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Region 5 North - Saturday at Perry

Woke up today to low clouds, high winds and warm temperatures.  Apparently the frontal system slowed down a bit overnight, so it was still to our south and west.  I got my run finished just as the first small showers started, so I got to eat breakfast to the sound of rain on my micro-castle's roof.

Rain continued on and off throughout the morning, sometimes quite heavy rain.  At one point the folks in the hangar at the east end of the field were suffering through torrential rains, while the folks at the cookshack were enjoying clear skies and sunshine.  After the rains, the field looked as flooded as I have ever seen it.  George Green's trailer was in the middle of a small pond - I'm surprised it wasn't floating away!

Sometime around 1 or 2:00 in the afternoon the skies cleared away for good, and we could see the backside of the front moving off to our east, and the winds started  switching around to the west and  increasing considerably.  Hopefully the wind, combined with the famously sandy soil here at Perry, will get things dried out quickly so we can have a good practice day tomorrow .

After the rains ended, many pilots took the opportunity to work on their gliders and/or trailers.  I started what I thought was going to be a 2-minute job to update the waypoint database in my ClearNav, only to discover that an intermittent short in the glider side of my #1 battery connector had blown the battery fuse.  Of course, the first thing I did was to try again with my second battery, only to blow its fuse too (how stupid can a pilot get, anyway?).  Anyway, this meant yet another trip to Tyler Bros hardware (my 3rd of the day) for more fuses, and an hour-long troubleshooting and repair effort to get the glider-side connector repaired  Fortunately for me, my glider's former owner Tim Welles is parked right next door, and he had a nifty butane-powered soldering iron that made the connector repair much easier - thanks Tim!.  If I had ever doubted the value of battery fuses, this little episode convinced me.  My primary battery now is one of the new K2 lithium-iron-phosphate super batteries, and they contain a LOT of energy; if it had been unfused, it would probably have melted some wires and/or connectors.  Oh yes, I did finally manage to get the database updated ;-).

Another group of pilots decided to do a mass installation of the new cockpit air extraction fixture for ASG-29's.  At one point there were 4 or 5 glider trailers lined up in a row down at the east hangar getting the modification.

Glider pilots continued to stream into the field today, with Dick Butler (DB) showing up just at sunset with his trailer lights blinking merrily.  Hmm, blinking - why are his  trailer lights blinking?  Methinks he needs to check his trailer light connections ;-).

The popular weather is calling for sunny or partly sunny all next week, and the NAM forecast on XCSkies is showing decent-to-very good soaring weather (although possibly blue) for the official practice day tomorrow, and for Monday (first official contest day).

TA

Posted: 4/16/2011


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