Late Day Pine, Friday 7/2/2021, Rookie Report

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Late Day Pine, Friday 7/2/2021, Rookie Report

Postby sd » Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:11 pm

Ajay Rajamani organized a late day trip to Pine on Friday, 7/2/2021.
6 pilots and one crew for a total of 7 bodies met Nordhoff including:
Myles Connolly, infamous local Ojai pilot has some experience with big altitude from the north side 6K parking lot launch at Pine, but this was Myles 1st flight from the south side
Wolfie D, newer PG pilot transitioning to paragliding from skydiving and base jumping. This was Wolfie’s 1st flight from Pine
Robin Delabays from Switzerland, currently doing post doc (PhD) research at UCSB, this was robins 1st flight from Pine
Steven V from Houston. This was Steven’s 1st flight from Pine
Curtis is a PG&E civil engineer from the Bay Aera. This was his 1st flight from Pine.
Ajay had one prior flight from the south side launch, so this was his 2nd flight at Pine
Tom Truax (aka Sundowner / SD) was crew.

On the drive in, the Sespe flow switched from East to SW s around the Sand Pile. It seemed a bit stiff on the drive up along the ridge and blowing solid from the south when we stopped to check the north side launches. By the time we got to launch around 4:45-ish the wind seemed to be backing down quickly and coming mostly straight in at 5 to 12 for easy launch conditions. All 6 pilots set up quickly and were off in quick succession. All got up in the ridge lift, but not very high. The main thermal source on the spine west of launch was hit and miss with some pilots not connecting and others getting 500-foot gains, but no one got very high. Steven V soared the rocky bluffs above Cherry Creek for a while, logging the longest flight of the day, I think about and hour and a half? Since we had 2 vehicles and only one crew, we had to go back up to retrieve the 2nd vehicle, so Robin got a 2nd flight in dying but smooth and buoyant conditions.

2 of the pilots, Ajay and Wolfie scratched too low below the Farro’s Knob and didn’t leave enough altitude to reach the road so they both had long-ish hikes. Ajay wiggled out to the road just past sunset. Wolfie popped out about a half hour later as it was getting dark. Ajay lost his radio on the hike

It is my perception that we could have launched the green pilots an hour earlier. The day was fading fast by the time we got to launch. I suspect pilots willing and able to launch a couple hours earlier would have gotten to 9 or 10K? The base wind was light, but I also suspect the mid-day thermal draw was likely stiff on launch and likely too much for newer pilots? By the time Robin launched on his 2nd flight it was still coming in but very light (zero to 5ish) and somewhat cross from the west. Shortly after Robin’s 2nd launch it faded to zero to 2ish with occasional light katabatic downhill flow.

The day was mostly blue with a few small cumulus clouds over Pinos. The lapse rate was average.
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