Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Vitacura, Chile pre practice for 8th WSGP Jan. 11-20, 2018.

Arrived Vitacura morning of Dec. 5th, 2017 (Tuesday). Just a quick lead into today. I received my invitation to the 8th WSGP final mid-Sept 2017.  The Chile organizers did their best to step forward and try to help me out. What transpired in a few days was the arrangement of an 18 Meter being shipped from Europe to Chile. Also, several new friends from Europe stepped in big time.
I can never express my gratitude for all the folks that have come forward to help me get to today. The list is long and today, the owner of an Acrus who has been flying here for over 30 years shared his knowledge and time with me. Needless to say, I now have even more studying to do yet feel comfortable better than yesterday.
As many of you know I have been flying gliders for some time and today, well all them mountains I had been flying over have just been actually "hills" compared to what we saw and did today.  But yesterday was spent getting briefed by the owner on his glider which I will be using. Philip Sturley is the owner, he's  a retired General from the Royal Air Force.  Between him and Andres Errazuriz Beeche (owner of the Arcus), it has been continuous entertainment with them passing on years of knowledge in this area to me.  Also, several hours of mentoring, doing paperwork and heading back to find where I am staying took longer than thought. My rental car didn't have navigation and I did end up  "getting" talked to which finally was understood that it was better for all to let me go so they would better enjoy their day!
Santiago has a very "large" population in a small space. A lot of what we did call "smog" is here and climbing up thru the morning inversion takes patience.
Today's thermal were "normal". Normal being extremely small cores and tightly steeped banks. Flew with several large groups of "Condors", now that was an amazing site for sure! Where we did go is called a "beautiful mountain" rather than try to rack up miles for the OLC. Flew for just over 4 hrs.
It's late now, about 12:30 am Chile time, 9:30 New Mexico time.

Here are some pictures. Just click to make them big. Best. Tom #711.

 Above is our working in deeper. One of the mountain ridges we ran looking for "thermal climbs"

 We finally ran North to a TP called IB77. Turned their and Andres told me if I stopped to thermal one more time he was going to put on the airbrakes. So, I had to fly the "ridges" back without turning...what a treat!
 Andres Errazuriz Beeche above and Philip below. What makes our sport are many folks, like yourselves, who step forward and do so much without ever asking for any recognition. Oh, Philip also has been many time Britains Team Captain. Ya, I am grateful to many for giving us so much towards what our sport does offer.

 Lunch above and today's dinner below. Excellent "Ceviche" made special by the chef!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Region 9 Super region first day Hobbs 2017

Region 9 First day TAT of 3 hrs. Start B Tatum-5 miles, Littlefield-25 miles, Seagraves-20 miles, Lovington-1 mile Hobbs finish. Good weather major chance thunderstorms tonight, worst than we got around 11 pm last night. 

Thursday 06/22 0% / 0 in
Sunny. Near record high temperatures. High 104F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

 DrJack ( miniBLIPSPOT
        Lat,Lon= 33.27,-102.73 (288,147)
 Jun 22 - NAM
 VALID.TIME     18z    21z  VALID.TIME 
 ForecastPd      6h     9h  ForecastPd 
         W*     494    656  W*         
Sfc.Heating     409    345  Sfc.Heating
      Hcrit    6482  12127  Hcrit      
   BL Depth    4020  11154  BL Depth   
     BL Top    7684  14818  BL Top     
Hgt.Variab.    1996   5026  Hgt.Variab.
  B/S Ratio       9     27  B/S Ratio  
    BL Wind      10      4  BL Wind    
  Direction     255    303  Direction  
 Wind Shear      13     19  Wind Shear 
Max.Converg       1      2  Max.Converg
      CUpot   -3652   1508  CUpot      
     CUbase   11337  13311  CUbase     
      ODpot   -6343  -1972  ODpot      
     ODbase   14027  16790  ODbase     
      maxRH      46     58  maxRH      
       CAPE     329    919  CAPE       
    Temp@2m    92.9  100.6  Temp@2m    

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

1st Contest Day USA Club Class Nationals 2017

A lot of talk at task committee meeting but Plan A called is AT of 226 miles. Start B, Crossroads, Andrews, Lovington,  Hobbs finish. Plan B knick off Lovington. Weather brief was 12,000 msl ish cloud bases, real good soaring Hobbs area within 50 or so ish miles Hobbs.  I didn't do pilots meeting.

Grid 12 noon, first launch 12:15. Day should last till 7 pm but weaker after 5:30 or so.

Tuesday 06/20 0% / 0 in
Some clouds this morning will give way to generally sunny skies for the afternoon. High 97F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.

DrJack ( miniBLIPSPOT
        Lat,Lon= 33.01,-102.94 (286,144)
 Jun 20 - NAM
 VALID.TIME     18z    21z  VALID.TIME 
 ForecastPd      6h     9h  ForecastPd 
         W*     608    631  W*         
Sfc.Heating     405    369  Sfc.Heating
      Hcrit    9308  10669  Hcrit      
   BL Depth    7580   9322  BL Depth   
     BL Top   11238  12980  BL Top     
Hgt.Variab.    1682   3719  Hgt.Variab.
  B/S Ratio      20     23  B/S Ratio  
    BL Wind       5      5  BL Wind    
  Direction     157    117  Direction  
 Wind Shear       6     18  Wind Shear 
Max.Converg      -2      3  Max.Converg
      CUpot    2258   1594  CUpot      
     CUbase    8981  11386  CUbase     
      ODpot   -2122  -1374  ODpot      
     ODbase   13360  14354  ODbase     
      maxRH      81     72  maxRH      
       CAPE    2253   1645  CAPE       
    Temp@2m    90.3     96  Temp@2m 

Best #711.

Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 USA Club Class 2nd practice day 6/19/17

 Task committee met at 9 am with a phone brief by the weatherman. Task called is on the SSA website thru remote scorer. 10 am pilots meeting with a slideshow which CD put together(stayed up till 4 am doing this) went well. 12-noon pilot meeting called when task sheets will be passed out.

Monday 06/19 0% / 0 in
Cloudy skies early, followed by partial clearing. High 89F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph.

Center of task area.
DrJack ( miniBLIPSPOT
        Lat,Lon= 33.53,-102.98 (286,149)
 Jun 19 - NAM
 VALID.TIME     18z    21z  VALID.TIME 
 ForecastPd      6h     9h  ForecastPd 
         W*     311    532  W*         
Sfc.Heating     187    401  Sfc.Heating
      Hcrit    5067   7593  Hcrit      
   BL Depth    2200   5147  BL Depth   
     BL Top    6095   9043  BL Top     
Hgt.Variab.    1840    981  Hgt.Variab.
  B/S Ratio       6      9  B/S Ratio  
    BL Wind       9     10  BL Wind    
  Direction     084    099  Direction  
 Wind Shear       3      5  Wind Shear 
Max.Converg       3     -5  Max.Converg
      CUpot     598   2240  CUpot      
     CUbase    5497   6803  CUbase     
      ODpot   -1311     -8  ODpot      
     ODbase    7406   9051  ODbase     
      maxRH      98     88  maxRH      
       CAPE    1775   3428  CAPE       
    Temp@2m    76.5   84.7  Temp@2m    

Below are random pics from the morning meeting with the last several added weather from our briefing. 

 John Seaborn A8 and below added pics before launch. HA reported 6.5 kt climb right after release and CD started the launch at 13:15. Task opened 14:15 ish. Still a 3 hr. TAT. The task on SSA website or SSA tracker/Glideport.Aero.

Maybe more pics from the grid and day later toward evening. Enjoy.

Best. #711.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

USA Club Class Nationals 1st Practice day 6/18/17

Cancelled. This happened because nothing was found at the party that had any entertainment value.
 Mostly Cloudy
Wind Chill:79°Ceiling:2900
Heat Index:81°Visibility:10mi
Dew Point:60°Wind:19mph
Raw METAR from closest station (KHOB):KHOB 181850Z 02018G24KT 10SM BKN029 27/16 A3000

 DrJack ( miniBLIPSPOT
        Lat,Lon= 32.72,-103.17 (284,142)
 Jun 18 - NAM
 VALID.TIME     18z    21z  VALID.TIME 
 ForecastPd      6h     9h  ForecastPd 
         W*     282    288  W*         
Sfc.Heating     114    133  Sfc.Heating
      Hcrit    4974   4894  Hcrit      
   BL Depth    2700   2457  BL Depth   
     BL Top    6398   6155  BL Top     
Hgt.Variab.     624    418  Hgt.Variab.
  B/S Ratio       2      3  B/S Ratio  
    BL Wind      25     20  BL Wind    
  Direction     033    031  Direction  
 Wind Shear       8      3  Wind Shear 
Max.Converg      -2     -3  Max.Converg
      CUpot    1452    585  CUpot      
     CUbase    4946   5571  CUbase     
      ODpot     809  -7906  ODpot      
     ODbase    5589  14061  ODbase     
      maxRH      99     99  maxRH      
       CAPE     629      4  CAPE       
    Temp@2m    71.4   70.1  Temp@2m 

Pilots meeting below was well attended. CD gave a good, well, very good briefing including weather. Day cancelled as most, well, everyone understood. Tomorrow, Monday, we most likely will fly. 


LS 1F " HA" going together as we are using the hanger for weighing today. 

In the above picture, left side on top of sheepskin,  new total energy probe covers have just come in to Wings and Wheels. Look really nice to keep your probe in.

All together so let's check the weight. Handicap will be adjusted according for all cub class gliders.

Not all are here yet.

Tomorrow afternoon, Lovington area  below.

DrJack ( miniBLIPSPOT
        Lat,Lon= 33.00,-103.40 (283,145)
 Jun 19 - NAM
 VALID.TIME     18z    21z  VALID.TIME 
 ForecastPd     30h    33h  ForecastPd 
         W*     492    506  W*         
Sfc.Heating     408    380  Sfc.Heating
      Hcrit    6781   7285  Hcrit      
   BL Depth    3978   4653  BL Depth   
     BL Top    7974   8649  BL Top     
Hgt.Variab.     393    520  Hgt.Variab.
  B/S Ratio      10     11  B/S Ratio  
    BL Wind       9      8  BL Wind    
  Direction     057    083  Direction  
 Wind Shear       2     11  Wind Shear 
Max.Converg       3      3  Max.Converg
      CUpot   -1384  -1263  CUpot      
     CUbase    9359   9912  CUbase     
      ODpot   -6284  -5564  ODpot      
     ODbase   14258  14213  ODbase     
      maxRH      72     67  maxRH      
       CAPE       0    238  CAPE       
    Temp@2m    81.6   85.5  Temp@2m    

Best. #711.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Pre Club Class Nationals and Region 9 Friday 6/16/17

After Region 5 Perry I headed back to Alamogordo. Weather has not been user friendly but have had several good flights. So a few days ago I decided to head over to Hobbs a few days early as am flying the Region 9 FAI class contest.  Was thinking that McAdams park might fill up(had only 3 campers here when I pulled in) and the ramp space  could be getting crowded. Hmmmm.........about that ramp the pic....make it big.

This is looking SE. That's Steve doing tow ropes. It's 3 pmish.

 The above is looking North West ish.

 Yes, my trailer and  Goldwing. Nice CU's looking North ish.

Build up looking South. Notice the ramp and grid, it's already been prepped and blown clean.

Sam and Penny Giltner, 5U, are here. Sam's helping Steve do tow ropes. A tow plane might show up from TSA around noon ish tomorrow. Hope so, it looks like a great day. 5U is a motor glider, so he is planning on flying. No bugs....nor  rain....maybe windy in a few days. Tomorrow is hotter than today. Today we have a heat alert only for But it's dry heat...Yada Yada Doooo.

 Looks like we have 44 total between the Club Class and Regional. We have 4 tow planes and a chance for a fifth. I have become the O2 guy as the O2 tanks just were delivered and plumbing has been reinstalled.

Tomorrow's forecast below.....Hobbs is going BIG and  seriously me needs a tow!..........I'll post some more pictures and day's events as long as my friend "The Helium" can control that mad leprechaun.

DrJack ( miniBLIPSPOT
        Lat,Lon= 33.10,-103.41 (283,145)
 Jun 17 - NAM
 VALID.TIME     18z    21z  VALID.TIME 
 ForecastPd     24h    27h  ForecastPd 
         W*     730    729  W*         
Sfc.Heating     311    294  Sfc.Heating
      Hcrit   16777  17465  Hcrit      
   BL Depth   16480  17372  BL Depth   
     BL Top   20476  21368  BL Top     
Hgt.Variab.    1856   2006  Hgt.Variab.
  B/S Ratio      16     14  B/S Ratio  
    BL Wind       8      9  BL Wind    
  Direction     306    282  Direction  
 Wind Shear      10      2  Wind Shear 
Max.Converg      -5      3  Max.Converg
      CUpot     364   -351  CUpot      
     CUbase   20113  21720  CUbase     
      ODpot   -4790  -4828  ODpot      
     ODbase   25266  26196  ODbase     
      maxRH      48     45  maxRH      
       CAPE       0      0  CAPE       
    Temp@2m   102.3  105.1  Temp@2m    

Best. Tom #711. 

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 saying 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 overcome when flying against a group of top folks. In an 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 uses 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 to 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 you're starting with a tailwind 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 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 an 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 measured 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 an 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.... cupcake.

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 is challenging and enjoyable. Both are a good test of skill/judgment 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 an 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. Methinks 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 cupcake!

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 an ice cube 3 days ago and it still hasn't come da dew. Or you might be a red neck if you slip and fall but manage to save your beer.

We didn't fly today. Right now headed our way are thunder, lightning, 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 overfly 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" da dew.

Asked about the weather for tomorrow and the CD responds "Tomorrow is Wednesday".  The clubhouse 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 an 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.

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. The 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 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)'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.