Scott Fletcher's weather forecast for today was, as promised, better than yesterday. Not great, but hotter and better. Weak high pressure off the coast settling in, with a strong mid-level inversion that should reduce the probability/severity of T-storms. Light winds in the early afternoon, probably Cu's in the 4-5000' range, weak & ragged lift, with the possibility (more on this later) of significantly weaker/lower conditions to the south and east later in the day. Scott thinks this might be the best day we are going to get for the rest of the week, so there is some pressure to get a good task in today. CD Rick Sheppe called a 2.25hr TAT for the FAI class with three turnpoints (22 Lancaster - 5 miles, 6 Anson County - 10 miles, and 10 Branhams - 15 miles). For the Sports class it was a 2.25hr TAT with just two turnpoints (6 Anson County - 15 miles and 10 Branham - 20 miles).
The day started even later today than yesterday, with the first launch at 1:45. However, with four towplanes operating, the entire fleet was launched in just 37 minutes! By the time we all got launched, the Cu's were looking good and there was lift everywhere around the airport, with 4-5kt climbs to 5500. The Sports class was off first, so their gate opened at 2:13pm, but not before Ken Haney jumped the gun and announced a 2:06 start time - oops! Fortunately he caught his mistake and came back for a valid start. Unfortunately, the restart put him out of synch with the weather and the rest of the fleet, with predictably dire results - he landed out in a field.
Most FAI pilots had no trouble getting into and out of the first circle, but then things got a little more interesting. The FAI class center-to-center task line from the first to the second turn circles actually went under the edge of the Charlotte Class B airspace, so several pilots had to battle altitude restrictions as well as the sometimes elusive lift. Conditions seemed to weaken as we went northeast into the second circle, so some decided to turn early, hoping things would get better as we went back south. Unfortunately, this was not to be - that 'possibility of weaker/lower conditions in the south and east' became the reality, and several pilots ended their day with a landing at Hartsville airport and an aerotow home. Most of the pilots who managed to make it around did so by scratching up to final glide over the town of Hartsville, and then tip-toeing home. George Green (5), however, didn't seem to have anywhere near as much trouble as the rest of us, winning the day in the FAI class with a very respectable 56.39mph. Sarah Kelly won the day again in Sports class with 40.79mph handicapped speed, but at least she didn't also crush the FAI class guys this time.
Dennis Linnekin (DL), aka the mad photographer, has been prowling all over the airport today, looking for snapshot victims for the SSA photo gallery. He also reported that, in addition to having a gold mine in the area, local town Kershaw has an honest-to-goodness full-service gas station! Dennis said "Fill-er up and check the oil!" to the eager attendant - and he did!!
At the morning meeting, Jayne Reid reported that she wasn't sure about the cause of the little towplane/golf-cart altercation. She said it was possible the golf cart attacked the towplane because the towplane was getting more attention, but it was also possible that the towplane attacked the golf cart for getting in its way. In any case the two combatants were immediately separated and sent to bed without supper. Because we were (temporarily) down to two tugs, Jayne put in an emergency call for the cavalry, which arrived just after grid time today in the form of the lovely Linda LaBerge and her equally lovely (to us) Pawnee. As it turned out, the elevator damage to the Bermuda High Pawnee turned out to be easily repaired, so we wound up with four tugs instead of two - yay!
1-26 Driver Kevin Anderson landed out (again!) in a very large field, with no obvious way out, and no one around to sell him a clue. He finally wound up calling his wife in Tennessee, who found the field using Google Earth and told Kevin which way to walk to get to the nearest road. When he finally made it to the road, he found his crew searching for a way to get into the field. All ended well, and Kevin, the 1-26, and his crew got back to the field a few minutes ago, at 11pm.
And, one last observation from Bermuda High. We all get to know and love the Port-A-Johns or other 'facilities' at the various contest sites, but I have to say that the BHSS versions are in a class of their own. Not only are they clean, non-smelly and well-serviced, but they also have a washbasin and a foot-pumped water dispenser - nice!
See ya at the airport, Charlie!
Standard/15 Meter Class Day 2
|3||699||TA||Frank Paynter||Ventus 2Bx||43.08||43.08||131.38||131.38|
|8||417||J4||John Bojack||LS-10 S||90.31||90.31||AB|
|9||215||41||Walt Cawby||ASW-28||43.70||42.85||MD, AB|
|1||950||DU||Sarah Kelly||Silent 2DU||40.79||34.86||115.53||98.74|
|5||858||WB||Wally Berry||H-301 Libelle||36.83||37.47||97.25||98.93|
|3||914||56||Jay Campbell||Ventus 2B||39.25||44.40||100.22||113.37|
|4||864||HK||Ron Sutton||Jantar 17||37.08||38.46||83.46||86.57|
|10||94||PE||K. & C. Haney & Cook||PIK-20D||17.32||18.23||MD|
|11||0||192||Kevin Anderson||SGS 1-26||F|