Sweet air in 2020
We start off a spectacular week at Wilotree Park, Groveland,
A little after 2 PM Bobby Bailey tows me to 1,700' AGL (we're at
125' MSL) where I spot a bit of light lift, which doesn't work out when I turn
around into where I felt it. I head back to the south side of the field
where I felt lift during the first part of the tow down low. At 900' I find 100
fpm and work that area.
The wind is south southeast at about 13 mph. John Simon is pulled to the east
and works light lift east of the ski lakes at the Swiss Ski School and Mick
Howard is dropped off near me and higher as I work weak lift on and off
averaging 29 fpm.
There are lots of birds around working pieces of lift here and there but they
are not showing me much. I finally find a 90 fpm steady core that drifts to the
north northwest and hang with Mick as we circle quickly over Groveland. John
comes over a few hundred feet below as we climb up north of the Mickey Mouse
The lift topped out at 2,300' AGL and given that there were cu's to the west I
headed that way. Before I got there we heard that John was landing at Osborn
field upwind to our south. Impatience.
The cu's are working as I get down to 1,100' AGL south of highway 50 south of
the chicken coops and Mascotte. I work 150 fpm, then 40 fpm, then 140 fpm
as I drift north over the chicken coops. Mick hangs back a bit as he is low and
thinks that he needs to find lift south of the coops.
I hang in the sweet lift and climb to 3,300' AGL with a dozen or so vultures.
It's a little bit cooler there, and I have three layers on so I appreciate the
There is a bit of a broken cloud street heading off to the north toward the
Turnpike and the Okahumpka Service Plaza and I head out under it as Mick works
behind. A layer over higher clouds from the west comes over as I fly through
zero sink over a large ranch where access is okay but not perfect.
I see that I can easily make it to the east west highway south of the Turnpike
(EC 400) and I make that my goal given that I'd rather not have Belinda come and
pick us up next to the Turnpike.
Coming over the road at 900' AGL I look around to find the best
field with easy access. Mick is right behind me and searching for me so that he
can land with me and make it easy on Belinda. The ground is completely shaded
and the cu's have disappeared.
After landing in the hug field we walk to the paved road and complete our break
down just a bit before Belinda shows up.
It's a sweet day in January to fly in Florida and the weather forecast says that
we will have four more days of this south southeast flow with temperatures in
the eighties. XCSkies with HRRR says tomorrow will have 400-500 fpm lift, TOL
4,000' - 5,000', 14 mph south southeast wind at 2,000'.