Phoebus glider home photo albums logbook and experiences where I fly Phoebus facts Phoebus Links Soaring Links boats for sale contact me page
August 2004 Soaring Logbook
To go back to main 2004 logs page click here.

August 7, 2004 - Cedar Valley, Utah in my Phoebus, 1 tow to 1,800 ft, 3.4 hour flight.

This was a very enjoyable flight.  There were quite a few guys flying sailplanes our of Cedar Valley and it is always fun to fly with others.  Not very many clouds developed today so there were large areas of sink in between clouds and lift.

I took my video camera with me and took my first footage of flying in formation with other gliders.  I am going to try to get a few minutes of the footage up soon.  I spent most of my time with a guy named Gill.  He just bought an ASW-15 and it was great to fly next to him.  Our gliders' performance were virtually identical.  We were both a little surprised by this since his is supposed to be 38:1 and have a little better higher speed performance.  We stayed together at all speeds.

We went down to Mount Nebo and it was fun flying over a few hikers at the top.  They were waving and taking pictures.  I remember when I was 12 years old, I was hiking Lone Peak and a sailplane flew overhead.  It was my first experience with a sailplane and I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen.  Takeoff and landings were great.  Wonderful flight!

August 28, 2004 - Cedar Valley, Utah in my Phoebus, 3,100 ft tow, 3.1 hours.

To view a map and pictures of this flight,
click here.

Finally!  Its been 3 weeks since I last flew.  Yikes.  This has been one of the coldest/wettest Augusts in Utah history.  I guess there is a side benfit though, I've spent a ton of quality time with the wife and kids so I think I have built up some gliding-good will.  ;)

It was a blue soaring day.  There were only 5 small clouds in one area as far as you could see the entire day.  Clouds are great help in finding where the lift is so on a blue day it is extra challenging to go anywhere.  I learned early this season that it is far better to take a higher tow and get off in great lift than to take a low tow and either risk having to go back and land or spending my first hour battling to get high.  It is not worth the energy and effort to expend at the very first of a long flight.  I have watched other pilots who fly the same day with me get off a few thousand feet lower than I did and battle trying to stay up the rest of the day.  The time savings and improved flight enjoyment is worth the extra $10-20 bucks to pay for the higher tow.

It wasn't a very hot day.  It only reached 80 degrees.  The winds aloft were pretty calm at only 6-7 knots from the west.  The thermals were smooth and surprisingly strong.  Another benefit of the mild weather was that the sink in between thermals wasn't the usual screaming strong down that out west is famous for.  Many of the cores were 600+ feet per minute going up (6 knots), but the highest I could get was only 12,800 feet.

I took off at 1:40 so I knew that I didn't have daylight long enough to go too far.  Takeoff was just ok.  I think that the 3 weeks off left me a little rusty already.  But, the takeoff was still 1000 times better than my old takeoffs before using my new takeoff technique.  Click here to read about it.

I decided to explore the Oquirrh Mountain range that is only 5 miles west of the airport.  Lewiston Peak is at the south end of the range which is a common starting point for most of my cross country flights.  I have only gone north of the peak once in my 10+ years of flying out there in Cedar Valley.  I don't know why since the Oquirrh mountains are just as rugged and beautiful as all the other Utah mountain ranges.  The ridge lift was perfect all along the range.  The mountain peaks are connected by ridge lines heading north/south and offer a virtual highway for a glider to follow riding the west winds deflecting off the terrain.

I went as far north as the copper pit and then headed west to Tooele.  There wasn't any lift over the city so I decided to head south thinking I would try to make it to Eureka.  The lift was good over the mountains north of Eureka and I decided that there won't be many days left of soaring this year so I might as well try to make it to Mount Nebo 20 miles to the east.  I left the last thermal at 12,500 ft and got to the mountains 5 miles north of Nebo at 8,800 ft.  It was all or nothing by the time I got there.  I still had 2 airports I could reach but I hoped I wouldn't have to use them.  As I hoped, the mountains were still working and I rode the ridge lift to the south up the slope over 2,500 ft to make it to the peaks.  I can't say enough how enjoyable ridge/mountain side soaring is!  I was dissapointed that there were not any hikers on the peaks.  They are always fun to see.

I wanted to head to the northeast along the eastern side of Utah valley but it was just too late in the day by now.  I headed back north along the mountains and even though I was at 11,300 ft and didn't have the altitude to make a final glide back to Cedar Valley yet, I headed north into the valley.  I figured that the mountains on the southeast side of Utah lake would give me the boost I would need.  Luckily they did and I made an uneventful final glide home.  It is really interested to look at the decisions I am making when soaring now.  In the first hour of my flight, I got a really good feel for the conditions of the day and was then able to make calculated leaps of faith to go further than I would normally have dared before this season.  However, I always stay within gliding distance of an airport so I am not being too risky.  The Phoebus sits so low to the ground that I am concerned that almost any field landing will at least scratch up the belly.  Wonderful flight!

I am also pretty happy about the pics I took.  For the last 4-5 flight, I have been taking video and not shooting photos.  The videos have turned out great but I have missed not being able to also shoot with my camera.  I am excited for my next few flights because the leaves will start changing colors soon.  I hope to take an afternoon off next week during the week and go again.  We'll see.

Think something is of enough value to take from this site? Please email me to let me know.
Copyright 2003-2018 Bruno Vassel IV. All rights reserved.