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Old 02-07-2017, 12:33 PM
pvalovich pvalovich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Posts: 439
Default Extreme Turbulence - Owens Valley, CA, Today (Tuesday, 07Feb2017)

Extreme turbulence in the southern part of Owens Valley yesterday and today.

Had a Cessna 421 heading south to north yesterday afternoon between Mojave and Inyokern. Tried to go underneath clouds in attempt to find smoother air. Was rolled upside done out of control. Recovered and landed at IYK. Inner wings skins severely deformed. Haven't yet examined spar. One pilot who has some knowledge thinks plane may be totaled.

Today to the north of IYK large multi-layered lenticular clouds with more vertical development than I've ever seen. Surface winds still very strong.

Probably best to avoid the entire Sierra Crest.
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:19 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,078

Grab some photos!

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Old 02-07-2017, 01:38 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,839

We were supposed to head down to the cabin for some business down the hill this week, and were going to load the dogs and stuff in our Tundra for its first long cross-country. Alas, the weather at our end has been unrelenting, with high winds and storms on about 36 hour centers. Sounds like the other end of the trip would be as bad - or worse! Today they are calling for 130 mph ridge gusts! Yup - those translate into wicked turbulence in the Owens Valley....

Good time to just hide in the shop and do some building.....
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 02-07-2017, 01:38 PM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,326
Default Not related, but scary.


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Old 02-07-2017, 02:06 PM
Marc Bourget Marc Bourget is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Stockton, California
Posts: 338

These lens shaped clouds are Alto-Cumulus Standing Lenticulars (ACSL) and vertical velocities in excess of 10,000 FPM have been reported. What can’t be seen are the “rollers” that persist miles downwind of the ridge line. Equally as violent.

IIRC, You can expect these to develop any time the winds aloft over the Sierras exceed 25 KTS,

I had my EEEEEE ticket ride in ‘72, on an otherwise clear day. 6.0 and -2.5 on the G-meter.

Last edited by Marc Bourget : 02-07-2017 at 02:07 PM. Reason: replace 10 FPM with 10,000 FPM
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Old 02-07-2017, 02:40 PM
BruceW BruceW is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 190

You got ripped by a mountain wave rotor.
As Obi wan would say, "your lucky to be in one piece."

Some wild stories. Cant find in on quick web search, but I remember story of a P-51 doing wave research back in WWII, got ripped apart. Pilot was thrown out, free fell then hit the chute. Saw pieces of the plane getting pulled up INTO the wave cloud. Then pilot got sucked in to (still in the chute). Ended up landing in the desert 30 miles downwind. Survived.
Bruce W
RV-7 QB (500+ hours)
RV-14 in waiting
Elk Grove, CA
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Old 02-07-2017, 02:58 PM
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n82rb n82rb is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: fort myers fl
Posts: 1,091

flew through it last night on a MIA - SFO leg at FL320 constant waves from about dallas to the west side of the sierras. all altitudes sucked and was seeing 40 knot speed changes in level flight. auto thrust was going from full cruise to idle just to try to keep speed constant.

bob burns
RV-4 N82RB
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Old 02-07-2017, 03:10 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,867

Wow. We easily could have been reading this on Katherines Report. Im sure it is the years of training that saved you. Thanks for letting us know about the experience and I would love to see photos of the wing skin too.
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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Old 02-07-2017, 03:48 PM
eddieseve eddieseve is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 617

Originally Posted by BillL View Post
Wow thats amazing
Eddie Seve
Sydney Australia
First Flight 16th July 2012
RV-7 Phase 2, 30 Oct 2012
1100 hrs Feb 2020
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:25 PM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
Super Moderator
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 2,715

That picture is just beautiful. At least there is some visual warning here that it might be bumpy.
Last week I was coming back from Lexington, KY in cruise at 6500' beneath a high broken layer, and about 20 minutes south I hit some severe turbulence in the RV10. No warning. Just BAM! Airplane was completely out of control, and I chopped the power to idle and rode it out for about 20 seconds, although it seemed a lot longer. Then it ended. I reported the severe turbulence and climbed to 8500'. Winds were showing 60-70 knots out of the West and was a direct crosswind, but only very light intermittent chop at times.

Vic Syracuse

Built RV-4, RV-6, 2-RV-10's, RV-7A, RV-8, Prescott Pusher, Kitfox Model II, Kitfox Speedster, Kitfox 7 Super Sport, Just Superstol, DAR, A&P/IA, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor, CFII-ASMEL/ASES/RW
Kitplanes "Unairworthy" "Diagnostics" monthly feature
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Author "Pre-Buy Guide for Amateur-Built Aircraft" & "Are your Nuts Tight?"
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