Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Pre Frontal Wave

I'd finished fixing the tailskid on the Nimbus (a perenial problem). The sky was beginning to show signs of the odd cumulus forming with wave bars showing higher up. The K13 was doing a steady business and the Junior was ready for a launch when Dave D asked if I fancied a flight in his Grob.

It seemed like an ideal opportunity to see if it really was waving before the warm front arrived. With the engine throttled back to make it more like glider we took a few turns in the rapidly forming and dying thermals to climb from 1500 ft up to cloudbase just around the 2500 mark and then pushed on toward the SW. Over Chiltern Park there was definately a wave hole which allowed a slow climb to just over 3000. The hole then gradually started to fill in with rapidly forming wave shaped clouds which in turn allowed us to climb to nearly 4000.

When we first had joined the wave it was possible to see over the cloud beyond the wave hole and gave the feeling we would soon be able to look down on cumulus organized around the wave.

This was just not to be and although it was possible to climb in the odd disorganized lift it became obvious that having an engine would save us from becoming embedded in the rapidly approaching front.

Eventually discretion proved the better part of valour and opening the throttle enabled us to climb out of the rapidly forming cloud and retreat downwind to a more sparsely cloud populated sky.

Very shortly after landing the sky became totally overcast.

Thanks Dave D for an enjoyable time in the air when it had been the last thing on my mind today.

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