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Day 3 - Finally A Good Run

Sorry, this post is going to be extremely short - even though it was my best flight so far at Montague.  The super-short version is this: Thursday was good, and I got video to show off later.  Friday was icky and we didn't fly.  I thought it might rain so I put my plane back in the trailer last night, but now it looks like we might fly today before the Thunderstorms hit so I need to run to the airport and re-rig the plane and get it ready! [UPDATE: Saturday cancelled due to impending Thunderstorms - drat!]

If we don't fly today, I'll get that explanation of how the contest works up on this blog by late evening.

A slightly expanded summary of Thursday's flight:  The CD (Competition Director) called a great task which had us running up and down the high ground on the west side of the Shasta Valley.  Convergence lines formed and were marked by cloud streets that slowly moved and reformed in different areas.   Early on in the flight, I was able to discover where the lift tended to be (in relation to the cloud bottoms).  I realized it was often at the southwestern edge (or sometimes out in the blue to the west of the clouds by a few hundred yards), and that allowed me to get high and stay high while still maintaining a good average speed (72mph for over 3 hours).  We zipped up and down the ridges at 9000-10,000 feet.  I got low once going to "China" (near Weed) due to massive sink, and found myself dribbling back out to the north below 7000 feet.  Ugh!  Luckily I was able to keep pressing forward at a reduced speed until I found a strong climb and took it from 6500 all the way to over 10000 - phew!  The last part of the flight was the biggest challenge - I got out to a turnpoint 20 miles north of the home airfield and still had 33 minutes left to fly, to meet the 3-hour minimum time.  If I turned for home I'd be there in 10 minutes so I was forced to go to one more turnpoint that we'd been given - "Radar" (20 miles out to the east over forested high ground).  Luckily, I got a climb to almost 11,000 feet and was able to steadily glide all the way out to the turnpoint and all the way home, without circling again.  I simply "dolphined" (pulling up in lift to grab a brief boost of a few feet), and was able to run in at 70-80 knots to finish about 800 feet above the airport.  I took fourth on the day, too - huzzah!

Here's a link to my flight

Here's a link to the scores

Enjoy,

--Noel

Posted: 6/30/2012 By: Noel Wade


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