Home header left
| Login Help



20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Saturday - No Contest Day

It's not going to happen today. The clouds have not moved off the ridges.  The CD cancelled the day at 1430.

Winds are forecast to turn westerly tomorrow so we may have some frontside ridge action.


Posted: 5/19/2018

20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Early Report - Wx and Task (Updated)

Wx: Pretty much the same as yesterday, but a bit cooler and rainy.  Grid time is 1330 and we hope to pull off another backside ridge mission if the low clouds move out.

Task A: 1:20 TAT - Three Barns (5mi), Orbisonia (10mi), Saw Mill (5mi), return

Task B: 1:00 TAT - Three Barns (5mi), Orbisonia (10mi), return


UPDATE: Clouds still obscuring the ridge tops.  Grid time moved 1400.  We can start late afternoon and still get a task in, so another delay may be in order.

Posted: 5/19/2018

20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Day 2 Ridge Mission

Greetings all,

So here we come again today back to the land of fiberglass and 100LL powered tug boats to haul them aloft. After yesterday’s task we are all much happier but today looks not great and certainly not the laboratory conditions that we would all like to see. At the morning pilots meeting, Temp CD, John Good (more on that in a bit) announces that all is not lost. The beauty of Mifflin is the perfectly formed Jacks Mountain just to our south that will work for a modest “backside” ridge mission with merely a large fan blowing into it. When approaching bad weather is coming this shifts the winds around out of the south and fires this ridge up to allow a day when no other place we would even fly. This is exactly what was predicted for today. The winds on the surface were out of the east so a nonstandard 06 grid had to be used. At least we knew this and did not have to elephant walk all our gliders from 1 end of the runway to the other. With a ridge mission coming, KS makes a call to the firetruck for mid-morning ballast operation. Somehow he escaped a fine in the pilots meeting for using his phone, oh that’s right Moe, his did not ring in the meeting, he called out!!!!!

Immediately following the meeting we all set out scurrying around with our morning chores and like a shadow in the night, W3 arrives overhead in and RV8 to remind us he is not far away. Like we would ever forget!!! Once we had all the gliders and tow ships out, I decided to go up and have a look around. What I found was surprising and good news. Winds that on the ground were still mainly east, at altitude, were out of the south and steady. When I rounded the corner of the gap in the ridge, I discovered that someone had installed a flag pole with a proudly displayed US flag right at the top of Jacks in the woods. It was all the marker I needed to see what was going on. I landed back and the grid meeting was in progress. After the meeting I reported to CD Good what I saw and that I thought we should send a sniffer up ASAP. HW drew the short straw and as I was buckling in to tow him, he said, we are going up to look for Glick’s flag. He sounded like I was full of it, especially about the wind and direction. It gave me great pleasure when I heard him report back “flag is pointing in the right direction and steady” I almost keyed the mike and said “I told you so” but I just snickered instead. The launch was done in 28 minutes and the race was on.

The task was short again, but this is all we can get out of that mission. KS and Sara Arnold win the day with 98, Pete Alexander 1 point behind.

The day ended with the Mifflin fish fry and ice cream truck. No one went away hungry from that.

I mentioned earlier that John Good was temporary CD. The storms earlier in the week seemed to wreak havoc on John Seymour’s hometown and did some damage to his property, he returned home to tend to those and we have flown 2 days. He is scheduled to return tomorrow we think and it looks like we won’t fly. Is anyone else seeing a trend here?

That’s all for now

Brian Glick

Posted: 5/18/2018

20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Early Report - Wx and Task (Updated)

Wx: Cloudy and cool with easterly winds.  No thermals today, so we are hoping the winds turn southerly enough to support a backside ridge mission.

Gridding on 06 at 1230.  At least we know ahead of time so no elephant walk!

Task A: 1 hr TAT Mill Creek (1mi), Orbisonia (5mi), Belleville (1mi), Mill Creek (1mi), Allensville (3mi), Orbisonia (5mi), return

Task B: AT - Mill Creek, Saw Mill, Mill Creek, Saw Mill, return.

Task C: AT - Mill Creek, Saw Mill, Belleville, Saw Mill, return.


UPDATE: It is raining to the south, so the pilots are on Task C.

Posted: 5/18/2018

20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Day 1 For Real this time

Hello Race Fans,

All I can say is Hallelujah and pass the popcorn. After the soggiest start to a contest that I have seen in years at a Mifflin contest, including 1 day (Tuesday) of a very close call, we finally got one in today. I am usually one of the more optimistic guys there is because I don’t have to fly a glider, but today I will admit to never giving a thought that this day would support anything more than the Pidgeon’s, much less it would  be a soaring day. I skipped the pilots meeting, which I never do, but we were busy filleting tomorrow night’s fish and I had work to do in my office. I went to the office and was well into it when my brother called and asked what time I was coming to the field. A quick look out my window and I fired back, “are you nuts?” Well grid time is 1:00PM and you are the chief tow pilot, maybe you should head this way. I shook my head and left for the field at 11:50. When I arrived I was about to ask who actually thought this was going to clear until Chris Groshel told me that  NW of here it was clear and blue. We went about getting ready and I still was not a believer. I finally pulled the airplane out at 12:50 and took a spin up to release height on the north side of the field. It was there and improving, but it was not well organized at all.

The CD had simply put a 1 turn TAT on the sheet and here we sat waiting. KS finally takes his Bird Dog up and scouts around more. He comes back and agrees with me that for any hope, we had to change the release area from a standard Jacks Mountain tow to the 7 mountains. After conferring with the CD Karl headed off to the north and found some lift but the tows were almost 7 miles away from the field.  With a small class and 3 tow planes we started the launch at 2:50. I am still sitting there towing thinking to myself, this is senseless, but what the heck, I am getting paid per tow. The timing on this mission was the key and it was tighter than 2 coats of very old paint. After much consulting between the Cd and advisors the gate opened at 3:25. Off they went and all seemed good. We had a re-light or 2 but when I went back for a later tow, it was better. The day was de valued but what can I say, we got one in the books. As SM likes to say, “a kill is a kill” Local pilot Mike Robison, with Garret Willet aboard won the day. He was followed closely by KS and Sara Arnold. We got the best out of this day that we possibly could and that is good.

I am sitting at my weekly poker game writing this, so I don’t have a good take on tomorrow. Wish me luck, it may make your tows cheaper next time if I win some.


Brian Glick

Posted: 5/17/2018

20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Early Report - Wx and Task

Wx: The light rain stopped mid-morning and the sky is starting to clear out.  Wx will be better to the north. We are gridding at 1300 and will give it a go!

Current Task: 2hr TAT - White Pine (25mi) and return.

Posted: 5/17/2018

20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Wednesday - No Contest Day

Rain, rain, go away...

It is super-saturated here in Central PA.  The CD cancelled the day at the morning pilot's meeting.  Mid-afternoon, the ridge tops are still obscured by clouds.

Ever optimistic, we shall try again tomorrow!


Posted: 5/16/2018

20m Multi-Seat Nationals - QQ's take on the day

Piet Barber's account of Team QQ's day.  You need to log into the SSA website to view.



Posted: 5/15/2018

20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Day 1...It was and then it wasn't

Unfortunately, we still do not have a contest day in.  We originally thought 98 had the distance, but then the scorer noticed an engine start and Pete did not have enough miles at that point. 

Noah [PP] received kudos at the pilot's meeting for re-assembling after the storms blew through and trying the task a second time.  A pilot after the CD's [SM's] own heart!



Posted: 5/15/2018

20m Multi-Seat Nationals - Day 1...maybe

Hi race fans,

Well this morning dawned much as yesterday although it was not foggy, merely muggy. I had some errands to do in my office before going to the field and looking out the window it just looked yuck. When one visits Perry and the Tyler’s for a contest we expect heat and sometimes humidity, but in the northeast, this is never good and right now we are suffering with too much of both. When the sun hit the ground the cu started to pop earlier that any of us would like to see. An hour before grid time I had to fly a contestant’s son to University Park for a flight back home. When I popped up over Stone Mountain to the north, the cu on the other side were much greater, here is where the problem would come from later on.

Before all that we had the pilots meeting and it was obvious from the start that the CD was happy we tried yesterday but more hopeful we would not try and fail today. The meeting went quickly, except for 1 phone snafu, more on that another day. Grid time was set at 12:00 Noon. A poll was taken at the meeting of who wanted water today, not a hand went up. As Charlie Spratt was so fond of saying, pessimism was abound, including from the weatherman. QV predicted blow ups later and weak lift. He was right about blow ups but the lift seemed better than expected, that is until it wasn’t.

At the Grid meeting the task was set and at 12:30 we launched W3 as sniffer and he soon reported 4500 feet and 3 knots. The launch commenced and we quickly had the whole class in the air. The gate opened at 1:25 and no one stuck around. Here is where the northern stuff I talked about earlier came into play. The storm did come from there. It seemed to build slowly and appeared to be moving east and out of the way but it just kept building south too and soon the safety finish was activated. The storm turned out to be nothing more than the “Big bad wolf” it huffed and puffed and blew all the gliders down. Actually, not quite. LI finished soon after it blew over and HW stayed aloft and made enough distance, but we needed 1 more. 98, Pete Alexander, landed out at Carlisle and it was a long retrieve back. As of this writing we are still awaiting his trace to see if we got enough over Minimum distance to make a day. I looked at his online Flarm trace and just from that I believe he did. He went to the back of the first cylinder and then way South trying to stay out of the storm before landing out at Carlisle airport.

As far as tomorrow goes, I have not looked. The air appears to dry out a little more each day so we’ll see. 

This evenings meal was Pork Loin and cheesy potatoes followed by homemade desserts. There is no meal the next 2 days in preparation for Fish Friday.


Brian Glick

Posted: 5/15/2018


Search Posts

Recent Posts

Legal Notice

The SSA policy on member posting is located here