May 31 News Flash! Long U.S. Wave Flight in Progress

Dateline: May 31, 2011, 1640 Pacific Daylight Time:

As I write, Gordon Boettger, the indefatigable U.S. Master of the Wave, has been riding the Sierra wave in his Kestrel since early morning Pacific time. He is aiming for a 2,000 km + distance today.

If you are reading this on May 31, 2011, before the sun sets in Nevada, you may be able to see Gordo's flight trace and follow the rest of his flight via his SPOT website.

Doug Armstrong, the well-known west coast glider pilot and meteorologist, has been posting updates throughout the day.

Here's a recap of Doug's updates, in reverse order, so the most recent is first:

Update #10

1853 pdt...Gordo via sat phone...very happy called from 10 miles out of Minden...plans to land because cold temps
have drained battery power to low...wants whole flight on logger...prelim estimate flight distance...2100+ km...!!

Update #9
1730 pdt...Gordo via sat phone...he's made the last turn at Little Lake...now north bound at FL 195...winds 220/53 mph
 

...he's aware that final leg will be in 2 hours remaining daylight and surface winds and aloft have increased in the Carson valley...lets cheer him home...!!

 

 

 

Update #8
1529 pdt...Gordo via sat phone...happily reports wave really crankin...30 min from Cinder Cone to Bishop at FL 245 cruisin at REDLINE ground speed 165 kts...winds 223@ 46 kts...wave cloud visible lee of Mt Tom...continue remainder of flight plan...
Update #7
1507 pdt...Devin & Laurie with Soaring NV have landed at Minden...hopefully got 1000+km...Gordo reported via sat phone...after turning at Haiwee Res...northbound at FL205...some high cirrus above ground speed 140 kts...winds 220/45 kts...Owen valley working great...intent run back up to abeam Mt Tom ...then south again to Cinder Cone area...last leg home to Minden...hopefully 2000+km...
Update #6
1411 pdt...Devin turned north over the island in Mono lake...Gordo continuing southbound abeam Crowley Lake... (really sorry about you folks at WORK...!!...I shortened the message)...Gorden missed his downwind dream flight last Friday...because he was at WORK in Shanghai...

Update #5

1241 pdt...heading southbound 4 N of Topaz...FL 185 in 4 kt lift...winds 195@60 kts...Devin has pulled ahead near Mt Patterson...penetrating with full load (50 gal) of water ballast...
 

Update #4
1200 pdt...heading southbound over mid Washoe lake at FL 135 with headwinds 205@62 kts...another mini tutorial ...Gordo wanted to go to Susanville...but I cautioned him "jetstream core" across Susanville area into northwest NV...adjusted flight immediately when things rapidly fell apart just south of Herlong near Frenchmen Res....now grinding south...could reach Mammoth-Bishop...!!
Update #3
1103 pdt...Gordo via sat phone...passing north Washoe lake heading over my house...at FL 190 on way to Susanville...Devin now flying along wingtip to wing tip since return north from Lone Pine...!!
Update #2...
1000 pdt...Gordo made 1st southern turnpoint around Dunmovin...(but ain't done movin)...just passing Bishop heading north with tailwind toward ACSL -  lennies stacked in 3 nice harmonics over Yerington area...these wave clouds have been more persistent...(others have been on short cycle)...
Update...
at 845 pdt...Gordo near Lone Pine at FL 240...winds 205@55 kts...cirriform clouds ahead estimated Fl 280... tentative plans possibly run between southern turnpoints and back to near Bridgeport...avoiding Topaz... (not bad for 1st leg before 09 pdt)...
Good morning,
Feedback yesterday...(5/30th)...reported by Neita Montague...Out of Air Sailing, good thermals...ridge lift...wave.  Mark Montague flew ASG to Peavine where he got the wave and flew to Minden and back to ASG in 2.2 hours, 130kts average groundspeed.  Not bad for a 44 year old Libelle.
David Prather also had a great OLC flight from Air Sailing 359 km...

Today...Gordo's already up in the Kestrel (another vintage sailplane) passing south of Walker in weak lift near FL 200 with strong headwind...winds 225@65 kts...large Low parked off the northern CA coast with southwest fetch spreading dingy CA air mass into western NV...rotor Cu and few wave clouds ACSL from around Bishop north to around Susanville and north of Air Sailing...early thermals becoming choppy and rotor controlled with gusty surface winds..
UPDATE...Gordo had to "tip toe thru Topaz"...741 pdt passing over Bridgeport...has sat phone message on cifm clouds near Lone Pine increasing south...on way back stay east of Mt Patterson per 700 vvel...

Soaring Index...900+ fpm to max altitude 15,600 ft ASL based on max valley temp of 66 F  with trigger temp 52F...
Vrginia peak..............(8,300 ft ASL)...wind 219@28g29   mph...temp 33...RH 48%
Squaw ski peak.........(8,700 ft ASL)...wind 281@14g19 mph...temp 28...RH missing
Alpine ski peak..........(8,643 ft ASL)...wind 241@30g27 mph...temp 21...RH 97%
Slide Mtn..................(9,650 ft ASL)...wind 225@34g46 mph...temp 28...RH 81%
Barcroft/White's pk..(12,410 ft ASL)...missing

Weather outlook...getting wetter late today with showers across Sierra into Wednesday...roller coaster continues with brief break Thursday...followed by Sierra wave/windy Friday...then yet another stormy unsettled weekend...!!