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aeajr

475 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2009 :  8:17:53 PM  Show Profile
We had a very successful End of Season Thermal Duration Contest this past weekend at the Daniel Boone Homestead. We actually had quite a few people show up on the Friday before the contest, led by Dave Beach and John Marion, trying to make their LSF 2k goal and return flights. Dave set up his winch at the far western end of the flying site and he, John, Tony Guide, Preston Heller, Chuck Robinett, Dan Siegel and a few others made a number of attempts to get on course and complete a 2k goal and return.

aeajr

475 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2009 :  8:18:23 PM  Show Profile
We had a very successful End of Season Thermal Duration Contest this past weekend at the Daniel Boone Homestead. We actually had quite a few people show up on the Friday before the contest, led by Dave Beach and John Marion, trying to make their LSF 2k goal and return flights. Dave set up his winch at the far western end of the flying site and he, John, Tony Guide, Preston Heller, Chuck Robinett, Dan Siegel and a few others made a number of attempts to get on course and complete a 2k goal and return.

Unfortunately the wind was blowing rather hard and the lift was light and difficult and I don't believe anyone was able to make the flight task. But not from a lack of trying.

On Saturday we had 25 experts and 15 sportsmen register, which enabled us to run 5 man flight groups using 4 ESL winches and an NJSS club winch. We used a man on man format with a golf cart rented by Luis Bustamante to bring the lines back. The scoring tent was very ably run by Joann Bustamante, Donna Strommer and Dawn Huffman. I can't tell you how helpful it is to the ESL to have all that great help in the scorer's tent. It makes running a contest so much easier.

I had the winches pointed to the west at the start of the contest and for the first 2 or 3 rounds. (I refused to believe the weather channel's forecast and I paid the price for that.) Then the wind shifted to the south east and I had to shift the winches. With everyone's help we got them turned around in about 40 minutes. We were able to get 7 rounds in on Saturday. The winds were pretty light on Saturday and for the most part we flew 10 minute rounds, if I recall correctly. The only environmental issue we had from Daniel Boone at this ESL contest were the incredible swarms of gnats and mosquitoes, which ate us up alive.

In Sportsman we had Dave Bradley, Jr finish in fifth flying a very pretty Tsunami. Dave Wood flying his 15 year old NSP Victory finished in fourth. In third was Jim Griffith flying his Supra. (A special thanks to Vera, Jim's wife, who was very helpful by timing anyone who asked for her help.) In second was David Ashinsky flying his 144 inch Super Ava and in first also flying a Super Ava was Dan Siegel.

In Expert we had Tony Guide, flying his Perfect or his Explorer, I can't remember which finish in fifth. In fourth we Phil Barnes flying his home built Supra. In third we had Lincoln Ross flying a Mantis, I think. Lincoln will have to help me out here as I can't recall his plane. In second place was Mike Lachowski flying his home built Supra and in first flying a home built Supra was John Hauf. Check the contest standings and you'll see it was a tight contest.

After the contest we had the ESL meeting ably led by Ed Anderson and I'll let other folks take you through the meeting.

I have to thank Dave Wood for doing some emergency surgery on an ESL winch Saturday night to remove a cable and Tony Guide for reinstalling a replacement cable on Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning I listened to the weather reports and pointed the winches back to the west. The wind was forecasted to come up to 10 to 20, but not till later in the day. Actually we were all hoping for a bit of a breeze to keep the bugs away. Because they were back meaner then ever! But the wind stayed light till after lunch and never got higher then about 10. It turned out to be a great soaring day though. We started with a 7 minute task, followed by an 8 and then we flew 9s the rest of the day. We got 6 rounds in for the day.

I put extra line on the winches for Sunday in case the wind did blow as hard as forecasted so to try to cut down on line breaks. Everybody did a great job on launching their planes and we had very few line breaks for the weekend.

We had 23 experts on Sunday and 15 Sportsmen.

In Sportsman on Sunday we had Pete Nicholson flying a Chuck Robinett built molded Supra to fifth place. In fourth was Jim Griffith, third went to a new guy, Gary Bolash flying a Mantis wing on a pretty Terry Luckenbach fuse. Gary flew very well for what I think is his first ESL contest. Terry Luchenbach helped him out as his timer. In second was Dave Wood and in first was Dan Siegel.

In fifth in expert on Sunday was Joe Melchiorre flying a well worn and still capable old style Mantis. Phil Barnes took fourth. Neal Huffman flying his molded Supra snuck into third and Leszek Zyga flying a old V-tailed Pike Superior took second. Mike Lachowski took first and was the Grand Champion for the weekend.

I have to note that Luis Bustamante, our fearless leader of the scorer's tent, is never afraid to test the limits of his Pike Perfect. He was in the hunt on Sunday and he wanted to get a really good launch. Apparently the thought of Neal Huffman beating him was way to much to bear. :-))

I didn't see it, but I heard the massive sound of 2 ailerons and one flap fluttering all three servos loose from their mounts. And this is not the first time he's done it! :-)))

Luis managed to land the plane with one flap, the rudder and half of an elevator inverted about 20 feet or so up a tree. Without missing a beat Luis went back to the scorer's tent, without checking on the plane, so he could continue to help keep the scoring updated and to figure out the final scores for the contest and for the Season standings. And that's were Anker stepped up to locate the plane and half of the missing elevator which landed quite a bit down wind. Then without anybody asking Phil Barnes went right up the tree and gave Luis his plane back. That was very nice of both of them to do that.

The plane does have some damage, but Luis got it back, and it appears repairable. The force of the launch also broke the elevator pivot tube, which is carbon. In addition Dave Beach had an off field landing on Sunday and I was glad he got his plane back as well. The golf cart proved it's worth again as Dave went for the plane during the lunch break and took the cart with him to speed up the recovery.

I want to thank everybody for their help at the contest, especially Lois Zeigenfuse for organizing the Porta John. We can't live without that. :-))

Please check the final standings for where everybody finished for the season.

Have a great off season!

Steve Lucke

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