Sunday, April 29, 2012

165 Mile Soaring Flight

Yesterday I flew over to Seminole Lake Gliderport.  All of the usual suspects were gearing up for a pretty good soaring day.  I declared a Diamond Goal distance flight to Valdosta, GA, a distance of 186 miles.  After motoring up and then engine shut down for a start at 2400', we (Phoenix and I) headed north.  The anticipated winds never materialized, so the flight plodded north at a slow pace.  Clouds started off at 3000' and then slowly rose to over 6000' by the day's end.  The nice clouds ended south of Lake City, and I struggled to stay aloft for another 40 miles or so without their help.  The soaring flight ended 10 miles short of the Georgia border, and has been posted on the OLC, which you can see here:

 Nice clouds for most of the flight.  The Nano IGC flight recorder is seen here taped to the compass.

After the clouds ended, the only course was using the "blind man in the forest" technique.  (A blind man walking through a forest will eventually run into a tree).  Once I got lower, flying over brown fields worked a little. 

When the lift ran out and my altitude dropped to 1500' it was time to restart the engine since I was not near an airport at the time.  Since I had been soaring for 5 hours, I switched to the other battery for the engine start.  This is a shot of the Integra during the flight home to Melbourne using the autopilot to relax and eat on the way home.

1 comment:

  1. Just a little short of your 1981 record in a Comet huh?