The final Electroglide of 2019 happened last Saturday, and it could not have happened on a better day. The sky was a solid blue, wind was calm and the was lift just solid fun.
Nine pilots sent their aircraft aloft at the first launch shortly after 10:00 a.m., three open class gliders and six Radians.
The lift must have been still building over Sea World because all the flight times were somewhat short. Bob Stinson, flying a Conscendo in the open class, had the longest flight at 4:04 with a 20-point landing. Alex Sutton was second with a flight lasting 3:35, also with a 20-point landing. Eric Byrd came in third at 3:12 with a 20-point landing. Scott Vance picked up a 30-point landing. All the rest of the flight times were below three minutes.
All of the fun started two minutes later with the second launch. Most pilots headed west and found the lift just beyond the western edge of our runway. It was a strong lift and the flight times jumped. Stephen Treger, flying an Easy Glider, had the longest flight at 9:45 and picked up a 30-point landing, which Stephen noted as a personal best. Eric, flying a Radian, was second at 8:55, with a 20-point landing and Scott came in third at 8:21, also picking up a 20-point landing. Bob scored a 30-point landing, Alex had a 20-point and I had a 10-point landing. Most of the other flight times were in the six-minute range, confirming a big change in the flight conditions.
For the third launch, again pilots headed west. Now remember, we only have 20 seconds of motor run time. That is not much time to get your glider up high enough to find good lift, let alone to where you think the lift is located.
This time, the lift was easy to find. It stretched from the field’s driveway just west of our runway, to above the palm tree line. The lift seemed to start around 250-300 feet, and it was quite strong. Like one large block of rising air.
Both Scott and I have altimeters in our Radians and we quickly found our aircraft flying through 500 feet. This was crazy fun; it was hard to keep our aircraft below 400 feet.
Flight times were all above eight minutes with the longest flight recorded by Jon Graber flying a Radian. He almost landed just before time expired at 10 minutes, but was forced to abort his landing to avoid people on the field. As a result, his time came in at 10:15, and could not be counted. We’re so sorry about that, Jon, and we thank you for being such a good sport.
Stephen had the next longest scoring flight at 9:40. Alex came in after that at 9:20 plus a 30-point landing. Scott came back at 9:15, also picking up a 30-point landing. Bob and Dennis LaBerge both had 30-point landings.
I’ll also point out that Bob flew the shortest time and earned the Lucky Dog award flying a Conscendo. His flight time was at 8 minutes, 15 seconds. Yeah, there was lots of lift!
The fourth and final launch was pretty much into the same conditions. The wind was now starting to pick up, but the lift was still there. Stephen beat his second launch flight time by six seconds, coming back at 9:51 and scoring a 10-point landing. Jon came in second at 9:40 and picked up a 20-point landing. Alex was third with a flight of 9:20 plus a landing worth 30-points. Neil Zhu also earned a 30-point landing. Bob, Dennis and I all had 20-point landings. Scott also picked a 10-point landing.
Winner for the day? Bob Stinson, flying in the open class scored the most points overall at 319. Second place in the open class goes to Stephen Treger at 236 total points. Neil Zhu came in third at 148 points.
In the Radian class, first place goes to Alex Sutton at 278 points. Second place was earned by Scott Vance at 269 points. Third place goes to at 184 points.
It was a very fun day to close out the Electroglide season for 2019. We will resume the Electroglide on January 18th, 2020.
We also had a prize drawing for all the Electroglide pilots and a trophy ceremony for the total point winners this year.
In the open Class, first place went to Stephen Treger with 781 total points. Second place went to Bob Stinson at 466 total points and third place was earned by Vince Gonsowski at 125 points.
In the Radian Class, first place went to Scott Vance with 1757 total points. Second place went to Arthur Markiewicz with 1439 points and third place was earned by Dennis LaBerge with 1144 points.
A Special thanks goes to Frank Sutton for being our photographer this year.
I would like to close with a request. There are several club members who fly gliders other than the Radian. Perhaps those folks may feel that they can’t compete against the float of a Radian or don’t want to buy an airplane just for competing in the Electroglide.
On this last Electroglide, Bob Stinson proved Park Zone’s Conscendo is a competitive glider. This is also a full house aircraft that can do stunts and general flying. So, if you have a non-Radian Glider, come fly in the open class next year. Like all the club’s contests, it’s about fun and honing your skills as a pilot.
Next Electroglide will be January 18th, 2020. First launch will be at 10:00.
See you there,