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Region 2 - Day 3, ALMOST

The Tuesday morning meeting kicked off with announcements of the day winners from Monday. After all the speeches were given we heard from our esteemed weatherman, Richard Kellerman. Richard seems to have shed his usual “pessimistic” approach to weather forecasting and this year he has turned over a new leaf, optimism. This is a new tactic for him, and the first 2 race days it worked out great, today, not so much. He predicted that we could have a window in the afternoon that we could fly gliders in, but as it turns out, Sam Zimmerman would have been more correct when he likes to say, “guys this is nothing more than a sucker hole”. That turned out to be the theme of the day. Grid time was 11:30 and by that time significant warming had occurred on the ground and a hole in the mid-level clouds had begun to appear.  The sniffer launch was KS in his DUO and for a good check we launched HW in the Harris Hill club DUO as back up. As I was on the way up with HW on tow, I heard KS tell the CD he was in 3 knots to 4,000. I was stunned and the launch proceeded.

In truth, Sports class was all launched and a start time was announced, only to be pushed back by lack of climbs. The launch continued but from my vantage point in the tow plane, things were getting worse.  After watching most of the guys above release early in the launch, now mid-way through, everyone was now lingering well below release, but no one had re lite yet. On my last tow, the flood gates let loose and it sounded like O’ Hare airport heading back to the field. The tow planes all held out, and I elected to land on a nearby mountain top grass strip and wait it out. Another Cessna 180 was up on that hill waiting to get in and we had a nice aviation discussion for 30 minutes.

After the scrum had cleared, I returned to the home field and made several local flight tows throughout the afternoon. In truth, it was locally soarable for 2-3 hours, but getting a task in would have been short and difficult at best.  In the end, we tried hard and the weather did not roll our way at the right time.

Wednesday appears to be a total wash out and Thursday is a “maybe” but after that we should go back to flying.

I mentioned earlier in the week that Mifflin has been running a contest for 25 years. If you have never flown here before, Mifflin County Airport is a very nice facility that can easily handle 50 gliders and personnel. The contest organization consists of our sponsors Karl and Iris Striedieck and generally the same personnel year after year. We all have real jobs, but we drop what we do and have vacation at the field for a week.  The CD this year is Peppi Sare, John Godfrey is scoring, Joanie Yanusus, Janine Acee and Iris take care of social functions. Steve Glick and his son Austin run the line with countless volunteers, Paul Weeden, Fred Winter and many more,  we appreciate them all. The retrieve office is in the Mifflin Soaring Association clubhouse and everyday there is a live display on the clubhouse screen showing spot tracks and scores from the day before.  If you have never visited us to fly, we urge you to come out sometime. We all stop what we do to put this on because the soaring community is great and we love all things aviation.  More news as I have it to report.

 

Brian Glick

 

Posted: 5/20/2014


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