The field was a tad mushy (like a mud bog at the east end) So the landing marker was put a bit further east than usual. Don was out marking the landing zone early with our BRAND NEW chalk machine, dedicated to ELECTROGLIDE, and we marked the runway with the usual bulls-eye. Don also added straight bars to resemble shuffleboard style scoring as we were planning on giving it a try. During this test of the bar line scoring, it was nice to see everyone quickly adapting to it, but it became evident right away that there are some sneaky advantages to shuffleboard style scoring if you come in cross runway. During the day, the wind went from near zero, to about 2 mph right from the south. This allowed a very slow approach directly towards the pilots from the north, crossing the runway at 90 degrees. So, if you landed this way, you could line up on on the 30 points bar, and slide clearly across the runway, never leaving the 30 point zone. Cross runway landings have a definite advantage without a fixed “Entry Point” or “Insertion Point”. In summary, using shuffleboard style scoring is great when there is wind in the direction right down the runway, but in light or cross wind situations, the new style advocates landing directly into the direction of the pits. The other option of making a mandated insertion point, starts to sound too much like more unnecessary rules. On that merit alone, I’d suggest we do not use shuffleboard style scoring again. It was a nice try, a neat change to check out, but its not a good idea to reward cross runway landings by giving that advantage. There was some discussion about maybe making 2 landing zones, but unless we have 2 scorekeepers/landing judges, it becomes hard to keep track of. I think we just continually make the effort to hustle out and retrieve your glider once you land to clear the zone as quickly as possible to avoid collision. I think a solid, good faith effort to clear the LZ is all we need.
We also tried the electronic launch system for the first time, and I got several comments of appreciation afterward. It seemed it was loud enough without being too loud and everyone could hear the instructions well enough. Although no one commented on the big error in the countdown (which I already fixed) but during the first sortie, Richard told me there was an error in the countdown. I didn’t hear it, nor believe him, so I asked him to pay close attention during launch 2. Sure enough, he said it made the error right after 4 minutes. Instead of going down to 5 minutes left, it went up to 6 minutes. The error was only at the 4 minute mark, and it was AUDIO only. The time frames, voice queues (other than that one) and total flight times were correct.
We had a total of 9 pilots, one Easy Star, 2 open class ships and the remainders were Radians. On the first launch, there was a collision with the Easy Star and a Radian that took the EZ* out for the day. Slightly later in the morning, the Godfather of the Glide, Don WImple took his eyes off his Radian for just long enough to loose it. We searched the field, going further east than Don thought, and I found it floating out right in the middle of the cove, sitting as pretty as a float plane, fully intact. With the help of a boater, Don was able to get it back pretty quickly. Don commented he has some electronics and will be ready for next month. We were then down to 7 pilots. Of those 7, only 5 were Radians…… So that means only 2 pilots didn’t make the podium in Radian class. I’ll spare their grief and not single them out here! Myself and Jim Shelton were the only open class ships. Jim Shelton had a couple of zeros that some shorter flight times allowed me to beat his Omega with my Easy Glider. On my first launch, my battery plug was not letting amps through, so after a pull and a re-plug I had power. Launching, I only got 5 seconds of power before the cutoff and landed @ 1:24. Don Wemple also lost his canopy, which is why he took his eyes off his glider.
You can see the first launch thanks to Jim Shelton’s video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leqq0Tq4uQg
Also, if anyone has any photos of Electroglide, please send them to me!
Some pilots left without giving me their scoresheets. Please guys, if you participate, complete the form and turn it in. Its not just a matter of getting scored for the win, it also helps me know who was there, who flew what, and how the day went because I SINCERELY APPRECIATE the notes you leave on the sheets such as Norm’s “Throttle Bump” and “Missed Field” on the score sheet. It helps me recall the day for these summary reports. I also appreciate the feedback on the form itself. I revised it, it seems to be working pretty well, but with the example given of leaving comments, I will add a line for your comments each flight. if you have any ideas or suggestions, don’t hesitate to let me know, I hope you all can see I am willing to ‘mix it up’ a bit and try new things while keeping the purity of the electroglide paramount.
As I close this report, I ask that each of you give a few minutes to reflect on the last 10+ years of Electroglide. I have personally only been a part of it for 4 years and I sincerely appreciate the ability to participate, contribute, and keep this event going strong with it’s commanding lead of the longest lasting, perpetual RC Flying event in San Diego. Pure piloting at its absolute finest. No thousand dollar ships, no $100 dollar battery packs, no grossly overpowered acrobatics. Thermal sniffing at the pilot level, there is nothing more relaxing and enjoyable at SEFSD than the ELECTROGLIDE.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, a prosperous and thermal-filled