Monday, May 17, 2010

Garlock to Olancha, 55 miles

Forecast was for 5-8 mph south wind almost whole day, cloud base 12K near Garlock and 14K+ in Sierra. Logistics was little bit complicated because Tony Deleo initially plan to fly from Black Hawk and my only choice was to join Joe Greblo's group riding from Sylmar. I was not even sure they have room for me and will allow me to go with them, but I took that risk and came at Sylmar LZ at 7:00 am. After short conversation Joe give me good to go and at the same time Tony call and tell that they coming to Garlock too. Arriving at launch about 11:00, clouds was everywhere already, light thermal cycles. I spend about 15 minutes by clearing west launch from bushes and rocks. Tony took off first, then me and then John (Southside). I had tangle in lines, which I could not clear. It was near center of trailing edge and did not affect wing behavior much, so I decide to go with it rather then top land and struggle again with bushes and rocks risking to cut my lines. I find a good thermal in front of launch and 3 of us topped out at 6200 then Tony went on glide to Black Mt., John find another thermal right away and I sink out to launch altitude. Next one gave me about 7500, which seems enough for transition to Black. But going through strong sink I arrived slightly below top of Black. There is long section of Bad Lands after Black Mt. and I could not find good solid thermal to get up, jumping from one "so-so" thermal to another one and basically maintaining same altitude. There is a retrievable road behind Bad Lands and when I made there I really could relax, but 300 AGL did not leave me many options. I was ready to land when heard "beep-beep-beep" indicating that game is not over yet. Now back to cloud base near intersection of 178 and 14 I don't even need to go to Boomer ridge and glided north along 14. Most of the cloud was back in the mountains, but I prefer stay in front, speed system was surely affected by tangle and I did not want to be trapped. Getting close to Olancha, John reported that he is landed safely near road next to power lines. I also was low and landed near paved road. By the time I finished packing my staff Eddie picked up John and was looking for me. Then we chase Tony to Luning, Nevada, had a quick dinner at Bishop and drove back. I got back home at 2:00 am.

Flight from Garlock to Olancha, 55 miles from Alex Gagarin on Vimeo.

My GPS track
Tony's 214 miles story
Many pilots from Sylmar crew flew 40 miles to Trona


Tim O'Neill said...

Nice flight Alex!
Beautiful scenery.

Dizzy said...

Thanks Tim, I hope you can join us some day. That's long drive for you, but its worth it.