SSA 2012—Long Cross Country Flights in Mountain Wave

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Presentation by Jim Payne at the February, 2012 Soaring Society of America (SSA) convention in Reno, Nevada. Jim explains the hazards of mountain wave flying, equipment required, and how to adequately prepare and plan long cross country flights in mountain wave conditions, specifically in the Sierras. He describes and illustrates some of his record flights in the Sierras.

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SSA 2012—Long Cross Country Flights in Mountain Wave

  1. 1. Long XC in Wave Lake Crowley Jim Payne ©Jim Payne 2012
  2. 2. Soaring Long XC in Wave• Weather• Safety• Planning• OLC Rules• OLC 2.0: 5 Years of Awesome Soaring
  3. 3. What is Wave Lift? LENTICULARSWIND ROLL CLOUD MOUNTAINS
  4. 4. The Perfect Sierra Wave Forecast
  5. 5. Rosamond 01/21/03
  6. 6. Safety: The Major Hazards• Pilot Incapacitation from Hypoxia• Pilot Incapacitation from Thermal Stress (cold)• Pilot Incapacitation due to Broken/Lost Canopy• Pilot Incapacitation due to Dehydration• Structural Failure due to Flutter• Structural Failure due to Turbulence• Structural Failure due to Mid-Air Collision• Structural Failure due to Loss of Control in Clouds• Landing Mishap due to Strong Sink• Landing Mishap due to Strong Surface Winds• Crew Stress due to Lost Communications
  7. 7. Safety: Pilot Incapacitation• HypoxiaUse an oximeter(as cheap as $19.99on Amazon.com)
  8. 8. Safety: Pilot Incapacitation• Thermal Stress (cold)Boots w/ 400 gram of insulation,electric insole, 18-hr pads
  9. 9. Safety: Pilot Incapacitation• Broken/Lost CanopyNo hat buttons
  10. 10. Safety: Pilot Incapacitation• DehydrationFlights in cold weather are insidiousCamelback
  11. 11. Safety: Structural Failure• FlutterVNE table
  12. 12. Safety: Structural Failure• TurbulenceRough air redline
  13. 13. Safety: Structural Failure• Mid-Air CollisionPowerFLARMEven with flight following saw Marty with no call out
  14. 14. Safety: Structural Failure• Loss of Control in Clouds
  15. 15. Safety: Landing Mishap• Strong Sink
  16. 16. Safety: Landing Mishap• Strong Surface WindsMust be able to land in big crosswindIn SoCal can often soar to airports with less wind
  17. 17. Safety: Crew Stress• Lost Communications Sat phone SPOT with Text
  18. 18. Planning• Know Sailplane and Instruments: Practice• Be Proficient: Fly During Off Season• Know Area: Study Maps and OLC Flight Logs• Study Weather: Compare Forecast to Actual• Know the Rules: OLC and FAI Rules are Different• Create Tasks: Think Lines of Lift
  19. 19. OLC Rules 2007 thru 2010• Each Flight Scored for Distance – 6 Legs (5 Turnpoints) – Leg 5 devalued 20%, Leg 6 devalued 40% – Handicapped based on Sailplane Performance• Best 6 Flights Count• Last day to score is 2nd Monday in October
  20. 20. The Speed OLC Rules• Each Flight Scored for Speed – Best 2.5 Hours – 4 Legs (Up 3 Turnpoints from OLC Route) – Finish Height ≥ Start Height – Handicapped based on Sailplane Performance• Best 6 Flights Count• Same Period
  21. 21. 2011 Rule Changes• OLC Plus – Scoring Change • No devaluation of 5th and 6th legs (10% gain on 6 equal legs) • Adds 30% bonus for FAI Triangle (25%/45% if over 500 km)• OLC Speed – Must start within 15 km of launch point• Claim – Must be within 48 hours
  22. 22. 20071,446 km 1,457 km
  23. 23. 2008 Thermal to Wave March 30
  24. 24. 1,795 kmApril 19
  25. 25. JP’s 2008• Top six flights totaled 9,170 kilometers (5,697 miles)• Average of 1,528 km (949 miles) per flight• Longest flight was 1,795 km (1,115 miles)
  26. 26. The 2009 Aerokurier OLC Year of the SparrowHawk
  27. 27. So far this wave season has not beennear a good as last season. So, eventhough the forecast was for less thanoptimum wave, I went for it. The windswere more southwesterly than desiredso it was best between CinderConeand Big Pine. Other places I found allkinds of traps. There were more waveclouds than normal and not all of themwere honest which caused me to befaked out a couple of times. The 3rdtrip north was aborted due to sink andturbulence at a line of cloud jutting outfrom the Sierra. Getting home from 1,259kmInyokern was a challenge due to a 45 156 kphto 50 knot quartering headwind. This April 24was my 5th flight and 1st cross country SparrowHawkin a SparrowHawk. Thank you, GregCole, for loaning me the SparrowHawk... for its wing loading it performs verywell and it has great flying qualities ...plus a "sweet" handicap. Thank you,Jackie, for the retrieve.
  28. 28. JP’s 2009Ultralight World Records 1,002.10 km Free 3 Turn Point Distance 91.95 kph 500 km O&R Speed 622.44 km O&R Distance 632.33 km Free O&R Distance 103.3 kph 500 km Triangle Speed 507.3 km Triangle Distance 527.3 km Free Triangle Distance
  29. 29. 20101,652 kmJune 10ASH-25
  30. 30. 20112,180.3 kmApr 28ASH-25
  31. 31. 20112011 Apr 28 10:58
  32. 32. 2011 Apr 28 10:59
  33. 33. 2011 Apr 28 10:59
  34. 34. 2011 Apr 28 13:32
  35. 35. 2011 Apr 28 13:32
  36. 36. 2011 Apr 28 15:30
  37. 37. 2011 Apr 28 15:30
  38. 38. 2011 Apr 28 17:14
  39. 39. 2011 Apr 28 17:14
  40. 40. 2011 Apr 28 17:32
  41. 41. 2011 Apr 28 17:34
  42. 42. 2011 Apr 28 18:53
  43. 43. 2011 June 04
  44. 44. Sunrise 05:39 2011 Jun 04 05:29
  45. 45. 05:48
  46. 46. 06:27
  47. 47. 06:28
  48. 48. 06:42
  49. 49. 06:42
  50. 50. 07:42
  51. 51. 07:4216,300
  52. 52. 08:39
  53. 53. 08:32
  54. 54. 08:35
  55. 55. 08:44
  56. 56. 08:44
  57. 57. 08:50
  58. 58. 08:50
  59. 59. 08:50
  60. 60. 08:58
  61. 61. 08:58
  62. 62. 10:22
  63. 63. 10:22
  64. 64. 10:22
  65. 65. 11:0414,500
  66. 66. 13:0315,300
  67. 67. 13:03
  68. 68. 13:17
  69. 69. 13:17
  70. 70. 15:0915,850
  71. 71. 17:0811,000
  72. 72. 17:08
  73. 73. 17:08
  74. 74. 17:43
  75. 75. 17:43
  76. 76. 19:0710,900
  77. 77. 19:07
  78. 78. 19:07
  79. 79. Sunset 19:55 19:44
  80. 80. OLC “Secrets”1. Location, Location, Location2. Learn The Weather3. Start As Early As Possible4. Maximize The First Four Legs5. Soar Until Sunset
  81. 81. Thank Yous• Contest: Aerokurier, the OLC Staff , & the SSA• Weather: Doug Armstrong & Dr Jack Glendening• Sailplanes: Greg Cole, Bob Ettinger• Tows: Bill Francis• Flying Partners: Tom Payne, Dennis Tito• Everything: Jackie

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