Newsletter August 2017.
Next meeting on
Thursday, August 10, at 7:30pm.
Clubhouse, Blair Field.
Sick and tired of all the smoke? I'm sure everyone is!... We
can thank our lucky stars (or whatever...) that the fires are not here in
Kamloops. Too many people elsewhere have lost homes and properties. Maybe
eventually there will be nothing left to burn...
I went to Wells Gray Park, hoping to show Helmken
Falls to my sisters visiting from Montreal, and we were lucky to do it on a day
when the wind there was blowing from the right direction, the air was clean and
we all could enjoy it. Same when we went to Vancouver on July 28th.
Breathing that stuff here day in and day out is starting to take
a toll on me, and I'm sure its no good for anyone's health. Even though I
installed a pricey filter on my furnace and re-circulate the air with the Summer fan, we still can't
totally get away from it. On most days its like in the old song by the Cyrkle:
The sun is shining like a red rubber ball. Or orange...
I guess not too many people lately are flying just for the fun of it.
But only if they have to, like this fellow in the picture I just received from
New subject: There is a rocky hill some 31 miles straight
North from the Kamloops Airport; called Skoatl Point, it is the remnants of an old volcano, and I was
told it sticks right out of the plateau. Does anyone have a good picture of it?
I would love to have a look and publish it here.
I had asked for photos from the Ross Creek BBQ, and Bill Huxley
had sent some, which I totally forgot to include in the newsletter. My
apologies to Bill, and to all. I am correcting that below.
From Bill Huxley
Ross Creek Landing BBQ, July 1st
Our TVSAC contingent , left to right: Gerald, Bill and his
C185 and Darren.
Darren and Gerald rolling on 16 for departure.
Saturday BBQ just getting started.
R44 by the main house.
Bill's C185 then from Salmon Arm, Fred's Challenger
and Mike Smith's very nice Rans S6
July 29 Knutsford BBQ.
I missed that one, but was told there was a good attendance.
Darren Watt sent me a few photos.
From John McLintock
Foot Raunch Flying – Oscars’ Longest Day fly-in 2017
I’m convinced there’s nothing quite like foot
launched flight. I’m also convinced we really pay our dues, the commitment of
time and effort to learn how to put together the mental and physical, while
forced to accept what mother nature deals out whenever we get to commit
aviation. The critical timing of when to take your strides into flight, all the
decisions to make while engaging with the thermals, and the finale of bringing
everything back to rest on terra firma, unharmed, and hopefully in a convenient
place. Yes, that’s how the International Field (Oscar’s landing zone) is such a
fine blessing, wide open approaches and not much to create mechanical
turbulence, oh, but there are trade offs. There can be foot raunching, not just
The July long weekend gave us three soarable
and cross country days. But what’s with the International landing zone this
year, the speargrass has never been this bad. The wet spring conditions must
have been responsible for a bumper crop, and now they are dry and ready to hitch
a ride elsewhere. And it was really hot in that little piece of desert. With
several folks to socialize with, it was several hours in the hot sun while
packing up, on both of the first two days.
That little desert has taught me a couple of
things, so let me share before going on with this. Whatever shoes you are going
to fly in should have leather sides so that you do not have to watch every step
you take to avoid the little cactus hitch hikers. Another trick that worked well
for me was to pack a fresh set of socks in the harness bag, in order to have dry
and warm feet in case you get to spend several hours near the freezing level.
It takes forever to pick speargrass from
socks, and your feet are baking out in that desert sun, so why not take your
socks off after landing? Why make the speargrass problem worse as you walk
around packing up and socializing? Dave noticed my trick, and thought it was a
good idea. Well, most things in life have pros and cons, and in this case what’s
good for the socks isn’t so good for the shoes. And I never wear my newer shoes
in the desert, so we’re not starting off all rosey here, but we are getting to
the heart of the story.
Well, between camping and riding in different
vehicles for a couple of days, things get a little disorganized, and perhaps
they weren’t fresh socks when I did my final prep before launch on day 3. Then,
it was hot on launch, and I ended up waiting for a couple of hours until finally
the thermals were tracking through in a more consistent direction, all the while
with my feet bundled up for staying near the freezing level. It was down to just
Dave and I flying that day, with no ground crew (my polite term for a driver).
Dave went first, and just like the last two days, there was a lot of sink out
there. Eventually he was climbing, and I watched to see if there were shears
preventing a non-stop climb to cloudbase. (my indicator for rating the cross
country potential of the day) All was good, time to try catching up.
Now the third player for this day is Chris,
who was having a few days off over there at the Freedom Flight Park. Chris had
offered to retrieve anybody who made it the 150km to Lumby. Each day before
launch I texted to seek confirmation that the offer was still “out there”. This
day I even warned him, it looks like today is the day. Randy had also put out
there, a free burger and beer for any arrivals. But yikes, with that switchy and
fiesty air on launch, it was almost 1500 hours by the time I foot launched.
It was nice to be reporting 10 grand while
passing over the Kamloops control zone, the ATC crew always seem pleased (or
entertained?) to hear from me. The cloud streets and valleys made it a dog leg
route of ______ Things went well with only two major slow downs after crossing
the two widest valleys. It was a 7000 ASL arrival over the Freedom Flight Park,
4 hours, then a half hour on descent, landing in front of an appreciative
audience of fellow foot launchers. A half hour later we heard from Dave, he
enjoyed 5.5 hours but he couldn’t pass up that beautiful golf course at about
km60 that he had used on a flight a couple of weeks earlier (it wasn’t foot
raunching that time, but that’s his story to tell).
I packed up as quick as possible, Bala had
cooked some excellent curry, and of course the beer went down easy. Poor Chris,
it was going to be a late night, 225km each way. An hour and a half drive then
we were loading up Dave and on to Savona. I offered Dave the front seat so Chris
could hear some different stories, but wow were my feet ever talking to me, they
were still bound up. I took off my shoes, that felt better, then the socks came
off too. But gad, what a reek. I could see Chris operating his window, and
glancing at Dave. Well, hey, he must think this new odour is from Dave. I was
able to muffle my chuckles but just couldn’t imagine having to tie up my runners
again. It was another hour drive to the International, with Chris frequently
adjusting the cabin ventilation.
We transfer our gear into Dave’s vehicle, and
say thanks and goodbye to Chris as he gets to start the return trip to Lumby.
Dave and I start the drive up to launch and my abandoned vehicle, and right away
Dave is remarking how Chris was always messing with his window. I laughed, as I
was wondering how I was going to start into the story of how I had just let him
take the rap for my raunchy footware! If I remember right, Dave said he didn’t
notice the foot raunch, so Chris, if there is a next time, try using the
Then there was another laugh, back in Lumby
the next day, as I confessed to Chris what had really transpired. Now I think
this is one of Chris’ favorite stories, as he seems to love telling it,
especially whenever I’m in the circle and there is someone new to hear his
perspective of what you have to put up with when helping your hang gliding
friends. Ok, he paid his dues, he can tell it over and over again … but in my
defence, the circumstances were exceptional this time, trust me, I’ve usually
got fresh socks and alternate the old desert shoes, so give me a chance if I
need a lift (you can always roll down the window)!
From Dan Berwin
Dan Berwin sent me this composite:
From Jan Nademlejnsky
170. Sixth Annual Pacific Northwest Trike
Near Sandpoint ID, USA, July 27, 2017
I droved 650 km on my motorcycle from Kamloops
to Sandpoint in Idaho. The roads were perfect through beautiful mountain
valleys. I wanted to see some other trikes in real life and not just from
YouTube. I stayed 2 nights, but only one day at the one week long event. I was
very impressed with attendance, variety of designs, shapes and beauty of the
private grass strip area. I was hoping to get some ride, but no luck.
I chose different road to go back, up to
Nakusp, BC. I drove several hours in very hot and unpleasant weather (36 C),
which felt like hair dryer on high setting blowing into my face. After some rest
and exploring, I turned back towards 450 km ride home. Just about 60 km south of
Nakusp I collided with a bear and messed up my one year old BMW C650 GT scooter.
The impact did not feel like too much for me, but the young bear was knocked
down. No blood just the front end damaged. My bike was towed back to Nakusp and
the next morning we were towed to Kelowna BMW dealer. I continued home by bus.
Overall it was very nice trip except the end.
169. Flying to Sun Peaks, July 25, 2017
This was another milestone in my flying
career. I flew almost straight line over the hills to Sun Peaks. Normally I
would follow roads and more-engine-out friendly environment. It was easy and
uneventful flight over beautiful scenery, but a bit hazy from all those extreme
fires all around Kamloops.
168. Flying to Greenstone Mountain and
Savona, July 12, 2017
It was extremely smoky in Kamloops from dozens
of fires around us. This day, early in the morning looked promising, so why to
waste it. I decided to fly around Greenstone Mountain, 5,900 ft elevation, S-W
from the airport. It was high enough to have clear air, which is important for
good pictures. I visually checked the status of the evacuated Cache Creek due to
forest fire there. I did not see any smoke above the village, but the smoke was
about 30-40 km north from the village. I pass this good news with pictures and
short video clip to several evacuees to give then some hope to go home soon. On
my way back east to airport I was seeing many water bombers and helicopters with
water buckets flying west to fight those devastating fires. Over all it was good