Monday, May 22, 2006

Day 3 under way

I just heard from Tim that the launch was underway (about 11:30 Eastern time.) I wasn't able to write this down, so all I can report is that the task is a 4 hour MAT with a first turnpoint of Lockhaven and then a bunch of other places, with Mifflin as the as last assigned turn. After that, no repeating turnpoints.
The weather looks good for today, with 3-4 kts to 4,000 and winds making the ridges work. More as I hear it!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Day 1 Complete

I talked to Tim a little while ago, and he said that it turned out to be a ridge day after all. The task was a 1 1/2 hour turn area task to #22 McConnellsburg, with a 20 mile radius. This turn point is roughly south-southwest of Mifflin County. The minimum distance was about 65 miles, nominal 110, and the max was 155.
He said, "Jacks Mountain wasn't really working. Toward Orbisonia it got much better."
After the traditional Friday fish fry dinner, the game of softball was under way. Who will be the unlucky victim of the annual injury-during-the-softball-game award? I will report as I hear more news.
Greetings to all from *hot* Dallas, but with fairly reliable reporters on the ground in Mifflin County,

May 19 - Day 1 is underway

17:00 Eastern time: Competition Director Charlie Spratt's waiting game has apparently paid off with a task under way on May 19 - Day 1 at last!
The task is reportedly a short turn area task (TAT) to McConnelsburg.
It is still cold...more news soon.

A not-so-fine week of waiting

Let's see... on Tuesday we gridded but did not fly. On Wednesday, about half of the field took off but the day was cancelled when it became obvious the next storm was coming. Thursday morning I left at 5 a.m. for home, but the pilots gridded and sat through hail and rain out there before the day was called off. Then, while people were cleaning up and de-rigging, an unfortunate pilot had a collision between his glider's wing and another pilot's vehicle - crunch! All felt terrible about the situation.
It's Friday morning. Tim reports that it is cold, and that they are waiting to see if the weather will clear this afternoon. After this, the forecast starts to look better: Very probable ridge day on Saturday, and improving weather out into next week. That's good, because they only have until Thursday to get a contest in!
As much as we all love Harry Leach's rhubarb custard pie and steakburgers, there's only so much recreational eating that you can enjoy. Let's hope they're flying on Saturday if not today.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Rainy days at Mifflin

I am awfully tired of writing reports like this, but here goes: I am at Mifflin County Airport, one of the best places to attend a contest in the world, and it is raining and about 55 degrees. I am in the meeting hangar watching glider pilots busy themselves with everything they can think of to satisfy their competitive or aviation urges. Hank Nixon is building an electric aerobatic model airplane. At least 6 - 8 people are sitting around telling stories and watching Hank work. Others are playing ping pong, chess, and foozball.

Yesterday a couple of people got in local flights during breaks in the rain. I'm only here until Thursday, and the outlook continues to look, well, not good. So we're waiting for tonight's dinner and pilots meeting...maybe going quilt shopping, maybe going to a movie.

More news later!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Off to Sports Class Nationals

Tim is off to Sports Class Nationals in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania (the Appalachians, for those of you from other parts of the world.) However, the forecast I just received from our contest Grenouille (i.e. weather man) Richard Kellerman was:

"It's obviously the case that we would rather not be starting the contest under the pervasive influence of a monster cutoff low, but the same model (GFSX) which predicts, probably correctly, miserable conditions for the next several days also promises better tings to come. For what it's worth, here's what I see for the period May 12 - 25:
Saturday 12 - Wednesday 17: Not likely to be soarable
Thursday 18: West winds at about 15 kts and cu at 6,000 ft msl
Friday 19: Not likely to be soarable
Saturday 20 West winds at about 18 kts, cu at 6,000 ft msl
Sunday 21 NW winds 15 kts, cu at 5,000 ft msl
Monday 22: Winds lvrbl. with cu at 6 ,000 ft msl
Tuesday 22: Marginal
Wednesday 24: Strong ridge, weak thermals
Thursday: Marginal"

Now I don't know about you, but when I hear a forecast, I don't want to hear "persistent cutoff low" but it seems like every contest we attend has one of these hanging around. Examples: Mifflin 2003, Sports Nationals 2003, Norway 2004, First Grand Prix 2005. I mean, really! Anyone who knows an effective anti-rain dance, please go ahead and do it now.
More later,