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Region 4 South - Afternoon report

In yesterday’s struggle between good and bad air, the bad prevailed.  Morning low cloud slowly thinned, allowing increasing sun to reach the ground and giving some hope for a late-starting task.  There was also some encouragement from wind that made some of the southeast-facing ridges usable (at uncomfortably low airspeeds) – if these strengthened, perhaps a “back-side mission” might work.

But the necessary improvement never happened.  Very weak lift improved to as much as 2+ knots, but never allowed pilots to reach the 4500’ MSL altitude deemed necessary for a safe task.  High cloud was partly to blame – it limited heating at just the time when more sun on the ground might have made the difference.  By 3:30 the fleet was in the air, but the sky was turning uniformly gray and tasks had to be cancelled.

Some consolation was had at dinner time.  The first feature was hors d’oeuvres by Pat Buckley (these are famous among contest pilots & crew).  Next was low-country boil, prepared by Dave Willis (with some expert help from BRSS volunteers), followed by a wide range of desserts, the work of Leigh-Ann Anderson. (The Blue Ridge Soaring Society can muster a formidable array of culinary talent when the occasion warrants – as during a contest it often does.)

Today’s weather is better than yesterday’s, but unfortunately only by the ease with which a task decision can be made.  We’ve had much low cloud and the occasional rain showers, with just a few very small areas of sun that reliably “self destruct” by generating enough cloud to quickly close.  With no chance even of a successful launch of one class, tasks were cancelled just after 1pm.  


Posted: 9/19/2013


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