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The 1-26 Championships - Day Two Report

Tuesday, the 23rd of June, dawned with a sky that promised top quality racing, but later in the day became the catalyst to force racers to try and find a “home”, and fast.

 

Mitch Hudson, Contest Director, called the Pilot’s meeting for 10am and all the pilots and a large portion of the crews crowded into the Albuquerque Soaring Clubhouse to hear a presentation form ASC member, and FAA Safety Guru, J. D. Huss.  J. D. talked about the FAA Wings Program before giving briefings on general weather hazards (thunderstorms, micro bursts, etc.), sun exposure, dehydration, general and special air space and New Mexico’s ground hazards (like wiggling sticks). 

 

After J. D.s presentation, Chief Tow Pilot, and Nationally ranked racer, Billy Hill explained grid and launch procedures and then was followed by Marty Hudson who briefed retrieve actions, which was tested later in the day with the 1-26s.

 

This was the second practice day for the 1-26s and expectations ran high. In preparation for launch, Mitch met with his secret weather forecaster, the contest is being fed weather over a teleconference from a secret location by a secret forecaster, before conferring with his task committee (Bob Von Helens, Bill Vickland and Francois Pin). It was determined that the task for the day would be: Moriarty, Clines Corners, Cedarvale and back to Moriarty.

 

Just prior to launch, winds kept the support crews hopping as they were initially undecided if the mass launch was going to be a 26 (the primary runway) or 08 launch. The winds settled down long enough for a safe and efficient 26 launch.

 

As the flights progressed, the weather began to deteriorate, however six of the 1-26 racers made it around the course and back, however the landings were a combination of primary runway, emergency runway (Moriarty doesn’t have a cross wind runway, however Club Members have built an emergency dirt strip ninety degrees to the primary just for days like today), and carnival landings.  Editor: A carnival landing is one in which you chose a taxiway, a road, a parking ramp, or any flat piece of ground that you think you can put the plane down on.   Four of the intrepid aeronauts chose to opt out and try seeing some of the Land of Enchantment up close as they landed out. 

 

Capturing the last day of practice was Ron Swartz (480), go figure, and coming in a very close second was Bob Hurni (190).  Even though the weather fell apart1-26 racers could be heard saying they can’t wait to get to real racing…tomorrow will come none too soon.

Posted: 6/23/2009


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