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Region-6 North - No fly day at Ionia (again)

How much  water can there be in the universe, anyway?  I've been rained on at Mifflin, and I've been rained on at Ionia.  I got here Thursday night, and it's been rainy or cloudy or windy or some combination of the three every day since then.  I'm starting to grow mold, for cripes sake!

Today was a cloudy and rainy day, but not too windy.  At the pre-meeting race seminar, I talked a bit about using SeeYou for flight analysis, and shamelessly promoted my book by using an excerpt from the flight analysis chapter for the talk.  Tomorrow's pre-meeting session will be on TAT/MAT race tactics and strategy.  CD  Andy McQuigg stubbornly refused to call the day officially until 1:00pm, although by then it was pretty obvious nothing was going to happen and we had all already started our 'other activities' routine.  

Peter Baumeler (national champ RC sailplane pilot) brought out his 4-meter wingspan RC saiplane and his RC sailplane winch for a demonstration.  The winch is a heavy-duty truck starter motor, powered by a huge car battery.  When it is fired up, it will launch the 4-meter sailplane about 700' agl in about 3-4 seconds - what a rush!  Peter can soar this thing basically forever on not much in the way of thermals, and he does it entirely by sight - no audio vario at all.  Getting into the spirit of the day, Sean Fidler brought out his ducted-fan jet and another RC sailplane as well.

My ace crew/car restoration expert Dan Harder finished up the wing ding repair work on my glider, and we got it back into the box.  There was a severe storm warning on the table for later in the afternoon, so we also put the trailer into one of the available T-hangars (thanks Bruce!).  After that several of us decided to fly another Condor task, so we traveled virtually to Omarama NZ and flew a nice 100-mile thermal/ridge task.  If we can't fly our real-life ships, we can still get a soaring fix one way or the other ;-).

The day was topped off with a another lively dinner at Olivera's in town, with at least 20 glider pilots and crew joining the festivities.  We have a strong Canadian contingent at this contest, and they can certainly hold their own in the partying department!

Tomorrow's weather forecast is for sunny, hot and windy, so we hope to get a contest day in.  The rest of the week is also looking at least reasonable, where reasonable in this case means it isn't actively raining all the time and  there is some hope of seeing the sun at least part of the day.  So, hopefully we can start doing what we really came here to do, starting tomorrow.  Stay tuned!



Posted: 5/29/2011


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