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Region 10 North - Hot Windy

Greetings from Kansas! Today was the first practice day here at Sunflower Aerodrome, home of the Kansas Soaring Association. We've been excited to host a regional again here and worked quite a bit this spring on sprucing up the airport.

Today nine of the ten registered pilots took a chance to get some air time. I'm sure the 10th would've flown but today was his daughter's wedding, which he was hosting, and he decided that he should probably be there, so he'll be coming to the contest tomorrow.

Conditions were Hot & Windy, not unusual for Kansas in the summer. We started the launch at 2 PM which was about right. The task was a 2.5 hr MAT with 4 assigned turnpoints and a maximum distance of around 180 miles. That was probably a tad optimistic as the weather did not quite pop like we hoped. It did start to improve after 3 PM when 2 knot climbs started to become 3 and 4 knot climbs. But they were definitely torn up by the wind and difficult to work. Most pilots opted to stay close to home. A few ventured out on task. This reporter made about 5 miles but as lift was not readily apparent and I had an appointment back in Wichita tonight, I was very quick to turn back and stay local. Mitch Hudson (AAA) stayed optimistic in his Discus and landed about 3/4 the way to the first turnpoint in a very nice dirt field. Bruce Meacham (W5) made it all the way to the turnpoint in his Libelle before safely completing his first off field landing. We'll have a few stories for the pilots meeting tomorrow morning at least.

One welcome sight to my eyes while flying today was that the area farmers have started cutting the wheat, which means that by the time the contest starts on Monday and certainly through next week, landout options will be nearly infinite. 

Tomorrow is forecast to be hot and windier. We will see in the morning if a task is reasonable. 

More later!


Posted: 6/9/2018


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