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1-26 Championship - 1-26/PW5 Practice Day.

1-26 and PW5 Practice Day.  May 31, 2011.

 By Jim Sprandel

          Another practice day today as everyone gets dialed in for a contest.  We had sun for the morning and afternoon and temps up to 90°.  As the morning progressed the winds picked up and by noon we were seeing 13kts out of the SW and gusts to 25.

The first “official” pilots meeting went very well and I just have to make mention that having the meeting in the basement instead of out in the big hanger is definitely nice.  Cool, dry, and quiet.  I found myself hoping there would be more questions, so we could stay down there longer. (Okay, going for laughs, but it was hot and humid out there!)

Contest Director Jerry Steffen decided to move the gridding times later by an hour due to the way our weather seems to be working out.

At 1:41 pm with around 4,000 MSL cloud base and the winds holding Jerry sent up the sniffer.  “Lucky” Ekman flying 505 reported back lift and the launches started.

          I’d like to make mention here that being Kendallville Soaring clubs first time hosting a competition it’s not just a “practice day” for the pilots.  As a club we are also learning the ins and outs of competition soaring.  I spent the day at the “land out” desk while others did other tasks; launch leaders, relight crews, wing runners, etc.  It’s been a great learning experience and the 1-26 and PW5 group has been patient, understanding and helpful.  My hat’s off to our CD Jerry Steffen.  It takes a tremendous amount of work to do a contest.  Thanks Jerry.

As mentioned earlier, I spent the day at the land out desk….but no calls today.  Practice day didn’t push anyone to the fields and the “first land out of the contest” award will have to wait.

However, I think we can do an unofficial longest flight of the day award:  Patrick Tuckey in his PW5 4K was first up on tow at 2:15 pm and last back to the field for a 1:53 minute flight.

We had a total of 13 ships go up today and all went well.

For the last of the report I’ll mention again to have a look at the photos.  We increased the number of birds in the big hanger to a new record of 22: 17 contest ships, 3 local gliders, (two hung from the ceiling), and two powered planes.  I think we can pack a few more in there if we need to.  Don’t know about you, but not having to rig the glider every morning makes for a better day!

Good luck!

Jim S.

Posted: 5/31/2011


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