Type of glider: DG 300 WL,

Takeoff location: El Tiro (US / 9)


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Flight details

Points for the flight 449.1
Points for the flight 428.24
scoring distance 449.6
Speed 77.4 km/h
Duration 05:48:21
Points for the flight 20.86
scoring distance 73.0 km
Speed 43.0 km/h
Duration 01:41:51
Scoring class standard
Scoring start 18:06:18
Scoring end 00:00:24
Index: 105.0
Club Tucson Soaring Club
Date of claim 18.04.2021 17:19:44
state IGC-File: Flight:

Flight path

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Ron Olsen graciously offered to act as an observer and convinced me to declare the flight I planned for Saturday. So my first ever declared flight was to be a 515km triangle: El Tiro, Tombstone, Regeneration, Night Sky, El Tiro.
Started off great – got to 9k off tow and headed east. Found nothing but glass smooth air over Marana – zero bumps all the way to Dove Mtn resort. Struggled all the way to Mt Lemmon and worked bubbles back and forth across the ridge low while watching the time tick away. Finally got high enough to dash over to the cu that was standing over Lemmon all day and got up to 13.5k. I shot SE to Tombstone as the conditions got better and better (even though it was all blue sky). Made the turn and was now hitting 15k. I ran north up the Cascabels and ran into Dan and Bruce who were heading east over the valley to a Mt Graham turn point. I was doing better so stayed west of them and then cut over the valley over the north side of Graham to hit Regen still hitting 15k+. I had to dump my ballast due to freezing temps (saw 7degF at one point).
When I turned at Regen, Dan and Bruce already had San Manuel in the bag and were talking final glide altitudes for El Tiro. I’m feeling great with high confidence on the return leg. Then it all went south. The 8-10kt west wind turned into 20kts and I couldn't get more than a half turn in lift. I was 20mi north of China Peak and just couldn’t get over the ridge into San Pedro valley. Finally gave up in the downwash rotor junk and headed back east to AV Ranch. The airstrip is overgrown and unusable so I’m looking at fields… with cows. I’m having visions of spending the night in a field fending off cattle and a miserable Sunday retrieve up that long valley’s dirt road.
At 1400 agl, I found crappy 0.8kt stuff and worked it up the hillside east. I figured Regen or Safford were way better options if the lift and drift worked out. I finally got high enough and knew I was done for the day. I headed to Safford and landed in 20kt wind on rwy 30. Folks there were great – helped me tie down and showed me how to operate the secret vehicle gate opener. My nephew lives there and came out to pick me up. We went out for some great Mexican food at Charro’s. I was thinking to stay the night with them but Quentin and Rohan insisted a retrieve that evening was no problem (what great guys!). We got the glider in the trailer and headed back, rolling into El Tiro at midnight. I owe you guys! Will miss the great conditions this Sunday (I’m beat) but I’m up for anyone needing a retrieve.


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Peter H. Braasch
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