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1-26 National Champtionships - Day 6, One Degree Of Separation

You can experience the contest live by monitoring the SSA Facebook page. I post all the videos and photos there and then transcribe them for the report on the SSA Contest Results page along with posting the select photos in the evening. I’m also sending the Word file and the select photos for the day to the 1-26 Newsletter editor. Thanks for all the kind words and appreciation for the reporting. It’s a lot easier because I sent the Facebook video URL to a website and have them transcribe the videos for $1 per minute. I just clean them up and publish them. Enjoy.

Contest Director, Steve Statkus’ report for Day 6, “So day six, and the weather gods have given us a day like yesterday. The challenge is going to be to get away from the field and try to find a place to land out, because that seems to be what we do. So, yesterday was a challenging day. And Daniel was the guy that won the day, so ...

Daniel Sazhin, “Well, I always like to start this off by saying thanks to all the folks that actually let me be here. The first of course is Bill who let me fly his bird, and then followed by the Albatross Aero Club guys, who have been such a tremendous help both in getting the glider over here. So I wanted to especially point out Jonathan Leal, Ron Schwartz and Bobby Templan sp? Who couldn't join us here. Why don't you guys give them a round of applause? 

As far as the day, it certainly took a little while to get going, just that moisture early in the day really clamped things down, but once it got going, and especially after enrichment, we were fine and Jim, Bob, and I, and Jeff Daye, we were getting up to 6000 feet, four kts. It was just a whole other world out there, and we cruised along.

Coming back it was just a matter of putting in the tern point and figuring, okay, an hour out, 43 miles out I would be able to make that back and head on home. The only one challenge was that big blue hole. I moseyed in there a little. I saw some did the right thing of climbing up. Maybe it was Jimmy who had another outstanding flight. But I couldn't really connect with it, and I started moseying to the blue hole and I'm like, ‘I can't make it across’, and I found a thermal in the blue right over some infrastructure, and that got me across, and the thermal on the other side, just a wonderful day. Worked out very well for me, so thank you very much.”

Team Schwartz and Angelou won for the team on Sunday. Here’s James Angelou’s account, “I really didn't want to have to buy one (The Team Award Mug). You know glider pilots, we're pretty cheap, so I had to give it my all. Definitely, a challenging day yesterday. A lot of fun, a lot of learning. I flew with a bunch of different people, and just a couple little gambles on what I was doing, and ... it worked out. I thought I was going to land out, right as I got into that first circle, I was flying with Phillip and he went for the clouds and I went for the big blue hole. Next thing, I've got like 1600 MSL (field elevation is about 900’), got my field picked out, and ... felt a little bump, and ground away for about 15 or 20 minutes, and then ... just milked that up, and then limped my way back home. And it worked out perfect. It couldn't have worked out any better, so thank you.”

Daniel Sazhin gave the weather report, “Let me start by saying this is a thankless job today because the weather is gonna be so incredibly fickle, it can literally go one way or the other. It's very hard to say. With that in mind, we can get to 6000 feet or we might not get off the grid. I take full responsibility if we get to 6000 feet, I take no responsibility if we don't get off the grid. 

All right. The summary, the short of it. It's gonna be fickle, maybe good or not. The high cloud cover from the south, like what we had yesterday, was definitely gonna be an issue. That being said, the very high level winds are still southwest. The low level winds are east. Despite the fact that all that muckiness is to our southeast, that's not gonna be just moving in. We're on the fringe of that. Heating is the really, really, really big question. 

Basically, if we get above 86 degrees, I mean you're just gonna go bang. We're gonna have a wonderful day, wonderful thermals, everything. If it's less than that, it's just gonna be not working at all. It's literally that tight. One degree more, gangbusters. One degree less, not so much.

Best we can say right now, the best guess is it's gonna be like yesterday. 3500, 4000 feet early. 5000 feet over the course of the day. Basically, if it kicks off it'll be good. If it doesn't kick off, it's not gonna be so good. There might be areas where it does kick off and places where it doesn't, like the holes we had yesterday. I know I'm telling you this, but it's really like this today. 

The wind is 10 knots from the east. Again, we're lucky to be in Ohio because this is our deal again. The basically terrible air down to the south of us ... We're right over on the eastern, right over here. We're just on the proper side of this. But the little small changes and all that make a very big impact on us. That's most notably the high cloud cover.

This is the NAM, so yellow and red is good, and we're over here. It's showing about 40 feet a minute. As far as the thermals, this is the impact that I have, cloud cover in the whole area. Unlike yesterday, there's no chance of getting over here, so we're seeing about 4500 feet AGL.

As far as the TAFS, this is Bloomington and this is Dayton, and it's showing very good. Those guys are optimistic. They're calling at noon, for fewer than 5000. That's the cumulus that we were thinking that we might get, but broken at 25000. That's that high cloud cover, that's going to be a problem for us today. It's the same thing at Dayton. 1:00, fewer than 5000. If you believe those guys, we're getting to 6000 feet early today. I'm not quite so optimistic, but that's what's going on.

As far as Sky-Sight, I'll preface this by saying that I think it's overly optimistic, but I think it's interesting to understand why it's generating this output, too. It's calling for, a very early starting day, and late ending day ... They're calling 5500 feet by 1:30 pm, 6000 feet up to the northeast. Calling for high cloud cover and lasting through 6:00 pm. I think this is overly optimistic, because of the haze and the moisture around here, but with the trigger temperature around 85 degrees. The reason that it's calling for this, and I'll show the picture, is that we get an extra couple degrees, it's just wonderful, but it just shows what a big difference a couple degrees makes today.

As far as I see it, I think it's gonna start a half hour later, end a half hour earlier, and be about 1000 feet lower on all those counts.”

Contest Director, Bill Vickland gave the task, “Five miles for Dayton, and 15 miles for Outlet. The start is 71 Southwest. Okay? So based on the optimistic road reports, all through the past hour we're going to make it a two and a half hour event. We'll send the sniffer up when we feel it's ready and we have the option to either drop it back to task B at two hours, or task C at an hour and a half. “

After we gridded, I had some time to interview some of the contestants.

190 Bob Hurni had these observations from the grid, “This is my fifth day, and it's been pretty interesting. I've not lived up to my personal expectations, In fact I landed about 10 miles from the airport yesterday on my way out. So ... but I did break triple digits on the score. 100 points even. So that was ... I guess that's a positive thing.” And Ernie is your crew, “How has it been going for you?” Ernie Hurni said, “Doing fine, it's been hot. I'm Robert's younger brother.”

“Hi, I'm Pierre-Alban Greliet-Aumont, from New York. I am flying 686. I am having a great time here at Caesar Creek Soaring Club. Thanks again for organizing a great contest. I encourage everybody who's into gliding to fly these beautiful 1-26. It's been humbling, and it's a great experience.”

Hi, I’m Gus Johnson. I'm crewing for Jonathan Leal today. We are having fun at the contest. I had a very short, close land out yesterday, which was kind of a bummer. But we're still in the race, having fun. Got to meet some nice people over there, about 10 miles from the airport. Had a grandkid sitting in the plane getting pictures taken by all the neighbors. Today looks like it could be a good day.” Jonathan Leal said, “Thank you, yes. We'll give her a try.”

My name's Dan Ernst. Flying 316. Had a great time here. It's a beautiful facility, been feed really well, entertainment's been outstanding, everybody's been very friendly and helpful, and I'd like to come back here to Caesar Creek Soaring Club and fly again.” Kristin Farry, “I'm filling in as crew. Wonderful place and we're just having a great time. I do wish I had my ship here, but in failing that, just hanging out with some wonderful people is enough.” 

“My name is Ridge Moreland. Ridge, that's an actual middle name. I'm not a hill, I'm a Ridge. I live mostly in central Florida, north of Orlando. Looking to get out of there soon. Moving out to New Mexico. I'm here this week to pitch in as a high paid gopher, to help anybody else out, needs to move an airplane, go get water, whatever like that. For this next year, for the 1-26 Champs, which we will be back to Moriarty, New Mexico, I'll be the contest manager for that. I've already been working on assembling and building the contest for next year. I've already been doing that for six months, so now we have 12 months left to get it done from here. Meeting people, talking to people here, asking people 'What do they like?' and ‘What would they like to see diff maybe for next year?,’ but just also making new friends. There are people here I've never met before, not that I know that many people. I get to learn every time I come to an event just to pitch in and help out. Happy to be here.”

“My name's Larry Williams and I'm a local pilot. This is my very first contest and I am all alone at last place.” Chuck Lohre, “Oh now, Larry. I'm in last place.” Larry, “I plan to make up for that today. 398 is my ship number and I'm a 100 points below the guy that's second to the last, so he and I are going to duke it out this afternoon. Chuck, “First one, well you're doing well. You're in one piece. Your ship's in one piece, right? Larry, “That's right, that's right. Hell yeah.” Chuck, “So tell me about some of your landings?” Larry, “I had two out landings. One in a field with a less than cordial farmer's wife and my second one, was in a family's front yard and they were just wonderful. It was like I was a long lost son. We had a great time, both times. No damage to me or their airplane or anything else, so I was happy for that. Yeah, I claimed that I was coming to this contest to learn things and have fun, but, and it wasn't to win. I didn't think I'd be dead last, but like I say I'm going to make up for it today.” Chuck, “You're a winner here. Just being in the 126 championships.” Larry, “You're right and the people here couldn't be nicer. All the competitors help each other. We all, if we don't know each other when we get here, we know each other when we leave. I just can't say enough good things about 1-26 people.’ Chuck, "Thanks a lot Larry. Good luck.” Larry, “Thank you.” 

And that wraps up the report for this evening.  And I’ve found the theme for my article in SOARING magazine; it’s the special nature of the 1-26 world. Friendly, caring, sharing. Professional, experts, great pilots. Self made aircraft, American made. It might have been 70 years ago but design is design, and the 1-26’s design is our American made legacy. Here are a group of individuals that have come together to share the legacy and help others get into the sport. I learned that there are Model T racing clubs! I hope the article can get picked up in some other publications. It's something I can do to promote the sport.  Now, what 1-26s are available?

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: 5/28/2018


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