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Region 5 North - No Fly Day

No fly day at Perry

First, let me explain why I am writing this blog instead of our friend Frank Paynter. I went to the cook shack this morning to begin my morning routine. On arrival, I saw Frank putting his “micro-castle” on his truck.

I knew something was wrong. He said that he just learned that his half-sister in Nebraska had lost her 5-year battle with cancer and he was headed home to be with his family. My prayers go with him and his family. I know his long-time readers and other friends join me in hoping for his safe travels. I asked if there was anything I could do for him and he asked me to finish writing up the reports for the R5N contest. Granted, I am a poor substitute for Frank, but you are stuck with me for the duration, so here goes.

We woke up this morning to rain and it has continued off and on most of the day. Our weatherman, Scott presented his best guess on the weather for Friday and Saturday. Friday is questionable but Saturday could be a contest day. He also showed off his new T-shirt with the saying, “A few clowns short of a circus”. My hearing is not what it used to be but I think he was saying that about those of us sitting in front of him.

Our illustrious CD, Ray Galloway gave us the “official” announcement that, “Today was no-fly day.” He also told us that days 1 &2 are now official. He also gave us the background on why we on the east coast use 10:30 instead of 1000 as was suggested by one participant on day 1. The short answer is that the later time allows the task committee to use the most recent sounding to evaluate the weather to develop the day’s task.

Hank Nixon presented the safety brief for the day, titled “thermal etiquette”. He made the following points about thermalling:

  1. Match the turn rate of the other gliders
  2. Watch the outside of the turn for gliders joining and those that might be outside your turn and above you. Check outside 30 to 40% of the time.
  3. Slow down on entry and exit to match the speed of those at or near your altitude.
  4. Enter on the tangent to the circle
  5. Watch for other gliders to shift the center of the circle, the thermal can move about.
  6. When multiple cores exist near by, overlapping circles can exist and should not be suffered long…. Don’t be stubborn… move to join the circles.
  7. Don’t push another glider or force him to move suddenly as that can cause a chain reaction that can get someone hurt.
  8. In extremis situations don’t make big changed in angle of bank that will increase your cross section to the other glider. If both are at the same angle of bank the potential of splintering fiberglass is reduced. Use rudder and pitch to change your flight path.

After Hank’s safety talk, Eric Mann came up and remembered many of the good things that Hank had done for individuals and the world of soaring. He dedicated a specially designed T-shirt.

If you are interested in one of these, contact Eric Mann at eric.h.mann@gmail.com . He has a few left, mostly large and extra large. If there is enough interested buyers, he can make another run.

Following the regular meeting, Ken Sorenson led a discussion about changes to contest rules. Some topics included, ways to increase participation in contests particularly in Nationals; possible changes in our rules to more closely align with the Europeans; how to deal with emerging technology and its impact on contests. The discussion was spirited to say the least but no blood was spilled. It was also extensive and well beyond the scope of this blog and even further removed from this poor soul’s comprehension. The committee, made up of Ken, Hank Nixon, Mike Smith asked for emails with ideas and suggestions.

The R5N organizers hosted an afternoon air show and an evening “low-country boil”. The pilot was Gary Ward flying a MX2 performed his Low show because of the clouds that hung about. Nevertheless, it was great to watch him perform and everyone seemed to enjoy the acrobatics. I, for one, am always impressed with the ability of the pilot doing acrobatics since acro was never my strong suite.

Dinner tonight was “low-country boil” and it was awesome. Anyone who went away hungry was not paying attention or does not appreciate good “low-country cooking”. The good food accompanied great people and fine country music, provided by Larry Goddard, a long time favorite for Perry and Cordele.

Friday is looking like a fair contest day and Saturday is looking good.

Posted: 4/19/2012


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