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Region 4 North - Contest Day 3 Report

Region 4 North - Fairfield PA
Wednesday 14 October 2009
Contest Day 3

“I can’t believe we flew in this stuff!” [Numerous pilots at Fairfield today].

We gridded at 11:15 today in anticipation of a very short day. A thick layer of altostratus was already moving in and there was the possibility of showers later in the day. The window for soaring was expected to end 3:00-3:30ish.

The task was a TAT (2 hrs for 18m and 15m, 1 1/2 hrs for Sports and Standards) to Kampel, Lineboro, Biglerville and return for a distance of 41.97 min, 85.31 nom, 139.13 max.

While there was some sun earlier in the morning, the clouds got thicker and the temperature never broke 50. Sniffer Danny Brotto [P6] was launched shortly after 11:30. He didn’t relight but didn’t report much lift either. But within 15-20 mins he was getting 1-2 kts, so the 18m and 15m classes were sent up. Launch of the other two classes was delayed to give the first two time to gain some altitude and start out on course (or at least leave the immediate vicinity of the airport). With the overcast and cool conditions, it really didn’t seem like there’d be much of a chance to complete the task, but the CD persisted and the task for each class was opened without delay.

What a difference from all the high winds and thrashing around yesterday! It was so smooth you didn’t have to worry about sink. (You probably could have tested the advertised L/D of your glider today if you wanted to!) The task was doable, but patience was required. General strategy: Kiss the circles for min distance and get home before the precip started. 1-2 kts was the norm. Highlights of the day: The Hanover house thermal and the power plant near Gettysburg which was averaging 7+ kts.

The speeds and distances may not seem impressive, but it is truly amazing that all classes got in a day today. The winners were: Standards - Peter Scarpelli [CA] 40.06mph/60mi, 15m - Frank Paynter [TA] 32.24mph/64mi, 18m – John Lubon [JL] 31.76mph/63mi, Sports - Karl Striedieck [KS] 34.48mph/63mi (hdcp).

Well, you can’t be the CD, go against your own advice and land out, and get away with it…at least not with this crowd! At the morning Pilot’s Meeting, Peter Scarpelli - representing an unnamed group - presented John Seymour with an “SM Go Home Calculator”, a homemade analog clock with all the hour positions set to 4 (instead of usual 1-12) as a reminder of what time to always leave the ridge and head home to Fairfield!

Janine Acee
SM Ground

Posted: 10/14/2009


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