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Last Weekend in October 2017

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:37 am
by sd
See Flight Reports in Reply's below for:
[Friday] [Saturday] [Sunday]
Saturday Morning 10:30 Update:

Recommend flying Pine today (Saturday) and Sunday, even if it is a 2nd round flight late in the day…

As per the forecast discussion, and looking out the window… the offshore trends did not materialize, and it is trending more onshore, so… there is widespread stratus penetrating in from the coast, but the marine layer is low, below 1K, so there might be some protection behind the Riviera. I’m looking out my window in Carpinteria and it is trying to clear, but we were in a lightbulb until 10 am.

The lapse rate above the marine air is good. You might be able to stay above it launching from EJ and clinging to the high points, but I think it unlikely you can claw past Castle Ridge to the higher terrain east of Powerline Ridge this weekend?

The valley floor at Pine is 4K on the south side, well above any marine air. The base wind is light and decreasing with altitude up through 9K, maybe mid-single digits at Pine’s 7K south facing launch then almost calm above that.

The light base wind starts out from the east early, then dies to almost zero mid-day before clocking around to trickle in from the west late in the day.

This is the end of October, not July, so it should be ok for P2 pilots, but the lapse rate is robust so there will be local draw feeding the big organized thermals. Local draw can be significantly stronger than the base wind, so the P2 pilots should have someone eye on them to monitor their options.

Top of the lift looks like 9K on Saturday, perhaps not enough to clear the front range on glide, but likely enough to reach Rose Valley or for the XC pilots possibly committing to the Watershed Divide?

Sunday does not have the kink in the temperature profile at 9K, but the lapse rate is not as robust. Pine is likely still the best call on Sunday?

You can launch late at Pine. It is reasonable to leave SB at Noon and still get to 9K (2K above launch) at Pine.

See also, comments in reply post below (from last night) about Pine Mountain

Friday Morning look at the coming weather for the last weekend in October

The best day for mountain and XC flying looks like Saturday...

Friday looks inverted in Santa Barbara below 3K. There is also a little west wind pulling in between 3 and 5K, not a lot, about 10 knots, but enough to scatter any weak thermals? The coastal cliffs might work. Friday looks like the best day for the coastal cliffs.

Ojai looks much better than SB on Friday with no inversion and a good lapse rate. No inversion due to light flow from the east early, but clocking around to come onshore from the west later in the day (today). Early launches might be from Nordhoff (east facing), but it should block at Chiefs launch by early afternoon. Good altitude should make going westbound over Casitas Pass easy, but you might want to turn back eastbound before plugging too far into the on-shore flow west of Casitas Pass.

Too much Santa Anna downriver flow from the east to launch from Fillmore on Friday, but you might be able to tag a convergence late in the day. Fillmore has a strong lapse rate early, fading a tad later, but still good. It is forecast to be east all day, but only light east late in the afternoon

Best bet on Friday is to launch from Ojai, fly west over Casitas Pass to Noon or Powerline Ridge, then turn and go east to the convergence line in Fillmore.

On Saturday, Ojai still looks like a better call, but Santa Barbara is looking better than Friday. The SB lapse rate is weak, but not inverted by the afternoon. The midlevel flow starts out light from the southeast (EJ Launch), then clocks around to come from the SW in the afternoon below ridge line and from the NW above ridgeline, but much lighter than Friday, so it might work good enough to claw past Castle Ridge? The lapse rate and altitude will get better east of Powerline Ridge.

Ojai has a strong lapse rate on Saturday and light flow from the east all day, but very light by the end of the day. Fillmore is also east all day, and lighter at the end of the day, but stronger than Friday. Fillmore is 10 knots from the east early in the afternoon and mid-single digits late in the day, so it is likely safe to venture into the river.

Best option on Saturday is to launch from Nordhoff early and go downwind westbound over Casitas Pass, then continue pushing westbound into the light headwind through Santa Barbara, then turn before it gets too late and return eastbound toward Fillmore. The course from Ojai will likely be time limited, so launch early and go fast. If you launch from SB on Saturday, prudent strategy might be less racy and more conservative early. Try to hold the high ground westbound with a light tailwind early, then turn come back eastbound in the lower level flow from the west after the inversion breaks.

By Sunday an inversion is building in Santa Barbara below 3K with flow from the SE. The low-level flow in SB clocks around to come on-shore from the SW, but the inversion strengthens.

Ojai again looks much better than SB on Sunday. Not as good of a lapse rate as Saturday, but still good enough to move around. Sunday flow through Ojai is light (mid-single digits) from the east early then clocking around to come in light from the west later in the day. Chiefs is likely the better launch option (compared to Nordhoff).

Sunday’s lapse rate in Fillmore looks good early with some downriver flow from the east, then fading in the afternoon as the cooler west flow pulls upriver, but the upriver flow is not very robust, only in the low to mid-single digits.

By Monday, everywhere is looking inverted, even Ojai. No baseball on Monday

Saturday looks like the best day with max potential from Ojai. Much nicer air than last Monday’s sharp edges. SB will be weaker and lower, but should work and might be good enough to get to Ojai?

If you want to fly from Ojai, you need to get a permit from the LPNF District Office

Pine ??

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:11 pm
by sd
Theresa Fielding posted the following question to the SBSA Chat Box about 4:30 Friday afternoon:
At least one other pilot and I am interested in flying Pine. I haven’t flown there before and would need a site intro...

SD Response:
Theresa, Pine looks like a reasonable call this weekend. Saturday might be little better than Sunday (lapse rate wise). The base wind is light both days, but by Monday it starts building from the NW.

The wind starts out light from the east then clocks around to come light from the west (Sat and Sunday). The base wind is light enough that it will likely be overpowered by local draws which are often stronger than the base wind. I suspect it will be launchable on the south side, but we do have a couple of north facing launches also. It is common for it to be blowing up both sides (north and south).

It doesn’t’ look like an open distance day, but you might get high enough to reach the front range on glide (are you flying a HG or PG?). Pine has a 7 to 12-mile ridge that should work, but you can likely go farther on the front range because the course is longer, unless you launch from Pine and transition to the front range?

Max altitude early Saturday isn’t very high, but the lapse rate up to launch altitude (7K on the south side) looks good. The top of the looks like 9 or 10K later in the day, getting higher as the day get older. 9K is a little low to reach the front range against a headwind. 10K has a higher probability of making the glide to the front range against a light headwiind. There are options if you come up short.

On Sunday, the top of the lift is a little lower and the climb rates weaker.

I think Ojai looks like a better option from a flight option perspective (7K in Ojai is likely worth more that 9K back at Pine), but I don’t know if anyone got a permit for Ojai this weekend? No permit required for Pine, and it is a paved road to launch so you don’t need a rugged vehicle. Santa Barbara looks flyable also. The lift will be better in Ojai and back a Pine, but you might be able to reach Ojai from SB. You might also be able to bench back to the Watershed Divide from Divide Peak, but the max altitude along the divide may not justify the commitment unless you are looking for a little variety.

Ojai Permit ??

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:57 pm
by sd
Theresa Fielding posted the following follow-up question to the SBSA Chat Box approximately 5:30 Friday afternoon:
Thank you! We’re visiting pilots flying PG’s. And I was under the impression that Pine and Ojai launch were one and the same. Thanks for straightening me out on that. What’s involved with getting a permit for Ojai? What agency?

SD Response:
Theresa, you can get a permit for the Nordhoff Ridge Road from the Ojai Ranger District Office, but they are closed on weekends. They will issue permits over the phone for the weekend (they give you the combo over the phone and leave the permit in the drop box outside the office), however, someone would have needed to call before 4:30 this afternoon (Friday). No one has posted that they have a permit, so I suspect no one is flying the drive up launches in Ojai this weekend? There is a hike up launch, but without a permit I’d recommend flying either Pine or Santa Barbara. The lift will be better back a Pine, but there is likely more logistic support in Santa Barbara.

There is more info on Pine posted on numerous sites including:
and info about Ojai at: and

Friday Reports

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:22 am
by bb_secretary
Friday Flight Reports
Copied from the SBSA Chat Box

Posted by Mitch Riley before 8 AM
Good morning! Eagle Van 10 am Parma. LZ walk 9:30
Posted by Mitch Riley at 12:10 PM
Eagle Van Parma 12:50
Posted by Mitch Riley at 4:46 PM
Fun day up there via the Eagle Van, launching from EJ. Light cycles on launch convinced most to wait for some heating. Congrats to Boon for a great first mountain flight! And to Mark for a well-executed and safe tree landing! Crakka broke through the inversion at La Cumbre (topping at 4.5Kish), on a tough day, and then tagged Parker's. All around a great learning day.
Posted by Mark Patterson at 6:44 PM
Cleared the glider from the tree thanks to Lorenzo. The sink on the valley side of Parma really caught me by surprise!
The Dodgers lost to the Astros 3-5 in Houston to go down in the series 1-2

Saturday Reports

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:50 am
by bb_secretary
Saturday Flight Reports
Special conditions for Santa Barbara. A shallow marine layer under a slight offshore push resulted in moist air pulling into the basin below The Riviera, but the lapse rate above 3K was good. Pilots launching from above the inversion were able to get up and enjoy spectacular views.
No reports from Pine or Ojai…?

Copied from the SBSA Chat Box

Posted by Mitch Riley before 7 AM
Good morning! Eagle Van Parma 10 am. LZ walk at 9:30. Let's all please remember to be good neighbors. Park nice, pick up trash, smile and wave, little things go a long way
Posted by George LaPerle at 11:27 AM
Two (2) at St Mary’s if anybody can swing by ...that would be appreciated
Posted by Mitch Riley at 12:32 PM
People getting to over 5k above the inversion. Not much lift below it
Posted by Derek Musashe at 2:34 PM
2017_10-28a_view_from_ej_by_derek_musashe .jpg
Ridge soaring session at EJ right now!
Posted by Mitch Riley at 4:46 PM
View looking SW over The Riviera from Sycamore Canyon

Posted by Mitch Riley at 6:06 PM
Great day up there with the Eagle Van! Some flew three rounds. Toping at over 4k each round. Strong inversion around 3kft made it nearly impossible to hang on low. As late as 4pm there was usable lift up to 4.8k.
Posted by Mikey Turner at 6:12 PM
Super fun today! Had my first climb up to over 4k! Made it to 4,360 over EJ, and man was the view from up there amazing! Thanks to John G. for the tips on launching EJ for my first time, was pretty rowdy up there but a great time! Looking forward to seeing some of you in Big Sur next weekend.
Posted by Derek Musashe at 7:24 PM
I just wanted to thank Mikey Turner and Neal for my two rides up today, and thanks to Andrew (Berkley, I think) for designated driving down for the late afternoon round. Oh and thank you Jesse for toplanding EJ like a champ and grabbing the Eagle van!

Late afternoon round was the charm as it was quite soarable at EJ/LC and a few of us got to 5,200’ above La Cumbre. Everybody had nice flights.
2017_10-28b_looking_west_over_the_reviera_by_derek_musashe .jpg
View looking west along The Riviera from Sycamore Canyon
2017_10-28c1_looking_sw_over_the_reviera_by_derek_musashe .jpg
View looking SW across The Riviera from Sycamore Canyon
2017_10-28d_looking_east_over_sycamore_cyn_by_derek_musashe .jpg
View looking east along The Riviera from Sycamore Canyon
The Dodgers won game 4 of the world series in Houston by the score of 6-2 to even the series at 2 games apiece.

Sunday Reports

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:09 am
by bb_secretary
Sunday Flight Reports
No reports from Pine or Ojai…?

Copied from the SBSA Chat Box

Posted by Mitch Riley at 7:18 AM
Good morning! Eagle Van Parma 10:30 AM
Posted by Cracka at 9:55 AM
A few of us laggers are gonna meet at parma at 11:30 if anyone misses the eagle :bus:
Posted by Mitch Riley at 11 AM
Parma is still in the fog. Pushing Eagle Van meet time to 11:30... Good call Aaron
Posted by Cracka at 5:21 PM
Pre-frontal conditions in the mtns today. East wind at skyport/eliminator and blustery se at ej. After a while it backed off a bit and the tandems and few others had short smooth flights from ej. Prob would have been a soarable back of the rack day for HGs. Thanks Eagle for the boost, always nice to hang out in the mtns.
The Dodgers lost game 5 of the world series in Houston by the score of 12-13 to fall behind in the series at 2 games to 3.