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Region 11 FAI Class - Practice Days

The Truckee FAI contest opened with practice days on Saturday and Sunday. An indifferent forecast made prospects of a return to Truckee challenging, so short tasks were called to Topaz International and North Mono. Both days had land outs mainly at Carson, but many of the braver or more persistent pilots were able to get back. A hard landing on Sunday resulted in damaged gear and a landing light notch in a wing but fortunately no injuries, and reminded everyone to fly the final approach into Truckee high and fast!


Forecast for Monday was high winds, with surface wind predicted to be 15-20 knots and winds aloft of 25 or more. The task committee decided on a two turn point MAT which would allow the option of staying in the Martis Valley. The wind did pick up early and seemed quite gusty, so after gridding the gliders a second pilot’s meeting was held and the decision was to scratch the day in the interest of safety (the landing incident from the day before fresh in our minds). The wind is predicted to be even higher on Tuesday before calming Wednesday. For the last couple of years, the normally reliable soaring weather out of Truckee has been easily upset merely be scheduling a contest….


A few pilots decided to fly today anyway. It was a little hard to get going and the line was disheartened to see LA dumping ballast and entering the pattern before the next glider had even started to tow. If you connected though, it was possible to find strong lift, and not blown apart as much as one might expect given the winds. A few pilots (BB, L6, XC) managed to connect to wave and at least a couple reached the 18,000 ft limit. Winds at that altitude were near 40 knots. Back on the ground conditions had not improved and L6 noted that the ATIS at one point mentioned winds “17 gusting to 27 at 220 degrees, direction variable between 210 and 290”. Final approach was quite challenging, high and fast was the best advice. All pilots landed safely.

Posted: 7/17/2017


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