Saturday, 16 March 2019

Jaca 2019 Week 1 Day 5

As expected it was much warmer today with almost no surface wind, unfortunately the gliding forecast was only for weak thermals to just over 5000'. We got the gliders out as usual though and then relaxed in the sunshine waiting for any sign that it was worth launching.

In the absence of any clouds, the vultures were the only indication of what was going on aloft and these were noticeably missing for much of the morning. Also the tug pilot who had just returned from a very high tow didn't think it was thermic yet. Not very encouraging.

Despite this, by 1pm, Merv was getting twitchy with his FOMO on booming thermals, so he persuaded Ray to take a launch to Cuculo which is his new favourite place to fly. Ray did his best to delay the launch and there was much muttering under his breath as he was coaxed into the cockpit of the Duo.

Those on the ground followed their every turn as they gradually lost height in the weak lift, eventually returning to the airfield after 40 minutes.

The team offer encouragement to our
sacrificial offering to the vulture mountain

Ray doesn't look happy about it though....
Just after they landed Paul and Bob took a high tow in the K21 and found just enough lift on Stage 1 to stay airborne. It was hard work but gradually the conditions improved allowing them to gain enough height to explore further afield and they found some very weak and localised wave over the fire break. This topped out at just over 6000' but the 2 hours soaring was definitely worth the cost of a launch.

In the meantime Charlie and Merv launched in the Duo and headed up the Hecho valley also finding the wave and  getting to over 10,000'.

Taking off at 16:30, Kevin and Bob repeated the pattern of the previous flight but later on found stronger wave lift near the airfield and managed to get to 8,000' before they ran out of day.

Weak wave still working in the usual place.
Letting down over the valley as the sun set gave a new perspective on the topography of the hills to the East of the airfield.
Letting down over the valley just before sunset.
The day had turned out to be much better than we expected with surprisingly long duration flights achieved. However, this was something of a touchy subject with Ray as it is not the first time it has happened to him this week...

After a refreshing beer at the club we had an excellent dinner in the apartment which was very late due to the power going off as it was being prepared. It turns out that the electrics can't cope with having the ovens on in both flats and boiling a kettle at the same time.


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