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Region 4 South - Day 3 Report


23Sep10  Day 3  New Castle  R4S

Penn Smith has been flying sailplanes at New Castle Blue Ridge Soaring for over 30 years, quoting Penn, “The best thermal day ever at New Castle”.  Penn pretty well sums it up for all pilots at New Castle today, fantastic soaring conditions. Ray Galloway gave the task advisors an encouraging weather briefing at 0900 with good lift to 8-9K ft. altitude with little chance of overdevelopment. Based on this excellent potential for good and consistent soaring the advisors decided on a different kind of task from previous days. The advisors and CD wanted to go with an assigned task but with the varying experience levels of participating contest pilots it was going to be difficult to challenge the “top guns” while not giving the less experienced pilots an impossible task. The solution was a MAT with many turn points so everyone would be flying the same air mass for most if not all the day. A task was selected with 7 turn points running from southwest to northeast back and forth over New Castle International airport with a minimum time of 2hr 30min. The maximum task distance was about 206mi and of course minimum distance could be whatever the less experienced pilots decided as long as they had covered a minimum of 50mi. and made a finish. The maximum distance flown was 311 miles by  Baude Litt (LBL) and the minimum 111 mi by John Semones (RM), the second contest flight of John’s career, good show both guys.

 In the standard class it was John Good (X) at 69mph winning the day and moving to first place overall 45pts ahead of Henry Retting (R). John said he could do nothing wrong with good climbs to 8k ft when he needed it and finding lift under most every cloud.  Henry missed a thermal in the latter part of the flight and lost the rhythm that is so important for having an outstanding flight, Henry and John are still in a close race so the next two days will be important for both pilots. Peter Pfortner (PF) and Rob Ware (DI) also had outstanding flights in the standard class. Rob was particular happy since he got caught out in yesterdays thunderstorm  just short of making the 5mi minimum safety finish.

 In the 15m class Hank Nixon (UH) barely eased by “The Standard” for 15m pilots Karl Striedieck (KS).  When anyone beats KS in strong consistent soaring conditions as we experienced today they have done a good days work, UH made it happen. Karl saw a maximum altitude of 10k on one climb but also a lot of sink on his final glide. From the last turn point 20mi out at Eagle Rock, Karl had final glide made with a MC setting of 8kt and barely made it back to the field. With all that lift there has got to be some sink somewhere. Roy McMaster (1) was not far behind these two pilots, so hats off to Roy as well. Karl still has a good overall lead in the 15m class, UH has got to continue peddling hard to catch (KS) over the next two days.

 The long wing guys showed the 15 pilots how to make that wing span pay off today. John Murray (LX) had a blistering 76mph speed with Baude Litt at 71mph. John elected to terminate his flight at slightly over the minimum time of 2hr 30min covering 201 miles while Baude decided to extend his flight past the 2hr 30min time to fly an additional 100mi for a total distance of 311miles. Baude felt that the additional miles probably did not improve his speed but it was a strategic decision for attempting to gain some additional points on LX. The race between Baude and John is still anybodies guess with the possibility of two more days of good flying remaining.

 Kai Gertsen (KI) just stuck his head in the office and pretty well sums up how most pilots feel about today’s flying,  “This is the closest to Uvalde TX flying that you will ever find in the East”. Lets hope the weather Gods continue to smile on us tomorrow.


Dick Butler, CD











Flying at 6-8k ft altitude over the mountains around New Castle puts an entirely different perspective over things than strugg

Posted: 9/23/2010


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