Gordon’s Debrief on 25 February Aborted Record Attempt


Gordon suiting up for a record wave flight in 2011

Gordon's Debrief

Abandoned the downwind run this morning due to several factors:
  • Launched in the blue and had a difficult time connecting with the wave at the lower altitudes.  Wavelength was much further downwind than expected.
  • Had to relight.  On round two, connected with wave downwind of Minden (very unorganized below 10.5K) where I had slow climb (3-4 kts) to 16K.  By the time I got to 16K it was 8:30 (2 hrs late)
  • Conditions were completely blue locally and downwind.  When it's blue, one has to expect to be slowed down due to the search for wave.  That combined with my two hour delay helped my decision to abort.
  • Winds aloft at 16K were 300-305 at 60 kts. I'm looking for a 230-250 flow aloft.  My intended course line was to the NE not SE, so the winds weren't as favorable in Nevada, which would have slowed down my downwind legs.
  • When one intends to make a LONG flight, all things have to fall into place. Having things line up just right for a downwind run is VERY difficult. Not only do the conditions have to be right locally, but 400 and 800 miles downwind. Based on the above factors, I decided that today was not the right day.
Last Update from Doug Armstrong
1615Z Update...
Gordo & Hugh have been searching for wave in BLUE mainly west of Minden airport...stronger winds pushed wavelength east of airport...Gordo just reported 3 kt lift going thru FL 110...getting late start
might/likely scrub "downwind flight attempt"...0815 pst  Rick Walters just relayed...they got 1 kt to FL 175...
scrub downwind...
doug
------------------

1417Z--Good morning...

Feedback yesterday...Sierra wave developed during afternoon for Minden...

Today...Gordo and Hugh in position for launch for major attempt downwind in wave toward Rockies and beyond...chasing scraps of rotor Cu as system during the night now moving toward northern Rockies...with BLUER skies prelim plan is to head north toward Pyramid lake then toward Winnemucca then Ruby's just south of Elko...crossing the Wasatch around Heber City...plan is to overtake energy stream cast downwind by the jetstream with final wave around Cheyenne, Wyo by late this afternoon after final climb drifting into Nebraska around sunset...ATC has been briefed...
Sierra wave breaking down this afternoon due to COLD air advection...

Tutorial...see sat pic and Minden skewt...

Soaring Index...

Virginia peak.............(8,300 ft ASL)...wind 266@25g61 mph...temp 20...RH 47 %
Squaw valley.............(8,700 ft ASL....wind
Alpine ski peak..........(8,643 ft ASL)...wind
Slide Mtn..................(9,650 ft ASL)...wind 266@35g51 mph...temp 19...RH 47%
Barcroft/White's pk..(12,410 ft ASL)...wind 308@20g39 mph...temp 18...RH 11%

Weather outlook...

Cheers...Doug Armstrong...