An Overcast Soaring Soaring Day

Sunday, 4/22/12

The day did not look promising during the drive down from Duluth, MN, and the sky didn't look particularly better arriving at the airfield (Osceola, WI). Perhaps the only reason I left Duluth was that I'd been working too much lately. I needed a break.

After rigging my glider, and talking to people at the gliding club (RWSA), I took a nap in the clubhouse. If I couldn't decide if I wanted to fly and I couldn't decide if I wanted to leave, what else should I do? The nap was refreshing and put me in a better attitude for flying. I launched third for the day-- after a couple of L-23 flights were made.

Getting into the air, it seemed that the lift had started working. Cloud bases were not particularly high (around 4,000' MSL), but there was plenty of lift. Being the rapid cross country pilot that I am, I quickly decided that I would head off to the East-- there were plenty of clouds in that direction that looked like they were bearing fruit. Lifting fruit that is.

Winds were light (under 10mph), out of the NNW, and I kept heading East. I decided that I would turn around at Chetek, WI. Despite the fact that the "working band" of lift was pretty narrow-- between about 4K and 3K MSL, I had confidence in the day. Confidence that wasn't fully reasonable, it turned out. While I consistently found lift enroute to Chetek, once there I ran out of luck. The Chetek airport looked like a good option, so landing to the North, I put my ship down on the asphalt runway there. I have been over Chetek various times, but this was my first time at the airport and at the City.

Landing, and pulling my ship off the runway, I pulled out my phone and called our gliding club. I had attempted the prior evening to get a crew, but hadn't had success. I was hoping that someone at the club that day would be willing to help me out. Steve Kennedy stepped up for me (Thanks Again Steve!), and came out. As I was making the phone call to the gliding club, a police officer drove by and talked to me. The officer called the airport manager, who came out and we pulled the glider to the hangar area.

Steve and I derigged and had a meal in Chetek before heading back.

This was certainly no prize winning flight, but aloft, the countryside was pretty and it was good to get back in my glider.

The flight held few surprises, technically. Mark Robotti towed, and I did a right hand pattern into Chetek. When I got low, I was on the East side of the runway, looking for lift, and that put me doing a right hand pattern for a landing to the North, landing into the wind.

Here is the OLC link for the flight. The flight was some 101.6 km (OLC Plus) flown in 1 hour 39 minutes. Here are some more of the pictures that I took (Steve took the very last one!).