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Sundowner Archived Flight Log
Copied from old hard copy hand written log book

Pine Mountain SS to the Panamint Valley

Flight on 8/9/86 (transcribed on 8/4/11)
Duration:  7 hours 41 minutes / Launch at 11:31 AM, Land at 7:12 PM
Distance: 156 Miles / Pine South Side Launch to Panamint Valley Road & Minietta Road
Glider:  Seedwings Sensor 510 B Model

Launch into good cycles and hazy visibility about 15 minutes after the start of good cycle strength.  Try the knob and across the bowl for a few hundred over then cruise launch towards Rayes.  Found a core about half way and took it OTB to 11K.  Cross The Chute and climb to 12K, then head NE upwind toward Thorne Meadow.  Work back to 9 and continue.  Down to 75 at the SW point of Frazier Mountain and work back to 10, drifting back with the flow from the SE into Lockwood Valley.  Plug upwind, working up Frazier and leave with 10.5 as CUs build behind and over Lockwood (Cloudbase about 14 to 15K).

Poor Glide against solid flow from the SE feeding Lockwood.  Janet reports light and variable at Gorman.  Reach the VOR and turn for LZ south of Gorman.  Down below 1000 AGL over Gorman and fly over a thermalling redtail hawk for a smoothie with little drift back to 75.  Poor glide again toward Hwy 138 Booster Junction, but find a good core with drift from the west half way there.  Climb to 75 watching dust rising high over the Tin Mine.  The Tehachapi's looked good also, so indecision took hold and I split the difference as the mine had cooled.  Little luck left me auguring toward Oso Pumping Station Road and Janet came across the aqueduct.

A 500 foot AGL save back to 75, and skipped on down to Mojave, topping between 6 and 8K.  The wind turned progressively south as the thermals got real by the wind farms and was able to glide to Red Rock.  Floundering indecision.  Started across Red Rock and turned back for better lift down Randsburg Road after falling downwind off my course line.  Pull in and power for a saver at 1000 AGL and run to Garlock for a good thermal, taking it OTB with 11 plus to Ridgecrest.

Cross SE of Ridgecrest and head for the Argus Range, but turn back for Hwy 178 because the Navy had a lock on the desert.  Thunder storms over Searles Lake with sharp lightning bolts and a strong gust front bowing dust across Trona.  Another save from 1500 AGL and climb to 12.5 while waiting for the thunder storm fallout to dissipate.  Head for Argus Mountain, but too east of action and concerned about strong east winds down low from the dump over Searles.  Head out of the Argus range and up the Panamint Valley on a smooth and buoyant 35 mile final glide.

Land parked into a south wind just north of the V intersection of Panamint Valley Road and Minietta Road.  Should have hung onto zero sink across the valley, but didn't realize the strength of the tailwind.

Had floundered, making  slow time through the Antelope Valley.  Heading up the Panamint Valley Road doesn't add many miles to the route away from Pine because the road is heading NW and the course line from launch is NE.  Need to do some homework on the route and road options.  Excellent performance from the Fork Tail.  Home about midnight.