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Region 4 South - Practicd Day Report



New Castle Practice Day

 The 31st annual Region 4 South contest at New Castle Va. completed its first and only official contest practice day today. There were a total of 24 sailplanes participating in the standard, 15m and 18m classes.  Ray Galloway’s  weather briefing at the 10:00 am pilots meeting offered favorable flying conditions with soarable lift  beginning about 12:30pm. Our sniffer Jim Smiley was launched  at 12 and reported good lift to 6000msl commensurate with Ray’s 12:30 prediction. The day turned out to mostly blue with only a few clouds developing in the late afternoon but not really useful for the assigned task. Based on the weather briefing a 2.5 hour Turn Area Task was called for all classes with turnpoints at McCoy Falls and Riverwood each having a 20mi radius.  This task allowed the pilots to remain over the high ground for the better lift and still have the option to drop off in the valley for landing fields if things didn’t go as planned. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned for everyone with 5 landouts but fortunately no damaged sailplanes. As you can imagine there were some good stories of the off field landings with John Murray landing his ASG29 in a 400ft field without damage, good job John and thank goodness for landing flaps.  As seen on the score sheet some of the pilots  “broke the code” and did things just right. Three speeds greater than 56mph by Baudouin Litt, Skip Pate and Al Tyler made it all look easy. These guys were able to stay over the high ground and maintain altitudes of mostly 6 to 7k msl for the majority of the flight. As always the pilots who went fast thought it was a great day and the others had, well a different opinion. The bottom line is that everyone is still tied for first place since it was a practice day. Tomorrow is another day and the first contest day, the weather looks like we will be able to fly with a dry front coming through this evening and hopefully some unstable air. The New Castle area has been in a drought for most of the Summer so just a little heating with unstable air aloft could make for a good soaring day, keep your figures crossed. 


Dick Butler, CD

Posted: 9/19/2010


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