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15M Nationals - No Flying today

Saturday May 16, 2009


We had assembling, we had water ballasting and wing taping, we had a meeting and  we gridded..... what we didn't have was flying.  And glad of it, now.


It's 2pm and thunderstorms of the "gentle" type are sitting almost stationary all around us now, dropping  their  calling cards on whatever lucky farmer's field they decide to park over.   Sam Giltner and his advisors deemed the day not flyable early enough so that everyone could get back into the boxes in time before the storms hit... and it was a great call.   Planes put away, the field was vacated rather briskly as pilots and crews left to do laundry and gather essential items at the local Super Wallmart (also a big sponsor of this contest by providing some very delicious submarine sandwiches in LARGE quantities).


That said, since there's no flying to report,  I'd like to comment on the new organizational efforts behind this Cordele Contest.


 The management has been handed over to the Mid Georgia Soaring Association's members this year as opposed to previous years when  it was essentially run by one individual and many non-MGSA'ers , despite bearing the club's name.   Through recruitment of the club's members,  there are many many more resources in the form of people behind this contest now and it shows.    Pat and Hartley Falbaum have been very involved in planning this for months-Pat the social activities and Hartley the flying and organizational logistics.    Carol Silva utilized her skills as a professional fundraiser to solicit local businesses for prizes and after-flying sponsored hors-d'ouevres, and they have all been superb.   Larry Goddard provided his graphic design expertise for the logos and signage around the airport which incorporated local flavor (watermelons) to the delight of the sponsors and local airport management.   (Cordele IS the watermelon capital of the world). He also provided the scrolling electronic scoreboard which has been very popular with the pilots after they land as it gives almost instantaneous results. Dennis Linnekin lent his insight as a professional pilot and competition sailplane pilot to providing completely redone airport contest operations and procedural manuals for the pilot's packets.    Bill Brashear, contest manager,  provided the necessary coordination and also applied the glue to hold it all together.   He kept everything  cohesive and an organized and functioning group while also putting out fires like a last minute requirement that all towpilots be commercially rated to tow in a contest,  which really required some scrambling to fill the emptied towplane cockpits.


So, if you missed flying in it this year--- please consider coming to Cordele next year in your contest agenda planning.    It's great.    The terrain is landout friendly and safe, too.


About the only thing that's been  "only adequate" has been the weather.....and we've not been able to provide the classic, strong , cumulus-marked thermals  that  brought glider contest down here to Cordele in the first place.    Actually, the couple year rain deficit in the  Southeast has been almost eliminated since the local  soaring pilots have declared the soaring season officially open this year with the start of our local racing weekends.    Go figure.  


There's a cold front on the way, so the weather's gonna change.....for what, we'll have to wait and see.


Stay tuned,







Posted: 5/16/2009


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