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Region 5 North - Day 3 at Perry (Thursday 21 April)

Our normal 10:30am pilots meeting was held this morning in a torrential downpour - giving us a mild hint that today would be a no-fly day.  There were all sorts of options proposed for activities, none of which involve glider assembly or flight.  Tonight's activity involves a pig roast and a Keg of Canadian beer donated by Ed Hollestelle (A1) - vive Canada!.
The U.S. team steak dinner last night was a rousing success, with about $3200.00 gross income.  At that same dinner, Dennis Linnekin gave a report about being team captain last year at Szeged, and when he asked for volunteers for team captain for next year's world team contest in Argentina, Enrique Mertins (KO) raised his hand - wow!
Ken Sorenson took a few minutes to talk about the Philadelphia convention and to encourage everyone to participate in the on-line poll about Conventions in general.  Seems the Philly convention actually lost $15,000 instead of bringing in about $15,000 - bummer!  Apparently attendence was way down (again) due to very bad weather (again).  Maybe someone should mention that February in Philadelphia is not always a nice time to visit! ;-).
Yesterday was also supposed to be a no-fly day, but we wound up actually getting a task in.  CD Ray Galloway told us at yesterday's morning meeting that "There is a 100% chance of gridding, and a 30% chance of launching.  We all grumbled, but we gridded - mostly without water.  The weather looked anything but promising, with a heavy cloud deck coming in from the west.  The sniffer (a std Libelle) went up, but almost beat the towplane back down.  15-20 minutes later, Roy McMaster (1) was flung into the sky, and it looked like he wasn't doing any better when he found a small thermal at about 1500'agl that got him back up to about 2500'agl, and then another.  So the 15m class was launched to see if we would stick, and we did!
The 15m/Std class task was a 2hr MAT with Aiken (about 16m west) as the only mandatory turnpoint.  18m was the same except the 1st turn was about 20m SW at Ernies.  Sports class had a 1.5hr TAT with two turns - Aiken with a 10m radius and Bamburg with a 15m radius.  All classes reported barely survivable conditions on the first leg, with  several std/15m pilots landing at Aiken and in surrounding fields.  Survivors from the  first leg generally turned east toward Ernies as there was sun on the ground and some promising looking cu's.  Those who made it to the clouds found excellent lift, climbs to 6000msl and higher, and cloud streets (although somewhat short lived). BB won the day again by getting a climb over Orangeburg and then running it out, putting another 20 miles on the odometer compared to the slow guys.

The 18m class had a quite distinct experience with their flight.  Some 18m guys found their way into a street that developed to the north of the field, and for those who did it was an exhilerating ride.  Day winner Al Tyler (8H) was almost 5mph faster than 2nd place Dick Butler (DB) with 70.97mph - wow!
Sports class was a struggle too, with most gliders barely ticking the Aiken 10-mile ring before heading to Bamburg to try to get into the sun.  However day winner Sarah Kelly-Arnold reported that she had to switch back from survival to racing mode after hitting a 6kt thermal to 6000'.
There were a number of landouts yesterday, at airports and in fields.  After getting my glider back in the box, I helped pull Ken Sorenson (KM) out of a nice field about 10m southwest of the airport.  The field Ken picked was nice and flat, and right next to a paved highway.  Unfortunately, the only vehicle access was via a roundabout route that I swear took us into Georgia and back out again!

Photo #7276 | Perry landout
What a day!  From no hope to 6kt thermals back to fully overcast and a dead glide in the space of two hours.  Ray Galloway reported today that yesterday's high temperature wound up being over 10 degrees higher than predicted!  Today of course is a rain day, but there is some hope for another flying day tomorrow, as the sandy soil down here can soak up any amount of rain in just an hour or so.  Stay tuned!

Posted: 4/21/2011


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