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FlyBC "Site of the Day" - March 2001 Archives

Woodside is closed until further notice!!!

Sandpiper Golf Course Airport is also closed to foot-launched traffic, by order of management.

Go to the News Page link below for more details!!

Go to the FlyBC Weather Page to predict the weather. Send us your flight reports here!

news What's new around the Vancouver Flying scene.

Date Site Forecast Precip. Winds Aloft
3000 ft.
March 31 Blanchard cloudy 90% POP 250° at 12 knots No pilot reports noted, although it looked spectacular late Saturday afternoon. The winds were "on" at Blanchard, until late evening when it started "howling" in Vancouver.
March 30 Whidbey Island cloudy 40% POP 250° at 12 knots Bridal Report - Alan, Jacques and I flew from Lower Bridal from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, light inflow in the valley, 10 - 15kmph cycles blowing straight up launch, smooth wide lift, max 4m/s, max 1550m ASL, flew past upper launch SW and almost to Cheam NE, I top landed as lift became light - Rob Samplonius
March 29 Blanchard Overcast 40% POP 250° at 13 knots Blanchard got rained out all day but Whidbey looked good. No pilot reports at this time.
March 28 Blanchard Overcast 40% POP 270° at 12 knots Blanchard Report - Ian J, Dan Keen and I headed to Blanchard, arriving at launch at 2:00 pm. The wind was barely trickling in with occassional thermals. The birds were flapping, and unable to soar. I finally got impatient and pulled out my Simba and did one inflation that didn't pick me up, and stopped. I waited for a cycle and pulled up the Simba again, turned and got lifted off.

I scratched back and forth several times just getting a few meters higher on each pass, then thermals started to break off and I climbed above the trees.

I went to the HG launch and found a sweet thermal that took me to 1000 meters. Unable to 360 in this thermal I was content to S-turn my way up. I flew to the hill to the north, saw Lake Samish behind launch and enjoyed the air.

When Ian came close to me I did a B-stall that went funny and ended up in a horseshoe! It looked worse than it was.

Dan launched and soared up too. I was concerned about the wind lines on the ocean and headed to the LZ, while Ian and Dan flew.

Then it shut down and we were all in the LZ in a few minutes.

My flight time 1:35 minutes, max altitude 1000 meters.

March 27 Stay Home Windy and Rain 90% POP 150° at 20 knots It rained everywhere I looked, some snow on SFU Mountain. I doubt anyone flew in BC - Jim
March 26 Blanchard Sunny breaks in the PM, possibly windy! 90% POP 250° at 12 knots Bridal Report - I was headed to Woodside this afternoon because it looked clear on the satellites, but as I neared Chilliwack I called Allan D. and he said Rob S. was headed to Bridal because it was raining at Woodside. Not wanting to waste the trip, I drove on to Bridal to see Allan launch, then Rob - they both were able to scratch aroud a bit but only got 16 and 17 minutes. I helped them pack up and drove them to retrieve Rob's Suzuki.

As we approached launch in the Yellow Beast (you can drive to the top now), Allan talked me into flying cause the sun was out now. Valley winds were 270 at 12 gusting to 18 (the smoke was bent over pretty good too!).

I got off and maintained just in front of launch for several passes, and discovered the lift was quite far east of launch (due to the wind drift). I got into the thermal off launch and rode it to 1600 meters, but was drifting half-way to Hope so I made my way back to launch. Huge Cu everywhere. Lift averaged 5.7 m/s.

Rob launched and made his way towards Upper Launch, climbing all the way.

I decided to try to top-land to let Allan fly again, but even with ears on, I could not get down. I got as close as 20 feet off the deck, and then a thermal would let loose that would take me up several hundred meters (ears still in)!

Then the lift died as I was trying to get down further out and I got below launch and couldn't scratch back up.

Then Rob made the perfect top-landing approach from high out in front of launch, straight-in from 1000 feet over, in sink all the way downwind to launch. He made one turn and landed right in the middle of launch. I think he learned this approach watching Chris Santacroce do this at Woodside. Congratulations Rob on your first top-landing!

The ride down to the LZ was qute bumpy, lots of lift and sink with gusts between. I was parked over the Club House for 10 minutes not coming down or moving forward or back. I got down over the fairways to the south of the driving range and made a high approach in case of sink. It smoothed out at about 50 meters AGL. Total flight time 1:41 - Jim Reich

March 25 Savona BC Sunny 50% POP 190° at 12 knots Savona Report - we got the first call on the radio at 8:30 from Ian J. He had been soaring for 45 minutes! I met him for breakfast at Doug's Cafe and then we headed back up the ridge. Norm joined us, with Arlana & Lars, Chris Weibe & family.

We got some light soaring and kiting in, then Lars started practicing reverse launches (a first!) and he got off the hill in a reverse and soared with Norm and Ian's RC glider for a while, then Lars elected to do a top-landing (another first!). It was about as elegant as my first top-landing, but he survived.

I was just about to go get my Simba out when I asked Arlana if I could kite her Prima 27. It was pretty windy from the SE on the Dump Ridge, and I made a few low passes just "dirt-surfing". On the last pass I found myself about 200 over the ridge, I started S turns in the lift and then right 360s and before I knew it I was about 1200 feet above the ridge!! in a strong tight thermal (no vario or gloves). Ian J and Colleen were coring up below me in the same thermal. I drifted back over the 747 LZ and then tried to descend with ears, and spirals and just kept going up! After I while I found some sink and got back on the ground to get my Simba, but the wind and the thermal had shut down. What a great day!

March 24 Savona BC Sunny 20% POP 140° at 8 knots Savona Report - we soared from 9:30 to 6:00 pm on the east ridge, students and veteran pilots all had fun. Dirt-surfing and lots of dragging action! Some getting high over launch for several flights.
March 23 Woodside BC Sunny 20% POP 160° at 5 knots Woodside Report - a few pilots showed up at Woodside inspite of outflow wind warnings, and the thermals pushed thru enough to create launchable conditions. Ian J and Rob S made good use of the small thermals over the LZ, and squeezed out 48 and 47 minute flights. Some other pilots had bumpy flights and interesting landings due to switching winds in the LZ. Headed to Savona this evening to avoid the rain.
March 22 Woodside BC Sunny 20% POP 280° at 5 knots Grouse Report - I flew from the peak over to the west ridge where there was such good lift last week and I did not even get a beep. By the time I made it across the valley I was getting low and tried the front of Grouse. Unfortunatley, all I could here was the awful sound of a flushing toilet in the background . . . SH*T!!!!!! I got flushed for the second time in a row!! The next time I am not flying first . . . . Do you hear that Ian? =:-)

Ian flew in a thermal that was about 5 feet in diameter for a while, while I chewed grass at the LZ.

Grouse has proven to be the most unpredictable mountain at times so far . . . . Nintendo Gameboy for the harness might be good for these types of days - Justin K.

Woodside Report - no cu in the valley on the way out, in fact somewhat inverted with nasty haze everywhere. As I arrived at Woodside there were 3 PGs soaring in front of launch, so I filled the "Yellow Beast" with pilots and up we went.

Everyone that flew got to soar, and around 2:30 pm it started to get nasty up above launch. Only Alan Dickie and myself were in the air and I finally bailed after abandoning a few top landing passes.

It wasn't leeside, but the thermals were small and tight as they punched through the inversion (with sharp edges). Flight time for most pilots over 1 hour, not great altitudes were attained today. Later in the day students got to do some soaring in light lift in the valley, climbing above launch on their way out (35th flight!) - Jim Reich.
March 21 Woodside BC Sunny 20% POP 280° at 7 knots Woodside Report - Jacques, Alan, Klaus, Monica, Rob, Ian, Norm, Bev, Martina, Duncan, Glen & Calvin tandem, and Tim O. ... 8.2 m/s lift and over 4:03 hours for Ian, Bev with a personal best of 1:30. c-c-c-cold!!!!

Woodside Bev Report - Well my day was great! I was able to soar with everyone else which felt real good! I was so high up, my Vario (after checking it said 1200 m), but I was so high up I could see the prison, the towers everyone talks about, and also the back side of launch from up high.

I could hear the thermals coming and was ready for them, I got 5m per sec and also the my personal best so far compared to my 40 min flights, I got 1 hour and 29 min. I just completely loved it! It was nice non-rowdy lift. And I just remembered to use enough brake and control my glider.

I finally had to come down because I was beginning to freeze, I headed out and about between launch and the lz I got another thermal, by then I was about level with lower launch too, anyway I turned in and it just kept taking me back up way above launch so I stayed up there again for a bit longer til my hands and fingers reminded me how frozen they were, plus my feet were going numb.

So I went out and shook out my hands and played with some wingovers to lose some height and landed, I had the second best flight of my life so far! I still think the first best flight was the one with the eagles.

Norm also flew for an hour and 48 min so he was a happy hubby. He was pleased to see me flying as long as I did.

Anyway that covers us, there were many others out flying, Ian, Klaus, Monica, Jauques, Martina, Rob S., Tim O, Glenn and his son on their Tandem, Ralph, Allan, and Duncan, he came out late and had a 20 min flight with "monkey farts" as he put it.

It was an awesome flying day.

So thats my report - Bev

March 20 Blanchard, WA or Woodside BC Sunny breaks in the PM, cloudbase forecast to be 1800 feet, too low for Woodside (but it could clear out) 20% POP 260° at 10 knots Blanchard Report - Ian Johnston and I drove all the way to Whidbey expecting strong SW winds to soar all day, but it was too light to kite :-(

So we drove to Blanchard on the way home to test fly Charles new Matrix M, and saw a HG soaring. I launched into strong SW cycles at the west launch and climbed straight up to 600 feet above launch. I did every wang I could to descend but kept going up, even tried a few spins and wingovers and 50% collapses but could not get down. Ian drove down and he was due for some airtime (I owe him big time!).

Woodside Report - Today we met at Woodside, since the conditions looked like they might be good. The only problem was that when we got to launch the wind was gusting up to 50 km/hr. We decided to poke around below launch to check out all the discarded gear there. I actually found my vario!!! The crazy thing is that I brought it home and dried it out a bit and it actually works after nearly 40 days on the side of Woodside (sometimes under snow). Now I have to figure out what to do with my extra vario.... -
March 19 Blanchard, WA Cloudy - Highs to 10°C 40% POP 220° at 19 knots Blanchard Report - looked soarable all day, maybe even too strong in the late afternoon. No pilot reports, just the NOAA.
March 16-18 Savona, BC Cloudy with afternoon sunny periods, Highs to 11°C 20% POP 220° at 8 knots Savona Report - We had great flying on Saturday at the "Dump"! Lots of soaring and top-landings, students getting their wings out in higher winds and flying their own approaches. Ben nearly fainted from the hikes up the hill, he needed a sherpa! JF had a flight off lower launch and made it to the Crash Pad. Upper Launch is snowed in at present.
March 15 Stay Home Rain heavy at times 100% POP 260° at 5 knots Stay tuned! FlyBC British Columbia's official APCO, Firebird, Gin and Ozone dealer will have various gliders available for demo this week. Call for an appointment. DHV certified. Savona road trip anyone??
March 14 Woodside
(alternate is Grouse)
Sunny breaks in the PM 40% POP 200° at 5 knots Woodside Report - several pilots called to say they flew Woodside, but it just wasn't working yet. Some got 20 minute flights, but I was surprised because the overdevelopment in Vancouver looked like it would have been a wild ride. I bailed on going to Grouse because it looked "lumpy" and there were periods of rapid overdevelopment. See below

Grouse Report - I opted for Grouse yesterday (Mar 14) and was rewarded with 1.5 hrs of very smooth lift. (Easily could have been 2.5 hours if I got there earlier). There was little sun around, it was mostly cloud suck. Effortless to just maintain elevation but periodically had to work to stay down (ears) when the occasional Cu pump cranked on. Sorry Justin. - Ian Mitchell
March 13 Stay Home
(at least until Wednesday)
Gale Warnings in effect 100% POP 260° at 19 knots Whidbey Report - it blew up to 60 km/hr all day, some RC flying but no PGs were brought out.

Blanchard Report - arrived at Blanchard at 4:00 pm, the wind had died down. I convinced Ian J to go for a sled ride, beautiful sunset over the water. No lift on the way out to the LZ.
March 12 Whidbey or Blanchard showers likely 80% POP 220° at 17 knots Whidbey Report - our intrepid reporter Ian J went south to soar at Whidbey, but the forecast onshore breezes never got to the island. Ian noted the windlines moved in and out about 1 km off shore, but never asserted itself on the ridge.
March 11 Blanchard showers likely 80% POP 250° at 5 knots Blanchard Report - a few HG and PG pilots flew around noon getting above launch, then showers until 3:00 pm when a bunch of pilots flew in SE winds.
March 10 Woodside
(after the WCSC Reserve Clinic)
sunny in the PM, showers possible in the AM 80% POP 290° at 11 knots Reserve Clinic Results - one PG pilots's container failed to open because it was "hay-wired" shut! Bought in South Africa a few years ago and never deployed, get your stuff checked before you buy it. One HG pilot had his deployment bag rip open as he "threw" and the chute became tangled in the bag, probably would not have been a successful deployment in real life conditions.

Woodside Report - pilots waited at launch for several hours due to low cloud base, one pilot demonstrated why everyone else should go to the Sasquatch for lunch. After lunch it became soarable, Alex R got 1.5 hours, Ian J got 1 hour, Claudio showed how to full-stall a Cosmic Rider tandem!
March 9 Woodside low cloud in the AM, sunny in the PM 0% POP 040° at 5 knots, 9900 in the PM Woodside Report - flew leeside at 3:00 pm, got rocked on the Simba until 4:00. Achieved 1460 meters ASL, huge lift and sink. The light and variable winds never kicked in. See WCSC Flight Log!.
March 8 Whidbey Island Rain in the AM, Sunny breaks in the PM, westerlies 100% POP 230° at 7 knots Whidbey Report - I got a bad forecast from Environment Canada, as the low stayed offshore giving Whidbey rain all day. It was windy enough to soar, if you didn't mind getting your wing wet.

March 7 Woodside Clear and mild, High 19°C. 0% POP 170° at 8 knots Woodside Reports - We went there and it was the same as yesterday, it was coming up quite nice and Norm launched he got a sledder, Mark and Scott were there with their Hangliders, but we didn't stick around to see if they were flying. So today was a repeat of yesterday minus every one with sore throats, they must have gotten better and went to work as there was no one there but us 4 - Bev

Elk Report - Alan Dickey hiked up Elk and waited until 2pm for good cycles. He actually got over launch (on a super stable day) in relatively strong, but rough thermals. - Rob Samplonius

Sumas Report - Six of us flew Sumas in the early afternoon, Alex Raymont had the longest flight (25min?), light cycles up at launch, 20 kmph ENE No. 3 Rd. LZ - Rob Samplonius

Bridal Report - By 3:00 pm the outflow was very light so we drove up to Lower Bridal (had to hike up the spur road to launch). We all had sledders after no wind launches - Rob Samplonius
Grouse Report - Rob Polack, Heino Einfeldt, Glen Taylor and myself flew in some very trashy leeside air today at Grouse. Wind was from the east and made it especially rough by the cliffs, Heino had a 50% collapse before he headed out. Once out of the wind shadow of the mountain we were met with a wall of wind and sink that made it slow going out to the LZ - Justin

March 6 Woodside Clear and very mild, High 19°C. 0% POP 120° at 12 knots in the AM, light and variable in the PM Woodside Report - about 15 PG pilots showed up at Woodside, but the conditions were very stable. Alex Raymont got the longest flight at 30 minutes on the Simba M.

Grouse Report - Ian Mitchell and I flew Grouse on Tuesday. It was 19 degrees on top of the mountain at 2:00 pm and beautiful in the sunshine. There was very calm air with a slight tailwind at the peak. I got about 23 minutes with some lift over the cliffs and some buoyant air out in front. The air was warm on my face on the way out to the LZ. Great way to spend an afternoon - Justin

March 5 Woodside Rain showers in the AM, sunny breaks in the PM 60% POP 210° at 6 knots Woodside Report - Actually managed a few flights today out at Woodside. The wind was strong outflow on our arrival so we spent some time in the LZ ground handling with Keith (still new to the sport) which was great. To our delight, an hour later (1:30) the wind switched and almost died. Off to launch we went. It was light up and very smooth flying. Good for the beginners and Reto had his first flight on a new Freex Mission. Nice to be out again !! Could be great tomorrow - Derek Thomas
March 4 Sumas Clear and Windy 10% POP 110° at 13 knots Sumas Report - Charles and I flew HGs at Sumas with East winds gusting to about 25 mph. We landed about 1 km shy of the Tim Horton's at Whatcom Road. Nice flying mostly ridge lift and some thermals early in the flight. Max alt. 3600' - Greg and Charles
March 3 Woodside Scattered Showers in the AM 40% POP 230° at 13 knots We should be there by 11:00 am. Novice test session later in the day for those that need it.
March 2 Whidbey may be flyable Scattered Showers 60% POP 230° at 17 knots Soarable all day.....shit - VE7 NFW

Bridal Report - Quite windy when the clouds cleared. Allan D hiked to Logger's Leap through 8" of snow and he said it looked flyable, but he left his glider at home.

March 1 Stay Home Rain by mid-day 100% POP 180° at 26 knots Stay Tuned.

February 2001 Site of the Day archives Spring is in the Air!

January 2001 Site of the Day archives - Mexico Flying Trip

December 2000 Site of the Day archives

November 2000 Site of the Day archives (great month for airtime!)

October 2000 Site of the Day archives

September 2000 Site of the Day archives

July - August 2000 Site of the Day archives

June 2000 Site of the Day archives

March - May 2000 Site of the Day archives

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