Sunday, March 18, 2018

Kagel to Marshall, 100 km flight

Haytham ready to launch from Kagel
Post-frontal day with plenty of clouds, but a bit low cloud base round 6-7K most of the day. My wife offered to drop me off at beginning of unpaved road, so I can launch early and simplify retrieve. My PG friends from San Francisco Dmitry and Vladimir as well as Haytham joined me. We can't all fit into Prius, so Haytham have to hike from LZ, which he did even faster.

On glide from Kagel
Launched at 12:02 into light cycles and have to wait for 20 minutes for weather to develop. I jumped from cloud to cloud and even though base was ~5K no issues until Big T. Typically Big T works great, but today it didn't produce much and I have to stay and search for a lift. After Lukens got to 6.5K and even higher than nearby cloud.
Above the cloud near Lukens
Next section from Brown Mount to Monrovia Peak typically very fast and easy flight was super slow this time because of shade and enormous clouds with base lower than Mt. Wilson. After Monrovia it was all sunny again. Contrary with typical struggle in these low foothills after Azusa there was plenty of clouds mapping tops of the thermals.

Last challenge was crossing Cajon pass. Cucamonga peak was obscured by clouds and I only can get to 6.7K, which made crossing very interesting. There was also not much of a typical west tail wind. I get some bumps near 15 & 215 highways intersection down at 3000 ft (1000 ft AGL). Staying in bubbles I slowly drifted into the mountains working my way up. When low it's the best strategy to stay even in zero lift and wait for next pulse. 5.5K was more than enough for final glide into Andy Jackson LZ.
Marshall LZ
What's interesting about this flight is that I never get above 7K, so such flight is possible on a low base days, but speed would not be very fast. Thanks a lot to Frank for giving me a ride back to home!