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2019 Region 11 FAI Class - Even Worse Weather

We have not enjoyed the usually dependable soaring weather, due to having called a contest for this week. Today was the worst yet, with no chance of having a fair task, so the day was scratched. 

Mike Mayo as CD had a brilliant idea to salvage something from the day: he enlisted Spence Chanthavane and John Cochrane to entertain and educate us. Spence may be remembered as the back seat passenger in Dave Nadler's Arcus M when both had to bail out near Nephi last year. While the cause of that remains unexplained, Spence's description of the few moments leading up to it, the short event itself, and the aftermath of walking out to rescue are quite gripping. The take aways were that training and practicing procedures helped, and that you may want to think about what personal items you will really want after you bail. In Spence's case, he lost his glasses which made evaluating a landing zone difficult, while Dave lost his Spot which delayed his recovery by a number of hours. The bailout is a chaotic event, and anything you want to keep with you must be VERY securely fastened. As a bonus, Noel Wade chipped in from the SAR side, as he was CD for the contest at the time. 

Following that, John Cochrane gave a short lecture followed by a discussion on gaggling. The short Grand Prix style task just flown yesterday had gaggles fresh in pilots minds. Topics like how and when to enter a gaggle, how to leave, whether it is appropriate to pass someone in a gaggle and the safesty way to do it, etc. where discussed. 

I don't think anyone thought it a waste of time, nobody left, and we thank Spence and John for sharing their experience.

- Jon Fitch (L6)

Posted: 7/18/2019


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