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1-26 National Champtionships - Practice Day One, The Thermals Are Dishonest

5-21-18 1-26 Championship, Practice Day 1

Caesar Creek Soaring Club, Waynesville, Ohio,  5375 Elbon Rd., Waynesville, OH 45068

The first informal pilot’s meeting was held this morning at 10 am. Many of the contestants were there and Steve Stakus, Contest Manager, went over the methods to upload flight data and field launch procedures. There will be a safety brief tomorrow morning as well as a catered dinner. Steve introduced an after dinner game that has been proven to be a big hit with the Caesar Creek Youth Education Week, Simulated Carrier Landing Contest. Although no contestants present had ever landed on a carrier, Steve assured us that by the end of the contest we would all be able to land safely at night in a thunderstorm.

Dan Reagan gave the weather report. He uses several computer programs to analyze the weather and showed us the most optimistic one. South winds at Noon 4-4.5 kts to 3-4 pm. At the boundary layer of 4500-5000’ 8-10 kt winds were  predicted around 1:30 pm. Rising to 14 kts at 3-4 pm. Condition were predicted to die at 4:30 pm with thunderstorms in the forecast.

Larry Kirkbride reviewed the regional conditions with information on the new power line across Guard Rd. just to the right if you are taking off to the east.

The Wilmington ILN Soaring Forecast  predicted 0 thermal index trigger temperature to be at 3 pm. So, most contestants took their time assembling and about a dozen flew in the afternoon. Jim Bob, reported that the thermals were unpredictable. There was a nice gaggle to the north of the glider port around 5 pm of three 1-26s; so the shutdown never occurred. The gaggle was at about 2500-3000 AGL. It was a typical spring day, with plenty of solar heating, strong thermals low to the ground around 1500’ AGL but you needed to stumble into them just at the right time to climb back up to cloud base at 3000-3500’ AGL. Yesterday the conditions were very similar but the Wilmington forecast was for -2.5 thermal index at 3000’ AGL.

We gathered at the local pub for dinner around 6:30 pm. I sat next to some more of the Blairstown, NY club members Pierre-Alban Grellet-Aumont and his team. Last night I had dinner with Cal Tax and Jonathan, his crew. Pierre trailered his 1-26 here with his Tesla like he did last year to Texas. Pierre enjoyed towing the glider with his Tesla. Passers by would slow down after they had passed to check him out again. He would raise his hands and show them that he wasn’t driving! His crew showed me on his smart phone photo, that he was using the “Chill” mode. Versus the “Insane” mode that will take the car from 0-100 in 2.5 sec. 

Next to me on the other side was Daniel Sazhin, “The Kid.” He’s the Contest Director for the next Championships in Moriarty, New Mexico. Daniel was explaining some ideas he had to change the scoring to lessen the penalty pilots have if they choose to venture out and have a greater chance of landing out. Currently the rules favor making the task.

I shared the artwork I did for the contest logo and T-shirt. I wanted to show all the great graphic designs on the 1-26s throughout the years. I put the A model at the bottom of the thermal and the E model at the top of the thermal. I was corrected by the crowd that it was normally just the opposite!

So in conclusion of the first practice day most in attendance’s goal was to not landout. Another goal was to beat Ronald Schwartz any day. We are all worried about Ron, we saw him from our vantage point at the restaurant, arrive. Seems something might have happened to his rudder on the tow here. Everyone at the table would give Ron his rudder, if needed, for him to fly. They told me Ron has flown over 250 hours in some years in his 1-26. “It feels like an old pair of slippers, “ Ron says.

Thanks for your interest in the 1-26 Championships and please call or send your comments and photos to Chuck Lohre, 513-260-9025, chuck@lohre.com.

Posted: 5/22/2018


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