Monday, February 1, 2010
By the end of January, there were quite a few club members suffering from withdrawal to mount a flying operation in the cold. We were helped by the rains that washed out most of the snow and subsequent deep freeze that made the runways rock solid.
It was -20C in the thermometer in the morning, but it was bright and sunny all day and temperatures climbed steadily, so it was not unbearably cold. I got to the flightline just in time to capture the Citabria landing from tow. We used one runway to land and the other to takeoff and utilized human power to put the glider in position for next launch.
Winter flight all carry two people to maximize the enjoyment and minimize the frostbite potential. I flew the take off and then relinquished controls to my partner and occupied myself by taking pictures and looking around. There was a bit of zero sink area and all flights that day caught a bit of that resulting in average time aloft just under 25 mins.
I had an opportunity to go for another flight shortly thereafter but my flozen toes suggested that instead of flying in the cold glider I get in the back of the warm tow plane and take some pictures of the glider after we release it. We briefed the glider pilots that we would follow then at the safe distance after release and I got some great pictures, although I wish I had my professional camera on me with better zoom lenses.