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Region 5 North - April 20 summary

Had you arrived at the 2015 Region 4 North contest around mid-afternoon yesterday – as a number of pilots did – you’d have encountered a sight that gave a strong clue that the weather during the practice period has been far from normal here.  This is a well-drained airfield situated on sandy soil but there are limits to what it can handle, and the driveway that leads to the large hangar was for about an hour entirely blocked by a small lake that was the product of a violent downpour – about an inch of rain fell in 20 minutes.

Not everyone was disappointed by this.  The Pate daughters (Perry and Mary-Parker, 11 and 9 years old) took appropriate advantage by splashing around knee-deep in this pond, which helped to dissuade the arriving pilots from any attempt to ford it.  But it was another in a long series of wet, cloudy, windy and thoroughly unsoarable days that have made up the Perry practice period.

The problem weather continued today, with low cloud, strong wind shear (one forecast called for 50 kts at 3000’) and threats of afternoon thunderstorms, possible hail, and nearby tornado warnings.  In the event, the day was definitely unflyable but the worst of the weather passed south of us and left behind clear skies and the prospect of an overdue stretch of favorable weather.

Despite weather issues, spirits are high, as they have been for 15 straight years at Perry.  Hosts Al and Rhonda Tyler (along with a cadre of dedicated volunteers) consistently set an extremely high standard of hospitality, and a large entry list shows that pilots understand this.  We’ve already enjoyed two airfield dinners, large amounts of free beer, and tours of Al’s hangar.  The feature this year is a nearly perfect 90-hp Piper J-3 Cub, which Al bought as a wreck and painstakingly restored. (Al is capable of many things, but cutting corners is not among them.)

Posted: 4/20/2015


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