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Region 4 South - Daily report

New Castle’s problem weather relaxed its grip today, but only slightly.  Thick morning cloud began to break around 1:00 pm, and slowly raised hope that a short task might be possible.  But cloud base never reached the minimum acceptable for a safe task (around 3300’ AGL here), and the day again had to be scrubbed.

Eight pilots decided to launch for fun, and all were able at least to sustain flight.  Lift was consistently weak (best thermals were around 2 knots), but with care it was possible to climb almost to tow release altitude (3800’ MSL). 

Many thermals were marked by birds, especially Broad-Wing hawks which are always seen migrating through the New Castle task area at this time of year.  Occasionally a “kettle” of dozens of these birds will mark a thermal, with a stream feeding in at the bottom and another heading out from the top, toward the next promising cloud to the southwest.  They will make their way to South America for the winter, always following land (and thus thermal lift).  At certain sites in Central America, daily counts of these birds reach hundreds of thousands.


Posted: 9/26/2014


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