Nicola Valley serves up lightning, heat during soaring club’s visit
After spending 11 days in the Nicola Valley where weather ranged from lightning strikes to steady sun and heat, the Vancouver Soaring Club has returned home.
“We didn’t have the conditions we were hoping for,” said Doug Smith, a VSA member. “Even on the best days, there were a lot of [cloud] buildups, so we had to watch them and in some cases land a little earlier than we wanted to, but we had a really good time anyway.”
One flyer performed a “land-out” — an emergency landing —in a field near Kamloops.
A couple of the flyers managed to glide to Kamloops, then to Salmon Arm before returning to Merritt.
He said the flyers hope to return next year.
The gliders are towed by an engine aircraft before being released at an elevation of between 2,000 and 4,000 feet.
They depend on warm air to keep them up, and are forced to land when the weather is wet or cool.
Approximately 10 VSA gliders participated in the Merritt trip.
Areas targeted by the gliders for elevation are called thermal pockets, which can keep gliders flying for hundreds of kilometres.
The group was here from July 19 to 29.
The club visits Merritt most years.
Pancake breakfast fly-ins
For anyone who missed the scheduled pancake breakfast fly-in on Sunday, the Merritt Flying Club is slated to host the event again on Sunday, Sept. 2, from 8 a.m. to noon.
The event is hosted at the Merritt Airport, just off Airport Road.
The club invited flyers from Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kamloops, Penticton, Abbotsford and Chilliwack.
Approximately 40 aircraft arrived last year.