Training cancelled – too windy again. Very windy season. Very unussual.
Training cancelled – too windy
Pretty good flying this morning. Kevin was hammering flight after flight trying to get his 30. Managed to do eight touch and goes and four full stop landings. We have also practiced big ears emergency descent maneuvers and several forced landings. Well done, he’s got 28 flights now.
Konstantin managed three flights he’s taking it tad slower because he doesn’t have as much experience as Kevin but he’s very solid. His total is 5 flights.
Mike was standing by taking video and helping out. His shoulder is still very sore.
Fun times. We have some crappy weather coming our way – it looks like next possible flying won’t be till Saturday morning. I think the students are planning to get drunk tonight. Ha
Last night was finally one of those late afternoon and evenings that is perfectly suitable for PPG training. Three hours before sunset when starting to come down, the cummulus clouds disappeared and wind started to get smooth. Kevin was anxious to put more flights in his logbook and Konstantin was hoping for his first solo.
The plan was to send Kevin up first to see how windy it is above and if the conditions are appropriate Konstantin will try. Is it exactly what we did. Kevin did two quick climbs can landed for a short break and that was a time to get Konstantin flying.
We set up, and after couple failed reverse inflation Konstantin locked in the glider, turned around and I told him to apply power. He did without hesitation and after a few short steps he was in the air.
Meanwhile Kevin continued flying including several touch and goes. I gave Konstantin good half an hour to enjoyed year because conditions nice and smooth and he worked really really hard for this. After half an hour I have assisted Konstantin into land and I have to touchdown I have seen one of the strongest emotional reaction to this milestone in Kontantins life. It was very powerful.
Kevin kept on flying and improving to the point where he is now landing on his own, doing touch and goes and thanks for working for him really well. He ended up with 10 flights last night. That makes it 16 for him.
Replanted practice big ears. emergency forced landings and straight climbing. Kevin will be done soon and that is a good thing because he came for this course all the way from Winnipeg.
Very successful evening, went for a bite to eat and beer and celebrated Kevin and Konstantine’s achievement. Mike is standing by mostly taking video and helping out because his shoulder is really sore hey will take a while to heal it properly.
After pretty good landing we set up again this time for forward insulation
It was an excellent morning today. Nice and cool, grass was little bit dewy but sun burned it off very quickly. When we started to set up we only had 5 km/h wind. Kevin were first to go, he tried few forwards but they didn’t work for him. After those failed attempts I went to Mike. He was ready to go and since the wind started to get up to 10 Km/h we went for it. On his first inflation glider came up with ear under line. I told him to stop the take off over radio but he was too into it and took off. So there was a small disturbance in this canopy that was causing him to constantly turn left. He was having hard time dealing with it and also was not fully seated even though we paracticed this in the simulator and he didn’t have any issues with that. He flew couple circuits like this and then we decided to land. He had unstabilized landing tripped and fell down on his knees and his side. The problem was that his left shoulder was injured long time ago and now is susceptible to coming in and out of the socket and that is exactly what happened. It was hurting him but he was willing to go up again.
Meanwhile Kevin get ready and since there was more wind he was able to reverse and in no time Kevin managed five amazing flights. He is steadily improving every flight and take offs and landings are better than the previous – ones he’s also loving it. I can tell. It’s going to make a great pilot.
Mike tried again to take off, perfect inflation, perfect stabilization but as he started to off the power and start to run do you end up jumping in to see Julie. This again aggravated his shoulder to the point where it starts to hurt that he could not try again.
Konstantin was working on his reverse inflations with the motor on once Kevin and Mike were done with their flights I spend an hour with Konstantin cleaning up his technique. He has improved to the point where he now feels confident to go on first solo. I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen for him this afternoon.
Congratulations to Mike on two more flights. Congratulation Kevin on five aditional flights. Good luck Konstantin on your solo tonight.
The plan was to meet at 7 AM at the field. For some reason I woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning after five hours of sleep, checked the weather and it was 20 km/h wind. I thought that’s quite a bit this early in the morning. By 6:00 AM the wind was 24 km gusting to 33 km/h. I texted the guys and made a decision to scrap the morning. I was simply assuming it will only get windier. As it turned out at 7 o’clock TAF was showing 17 km/h that was supposed to last till 9 AM. Since Kevin was ready to solo I thought we better take a chance on that.
When I got to the field the wing was 15 gusting to 20 not very stable but acceptable. Kevin got ready and on the third inflation got off the ground. The wind was quite strong initially Kevin got pushed back a little bit but then I told him to be sent and he started to penetrate and everything looked OK. I could tell it was quite windy so I wanted to get Kevin down ASAP. I brought him in on the long final for landing and my radio battery ran out when he was about 50 feet in the air so couldn’t give him any guidance at all. At this point he already had engine turned off so I was just hoping he’s going to make a good landing. Not so much though, he had gradually started to turn crosswind and then down wind… It wasn’t very hard landing, no damage to the equipment but it certainly wasn’t according to the book. Ha ha. Mind you I felt like I have exhausted little bit of my instructors luck.
Congratulations Kevin on your first solo flight. Conditions were not easy but you handled yourself like a pro except the downwind landing.
Mike was happy to video.
Konstantin started to ground handle shortly after Kevin landed but wind got stronger and gusty so he only got about half an hour out of it. Then we were off for breakfast.
Kevin will have to buy round a beer next time we go to a pub after flying
It looks like tonight will be evening off – we will have some thunderstorms coming in!
The forecast was calling for high winds till 8 PM but you never know, it can change. Our plan was to meet at 6 PM and wait it out. I double checked the forecast around 4 PM and noticed that it was much better. So we para waited at the field from 5 PM to 8 PM watching various thunderstorms to blow by.
Just after eight the wind started to come down, we dragged all the gear out into the field. Kevin was ready for a solo so I have focused on him but by the time we were ready to go it was absolutely zero wind and the cool air was thinking as it usually does around sunset. We have tried six times using forward inflation but that was about as hard as it gets for PPG take off.
To make a long story short Kevin did not manage to get in the air he did manage to wind up lunch of lines into his prop hub to the point that we had to cut one to get it out. We then proceeded to replace it with temporary line and fix his glider. By the time we were done and it was dark. So that was it.
I left my prescription sunglasses somewhere in the field. I hope I find them tomorrow. That it was off for a couple of beers to celebrate Mike’s first solo. It was frustrating evening but that’s the way PPG rolls sometime.
This morning at 6:30 AM there was almost no wind at the field. The grass was a bit wet and it was overcast.
We started with forward inflations and Mike quickly locked those in. Konstantin and Kevin needed a little help but that’s normal.
Mike was so good that I have asked him to put motor on his back andf try for solo. After third attempt he took off for his first flight. All went well, half decent landing too. It was just a short one as it was getting bumpy already.
Congratulation Pilot Mike – Kevin will solo tonight.