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Region 6 North - Day 1 Report

Day 2 Report – Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Today’s early gloom yielded to patches of blue and sunshine by the 10 a.m. pilots’ meeting.  Benz Aviation’s Airport Manager and co-owner, Tony Smit, made the morning welcoming remarks.  The contest CD Irn Jousma had a positive forecast of dry air aloft, light winds and 5,000 foot lift, especially to the north.  With that, a 3-hour turn area task was set from Ionia to Mt. Pleasant (30 mi radius) to Nashville (10 mi radius) and back to Ionia.

But, after the 2:15 p.m. start there were very few hints of cumulus marking thermals, and the skies became mostly blue.  Consequently, all eventually experienced “the dreaded sink,” and no pilot was able to finish what was, now, a very ambitious task for the conditions.  However, all were able to either light their engines, or find an airstrip or farm field for a safe landing.  Crews and fellow pilots scrambled to retrieve the landouts, and all were back for supper before sunset.  Local Ionia pilot, Bob Fidler, won the day and a bottle of “Region 6N Ionia wine” (bottled by Cascade Winery in Grand Rapids) with a 98-mile flight.

            Laura Betzoldt

Posted: 6/1/2010


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