pretty easy after the first 10 km or so as the cu's started popping, and the further west I flew and the later it got, the more abundant the lift became.  At times it seemed like the thermals were lined up parallel to each other, so that you could fly huge lines of thermic lift and not have to stop and turn; it wasn't just lifty lines but rather huge areas of lift centred over treelines and river valleys.

Cloudbase was around 3100 m and big lift over the Ponoka airport (you can't really go any further north at this point or else you'll hit Edmonton airspace), and then it was across highway #2 and west to Gull Lake.  At this point the clouds dried up and it was back to blue flying.  It was getting a bit late, after 5pm, and I was coming up to a section of treed terrain that I wasn't getting high enough to cross over, so I landed at the north end of Gull Lake at the 144 km mark in windy and gusty 30 kph SE winds.

Andrew and Brett at 210 km...a personal best for both!
Several pilots flew farther and managed to avoid the foothills by flying more north and avoiding Edmonton airspace as the winds turned more SE: Peter flew to 177 km and Andrew and Brett flew to 210 km.  All 3 were personal bests!

Meanwhile at the Miles in May the task was from Strome to Tofield: about 80 km.  Ross reported that 5 pilots made goal in the very-crosswind task.


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