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Enjoying my RealityXP integration into Alabeo's Cardinal for Xplane11.  Flying out of Napa to Santa Rosa, a real life flight I took in my friend's rented 182, Tim Hurley, and Mike McKeowen, both pilots, back in the mid 80's.  We then took off from Santa Rosa, cruised south to Point Reyes then South/Southeast over the Golden Gate Bridge, then east to Concord's Buchannan Field where we ate lunch at the Nugget Restaurant.  Then we flew back home.  I subsidized the flight with about $40.00 to help pay for the aircraft rental, we otherwise went Dutch on lunch.  We flew quite often, every few weekends for a few years, or my friend Mike and I would ride our bicycles to Calistoga and share a glider ride (they subsequently closed down Calistoga's gliderport though it still can be flown out of in Xplane11). 

Calistoga's gliderport was the Napa Valley's Meigs field for gliders, many of its gliders were known for climbing to FL250 over Mt. St. Helena when the winds were just right, we would see Lenticular clouds develop and know the gliders were up there.  I only went up on days where ridge lift was strong, our tow plane would release us at 2000 feet and we often climbed to near 4000 feet before the pilot would terminate the half hour ride for the next set of tourists.  My last glider flight was in a two place Grob, I sat up front, and what I remember from that flight is another Grob joined us and we flew in tandem, it was so beautiful, last shot of this series is from that flight in 1987....

John

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Good old Cardinal w/ fitted Modern Avionics!

BTW, I could not imagine Gliders could fly (of course w/ wind support) up to FL250, but, apparently, they can and do so in RL...

Do Gliders, so capable, require any special instrumentation?

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2 hours ago, P_7878 said:

Good old Cardinal w/ fitted Modern Avionics!

BTW, I could not imagine Gliders could fly (of course w/ wind support) up to FL250, but, apparently, they can and do so in RL...

Do Gliders, so capable, require any special instrumentation?

No, not really, but it helps if they have a sensitive VSI, so the pilot can circle back into lift, usual the VSI gives out an audible signal when in lift or sink so the pilot does not have to chase the gauge, better to keep his or her eyes outside the aircraft to look for other gliders in the area and other obstacles.  My eyes in Light Sport were well trained to spot glider activity since we have a few areas ringing the Phoenix metro area where glider pilots rise on thermals. 

I learned to look not for an aircraft, but a "glint" in the picture my eyes would see, in other words movement causes change and you train your eyes to notice it.  It is so important to keep one's eyes away from the gauges as much as possible, something my CFI said he noted in simmers taking their first lessons, they knew the gauges so well they were focused on them and the GPS rather than the field of view outside, which is to be considered for traffic and engine out situations.  The skies are crowded indeed, at least for those of us who were taking lessons in Class B airspace. 

I've encountered airliners below my altitude, the Goodyear Blimp, and sailplanes, and lastly powered parachutes when I was trike flying.  That's why I will not fly without a CFI now, I am not interested in just flying about other than for the feel of the controls once every few years as I move towards getting a powered parachute, which I feel is the most mobile of aircraft especially with the coming of electric engines and new high capacity batteries in the next couple of years, as long as big oil or big investment in old technology does not squelch them.

John

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Cool flight over some special country.  During my last three years of high school my family spent most weekends between April and October at either Calistoga or Minden NV.  The latter is one of the best wave spots in the world.  It's a shame what the town of Calistoga did to the operators of the gliderport there... was a truly special place to fly and brought a fair amount of revenue to the town.

Thanks for the memories! 👍

Greg

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52 minutes ago, lownslo said:

Cool flight over some special country.  During my last three years of high school my family spent most weekends between April and October at either Calistoga or Minden NV.  The latter is one of the best wave spots in the world.  It's a shame what the town of Calistoga did to the operators of the gliderport there... was a truly special place to fly and brought a fair amount of revenue to the town.

Thanks for the memories! 👍

Greg

I used to live near Minden, in Gardnerville, when I was Controller at Harrah's Tahoe, I had to drive the 4000 vertical feet of Kingsbury grade up in the morning, and down in the evening, unless the snow was heavy, then I took the long way home via Carson City back down to Gardnerville.  One night I had the scare of my life when an oncoming driver was driving towards me in my two lanes, he was driving erratically and the wrong way.  I almost was hit by him, and too bad that was before cell phones, I never knew his fate.

I almost soared in Minden, but the day turned out to be too windy, I know glider pilots there though have soared well over 35,000 ft.  But this glider holds the world record, more than twice that height:

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/experimental-glider-smashes-record-high-altitude-flight-ncna907586

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