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The White Sands Soaring Club had a great "first" Fiesta over the Memorial Day holidays. The club felt that late May and early June would provide better soaring than the Turkey Fest that was held for years. They were certainly correct and we have been able to enjoy the great soaring conditions that Jim Day enjoyed at this site.

Participants started arriving on May 23rd, but the first few days only provided local flying. The warm-up was good experience for the pilots who had not flown over mountains before. The afternoon of May 29th provided wave conditions with many pilots reporting over 20,000 ft. John Bourland had the best flight of the day and completed his "Diamonds" with a climb to 24,000 (18,000 gain). Rick Lewis achieved "Gold" altitude and completed his Gold badge. It was a beautiful sight to see gliders overhead at 20,000 ft as evening approached.

May 30th brought the first good X-C flights. 300 km flights were completed. I flew "FD" to Lincoln Station and return. I used my last thermal 60 miles north of ALM at 1630 and then flew in ridge lift until landing after 1900 (sunset 2006).

Hermann Rosing (flying Ron Tabery's "SS") explored the wave east of Sierra Blanca and climbed to 27,255 (21,457 gain). Bernie Gross was towing, but did not want to miss the fun and took the Pawnee to 20,000 ft. in the wave. He was very cold because the Pawnee is quite drafty.

Steve Turner (Mike Anderson's crew) flew with Mark Rose in the club Grob on the 31st of May. He flew longer, further, and higher than he had before-. great to see more smiles and hear the stories.

The "Pig Roast" was held at George and Pat Fish's home in Tularosa on the evening of the 31st. Great meal, great setting amongst the beautiful huge trees and live music too !!

The real flying began on the 1st of June:
- Hermann Rosing completed his first 1000km flight to Taos and return.
- Bernie Gross set a NM State Record-.Sports Class out and return to a turnpoint east of Santa Fe on I-25.
- Steven Gee flew his first 500km flight and completed his "Diamonds".
- Paul Bloxham flew his first 500km flight in a DG-300.
- Martin Schulz put his weather briefing to good use and accomplished "Gold" altitude on his "Gold" and "Diamond" distance flight in the club's Hornet. He also completed his "Gold" badge.
- Hermann, Bernie, and Steven were also trying for the longest duration flight and all were staying up until sunset. Bernie landed @ 20:03:13 followed by Steve about 30 seconds later and finally Hermann at 20:04:30. The sun set @ 20:07:07.

The camp's last day provided more good flights for the early launches. I flew to Taos for the Jim Crisp Memorial. The route was Santa Fe, Durango, Ghost Ranch, and then to Taos. (Total distance 471 miles) I landed just before the crew arrived. Thanks go to Hans Schulze and my wife, Pat for driving the car to Taos.

Bill Daniels flew his Nimbus 2C straight out 510km to Alamosa.

Hermann did it again, another 1000km flight, two days in a row.
I would like to thank all of the club members who made this event possible, but special thanks to Martin Schulz for briefings, Art Davis, Roger McMakin, Bernie Gross and Scratch Lee for tows and, of course, Dave Reyes for everything else.

I wish I could say that this event will continue in 2005, but the club has not been able to find tow planes and pilots to help this year. We do hope to return in the future to enjoy the great hospitality and conditions.

Rick Howell
Aux-powered Sailplane Assoc.

Posted: 4/14/2005 By: General News

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