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03-25-2001 Sunday

Solo from the Bypass to Parma
Bonanza

I was late for Hesham's 11 o'clock meet time and all the PG pilots had headed over to More Mesa.  Parked the truck on Gibraltar Road and thumbed up from the stop sign.  Had to wait 10 minutes.  The third vehicle was Flying Fish with his bones.  Debbie was starting to pick up from the NW with peak gust up to 10.  It was blustery at the Skyport and cross from the west.  A hawk thermaled up, but his climb rate was slow and his drift a bit much.  One of the HG pilots had already taken a sleader when Bob Ramey launched and got worked on the way out.  Roland was up next but I caught a ride down to the Bypass with a spectator before he got off.

The Bypass was below the NW wind and behind the SE, so I got ready.  Jeff, John, and Lew drove by on their way down. Roland came overhead but didn't find anything on his way to Parma.  I hindsight, it looked like all the HG pilots pulled a glide right through the sheer all the way out.  They never got low enough to get under the sheer until they were too far out front.

The conditions at the Bypass were a little shifty, but not too strong.  WNW above and SE down below out front.  I worked the ridge to the west of launch for about 10 minutes, getting a hundred above and a hundred below.  I finally left even and tried to pull a glide toward the Round House Spine.  I hit the SE wind a couple hundred yards behind the spine and it was quickly obvious I couldn't get there.  If I pressed on I'd be flying down the lee side never quite being able to reach the crest.  I burned up about 5 seconds weighing my options and turned right.

It was a long way across to the Holy Hills from below the Round House, but it was down wind and the line was good.  Came in well below on an east finger, hung on and wiggled up.  Once on top the lift was good enough and I could get into the mid 2s.  Topped about 27 a couple of times, but I was gun shy of the sheer above and off to the west.  There were some higher clouds about 45 up in the back, and my cloudbase was about 25.  It looked like the Holy Hills was the best spot with a convergence so I stayed put for awhile trying to connect to the upper stuff.  Every time I climbed up or looked uphill I was scared off by the sheer.

Cloud base was lower at the Round House and it didn't look like it had the convergence.  I finally got bored and headed over.  The best I could do was a couple hundred over the antennas.  Tramp launched from The Bypass in one of his Sensors, but couldn't stay up.  Double D got off at the Liminator and did ok at the Holy Hills.  I moved over to Parkers and got a couple hundred over in the up cycles, but was hanging on a couple hundred below in between.  The lower level east had faded and we were getting a little west even down low.

No way to make Montecito Foothills, so I headed west trying to get back to the Holy Hills.  Came in above The Rock and worked up to The Antennas.  Hit on the spine out in front of the Round House.  The Round House was probably working ok but I gave it a wide berth.  Couldn't get up out front so I was on the flush over the Monastery.  Got to Parma with 300 and hung on for another 10 plus minutes.

Landed at 2:30.  Fun flight, 2 hours.  Definitely better than desk work when you only get one flight a week.  Double D flushed off the Holy Hills and had a good down wind landing in Upper.

SD