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2007 Northeast Season Hopes

The Northeast season around the Finger Lakes Area in Upstate New York started slowly this year for me.  The month of April was only good for about 7 hours consisting of one good weekend.  So far we have only had blue thermal days when the club is in operation.  Of course there have been some fantastic days week days with puffy cu's when we are not in operation.  (Why is that?) 

We had a good blue day on April 22nd with good lift to 6,000 feet.   The BLIP maps showed good lift all the up the Finger Lakes so I ventured North.  I was able to get to the north end of Conesus Lake but the lift really dropped off.  I wasn't concerned because I was near a good private strip called Hanna's Acres.  Usually if you hang around this area, thermals are kicked off Interstate 390 or the Geneseo Shopping Center or a number of recently plowed fields.  All I found was generally ragged lift that barely sustained me at about 2,500' MSL (1400' AGL).  After about 45 minutes of scratching, I bowed to inevitable and landed at Hanna's Acres.   Hanna's Acres is a nice 2,300' North/South grass strip about 18 miles North of Dansville, NY our home airport.  There was no traffic at Hanna's Acres so I landed with out incident except for the landing runout was extremely short without me applying any brake.  It turns out that Hanna's Acres is extremely soft in the Spring.  I could barely pull the glider off of to the side of the runway.  A call to the Finger Lakes Soaring Club got Doug Bradley in our beautiful Pawnee to come up and haul me out.   The soft runway didn't bother Doug at all and we were able to do an unassisted aerotow out with no incident.  10 miles to the south the lift was booming again.  The big heat sink, Lake Ontario to the north, still has a big effect early in the season.

My goal for this year is to do get my gold distance.  The course is laid out and I'm waiting for the right day.   Last year, I was on about two thirds through a  gold distance attempt when I flipped the wrong switch and turned off my logger 120 miles into the task.  I'll be a lot more careful  flipping switches in the future. 

 Looks like a good weekend coming up here on May 12 & 13.  

Safe soaring, Chuck Zabinski 

Posted: 5/11/2007 By: Charles Zabinski


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