By Jeff Struthers
So how about a June Gloom in August? That’s pretty much what we had last Saturday morning. At 10:00 a.m., Lindbergh Field was reporting 3 mph variable winds and a 3000 ft cloud base.
Nine pilots showed up to brave the cloudy skies and at the first launch at 10:00 we all headed WNW in search of lift. It was very hard to find, and flight times were short. I had the longest at 4:17, Alex Sutton was next at 3:19 and Scott Vance had a 3:15 aloft. Scott, Bob Stinson and Fred Daugherty all picked up 20-point landings.
Second launch saw some better flight times with Scott getting the long flight at 7:40 plus a 30-point landing. Bob came in second at 5:08 and Alex had a 4:32 flight time plus a 20-point landing. Dennis La Berge also picked up a 30-point landing. I, Fred, George Sullivan, Alex and Mark Anderson all picked up 20-point landings.
For the third launch, many of us found the lift in our NW flight area. Fred had the longest flight at 9:40 with Scott coming a close second at 9:36 wit a 20-point landing. Bob had the third longest flight at 9:27 plus a 30-point landing. Dennis and I also picked up 30-point landings. George and Mark picked up 20-point landings as well.
One distressing part of that third launch was that a full-scale biplane flew through our flight area. It was a quick mover, looked like a small stunt aircraft and was flying east to west. None of us saw it coming, engine noise sounded like a motorcycle traveling along Sea World Drive. Before we could react, the biplane was about 200 feet above our gliders.
We will be placing a dedicated watcher to warn us all if another aircraft approaches the flight area.
Third and final launch was a bit of a dud. That wonderful lift that was there for the third launch was gone and flight times suffered. The longest flight was earned by Mark at 4:40 with a 20-point landing. Bob had the second longest at 3:08 and Alex came in at 3:01. Mark and I picked up 20-point landings and Scott picked up a 10-point landing.
Point total winners for the day were Scott Vance at 221. Bob Stinson was second place at 176. Dennis LaBerge and I tied for third with 159 apiece.
A tricky day for flying gliders but many pilots earned extra points by landing in the target circles. Good work guys.
A special thanks goes out to club member Frank Sutton for the enclosed pictures
The next Electroglide is set for September 15th at 10:00.
See you there,