The club is on track to complete over 600 flights this year that puts enough cash in the bank to maintain our equipment, pay other bills and put cash in the rainy day fund. At the end of September, we have 560 flights and a couple months before the season closes. No date on when we will close Ops but usually end of November.
We did 80 flights this month, less than last month but mostly due to 4 Ops days canceled. The Sunday crew has done well with student support and 4 days of 12 to 19 flights per day. Rick’s travels has reduced a couple days of Saturday instruction.
Guest rides have been good this month with 10 total flights. One Wednesday, we had 2 guests scheduled and received another phone call at the airport. The phone call was from Gary Smith, Son of Winston Smith who was a 1980’s club member. Neal Miller our guest ride pilot remembered Winston that started a really neat conservation of the past. Gary spent most of the day with us and helped with Ops.
Did you know that Vaughn Bateman flies both the C47 and B25 from the Willow Run Museum? Yep, he recently added the B25 to his log of multiple thousands of flying hours and may add the B17 in the future. Vaughn measures his flight time in foot high stacks of log books. His duty this weekend is a flight to West Virginia in the B25. We may have to make a software change on the Pawnee engine to make it sound like a Radial Engine when Vaughn tows.
Tom does a good job on maintenance and rope building so why do I need to concentrate on those items of the check list? You should always use a check list before each flight so you know the status of the items checked to reduce your reaction time in case of an emergency. The tire pressure was checked at the hangar, does it still look OK when you fly? Check the wind sock just before launch, it determines which way and when to turn if a rope breaks. We all know that AWOS reports on wind is often not as accurate as the sock but what was the reported density altitude? High density altitude reduces performance from both the tow plane and glider. You also know that the lock force on the K21 spoilers is greater than the other gliders, if not locked they come open that greatly reduces the Pawnee climb rate. Little things missed become huge in an emergency.
When turning from base to final or turning from a rope break, keep the nose down and speed up. A yaw string to the outside of the turn is OK, BAD to the inside. The tow plane climbs straight after a rope break, so you can turn either direction.