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1-26 Championship - 1-26 PW5 contest day 1 cancelled.

1-26 and PW5 Practice Day.  June 1, 2011.

 By Jim Sprandel

          Today could have been the first actual competition day.  But things didn’t work out that way.   I say could have for a couple of reasons.  Wind, wind….and well…wind.

I will say this for the 1-26 folks, they are game for anything!  The 10:30 a.m. pilots meeting focused on the wind and the task set by the CD.  The task was a TAT downwind (east) of about 45 miles with a turnpoint circle of 23 mile radius.

With the winds at 16kts and gusts to 25 penetrating back to home field was going to be challenging.  (Could be an understatement on my part.)

After some discussion the group decided to go ahead and grid at 12:30 and see how things looked.

Since the PW5 group is joining the same tasks as the 1-26 bunch they would be out there too.

          I should make a note here that unfortunately the PW5 group did not get the 8 ships necessary to qualify for a Nationals competition.  They’re game though, to keep flying.

At 1:00 p.m. with a “blue day” sky and the wind not letting up, the CD sent the sniffer up for a look around.  Lucky Ekman in 505 was game for a launch but found very little lift and very high winds.

The 126’s decided to stay on the ground and wait a bit to see if some lift might develop.  But the PW5 guys talked it over and decided to go on up and try the task, so 6W Bill Snead, 4K Patrick Tuckey and 67 Tom McKnight waved the tow planes forward and took to the skies.

With the unexplainable enthusiasm of Contest Fever the three PW5’s headed off to try the task.

At 2:00 p.m. Jerry sent the sniffer up for one last try and at 2:15 called the day off for the 1-26’s.

Tom McKnight in 6W couldn’t get the altitude he wanted for a start and came back down.  As for the other two PW5’s……Yep, you guessed it, the land-out desk got the calls.

Patrick Tuckey in 4K landed in Thele Ohio approx. 35 miles out and down safe on the runway.

Bill Sneed called in from Henry County in Napolian Ohio also safely down on the runway.

So no muddy field out-landings today.

Bill talked with the tow pilot and decided that the wind was so bad that it would be quicker to bring the trailer than try to tow back into that wind!

          As for the rest of the evening…..the ships got packed safely back into the big hanger and it was time for some chow!  Paul Sprandel hosted the evening with hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill and there may have even been some barley pop in the coolers.

Oh yes, and before I forget….even on bad days, when the contest gets called, the tow pilots are still putting the sniffers up.  So a thank you to our tow pilots.

Paul Sprandel

Jim Renkenberger

and Mike Nichols who has brought the Pawnee up from Alexandria to help with the contest.

Thanks guys!

Tomorrow the weather is looking much better.  The winds are supposed to be way down, and everyone is hoping to get a contest day in.

Jim S.

Posted: 6/1/2011


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