4/8 Discussion and Observations for Eagle P2

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4/8 Discussion and Observations for Eagle P2

Postby Garcia » Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:57 am

These are the messages that I sent to students the morning before their first high flight on 4/8, I thought it would be worth while to share my thoughts and observations as the forecast did not give us much optimisim.

For what it’s worth I thought I would put my opinion down on today’s forecast.

Currently we have wins that are 9 to 16 mph out of the north west at Ridgeline here. That is the lowest that I have seen it over the last hour or so. The winds are forecasted to increase. But there will be a brief moment this morning and early afternoon where I think they will stay in the 15 mile an hour range. Granted this is not ideal for us flying in the Leeward side of a mountain, which we are because we are facing South on launch

If you look at the inversion levels according to LAX right now, it is currently showing 2800 feet. This gives me a little bit of optimism about using Skyport potentially. Sky port is located at 2900 feet. It is protected enough that cycles might be coming in there, granted as soon as you leave sky port you might feel some turbulence, which can be equated to mixing air at the top of the inversion level.

Above that there is no “capping inversion” or stability layer to prevent more N wind from spilling over to lower altitudes, which is why the top of the inversion May feel turbulent.

There is a good chance, that we can launch the bypass. Which is about 800 feet lower than Skyport. Granted this is not an ideal first launch for your first high flight, unless we have some wind coming in. Typically at the bypass on days like this we are dealing with light to no wind or some wind coming out of the east, especially before noon.

Today is definitely a go to know kind of day. And as I mentioned before no promises of getting a flight in especially if it’s your first one. But I do find it a unique opportunity to really dissect what is going on in our mountain range at different altitudes.

Nice work Dilan and Dominic, go to know prevails again. I will write up a brief synopsis of how conditions evolved from the morning to the afternoon and what they are currently doing now. And give my own opinion as to what I think was going on. Quick thoughts are that the inversion was a little bit higher than we initially thought from the 2800 reading at LAX. Granted it is a useful tool it is still 90 miles away.

I drove the van down so no one needs to worry about retrieving it. Dilan and Dominic please write up a Flight report and send it to my email

I’m not going to lie I wasn’t very optimistic this morning, but was willing to give it a try.

What we experienced on launch was quite surprising. As we were driving up I checked the La Cumbre wind talker and it was showing calm to 6 miles an hour out of the north west. This was a pleasant surprise, it also showed an 8° temperature spread between Florez Flats and La Cumbre peak. This gave me optimism that it was going to block. My best guess is that the inversion was slightly above the height of sky port and close to the altitude of our mountain range. The heating below was trying it’s best to shut the north wind down, but the North Wind ended up prevailing. Cycles were light at Skyport coming straight in and we were able to get 1/3 of the group off. While I had a student set up, after aborting their first attempt, a strong cycle from the north came down. Granted cycles were starting to get stronger before that and there was a chance that it was just the house thermal drawing in, but from what I had seen in the forecast and the increasing chance of northwest winds. It definitely gave me a little pause. I had the student Rosett up walked to the side and we waited and watched for about 10 minutes. At that point cycles were cross from the West Northwest and it seemed like it took a little bit for things to settle down again. Upon checking the wind talkers after that down cycle, it was blowing 12 miles an hour from the north west. The cycles then started to get quite a bit better and stronger and were blowing straight in.

I told the other pilots on launch who are already certified and had more experience that it seemed like it was acceptable for them to take off and that I was merely being hesitant because this was the first high flight for a student.

After seeing consistent cycles come in and one glider before hand take off, I decided it was appropriate for the student to set up and take off. They had a great pull up and a successful flight.

All pilots were able to successfully takeoff from Skyport today, I chose to drive the van down based on lunch with friends and not wanting to complicate my own day. There was a lot of wind in the forecast, and just because you show up and things are calm doesn’t mean you can just cowboy up and send it. We had a “go to know” mentality and that was what got us this flight, but you still have to keep your wits about you and anytime there is a sudden change in wind direction or velocity you need to pause and reevaluate everything. Then slowly start to get set up again and make that decision if it’s appropriate for you to fly. I feel like today presented many learning opportunities for all the pilots up there.
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