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Wild West Winchfest
Twentynine Palms

Here are some images from the first weekend of our two-part joint venture. Click on any picture to see the full-size image. More to come soon!

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Our newly rebuilt winch N510CS takeoff roll... early climb...

...and 40 degrees up! Flaps and spoilers deployed. Fortunately runway 26 is an easy downhill push back to the launch point!
Pilot's Meetings are critical to education and safety. Refreshing watermelon on a 100-degree day! Rope break! You can see the bridle still attached. It back-released nicely just before landing.

The new aluminum take-up reel on the winch proved to be no match for the Spectra cable.

Nick made a quick overnight trip back home to retrieve the older, heavier steel drum. We transferred the Spectra to the steel drum with the help of AGCSC's winch
Back in business!

We had a very successful, safe, and fun week-end of winch launching!  There were also a few launches by some of our members in the 29 Palms SGS 2-33 (John Roe).  Two members were signed off for ground launching, Roger Worden (by Jim Bagley) and John Roe (by Harold Katensky).
    Nick showed his tenacity and determination by getting our new winch up and running, even after being lifted off the ground by the glider on tow!  Driving all the way back to Hemet to get the other drum, off-loading our new Spectra onto the San Diego Club Winch, changing the drums, reloading the heavy drum, and then dragging the winch back out for more winch launching, was a huge effort on his part.  We are so fortunate to have him in our club!
    The helpfulness of the other two more experienced winch-launching clubs was outstanding!  What a great group of glider pilots and winch drivers!!!!
    Thanks to all, because "everyone helped everyone!!!"

-- Mary Rust


If you are like me, it's going to take a day to reflect on all the good things that happened this last weekend. So far the feedback has been positive, lots of flying, lots of fun, many new stories and friends to share them with.  While the weather helped with 1000 fpm lift to altitudes of 12,700 ft, the emphasis was not on soaring but rather gaining a safe perspective on ground launching at both ends of the rope. We were very successful in that regards. 50 plus launches, at least two sign-offs, lots of fun.

-- Larry Tuohino

And the group finishes off with a great rib dinner.