Last Weekend of Summer 2020

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Last Weekend of Summer 2020

Postby sd » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:59 am

My flight log for Friday is posted at
Saturday morning reflections about Friday

Looks like Team SB ruled the state yesterday (Friday, 9/18)? In reviewing satellite inReach tracks last night, listed 18 tracks in the California group, but 4 of those were continuous tracking and not pilots flying in California on Friday. The other 14 tracks from 9/18 were all local Santa Barbara pilots flying our local SB mountains:
Jeff Longcor, Tom Truax, David Patterson, Neal Michaelis, Andrew Byron, Chris Lorimer, Logan Walters, Chris Garcia, Peter Weldon (sort of local?), Carter Crowe, Christopher Heckman, Dylan Laughlin, Dilan Benedetti, and Sarah Lockwood.

We had about 20 pilots in our local mountains on Friday. 3 early birds, 15 in the main group, 3 more in a later group, plus Jeff Longcor hiking up to EJ from Parma (for a little morning exercise?) and there might have been more? I think I heard Austin on the radio? Good turnout for an interesting and mostly fun day (with exceptions). Not sure if we consider Fridays to be part of a weekend or a workday?

My perception on the day is that it was working much better above 4K, but still workable down lower with Andrew Byron climbing back up to big altitude from down low at The Rock (his 10 minute interval inReach track shows him below 1800 just behind the Rock Launch, so he was probably lower, before clawing back up to the back ridge behind the RnR and getting over 5K, then following the back ridge across Ramero Saddle. Pilots were climbing (and also flushing) at 11 am. Not sure how it worked late in the day as most pilots landed earlish, but prime time seemed to be between noon and 2 PM? The wind was mostly light from the west, but there was some variation in both direction and velocity.

Look forward to seeing the IGC files and reading about the various perceptions of the day… I think Dilan went the furthest east after getting to 6500ish right off launch at EJ, and I think Logan had the western most tag point at Western Skies? Great teamwork all around, and Sara in particular for staging a vehicle at Padaro. Our whole is worth more than the sum of our parts?

FYI, I posted a morning perception, but Logan gets the credit for sounding the alarm and pointing in the right direction… and providing logistic support on both ends of the day…
Friday mid-morning perception:

Under the influence of low pressure. Mid to higher level cloud cover should clump and give way to more sun as the day ages. The lapse rate looks good above 4K and hopefully good enough down lower, improving later in the day along the coastal range as long as the west wind doesn’t build too much and break up the weak thermals?

Pine is looking like it might have some distance potential going east today, but with the forest closed so the Pine road gate is closed, and going OTB might be problematic from a retrieve perspective if you can’t reach the main highways. The Nuthouse also looks good, but not in the cards for me, so… Santa Barbara?

If (a big “if”) you can wiggle and claw past Castle Ridge, Ojai is looking impressive and Fillmore looks good enough to reach the interstate…

There are some sundowner winds forecast for tonight. The lapse rate looks weaker tomorrow (Saturday) with stronger west wind in the winds aloft forecast that doesn’t seem to agree with the lighter winds forecasted on the NAM skew-t and Windy.

By Sunday a coastal eddy spins up with onshore flow from the SE and a weak lapse rate. The direction looks good in Fillmore, but the lapse rate does not, so Elings might be the better call for Sunday?

With today’s lapse rate working better up higher, you might opt to launch at EJ, but don’t recommend leaving a vehicle parked at EJ because the ranger wrote a $150 ticket recently. Skyport is below the forest closed sign so it should be ok to park. The SB lower level lapse rate appears to get better later in the day base on the NAM skew-t, but the wind does build some late in the day.
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