Saturday, 28 March 2015

Jaca Week 4 Day 6


The end of a remarkable week. It started with gloom as the forecast hinted there was a remote chance of us flying on perhaps one day. As it tuned out, we only missed Monday. Yet again today the gliders got up into the wave to vertiginous altitudes on most flights, creating a very happy group and very tired instructors. The two gliders did about 45 hours in the week. The holiday was finished off by a magical evening at Toya's. De Colores was sung lustily by the whole contingent. Incredibly, just after we had sung about the sounds of the cockerel, the hen and the chicks, Toya's dog barked twice in the perfect time to the music.The English responded with Jerusalem, often in key. We all truly hope that Luis makes a go of St Cilia. He and Baptista (the tug-pilot) worked very hard and gave us great service.

Jaca Week 4 Day 5

Another wave day, and yet another is promised for the final day today. It would be really nice to have a simple thermal day, but I suppose we can't complain about having five flying days out of six possible. Yesterday everyone got above 10,000 feet and some with stronger bladders got to FL195. Much fun was also be had looking for wave in the usual places, failing, but finding it in unusual places, such as downwind in the circuit and then up to 15000!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Jaca Week 4 Day 4

It was a classic wave day. Dave "the Wave" Williams had successive flights to FL195 and FL180 in the Duo. On the first flight he left the tow over Javierregay and hurtled up to 10,000ft. This made it easier for them to reach the wave at Stage 3 than the crew in the Duo who toiled on Stage 2, never having enough quite height to reach the good stuff past the strong sink. The second tow deposited Dave north of the "firebreak" and once more he contacted the strongest wave while the Duo's crew thought they were doing well at 9300ft. Grrr! The staff at the airfield restaurant are cooking a meal for us tonight. Photo above by Mike Rubin on the descent

Jaca Week 4 Day 3

The day dawned sunny with a 15 knot north wind on the surface. First launch was at 11:20. The term "wave flying" implies smoothly cruising around, whereas yesterday the conditions were closer to a washing machine. Strong lift was followed on the next circle by strong sink. A hunt for something better was occasionally followed by the rapid loss of the carefully gained height from the previous 15 minutes. The Duo did three two hour flights, the best up to 10,700 with a trip to Collorada and a truly awesome descent downwind of it. The DG flew the other two pilots on similar excursions so that everyone was waving the white flag by 6:30. At the time of writing, 9:00, the sun is gleaming once more and sleek lenticulars are beckoning.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Jaca Week 4 Day 2

The forecast at the morning briefing was depressing, but we hung around the airfield performing various pagan rituals to the weather gods. By lunchtime things were looking much better and people thought it would be good to get off the ground at least. Ayala was first to volunteer and enjoyed well over a hour floating around the scenery up as far as Stage 2. Paul Hicks followed up with David Williams in the DG with similar results. A shower stationed itself half way to Jaca and the sky looked grey, but Mike Rubin gamely took the second seat in the Duo but the rest were highly dubious. The shower fizzled out and a two hour flight ensued in weak wave despite the overcast skies. JMcC

Monday, 23 March 2015

Jaca Week 4 Day 1

Arrived, ate, slept, ate again, registered, briefed, pumped up Duo Discus tyre, looked at sky & windsock for at least ten seconds before getting too wet and left airfield. And then the weather got worse! JMcC

Friday, 20 March 2015

Jaca Week3 Day4

Well, no two days out here are the same and so it proved. Forecasts suggested rain and cloud with little chance of flying. However we stuck to our task and stayed the course. There was lots of top cover and fog/low clouds in the valleys but by 1400hrs enough of the high level cloud drifted away to chance a high tow to Las Bancos and try to get into the snow line and to the tops. Richard Taylor has been getting lots of practice working hard to tame the strong mountain thermals at the snow line and after a major battle managed to get to the top mountain peaks. Several encounters with vultures were also a learning experience.  John Brookes did his first instructional flight for Club Nimbus and then flew with John Simmonds playing with the snow line thermals. Wolfie and Bob took a tow to the top and played along the local peaks for nearly 2hrs before returning to give John Bareford a similar run.