SUSQUEHANNA FLIGHT PARK
Flyable wind direction WNW
1906 ft (600 AGL)
FL mountain launch is a slot launch
Dan Guido trains complete beginners (H1)
To fly this site contact
Talk to Dan about staying at the bunk house
Post flight reports
The skew for Saturday was looking outstanding, with base up around 9-10 grand. The problem was where to go to get in the air. 270 degrees at 14 knots at Uts isn't good. Ed nixed Katydid as being too south at 230 degrees. Dave St. Pierre felt that Lab would be too south also. I ended up going to the flight park where the call was for 265 degrees at about 13 (all are 3000' winds). Normally that's too south, but it was worth a shot at it for a 10,000' day.
After all the deciding and a late start on the day, I launched at 1:06 into a straight-in cycle and hooked one immediately. After climbing out well initially, the area of lift I was in seemed to be weakening so I headed for clouds ahead. Instead of meeting them, I ran into sink and headed for a WSW facing point on the east side of the Rt 166 valley. I spent a lot of time low there and was unzipped four times getting ready to land. Finally just before 2:00 I was in a lasting climb that got me out of that valley and took me to 9200'. This was not base, but it was too cold and the cloud was too broad to tempt me to go higher. From then on until I got down lower over the Schoharie Valley it was a lot of battling with freezing temperatures (upper teens) and numb fingers (despite bar mitts, hand warmers, and multiple layers of clothing) in the cold shade of a broadly (not vertically) overdeveloped area.
The drift the entire flight was taking me directly toward Albany airspace, so I was continually aiming more southerly than the drift. Of course, the best looking clouds were also in the direction of the airspace, but I did manage to stay to the south of it (other than when I was briefly above it). It was fun looking down at the Altamont launch as I approached it from the west. For convenience, I landed right next to the Hudson on the west side in huge flat fields near Thruway exit 22. My 83-year old mother came to pick me up, and even helped me carry my harness as I carried my glider 3/4 of a mile to a locked gate. Thanks, Mom!
I've attached the skew that had me so excited to fly somewhere that day. This was from 2pm at the Flight Park, but it looked comparable at all of the other sites I mentioned. The little jog around the 800 millibar level was distinctly noticeable in the air. I felt it as a more difficult climb around 5800' until the climb improved again a few hundred feet higher. But I didn't notice this until I after I had climbed out from down low and passed through this level, and then thereafter during the flight. And, although I had seen this in the skew that morning, I didn't remember it during the flight. If I had thought of this at the top of my initial climb, maybe I wouldn't have left the weaker lift at that level, would have fought through, and perhaps not spent all that time down low. Fly and learn.