Sugarbush-Warren Airfield

Soaring in Vermont 2006 - Sugarbush

by Larry Bogan

C-FVKA in the trailer in Maine heading for SugarbushI had flown at this site three previous years. My first was in 2000 and that experience prompted me to share it on the internet.
See "Bluenoser's Wave Flying at Sugarbush"
In the period 14 to 22 October of 2006 I had four soaring days. The nice thing about this flying was that I was able to fly ridge lift, thermals as well as wave lift. Unfortunately, weather patterns were moving through the area during the period quickly and conditions were changing so quickly that no cross country flying or long flights were possible. However, as an example of fun flying late in the season, away from home, I am sharing my experiences here.

My visit to Sugarbush Soaring was part of an annual expedition of York Soaring pilots to Sugarbush each year. Thanks to Peter Rawes for organizing the event!

Click on the photos to see a larger version in another window.
15 Oct. 2006 - Two hours of ridge soaring on the East Ridge. Maximum height 6000 ft.

View North on the East Ridge
View from the east ridge over the airfield to the West

Flight Track - October 15 , 2006 - C-FVKA
16 Oct. 2006 - Four hours of small tight thermals mostly over the East Ridge.
Maximum height 6000 ft msl. The Airfield is at 1450 ft.

View North on the East Ridge on a clear day. Mt. Scrag in front of the Hungaries in the distance and Mt Mansfield to the west.
View from the West ridge over the airfield to the East Ridge - Mountains of New Hampshire are on the Horizon
View from the West Ridge south over Blueberry Lake and to Killington Mountain on the horizon

Flight Track - October 16, 2006 - C-FVKA
19 Oct. 2006 - An hour climbing through cloud to 7400 ft then dashing down to get below cloud before the hole closed. Unable to thermal back up in the primary.

Climbing through the hole in cloud about 5-6000 ft here.
Above cloud with a view west to cloud near the primary wave.

Flight Track - October 19, 2006 - C-FVKA
21 Oct. 2005 - Two hours high above cloud deck and good lift along the West ridge allowed for some travelling north and south. There was an exciting dash down through a closing hole downwind of the field and east of the East Ridge. The spiralling paths in this trace are the rapid decent with dive brakes open. The cloud deck was 4000-5000 ft. Maximum height 13 000 ft.

Wave was obvious early in the morning as we were rigging
After climbing above the cloud deck and flying North, the wave near Mt. Mansfield was easily visible.
Only the holes generated by the west ridge of the Mad River Valley give access to the ground. I watched these carefully. This picture was taken near my maximum height of 12,000 ft.

Flight Track - October 21, 2006 - C-FVKA
21 Oct. 2006 Barographic Trace. I was heading south at the time I made the greatest height (and could have climbed more) but then had to pull dive brakes as the holes in the clouds started to close. I flew south over holes downwind of the airfield watching them and then had to dive down through those before they closed. Description of the flight under cloud thru the Roxbury Gap to land.

In the afternoon the holes stayed closed and noone went up in wave until nearly sunset.

Additional Pictures

Glider C-FVKA after its first day of flying.. ready for derigging Looking Northwest from the airfield The Sugarbush Soaring Club house and East Ridge in the background. View north on the back road to Waitsfield, VT
At the end of the first day, wave clouds were clearly visible to the west. In the morning of the last day, There was a dusting of snow over the ground and wave structure was obvious when looking up. This is the field where we rigged and a view to the clubhouse On raindays there still was some good scenery to enjoy.