April 11: Great impromptu day for soaring and “near wave”

There was excitement on Monday when Paul, Glenn, Bill and others looked at the weather forecast.  Glenn had the benefit of the super duper GOES II satellite pictures. Bill and Michael C-W offered to tow. However when we arrived at the field on Wed morning the sky was overcast, contrary to the forecasts, Bill K. was having second thoughts about assembling the Discus, and everyone was wondering if the weather gods were playing a trick on us. Michael had a couple of routine check rides with Paul and they reported some lift over the ski hill.
By 1:30 pm the cloud cover had drifted south and revealed blue skies, wave clouds and some cloud streets.  Nirmal released in strong lift in M2 and found he and Paul could keep going.  They were spiraling up in 8-10 knots lift, with steep turns to stay centered.  They climbed to almost 7000 ft near Thurmont ( carefully avoiding P-40).

 

Andreas got the word and decided to assemble his glider, and launch. He found good lift of about 4 to 5 knots under the wave band (rotor cloud) which had developed and decided to try to do some distance.  He went North following the wave band and almost reached Carlisle, staying between 5.000 and 7.000 ft altitude.  He played around at the upwind edge of the wave band but could not make it into the real wave.  He then followed the same wave band back south and landed after 2 hours 15 minutes of flight.

Meanwhile Paul went up again, this time with Dave soon after Andreas’s launch. By now, the bars were stretched as far as their eyes could see in every direction. They surfed under the leading edge of one bar and located some gentle areas of lift and began a slow climb up eventually to 9K. They think they actually contacted the wave lift at about 7K but could not go above 9.2K because their bar and the bar behind them filled in.

Everyone came down happy after a great day in the air with a mix of everything in the area going up at some point or another. “Just a stunningly beautiful day to be alive and in the air!” said Paul.