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Tuesday, 3/29/2022 [Weather] and [Flight Articles] by [_] & [Sundowner]
No other local Ayvri's posted other SD?

Sundowner's Flight Report, see also [Weather Archive]

Post Frontal
Skyport to West Bowl to Carpinteria

Reference: [IGC Text Data File] and [Google Earth KMZ File] or [Ayvri Solo Web Animation] and [JPG Overview]

Tuesday, 3/29/2022
Leg 1 ~ 2.9 miles / Skyport to West Bowl
Leg 2 ~ 13.0 miles / West Bowl to Carpinteria
15.9 miles total SLOFD (Straight Line Over-Flown Distance) distance around 1 turn point
1 hour 53 minutes airtime, Takeoff at 11:34:56 to Landing at 1:28:16 PDT
UP Trango

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Got to bed late so only logged about 5+ hours sleep.  A little slow getting going, suspecting it was likely too windy for PGs in the mountains, but I finally got to my computer and it looked like it might block.  Wednesday (the next day) looked stable down low and windy above, so I pondered a bit and dug into the forecast a bit more.  I don't like flying in challenging conditions on when I'm not physically and mentally sharp, but I opted to pick up the pace and got out the door without breakfast figuring I'd fall back to Bates if it looked too windy at Parma.  Fortunately, despite the nearby strong wind, the local conditions from Parma up to the Skyport looked mild on our drive up the hill.

After seeing Willy climb out easily in the house thermal, I was surprised to only break even at best and opted to head out with what I had rather than risk getting low below launch.  I was also somewhat surprised to encounter drift from the SE despite flow from the SE all along the coast on my drive up from Carpinteria (all the stations west of SB were reporting stiff west wind).  I fell off toward the Holly Hills because it was what I could reach.

Came in a little over the Power Line towers and found a weak but organized thermal that kept my vario chirping all the way around for a nice 700 foot climb to 3,150, drifting from the SE.  Might have been able to go higher, but I was impatient with the slow climb so I dolphined over to the Tit, figuring it would work better, but ended up needing to back track after searching out the SW spine.  Stuck with it longer on the 2nd try and topped at 36.5 for the glide to Cathedral.  Didn't angle back for the high route (via the RnR) because the altitude was limited and there appeared to be north wind along the back ridge.

The Cathedral thermal was smooth and sweet, getting me from 3K up to almost 48.  I searched up to the north side of my cloud, but sensed north wind further north.  I was well above the tops of  an orographic cap cloud that was spilling over the back ridge from the north (west of La Cumbre Peak).  I suspected West Bowl wasn't going to work because it was blue and likely from the NW in the lee, but I had plenty of altitude so I pointed west for a tag and back.  Wish I had a pocket camera.  I used to take a lot of photos, but not so much anymore, and our puppy ate my camera so I need to update my photo gear.

Pressed into the increasing NW flow a bit but turned with plenty to get back.  Could only get to 46 on the 2nd round behind Cathedral, but the block had pushed in more so I searched back toward La Cumbre Peak until I sensed I was too far north and I turned to run east with the altitude I had.  Nothing at the RnR, and the Thermal Factory was broken (between pulses?). Dolphined over what I though was a trigger line without joy.  Considered reaching for Shadow but with the course eastbound looking iffy I opted to backtrack and eventually fizzled all the way out to the Antenna Farm.  Gained 900 from 25ish to 34, drifting from the SW, so I suspected the west was starting to push through.  Had enough to reach toward Montecito, but opted to dolphin quartering upwind toward the Factory which paid off for my 2nd try, hitting may max altitude of the day, 4,875 Ft climbing up the north face of a cloud.

My track from the factory was ESE, but I was pointed (heading) east.  I didn't fight the drift toward the ocean and let the north wind push me out on glide.  Encountered some spicy air tracking around the south side (lee side) of a lower cloud over Montecito, still drifting from the north, but got out of the north wind below 33 hundred and angled back in toward Ramero.  Got to 38+ at the Ramero Road Cut, which was near a broken and varied cloudbase.  Sensed more north wing at the top of my climb and got pushed out toward the ocean on my glide across the mouth of the Ramero Saddle gap.

Similar iteration.  Got out of the north wind below 3300 as I looped out in front of Castle Point 1 and angled back in over Castle Point 2, where I could break even but couldn't find a core, so I tried to bench uphill but had to limp back out.  Still no core so I opted to cross to Castle Point 3 (Mobile Point). Came in kind of lowish, concerned about the potential to get trapped behind the power lines.  Mobile Point (Castle Point 3) worked okish, for a 500 foot gain, climbing from my low point of the day (2,211) back up above 27, where I topped out.  It was drying up out front (clouds dissipating and evaporating) while higher clouds over the back ridge were trying to form.  I sensed I needed to try and get established on the back ridge so I tried to bench back again, but couldn't make it work.  Got back to my top out altitude over the front point (Castle Point 3) again.

There was a high-ish cloud to the south out over the Polo Fields.  I could have played left and to reach for Castle Point 4, but I had the altitude to get out of the mountains, and if Castle Point 4 didn't work I'd need to improvise a landing in the foothills, so I opted to fish south and got a good dolphin glide for the first quarter mile, but the next quarter mile was sink alarm, so I opted to angle left over Toro Park Hill then Carp Gap Hill with no success.  Came into the west spine of Snowball low and encountered SE wind, so I was on the wrong side.  Did find a bubble over a field out front, but too little too late so I ran out of options and had to land.  Opted for a large and long driveway off Foothill Road (4400) that I've used previously.

Matt Etter had gone back up to the Skyport with other pilots, but opted not to fly again so he drove my car down to Parma.  Was going to catch a ride with Patrick Switzer who was heading toward Bates from the VOR (not sure why he was at the VOR, surly not to fly?).  While I was waiting  for Patrick a friend from Carpinteria drove by and offered a ride so I went to Parma to get my car.

At Parma the west was pushing through, but the flag near Padaro (on my drive back toward Bates) was offshore from the NW, however the flag across the freeway from Bates looked like a nice velocity from the SW.  It was SSE at Bates launch, almost straight in, but the pilots who launched all flushed to the beach.  I was hopeful it might come in so I unpacked only to watch it cross up from the WNW.  I gave it 15 minutes before opting to head to Viola to stow my gear on the grass.  Came back an hour later with the dogs and it looked good, for about 5 or 10 minutes.  Pilots at Bates reported it was a tease all day with one or 2 nice but short windows.


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