The Twisp OLC Camp 2018

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

The Twisp OLC campis now an established event for the Washington State soaring scene.  And this year's evnt during the last week of June was another success story despite not having the best soaring conditions.  June 29 - the last day of the camp - was the best day and the three best flights on that day were also the best for the whole week.

     Ron Clark              512.9points

     Henry Rebbeck       469.4 poimts

     Movses Babayan     452.3 points

A sudden wind storm in the middle of the night (see the link) provided some excitement but the only casualty was Ron's sunshade. 


Pilots and crew all enjoyed the friendlyness and hospitality of the local airport community and were happy to contribute $300 to the airport improvement fund.

So here is the report of the chief organiser Ron Clark.


Twisp OLC Camp 2018, the one with The Big Thunderstorm


By Ron Clark

1_1-400x264.jpg7_1-323x207.jpgA couple years ago we had to deal with record forest fires in the Methow.  This year it was a nasty little thunderstorm that seemed intent on causing mayhem.  Sunday night at 2:00 am we sustained rain, 60 mph gusts and impressive lightning strikes all around.  Fortunately, the gliders were all properly secured with good tiedowns and no damage occured.  Trailers also escaped damage.  A transformer between the airport and town was likely struck by lightning creating quite a glow as the transformer exploded and set fire to the telephone pole.  Our sunshade also suffered.   Note to self:  A Coleman sun shade awning is not designed for high winds. 

We had 10 gliders this year and one tow plane, which seems about right in terms of organization for Twisp.  The management of glider/towplane movements, parking, and impact on GA operations seems to work well with that quantity of gliders.

We managed to fly five days out of seven. Well, six including Tim Tanner's hour and a half ridge soaring flight on an overcast day.  Lots of good flights were made considering the mostly sub-optimal conditions (for Twisp).  A couple of us tested the conditions a little too far, with your reporter landing at Omak after a flight nearly to Colville.  


The Divide between the Omak valley and the Methow refused to let me pass after numerous attempts, so I 

had to be content to call for aero-tow while soaring around the Omak area while waiting for Phil with the Pawnee.  Second note to self:  Always tell the tow pilot that you are still in the air so he doesn't stress out thinking he flew to the wrong airport when he doesn't see a glider on the ground.  My bad.....

Movses successfully negotiated the first ever outlanding in a farm field near Twin Lakes.  The retrieve was a non-event due to hard ground and easy access to the field.  It also helped that our own Tim Tanner just happened to be good friends with the landowner.  Small world...  I'm sure Movses appreciated the fact that the reporter from the Methow Valley News came out to the scene of the crime to write a full report!

A remote safari wouldn't be complete without some sort of towplane issue, and this encampment was no exception.  A couple days into the event the tailwheel inner tube decided it had had enough and failed.  Fortunately, local pilot and good friend Mike Port happened to have a spare which got the operation running again after a couple hours delay.  Mucho thanks to Mike.

First-time Twisp pilots Brad Pattison and Henry Rebbeck both had outstanding flights in their LS-8.  Brad managed some wave/ridge soaring on the west face of the formidable Mt. Gardner, and Henry had a good day escaping the virga in the Methow valley just in time to fly a nice triangle in the flatlands.  A number of us negotiated some tricky conditions getting back to Twisp on that day, but it turned out to be the best day of the week with some nice flights logged on the OLC. 


All in all, not our best weather year, but even mediocre flying at Twisp can be a good test of soaring skills.  Lots of good stories were told at the La Fonda Lopez restaurant in the evenings, and around the campfire pit at the airport.  We had a safe, fun excursion that was enjoyed immensely by all participants.  The locals were supportive and friendly as always with Ross bringing his chuck wagon trailer and keeping us in ice water.  The Twisp airport Fuel co-op kindly provided fuel access, and Brian at the Sportsman Motel provided accomodations for a very reasonable price.  Craig from the Methow rescue group kindly allowed our campers to use his shower which was much appreciated.  Thanks to Phil for a week of skillful towing and entertaining ta

les from his storied aviation career.  Thanks to Bill Ling for taking care of tow ropes.

I would also like to thank sponsors who kindly donated daily prizes:  Olympia pizza, Ellies cafe, Paraphenalia parachutes, Pacific Aerosport, and Wild Blue Aviation.  Please patronize these soaring friendly establishments.