April 2009
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Good evening all!


We flew our April contest at our new site today (Heritage Park, 36°50'56.94"N,  76°44'55.78"W).  While it is hard for any site to compare with the IOW Courthouse Site in terms of shear size and operations area, Heritage Park is pretty good.  We do have some site improvement work ahead of us that could really help, but for now, Heritage Park is a good site and adequate for our ESL contest next month.


Mom Nature provided some awesome soaring today, light winds, temps in the 70s, no clouds.  Full-scale sailplanes were flying overhead too.  CD Josh Glaab pulled-out the LSF-Ladder task again in an attempt to refine it for the TMSS/ESL MOM contest coming up next month.  Flight times were the LSF thermal duration flight times (5, 15, 30, 60, and 120 minutes).  Pilots were not able to go to the next higher task without completing the immediately lower task.  In this case, pilots could not fly a 15 minute flight without first doing the 5 minute flight.  No flight time was awarded unless one of the tasks were completed.  Pilots could elect to do tasks several times and were able to time for themselves.  The landing task was a 50 point 3-meter/100 point 1.5-meter in/out.  BONUS BONUS BONUS…if anyone completed a LSF task on their LSF voucher, they got 100 bonus points.  Lastly, only 6 official flights were permitted with one pop-off per flight attempt.  The LSF-Ladder task was designed for a day like we had today, big-air, big excitement!!!!!


Initial flight attempts were performed and most got their 5 minute flight on the first shot.  However, Bill Mims didn't get his 5 on his first flight, and had to leave the booming lift he found on flight 2 (with some fussin').  Neal Huffman got going quickly and got his 5 and 15 minute flights, however, did not get his 30 (but got another 15) on his 3rd flight.  Josh Glaab Sr got his 5, 15, and 30 in order.  However, on the 1-hour attempt, Josh landed after 30-minutes to help Josh Jr get his last 2 flights before the contest ended (about 3-ish).  Neal racked-up 2 30-minute flights on his last 3 flights giving him a lead, he also got a bonus for getting his first 30-minute flight for LSF-3.  Josh Sr was able to get another 15-minute flight on his 5th flight to take the lead back and win the contest, with Neal taking 2nd.  Don Richmond was doing well and got 3-15 minute flights with 100-pt landings to take 3rd.  Even though Bill's competition-rival John Moody was on-hand today, Bill flew unopposed in Sportsflyer unlimited.  Bill got 3 15-minute flights to put up some very respectable scores and win Sportsflyer unlimited.  John did show-off his EK Logic radio, classic!!


Josh Glaab Jr won 2-M Sportsflyer and completed 2 LSF tasks (1 5-minute flight and 1 3-m landing).  200 bonus points for him!!


Don Richmond did better with his 2-M than he did in Unlimited completing his 5, 15, and 2 30-minute tasks.  He also tacked-on 350 landing points to boot!  Mark Sedlack also flew 2-M Expert, but just got a string of 5 5-minute flights.


EXCITEMENT EXCITEMENT EXCITEMENT….the combination of long task times and mega lift, lead to many aircraft being spected out.  Nobody was really ready/practiced to fly so high/so far/so long.  Two aircraft were lost momentarily (lots of excitement).  Don Richmond had to struggle to get his Supra (or was it his 2-M?) back from one thermal.  Several were on hand to help him navigate back to the field and Don's flash-tape was crucial to saving the aircraft.  Bill Mims lost sight of his unlimited aircraft on his last flight and never regained control.  It was last seen going 1,000 miles/hour heading for the woods to the east.  The plane was not recovered, but Bill was planning on trying again (tough break, but he was seen wheeling and dealing a nice Esteem from Don).  Lastly, Mark Sedlack became the first to hit a tree at our new site (perhaps he was second since it might have happened after Bill's plane went wild).


Takeaways from today:  This was fun, more fun that I thought it was going to be and I would like to fly this again.  It has been years since I had a thermal flight longer than 15-minutes.  The 30-minute flights were a blast.  Need to get my 60 one day soon for my Level-4.  Several also indicated that not getting any flight points for a flight less than 5-minutes was a bummer.  The next time, we will award points for flights less than 5-minutes (1 pt/sec),  but not the others.


Many thanks, Josh.