Sunday, July 10, 2016

Chelan US PG Nats July 10

More unsettled weather with more clouds and rain than yesterday, but less wind. The models were showing a drying trend so even though it wasn't taskable initially, we stayed on the Butte in case this happened sooner rather than later.

Setting up one of the sun and rain shades.

Cells came and went, the wind picked up and then dropped off, over and over again. Things kept changing every 20 minutes!  A few pilots flew while we waited for taskable conditions, launching Lakeside and flying a mixture of ridge and thermic lift, then top landing to wait out the next approaching cell.

Watching cells up the Lake.

Eventually the task and safety committees decided it wasn't worth staying on the Butte any longer, taskable and safe-for-all-pilots conditions simply weren't happening, and the day was called.

Line of cells on the flats.

A few pilots stayed behind to free-fly but the vast majority of pilots opted to drive down with the thought to perhaps go back up later in the evening if/when things had calmed down. I ended up driving Brett back up for a late evening flight and several others were already in the air, it looked strong but doable. But apparently it wasn't that nice over the Chelan Falls LZ, ad a new cell had formed over Lake Chelan and was dumping rain and wind, and wrapping around to make Chelan Falls a nice washing machine of air. A few going-backwards landings later and everyone was safely on the ground in the LZ, maybe a change of underwear required for some ;)

Brett getting ready for an evening flight.

A few pilots made it to the flats and even Mansfield but I was glad to be on the ground. It's tough on these maybe/maybe not days...if it was raining steadily that would be an easy decision, and if it was sunny with ok winds that would be easy too. But it's days like these where the task and safety committees have their work cut out for them ;)

For those interested in watching the live action, the tracking is available here.  Look for the tracks starting around noon (Pacific time zone) each day.

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