Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sailplane Grand Prix v SSA contest views

Ok, now having flown both, I am going to add some views. First, both are contests and should be thought of in that way. Both deal with points and do differ. In the SGP, if you finish say 8th for the day and say come in 2 mph slower, you only get 2 points, a lost of 8 points which can be difficult to over come when flying against a group of top folks. In a SSA contest, you can come in 8th for the day, 2 mph slower and still be in the hunt for the top spot(winners speed say 75 mph v 8th of 73 ='s his 1,000 v  your 973 speed points). So, you can take a hard hit for not staying with the gaggle of the SGP v more of a test of skill with the SSA contest which allows you to start when you choose, etc.

Now, about the start. SSA contest use a start cylinder which allows for climbs out the top. The SPG uses a start line with a max start height and a strictly enforced crossing speed limit. If you cross early you can not turn back towards the start line but must go around outside the width of the line then cross again. This stops traffic from dangerous head on traffic congestion. SSA contest starts  allow us to come back into the cylinder towards traffic which is heading out on course. Also, the speed limit isn't as strictly enforced as in the SPG. The SPG uses ground speed, so if your starting with a tail wind condition, you need to really watch your speed. I now favor the start line with a max height/ground speed limit and the clear way after you cross and head towards the first turn. I could point out numerous points on the SSA start cylinder being dysfunctional, but will leave that to a later date.

On turn points. Many years ago, after GPS now being being used to define turn points the SSA contest increased the radius to promote a safer area for us to turn in. This resulted in a small turn area task. Distance is measured to where you turn in this turn area. Now, we have folks who turn early, go to the back, left or right in this small turn area. Simply put, we  have a intersection without traffic controls with some spinning (malingering) right in the middle. The SPG uses a small turn point diameter(.3 mile). All entrant distances are meaasured to the TP, so as soon as you get one fix in the TP area, you simply turn and clear the TP area and headed towards the next TP. Traffic clears the intersection, no malingering. Also, seeing the flow in and out is easier to spot, at least it was for me.

I am not a gaggle groupie. This whatever idea of racing with the flock when flying with the lead Canadian  just isn't my idea of any test of skill. But we also see this when at a SSA contest, so my bag of feathers shall increase in size with that statement. But my goose down comforter needs refilling. That's sarcastic humor to lighten up this read. Suck it up.... cup cake.

On the finish. The SPG uses a finish line with a steering turn about 5 miles out from the line. Also, a call about 30 K from the steering TP is asked for. Good heads up for safety The  min. finish height is also a hard deck from the steering TP inbound. If you go below it, a server penalty with be applied.
No hard pull ups to get across the line. SSA contest finish cylinder allows hard pull ups to get into the cylinder, traffic comes from different directions and most SSA contest's don't use steering turns. I favor steering turns with the smaller dia. TP. Gets everyone lined up, no hard pull ups, and the steering turn is cleared quickly as all entrant distances are to the center turn point. Intersection gets cleared quick.

On the SPG task, you really need to focus because of the gaggle flying. Sometimes gliders get extremely close to each other with the possibility of whatever might happen. SSA contests are the same canopy, so that's a push.

I was asked which one I liked more while in Perry. Well, each are challenging and enjoyable. Both are a good test of skill/judgement and all should be remembered as a no money won event. Meaning safety should never be compromised.

Will I do the SPG again?  The  CM, CD and Seminole_Lakes glider folks put on a great show. Sure, if it fits in my retirement plan.
Will I do a SSA contest again........sure......if it fits in my retirement plan.

But I can say many years ago while in Hobbs, a good friend said he may not be able to win anymore, but he can still enjoy the atmosphere and friendships. Me thinks some of the folks at Perry forgot this and got into the CD;s nest. See after 5 years of being CD, Richard, who never took one cent, paid for everything himself and much much more, retired from the CD spot. Yep, some got into his nest and IMHO was not called for. Period on that.   Folks, some of you forgot this is fun..........worse is some of you forgot what ya said at other contests about this being for fun. Suck it up cup cake!

Best. #711.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tuesday 4/18/17 evening report.

Ok, you just might be a red neck if you go to the Doctor and he asks whats wrong? You state "I swallowed a ice cube 3 days ago and it still hasn't come out............do da dew. Or you might be a red neck if you slip and fall but manange to save your beer.

We didn't fly today. Right now  headed our way is thunder, lighting, rain and winds. Tomorrow more of the same. Most are in the box. Yesterday, simply put, the 18 Meter class winner smoked everyone in all classes. Scores are up along with reports on the SSA website.

Another note. We have this area of NDA ( National defense airspace) AKien that goes from ground to 2,000 AGL and simply requests pilots not to fly over or through it. Well, a major alert happened yesterday as white drones were seen by the security folks watching over the site. Then they learned the white drones were gliders and then finally asked the CD through a friend to call them. Well, it got pretty good on the phone as a 4 or 5 way called happened. Yep, all the government folks did confirm that all gliders did over fly the area and none were ever below 2,000 agl. Hmmm... Ok, now they wanted all the contest glider N numbers but when asked why as since they already stated none were in the area below 2,000 agl it just got quiet on the phone. But the best one liner came when one government worker asked what a "sectional chart was"........do da dew.

Asked about the weather for tomorrow and the CD responds "Tomorrow is Wednesday".  The cub house got a new sink, first one in 12 years or so. Time for dinner.

Best. #711.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Perry R5N evening 1st practice day report

I didn't fly today, but just spoke with several folks. Baud Litt, LBL, said he had a good day, climbed to 6200 msl but stopped short of the bases. Fairly good climbs except he had to stop for a 2 knoter to get up and to a good looking cloud.

Al Tyler, 8H, reports off tow he had a 8 knoter and called Dave Nadler, YO, to welcome him to Perry as they were both climbing together. He had a good day with several 6-8 knot climbs.

Scores are up on the SSA website. http://www.ssa.org/Contests

Now, seems like someone locked the door on one of the camping trailers. Skip Pate, P8, finally got the spare keys from the owner. Skips beautiful young girls of 13 and 10 confessed that their dad did it. Skip just walked by and did say he was the last one out!

Tomorrow is the second practice day and I shall fly. Looks good but mid-week we might get some afternoon thunder. Jury's still out on that. Seems most if not all are here. Back in 1972 at the Worlds in Virsac with 89 entrants and cloud climbs allowed(one reported a climb to 19,000 and still landed out!), the line of folks walking to watch the opening day parade was over 3 miles long. Flags from 28 Nations were flown.

Here in Perry, no line but we have 2 flags flying. The state flag of South Carolina and that of the USA.

Best. #711.


Perry R5N First Practice day 4/15/2017

Pilots meeting 10 am. Should be brief. Weather looks good as task is called for all classes. A TAT of 2:30 minutes. Start 4, Don Bells, Twin Lakes, Bamburg, Do Little, and finish.  radius varies. Min dis 76.86 and max 230 miles.

Few days ago, hardly anyone here, now its packed full. 65 entrants among all the classes. Yesterday we ran down to Barnwell, Orangeburg, Twin lakes and Don Bells. All had 12 mile radius. Bases rose to close to 6,000 by days end. Some had great climbs close to 10 kts achieved.

Pilots meeting starting, alot of talking and folks saying Hi. CD just yelled "the meeting has come to order".

Ronda Tyler, the CM, just stated this is the 17th contest here. CD is number 5. Registration after the meeting.

More tonight,

Best #711.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 Perry R5N early report

Arrived here a few days ago. Yesterday, 4/11/17, Tuesday turned out better than was thought. Flights are up on the OLC. Most headed northwest towards Newberry which is above interstate 20.  We had good clouds which gave great climbs. As the day went on the bases rose and at the end of the day some reported 7,000 ft.

Today we put up the tent. Last year took slightly longer, like 3 hrs or so. Today, with the help of  the same New Yorker(who read the directions finally), much less time like  40 minutes or so.

KM went flying along with 6I I believe. For a "southern" Texan this could be a booming day...cough......shortly we shall see on the OLC.


A yellow Cub, a 304 self launcher, a ASH 25, and the "New Yorker"


Our tent with the club house behind. First came here we had dinner in that club house. Our contest is full, 65 folks and I believe a short waiting list. Over the years its amazing what the Tylers have done to help foster and promote our sport. As Al fly's most of the time by himself out of Perry, the more miles he racks up, the bigger the smiles he's blessed with.


Just as New Castle, the fire pit which will shortly be lit.

Folks, I am not creative enough for this story. But these 2 folks had a measuring tape to center the orange lines to help out those who tie down back their. They even came up with the idea of lead in orange lines to help folks get centered returning to their tie down spots at the end of the day...errr...no lead out to the center line....hmmmm.  Well its warm now mid 80's. Might get some light rain tonight or tomorrow. Will update in a few days. Best. #711.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Seniors 2017 first cotnest day 3-11-17

Mandatory pilots meeting started on time @ 9:45 AM. CD John Good made a splendid presentation to a mature entrant crowd. No O2 bottles or walkers were seen. No cell phones rang. Doesn't matter about cell phones ringing as no one would hear them.

Brief introductions were followed and then came our weatherman. Like yesterday, the practice day with about a zillion land outs as he doesn't even go out on the task and lands back here/ Now today he paints this picture of not so good of times which has everyone wondering. CD Good calls a task with #7, #8 and then north to Montgomery. Its a 2 hr TAT (small areas first 2 and 22 miles last one) hint).

Hmmm........we grid around 12:15. Sniffer is a ASH 25 MI who runs his engine so he doesn't have to take a relight...what....yep a relight. Now the CD knows how to create thermals, so he sends up another sniffer.....which relights (CORRECTION.....the second sniffer just informed me he stayed up (I did inform him no one knew it was him)......so's, it was a early launcher who did the relight......I did ask the second sniffer then who created the thermals...he smiled and said..."God"), Hey, I ain't the news service but do try and keep things straight arrow....err.... .which might curve a little). Then it starts to perk. Remember the task first is to the west, then south east, then north. Yep, all them clouds are just north of us and the first 2 turns are in the blue.

Well, task is cut to 1:45 on the time. Most leave dodge around 14:40 ish with good climbs and after the second turn heading to Montgomery we had really nice clouds.

Oh, the weatherman, Mr. Silva...FS....wins the day with a raw speed close to that of light....73 mph. Ha, he guessed maybe 55 mph would win the day and the CD guessed if we broke 50 mph we would be lucky.

John Good and Rick Shepp should be posting on the SSA website with scores and news. If I can I'll post up some pictures and brief thoughts as the days roll on. Me thinks the oldest here is 88 and that is GV. 1E is 84, KS is 81. Theirs some sensitivities on these ages so maybe I need not go their anymore.

Over all good day, many smiling faces are seen, Free dinner tonight.

Best #711.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Senior Nationals 2017

Well, here are a few pics from today around 11 a.m. Just click to make them "big". The launched starting around noon. A pre-practice task was called. An AAT with Wines, errr #40, then #11 and Grass Roots. Circles say of 10 or 15 miles. Just a fun day with bases rising to over 6 thousand by days end. Tomorrow, pilots meeting 9:30 am and first official practice day. But I am letting a secret out. Saturday looks gigantic, big and just maybe the biggest day this site has ever seen. So, stay tune and watch the SSA website, along with this blog for updates.

My day went well. Some simply unbelievable climbs of 6-7 plus knots, 6 thousand end of day. Along with lots of birds.

 Andy and Susan helping out.
 KS is here and with him a "bird".
 Looking south @ 11 am.
 Yep, and it just got better and better!
Last minute detailing and the sky looking North.

#711.