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aeajr

476 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  09:52:56 AM  Show Profile
Howdy all from the southern-flank of the Eastern Soaring League!

The 2009 Tidewater Model Soaring Society's Spring Challenge kicked-off the ESL's Unlimited Soaring season this weekend and concluded amid soggy conditions on Sunday. ESL Quarter Master Steve Lucke was on hand to throw out the first sailplane. Despite the weather, this was a great event and there are lots of items of interest to report on.



Edited by - aeajr on 05/21/2009 10:16:07 AM

aeajr

476 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2009 :  09:55:11 AM  Show Profile
Howdy all from the southern-flank of the Eastern Soaring League!

The 2009 Tidewater Model Soaring Society's Spring Challenge kicked-off the ESL's Unlimited Soaring season this weekend and concluded amid soggy conditions on Sunday. ESL Quarter Master Steve Lucke was on hand to throw out the first sailplane. Despite the weather, this was a great event and there are lots of items of interest to report on.

Due to the efforts of many ESL-ers and TMSS members, we had a good weekend of soaring, even though we got rained-out (big time) on Sunday. While I have witnessed ESL members pitch-in and help run contests in the past, I think this was the most wonderful event I have seen. So many competitors and competitors wives pitched-in and made a HUGE difference. While we had about 8 TMSS members show-up to work/fly we had at least that many more effectively pitch-in and help. It was an impressive event since so many contributed to it. Of significant mention: Pete Schlitzkus not only delivered the 4 ESL winches, he also took them to the next contest (Deleware). Steve Lucke brought the turn-arounds and foot pedals (I think he brought the batteries too), and tirelessly worked to string the winches and set the field up (Fri, Sat, and Sun). Tony Guide re-worked the ESL winches over the winter and they were in AWESOME condition. Ask Luis who fluttered the heck out of his Perfect on launch and blew the elevator (3421) and un-glue his right aileron servo. After a lot of excitement and running, Luis got it down without any more damage and flew it Saturday. Tony Guide also helped setup the winches and the spot tapes, tents, and anything else we needed. Dawn Huffman and Joan and Luis Bustamante ran the scoring. In the recent past, it was asked "what does the ESL do for us?". Well, this weekend was a stellar example of what the ESL does for soaring: the ESL members delivered 4 winches, batteries, chargers, and winch-line, helped set them up, helped run the contest, and in a driving rain, pitched-in and put all the gear away! Not only helping run the contest, but creating an environment for the soaring community to get together and have a great time!

To start things off, we had a good day flying Friday for our F3J practice day. The objective was to fly some winch-assissted F3J rounds as well as do some actual F3J tows. We had about 16 pilots show-up to fly by noon on Friday. This was an excellent turnout for a practice session of this kind. We setup the 4 ESL winches, and even threw-in a 5th club winch to fly 5-man flight groups! We had a 10-minute F3J audio track playing that was interleaved with some Green Day to really create a feastive soaring-partying atmoshpere. I was also able to get a series of actual F3J tows from Steve Lucke and Luis Bustamante to boot. The weather threatened a little bit in the afternoon and we shut-down a little early (at 4pm), but a good day of flying was had by all.

The task for Saturday was 10-minute Man-On-Man thermal duration with FAI 100-point tapes (AMA landing rules, no Euro-trash flipping). Flight groups were generated using a unique method involving playing cards. Complete sets of cards that equalled the number of pilots flying were put in a box. Pilots then drew the cards to determine which group they were in to start the contest. In this case, Aces were group 1, 2-s were group 2, etc. In addition, the suit of the card indicated which winch/spot the pilot had (ie spades were on #4 winch/spot, hearts were on #1). When the pilot turned in his round score, he also turned in his card and drew another one from another deck. After a few rounds, everyone seemed to get it.

Saturday's contest started under theatening skies. This time, the cieling was low (perhaps 700 ft) with some mist. The lift was very light and the relatively narrow field made finding lift and working it a challenge since the prevailing wind was across the field (making it hard to see your plane due to the tall trees). Sometime during the late morning the skies improved and the sun came out. The wind picked up a little and the lift got stronger, but still not widespread. The thermal conditions never got really good and we had a lot of low-altitude battles. Many rounds were won without making the max which really worked well with the Man-On-Man format. A total of 17 grannies (ie 1000s) out of 40 (43%) were won with flight times less than 9 minutes, Lenny Strickland won one group with a 3:30 in Round 7! Frequently, thunderstorms would rumble through the area and miss us by a few miles. When it was all over, we had 8 rounds in the book and were off the field by 5:30pm.

The group then adjourned to the Smithfield Station for some Apres Soaring and a group dinner. We had about 15 people come to dinner and we had a great time.


To see the photos from the event visit the contest report in the Contest Reports Forum. If the link is not active, then just copy it and paste into the address line of your browser.

http://forums.flyesl.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=359





Edited by - aeajr on 05/21/2009 10:26:58 AM
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