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Region 5 North - All dressed up and no place to go

I would be remiss if I did not wish you happy Tax Day!

So … let’s catch up. Sunday, we were in the path of a nasty cold front. TV emergency announcements showed flashing red boxes warning of tornadoes upwind. It hit us early afternoon and man-oh-man it was a “Bute”. Among other things, it screwed up our internet service. Surprisingly, the red and white Perry “Big Top” tent survived; (it looks exactly like a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus tent). And then came the rain: total accumulation was over 2 “. Thankfully, the “Big Top” kept us dry and SST (the Stoia/Stoia/Tyler Catering Service) served a wonderful “welcome” meal of hamburgers and great bean dish. Rhonda’s coconut cake was, as always, a two-piece desert.

Monday brought strong westerly winds upping to 35 plus knots, so contest day was “called” at the pilots meeting. OK, no sweat; better to have a throw-away day early because we have 5 more days to get in a contest. KS, SM, and JL took tows. When asked about his flight, SM replied in his customary lingo … “sporty”. Truth is he averaged 25 MPH up-wind for two hours and came home in less than 20 minutes.

If you ever want to learn how to shove a beer can up a chicken’s butt then by all means, come to Perry. Monday evening was Chris Stoia’s lemon pepper beer-can chicken, rice casserole, and spicy green beans. Just outstanding! And, never, ever, miss a piece of Rhonda’s key lime pie. Great job SST and crew.

Tuesday blows in and if you were a sailor, your sails would have been rigged with three reefs or you would have been “heaved to”. Full drill today and we’re going to play the “keep options open” game. Launch 3 sniffers; one relights and the other 2 having trouble getting above 3000 MSL. 25 Knots wind at release altitude. Launch relight; he recommends halting further launches. Wait 15 minutes and launch 5 more. Sniffer report: through 4000 MSL (task advisor’s minimum start) with 3-4 knot lift; winds over 30 MPH. The rest of the FAI Class (hate that designation) was promptly launched. Some returned and chose not to relight; when FS or KZ chose to call it a day, that’s a strong message. Now come the confirmation of wave; 5000 MSL, 6000 MSL, 7000 MSL. Eight miles upwind they are at 2500 MSL and hoping to land back at Perry. Bottom line: task not “fair and safe” and the day was called for all classes. No one can claim we did not try. FYI, C2 made it to 9300 MSL, there, his ClearNav was prompting him to fly 144 knots. Nice flying Chris!

So, if you like Tuesday, you’re going to love Wednesday! Same song, second verse; more or less same weather so same tasks as Monday.  Stay tuned; also check for pictures and updates on Region 5 North’s Facebook page.

Keep your head out of the cockpit. Respect your comfort zone. And come home with a smile!

Respectfully, Marshall McClung

Posted: 4/17/2018


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