By Jeff Struthers
One would assume that this being June in San Diego, the weather would not favor a glider competition. With overcast skies, a south-west wind of six mph and 67degree temperatures, nine pilots launched at the 10:00 a.m. start.
Arthur Markiewicz flying a nicely balanced Radian had a flight time of 7:12 with a 30-point landing. Scott Vance came in second with a flight of 5:54 and a 20-point landing. Eric Bird was third with a flight of 5:39. Alex Sutton picked up a 20-point landing and Neil Zhu had a 10-point landing. Not bad, considering the gloomy sky.
On second launch, pilots again found the lift with Arthur having the long flight at 9:55 plus a 20-point landing. Scott had a flight of 7:14 with a 10-point landing. Eric came in at 6:54, also with a 20-point landing. Alex Sutton and Jon Graber both picked up 20-point landings, and Stephen Treger had a 10-point landing. I’ll point out that Alex had a flight of 6:20 minutes and five other pilot flight times were at least five minutes long. So, the lift was there, we thought.
Third launch took place two minutes after Arthur landed and flight conditions had dramatically changed. Alex had the long flight at 4:20 with a 30-point landing. Scott came in second at 4:17 with a 20-point landing. Eric came was third at 3:31, also with a 20-point landing. Stephen and I both had a 20-point landing. There was no clear understanding of why the lift conditions so quickly disappeared, perhaps the wind.
Fourth and final launch was into pretty much the same conditions. Arthur had the longest flight at 6:34 with a 20-point landing. Scott came in second at 4:31 with a 30-point landing and I came in third with a 3:58 flight time and a 10-point landing. Neil, Stephen and George Sullivan all had 30-point landings.
Landing in the target circles is certainly a way to pick up extra points when the lift gets hard to find. So, congrats to the pilots who manage to land their aircraft in the circles at the end of each flight.
First place winner for the day goes to Arthur Markiewicz who earned 235 points. Second place goes to Scott Vance at 214 points and Alex Sutton came in third at 186 total points. Nice flying guys!
Thanks to Frank Sutton for taking such great pictures of the event.
In closing I want to remind both glider and powered pilots to be aware of full-scale aircraft crossing through our flight area. The FAA is the boss of our airspace and will take it away if they see us as a threat to aviation. Just the way it is.
The Electroglide Competition will now have a spotter to warn of any approaching aircraft. This person will order all aircraft to quickly descend and land on the runway. We will then restart that launch when the airspace is clear.
Next Electroglide is scheduled for July 20th at 10:00 a.m.
See you there,