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Mandatory Meeting

posted Feb 21, 2016, 9:03 PM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 12:56 PM ]

Our Small band met tonight (on the 21st) for a mandatory meeting, operations briefing and general house keeping party. "We promise to play well with others, especially the ATC , Jet Airliners, Clouds, Shiflet Community Members and any other members of the Flying Sphere ... While at Wave Camp.
Wave Camp, Group Meeting

Getting Set for Camp and the SSA Convention

posted Feb 15, 2016, 9:44 PM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 12:58 PM ]

Hey All, Sarah and I are getting really excited about another season at Shiflet; however, before Camp we will see alot of you at the 2016 SSA Convention in nearby Greenville South Carolina, Feb 18-20... We'll keep you guys updated as we get moving toward the Carolinas.

Interesting Last Day of Camp, 2015

posted Mar 5, 2015, 10:43 AM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Mar 5, 2015, 11:15 AM ]

"Yesterday (3/4/15), I was very sceptical about the forecast weather for Wednesday. I said that it is better to go the airport and see the rain falling than to stay at home and watch the nice soaring weather through the window. The reason I did not believe the forecast was based on what is called the fœhn effect. The wind was forecast to be 240 degrees. I made the sarcastic comment that it was 240 degrees ± 20 degrees. It is what happened. Moreover, since we are at the foot of the mountains, the air becomes drier and heats along the dry adiabatic rate (g/Cp=9.75 K/km). As a consequence, we got a temperature of 24 C (75 F) and thus, it was unthinkable to get low stratus clouds on the lee side of the mountains. However, I did see the stratus layer at the South east of Marion at about 20 miles. The supposedly overcast weather turned into a nice weather (yet a little bit turbulent) and I encountered pretty violent rotors where I was going for + 10

knots to -10 knots in a few seconds flying at 43 knots. The dew point was 58 F and thus the "official cloud base" was supposed to be at 1100 m (3600 feet). I climbed at 6000 feet MSL (4800 feet AGL) and I was clearly below the cloud layer that I estimated to be at 6500 feet AGL. Thus these clouds were not cumulus generated by convection, but altocumulus generated by the wave/rotor system. Some clouds were curling and were obviously marking rotors. Marion has what is called a mesoclimate and it is why it is important to read forecaster discussion to get an educated opinion and adjust the forecast in consequence". - S4 (Submitted by: JJ)

Photo of actual Horseshoe vortex cloud above Shiflet Wednesday 
"The rarest and most fleeting of all the recognized cloud forms. The distinctive shaped loop with tails forms in a rolling vortex that was initially horizontal but becomes distorted upwards by convection"- Description of HVC by Ian Jacobs

Biltmore Estate, a "little mountain escape"

posted Mar 4, 2015, 5:57 AM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Mar 4, 2015, 5:57 AM ]

John & Sarah enjoy the view from George Vanderbilts "little mountain escape". The Biltmore Estate is under forty miles from Shiflet and provided a wonderful diversion from the daily routine of this years wave camp. 

Saturday Feb 28

posted Mar 1, 2015, 10:53 AM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Mar 1, 2015, 2:50 PM ]

Saturday saw gliders experience soft mountain wave to a high mark of 11,000' in the lee of Mt Mitchell. A few pilots were able to utilize some interesting ridge lift ... We had three or so reports of flying the front of the Mt Mitchell Ridge and linking that to other wave features in the lee of neighboring ridges. All things considered yesterday sounds as if it were one of the more interesting flying conditions at Mitchell where wave is weak, but creativity and spontaneity is rewarded.

A few campers made it to last nights Soaring Society of America's Awards Banquet in Greenville SC (about an hour away). An interesting time was had swapping stories and congratulations to the awards recipients. 

The Hatcher Trophy - Racings Top Gun Award 
Doug Jacobs

The Kolstad Junior Scholarship Award - To the pilot whose activities have been preeminent among junior pilots
Christopher Zaboji

The Lewin B Barringer Memorial Trophy - To the pilot making the greatest, straight line distance soaring flight during the previous year, other than at the US National Championships
Gordon Boettger and Hugh Bennett

Henry Combs Perpetual Trophy - Awarded annually to the pilot or pilots completing the greatest number of straight out diamond distance flights in each of the three SSA contest zones during the previous year
Ramy Yanetz - West Zone
Tony Condon - Central Zone

Exceptional Service Award - Presented to recognize those whose service to the SSA has been of utmost value to the Soaring Society
Richard Kellerman

The Warren E. Eaton Memorial Trophy - The highest award SSA bestows. This award is given for a person's contribution to the art, sport or science of soaring. 
Stephen A. Northcraft

1st Camp flights of 2015

posted Feb 25, 2015, 6:54 PM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Mar 1, 2015, 2:51 PM ]

The Tug makes its way across a snowy Shiflet Field 

Bob Dierker's Round Tail 192 gets honors for 1st Tow of 2015

Wave Camp Arrival

posted Feb 21, 2015, 6:21 AM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Feb 21, 2015, 6:31 AM ]

picture of my "new" old GPS
The Start of the Carolina Wave Project 2015 is just a few days away and the Tow Plane is in place after my first ferry flight over the Appalachians. I'm sorry there are no photos of the scenery to post but here's one of Garmin displaying time and average speeds of the flight. Sarah towed the four wheeler over from Chilhowee and we completed the Yo'Yo trip home through a severe wintery mix from Murphy NC to about the TN state line. This was interesting to put it mildly as I think I've never seen such a poor condition develop as fast as the one encountered last night... 

Make all your travels Safe and we'll see you Soon!
- Jason A

Diamond and Winter Gold

posted Feb 17, 2014, 6:10 AM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 12:59 PM ]

Sunday's climbs reached to Diamond height (almost 26K for some), with a smattering of Gold to boot. Ed Bransford took this great picture on his climb Sunday. 

Wave Day & Six

posted Feb 15, 2014, 7:36 PM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 1:00 PM ]

When the snow melted and the skies cleared, there they were, Six...
Our Crew of wave riders made it a classic day at camp. 
We woke up early and started late, the snow cover and jerky rotor parked over the field handed us Lots of slush and fuss before the Six who flew were able to punch through.
Tomorrow is another day and we hope to send up a few more wave darts... 

Worlds largest rhododendron garden

posted Feb 14, 2014, 6:58 PM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 1:00 PM ]

It was a round about view of the mountain we hope to fly in the lee of, Sarah and I explored a driving loop through the high country from Marion NC to Banner Elk, Roan Mt to Spruce Pine and returning to Marion. Along our way we visited Beach Mountain, one of the local ski areas and their ice rink there. The ice rink was a bit soft so we skipped our planned skate and watched a couple of kids enjoy the creaking surface before going along our way. The road took us to the "Roan Highlands" atop Roan Mountain. We started a hike near the worlds largest natural rhododendron garden and climbed along the Appalachian trail through a stand of spruce-fir forrest finally emerging onto the longest stretch of grassy bald in the Appalachian mountains; Round Bald, just short of Jane Bald, and Grassy Ridge Bald, See the view of Mount Mitchell from atop Round Bald above. - Jason

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