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Region 4 South - Day 2 Attempt Report





New Castle Region 4 South


Everyone started the second day at R4S with high expectations for a repeat of yesterday from a soaring perspective. Unfortunately as the day progresed the high level of enthusiasm slowly decreased until the day was cancelled at 1515 local time. The task advisors met at 10:00 this morning and received a preliminary weather report from Ray Gall0way showing a blue day with predicted lift at 4kt to near 6000msl by 1400. Also in the weather briefing was a wind forecast of 10-12kt out of the Southeast which would provide ridge lift on the back side of the mountain ranges within the task area.  Based on the predicted forecast a TAT was constructed with three turn points basically up and down the mountain ranges running northeast and southwest of New Castle. The turn point circles were adjusted to provide a maximum distance of 224 miles and a minimum of 26 miles. The 2.5hr task could be flown usingeither thermals, ridge lift or a combination of both. Everything seemed perfect at pilots meeting for a good day but from that point on things just didn’t work out. The first indication of trouble was when Ray Galloway reported that we were approximately 2 deg behind the predicted heating curve for the time of day. We delayed launching the sniffer until trigger temperature was reached at approximately 1230. Our sniffer Jim Smiley reported acceptable backside ridge lift but very weak thermals. We waited another 30 min then commenced launching the fleet.  Without going into any more detail, the pilots gaggled around for approximately 2 hr at near 4300msl (3000AGL). In the flat lands of Perry SC or other areas this would have been acceptable to start the task but the advisors and CD just didn’t feel it was the safe and fair thing to do in this mountainous location.  It is now about 1800 time, and one or two pilots are still on the ridge but the others are home drinking beer and getting ready for dinner and the important thing is that no planes or pilots were damaged. Tomorrow looks much better, and with cloud based predicted at near 7500 msl, everyone is looking forward to giving it another try. Wish us good weather.  


Dick Butler,  CD

Posted: 9/21/2010


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