Monthly Archives: June 2013

It’s Getting Hot & High!

With temperatures forecast as high as 115 Fahrenheit in the coming days think about the unusually high density altitude before you fly.  High density altitude is just a way of saying the air is as thin as it would be at some higher altitude in a “standard” atmosphere (a reference temperature and pressure of 15C and 29.92″ Hg at sea level).  That thin air means the engine can gulp down less oxygen to burn fuel (less thrust), and the wing has to sweep through a greater volume in a given time to deflect the same number of molecules (by flying faster).

Here’s a handy little plot I made of the density altitude at IYK for a range of temperatures and altimeter settings:


Here’s a good video by Rod Machado for AOPA on flying in higher density altitudes.

Pro Tip: The AWOS isn’t over the asphalt of the runway so it doesn’t measure the air temperature your airplane will experience.  The air temperature where your airplane sits is what really matters and it can be ten or twenty degrees Fahrenheit hotter just above the runway at IYK on a really sunny day!

Towing Gliders, June 7th

Friday was a big day for flying gliders.  I gave fourteen tows to ships ranging from Schweizer SGS 1-26s to a Schempp-Hirth Arcus between 10:30 and 2:30.  Two fellows flying a Duo Discus set a FAI record in the two-place category, and the OLC contest flight records submitted so far from that day have been impressive.

date Points name km km/h Club Aircraft Start End Info
2013-06-07 1,034.43 Garry Dickson (US) 583.09 80.28 126 Association Schweizer, SGS 1-26A,B,C 18:07 01:45 info
2013-06-07 956.01 Paul Robinson (US) 1,026.36 129.28 Hole in the Wall Glasflügel 304CZ/17,4m 17:19 01:33 info
2013-06-07 949.23 Dan Gonzales (US) 998.85 135.58 Hole in the Wall ASW 20 17:51 01:52 info
2013-06-07 937.74 Rick Barber (US) smiley 873.50 111.95 Hole in the Wall ASW 15 17:40 01:45 info
2013-06-07 709.48 Lane Decker (US) 424.80 67.50 126 Association Schweizer, SGS 1-26A,B,C 18:22 00:59 info
2013-06-07 472.04 Tom Bjork (US) smiley 482.79 71.11 Hole in the Wall Duo Discus 18:33 02:00 info
2013-06-07 147.21 Steve Barry (US) 77.92 14.73 126 Association Schweizer, SGS 1-26A,B,C 19:38 01:46 info

It was definitely, as Paul Robinson said, Epic Sky.


Family in Town, Dad’s Flight Review, and Glider Launching

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  My folks came into town to visit for a couple of days.  Turns out my Dad’s last flight review just expired so he asked if I could help him out with that.  So off we went in the 172.  He had never flow a constant speed propeller or in the mountains so that’s what we covered on the ground in addition to the usual stuff in parts 61 & 91.  We decided to put what I told him to use by flying to Kern Valley (L05) for a burger so Mom, Dad, and I piled into the 172 and were on our way after Dad did a few take-offs and landings at Inyokern to get to know the airplane.  Here are a few of the pictures Mom took of the flight.

Turning final for Kern Valley Airport (L05):


“Coolest wind T ever.” ~ Me,  “Best use of a BD-5 ever.” ~ Dan Kline


Father & son after a successful flight, and a fun flight review.  Who says a flight review can’t be fun?


Then it was off to see the fun the glider pilots were having, but first Mom wanted to see my new L-13AC glider I’m a partner in:


Of course I can’t just stand around and not help:


And two excellent shots Mom took of a brand new Arcus two-place motorglider: