BLUE SKY FLIGHT PARK

Flyable wind direction

  • SSW NNE for Platform Launch on Steve's truck

  • AT available on weekends if enough pilots express interest in AT

  • (need to inform Steve before the weekend if interested in AT)

  • can scooter tow any direction

Location

Launch type

  • Surface tow

  • Platform Launch

  • Aerotow

  • Motorized harness

Rating Requirements

  • H1/P1 Steve trains complete beginners

  • AT skill required for aerotow

  • PL skill required for truck tow

Contact Steve Wendt

Flight park camping amenities

Accommodations nearby

YouTube

Windy

NOAA

Soarcast

Winds aloft

Skew-T

Post-Flight Reports

4/6/21

This morning the winds were due East ..... we were able to complete a lesson with one of my students that is now advancing past their H1....getting 50 feet altitude today....I have about 6 students at the H1 level right now hoping to earn their H2 as soon as weather improves for them.

The afternoon temps warmed up quickly into the mid 70's and switched to mainly W to NW....a very poor direction for towing here, but luckily the wind speeds stayed low enough, 4 to 6 mph most of the time.  That allowed us to tow in such cross conditions.  John Shurte, Bari , Walt M , Brett Ch , Rich H and Rich F all came out to try some flying.  Most flights today were sleds as expected, but Walt and Brett were able to find some lift and make great use of it.  Brett climbed to 3500 and got very cold....he decided to come down and land after about 45 minutes of that chill.  Walt climbed to over 3000 also, and probably had an hour or so of airtime.  So, at least we did have some soaring climbs today from 800 - 900 foot truck tows.....no one was able to break the 1000 foot tow barrier with the 90 cross west winds.

Wednesday looks like  W to NW again, at wind speeds of around 5 or 6 mph.....so borderline again, but we'll hope for the light winds with this direction , and maybe some lift.

Congrats Walt, and to our birthday boy Brett for their nice flights today.

Steve

4/7/21

After yesterdays success....Walt Melo and John Shurte both came back out to try for some more soaring.  Conditions were a little trickier.....bumpier and windier at times.....mostly NNW to NW....winds shifted more to the East near the end of the afterno0n.

Walt was able to hook a thermal again and climb about 500 feet, but he was drifting fast and decided to leave the lift to stay in the field.....he ended up finding nothing but sink and landed ,  but had a nice little climb....he decided he was tired from yesterdays long flight and was done for the day.

John Shurte took a first flight and maintained for maybe 10-12 minutes but couldn't climb , landed and waited....conditions looked a little better , so I towed him again....this time he found a thermal right off tow, and climbed to 4200 feet....nice.....after that climb, things calmed and only sink could be found, but it was still a really nice flight.

So, two days in a row with some soaring accomplished.  The next few days aren't looking very good as winds will pick up from the east and rain will be mixing in.....I'll post on Friday our chances for the weekend.

Steve

4/13/21

Tuesday morning gave us scooter towing conditions for teaching until only 10:30...then it got a little windy to be safe.
The afternoon winds stayed in the 7-12 range....mostly NNW to NNE and allowed Walt Melo to get some truck towing in....conditions were flyable. Tows were good height, and Walt did manage to get a 600 ft climb after tow, but things were mostly sink and not very productive.
I think we’ll be able to teach tomorrow morning again with the 2 students I have scheduled....but it looks like rain could be moving in later in the afternoon and continue into the night.
Hopefully we won’t get too wet. Following the rain system looks like 3 days of WNW winds....Friday might be 10-15....probably good in the mountains.....then Sat and Sun might end up light enough that we can fly....remember, if its WNW, that’s nearly 90 cross, so It will have to be light to be make it safe, and it looks like that may be the case.
Steve

4/17/21

Saturday started out with light west which allowed a few hours of good teaching weather....then around 10:30 it started to get stirred up and inconsistent. But we still had a good morning.
The afternoon stayed mainly west....sometimes a little NW....other times a little WSW...but west and cross most all afternoon....not strong, but enough to be on the edge for truck towing. Only John Shurte and Paul Sydor came out to get airborne....we towed from both ends of the runway....as 90 cross was 90 cross....we had very high thick cloud cover which stifled any heating....gliders popped off the truck and weathervaned into the crosswind , but didn’t cause any major problems.
John took one flight and decided to wait until Sunday....Paul was getting his first flights on his new Sport 3.....he took his first one and was able to climb 4 or 5 hundred feet after release....but only for a short while....and then a second flight with no lift at all....I believe Paul really enjoyed his new glider, and I”m sure he’ll comment on what he felt he liked about it when he is ready.
Paul and John both are set up for Sunday...winds look lighter, but the direction still looks sketchy with NNW in the morning becoming NW then W then maybe SW at the end of the day....but hopefully the lighter winds should allow a little flying. It looks mostly cloudy again by mid afternoon.
Steve

4/18/21

We had a full lesson with 5 students this morning....its was good for about 2 hours plus....then it started to act up as things heated.....the afternoon brought out 8 pilots for truck towing, but the 90 cross west , though light, didn't help with getting high on tow....most tows barely broke 800 feet with the type of air we had.
But, Paul Sydor and John Shurte were able to grab some lift immediately after releasing and worked it to cloudbase....over 5500 feet today ,and they flew for 1.5 hours plus.  Paul seems really happy with his new Sport 3 .
The good lift was early afternoon....as others towed and tried, we just couldn't get high enough, and clouds thickened and shut off the suns energy.....the rest of the afternoon was some short lived low tow sleds.   But it was good to see so many faces out here again....we had others show and enjoy the nice weather but didn't fly due to the poor conditions on the ground and for towing.  Better weather will be ahead very soon.
I'm hoping Tuesday might be the next flyable day.
Steve

4/20/21

Today was warm and clear....a very nice day, but a little windier than we'd normally like to fly in.
Mike Cosner, Chris Thom and Alex Kilimnik came out to try and enjoy the warm winds... it wasn't straight down the runway much...had the WSW cross much of the time, and with winds at 8-15 pilots had their hands full....we had some exciting launches that caused some problems, but no damage.....the guys decided to call it quits around 3pm, as it was just getting windier and rougher.
All 3 pilots had some 1300-1400 foot tows, and enjoyed some flying.
I don't see flyable conditions here again until maybe Monday of next week....the weekend might change, but at the moment, rain is in the forecast for both days.
Steve

5/14/21

Today the light N winds forecast for this morning turned out to be W, N and E at random intervals....tough for a day of training, but we got some quality flights when winds allowed.
This afternoon Alex Kilimnik and John Shurte came out for truck towing, but the sky over developed quickly and virga was all over the sky.....but Alex managed to climb out to nearly 3000 feet for about 45 minutes....so good job Alex, his longest flight to date.

5/15/21

Today we had a pretty nice gathering....the morning brought out 4 students and we were able to fly in fairly light NW winds on the short runway....we got some work done, which was nice.
The afternoon brought out 15 pilots....the conditions became easterly cross and caused some issues for me being able to tow some of our low time pilots, but the more experienced pilots flew....others got to fly later in the day.
It was an Icaro day...
John Shurte climbed out on his Icaro RX2 and went to over 7500 feet.....very nice....but it wasn't consistent and others failed to find that elusive thermal.....then later in the day , Abraham Smith flew his Icaro RX2, probably nearing 6pm , and he climbed out to nearly 3000 feet, pretty nice for that late in the day.  Other pilots had extended flights, but no serious climbs that I can think of.....no aluminum recycled, so all in all, a pretty good day.
Steve


At 205 PM used one of my special deluxe tows to 1100 or so, I  started searching northward but widened the search into a full circle and found light lift south of tow release, climbed at 150 up for three or four turns then the lift got organized up at 250 up and more until I broke 2500 where the temperature was 75%.  The lift was tight and strong from then up to 5000 where I started to relax the turn  radius and the temperature dropped to 60%.  From that point I was under a good cloud climbing at 300 to 450 up, and sometimes 600 up.  Going thru 7000 the temperature was 55%, climb rate was 500 up and then I hit the top of lift still 500 to 1000 feet under the cloud base where my height was 7500.  I lingered in this washout until the Varo started reading a strong decent, I flew across the center of the cloud trying to find life again and failing; then from the edge of the cloud I did an ever tightening spiral  into the center of the cloud not finding lift anywhere under this original cloud.  I tried two other clouds, and a lot of blue air between with no luck. There was a short period of time I at 3200 height where I  found a spot with no sink but it also turned into down air, I didn’t stay, this was over the river south of the runway.   From then on the decent rate was between 600 down to 350 down until under 2000 feet  where the decent rate became 150 to 100 feet down until 400 feet.
At that point I elected to land ending with a crappy landing that I couldn’t quite run out.
Total flight time 45.55 minutes.
John Shurte

5/19/21
The temps have been rising this week....will be in the 90's for a few days, and fairly light winds.  We've flown for 8 days in a row now, so things have been busy at the park....either scooter towing or truck towing.
This afternoon, the idea of truck towing brought out 4 pilots.....John Shurte, Alex , Bari and Jon Brantley.
Everyone got to enjoy some soaring off the truck....Alex and Bari were up first and soaring early...each climbed well and I believe Alex went to around 3500', his personal best ,  and Bari couldn't have been far behind....the duration was probably between 30 and 45 minutes, but I'm not really sure.
Jon Brantley went up and found lift and also had a nice little flight into the 2000+ foot range and all was well....3 were in the air together, then it flushed....we waited and it turned on again....John Shurte climbed to 6500 .....to add to his 7600 this past weekend.....he scored another 1.5 hours of airtime....his vario went crazy and started screaming and it wouldn't turn off....he landed because he couldn't take the noise anymore....it was so annoying on the ground that we had to get a screwdrivere and take the back off and pull the batteries to get it to shut up.
Its about 6 0'clock now and Alex went up again, climbed right out and looks about as high as John Shurte got a few hours ago, so who knows how long he'll be up....and it looks like he just has another personal best today again.
I'll in the AC cooling off and I have a hopeful first truck tow with Niko tonight as he graduates from the morning scooter tows...so all in all a pretty nice day.
Steve

5/20/21
We had a really nice morning for teaching today....very light, and my nearly H2 student Sven from the Norwegian Airforce was going to over 200 feet and working on turns for 13 flights.
The afternoon was getting pretty hot, and Knute Ryerson and Richard Foy decided to come out and fly, but the call for east winds and picking up was going to possibly shut us down before we could tow...and we were getting a late start at nearly 3pm.
I was able to tow Knute up on his Moyes Gecko and he immediately climbed out and topped at 7600 feet....flew for over nearly 1.5 hours, but came down because he was cold.
Richard Foy came out to set up his new Sport 3 for the first time....winds weren't good for flying that new wing , so he set up his Falcon and took 3 flights....but the winds get getting stronger and East, and we had to stop.
Steve

6/1/21

Tuesday started out with some nice morning winds for my student who was going up to over 300 feet today and doing aircraft approaches....we flew til nearly 11am before it got a little too rough.

The afternoon brought out 7 pilots to hope for some soaring conditions but a high overcast came in by 1 oclock and really shut down most of the heating for the entire afternoon....but a few flights were made that had some light climbs to nearly 2000 feet...but no body could break that barrier....I did 25 truck tows today, so that was a nice Tuesday.

Mike Cosner , Chris Thom , Rich Hiegle , Houman , Bari , Adam and John Shurte rounded out the field.

The next few days leading up to the weekend don't look all that promising.

Steve

6/5/21

It was a long hot Saturday.....we had a good session in the morning scooter towing some new beginner students.

The afternoon brought out 12 pilots....a great turnout, hot and south.....the air wasn't as productive as we had hoped, but it was still working .

Paul Sydor had the best climb of the day to over 4000 feet for over an hour....and many others had some shorter climbs....the list is too long to mention today.

Sunday looks very similar with S to SW winds again , maybe a few mph more than today, but still under 10.....also maybe a little warmer than today, so mid 90's.

Thanks for the good turnout today.

Steve

6/6/21

Sunday was every bit as warm as advertised....but 10 brave pilots showed up .

Alex Kilimnik took the first flight of the day just before 1pm.....he immediately climbed out right over the middle of the field, and was soon at 5100'.....but the next handful of flights couldn't duplicate that flight.....but we had some light climbs during some early afternoon hours......but around 4pm things picked up a bit and we had some better climbs, and then Paul took some light lift and worked it hard with his new Icaro RX2 Race and climbed out to about 4800 feet and had another great flight to match the one he had yesterday, so Paul won the overall for the weekend.

But again, we had great turnouts both days, and I hope everyone had a lot of fun....

6/13/21

Sunday morning gave us light east winds which was good for some training....I had 4 students working and they did well.

The afternoon brought out 6 pilots, as the soaring forecast wasn't great, but the wind was supposed to be south all afternoon and be reasonable for towing.....unfortunately the early afternoon just wasn't working and the winds had a mind of their own...the direction on the ground was all over the place , and the sink was heavy.

Peter K , John Shurte, Greg Mick , Bari, Alex K and Houman all did a handful of flights....the nothing got good until later in the afternoon....it was best around 4:30 where we had some half hour flights and some climbs....Alex K had a few soaring flights, and the last one was a climb to around 3000 feet.....Bari and Houman also had some late afternoon soaring .

It wasn't a great day or soaring, but it was still a good day to be out and about...temps were warm , but stayed in the 80's.

Hopefully the end of the week will lead us into a really nice Fathers Day weekend of weather.

Steve

7/22/21

Thursdays humidity and temps were finally very comfortable….as we finally had a break from the heat and humidity that has been forced upon us lately.
The morning was windy though as the front that gave us relief left us with some resistance….but things backed off a little after lunch, and 5 pilots came out to do some truck towing….Peter Kane, John Shurte, Jon Brantley , Mike Cosner and Chris Thom all did a few flights but the air was choppy and sinky for most of the day and didn’t prove to be very productive….so everyone was breaking down, except Chris decided to do one more, probably around 4:30 , and the middle of the field decided to break loose and Chris climbed to around 3000 feet for a nice late afternoon flight.
The evening calmed down nicely and Aaron, soon to be another truck tow pilot, was able to do 300 foot scooter tows, begin Aircraft approaches , and start flying on the basetube….so it was a productive evening for him.
Today looks like light N in the morning, then turning East after lunch.  I have to take Tatiana to the train station around 1 or so….might be back by 2 or 2:30 , but if its East, it won’t matter much anyway.
At the moment, Sat and Sun should be warmer and Southerly.
Steve

7/23/21

Friday morning I had 3 students towing, but by 10am it got very west cross and rough....so we only flew for half the morning.....I got Tatiana to the train station on time, and was back at the flight park by 2:30 where I found John Shurte and Gordon Lewis both set up and waiting for me.

Gordon took the first tow and had a light climb and spent a good 15 to 20 minutes airborne.....and did a few more with some light lift later in the afternoon.

John took one tow and worked hard for a while in very light lift but climbed to over 3100 feet and got maybe a 45 minute flight.

Steve

7/24/21

Saturday started out with very light S winds for teaching...we had a good session...Cloudy and cooler than it has been lately.

The afternoon brought out 9 pilots.....but after only a handful of tows the clouds had built up until it started to rain on us...no thunder or lightning, but winds picked up a little and the precipitation urged most to break down their glider and call it a day, but a few stayed on and flew a little bit more....but it was windy aloft...we didn't get more rain, but the radar had cells near us the rest of the day and the winds aloft were strong enough for Alex to record multiple 1900 foot flights.....Richard Foy stuck around and got a few more, as well as Brett Cherefko......then Vivek showed up later and I put him on my Alpha that was already set up....he didn't have an altimeter on, but he was up in the Alex altitude range on his tows......then we decided to do 'one more' , the famous phrase......it was a great tow, but we actually ran out of rope before we got to the end of the tow....don't know how high he got, but we pulled around 3000 feet of rope off my winch.....I chased after it with the truck and finally caught up to it as it dragged through the corn....tied it off and got it fixed onto my winch and again and started pulling it in...the rope was across the road and into the trees to the west, but after about 15 seconds of rewinding I saw the parafoil climbing from way far out across the trees....and I was able to rewind back all the rope and the parafoil without damage....whew.....that was nearly a $1000 mistake......but all is well....needless to say that was around 6pm, and we made that the last tow of the day.

Sunday looks south, but windier than today by a bit....looks like 10 or more on the ground......today it was around 8 to 10 on the ground and probably more at times....but it was 15 plus above 500 feet later in the day.

Basically, tomorrow is a maybe.

Thanks to those that came out today.

Steve