Day 1 - Flight - Sugarbush, VT

The snow of the previous night was still on the ground when we rigged our gliders for the first day of wave flying.

The 3D diagram of my track below shows my initial climb in wave in green. I was towed through the rotor into the primary wave where I encountered 9 kts of lift. I flew into the wind, matching my airspeed with the wind speed and as you can see I climbed almost straignt up without turning. This climb stopped at 14,500 feet ASL because I had no oxygen on board and had to go back down to below 10,000 feet. The view is to the NE and the ridge generating the wave is the the left. A red track indicates climbing, while a blue track indicates descent. A white track is nearly level flight.

The grid is at airport level and has spacing of 1' arc in latitude and longitude. In the N-S direction, the grid spacing is 1 nautical mile.

In my excitement of climbing in my very first wave, I forgot to knotch my barograph. And in the previous diagram (and the barograph trace) you can see that there is no discernable difference between my rate of climb with the tow plane and in the wave. I did not want to go down immediately to the bottom of the wave but spent an hour exploring the extent of the wave and its general geometry. Only then did I carefully drift to the back of the wave where I encountered sink to lower my height along with my dive brakes and then I would close my brakes and fly forward to sense if the lift still existed at that lower height. This worked until about 4240 feet ASL when I encountered very little lift. This part of my track is shown in green in the 3D trace of my track to the right. In this case we are looking to the SW.

I was afraid that I had dropped too far but as I drifted back into the rotor I encountered some lift and began regaining my height. I climbed back up but only achieved 13,510 ft ASL, a climb 150 metres short of a gold climb. (See Barograph Trace)


L.Bogan - Nov 2000
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