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2019 1-26 Association Championship - 2019 1-26 Championship, Practice Day 2

Contest Director Report, Daniel Sazhin

Today, we are going to strive to run it as a practice contest day, so we're going to go through all the procedures, all the process, so that we're going to be a well-tuned machine for tomorrow which is the first contest day. Most of you folks were here yesterday. For the folks filing in, we'll get you sorted out for today.

What's very important is, because today's ... we're running as an official day, we're going to be gridding, we're going to be going through all the procedures. You have to be registered if you want to fly today. If you're not registered, get registered as soon as possible at the main club house. 

We will fly today. We will grid early because it's going to be a short day today. If the weather really gets going it's only going to work out for a couple hours. Grid time is 11:30. It's going to be an open grid. We're not going to have official numbers for the classes, but we're going to put the low performance gliders in the front today, and the 1-26 championship gliders just behind them. 

Also, what's very important, today we will be having our mandatory safety briefing at 6:00. Bill Hill, Bob Hudson, and a fellow from the search and rescue crew in New Mexico will tell you all the sorts of really important things for flying in high altitudes out west, at flying the site. If you're flying the contest you have to be there, you're going to be signed up there.

Also, for whom is this their first competition or their first time out west Moriarty? Raise your hand. All of you folks will be assigned a mentor today, at the mandatory meeting we'll have a form going around. If you have a person that you'd like to work with, there's a big crew around here today, maybe you know someone, try to get in touch with them today and introduce yourself and ask them to be your mentor. If not, at the end of the day, anyone who's left, we'll put your name on a list and we'll assign someone for you for the contest.

First thing we normally do in a contest is we'll talk about the yesterday's performance but yesterday was just pretty much an open day, it was not very exciting. But I noticed a really fantastic flight that happened three days ago or so, four days ago, and that was Dan who did his goal distance. I'll give him a chance to give us a brief summary of that wonderful, wonderful flight.

Not a lot to tell any of you guys that can fly a little faster than me which is probably all of you. You could have done a straight-out diamond distance that day. I got a late start, didn't get out of here til 2:00, but it was almost 30 miles an hour tailwind, and by the time I worked the first thermal, I was halfway to Klein's Corner. I had declared Syracuse, Kansas, but I fell about an hour short. If I had another hour, if a guy could have gotten up by about 1:00, he would have got it. Low point of the flight, I was super conservative, low point was 11,000 over Las Vegas airport there, but the rest of it was just dreamy. Could never reach the dryline, the beautiful queues kept receding before me til the very last hour of the flight, I finally got onto those dryline queues. Definitely doable, especially you low performance guys, you get a day when you got that kind of a tailwind, so don't pass it up.

Daniel Sazhin:
All right. So, safety talk, over the course of the contest we'll have, contestants do this. For tomorrow I'd like one person to volunteer. I'll do the safety talk for today.

I want talk in more general terms. Competitions have a reputation for being a riskier form of flying. It's more likely that gliders will come back broken or a person will get hurt. And there's really two big reasons for this. One is, people will routinely neglect basically, basic airmanship and judgment, and the basic skills they learn when they're learning to fly. The second has to do with landouts and, we'll deal with a little bit later today and Bill will talk about landouts in this area and the airports and the challenges here but we'll deal with that a little bit later. I want to talk about just basic airmanship and judgment.

Basically almost all the accidents that even happen in competitions, happen in the first and last thousand feet. It's on tow, it's on the landing, and there's three reasons for this. One is, there's a sporting reason, some people will choose to make a lower finish or they'll go and try to climb out low near to the airport or something like that and those kinds of things have a higher risk and people have a stronger motivation to try to earn some more points or anything like that but, that is actually a relatively small percentage of the contest accidents. That does happen, and it happens at a greater level at competitions and folks have to be careful about that and you have to recognize that there is a motivation to push the limit.

However, the two much bigger factors for pretty much everyone here. One is that during competitions there's a lot more going on, there's a lot more distractions. When you're getting the glider, things are going to be happening much faster, there's going to be a lot more going on around you, there's a lot more other gliders around. When you're landing, you might have tow planes and other gliders to deal with when you're landing. You'll have ground personnel pulling the gliders off and things like that, and that's a different environment than, maybe, many of you are used to when you're flying back home at a big open airport with nothing going on. You have to be on your game.

The third reason is fatigue. Most of you folks don't fly day in and day out. When I fly, I normally fly once a week, on a week out. We're out here in this wonderful Moriarty sky. We'll probably get to fly most of the contest days. After three or four or five or six days, you're going to start getting tired, you might start getting a bit dehydrated, and the physiology is really, really important. Between distractions and fatigue, a lot of pilots that are not really risk-takers, or don't really think that they're going to go and do something dumb on approach or takeoff, that's where you're more likely to do it.

I implore you guys to be very vigilant and be 100% on your game in the first and last thousand feet of the competition, of the day. If you follow the procedures, if you follow your training, you do everything you're supposed to do ... You guys made it here. You know what you have to do. And if you do that, you're very likely to have a very fun and safe competition. Okay ..

Weather Report

Bill Hill:

There was the possibility that mountain wave would develop yesterday and I understand somebody managed to get up in it, is that right? Who was that? Tell us about it, Cal Tex. And where did you find it?

Cal Tex:

Right over the airport. Over the top of it. I was thermaling, it was my second ... first flight was thirty minute short one, a re-light, second flight got up, thermaled up to cloud base, which was about 14,800’ MSL, and just pretty good to the east because of the strong west wind, and got out from the cloud base and was looking at these clouds about five or six miles in front of me, to the east, so I'm going to go upwind and I got out from the cloud and all of a sudden it got so smooth, you couldn't believe it. And I'm going up to six hundred and six knots, pretty soon I'm 2,000 feet above the tops, glass, it was just awesome. Sixteen-five is where I got to and I just stayed in that, drifted back west ... east with that again. I stayed in that for about 45 minutes. It was fabulous. When I got out from under the clouds, and then I hit the wave and it just ... like an elevator. Just great. 

Bill Hill:
Now for the most part today, winds to be pretty much 126 winds, sort of light and variable till you get around 16,000 feet, then you got a southwest component, so at peak level you're only six knots, so I'd very surprised to see any wave up there but stranger things have happened. See they're forecasting precipitation today for Moriarty, ten percent chance, I like those odds. Tomorrow should be, well, forty percent tomorrow. That's interesting, okay. Well that's good 

Well there's the good news, if you do a right click it says you're going to get to 15,500 by noon, let's back up to about 11 o'clock. Not quite as promising then. But when we come down here, we can see what the bad news is going to be. Now we can look at this real quick. See if you're up flying by 1:30 or so you can see the thermal strengths are pretty good, anywhere you click is going to be at 7.5 knot average. That's good stuff. You don't see any pixelation in there so that means the thermal should be fairly uniform. 

But here's where we get into the problem. Overdevelopment. So, the darker the color the higher the area, the more chance of overdevelopment. I'm not really sure what that circle means, but I suspect it probably means “thunderstorms”. So, if we slide on down there and hit “storms”, you could see where it's showing storms by about 1:30 pm or so. As you move up later in the day, that's going to increase. By four o'clock. The good news is they're east of here. And the task that Daniel set up is going to keep you away from that stuff, so that's a good thing. 

So, the possibility of overdevelopment again is pretty good. The mid-level cloud is going to be all over top of us. I'm just hoping it shapes up to be better than SkySight is saying it will be.


Daniel Sazhin:

The goal of this task is you fly as far as you can within the bounds of the task and then make it home at the end of the day. If you do this, if you go farther, you'll do better. That's the way it works. It's a distance task.

You can return from any of the turnpoints, like on a MAT. I'll show you on the MAT in short order. We use a maximum time and today it'll be two hours. That means from the point at which you start you have two hours to make your distance. Now, once the clock runs out at two hours, you don't have to be home. If you're still somewhere away on course at two hours, that's no problem. At that point, you work your way on home. That being said, if you keep going on course, you could do that but it's not helping you any.

So after two hours elapses, however far you flew at that point, that's the credit that you can claim once you've made it back to the finish. And the way you program this task is you program it like a turn area task. You can program it just like a turn area task. The big thing is you can come back from any turn point. So, you can hit go to and come home should you choose to.

This is the task. The start point, the same like at the low performance, is the start point east, and then you fly down to Willard. With this task, the pilots have the discretion to turn at Willard and come home. That would give you 31 miles. Should you choose to, you can keep going. You can go to the next turnpoint, which is Biplane Ranch, with a three-mile sector. If you'd like to, you can come home, or you can choose to continue to the next turnpoint, which is Big Sky. At Big Sky, should you be having a really, really fast day, and I'm pretty sure that these turnpoints should cover two hours, but should I be mistaken, you then have the discretion to choose any additional turnpoints, just like on the MAT, up to 11.

For most beginners, if you fly down to Willard and you come home, that would be a wonderful, wonderful day and that would be a fantastic performance. And for the more experienced pilots, they like to make distance by going further into the sector or by flying to further turnpoints. 

Chuck Lohre


Posted: 5/30/2019


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