A disturbance in the atmosphere is coming our way here in the Bay Area of California. We call it a low pressure system, and to a parched drought stricken state it promises to bring rain and lots of it.
Years ago I depended on disturbances in the air to support some game playing with an aircraft without an engine.
My game playing started out at the Fremont Glider Airport next to what used to be a drag strip, and later flea market site.
Before the housing pressure crowded things we used to put on airshows which had the spectators lined up along the freeway. We had the talented Art Scholl to perform aerobatics in a plane with an engine.
My experience in a small glider in rough winds like we are expecting tonight took place here in Fremont, as did some very smooth wave flights with my instructor.
On New Year’s Day 1972, I went up to participate in the strong lift that came with a storm front. I bounced so hard, I hit my head on the Plexiglas canopy, and decided to land because this was definitely not fun!
Others from the same airport got blown away off course, and had to land their Schweitzer 2-33 glider all the way over in Half Moon Bay on the coast.
When I lived in Southern California, and had my own sail[plane, (Diamant 18 meter) I flew from Lake Elsinore, which at the time also had sky divers based there. There was one day that had lift all over the valley, so I ventured over Hemet, and returned. That was the extent of my cross country flying.
The most exciting flight there was the one that almost did not get off the ground.
The tow pilot took off so slowly while I was being pulled into the air on the rope, that I had to apply full rudder to the right, and fly wide or I would not have been able to fly at all. He noticed that I was pulling him askew, so sped up to normal speed and got me up. Lucky for me that I remembered what to do in an emergency.
After that near fiasco, I was flying a trainer in Pearblossom, and the wind was very strong near the ground, and almost blowing 90 degrees across the runway. Again, there was the application of full right rudder while keeping the wings level. I had a passenger who filmed the whole flight with my 8 mm silent movie camera. As soon as I released, I turned around and landed.
The pilot asked if I wanted to go again, but the wind was just too disturbing!