Three Squadron members flew cross-country last Saturday, June 27, and all were quite successful. Their different perspectives of the same hours that afternoon weave together nicely.
Karl Sommer: 226 miles to Kingman, AZ.
Weather looked promising per Dr. Jack up to 20k thermals towards Flagstaff.
Peter and myself left the same thermal over the mountain at noon with close
to 14k under the wings, Peter marked a thermal E of SlashX where we parted. He
went towards Ludlow whereas I opted to go via Clark Mtn. I struggled, was hot and ready to quit at Baker, a good thermal changed my mind. Got my best one E of Clark Mtn 15k enough for Triangle.
Struggled to Red Lake chasing clouds to gain enough altitude to go for
Hualapai but none wanted to work, got low and thought I’d land on Antares Rd, 75′
wide. Saw some big fields W of it.
Still looking for lift to get to Kingman, not enough, back to that big field
ready to get the gear down, and stumbled into the saving one.
Calling Rose “see you at Kingman”.
Glider in the Box, Rose thought she could get a room in Laughlin. Reception
closed, we haven’t seen so many people, cars, boats, parking with a glider
So we drove back to Crystal, slept a few hours, had Breakfast and headed
Posted flight on OLC
Peter Kovari: 322 miles to Williams, AZ.
After some glider issues and some personal issues I managed to finally start
the season at least for me.
As promised Chris delivered and got us off right after 11 a.m. Thank you
Chris for the consideration, it really helps!
I launched right after Karl (C3) and got towed to the “Morning Mountain”
area where I released in light lift in which I managed a couple of thousand
feet, just enough to get me near Lewis where some clouds were popping and
soon I was going up in good lift joined by C3. We both quickly climbed to
14k to cloud base- not bad for before noon, and we were both off to the
races toward Barstow.
The forecast was pretty good but showing a blowout near Apple Valley so we
both opted to head via Palisades and it worked out well.
The high ground south of Barstow got us both around 12-13k and I decided to
head north/east toward Ludlow and then up the Martian landscape in the
direction of Kidwell, Searchlight and east of Jean.
C3 went up toward the Baker route, but ironically we met up again about the
same time over the high ground east of Jean.
This was my highest-about 16k and it got me well on my way to Triangle
Airpark and Red Lake.
I managed to climb again on the east foothills of Red Lake and called
Hualapai next only to encounter the worst sink in a long time which nearly
made me do a 180 back.
Fortunately as they say ‘where there is sink there is lift’ and I finally
walked into some acceptable thermal, (wish it had matched the rate of sink
going up but it did not.)
From this point on there were good cloud markers and a stiff tail wind
(making centering those thermals difficult), and I made it to Williams. I
nearly had Flagstaff but by then things were glassing off over Williams and
even through my flight computer showed a little above my margins to
Flagstaff- I did not want to mess around in a class D airspace with a low
arrival so I called it a day at Williams.
Richard Smolinski: 208 miles to Triangle, AZ
That was a new adventure.
Forecast was good for Las Vegas directions.
Tow and Chris crew was quick and fast and I was in the air before noon.
Work camp lift and after Mt. Baden Powel took me to 13.5K and I was on my way toward an unknown route for me, to Vegas.
I found some shear line before Adelanto and from there moved toward Dagget.
All it was new for me so I took my time more to discover rather than racing. I decided to follow 15 and get more familiar with route to Jean. Lift was good reaching up to 10kt in some places.
I left Clark Mt at 13K and go toward Jean, where I found good lift that took me to 15K.
Having enough altitude, I target Triangle and Red Lake as my destination and start enjoying Colorado River crossing.
Landed in Triangle and meet awesome people there that met me with cold Tea..
Awesome ride in new direction. Made mistakes and learn new things.
Next week new adventure!
Lean into Cross Country Flying
To any pilot interested in learning about Cross Country Flying out of Crystal, The Crystal Squadron is very open about sharing their knowledge. They welcome you to hang out at the airport on a morning before their flights while they’re planning, rigging, and getting set up. Learn the ins and outs in an informal manner, from a preparation perspective. Receive guidance on next steps. They’re happy to share their secrets. If you’re interested, e-mail Julie@SoaringAcademy.org to learn more.