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topic: Larry Bunner

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Southeast Oklahoma

Fri, Nov 12 2021, 1:02:31 pm MST

Buffalo and Panorama

Larry Bunner|XC|XContest

https://lbunner.blogspot.com/2021/11/1-1-1-1-microsoftinternetexplorer4-0-2.html

The straight line distance from Panorama to Connerville was 102 miles. The international flight tracking contest, XContest factored in the huge dog leg and credited me with ~120 miles. Time in the air was 5hrs 20 min. This day ended up exceeding my expectations 100 fold and wouldn't have happened without Greg volunteering at the last minute to drive (being not fully aware of what he got himself into).

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Listening to the voices

Mon, Nov 1 2021, 11:50:09 am MDT

A statistical approach?

Attila Bertok|Flytec 6005|Garmin GPS|Larry Bunner|Nathan Wreyford|radio

Nathan Wreyford «nathan.wreyford» writes:

As a constant student of group decision making, sports psychology, and statistics, I learned a lot on this flying camp. In the planning of the week and during the week, there was definitely a bit of the Abilene Paradox at work. It is one of my favorites. Often described as a problem of agreement management rather than conflict management. Conflict management is tough. Agreement management, tougher.

I need to figure how to make better use if any of a radio. I find it odd there aren't more people who would rather ditch the distraction. For me, I loathe them for many reasons:

They rarely work for everyone in the group.

They encourage the group to change task. Safety decisions are personal. The decision to change task becomes too easy when it gets to be a grind.

They encourage people to not make a task, thinking "we can talk about it later."

Distraction. I thoroughly believe in my internal algorithm for finding and using lift. I like other pilots as data points, but not much else. I fear someone "helping" me find a climb. It is also that I do not understand my internal algorithm for choosing a direction, a search pattern, etc. I only know that it produces better than average results. Statistics are at the root of my operations in the sky as they link observation with the ability to gather evidence and make decisions. At this stage in flying, much of that is basal ganglia operation rather than frontal cortex but I still like to keep as much frontal cortex free as possible.

Having said all of that, I do like getting real time data that can only come from a radio. Often, I call my driver and ask for the positions of others.

Everyone has different approaches for strategy and instruments. I find that interesting. I am always amazed at the data Rich has available to him while flying - sectionals, airports, landable LZ's. Then you have others like Attila Bertok who dominated Big Spring with a 6005 and a Garmin.

Larry Bunner responds:

Regarding radio: It should be used to improve results. There aren’t many who use it well. My mantra on radios is to keep it very simple; location, altitude, climb rate and cross track. When pilots have their communications protocol worked out the overall speed goes up.

I must say that when you and I flew up toward Batesville and we met briefly before I got LZ suck, radio talk would have been beneficial. We were together for a ways out of the airport and then got separated visually anyway. My last climb prior to heading to the cloud you were under was the strongest and highest altitude all day for me. If we could have communicated I am confident we would have picked a good line together.

The advantage obviously comes in maximizing the climb rate. Say we both enter under a cloud separated by 500 meters. I hit 300fpm and call it out. You call 400fpm. Now I decide whether to come to you or stay put but constantly visually monitor your progress. You then report 500fpm. Bam I’m coming to you! We top out together and head on glide to the next cloud but separate by maybe 0.5 - 1 km to maximize our chances on getting the next strong climb.

You are slightly ahead when I hit a ripper out in the blue. I call to you and you come back where we top out quickly and head out to the next cloud again only much higher now. We did do this to some extent on this flight but it was very inefficient. It is somewhat of an art (learning curve) to get it down. But it is well worth the time investment.

In regard to radios being distraction, this does happen but for me I just shut out when things get dicey or I ask for some silence.

Krys' Drogue Incident 8-15-21

New and untested chute

Thu, Oct 7 2021, 10:43:50 pm MDT

bridle|drogue|Greg Dinauer|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|Moyes RX|triangle

Larry Bunner reports:

On 8-15-21 Krys Grzyb and Greg Dinauer set an 83km triangle task from Twin Oaks airport in Whitewater, WI east to East Troy, northwest to McDermott airport and then southwest back to Twin Oaks. Greg aborted the task early and flew back to the airport. Krys was doing well getting over 5200’agl on nine climbs. He tagged the first two turn-points and was headed back to the airport.

To this point he had been in the air for 2hr 15min of which over 1½ hours was above 4200’. The winds were 5-9mph from the southeast. Sustained climbs over 1000’ were averaging about 350fpm with one climb averaging 770fpm. He found a thermal just past the last turnpoint 18km out and climbed 300 feet to ~4400’. He needed about a 12:1 glide to get back with a crossing tail wind. He confidently left the last climb knowing he could make it and even if he hit increased sink, he would hit a thermal soon enough.

He went on a long glide sinking over 300fpm and was soon down below 1000’. He selected a narrow field of grass along a farm for his LZ. Approaching from the southeast at 500’ he unzipped the drogue pouch and began extracting it from the pocket. His intent was to deploy it near the ground but the drogue slipped away and accidentally deployed.

Immediately the glider turned right and his sink rate increased to 600+fpm. He pulled in on the control bar, the glider began to pitch down and the sink rate increased to over 900fpm (peak). Thinking the drogue malfunctioned, he reached back to grab the bridle but couldn’t find it. He instantly began to correct for the turning dive. With extreme effort the glider rounded out pointing downwind and just above the corn. The glider, slowed somewhat by the corn, whacked in hard but the glider and Kris were miraculously unharmed. Pretty shaken, he called to the airport to get a retrieve; Greg and Chico showed up quickly to help get the equipment out of the corn.

Krys has used a drogue chute for many years. This particular drogue was developed to train runners to improve their speed. It has one long bridle that runs back to the chute shroud lines. These lines are short relative to the length of the bridle. He used this type of chute for several years with the drogue deploying aft of the keel. This spring he purchased a new drogue from a different manufacturer and replaced his old worn one. He did not compare bridle lengths before installation. Up to this flight the new drogue had not been tested/deployed. After landing, Kris discovered that the keel had penetrated between the shroud lines and the drogue was affixed/centered around the keel.

The bridle length was a couple inches shorter than his previous drogue. When the drogue accidentally deployed, the position of the drogue effectively provided a lifting surface on the end of the keel. When the control bar was pulled in to increase sink rate, the forces on the aft end of the keel decreased the nose angle further thus progressively increasing the sink rate (to the point the nose was pointed at the ground). It took close to all of Krys’ strength to push the bar out far enough to overcome the resistance to level out the glider before entering the tall corn.

In the moment, he focused entirely on recovering the glider turn and descent and felt there wasn’t enough time or altitude to throw his main parachute. His Moyes RX 3.5 sprogs were at the factory settings. Corrective actions that Krys has taken or intends to take include: shorten bridle to prevent keel interaction, add an extra line to one of the shrouds and the harness loop to give access to the pilot to deflate the drogue, and adding a drogue release so the drogue can be cut loose from the pilot.

Flying the Dry Line

Thu, Jul 15 2021, 5:57:19 pm MDT

It's almost like flying from Zapata

Makbule Baldik Le Fay|Gregg "Kim" Ludwig|Ken Millard|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann|Makbule Baldik Le Fay|Matt McCleskey|Mick Howard|Nathan Wreyford|Pete Lehmann|record|Ric Caylor|Richard Milla|Rich Reinauer|Robin Hamilton|weather|X Flight 2019

The Texas crew is making a very smart move (if hang gliding and weather history is any guide). Here is what Larry Bunner writes:

We begin our south Texas encampment next Monday. Ten pilots, one super tug and some good weather should put produce some epic miles!

Most of the X Flight crew that flew from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada in 2019 are back together again to fly in an cross country encampment starting July 19. Robin Hamilton and Larry Bunner have put together this event that will be based out of Cotulla, TX for the week. They will be joined by X Flight member Pete Lehmann who has vast experience in the area having flown out of Zapata for many years (which is the site of many world record hang glider flights).

Venerable tow pilot Gregg (Kim) Ludwig will provide the “mountain” that we need on his super trike to get us high over the west Texas plains. Also joining us will be the multi aviation skilled Mick Howard, Rich Reinauer, and Nathan Wreyford all veterans of previous encampments out of Refugio and Falfurrias, TX.

Rounding out our group will be Texas pilots Makbule LeFay, Richard Milla and Matt McCleskey and relative newcomers Ric Caylor and Ken Millard.

Our intentions for the week are to take advantage of the early morning soaring conditions that start over the coastal plains and fly north through The Hill Country of west Texas onto the Edwards Plateau and beyond.

Looks to me like they will be launching out of the Cotulla-La Salle County Airport. This is just slightly north east of our preferred route out of Zapata. It is along interstate 35 which heads from Laredo to San Antonio. It is about 170 km (105 miles) north of Zapata and 110 km north northeast of Laredo.

They won't have to worry about Laredo airspace and they won't have to worry about less than optimal retrieval options between Zapata and Laredo.

From this venue they will have the option of traveling up along highway 83 toward Uvalde, and then along highway 55 toward Rock Springs and beyond into the panhandle.

The issue is will they have the early morning cloud streets (the over running) that you get in Zapata that allows for you to go far and fast while not getting high but always under a very visible set of cloud streets. Of course, this is very dependent on the location of the high pressure, hopefully south of New Orleans.

Larry writes:

The terrain to the north is much friendlier than Zapata. We'll see how well the morning streeting is. All of us will be flying with GPS and linking them to Loctome. This app provides location and altitude among other parameters for our drivers and also allows Loctome subscribers from around the world to watch our flights (ie. all of us in one group). It's like Life360 with altitude, climb rate and distance.

Doesn't look to me that you need to subscribe to follow along: https://loctome.com/live

They have a great opportunity to go far if we look at the long term conditions. Here is the soil moisture:

It looks pretty dry in west Texas all along their route.

https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Soilmst_Monitoring/US/Soilmst/Soilmst.shtml

You can follow the local weather at launch here: https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=28.454&lon=-99.2185#.YO9s90xMGcw Looks to be generally southeast for the next few days, which is what you want. Looked good on Wednesday as I write this.

I'll be following the weather forecasts on https://www.xcskies.com/map.

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Another South Texas Adventure

June 16, 2021, 8:26:02 MDT

Hot and Far

Another South Texas Adventure

Gregg "Kim" Ludwig|Larry Bunner|record|Robin Hamilton|sailplane

Robin Hamilton Robin2808 writes:

We are again heading out to the South Texas flatlands for a week of aerotow fun in July 19th-25th. Gregg Ludwig will bringing along his mega trike and we have eight pilots confirmed for the trip with up to four more slots available to interested pilots.

This year we have several possible start points for “base camp” and will make a selection closer to the time (1-2 weeks), based on weather pattern and ground conditions. Needless to say, barring any tropical weather event, the July cross country conditions in south and west Texas are typically extraordinary with more 300 and 400 mile hang glider flights (and the world records) than anywhere else on the planet.

Start Location Options:

Refugio, best for early start and best overall distance potential, but will be best in SE wind direction and if coastal plain is not too wet. Also a very friendly airport and airport manager.

Junction / Rock Springs, both located on the south end of the Edwards plateau. Junction is known, and friendly and there are many local accommodation options.

Rock Springs (Edwards County airport) is located ~48 miles SW of Junction and offers possibly friendlier terrain immediately downwind. Accommodation likely to be more restricted than Junction especially if annual rodeo is on. It is right on the traditional route for most of the big flights coming up from Zapata.

Hobbs NM is higher elevation and offers an option to fly on the dry air side of the dry line. Typically excellent soaring conditions and track record of successful sailplane and hang gliding competitions and records. Less likely to have significant tailwinds of TX start points and likely needs O2 and arctic clothing for the extended time at altitude.

Decision made based on:

1. If Coastal Plain dry and winds S-SE direction, go to Refugio,

2. If NO for 1 and Edwards Plateau conditions good (e.g. no larger tropical system affecting all of gulf side) move up to Junction or Rock Springs.

3. If NO for 1&2 then move to Hobbs and other side of dryline

If there are pilots out there interested in joining the South Texas adventure (and it always is) July 19th-25th, please contact Robin Hamilton (Robin2808) or Larry Bunner (lbunner).

White Water 250 km FAI Triangle

Fri, Jun 4 2021, 8:26:31 am MDT

More good conditions in the Midwest

James-Donald "Don" "Plummet" Carslaw|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|triangle|Wills Wing T3

Flytec 6030|James-Donald "Don" "Plummet" Carslaw|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|triangle|Wills Wing T3

Larry Bunner writes:

The extraordinarily epic weather continued this week in the upper Midwest with multiple soaring days. On Wednesday high cloudbase (9000’) and light winds warranted a long triangle task. I awoke early to confirm the weather was holding and selected two 250km tasks one of which I extended to 300km in the event the climb rates were exceptionally strong. On my way to Whitewater, WI our longstanding aerotow park that friend Danny Lange operates, I fired off a text to Kris Grzyb about the weather. He responded that he was leaving work to come up and fly.

The top of the lift was predicted to be over 5000’ at 10:00 so the plan was to be ready to takeoff when the cumulus clouds started popping. Kris arrived and we selected a 250km FAI triangle around the city of Madison in a clockwise direction to ensure any high clouds that may arrive from the west later in the day wouldn’t shut the conditions down.

Airspace would be an issue should we have any drift however there was plenty of room on this task to divert should we need to. Danny pulled me and my Wills Wing T3 Team 144 up at 11:11 through a lot of sink before finding lift under a nice cloud to the north. The climb was strong at 430fpm to 7500’, unbelievable for so early in the day. Clouds were lined up to the west toward Lake Koshkonong however the lift near the lake was broken. Better clouds to the northwest resulted in good climbs, one with Kris to over 8200’ right at the edge of a nice street.

The day was shaping up well however the street didn’t work very well for me as I flew under multiple clouds missing the lift and plummeted to 800’ above the ground. A lucky climb over a a farmer on his tractor plowing his field took me to 8000’ at an average climb rate of 424fpm. Whew back in the game again however Kris was long gone.

I continued to plow west under four clouds without a decent climb before managing to get back above 7000’ again at the first turnpoint. It took a long time to get there and I began to doubt whether the task could be finished however the clouds to the northeast looked powerful with dark flat bottoms indicating strong lift. The next climb was to cloudbase at 8700’ and I hit 8 in a row topping out near base in each thermal with the best average climb at 702fpm and top altitude over 9200’. And with that I was at the second turnpoint of Gilbert in just over 2 hours.

On this leg I was beginning to feel fatigued so gorped down a Clif Shot Espresso energy gel, chased it with some water and within minutes the tenseness in my lower back was gone.

Radio problems kept Kris and I separated most of the flight. I could hear him sporadically (and he, me) however the communications were garbled with a lot of static; not really discernible. It was tough to leave the line of clouds that led to Gilbert however the last leg of the flight was 78km back to Whitewater to the southeast. Unfortunately there was big blue hole on the course line with the only reachable clouds to the south.

It turns out both of us took this path. Flying toward the Madison Airport was a bit daunting as we were staring right down the barrel of the main runway. Thankfully no air traffic was on our flight path. I climbed from 3600’ to 6200’, took a look at the airspace on the 6030 map page and knew the only legal path was to head east. This was a good decision as I topped out at 8500’ and headed southeast where Kris was thermaling under the next cloud. Our contact was only temporary as he left up high and I took another path. We never saw each other again.

The climbs were now suppressed as the day was getting long; 250fpm was the new norm and the lift was super smooth. The cumulus clouds were dissipating rapidly so the visual clues of lift were farther apart and less prominent. South of US Rte 94 I found a thermal in the blue and settled in for a long climb. I relaxed and concentrated on maximizing my climb eventually leaving at 7400’, 20 miles from goal needing a 16:1 glide ratio to make it in.

Heading southeast on a long glide into the blue I was maintaining my numbers but wasn’t confident they would last. Off to the east near Jefferson there were the remnants of the last clouds in the sky so changed direction to get one last climb. Ever so faint wisps of cloud were forming before the clouds in front of me where I eventually found lift, starting at 100fpm and slowly ramping up over the next 15 minutes to 450fpm. I left at 7000’ now needing a 10:1 glide with the 6030 showing that I would arrive at 2000’. Woohoo, I was going to make it.

The final glide was surreal as I flew over familiar territory noting the landmarks beneath with the airport slowly rising in the distance. The roller coaster of emotions from the day were now peaking after the low 800’ save early in the flight to the 1000+fpm peak climb on the second leg to this, the thrill of flying my longest triangle. I was totally stoked. There isn’t anything much better than to set an aggressive goal that is on the edge of being achievable and then going out and making it happen. I touched down at the airport after flying for 7hrs and 56 minutes and over 250km (150 miles). Kris arrived ahead of me and was already celebrating with a fine Polish beer. What an incredible day!

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The US National Team

May 19, 2021, 11:33:21 MDT

The US National Team

Eight spots reserved for the 2021 World Championships

Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|USHPA|US National Team|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

https://ntss.ushpa.aero/ntss1/index.php

Pos Name Points Comp 1 Comp 2 Comp 3 Comp 4
1 Zac Majors 1534 609 PAN2021 482 SCF2018 443 WPN2021
2 Bruce Barmakian 1452 393 PAN2021 385 QA22019 352 WPN2021 322 BSN2019
3 Robin Hamilton 1385 561 SCF2018 467 PAN2021 357 WPN2021
4 Davis Straub 1270 396 SCF2018 338 PAN2021 280 BSN2019 256 WPN2021
5 Pedro L Garcia 1265 496 PAN2021 492 QA22019 277 WPN2021
6 Kevin Carter 1126 445 PAN2021 412 QA12019 269 BSN2019
7 John Simon 1120 437 QA22019 400 PAN2021 283 WPN2021
8 Willy Dydo 1089 377 PAN2021 293 BSN2019 230 WPN2021 189 QA22019
9 Larry Bunner 984 413 QA12019 310 PAN2021 261 WPN2021
10 Gary Anderson 951 315 PAN2021 262 WPN2021 209 BSN2018 165 BSN2019
11 Kevin Dutt 917 497 PAN2021 420 QA22019
12 Phil Bloom 812 420 SCF2018 392 PAN2021
13 Patrick Pannese 669 341 SCF2018 328 WPN2021
14 JD Guillemette 645 264 PAN2021 232 QA12019 149 WPN2021
15 Derrick Turner 634 333 WPN2021 301 BSN2018

I won't be going and pilots are being surveyed right now to see who wants to make up the team.

The Midwest is the Best

Mon, May 17 2021, 3:25:53 pm MDT

Larry and Kzry

dust devil|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|PG|triangle|XC

Larry Bunner «Larry Bunner» writes:

This week in the Midwest we have had just epic flying conditions; actually the best I have ever experienced.

On Tuesday, post frontal conditions provided decent northerly winds (up to 19mph) a solid lapse rate but cool temps (58°F) on the surface and less than 25°F at cloudbase (about 8000'). My brother Rob and I were the only ones to venture to Whitewater, Wisconsin where Danny Lange was waiting to give us a tow. The winds were expected to tail off throughout the day and were blowing a steady 10+ when I launched at 11:40 and pinned off in 400fpm to 5000'.

The second climb was better to 5600'. I was gliding south to Highway 43 when I saw dust devils on the ground already. Clouds were prevalent and lined up in nice long streets in a slight southwesterly direction. I chose to push a little east to ensure I would clear Rockford airspace even if I got low. Not to worry though as the next climb averaged 500fpm to 6700'.

I stayed high for the next two hours thermaling to between 5000' and 7800' with two notable climbs averaging over 900fpm. The best climb was 998fpm which I gained 1200' in three turns.

As I approached the Illinois River I could see high cirrus off to the south. Winds shifted to northeast and the climbs decreased notably with cloudbase now at 6500'.

I began to worry about retrieve as I wanted to get back at a decent time to fly again on Wednesday. The plan was for Rob to fly local and then come and retrieve me. It wasn't a solid plan though because the winds were strong enough up high that I thought he might not be able to stay at Whitewater.

I continued to the SSW under the milky skies getting reasonably good climbs and having no real problems. Approaching Peoria, IL airspace I decided to spiral down from 4500' and landed in Metamora at 248km.

I walked the glider out of the field and called Rob. He said the winds in Whitewater never died off so he decided to go on chase and was only 20 minutes away. Woohoo! he picked me up and we were in my hometown of Byron, IL at 7:40. We checked the weather before retiring and noted climbs to 10000' and L&V winds.

Larry's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:lbunner/11.5.2021/16:41

On Wednesday, we headed out early to meet Kris Grzyb ready for a big triangle. Kris is the best cross country pilot in the area and my good buddy. He already planned out a 204km triangle that I scrambled to get into my instrument. The forecast remained the same and the plan was to fly SE to McHenry IL then WNW to Brodhead, WI and back to Whitewater I mentioned that conditions to the SE didn't look as good but the plan was set. He got the jump on me launching at 11:17 and was gone. We didn't see each other the entire flight. I followed at 11:51.

Conditions were again outstanding with average climbs as high as 765fpm and cloudbase over 9800'. Early on I changed my plan to abandon the task and fly the clouds as the route to the SE had sparse clouds. I flew a southerly line under an excellent cloud street and turned west ~10 km south of Harvard, IL while Kris tagged the first turnpoint and did the same. I had another good line of clouds to the west and zoomed from cloud to cloud staying high.

Northwest of Rockford the clouds began to expand outward and I flew through several small climbs searching for the stronger lift I had been getting. The size of the clouds made zeroing in on the lift more difficult and just short of Durand, IL at 3500' under a big cloud I was getting antsy. Twenty five minutes later I was over 9200' and headed north.

A beautiful powerful looking street was laid out in front of me. All I had to do was connect the dots. Four thermals over 9000' and I was in line to run further north up toward Madison and then come back SE to goal. Clouds looked good toward goal directly as well. Fatigue from the nine hours I had been in the air the last two days won out and I headed back to Whitewater arriving high and struggling to get down.

In the mean time, Kris made the second turnpoint and reached goal before me however continued on north to Jefferson before returning to the airport. My flight was over 190 km and 5½ hours. Kris crushed it with a 243 km FAI triangle and 7 hours. What a day! Many soared at Whitewater this day, Rob managed 3½ hours and topped out over 9000' four times. We all left our gliders set up as Thursday was going to be epic as well.

Larry's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:lbunner/12.5.2021/16:51

Krzysztof Grzyb's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/12.5.2021/16:17

On Thursday, we were all back for more. Conditions were to be light west wind with cloudbase at 11200'. We chose a 250 km triangle around Madison, WI. Kris got off first again and I was not far behind launching at 12:07. Danny pulled me into a thermal right over the training hill on the airport, did one 360 and waved me off.

I climbed straight up at 450 fpm to 8300'. The climbs weren't as strong however the lift was higher. The further northwest we went the winds picked up out of the southwest and the clouds began expanding out again. I had one climb to 10,497' which is the highest I have ever been in the Midwest.

Unfortunately the clouds continued to thicken and eventually shaded out most of the ground. I ended up landing in Arlington north of Madison. Kris continued on toward the second turnpoint but eventually turned back toward Whitewater under the ever thickening skies landing south of Fitchburg. I only managed 2:50 in the air and 90km and Kris went for 173km.

Krzysztof Grzyb's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/13.5.2021/16:47

Rob had another good flight topping out over 10200' on a lengthy flight. The week was over for me as the conditions in Whitewater for Friday were to cloud over early. Kris however had one more vacation day and decided to chase the good conditions to the east.

On Friday, he headed to Napannee, IN to tow with the paragliders. He reports: this time the wind speed was a little stronger between 7000'-9500' than all models show. The average lift speed was slower than days before and significant sink between thermals. Much nicer flying was under huge rolled Cumulus Clouds (less head wind) but damn nasty cold.

Funny thing was when the owner of the house where I landed and two buddies showed up, they came with 1 shot gun and 2 other guns instead of with three beers for thirsty pilot. Thanks to driver John Enrietti for all day companion.

Kris ended up with 153 km and another 6½ hours totaling over 18 hours and 575 km for his three days.

Krzysztof Grzyb's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/14.5.2021/17:00

Due to my decision to return to Whitewater instead of following the street like Kris did I ended up with 528 km for my three days.

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Every Day Since the Competition Ended

May 5, 2021, 12:48:43 pm EDT

Every Day Since the Competition Ended

Maybe it will rain tomorrow

Wilotree Park Nationals 2021

This is what the sky has looked like every day since the Wilotree Park Nationals ended on April 25th:

The cu's started forming at 9:30 AM.

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals »

April 24, 2021, 7:11:15 pm EDT

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals

We don't go that great up wind when it is windy

Dragonfly|Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021

Dragonfly|Larry Bunner|Naviter Blade|PG|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021

Replay of the task: https://airtribune.com/play/5020/2d

On Friday, after a delay to move the start box to the west side of the east/west runway we had the first start window at 3 PM. Launch went smoothly for the open class, but there were further delays for the Sport Class.

I had a galloping tow behind Mick Howard in his 582 2-cycle powered (under powered) Dragonfly and when the rope went completely slack at 1,600' and we both went sideways, him to the right, me to the left, I pulled the release, but the weaklink (200 lbs.) broke at the same time and the bridle went for an unexpected flight into a small pond. We had just been in 400 fpm so it was easy to turn around and start climbing.

Half a dozen pilots were soon at cloud base which was over 4,000'. There were plenty of cu's and they were all working and you just had to be careful about the 11 mph southeast wind and not let it blow you too far outside the 5 km start cylinder. I was able to start at 3:04 PM as I watched the count down on the Naviter Blade and listen to its messages about when to get to the edge of the start window. It seemed to know exactly when to go.

With a strong southeast wind we were racing over the ground at almost 50 mph. There were multiple cu's ahead so little worry about finding lift. The first turnpoint was downwind to Center Hill.

With everyone in the first thermal along the course line we were going up at 400 fpm on average to 4,900'. After touching the turnpoint at Center Hill we headed north toward the 15 km turnpoint cylinder around Dallas, a waypoint at the northwest corner of the Villages. The waypoint had been expanded to account for the delay at launch.

It was 12 km to the next thermal from the previous one with a 17:1 glide ratio. A 300 fpm climb rate and then the next thermal just northwest of the prisons and south of the Turnpike at 400+ fpm to 4,900' before heading for and tagging the Dallas turnpoint just on the south edge of the Villages.

Now we had to turn into the wind and things did not go as well. The lift miraculously got much weaker with a climb of 100 fpm and then a little less than 200 fpm over a lake on the north side of the Turnpike with a 13 mph east southeast wind. About a dozen pilots were all in the lead gaggle just north of the Turnpike.

I left the thermal at 3,800'. We were getting to almost 5,000' just a few minutes earlier. Now we weren't getting as high as we would like heading into the east southeast wind. The half dozen gliders above me headed a little more southerly as I headed right down the Turnpike trying to get upwind of the course line back to Wilotree Park. Zac was heading that way also as there were good looking clouds in that direction and a lot fewer clouds south of the Turnpike.

The back and forth had begun. I found 230 fpm 4 km to the east and climbed to 4,300', then went east again and climbed to 4,500' at 150fpm with Larry Bunner. Heading toward the better looking clouds north of the Turnpike I was able to gain a total of 8 km to the east and get upwind of the course line but I was now down to 2,700' and not finding anything.

I saw Larry turning back behind me and turned around to see if I could get up in that thermal. That cost me half the distance I had gained and I found only weak lift that I'm able to use to climb to 2,500'. Larry got to 4,000' and flew to the south southeast landing soon there after.

I hooked up with Maria Garcia in the light lift and after topping out we headed south east toward the east west road for a safe landing with good retrieval. Down to 900' AGL we found a little spot of lift and started turning in an extremely pleasant climb. We climbed at 80 fpm and then I noticed Tavo Gutierrez circling below us just south of the highway and went over to him to find almost 200 fpm. I climbed to 3,800' over the prisons losing 4 km.

Topping out I headed east down the highway toward highway 48 and along the Turnpike toward a good looking cloud but found a net pf no gain at 1,000'. I should have just kept going, but I turned around and landed in a friendly field to the west. The lift was negative on the upwind side of the cloud. Retrieval from the Turnpike was not as easy as from the surface roads, but it was possible.

Pilots were scattered about in this area except for Bruce, Zac and Robin who while also had to do back and forths were able to get further south and a lot closer to Wilotree Park.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/23.4.2021/18:23

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2768418

Discuss "2021 Wilotree Park Nationals" at the Oz Report forum   link»

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals »

April 24, 2021, 9:16:41 EDT

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals

Results from Task 3

competition|Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Larry Bunner|Moyes Litespeed RX|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Replay of the task: https://airtribune.com/play/5020/2d

Results: https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/results

Task 3:

# Name Glider Distance (km) Total
1 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 75.84 916.8
2 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 71.22 880.3
3 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 69.74 863.9
4 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 58.18 752.1
5 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T3 144 Team 57.76 744.5
6 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T2C 56.55 734.5
7 Alan Arcos Icaro Laminar 13.7 55.36 719.6
8 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 54.59 706.8
9 Gary Anderson Wills Wing T3 144 53.99 697.3
10 Raul Guerra ICARO Laminar 14,1 52.77 674.1

Cumulative:

Name Glider Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 2306
2 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 2146
3 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 2032
4 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 2013
5 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T2C 1940
6 Derreck Turner Moyes RX 4 1929
7 Alan Arcos Icaro Laminar 13.7 1851
8 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 1664
9 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 1629
10 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 1618

From Zero up to Hero

April 22, 2021, 11:14:32 pm EDT

From Zero up to Hero

Fastest for the day

Larry Bunner|PG

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG

Luck often plays a substantial part of how the competition day goes. Today it played a major part for me. I proposed a task in the task committee meeting which was then substantially changed but still had the same goal near the Gilbert airfield in Winter Haven to our south. Given the forecast for a poor blue day with light lift, a seven mile per hour northeast wind, and a low TOL, the task was shorter than the day before (when only three pilots made goal). This was my first piece of luck.

In the pilot briefing I suggested that we change the start radius to 5 km from 3 km because of the "lake effect" from Lake Apopka. This was agreed to. My second bit of luck.

I was last off because I got a zero for the first task having left the 3 km start cylinder way too early. I was just looking for a safe place to land after I put myself in a position to be unable to make it back to Wilotree Park for a relaunch un(like almost all the open class pilots were able to do). But, I was happy to be last because given how many relights there were on Wednesday, and how poor the day looked. I wanted to be reassured by all the pilots in the air, that we could stay up.

We moved the launch back to 2 PM because the TOL at 1 PM was forecasted to be 2,200'. It wasn't forecasted to be much better at 2 PM, 2,400'. We would open the task at 3 PM, when the forecast said that we would get to 3,000'. So we just had to stay up for an hour (if you launched first) at low elevation until 3 PM.

I launched at 2:30 PM behind Greg Ludwig on his powerful trike. After losing 400' I was able to climb to 3,200' which seemed to be the TOL. I quickly lost all that was gained and it looked like a day very much like the previous day where it was hard to get high near the flight park. Also I was now in gaggles that were just terrible with pilots who do not know how to put their glider up on a tip. This made the lift very broken up as you could only be in the core for brief moments.

Finally I had had enough after losing 300' in the gaggle where I had been able to get to 2,800' and headed south southwest toward a much smaller gaggle of Sport Class pilots. It turned out that they were circling just at the edge of the start cylinder, my next bit of luck.

Unlike the forecast (see previous article) the winds were very light, 2 mph. We would have had an out and return task if we had known that the winds would be so light. But now they very much served my purposes because I was able to climb in the gaggle near the edge of the start cylinder without being blown way south of it.

I got to the gaggle low, 1,800', which made it so I didn't have anyone to contend with in the gaggle (more luck) and 30 seconds before the second start window opened. I could see all the pilots high above me take off for the second start. I was too low to join them and had to wait fifteen minutes (and not twenty) for the third start time. A next bit of luck.

The thermal continued for fifteen minutes as I drifted to the south. First 160 fpm, then 44 fpm as I slowly climbed to 3,400'. The main benefit was that I could just keep turning and not lose altitude and with the light winds I could stay close enough to the start cylinder to make it back (against a light wind) to get the 3:30 start time. Perfect luck.

I flew back, took the start time at 3:31, down to 2,800' and flew back to join a gaggle of Sport Class pilots 2 km south of the start cylinder. Now in the task committee we wanted to have the Sport Class pilots fly to their goal (3 km cylinder around Dean Still) with the Open Class pilots. Now I was using them to provide markers down the course line (and I was going to stay very close to the course line unlike on previous days). This was an additional very important bit of luck.

I was able to jump from Sport Class gaggle to Sport Class gaggle, for a total of four gaggles including the first one at the edge of the start cylinder. The next gaggle after those four to the south southeast (south of 474) was an Open Class gaggle and there was Larry Bunner who I was on the radio with. I had caught a bunch of the pilots who had started fifteen minutes before me.

The forecast told us that things would improve as the afternoon progressed. And things were improving. Better lift and I climbed in this gaggle to 3,700'.

Now it was jump from marker or gaggle to the next one and race to catch up with the guys ahead. Larry and I were working well together and when we got in a thermal at about the same altitude we did not do these stupid flat turns, but put our gliders up on their tips and spiraled up like actual pilots. So refreshing, like when we were flying alone together the week before the first competition.

We found our last thermal just north of Fantasy of Flight north of I4 and were able to get to almost 3,300'. When the lift slowed down it was time to go to chase John Simon down who had been with us on the last few thermals and had left early on this one. It was almost 11 kilometers to goal and I recall reading on my instruments that it was 13:1. We head about a 4 mph tail wind.

Seven kilometers into the glide I was getting quite nervous down to 1,600'. I was passing up possible safe landing areas and it didn't look like there was any ahead. I was about to go over a small lake.

Down to 1,150' AGL on the north side of the lake I could see the swamp ahead but there seemed to be an open area between new houses just on the east side of the lake if needed. Coming to the south side of the small swamp (trees) on the south side of the lake I was down to 650' AGL. Then I hit 100 fpm lift. A real piece of luck.

I wasn't aware that I was within half a kilometer of the 3 km goal radius as I just couldn't read my instruments in the glare of the sun low on the horizon.

I was able to climb 400' which made it very easy to get to the preferred landing fields. It was also a waste of time because I probably could have made it there from 650' AGL. At times like that your instinct for survival is screaming at you to be as safe as you can be.

Nice fields at goal. Lots of pilots showed up.

Given all the luck I had and the fact that I was able to catch a good number of the pilots who started 15 minutes before me I was able to fly the fastest to goal. I therefore got the most time points. Because I started 15 minutes behind I got less leading points and less arrival points so I ended up in sixth place.

From bad luck (and poor decision making) to good luck and better decision making given the hands I was dealt.

It's all here: https://airtribune.com/play/5018/2d

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/22.4.2021/18:31

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2767333

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2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 7 »

April 17, 2021, 5:54:36 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 7

Cancelled

The southwest wind was too strong. If the wind direction had been south, southeast, south southeast, west, east, northeast, northwest, or north, the speed would have been fine. The results at the end of day 6 are the final results.

Discuss "2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 7" at the Oz Report forum   link»

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6 »

April 16, 2021, 8:30:48 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6

Results

competition|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

# Id Name Glider Time Distance (km) Total
1 948 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:56:52 57.74 342.0
2 973 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:57:35 57.74 334.7
3 979 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 02:57:36 57.74 332.4
4 978 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:58:22 57.74 329.8
5 974 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 23.20 168.4
6 985 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 19.23 152.8
7 957 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T3 136 12.96 132.0
8 969 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 12.90 131.8
9 946 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 12.68 130.8
10 967 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.11 127.9

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6 »

April 16, 2021, 7:43:02 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6

Blue Sky|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Wallaby Ranch

You know, every now and then
I think you might like to hear something from us
Nice and easy but there's just one thing
You see, we never ever do nothing nice and easy
We always do it nice and rough

The forecast:

NWS:

Today

A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Hourly in the afternoon: 6 mph west wind at 1 pm increasing to 8 mph west northwest by 4 PM, cloud cover 64%. Hourly and daily forecast do not agree on high temperature with hourly displaying 78 degrees.

RAP

1 PM:

Southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 6 mph, 2000' 8 mph , 4,000' 14 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 5,100'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 600 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4,000'

B/S at 1 PM: 8.0

4 PM:

West southwest surface wind at 4 PM: 10 mph, 2,000' 14 mh, 4,000' 14 mph

TOL at 4 PM: 6,100'

Updraft Velocity at 4 PM: 620 fpm

CB at 4 PM: 5,100'

B/S at 4 PM: 7.0

This is what it looks like most of the day:

Every once in a while it will open up and there will be sunshine on the ground., Cu's form under the high level clouds and there are spots of rain here and there.

We've got a hell of a task:

Wilotree Park to Gore and then back to Wallaby Ranch.

There is some reluctance to launch given how dark the sky looks at times. They delay the launch by 40 minutes so it's not until 1:20 that pilots start launching. Kasey pulls me up at 1:40 above everyone else but two pilots at 2,100' (2,000' AGL). I'm right under those two pilots that are off by themselves and under a weak looking cu. Everything looks weak under the high level clouds.

I climb to 2,800' but fifteen minutes after I pinned off I'm back down to where I started. Despite unrelenting circling and joisting with one pilot after another, half an hour after I launched I'm down to 800' AGL at the south end of the field. I climb at 6.6 fpm until I find 160 fpm west of Wilotree Park and climb to 2,200'. I was previously very concerned about how all of us would land at the same time at the park, which it looked like we were going to do. There were many relights.

After a few different thermals and lift at around 130 fpm I'm able to climb to 3,200'. I'm only 2.5 kilometers from Wilotree, but hanging with four or five other pilots downwind to the east.

I follow the pilots I'm near to the southeast to where just outside the 5 km start cylinder they find 144 fpm and I join in. Pilots are landing every where behind us.

It is all dark and shaded to the south along our course line. We get to 2,900' and then the six of us head south into the darkness. For over 6 km we glide and it looks like we are going to land (as two pilots already did) just north of the mines. Down to 900' AGL I spot Zac below us just north of the mines and to our east when he begins to turn. We come over him and start turning in lift that averages 134 fpm. I'm on top of him for at least 5 minutes when I lose my focus for a second and suddenly I'm on the bottom and out of contact. I see the five pilots I was with climb up faster and get away from me.

I head southeast to get under where they have stopped for lift but it takes me nine minutes to get back up to 3,000' and I can no longer see the other pilots.

I'm just east of the mines but in an area where retrieval will not be easy unless I drop straight down. I've got to go south following where they went to get south of highway 474. I head for the best looking patch of cumulus cloud but there is no lift there. I'm down to 1,400' at 474.

South of this east west road there are very limited access possibilities for quite a ways. I feel that I need 3,000' to chance going out south of the highway. I can see to the south that there is blue sky and lots of cumulus clouds that look so much better than anything that we have been flying in., but they are too far away for a pilot who is as low as I am.

I search around near the highway but not finding any lift land in a field just to the north of the road.

The pilots I was with are able to make it to the cu's and then complete the task.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/16.4.2021/17:40

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2763323

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2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 5 »

April 15, 2021, 7:55:32 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 5

Very windy and overcast

Bobby Bailey|competition|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Replay: https://airtribune.com/play/5009/2d

Forecast:

There is a large mass of clouds moving from west to east in the northern Gulf. We saw a bit of this on Wednesday in the morning before the clouds to the north and west disappeared.

NWS:

Thursday

Increasing clouds, with a high near 87. South wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Hourly in the afternoon: 11 mph southwest wind at noon increasing to 15 mph by 5 PM and turning west, cloud cover going from 19% to 50% then 71% at 5 PM

HRRR

1 PM:

Southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 14 mph, 2000' 21 mph, 4000' 22 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 4,800'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 500 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4600'

B/S at 1 PM: 4.3

4 PM:

West southwest surface wind at 4 PM: 13 mph, 4,000' 21 mph

TOL at 4 PM: 3,900'

Updraft Velocity at 4 PM: 400 fpm

CB at 4 PM: 0'

B/S at 4 PM: 1.4

So we expect a windy and gusty day with the upper level clouds coming completely over us, but letting in filter sunlight. With the southwest direction we first look at a task to the northeast but conclude that with the high winds the safety factor finding landable areas would be very narrow. I propose a cross wind task to the north hoping that we will get lighter winds and it will be soarable.

Results: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

Task 4: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5009/day/open-class

# Name Glider Distance Total
1 JD Guillemette Moyes RX3.5 26.72 192.0
2 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 23.65 177.4
3 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 23.67 177.3
4 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 23.59 176.8
5 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 23.54 176.2
6 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 23.12 173.4
7 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 22.75 169.0
8 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 22.40 165.1
9 Austin Marshall Wills Wing T3 154 18.32 122.0
10 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 18.07 120.7

Cumulative: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5009/comp/open-class

# Name Glider Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 2972
2 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 2936
3 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 2916
4 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 2845
5 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 2844
6 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 2599
6 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 2599
8 Kevin Carter Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 2541
9 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 2283
10 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 2220

There was no Sport Class task today given the high winds forecasted.

The winds at launch were within our pre assigned parameters (20 mph south and 10 mph west - so 15 mph southwest). The safety and meet director were monitoring the winds at launch and their criteria was 10 - 15 mph with no gusts over 5 mph. That's what they got.

The high level clouds from the north came near us but there were plenty of cu's underneath them. When I got pulled up after not choosing to go in the first round I pinned off in lift at 1,500' behind Bobby Bailey. I quickly climbed to 5,200' at 335 fpm despite all the upper level clouds. I was drifting at 12 mph out of the west southwest. I wanted to get to the west side of the 5 km start cylinder, which was not all that easy to do.

Heading west and then climbing back to 5,000' it was time to go to get the first start clock.

After the task opened we all raced to the northwest and found lift west of Groveland again back to 5,000'. I followed three pilots ahead and over me and found 350 fpm to 4,500' behind them and they had to come back to me.

As we went further north under the upper level clouds, but still toward cumulus clouds, the lift deteriorated. As we came over Grass Root airfield at a little less than 3,000' we spotted Zac Majors circling low on the north side. We climbed at 140 fpm to 3,300'. Zac headed off to the northwest low and we all lost track of him, except maybe Austin.

I'm only able to climb to 2,800' in the next thermal at 124 fpm. Others get higher. We are all being pushed to the east northeast and there is a small gaggle northeast of the Turnpike. I don't find any lift under them at 2,600' and head west toward the open fields on the south side of the Turnpike and near highway33. I note that the wind is 22 mph out of the west.

Making very slow progress against the head wind, down to 1,200', and not being able to make it to my preferred field to the west I turn east to be able to land near highway 27. There is a huge field there and I come in at 500' and stay prone and on the base tube all the way to the ground not wanting to get turned. My ground speed is less than 5 mph when I land in a nice soft field. It is very turbulent.

Kevin Carter measures 30 mph when he is coming in to land, hits 1,500 fpm low, and just keeps heading into the wind and landing. J.D. gets out ahead of everyone and wins the day.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/15.4.2021/17:34

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2762660

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 4 »

April 14, 2021, 10:24:21 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 4

Task 3, more blue then a few cu's

Attila Plasch|competition|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Phill Bloom|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tim Delaney|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

The forecast:

NWS:

Wednesday

Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Light southeast wind becoming south southeast 5 to 10 mph in the morning.

Hourly in the afternoon: 7 mph south southeast wind , 38% decreasing to 23% cloud cover

RAP

1 PM:

South surface wind at 1 PM: 6 mph, 2000' 7 mph, 4000' south southeast 6 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 4,400'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 580 fpm

CB at 1 PM: none (with south southeast there is almost always cu's)

B/S at 1 PM: 9.7

4 PM:

South surface wind at 4 PM: 6 mph, 6,000' 6 mph

TOL at 4 PM: 7,700'

Updraft Velocity at 4 PM: 720 fpm

CB at 4 PM: 7,500'

B/S at 4 PM: 10.0

The Task:

Quest 3 km
Turn33 3 km (Intersection of the Florida Turnpike and highway 33)
T33D 3 km (Intersection of Dean Still Road and highway 33)
Quest 400 m

Results for Open and Sport classes: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

Task 3 Open: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5007/day/open-class

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:24:22 991.2
2 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 02:24:24 981.9
3 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 02:24:32 973.1
4 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 02:25:03 963.5
5 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 02:25:27 958.0
6 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:26:24 931.8
7 Kevin Carter Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:27:05 920.9
8 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 02:30:02 900.3
9 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:30:47 898.2
10 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 02:39:58 838.2

Cumulative:

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 928.2 980.4 898.2 2807
2 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 822.3 954.9 981.9 2759
3 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 806.6 941.6 991.2 2739
4 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 815.0 945.7 973.1 2734
5 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 779.4 991.7 900.3 2671
6 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 650.1 961.5 963.5 2575
7 Kevin Carter Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 655.4 865.4 920.9 2442
8 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 754.7 832.7 834.4 2422
9 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 634.3 580.8 958.0 2173
10 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T3 136 787.1 503.1 804.5 2095

Sport Cumulative:

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 828.3 954.8 504.2 2287
2 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 624.4 598.6 986.6 2210
3 Douglas Hale Moyes Gecko 328.3 581.1 772.6 1682
4 Ric Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 137.6 989.3 475.5 1602
5 Abishek Sethi Wills Wing U2 145 563.4 547.4 462.5 1573
6 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 624.4 533.6 411.9 1570
7 Attila Plasch WillsWing U2 285.5 479.2 704.7 1469
8 Soham Mehta Wills Wing U2 145 327.7 581.6 524.1 1433
9 Richard Sibley WW T2 144 450.6 361.3 350.6 1163
10 David Hayner Wills Wing Sport 3 155 247.0 438.6 475.1 1161

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 3 »

April 13, 2021, 10:16:54 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 3

Task 2, in the blue

competition|Filippo Oppici|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Live and Replay Open task: https://airtribune.com/play/5004/2d

Results for Open and Sport classes:

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

Task 2 Open: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5004/day/open-class

# Name Glider Time Distance (km) Total
1 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 02:55:37 90.70 991.7
2 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:56:25 90.70 980.4
3 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 02:56:36 90.70 961.5
4 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 02:56:48 90.70 954.9
5 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 02:56:55 90.70 945.7
6 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:56:58 90.70 941.6
7 Kevin Carter Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 03:15:26 90.70 865.4
8 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 03:22:46 90.70 832.7
9 Gary Anderson Wills Wing T3 144 85.53 591.0
10 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 82.16 586.8

A blue day with a north wind and a mixed forecast that made us unsure if we would have a lot of lift or just a little. Later the day turned out very well with climbs to 6,000' and sustained 500 fpm.

The Sky Wants Us to Return

Mon, Apr 12 2021, 11:10:54 pm EDT

The forecast was an utter failure

competition|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

We were confronted with a forecast that said we were going to get to only 3,000' and have really light lift. None of that was true but it made life difficult for the task committee. None the less with Larry Bunner's guidance we called a great task that took advantage of the superb conditions and got most of us back to Wilotree Park.

Now we have to be concerned about why the forecast was so wrong and how to deal with the fact that the forecast for Tuesday is similar. Likely we'll just grab another forecast from our set of models and also go with whatever Skew-T brews up for us.

Given our great uncertainty about the forecast we called for an elapsed task with no leading or arrival points. We were concerned that it would be difficult for pilots to hang around for an hour in poor conditions. As it turned out there was no reason for that.

I was about the third pilot to get hauled up as a few pilots in front of me backed out and went to the end. Phill Bloom was first off and I was hauled up right under him. We climbed right to cloud base at 4,100' and then sampled nearby clouds wondering who would go first. Raul left early.

Larry and I left a gaggle of about half a dozen of the top pilots to go to the next cloud just outside the start cylinder and got up back to cloud base. When they came to join us in the lift we headed back and got a later start time by about three minutes. We then caught back up with them.

The task was a bit complex:

There were cu's around and we just hopped from cu to cu, which is why we didn't follow straight along the course lines:

There was plenty of lift under most of the cu's and at one point it averaged 500 fpm for 3,500'.

The results can be found here: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5003/day/open-class

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 01:46:52 981.2
2 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 02:04:54 804.8
3 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T3 136 02:05:27 800.3
4 Pedro L. garcia Wills Wing T3 144 02:06:40 790.5
5 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 02:06:47 789.6
6 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:06:48 789.4
7 Austin Marshall Wills Wing T3 154 02:08:55 772.6
8 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T3 144 02:11:43 750.8
9 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 02:13:13 739.2
10 Kevin Carter Tbd 02:15:57 718.5

Sport Class results here: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5002/day/sport-class

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/12.4.2021/17:08

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2761334

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20210405&gliderclass=hg1

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 1 »

April 11, 2021, 12:17:08 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 1

We have crushed the drought

Belinda Boulter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|video

It's hard to believe that it will only be from one to two inches of rain today (Sunday).

We have not had anything like this in the five months that Belinda and I have been here:

Those folks staying in tents will be most unhappy. Looks like a warm day tomorrow, sunny, with a north wind.

The Sandhill Cranes can eat and drink at the same time:

https://vimeo.com/535653182 by Randee Azzar.

Discuss "2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 1" at the Oz Report forum   link»

A Spanner in the Works

April 9, 2021, 11:10:34 pm EDT

A Spanner in the Works

There to tighten the nut on the Blade's arm.

Larry Bunner

I was waiting for the tug to come back and pull me up after it took up Larry Bunner and decided to pull out the little 10 mm wrench that I had stowed away in my harness attached to an older thin bridle line. I started to pull it out and it just wouldn't move. I took off my harness and followed the line around in the harness to see where the wrench was.

I was pretty amazed to find that it had traveled on a rather long circuitous journey and was now up and through the slot in my slider on the back plate. It was difficult to even dislodge it so it was hard to imagine how it got half way through the slot to begin with. I took the wrench and its lanyard out of the harness and put them away in a safe spot so that that wouldn't happen again.

As I thought about it something occurred to me. Recently I've been having difficulty grabbing the right down tube. I then realized that I've not been rocked up as usual and was reaching for the downtube too low. I began to see that the wrench would have kept me from rocking all the way up and I just hadn't noticed. I've taken out two down tubes because I had trouble getting my hand on and up the right down tube.

Since that discovery I've had two landings without this being an issue. I've rocked up earlier and went back to my old favorite "monkey bar" landings.

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Around the Green Swamp the Hard Way

Mon, Apr 5 2021, 8:27:16 am EDT

John Simon, Pedro Garcia, and Larry Bunner make it around

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|XC

Here's the forecast and the task:

NWS:

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 76. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Hourly in the afternoon: East northeast surface wind 7-8 mph, 20% cloud cover

HRRR 3:

11 AM:

East northeast surface wind at 11 AM: 7 mph

TOL at 11 AM: 5,700'

Updraft Velocity at 11 AM: 520 fpm

CB at 11 AM: 5,100'

B/S at 11 AM: 9.3

Cloud cover at 11 AM: 20%

1 PM:

East northeast surface wind at 1 PM: 3 mph, 2000' 4 mph, 4000' east 2 mph, 6000' east 2 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 7,200'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 680 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 6,600'

B/S at 1 PM: 10.0

Cloud cover at 1 PM: 28%

Temperature at CB: 35 degrees (dress warmly)

6 PM:

TOL: 8,200'

Updraft velocity: 500 fpm

CB: none

B/S: 10.0

Task:

Quest 3 km
Panoak 3 km
Clinton 3 km (keep us away from airspace)
Fantsy 3 km (keep us over landable areas)
Quest 400 m

156.5 km

The hard way because it is much longer than our normal way around the Green Swamp.

Larry and I take off just after noon as the cu's get close to Wilotree Park. But we don't get any lift and getting down to 700' AGL at the southwest corner of the field, I find a bit of lift and after a few turns Larry comes in under me. I'm happy that he isn't at my altitude as I do not want to be dealing with another pilot and trying to get up from low at the same time.

It averages 260 fpm to 4,100. We leave with Larry just below me at 3,800'. We climb together in the next thermal just southeast of Mascotte to over 5,000'. As I'm a couple of hundred feet over him I lead out.

Larry finds better lift behind me which I don't go back for and he gets out in front. Getting low to the north he finds 440 fpm to 4,800' while I work weaker lift behind him before finally coming in underneath him. I'm now 7 minutes behind him.

I come under him in the next thermal and now I'm just two minutes behind as we climb to over 5,000 east of the Lake Panosofkee turnpoint. He makes the turnpoint at 4,600' and heads south. I find weak lift along the way and make it at 3,100'. Now I've lost touch with him.

Pedro and John show up at the turnpoint after launching later than Larry and I. I try to hook up with them but whenever I circle with them, I lose altitude. Finally I give up and head south east, get low and then work weak lift again before I find 300 fpm to 4,600'. John and Pedro have found better lift to my north and get high and out in front of me. I turn down the volume on my radio as I figure I'm now way behind and don't need the distraction.

Larry moves quickly to the south toward Clinton but gets stuck low south of Kokee. John will soon pass high over him getting strong lift to Larry's northeast. Larry will finally find the almost 800 fpm to his south and climb to 6,500'. Meanwhile a little to his north on the south side of Bushnell I get down to 2,100' before finding 400+ fpm and climb to 6,000'.

A 9 km glide puts me back down to 2,600' over non landable areas and I have to turn around and go back to a large bail out field. Searching around at 1,000' AGL I find 550 fpm to 6,300' which will let me clear the non landable areas to the south.

There are cu's all along the route to the south near the western edge of the Green Swamp. At Dade City I again have to back track to get under a better looking cloud and climb to 6,300'. Back tracking will be a feature of both my flight and Larry's.

I can't get to cloud base after Clinton where the route takes us over trees to the southeast. I have to go back a couple of times and off course once to get under better looking clouds. I also have to work some weak lift, but keep searching for 500+ fpm. I don't get back to near cloud base until southeast of the turnpoint (not used on this route) at 471 and 98. There are plenty of dark cu's ahead but I don't find any lift under them. The ground it too shaded. I'm been getting the lift on the west (sunny) side of the cu's and now I'm heading east to the next sunny patch.

It doesn't work even under a strong looking cu and I have to go back again to land in a convenient spot.

Larry also got low at Clinton but didn't have to go back to get up and found lift that got him to 6,800' before 471 and 98. Pedro and John were out in front now.

Larry got low before Fantasy but was able to put four 300 fpm thermals together to get past the turnpoint and up to Dean Still and 33. He then made a big back track to climb to 6,800' just northwest of that intersection. Because we could see the cu's we could back track to the best lift and did it often.

That wasn't quite enough to make it in and he had to stop at 1,000' AGL and climb to 1,800' to make it in with 500', a little after 6 PM. Six hours of flying.

Larry's flight:

My flight:

John was in first followed by Pedro, then Mick, who took the abbreviated route and then Larry.

Monday looks even better with lighter winds. Maybe an 11 AM launch?

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/4.4.2021/16:11

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2755423

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20210405&gliderclass=hg1

What is with these forecasts?

March 27, 2021, 10:09:26 pm EDT

What is with these forecasts?

The cu's keep arriving late in the afternoon

Larry Bunner

John Simon|Larry Bunner

John Simon|Larry Bunner

Mick Howard takes off at 11 AM to try out his new Moyes Litespeed. He is able to stay up as long as he likes and there are cu's nearby, but he can only get to 2,000'. He decides to land around noon and go for lunch. Later when he flies after 1 PM he is unable to connect with the lift and lands back at Wilotree Park.

The forecast from Friday night for Saturday:

NWS:

Saturday

Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Hourly in the afternoon: Southeast surface wind 7 mph, 49% cloud cover drops to 22% at 1:30 PM.

HRRR 3:

Southeast surface wind at 1 PM: 4 mph, 2000' 5 mph, and 4000' 5 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 4,900'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 570 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4,400'

B/S at 1 PM: 10.0

Task:

Quest 3 km
T7598 7 km
T98471 3 km
Quest 400 m

94 km

or if the fire in the Green Swamp is still causing a problem:

Quest 3 km
Panoak 3 km
Baron 3 km
Quest 400 m

80 km

Looking at the HRRR 3 forecast we thought that there would be cu's by noon but they all dried up as Mick flew. I should have reviewed the updated forecast in the morning as it showed that the cu's would not be happening. HRRR 3 would continue to show no cu's and RAP would say that there would be a plethora of them. Turns out they were very sparse.

When I got to launch I found that my radio was having some problem so I turned it off. This was a mistake and I should have gotten out of line and launched after fixing it. If we are flying together we need to be able to communicate.

I launched around 1 PM and saw Larry turning upwind to the south but didn't go to him and instead climbed in weak lift then found 160 fpm to 4,000' under a cu on the west side of Wilotree Park joining up with Maria Garcia. The wind was 8 mph out of the east southeast.

I figured that I'd stick with Maria and help her get around the Green Swamp. But then with so few cu's around it didn't look like a very promising task.

We headed west with me without any idea of where anyone else was. We worked more weak lift together and I had to go back east to get under a cu and Maria followed just below. I was being very patient. We were climbing at barely over 100 fpm and only getting to 3,800'

Circling just south of the nursery I spotted Cory Barnwell climbing in his Fizz on the northeast corner of the Green Swamp. I flew right to him and climbed at 80 fpm to 3,900'.

I was not aware of the fact that at about this time Larry was on the west side of the nursery climbing up fast from 400'. He called out his potion and climb rate and Cory took off to the north to his location while I continued to climb slowly. I could soon see Cory climbing well although I didn't see Larry. Maria, who was well below me, soon followed Cory and started climbing a few kilometers to my north.

My second mistake was not figuring out why Cory and then Maria had gone that way which wasn't in the direction of the task, but toward Lake Panosoffkee, our alternate task. Cory said that he wasn't going to try to go around the Green Swamp as no king posted glider had ever made it all the way around, so I thought he was taking on the alternate task. I didn't think that Larry might have called him and told him where the lift was.

There were no cu's on our course line. There were cu's to the north and northwest. It would turn out that going around the Green Swamp would require going much further north than is usually the case in order to hook up with the cu's.

Looking to the west, not seeing great prospects of completing the around the Green Swamp task in that direction I decided to see if I could fly back to Wilotree Park. There was a big fat cu over the nursery to my east and I went for it.

That cu was dying and all I got was zero sink at 2,900'. I was facing a head wind with no cu's between me and Wilotree Park. I decided to run for it down wind to find a place to land. Without a radio I couldn't keep my driver appraised of where I was going. They didn't have Live360 on their phone.

I was quickly down to 800' AGL over a large field but the cu's were nearby and I was going up at 75 fpm. I wanted to find a better field with easier driver access so I hung on to the weak lift as the wind picked up out of the southeast to 11 mph.

I was wondering how the other pilots were going to make it on the west side of the Green Swamp against the head wind.

Climbing up to 1,100 AGL I moved over a little to the east and found 180 fpm which got me to 3,200' a little west of Center Hill. The wind had picked up to 15 mph out of the southeast.

I kept finding lift and cumulus clouds every where as I went quickly down wind searching for a nice LZ. I tried first at Cheryl, an actual north/south grass strip but there was way too much lift there and I was going up not down, so I headed for the Lake Panosoffkee airfield.

Just south of there I spotted a wide field just south of the landfill that would handle a southeast landing approach. Despite continuing to find lots of lift I was able to put it into the field with no issues although a bit of a walk out.

Meanwhile the other pilots had made the northwestern turnpoint going around the Green Swamp and now were very slowly making their way south. John Simon, Cory Barnwell, Maria Garcia, Max and in the lead Larry Bunner. But the wind and not being able to get super high made it difficult and everyone landed on the western side with John on the southwestern side. Larry landed in the landfill.

We were able to drive down 471 north/south through the Green Swamp and pick him up.

We'll see if tomorrow's forecast of plenty of cu's actually happens. I'll also check in the morning for an update.

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A lot of time looking at the ground

Fri, Mar 26 2021, 10:05:26 pm EDT

It looked like we would get high

A lot of time looking

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|PG

The forecast for Friday:

NWS:

Friday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Hourly in the afternoon: South southwest surface wind 8 mph, 29% cloud cover.

HRRR 3:

South southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 8 mph, 2000' 11 mph, and 4000' 11 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 5,900'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 580 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4,900'

B/S at 1 PM: 8.5

At noon:

TOL: 4,100', 420 fpm, CB 4,270' (RAP), B/S 5.6 (so early launch may be possible if the cu's show up, which is likely)

Sea Breeze:

There is a forecasted sea breeze from the west. Surface wind turn more westerly around 4 PM around Brooksville and 5 PM at Groveland. Cu's mostly gone by 5 PM.

Cumulus cloud base will almost be 7,000' at 3 PM.

Task:

Quest 3 km
Kokee 3 km
Baron 3 km
Quest 400 m

82 km

Despite the forecasted 11 mph south southwest winds I figured that with us getting quite high we would be able to overcome them.

The early morning started off with a Zapata, Texas like overrunning with low clouds filling the sky and moving quickly to the north. After a while the clouds separated and there were dozens of cloud streets stretching from south to north as far as we could see to the east and west.

Bunches of pilots were ready to go as we watched the cloud streets disappear later in the morning and just a few cu's appear at noon. Finally a little after one we decided to just get going and hope that the cu's would appear later as they had the previous day.

Larry Bunner was not going first after not hitting any lift on Thursday and I took off after Greg Dinauer at 1:15 PM. Other pilots wanted to see how we did.

Kasey took me to a nearby cu west of Wilotree Park and I climbed to 3,300' but essentially stopped there when the lift went to zero. Heading south with Greg we found lift at 900' AGL at the south end of the field and worked our way back to 3,400' This recovery from 900' was to be a precursor for the day.

Six pilots got together over Groveland and got in each others way as we climbed to 3,600' and then headed west. Apparently pilots had forgotten how to gaggle fly without much practice lately.

There was a dark looking cu south of Mascotte and we all joined up again climbing at almost 240 fpm to 4,200'. This was the strongest lift so far. The cu's were very sparse and there weren't any others nearby that looked this good. I was almost an hour into the flight and had barely gone any where. The wind was cross at 7mph. We were not getting at all high.

We climbed in 144 fpm a few kilometers over the nursery back to 4,000' as the south wind pushed us to the north of highway 50. There were a few cu's off in the distance toward the sawmill.

Heading west we all spread out and separated losing track of each other as we got low by the mine just north of 50. Not finding any lift I was down to 1,400' on the east side of the mine while Larry was further south climbing slowly. None of the pilots I was near was finding anything.

I saw a cu back east toward highway 469 and dove for it. In search mode down to 700' AGL I found lift over a nice open field and a wind that appeared to be out of the southwest at 6 mph.

At this point I figured that my task had changed. My task was now to stay in the air and get up from low. Everything else could wait until later. I was watching the nearby fields very carefully to make sure that I had a safe landing area as it was not at all assured that I would get up.

I climbed to 3,000' and then when the lift gave out headed south southeast toward a huge field that I was familiar with and that had a nice cu over it. 13 fpm got me back to 2,000' and downwind further north and over my next good looking LZ where Mick and I had also previously landed this year (it was a bit down hill).

I flew north back to the next good looking LZ and again at 900' AGL I found lift, this time 240 fpm and climbed to 3,800'. To the north it was mostly swamps and fields that were only accessible by paths so I wanted to stay near my good looking LZ's.

I headed south southeast toward the best looking cu's that I had been watching for a while. It looked like they sort of lined up for a route back toward Wilotree Park. As I was doing all this low work the cu's had started to fill up the sky and they made it much more likely that I would in fact be able to get up, not just stay in the air and perhaps get high enough to make it back to Wilotree Park, my next task.

While I was watching LZ's and staying in the air, other pilots were having trouble landing back near the mine with one pilot suffering leg damage, two broken down tubes and a concussion and another with a sprained ankle. Only Larry, Tiago and I were still in the air, but that would not be for long as there was a fire pumping smoke toward the Kokee turnpoint and cutting off the lift just before the first turnpoint.

I climbed to 4,200' three kilometers north of the chicken coops and headed in the direction of the next cu's but they had moved further east and they were no longer lining up for a good run back to Wilotree Park. Quickly down to 3,100' and what looked like a south southeast head wind, fewer landing options and no cu's where I wanted to head for I turned west and went back to the previously visited huge field that had a nice black cloud on its eastern edge.

I figured that the wind was still southwest on that side of the cu and sure enough by heading north once again on the western edge of the cu I was able to climb at 250 fpm to 4,500'. Now the cu's lined up and I was able to easily follow them back to Wilotree Park. Everyone else was down and some were being rescued while I was all set for tomorrow.

All that took three hours. Sometimes your task is not the one that you started out with, but can be very interesting and challenging none the less. I had turned down the volume on my radio so I had no idea how others were doing as I needed to focus.

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2745314

Discuss "A lot of time looking at the ground" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

Substantial clouds come with the southern flow

March 19, 2021, 8:08:45 EDT

Substantial clouds come with the southern flow

They are there to invite us to fly

Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane

I've been good about getting sunscreen on my nose and cheeks, but today I missed it and I'm pretty red as is Larry Bunner. Lots of sun, wind and cloud today.

Here was the forecast:

NWS:

Monday

Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Light south southeast wind becoming southeast 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.

Hourly in the afternoon: Southeast surface wind 7 mph, 30% cloud cover

HRRR 3:

Southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 6 mph, 2000' 7 mph, 4,000' south southwest 6 mph (Note the conflict with the NWS on wind direction)

TOL at 1 PM: 5,400'

Updraft Velocity at 1 PM: 560 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4,400' (RAP)

B/S at 1 PM: 10.0

Sea Breeze from the west (and east east of Orlando) at highway 301 by 3 PM. Winds turn more westerly during the afternoon. TOL at 4 PM at Wilotree at 6,400'.

With cu's noon launch is possible:

TOL: 4,600'
Updraft Velocity: 520 fpm

Task:

Quest 3 km
Kokkee 2 km
Turn33 1 km
Quest 400 m

74 km

Launch from the north or northeast end.

We got out to our magic circle on the northwest end of the runway (not including the northern section north of Groveland Airport Road) early and waited for the cu's to appear overhead. When the sky filled up we got in line and launched. I launched right after Larry at 12:50.

Pinned off at 2,100' and climbed at a little less than 100 fpm in a 7 mph southeast wind with Larry coming over to join me. Once we got to 3,200' in the weak lift we headed to the next closest cu to the northwest, down wind, and climbed to 4,700' just west of Groveland.

With an 11 mph south southwest wind we climbed back to 4,700' after heading west and not losing much west of Mascotte and just north of the Green Swamp and highway 50.

Larry proceeded not finding much west along highway 50 while I headed a bit to the north to get under a good looking cu over the sand mine. 200 fpm got me back up from 2,600' to 3,500' but I was dribbling along to the west not finding much and Larry was working weak lift to my south along highway 50.

Headed for some greenhouses that have worked for us in the past and climbed back up from 2,600' to 4,200' before shifting over to a good looking cloud just a tiny bit to the west. That produced 500 fpm to 5,400', which was cloud base. Larry found some good lift to the south then also.

An 8 km glide to Kokee got me there with 3,800' and the next thermal right at the edge of the cylinder and up to 4,800' just a few kilometers ahead of Larry. Larry announced he was taking the alternative route and heading north to Lake Panasoffkee. I decided to join him.

The cu's were there along the course but the lift was around 200 fpm. The wind was now 11 mph out of the southwest. After tagging the Panasoffkee waypoint I headed northeast over the swamp to get back to 4,700' in light lift. The prisons and the mines were to the east and I headed for them. Larry was out in front. I headed further southeast toward a good looking cu over the mine building just before the prisons, while Larry was up by the Turnpike.

I came under the cu at 3,400' and indeed it was quite good averaging 450 fpm. Quickly two sailplanes came in under me. Then three sail planes came in over me. By the time I left at 5,200' I had been flying with eight sailplanes in this one thermal. I didn't go too near the top of the lift as I didn't want to suddenly disappear on these guys. The top three left very quickly also.

After nicking the next additional turnpoint at Baron I searched going east north of the Turnpike at the southern edge of the swamp getting down to 1,900'. I found ratty 200 fpm which was not a bit pleasant to circle in but necessary to get back to 3,200' and drifted back into the Baron cylinder. Did that again just a touch to the west to 3,600'.

Went out to the south and then back to the west to get under some cu's and back down to 2,500' for my third swipe at Baron. But this time it worked with the thermal much better behaved over the flat lands and I climbed at 340 fpm to 5,700'. Larry was a few kilometers to my east.

Heading south I came near the turnpoint that Larry called at the Turnpike and highway 33 but decided to forego it. I found 400 fpm up to 5,800' and worked to stay in visual contact with the ground.

Found 200 fpm right under Larry but misinterpreted his call out and left the lift right under him to find little to nothing to the south. Worked up to 2,500' just north of the nursery but that gave out and I headed south across the nursery hoping to get under a good cu. That didn't work.

I had to pick out a field just south of highway 50 and as I figured out the wind direction (south 5 mph) I ran into some lift at 700 AGL. It was almost 100 fpm so I figured that I would stay in it long enough to make a good decision about where to land.

The lift continued as I drifted north back over the non landable nursery and improved to an average of 300 fpm. It was 4:20 PM. I took it to 5,600' which was plenty of lift to make it in after Larry made it.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/15.3.2021/16:48#fd=flight

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2738335

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20210313&gliderclass=hg1

Discuss "Substantial clouds come with the southern flow" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Counter Clockwise Around the Green Swamp

March 15, 2021, 8:34:19 EDT

Counter Clockwise Around the Green Swamp

Would there be cumulus clouds?

Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane|Wilotree Park

The morning forecast:

When does the sea breeze come in from the west?

NWS:

Today

Sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming south southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Hourly in the afternoon: South southeast surface wind 6 mph, 4% cloud cover

HRRR 3:

Southeast surface wind at 1 PM: 4 mph, 2000' east southeast 6 mph, 4,000' east southeast 6 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 4,900'

Updraft Velocity at 1 PM: 580 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 0' (but with this wind direction, very likely to be cu's)

B/S at 1 PM: 10.0

4000' winds at 4 PM by Dade City 2 mph south

TOL at 4 PM: 6,000'

Updraft velocity: 560 fpm

Can you launch at noon (11 am sun time)?

TOL at noon: 4,300'

Updraft Velocity at noon: 520 fpm

Solar noon is at 1:34 pm

As I noted last night there is a sea breeze from the west coming inland in the afternoon. By 4 PM it is between Brooksville and Dade City. By 5 PM it is just east of Dade City. The forecast yesterday was for a south southwest wind at 4,000' at Dade City at 5 mph at 4 PM. Today the 4000' winds at Dade City at 4 PM are forecasted to be 2 mph south.

In order to avoid the sea breeze Larry Bunner wants the task to change to counter clockwise as per below. This allows us to go somewhat downwind to the northwest corner of the Green Swamp and then head south along the western edge, getting back away from the sea breeze on the eastern side later in the afternoon. We'll be able to come north back to Wilotree with a light south southeast flow.

Task:

Quest 3 km
T7598 7 km
T98471 3 km
Quest 400 m

94.3 km

Launch from the northwest corner - the magic circle.

Good days it still appears through Wednesday.

So the two major questions were would there be cumulus clouds and would we get stopped by a western sea breeze that would cut off the lift. The HRRR 3 model on XC Skies and the Skew-T graph showed the cu's just above the inversion layer. But with a south southeast flow I felt that almost every time there are cu's. But the day didn't start off that way and with daylight savings time that messed with people's perceptions.

The cu's didn't start showing up until almost 1 PM (about solar noon) and they were very sparse. I towed up right behind Larry Bunner at 1:26 PM and heard him say that he was going to take a high tow so I held on also. There was a cu 5 kilometers to the south and we held on until we got near it, me at 3,900'. There were three sailplanes under it also. We climbed to 4,800'.

With a 4 mph east (tail) wind we headed west toward the first turnpoint on the west side of the Green Swamp. The cu's were over the Green Swamp just south of its northern border at highway 50 and we just went from one cu to another. Greg found some better lift behind us and was soon up with Larry and I. We all have flown together a lot so it is easy for us to team fly.

The cu's were getting further and further to the south into the Green Swamp. We found a good one over highway 471 south of the sawmill and climbed to 5,300'. This committed us to go deeper into the swamp. We took a chance heading toward the western edge with what we felt was enough altitude to make it, but found 300 fpm over a small clearing not that far from some bail out fields and climbed to 4,500' at 300 fpm. This assured us of the chance of making it to the west and landable terrain. It's always exciting going around the Green Swamp.

The circumference of the first turnpoint is just a couple of kilometers passed the western edge of the Green Swamp and we found 340 fpm before we got to it and drifted into it with the east wind. Heading south we flew into a 5 mph south southeast head wind. We flew back to over the Green Swamp and lost connection with Greg who stayed further west.

Flying south toward the rapidly diminishing cu's (soon it would be all blue) we found 400 fpm to 5,400' on the southwest corner of the landfill. These site has often worked for me before.

Now it was time from another jump across a patch of Green Swamp to the southeast. Larry and I spread out and I spread out a little too much as I lost track of Larry.

We both got stuck by the second turnpoint at the intersection of highway 471 and 98. It took me a couple of back and forths before I found 225 fpm to 4,600'. This was the highest I would get after this turnpoint. Thankfully there were a few cu's at the turnpoint. Larry got up and headed southeast to get under a few cu's that didn't produce any lift for him.

I figured I was high enough to make it 11 kilometers due east across this patch of Green Swamp. There looked like some emergency bail out fields along the way. Nothing that you would actually want to land it though.

I heard from Larry that he was just ahead and circling in nothing at 2,000'. I came into his field at Famish at 2,100' and found lift on the northwestern corner and Larry came in over me. There was a small sail plane way down below us (Steve Arndt?) and it was hard to believe that he would get up from so low.

After climbing at 130 fpm I left with 2,900'. Larry was above me and left also. We were flying together again but I couldn't see him.

Gliding for 4.5 km I was down to 1,600' and checking out the fields along Green Pond Road. None the less I was feeling some lift and turning around getting a better feel for the appropriate field. I felt that at 4:54 PM (3:54 sun time) the day was getting late and it was hard to see how we (Larry had joined me) would make it in with no more cu's to help out. We stayed and climbed at 185 fpm to 3,900' (Larry was higher).

Yet another jump over the Green Swamp to just west and south of the intersection of highways 474 and 33, to a field that I have landed in a number of times and feel confident about. Down to 1,900' I found 130 fpm and Larry soon joined me right on the western edge of the field over the trees. We had a 3 mph southwestern tail wind.

More Green Swamp and over to the Seminole Glider Port where almost all the competitor gliders were parked (not the one we saw earlier barely over Famish). Larry was climbing up on the east side and I finally found good lift on the south end of the runway where Larry had originally found it. He was climbing high and I was struggling.

One wants to be at about 4,000' when leaving the glider port for Wilotree Park. I had to leave at 3,200' when the lift gave out (or I lost it). I continued north along the edge of the trees and the open fields. There were bits of lift and 6 km I found 160 fpm which got me too high and it was easy to get to Wilotree but difficult to get down.

Larry, me and later Pedro made it back. John Simon, Mick Howard, Maria, and Greg all landed short. Going earlier was the better option.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/14.3.2021/17:25

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2737892

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20210313&gliderclass=hg1

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Chatter on the radio

March 13, 2021, 7:43:14 EST

Chatter on the radio

Larry Bunner has a reminder

Larry Bunner

Hey all, just a friendly reminder to keep our communications in the air to the point and informative.

Today there was quite a bit of unnecessary chatter which can end up being a distraction to fellow pilots.

First off, I am guilty of it as much as anyone so this message is for me too!

The goal in XC communications is to share critical information so others can take advantage of it if so inclined. In the past if we wanted to share our good fortune, we would call out location (ie: distance from waypoint and cross track), altitude and climb rate.

On occasion it is good to call out a person by name (when they are in sight) to a good climb. When someone calls you to a climb, it isn't necessary to say anything more than "copy" so the sender knows you heard them.

When calling out a climb, it is very helpful to give the rate in fpm versus "I've got a good climb over here". Also it is better to share perhaps your average climb rate rather than the peak surge you are going through ie: underpredict and let the pilots determine whether you are climbing better than them so they can make an informed decision regarding whether to stay where they are or to head your way.

If you are in an area by yourself and get a good climb, share it so others know what is out there. If you are at the tail end of the group, there really isn't any need to share critical information as everyone is out ahead of you.

I have to say it was awesome today having everyone's radio working and on the correct channel (my radio worked great Thursday, I was just on the wrong frequency, lol). So let's tighten up the communications so we can improve our group performance in the air.

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Out and Return to the Fantasy of Flight

March 12, 2021, 7:14:48 EST

Out and Return to the Fantasy of Flight

A cross wind task

Fantasy of Flight|Larry Bunner|PG|triangle|Wilotree Park

A strong cross wind turns an out and return into a triangle by creating very well defined cloud streets.

After two days of "strong" east winds we decided that the winds were going to be light enough to launch going to the east and to fly south and then back north. This was the morning updated forecast:

Will there be cu's? After two days of high cu's and a similar wind (now with a slight bit of south) you would think so. The NWS and HRRR 3 say there is 20% cloud cover.

NWS:

Today

Sunny, with a high near 79. East wind 5 to 10 mph.

Hourly in the afternoon: East surface wind 8 mph, 20% cloud cover.

HRRR 3:

East surface wind at 1 PM: 8 mph, 2000' 10 mph, 4,000' 10 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 6,400'

Updraft Velocity at 1 PM: 640 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 0'

B/S at 1 PM: 8.7

Skew-T says maybe cu's.

TOL at 2 PM: 6,900'

Task:

Seems that the winds are a little too strong for around the Green Swamp (maybe tomorrow) so a cross wind task instead? I'll ask pilots what they want to do.

Quest 3 km
Fantsy 1 km
Quest 400 m

81 km

I was second to launch after Larry Bunner at 12:18 PM. The wind was 15 mph out of the east southeast. The lift started right from the start as we climbed out at 850 fpm. Pinning off in light lift I then headed downwind to get under Larry and climbed to 4,100'.

Larry headed southeast and I followed from below a little to his north side and found 700 fpm under the copious cu's. It was absolutely smooth and I had no idea I was climbing so fast at first. Larry was a kilometer to me south quickly getting smaller.

I climbed to cloud base at 5,000' and followed Larry to one side from a thousand feet over him. I marked the next two thermals and kept an eye on Larry to make sure that he was following. His radio was on the wrong frequency so I couldn't give him any help other than showing him the lift.

I climbed in the fourth thermal up the front face above cloud base and waited for Larry. I really wanted to fly together and get close enough so that we could signal each other visually. Unfortunately Larry got to base and headed south without passing close by so I didn't see him as I flew in and out of the mists. Finally I headed south and saw him circling at my altitude just ahead at the next cu. I was disappointed that he didn't wait for me there like I had waited for him at each of the previous thermals. We wouldn't be flying together after all.

Heading south 8 km past 474/33 I came in under Larry and then moved a bit east in sink while Larry moved a bit west and found 700-800 fpm. I found 500 fpm from 2,600' and climbed to over 5,100' drifting west at 9 mph. I was on my own.

The thermals averaged between 400 and 600 fpm and I climbed to over 5,000' just south of Dean Still. The wind was 5 mph out of the east northeast. The cu's were streeted east to west. The run from Dean Still to Fantasy of Flight looked not too inviting with only a few cus' ahead.

I didn't find any lift on the 9 km glide to just 1 km downwind of Fantasy. There was a cu to the east of Fantasy but lakes between me and it and I was down to 2,100' and headed for the nearest dark cu on the downwind side over land (and houses).

A dark cloud street formed right over Fantasy heading west. I was under it and searching all around finding light lift and finally finding 300 fpm to 5,000' in a 12 mph east southeast wind. I used the cloud street to get upwind and make 7.5 km to the turnpoint and then to the east southeast edge of the cloud street. I wanted to get upwind of the course line after being way down wind of it attempting to get myself back in the game.

I headed north cross wind, cross the sink area between cloud streets toward the next black-looking cloud. I had been finding lift on the south upwind sunny side of the clouds. I searched around and drifted downwind until down to 1,600' I finally found it along with a few buzzards getting back to cloud base at 5,000'. The wind was still 12 mph out of the east southeast, totally cross as we expected.

I headed due north to Dean Still to get under the closest cloud that I thought that I could connect with. I didn't feel that I could make it to the north east to get under the further cloud. I climbed at 200 fpm from 3,400' to 4,300' before I ventured directly upwind over a forested area hoping to make it high enough to feel comfortable when I got to the cloud to the east northeast.

I made it and climbed at over 400 fpm to 5,700'. This extra altitude was a great gift as I was going over areas that were off the main road and where I didn't really want to land. I headed north northeast to cu's 4 km southeast of 474/33. There I found 350 fpm to 5,800'. I wasn't that far from the Seminole Glider Port. It looked like I could make it back to Wilotree Park despite the cross wind.

I found a few light thermals north of Seminole that I hung on to just to make sure that I could make it back with plenty of altitude. The cu's were still looking very dark and I was not having a problem getting under them. It was easy to make it in.

Only Larry and I ventured out today although lots of people flew. Looks like at least two more days of east winds that are light enough for cross wind tasks. I'm sure more pilots will join us.

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2736583

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/11.3.2021/17:18

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

Discuss "Out and Return to the Fantasy of Flight" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Supporting the Oz Report

March 9, 2021, 8:28:29 EST

Supporting the Oz Report

Overwhelmed

Davis Straub|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Oz Report|Scott Weiner|Wilotree Park

I'm working here making sure that everyone gets acknowledged for their contribution to supporting the Oz Report. With every day windy since Friday evening, I've been working on making Wilotree Park look the best that it can as well as riding the bike (today with Mitch Shipley as he continues his recovery). This evening I have the opportunity to again call out those who have been extra helpful in providing support, but I must say I appreciate every thing that I get from my readers.

Special thanks to Larry Bunner (who is not here right now but went home to visit his wife and will be back soon), Michael Tryon, John Simon (he's here and wants to fly), John Dullahan, Scott Weiner (who sold a lot of gear on the Oz Report Classifieds), Ronald P Gleason, Bill Belcourt, Mick Howard, and Vincent Collins.

Here are our supporters: http://ozreport.com/supporters.php

As you know, all we are asking for is a subscription payment of $20/year.

Seems simple enough. Like most content on the internet, you get to read the Oz Report for free. The trouble for us, not you, is that there are not enough hang glider pilots in this world to make advertising pay for our web hosting costs.

Please, help us out. Support something that you find useful so that it can continue to be there for you.

Options:

1) Click paypal.me/davisstraub.

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Type in the amount that you want to send in for your subscription.

Click "Next"

You should see something like this:

If you can contribute from your PayPal Balance or from your bank account that is connected to your PayPal account, please do as this incurs no PayPal fee.

2) If instead you are using a credit card to make this contribution, click this button:

3) Another way to do this is, click here: https://www.paypal.com

With this option please click the "Send&Request" tab.

Type in my email address which you can discern from "davis" and I'm at "davisstraub.com". (I have to write it this way as we hide email addresses here at the Oz Report.

Click "Next."

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If you consider me a friend then click the "Sending to a friend" button.

Enter the amount here:

If you’d rather just send a check for $20 or more (US Dollars only, please), please feel free to do so.

Payable to:

Davis Straub (Not to the Oz Report)
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Groveland,FL 34736

If you send a physical check, be sure to send me your email address so that I can register you as a subscriber.

These are our supporters (if you are not on the list and have donated to the Oz Report, email me and I'll make sure that you are recognized): http://ozreport.com/supporters.php. Some of you who I've missed in the past did write to me and made sure I knew just how important the Oz Report was to them. If I've missed you, please do tell me.

4) This last option. Come over to the Oz Report support web page and sign up to support us: http://ozreport.com/support.php. Or click here:

Thanks to all our supporters: http://ozreport.com/supporters.php who have kept us going and paying our bills over the last twenty five years.

Friday Before the Rains

March 7, 2021, 8:24:53 EST

Friday Before the Rains

We grab a blue day to fly

Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

We know that hang glider pilots love cumulus clouds because they can actually see the lift. Otherwise we are out there trying to find it without being able to see it. Makes for an interesting quest.

We knew that Friday would be blue with no cu's and a light northeast wind. But without cu's pilots aren't clued into the reality that they should go down to the launch area at the regular time anyway. They just aren't as motivated.

There were a bunch of pilots who had made their way down to the west end of the east-west runway for launching into a light east northeast breeze. I was off third at 2:30 already an hour and a half late. Without Larry Bunner here there was no one to push us into going "early."

I got pulled to 2,400' but lost 1,000' searching for lift. Down to 1,300' over Wilotree Park I worked 100 fpm on average until I moved over to the northwest a little and found 300+ fpm to 4,000'. Kinsley Sykes had come in under me earlier but must have flown away.

Moving to the northwest to the Mickey Mouse lake I hooked up with Mick Howard and we climbed back to 4,000' before heading northwest toward Mascotte. We could see John Simon far below.

The lift was strong and we climbed to over 5,000' just south of highway 50, 5 kilometers south of the chicken coops. I took a straight glide to the north side of the chicken buildings but lost track of Mick as he was to the east going up highway 33 and getting low.

I found 200+ fpm on the north side of the buildings and climbed back to 4,500' and Mick and John struggled low over highway 33. Heading north west of 33 I kept an eye on John as he headed for the Grass Roots airfield. I was over a thousand feet higher than him but he wasn't doing all that well.

I was able to find the lift in the southwest corner of Grass Roots and climbed to 4,100' at 200+ fpm. John struggled down much lower, was getting up at 100 fpm, then came over to get under me but didn't find it and after a while landed at the airfield.

Mick was working south of me and continued to slowly recover and get over 3,000'. I headed north toward the normal turnpoint of the Turnpike and highway 33, although today our turnpoint was a bit further north. Down to 1,200' I found some weak lift and started working it just southwest of the Turnpike and highway intersection.

I climbed back to 3,400' inside the 1 km radius turnpoint cylinder and decided to call that turnpoint good enough. I wasn't getting high enough to make to safely to the 3 km radius cylinder around the Baron airfield. Mick agreed. John was on the ground.

I turned around and headed south as Mick came in to get the Turnpike and 33 turnpoint. A thick layer of clouds came over to the west obscuring the sun. It did not look great.

I was able to get a little lift heading south but not enough to get up high enough to have a reasonable shot of making it back to Wilotree Park. The lift was light and the ground was shaded. It was after 4 PM.

I searched around, but didn't find anything and soon was landing with John Simon at Grass Roots. Mick came in right after me. What a great place to land. No problem swooping it a bit.

We all left the windows rolled down in the truck to enhance dispersion of viral bits (and the air conditioner was on a fritz also). Thanks to Joann for her invite to join the ride back. It was a lovely spot for her to retrieve also.

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2732259

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/5.3.2021/19:28

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Pilot Entry Fee Goes Up March 10th

March 7, 2021, 8:08:17 EST

Pilot Entry Fee Goes Up March 10th

$100 per competition

Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/info/details__info

https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/info/details__info

Discuss "Pilot Entry Fee Goes Up March 10th" at the Oz Report forum   link»

A Near Cyber Death Experience

Wed, Mar 3 2021, 8:23:21 am EST

We almost lost it

COVID|Facebook|Oz Report|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Wilotree Park|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021

You might have noticed that it's been a tough year for most of us. Hang gliding continued without many competitions which would have lead to gatherings which were either frowned upon or completely forbidden by the authorities. Here in Florida we continued life outside where it is is 19 times safer (https://bestlifeonline.com/coronavirus-indoors/). Due to travel restrictions we canceled the Sport Class, Rigid Wing and Women's Worlds as well as all the Nationals competitions. Same for Big Spring.

Now a year later we are planning for the 2021 Paradise Airsports and Wilotree Park Nationals in April to be run under COVID protocols with continued international travel restrictions: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/info and https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/info.

During the year of crises mode we also decided to move to a new web server to reduce our costs. This transition has not been without numerous glitches as the Oz Report is a complex web site. For example, yesterday the host automatically updated PHP which caused all sorts of problems for Scare. Hopefully over time the situation will stabilize.

At one point we considered just going strictly on Facebook which would relieve us of all the web hosting issues (the high cost being the primary concern). We also were getting most of our content via Facebook posts, so it made sense to go to our Facebook version of the Oz Report.

This would mean that we would drop our email push of Oz Report issues. Also, those who find Facebook objectionable would no longer get to see our content. After a few disappointing experiments we decided to leave well enough alone. There is a Facebook version of the Oz Report and a stand-alone version. Sometimes content from the Facebook version comes over to the stand-alone version.

You can just go to the Oz Report on Facebook and ignore your news feed: https://www.facebook.com/ozreport

We don't know where things stand with our readers. We've decided not to publish every weekday unless there is news every weekday. Before it was publish or perish five days a week for 24 years. Now we are taking a bit more relaxed attitude and publishing when something interesting is happening, and hopefully with a new year and good changes to our pandemic situation coming, there will be more interesting things happening.

Thanks to all the Oz Report readers for their support over the years.

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Flying Toward Keystone

Sat, Feb 27 2021, 11:15:31 pm EST

With a ten mph tail wind

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|Wilotree Park|XC

Larry Bunner and I were off first long before anyone else at 12:30. I was pulled to just south of where Larry was climbing and he immediately joined me as we climbed at an average of 460 fpm to 4,700'. With a southeast wind at 14 mph we headed to the north northwest where we continued to find climbs under the west side of the cu's climbing up to 5,300' by the time we made it to the Florida Turnpike. We shared the air with bald eagles and hawks.

We were out there alone together with our pilot friends still on the ground back at Wilotree Park. When you find 500 fpm lift after getting off tow, you know that you launched later than you needed to.

Heading into the Villages north of the Turnpike Larry wanted to go to the north northwest although there was a great cloud street straight north of us a little east of our normal route near highway 301. I felt it was a mistake but went with him as he lead from below. He later agreed that we should have followed the much better street.

Just east of Wildwood we climbed at 200 fpm to 4,300'. At that point Larry lead off again from below to the north northwest. There was a dark black cu straight north of us that I wanted to head toward after we climbed up to 5,300' but Larry had already left before we could continue our climb so I followed. There was a clear mistake as we we flying into a blue hole. Larry later agreed.

We found 100 fpm at 2,500' and tried to find a better core climbing to 3,200' before we started losing altitude. Larry said he was heading north into the blue. By that point I had had it. I saw a nice dark cu to the northwest and headed for it.

Down to 2,400' I found 500 fpm under the cu. I climbed to 5,400' while Larry was down to 1,500' and working light lift. When I got to cloud base I headed toward him to the north.

Larry was turning in 300 fpm way down below me and I told him to come a little to the east where he found 600 fpm. I was soon at cloud base and told him I'd wait under the cu at the Leeward airfield just to the north. He got there quickly as I stayed out of the cloud on its western edge, the edge where all the lift was on this day.

Larry had had it also. He said lead out. I was still over him as I had been most of the flight so I took off at 5,700' to the north. It was a 16 km glide to the first landable field to the north. There were a few widely spaced cu's in that direction.

To the north northwest there were plenty of good looking cu's toward Ocala and I wanted to get under them, although there are few landing areas at all. With Larry following I headed for the best looking clouds.

There was no lift under the cu's. The problem was their western edges were far to the west of us. We couldn't get to them. After 12 km we were down to 1,400' with only one nearby landing field of any length. We had to stay near it and soon landed there. Larry used his drogue chute. I ducked under a phone line and past a tree to land in the second half of the field. I had scoped it out enough to know that I could do that.

Everyone else had landed earlier or soon would be except John Simon and Robin Hamilton. No one made goal.

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Round the Green Swamp in February

February 26, 2021, 9:27:37 pm EST

Round the Green Swamp in February

This global warming thing is working out

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|triangle|Wilotree Park|XC

The morning update forecast for Friday

A Green Swamp Day

Larry Bunner writes:

Slight inversion at 11:00 that stops lift at 2400'. Inversion breaks by noon with TOL at 5300'. When we see clouds we should go even if it is at 11:30. The winds at noon per skew T are ESE at 4kts at the surface going to zero above 4000'.
1:00 SE at 3kts going more south at 3 kts up high tol 5700'
2:00 SE at 4kts southerly up high at 4kts tol 6000'
3:00 SSE 4-6knts tol 6000'
4:00 SSE 7-9knts 6200' so perhaps we go clockwise around the swamp
5:00 SSE 7-11knts 5800'

NAM12 and RAP show convergence on the west side of the swamp slowly migrating east with good clouds over the entire area

Looks like swamp day to me.

NWS:

Today

Sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming south southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Hourly in the afternoon: South southeast surface wind 5-6 mph here at Wilotree Park.

HRRR 3:

Southeast surface wind at 1 PM: 3 mph, 2000' southeast 4 mph, 4,000' 3 mph south southeast

TOL at 1 PM: 5,700'

Updraft Velocity at 1 PM: 620 fpm

TOL at noon: 5,100'

Updraft Velocity at noon: 540 fpm

4000' winds at 4 PM at Dade City: south 7 mph

Task:

Quest 3 km
T98471 3 km
T7598 7 km
Quest 400m

FAI triangle

94 km

This is our clockwise around the Swamp task back to Wilotree Park.

Larry Bunner was watching the cu's forming and had been looking forward to launching at noon, which he did when there were enough cu's forming nearby. Most pilots were waiting for stronger conditions and a later launch. I waited for 50 minutes and then had Jim Prahl haul me to the south to 2,900' where I connected with some cu's and climbed at 300 fpm to 4,700'.

The sky was not full of cu's but they were around. The wind was out of the southeast at 4 to 6 mph. I headed toward Larry who was just north of the Seminole Glider port. I got there at 1,600' while Larry was above me at 3,000' and climbing.

The lift was broken and it was a struggle at less than 200 fpm to get only up to 2,800'. Heading south southeast and down to 1,400' it was again a struggle to only get back to 2,800' again at 200 fpm. The lift was broken up. Larry was further south and doing much better. Everyone else was now launching after 1 PM.

Heading further south it was not going well. Down to 600' AGL I finally found some scraps of lift and held on looking for better landing areas. There was an 8 mph wind out of the east southeast.

I kept hanging on and searching for better nearby and going over the trees but with a landing field to the south. The lift kept improving and being more consistent. I drifted back a few kilometers but finally climbed to 4,500' and saw Pedro Garcia, John Simon, and Robin Hamilton to my west a couple of kilometers at my elevation.

Heading to the south side of the Green Swamp gliding into a 9 mph south head wind I hooked up with Pedro and John and we climbed to 4,900'. Pedro had to turn around and go back to Wilotree Park because he had tandems to do.

It was a short glide to the next cu and we climbed to 5,900'. Robin Hamilton had come in underneath us.

The next glide was 11 kilometers to the southeast corner of the Green Swamp, the last place where you need to get high before cross over the swamp to the first turnpoint. John found something just below and behind me and we were able to climb to 4,800' with a 6 mph southwest wind pushing us back a little.

Down to 2,100' just near the turnpoint I climbed back up as John found better lift to the north and topped out at 5,200' with a 7 mph south wind pushing us up the course line to the second turnpoint.

With that nice tail wind it was extremely easy to head north. I quickly caught back up with John and climbed to 6,000' at 400 fpm. Robin was just behind us.

There were some good looking clouds in the 7 kilometer radius turnpoint further north and I took them to 5,100'. We could hear from Larry that he had been struggling at the turnpoint and not getting up, but as we got close he finally was able to climb up. The wind was 8 mph out of the southwest, a tail wind to get us home.

We would normally head straight east across the Green Swamp toward Wilotree Park but we were at less than 4,000' on the western edge. With the wind direction and the cloud spacing we heading east northeast toward open landing fields and highway 50, as well as the inviting cu's. I was able to climb to 5,200' under them.

After that thermal the lift was weak along highway 50. The wind was out of the southwest at 9 mph, but I could continue to the east northeast. Coming over the huge nursery north of highway 50 and Mascotte, I just settled into ubiquitous 70 fpm and climbed to 3,900'which gave me an easy 9 km cross wind glide to Wilotree.

Larry, John, Robin, and I made it around. Others abandoned and returned to the flight park. Pedro had to go to work. A few landed out. A busy day at Paradise Airsports.

Tomorrow the winds are stronger out of the south southeast and we may have to fly a downwind task.

The Florida 2021 Spring Competitions

January 19, 2021, 9:09:03 pm EST

The Florida 2021 Spring Competitions

They are happening

Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/info/details__info

April 10th through the 17th.

Competition flying 11th through the 17th.

https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/info/details__info

April 18th through the 25th.

Competition flying April 19th through the 25th.

There will be plenty of social distancing and everything will take place outside.

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The Florida Competitions in 2021

November 27, 2020, 10:35:06 EST

The Florida Competitions in 2021

The new meet organizer

Belinda Boulter|Ben Dunn|COVID|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Risk Retention Group|USHPA|Wilotree Park

Stephan Mentler <team> writes:

To my fellow competition pilots, the Florida based hang gliding competitions - in April of next year - are moving forward pending official USHPA re-sanctioning.  This includes the Paradise Airports Nationals, Wilotree Park Nationals, and the 2nd FAI Sport Class World Championship.  The respective competition dates along with registration process is provided on the Airtribune sites.  

https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/info

https://airtribune.com/2021-sport-world-championships/info

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/info

The competition organization understands that there will remain many unknowns regarding COVID-19, even with the development and distribution of a vaccine.  Pilots who sign-up for a competition and submit payment will be entitled to a full refund of entry fees minus $3.00 (three dollars) or the foreign equivalent if they are unable to attend due to impacts of COVID-19.  This includes government-imposed travel restrictions, government-imposed restrictions on sporting events, surges in cases, pilot illness, pilot family member illness, etc.  The $3.00 (three dollars) is retained to pay for anticipated non-refundable Organizer competition expenses.
 
There are a couple of changes - other than the impacts of COVID-19 – from previous years of Florida hang gliding competitions.  The first and most impactful is the retirement of Davis and Belinda from official Organizing and Meet Directing duties.  As competition pilots, we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their personal sacrifice and doing what can be a thankless job.  Without their commitment to organizing the Spring Florida competitions from the Green Swamp Klassic to the Nationals series, I suspect that the Florida and Big Spring competitions would have died-out a long time ago.  Thankfully, they have volunteered to help the new organization team, as needed to get things going for next year.  
 
This gets us to our second change.  In my role as the primary Organizer for next year’s Florida competitions and also considering the long-term prospects for U.S. based race-to-goal competitions – I along with two other competition pilots founded a hang gliding competition specific non-profit organization - the Hang Glider Racing Association Corp (HGRAC), a registered Florida non-profit corporation.  This was done upon the advice of past and potentially future organizers and several attorneys.  
 
A little background - some of the requirements enacted by the Risk Retention Group (RRG), for a competition to be insured, transfers a substantial level of risk to competition organizers.  This includes the potential for the RRG to refuse coverage for incidents that would be beyond the control of the organizer.  Without the creation of a competition specific organization as an additional protection for organizers, it is unlikely that anyone would have stepped in to organize another hang gliding race-to-goal competition in the U.S.  To be fair, the RRG has been made aware of the concerns and their leadership is working to resolve them – but in the interim - the HGRAC will be the entity under which I along with one or two other potential hang gliding competition organizers will organize U.S. based race-to-goal hang gliding competitions.
 
The HGRAC is currently composed of a president and two Directors.  The two Directors are Ben Dunn and Cory Barnwell.  Ben is a former multi-year Open Class U.S. National Team member and Cory is an experienced Open and Sport Class competition pilot.  We will be looking to appoint additional Directors if and as the HGRAC evolves.   

The comp organization email address is <team>.

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New Wisconsin State Record - 209 Miles

Mon, Aug 10 2020, 7:19:49 am MDT

Larry makes an ordinary day into an epic flight

Flytec 6030|Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|Naviter Blade|record

Larry Bunner writes:

After an excellent spring here in the midwest, things slowed down a bit of late with soarable conditions but high humidity limiting the climbs and altitudes seen back in May. Our first cold front of the summer passed through on Monday bringing cool dry air to the region. Post frontal air masses mean good conditions and for Tuesday, August 4th XC Skies was predicting 10-15mph north surface winds (20mph at the top of the lift) and fair climb rates up to 6000’msl (mean sea level) cloud base later in the afternoon in Illinois. The Buoyancy Shear (BS) ratio was low as expected due to the stronger winds so the lift would be very turbulent however it would be better further to the south. The Skew T diagram (my favorite weather tool) substantiated the info from XC Skies and showed solid soarable conditions by 11:00. The temperatures at the top of the lift were expected to be in the low 40’s so cold weather clothes would be necessary to keep comfortable.

I spoke with Greg Dinauer in the morning and stated I would get to Whitewater, WI early and be ready to go by 11:00 with the intent to launch once the clouds showed the conditions were solid. Short lived cumulus clouds began forming at 8:30 on my drive to the flight park and slowly began filling the sky as we set up. Chico Sulin volunteered to be our chase driver so we were all set. Greg was towed up at 11:20 to a building cloud street to the northeast and immediately climbed to 4500’msl in 500fpm (feet per minute). I towed up at 11:30 directly to the north. We hit some fair lift and Danny began a broad circle to the west. The winds were already strong and we weren’t very far from takeoff. I feared getting off near the airport in weak lift would put me in a tough position, so I tapped on the line to try to get him to take me further up wind. In my zeal I inadvertently activated my release and separated from the tow plane! Having to land and relaunch entered my mind but the lift was solid as I slowly climbed to 4100’msl (3300’ above the ground) at 133fpm . Greg reported that he landed south of Whitewater Lakes 14 miles to the south. This intensified my focus and I hung on to the next thermal for every bit of altitude exiting at 5000’msl. I thought for sure the day was on however the next few clouds did not deliver and soon I was at 1500’ looking for a suitable landing field. Luckily I latched on to a gnarly bubble that was dumping me on the backside repeatedly as I circled but was slowly gaining altitude. Eventually the lift expanded and there was lift all the way around, taking me to 4200’ (3400’agl). Whew!

XC flying for me is all about maximizing the day. It’s about getting to the site early, getting prepared, assessing the conditions and then launching as soon as is practical. It is critical to be very conservative at the beginning of the day, stay as high as possible and Do Not race. Then during the meat of the day put the hammer down as conditions dictate only to switch gears again late to hang onto any lift regardless of strength. If a pilot can do this and glide from the last cloud to the ground then I would call it an epic flight! This is in contrast to an epic day however. An epic day would be one that has strong lift, high cloud base, early soaring conditions, beautiful cloud streets and strong wind. A day like this leads to big miles.

Switching gears once again after almost decking it, I flew to every little cloud within my downwind periphery and worked them for all they would offer as I passed over the state line into Illinois. The size of the thermals made it difficult to get a complete turn in lift but I had figured out by now that this was how the day was going to be. It was a bit like riding a bucking bronco but thankfully I was flying a Wills Wing TIII Team 144! The handling on the 144 is so easy it feels as if I am on a much smaller glider and even though I was circling in very rough air I was relaxed and confident I could maximize the lift to stay aloft. I kept telling myself to just hang on. With winds aloft at 16-23mph, any lift that kept me climbing was drifting me at a good speed down wind.

Two hours elapsed before I found another good thermal that took me over 5000’msl (4200’agl). I could see better developed clouds to the south and west but just couldn’t quite get to them until I found a solid climb north of Sycamore, IL (about 60 miles from takeoff). From then on I was feeling more comfortable as the clouds were better developed with nice black bottoms and were distinctly lined up in streets (a series of clouds with a very short distance between them). For 40 minutes I stayed relatively high and cruised downwind to Hinckley always scanning for the best clouds and planning my next moves. To the west a robust cloud street formed so I pressed to the SW to connect with this good line. Initially the street didn’t produce the strong lift that the clouds were indicating, I groveled along underneath looking for that monster climb but instead sank like a rock to 2700’ twice before connecting with a stronger core just south of the Fox River near Sheridan that took me back above 5000’.

The thermal drift was now to the southeast and still strong. I was reading wind speeds aloft at ~20mph. Ahead I could see I was on line to fly over the Illinois River and a large cooling lake for the LaSalle Nuclear Plant. From previous experience I knew that large bodies of water can adversely affect the lift down wind so headed further to the southeast to keep me over dry land. Just before the river I connected with a line of clouds and surfed in the lift underneath only turning a couple times when I hit 700fpm. This put me in great position at 5800’ to cross the river and continue down the east side of the lake. Fortunately on this day the water in the lake was considerably warmer than the air due to the warm effluent coming from the nuclear plant so clouds continued to form downwind and the lift remained relatively good.

I have two instruments mounted on my control bar, the Flytec 6030 and Naviter Blade, that provide information that maximizes my ability to soar. They are actually flight computers that provide visual and/or audio cues for altitude, airspeed, climb rate/descent, distance from waypoints, speed to fly, wind speed and more. I have been using the 6030 for over a decade now and am very familiar with the information that it provides. I purchased the Blade a couple years ago as it has a couple of additional features lacking in the 6030; a color map and a thermal assistant. The map provides a high resolution picture of the terrain, roads and towns and more importantly shows controlled airspace in the area that must be navigated around. The thermal assistant gives a pictorial of the strength of the thermals and audio alarms that help the pilot get centered in the stronger lift more quickly. I use both instruments as I am trying to wean myself from the 6030.

After the river crossing, I was heading toward Pontiac, IL a waypoint that was programmed into the instruments that would keep me on a path clear of controlled airspace between Bloomington and Champaign IL. My track to this point was very slightly east of due south. Just north of Pontiac I thermaled up in my best climb to this point at 390fpm to 6100’. Knowing that I would need to navigate around airspace soon, I chose to head SE where the clouds were aligned in that direction. Two thermals later I had the best climb of the day at 449fpm and maxed out at 6309’. I could clearly see Champaign off to the SSE and knew that I’d have to deviate to the east. Fortunately there were good clouds in that direction and I was able to pass just south of Rantoul and skirt around the airspace.

The clouds began to change quickly as the sun descended late in the day. The lift in each thermal became lighter and lighter. I was now hanging on circling and drifting sometimes circling in no lift but knowing I was moving quickly down wind. I had intermittent contact on the radio with Chico and Greg, however they knew my location from the Life 360 app that we all use for tracking. I did hear Greg state that I had just passed over them. I didn’t see my SUV as I was too intent concentrating on the lift and continually scanning for a field to land in. Glancing at my instrument, I was nearing 200 miles. And knew that the current state record (202 miles) was within reach. I just had to hang on. I flew toward one last cloud over a tractor cutting hay and found weak lift. I circled and circled drifting and drifting until there was no more.

In this part of the state there was nothing but corn and soy beans as far as I could see, not another hay field in sight. I maneuvered south to a grass strip of land thinking it was an airstrip but it turned out to be too rutted to safely land in. I now resigned myself to land in the soy beans and after 7 hrs and 4 minutes in the air I unceremoniously landed in 4’ of soy beans 100 yards from the road. I was struggling to lift the glider and slog my way to the road when to my surprise Chico and Greg pulled up and graciously helped extricate me from my predicament. Greg informed me that I set the state record. He was the previous record holder. I was super tired but also super stoked as I finally broke the 200 mile barrier this year after two flights earlier in the year came up just short (190+).

Well, all in all, it wasn’t an epic day as I only topped 5000’ (above the ground) four times and only had three sustained climbs above 300fpm the entire day but it was certainly an epic flight for me as I launched early in questionable soaring conditions and flew to the last cumulus cloud before succumbing to terra firma once again. I am incredibly grateful to enjoy this sport at 66 years of age. Many thanks for the support I get from my wonderful wife Sue, flying friends and Wills Wing. Chico and Greg did an outstanding job keeping up with me and getting me back at a reasonable hour, for this I owe them big time. Thanks all!

209 miles from Whitewater

Thu, Aug 6 2020, 2:41:30 pm MDT

Larry Bunner finally goes over 200 miles this year

Larry Bunner|PG

We are awaiting the details. South to Homer, Illinois on Tuesday.

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2594334

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Marfa Expedition Day 1

June 22, 2020, 7:36:05 MDT

Marfa Expedition Day 1

Piddling around

Larry Bunner|Marfa Expedition 2020

cart|Larry Bunner|Marfa Expedition 2020

Larry Bunner writes:

Sunday was a bit of a cluster for day 1. We had the last minute details to work out and met with the Airport Manager and Airport Administrator (who flew in from Corpus Christi). Once they found out the qualifications of all the pilots, things went smoothly. They have provided a hangar for the week for a nominal fee and have given us the ok to tow from the taxi ways.

Rich Reinauer kicked things off by towing soon after noon, sank out and then towed up again and thermaled on out of the airport heading east. He landed a short distance away at Alpine due to some short lived over-development on his course track.

After short adjustments on the tug I was lined up on the cart when my harness zipper broke thus putting me into repair mode for the afternoon.

Glen had a fine flight doing a triangle to Alpine, Fort Davis and back getting to 15300'.

Mick Howard launched last and had the flight of the day proceeding up highway 17 through the Davis Mountains and onward to the NE. Last I heard, he was near Pecos and quite high. Robin and Nathan arrive to fly tomorrow.

The forecast on Monday is for west wind 5 to 15 mph, 102 degrees. Tuesday northeast wind. Wednesday east wind.

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Marfa Expedition

June 21, 2020, 8:24:16 MDT

Marfa Expedition

Southwest Texas

Glen Volk|Gregg "Kim" Ludwig|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton

Larry Bunner writes:

Well, here we are a year later and the three of us (Robin Hamilton, Glen Volk, and I) who flew to Canada last summer are back together for a reconnaissance mission flying out of Marfa, Texas for the next week.

Gregg Ludwig will be doing the towing on his Super Trike and we kick it off today. Gregg has been doing south Texas encampments for four years now and is an expert tow pilot.

Mick Howard, Nathan Wreyford, Rich Reinauer, and Patrick Pannese are also here to fly. We are all amped to fly the mountains and break off some big flights. Wish us luck.

If you want to track our flights you can go to the Marfa Expedition group on the Flymaster website url. Here's the url for the Marfa Expedition: https://lt.flymaster.net/bs.php?grp=3275&pwd=8a581b00931f9fc3943fc276266d8

300+ km in Texas

June 20, 2020, 8:18:06 pm MDT

300+ km in Texas

Gavin McGlurg is in Hebbronville

Larry Bunner|PG|record

Larry Bunner|PG|record|Robin Hamilton

He flew to 30 miles north of Leakey today before the cu-nimbs to the west on the Dry Line blocked the sun. Light winds made for slow going.

He is there with other paraglider pilots towing, likely at the airport. Hebbronville is 45 miles north east of Zapata and has been used before as a starting point for paraglider flights (keeps them over a more accessible area and away from Laredo airspace).

Larry Bunner is on his way to Marfa and so is Robin Hamilton.

I'm helping with the weather forecasting remotely here in Boise for both record camps.

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212.5 miles

June 12, 2020, 6:42:10 pm MDT

212.5 miles

Kzry in the Midwest

Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|record

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/11.6.2020/17:01#fd=flight

Larry Bunner writes:

Yesterday Kris flew from Cullom, Illinois to Eaton, OH some 213 miles. Top of lift was 8800'. He had good climbs but not great and a decent push. Unfortunately, the cloud dotted sky led into a 30 mile blue hole before the cloud streets reformed. It was the blue hole that ended the flight with plenty of sunshine left.

He is on a roll this season with two flights over 200 miles (one an east of Mississippi River record), one 193 mile flight and one 100+ mile triangle. The Midwest is cracking right now. Unfortunately I couldn't partake yesterday as I was installing a new septic system at my flip house.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

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Larry and Krzy in Indiana

Tue, Jun 2 2020, 9:57:52 am MDT

Blowing from the north

Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|PG

Larry writes:

On Saturday, Kris and I decided to test out his tow rig again at Cullom, Illinois (southwest of Chicago). Conditions looked to be quite good with a brisk north northwest wind turning north at the Indiana/Illinois border. We set our sites on going to Kentucky.

Big John towed me up around 11:30 into a fat thermal and I took it to cloudbase at 5300’. Kris meanwhile had a line break and had to relaunch with some delay. He took off around 12:30.

We both had no trouble darting from cloud to (the cloud spacing was tight early) as we headed SSE down the state and eventually into Indiana.

South west of Terre Haute, Indiana, a thick fast moving narrow band of cirrus blew through from the west momentarily stopping me cold as the ground shaded over completely. I saw it coming and headed to the south east trying to outrun it but it was moving at well over 50mph and very quickly overran my path. I changed gears and went into survival mode telling myself to stop for any lift. Until this time average climbs (from thermal entry to exit) were in the 400-500fpm range with peaks in the 800fpm range.

At 3500’msl I felt a bubble and searched out a 50-100fpm climb. Thirty minutes later, I was back at 5800’. The cirrus was now gone and the clouds were looking robust again.

Meanwhile Kris was charging hard from behind hitting three 500-600fpm climbs to help close the gap. He was far enough behind that the cirrus was gone by the time he cruised through the overcast area I had encountered (timing). He spent over an hour cruising between 5000 and 6000’ only stopping briefly to grab some precious altitude before pushing on. I could tell he was getting close as his radio transmissions were now clear as a bell.

The problem was that back at launch we got too amped up when we saw clouds forming at 10:30 and didn’t take the time to put in a task. I had Franklin, Kentucky in my instrument but he had a different waypoint. So our communications were useless relative to our locations.

After digging out under the cirrus overcast, conditions improved markedly. I was able to stay higher and had my best climb of the day west of Wheatland, Indiana to 6000’. The cumulus clouds now were thinning out and there was a heavily forested area to the south so I diverted to the south east to ensure my track was over landable terrain. I thermaled up under the last cloud and glided downwind landing near Velpen, Indiana. Kris took a slightly different track more to the south and did the same landing near Somerville. We ended up with 301 and 300km respectively. Woohoo, what an awesome day.

As is his habit, John Enrietti was “johnny on the spot” pulling up to me just as I put the last strap on my Wills Wing T III (awesome glider BTW) and soon we had Kris and headed back. I made it home at 3:00am and spent Sunday recovering. Kris of course went flying again (beast). Our two flights put Kris in first and me in second place for the hang gliding world online Cross Country contests (XContest and Leonardo). Not bad for a couple of Midwestern flatlanders, eh?

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2020/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

Bunner and Grzyb go long again

May 30, 2020, 7:38:43 pm MDT

Bunner and Grzyb go long again

Around 200 milers from Illinois into southern Indiana

Facebook|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner

>

Looks like Krzy went half a kilometer further a bit to Larry's west.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/30.5.2020/17:29

The US way way ahead: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national-teams/

Poland rising basically due to Krzy.

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Rich Reinauer sets new site record

May 25, 2020, 11:01:13 MDT

Rich Reinauer sets new site record

Alamogordo

Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|record

Larry Bunner writes:

Rich went 195 miles yesterday from Alamogordo. More details soon.

His flight from the day before: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:Richreinauer/23.5.2020/18:47

142.5 km.

The world ranking of nations:

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

Krzy flies for Poland.

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Cold Weather Flying

May 14, 2020, 7:28:53 CDT

Cold Weather Flying

They are outside staying safe

Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|PG

Larry Bunner writes:

This spring has been very good weather wise for hang gliding here in the Midwest. Multiple cold fronts passing through have resulted in extremely dry atmospheric conditions and therefore strong thermic days. The air has been so dry we have missed the typical cumulus development that helps us fly faster. Yesterday was another of those days with winds out of the west a t 10-15mph, sparse cumulus formation but strong lift.

Kris and I again braved the cold temperatures (20F) and opted to do a 100 mile (160km) triangle. We flew from Whitewater, WI southeast to Wilmot near the Illinois border and then west into the wind to Beloit, WI before returning to Whitewater. Our average climbs for the day were stronger than Saturday however the upwind leg was difficult and took us over 2 1/2 hours to complete.

Kris got the jump on me again and headed back toward Whitewater but then instead flew further to Fort Atkinson before coming back to land at Whitewater.

From Beloit I made it half way back before having to dig out of a soft area. Down to 2000' above the ground I found some weak lift that I slowly worked up to 2700'. I spotted a cloud shadow indicating a cumulus cloud, forming to the west of me and decided to leave the weak lift and flying 2 miles upwind to get under the cloud. I was rewarded with 400fpm and circled in the lift back up to 7000'.

The remainder of the flight back to the airport was uneventful and I landed at the field 6hrs and 5min after takeoff. Top of the lift was 8300'msl this day.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:lbunner/12.5.2020/15:54

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

Almost: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national-teams/

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2020/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/12.05.2020/16:47

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388 kilometers from Illinois

April 11, 2020, 11:04:22 EDT

388 kilometers from Illinois

Paragliding

Larry Bunner|PG

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:flyboy0871/10.04.2020/15:36

Jaro Krupa
date : 10.04.2020 10:36 =UTC-05:00
launch : US Cullom
glider : 777 Gambi
airtime : 7:57 hours

Larry Bunner writes:

High temp for the day at the surface was 45F and at top of lift a whopping 17F.

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Wills Wing T3 136

March 13, 2020, 9:10:12 pm EDT

Wills Wing T3 136

There is such a thing

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park

It probably isn't ready to be announced by Wills Wing but Pedro Garcia is flying Claudia's and says that it is a wonderful glider. He flew just behind Larry Bunner who was flying his Wills Wing brand new T3 144  today for about ten kilometers and they had the same glide ratio. Both Pedro and Larry don't weigh that much.

A good flight today with Larry Bunner, John Simon, and Pedro Garcia flying south to Famish then to Fantasy of Flight and then back to Wilotree Park. Betinho and Carla flew from Wallaby to Wilotree. My right scapula muscle was aching so I took a rest day.

Supporting the Oz Report

Fri, Mar 6 2020, 8:02:44 am EST

Pilots are generous people

Alan Deikman|Charles Allen|Larry Bunner|Martin Henry|Oz Report|Vince Furrer|Vincene Muller

TThanks to these special contributors: Ken Lightsey, Benjamin Friedrich, David I McAnally, Collard Collard, Alan Deikman, Larry Bunner, Charles Allen, Martin Henry, Indasky, Vince Furrer, Karl Allmendinger, Vincene Muller, Daniel Guido, and Nicholas Palmer.

This is the month where I ask Oz Report readers for their support. Your contribution pays for hosting our web site and for Gerry's technical support to keep it running.

Here are our supporters: https://OzReport.com/supporters.php

As you know, all we are asking for is a subscription payment of $20/year.

Seems simple enough. Like most content on the internet, you get to read the Oz Report for free. The trouble for us, not you, is that there are not enough hang glider pilots in this world to make advertising pay for our web hosting costs.

Please, help us out. Support something that you find useful so that it can continue to be there for you.

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We Love Watching the Satellite Photos

March 5, 2020, 8:16:31 EST

We Love Watching the Satellite Photos

And their animation

Larry Bunner|photo

https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES/conus_band.php?sat=G16&band=GEOCOLOR&length=12

https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES/conus.php?sat=G16

Larry Bunner likes this version. Just scroll over to the part of the country that you wish to view.

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Going to the Northeast

March 4, 2020, 7:57:14 EST

Going to the Northeast

Navigating around the Orlando airspace

Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

When there is a strong southwest wind like on Tuesday (and it looks like on Wednesday) you've pretty much got to go to the northeast. It's a beautiful area with lots of big lakes, which you also have to avoid. Thankfully there are plenty of possible landing areas.

I hadn't gone off in that direction in a good number of years, but was up for it on Tuesday with Larry Bunner and his brother Rob, along with Adam Smith. We set up launch in the northeast corner.

I was pulled up first at about 1:45 PM. The wind on the ground was 13 mph out of the west southwest. I hung on until 2,900' as we were headed straight for a cloud street but hadn't reached it yet. I had to go to the upwind side of the nearest cloud about a kilometer further west before I found the good stuff and climbed out at 380 fpm to 4,800' before escaping the cloud.

The wind was averaging 20 mph out of the west southwest but I didn't find any turbulence on tow or while thermaling. As I topped out I headed due north across to the cloud street to the north to avoid the rather large Lake Apopka to the east northeast. There were plenty of cu's around indicating lift, but the cloud streets were dominant.

My biggest concern was checking out possible landing areas. Of course, I was quite high so no need for one right away, but I wanted to see how setting tasks in this direction would fair during the upcoming competitions. Lots of swamps, and lakes, and small towns, but plenty of possible LZ's, also.

I worked light lift to the west of Lake Minneola just to stay high enough to be comfortable and have as many options as possible. I have to keep moving to the north east cross wind to get around the lakes and head toward the turnpoint at Mid Florida airfield.

I work light lift west of Lake Apopka climbing to 4,200' and looking at all the wet farm lands north of the lake. I want to be sure to have other options further north so I turn that direction after toping out and head for more clouds.

Down to 2,400' northwest of the lake but heading toward farming areas that don't look all that accessible I find the first turbulence of the day. Larry is back at Wilotree Park unable to get away and being beat up by the turbulence. Se Bunner is chasing. Rob Bunner has been advised not to launch given the turbulence.

I climb at over 200 fpm to 4,800' on the line that gets me north of the lake and toward good looking possible LZ's.  I continue climbing flying straight under the cloud street to 5,100' but I'm going to miss the turnpoint at the Mid Florida airfield as the cloud street has too much west in it.

I hear from Larry that he can't get away from the flight park, so I think about landing near the turnpoint. Having passed north of Lake Apopka I turn north to head for the turnpoint. I also see lots of trees ahead on my current path and it looks a lot better if I get closer to the turnpoint.

I hear that Larry is not going to get away and so it is a good idea to land so that Sue won't have to chase just me. I find a huge field just east of the turnpoint and land coming in in a 20 mph wind and stay on the base tube all the way to the ground.

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Winter Flying at Wilotree Park

February 18, 2020, 9:13:29 pm EST

Winter Flying at Wilotree Park

It's been light lift the past three days

Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

Larry Bunner, John Simon, Greg Dinauer and I have been flying the past three days. Sunday and President's Day my flights were a little shorter than I would have liked. Others did well, but no one was able to complete the triangle tasks given the light lift.

Today was no exemption, but perhaps better lift.

Conditions started weak and after a while Greg decided to stay local. The wind was out of the south at about 13 mph.

Launching at 1:20 PM (second launch) I worked 100 fpm or less following Larry who had launched earlier to the north northwest and not getting above 2,800'. There were plenty of cu's around but they were misty and not well formed. No black bottoms.

I lost contact with Larry north of Mascotte, but saw that John was nearby. We flew together and found 200 fpm west of Grass Roots airfield to 3,400', then turned west to head toward the first turnpoint at Cheryl, a north/south grass air strip.

We worked a couple of less than 200 fpm thermals south and west of Center Hill until we found lift that on the 30 second averager showed 480 fpm (but overall was 260 fpm) on the southwest corner of the forested area three kilometers from Cheryl. That got us back to 3,400'.

Larry joined up with us there although he had been ahead and then got the turnpoint after us.

The next turnpoint was the Baron airstrip on the northeast. John caught a better climb and got to 4,000' on the west side of the forest. Larry came in under me and I climbed to 3,700' before heading after John toward the prison complex.

There were plenty of cu's ahead and John got halfway through the forest and then called out that he was heading toward the cu's to the northeast. I got there and decided to head to the cu to the east instead. I noticed that there was a fire feeding it.

I got there and found 600 fpm (it averaged 370 fpm) to 4,200'. John came back under me to join in the better lift and Larry came in low (but didn't go far enough south toward the fires). Larry would land at the Turnpike.

I headed out in front for Baron with John coming soon behind me. I was down to 2,600' in the 3 kilometer turnpoint cylinder when John called out 300 fpm 2 kilometers behind me. I came in under him but it averaged 45 fpm for me.

John topped out at 4,100', made the turnpoint at Baron and headed north up along the east side of the Villages. I left at 2,500' and headed west along the north edge of the Turnpike over areas being graded for development and toward a large black bottom cloud over a lake and swamp area.

I was only going down at 200 fpm and there were some possible landing areas ahead along the Turnpike. I wanted to get south of the big cumulus cloud. I finally did find the source of its lift at 1,700' and started climbing at 300 fpm in a very smooth and very tight thermal. The air was rising throughout each rotation.

I took it to 4,100' and headed north northwest slightly to get around the blue hole to the north and toward the better looking cu's. I wasn't getting anything and northwest of Wildwood I heard from John that he had laded. He didn't get anything after Baron.

I kept heading toward the thickness looking cu's but I didn't find a thing. I came over a really big field next to a paved road at 1,300' and then searched around to see if there was any lift in the vicinity. Not finding anything worth hanging out in I landed in my preferred field. Logan, our driver, was there with John as I finished breaking down. 52 minutes back to Wilotree Park.

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Not Paying Attention to the Forecast

February 10, 2020, 8:07:03 EST

Not Paying Attention to the Forecast

Hadn't planned to fly on Sunday

Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

Larry Bunner said that he was going to give it a try so I said okay and never looked at the forecast. The wind seemed to be about ten mph out of the east northeast on the ground. There were no cu's but around noon they started to form to our south. By 12:45 they were overhead and we were getting ready as fast as possible.

I was off at 1:05 PM and the aerotow out of the field was a little turbulent but not too much. Looking at the lakes below, it was clear that the wind was in fact due east and strong. When I pinned off at 2,700' it was 15 mph due east. We had thought to go south to Avon Park. That was now out of the question. I thermaled 7 km down wind to 4,000' from 2,200' at 140 fpm.

Larry was below me after launching second and our radio communication was barely happening at all. I could talk to Don, our driver, but Larry couldn't hear us although we could hear him. I tried to get him to agree to go down wind, to the west, but he wasn't hearing me.

After Larry announced he was heading back east, we headed back to Wilotree Park with Larry behind and lower. We followed a ragged cloud street down to 1,300' just east of the the flight park to either land or find lift. We found lift.

I was measuring 21 to 22 mph wind speed as we were pushed back to the west in the thermal. I had no desire to land at Wilotree Park in a 22 mph east wind.

Climbing to 4,200' again 7 km downwind from the start of the thermal, I was desperate to get Larry to go to the west. He was determined to go east as I could hear on the radio. I thought, no thanks, and headed west northwest to get around the Green Swamp.

I watched Larry head east but didn't realize that he saw me and turned around and came after me. I was just heading for any big field that wouldn't have trees at the east end to cause turbulence. Didn't hear from Larry.

There was lots of lift and it was easy to cover a lot of ground checking out various fields. Finally I saw the big round field to my west southwest, a field that we had all flown over many times. It was huge and looked perfect for a turbulent landing.

There were birds circling up all over the field. There was also plenty of lift on the way toward it. I concentrated on getting a safe landing.

It was an easy landing and I was very happy to be on the ground. The farmer and his son came right upon his ATV as he had seen me from his house, which was way east of the field. He was very friendly and helpful. Thankfully the gate wasn't locked.

Larry, not as concerned as I about the wind speed, headed further west west of I 75 and landed in a huge field also and also in high winds.

Here's the HRRR 3 forecast for the 2 PM winds at 4,000'. I did find 25 mph winds east of Webster as forecast.

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Top of Lift

January 22, 2020, 8:40:31 EST

Top of Lift

How high can you go?

Larry Bunner

Larry Huffman writes (to Larry Bunner):

"I know you put a lot of effort into weather forecasting and sharing your skill with others. I’ve been using a quick and dirty way of forecasting thermals that I’ve had pretty good results with.

Go to a National Weather Service point forecast such as this one for Groveland, Fl. https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=28.5593&lon=-81.8553

Then scroll down to the hourly forecast graph and click on it.

There are some additional options with check boxes at the top. Under “Fire Weather” (on the right) select Mixing Height and then select Submit.

When the new graph comes up (at the bottom) if you run your cursor across it you can read the hourly values at the very bottom or click on the graph again and it will give you a digital read out.

I like it because it gives me multiple weather values for the whole day. You can use the temperature dew point spread and divide by 4.5 to calculate the cumulus cloud base.

If you haven’t seen this before I hope it will be useful."

TOL from XCSkies for 4 PM Tuesday:

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2020 US Nationals Beginning to Fill Up

December 16, 2019, 7:53:24 EST

2020 US Nationals Beginning to Fill Up

Paradise Airports and Wilotree Nationals

US Nationals 2019|US Nationals 2020|Wilotree Park

We've already had 69 pilots sign up for the 2020 World Championships being held in April and that means it's going to be a successful competition with this number of pilots. We say the maximum that we can handle is 125, but we've never expected that many to show up. Pilots need to sign up by January 19th (you don't have to be on a National team to be in the Worlds) so the window is closing quickly on who are going to be coming to the Worlds.

https://airtribune.com/2020-world-championships/info/details__info

We're also putting on two Class 1 Open competitions in April at Wilotree Parks, one the week before the Worlds and one during it. (The Worlds are the combined Women's Worlds, Sport Class, Class 2 and Class 5 Worlds).

Once again last year these Spring open class competitions at Wilotree Park were very popular. Pilots love coming to fly in Florida in April enjoying the marvelous lifting thermals in pleasant air with mild temperatures, puffy little clouds, light winds and open fields. Pilots are signing up now for these competitions, despite the fact that they are not under the same tight time constraints that pilots who are signing up for the Worlds.

We are always under resource constraints (mainly the number of tugs that we can round up to get every one in the air), so it is always a good idea to register as early as possible and become confirmed as early as possible so that you can be assured that you are in the competition. There will be additional resource constraints during the Worlds for the Wilotree Nationals dictated by the fact they the Worlds ahs first claim on the resources and we can fit in open class pilots only after their needs are taken into account. The World's pilots launch first, for example.

At the moment, we can handle all six competitions and we'll see what the future holds. We hope to be able to accommodate open class pilots in both the Paradise Airsports Nationals and the Wilotree Nationals. For sure there is no issue with the Paradise Airsports. It is a bit iffier for the Wilotree Nationals, so you might want to sign up early to reserve your spot (need to be confirmed). We'll keep you informed.

https://airtribune.com/2020-paradise-airsports-nationals/info/details__info

https://airtribune.com/2020-wilotree-nationals/info/details__info

Bunner on X-Flight

December 12, 2019, 1:55:33 pm EST

Bunner on X-Flight

The podcast

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Pete Lehmann

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann|Pete Lehmann

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann|Pete Lehmann|Robin Hamilton

https://www.cloudbasemayhem.com/episode-107-larry-bunner-the-x-flight-and-flying-in-the-moment

We’ve had a LOT of amazing talks on the Mayhem over the past bunch of years but this one is in a category of its own. Last summer Larry Bunner and three other very experienced Hang Gliding pilots (Glen Volk, Robin Hamilton, and Pete Lehmann) flew from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border in a series of tow and mountain launch flights over 21 days (1884 miles) and 11 States. They were supported by an amazing crew on the ground and allowed themselves lateral shifts, but all South to North travel was done in the air.

This was an incredibly cool mission and it sounded like amazing fun was had by all, but in the course of the talk we also learn some terrific advice and hear some great stories from a pilot who’s been flying 45 years (accident free). Larry’s advice applies to everyone who flies (and there’s some life advice in this one that probably applies to everyone). What do all the best pilots have in common? How do you become “excellent”? How does flying change your life? How do we negotiate the inevitability of finishing projects? Do yourself a favor - DON’T MISS THIS ONE!

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2019 Green Swamp Sport Klassic »

November 5, 2019, 8:16:32 PST

2019 Green Swamp Sport Klassic

First 100 kilometer cross country flight

Green Swamp Sport Klassic 2019|PG|record|USHPA

https://issuu.com/us_hang_gliding_paragliding/docs/ushpapilot1904_issu_68d23770c1b65a/52

On March 24, 2019 I flew my first 100-kilometer XC flight. It was a big day for me as a developing pilot, with personal records set and many lessons learned. Fortunately, none of the lessons were the kind that lead to unwanted landings in strange fields or send you to Urgent Care. It was a very good day.

I began entering competitions in 2018, starting In March with the Green Swamp Sport Klassic. The Green Swamp is a sport-class competition that matches intermediate pilots with mentors who coach them through a week of cross-country flying in a competition environment. As an Oregon Hang-3 pilot flying some fairly tricky local sites, I was at the frustrating cusp where I didn’t have the thermaling skills to get high enough and far enough to find more thermals and improve my thermaling and XC skills. The Green Swamp looked like the perfect crucible to move my game up a notch.

Green Swamp 2018 was great. I had my first out-landings (disregarding landing on the wrong beach in 2006). I flew 40 km on my best day. I never made goal. With the encouragement of other pilots and bolstered by great experiences, I proceeded to compete in sport-class competitions in Texas, Arizona, and Mexico. “Compete” is a strong word, as I never made goal and always finished in the bottom 25%. With my intermediate XC skills, I thought of myself as more of a “participant.”

March of 2019 found me back in Florida for my second Green Swamp. Not wanting to ship my glider across the country again, I purchased a new Moyes Gecko to fly and store in Florida. Saturday I took two short test flights on my new glider, which went very smoothly.

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WPRS Ranking US pilots

September 2, 2019, 9:44:08 MDT

WPRS Ranking US pilots

As of September 1st

Davis Straub|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Glen Volk|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Glen Volk|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Glen Volk|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|Glen Volk|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|Glen Volk|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|Glen Volk|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|Glen Volk|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Rank Name Points
1 Pedro L. Garcia 253.5
2 Zac Majors 215.6
3 Davis Straub 168.1
4 John Simon 163.3
5 Bruce Barmakian 162.7
6 Kevin Dutt 155.5
7 Kevin Carter 144.9
8 Phill Bloom 142
9 Larry Bunner 135.4
10 Patrick Pannese 104.6
11 Glen Volk 101.2
12 Robin Hamilton 97.7
13 JD Guillemette 75.8
14 Kip Stone 65.2
15 Gary Anderson 59.1
16 Willy Dydo 58.3
17 Jeff Chipman 57.3
18 mick howard 53.5
19 Patrick Kruse 51.1
20 Derreck Turner 49.3

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2019 Big Spring Nationals

Tue, Aug 20 2019, 6:16:31 am MDT

Personal bests

cart|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|US Nationals 2019

"Eduardo Fonseca" «fonseca414» writes:

Here is a quick summary of the comp after my last goal on task 3:

Task 4: Did not fly, too gusty for my comfort level
Task 5: Good tow, but didn’t get to leave the start cylinder
Task 6: Could have been a better tow, got just outside the start cylinder
Task 7: Great tow, great climbs, made goal.

Now, here are the details:

Task 4:
It was gusty, beyond my comfort level. I decided not to fly that day. Perhaps a good decision given that the treachery of the wind that day cause pilots to have two broken downtubes and a carbon speedbar. Most people didn’t make goal, and I feel I made the right decision.

Task 5:
Had the best tow to date. After so much mentoring and feedback I wanted to stick in the cart longer. As Mitch Shipley had mentioned, during Big Spring air pilots need to stick to the cart longer. There is the tendency to leave the cart once we are “lifted” by the prop wash, but there is not enough airspeed at that time to properly maneuver the glider. Thus, pilots need to ride out the prop wash, and then hold on to the hoses to the point that the keel of the glider lifts off the cart. So I did, and the takeoff was so much better. Mick had also given recommendation on how to move the body, relax the knees, and control the glider. This tow was so great thanks to being able to apply all the teachings we had received during the comp. During flight it was not easy to find lift and ended short of leaving the start cylinder. Great approach and landing, which seem to come more naturally now. However, I cannot let my guard down (stay tuned for task 7).

Task 6:
It is important to be consistent, which I did not fully apply on takeoff. After the prop wash I left too early, with just enough airspeed to leave the cart. However, I felt the harness graze the cart. Thus, not the best takeoff and need to stay in the cart even longer. The task was a 110 km flight, but just like the prior day, could not find good lift. This flight taught me the importance of always looking for a landing field, and how easy one can end up getting in trouble. Trying to find lift kept me moving towards a not-so-easy-to-land area and going to an open field was out of the question due to distance. There were two options, freak out or stay calm and deal with the situation. Thankfully, I have experience dealing with stressful and difficult situations that require quick action, so the same methodology from work was applied to the landing strategy. Given the wind direction and landing limitations, I was able to land the glider on a pipeline path that was in very similar direction as the wind. Good landing and not very difficult drive for the retrieval team.

Task 7:
Last day of the competition. 38 km NE downwind. I kept telling myself that just being able to fly is great. But how great it would be to make goal once again. We just have to wait and feel the air.

Another great tow, this time staying as long as I could on the cart. Plenty of speed for control and contingencies. Being towed by Mick, I just felt so confident staying in line and dealing with the bumpy air. Just a great tow.

Waved off in nice smooth lift. I was not sure if it just was weak lift or I lacked thermaling skills, but I could see Mynor from Guatemala just a few miles upwind going up like a rocket. I could try to fly that direction, or stay where I was. I decided to stay with my current little climb (at least I was going up). The only way I could even possibly make goal in my opinion was to capitalize on any lift I could find. Thus, I kept working the lift. I took the time to refine my thermaling skills. As I circled, I thought of the direction of the wind, the path of the glider, and how to adjust the turning radius upwind and downwind to make the climb as efficient as possible.

After 6500 ft MSL I did not look at the vario at all, I just managed the turns and listened to the beeps. After a while, I looked again and for the first time in my life I was above 10,000 ft. It didn’t really feel like it, but there I was. “I might have a chance,” I thought. I did not care if I arrived last, I just wanted to get there.

I got as high as 10,900 ft, and when I could not climb anymore, I set the VG full and went on course. Getting lower again at 6000 ft, I reduced speed and little VG in case another thermal showed up. And there it was.

Climbing once again, I prepared myself for the final stretch, taking note of distance to goal, required glide ratio (compared with current glide ratio), as well as time left on the task. It was 5:15 pm and the task would be stopped at 6:00 pm. Thus, it was time to leave the climb, set full VG, stretch my body and tuck my arms in to minimize pressure drag, and stuff the bar in.

After a couple of minutes, I was at goal. I got to goal at around 6000 ft. So happy to make goal once again.

I felt I could have gone for another 60 km, but the day had to end early due to clos9ng ceremonies. So it was time to land. Thankfully at 6000 ft there are so many options, and I picked a field in which two other pilots had landed (Pete and Max).

What’s funny about this moment for me is that as I tried to go down, lift was happening… where have you been all my life. So I stuffed the bar in, and eventually got low enough to make the final approach. Max and Pete gave me the wind direction. As I went down, I could see Max gesturing to add speed, and I was trying (he would later tell me to just keep a hand of the upright and another on the speedbar). Essentially, need to increase my airspeed, period.

Ground effect coming in, and then time to flare. There was more wind than what I had experienced the other days of the comp, so when time to flare came, up the glider went. Not so much, but it is one of those moments in which some people might think of pulling in, but instead I stretched my arms even more and waited for physics to happen. Landed on my feet, safe on the ground and with a great smile.

This was a great way to end an amazing week of hang gliding. I had dreamed of flying in Big Spring since the the Oz Report started talking about it back in 2002. Now, I have become a part of it.

As Mick has mentioned in prior occasions, the experience gained in competition flying substantially surpasses recreational flying. Not for the competitiveness, but for the learning potential. Here are some of my statistics to show you how valuable competitions can be for pilot development:

- Number of flights: 7
- Max altitude: 10,900 ft
- Max thermal climb: 5055 ft
- Number of tasks flown: 6 out of 7
- Number of tasks completed (reached goal): 2 out of 6
- Total flight time: 7 hours 14 minutes
- Longest flight: 2 hours 18 minutes
- Total distance: 131.6 km
- Max distance in a single flight: 41.8 km

Being in Big Spring has been a tremendous learning experience that far exceeded my expectations and made me a better pilot. Of course there is room for improvement, and I hope that the 2020 Big Spring comp is just as exciting and educational.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 19, 2019, 7:04:44 pm CDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

The podiums

competition|Facebook|photo|US Nationals 2019

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results

Open Class:

Sport Class:

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 18, 2019, 6:39:56 pm CDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

Seven days, seven tasks

Belinda Boulter|CIVL|competition|Davis Straub|dust devil|Erick Salgado|Facebook|Gary Anderson|Kevin Carter|Mike Degtoff|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo

The pilots made it clear that they wanted the awards ceremony and meal on Saturday night, the last day of the competition and not on Sunday morning at brunch. That meant we had to have a shorter task or a task that brought us back to Big Spring on Saturday. With a 12 mph forecasted southwest wind, that meant a small triangle for the open class and a short downwind task for the sport class.

Today's task and flight:

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results

Task 7:

# Name Nat Glider Time Total
1 Rodolfo Gotes MEX Wills Wing T3 144 01:58:23 764
2 Willy Dydo USA Wills Wing T2C 136 02:25:16 724
3 Nathan Wreyford USA Wills Wing T2C 144 02:10:32 666
4 Erick Salgado MEX Moyes RX 5 Pro 02:13:51 663
5 Davis Straub USA Wills Wing T3 144 02:18:10 649
6 Bruce Barmakian USA Aeros Combat 12.7 02:29:35 58

Final Results:

# Name Nat Glider Total
1 Rodolfo Gotes MEX Wills Wing T3 144 5301
2 Erick Salgado MEX Moyes RX 5 Pro 5200
3 Bruce Barmakian USA Aeros Combat 12.7 4690
4 Willy Dydo USA Wills Wing T2C 136 4258
5 Davis Straub USA Wills Wing T3 144 4068
6 Kevin Carter USA Wills Wing T3 3919
7 Vic Hare AUS Wills Wing T3 144 3889
8 Nathan Wreyford USA Wills Wing T2C 144 3705
9 Rich Reinauer USA Wills Wing T2C 144 2510
10 Gary Anderson USA Wills Wing T2C 144 2409

Sport Class:

Erick R. Lopez won the last task with Ric Caylor second and Anibal Lemus third. Eight pilots made goal with the winner there in 33 minutes (it was a short task).

Jose Sandoval only went eight kilometers, but that didn't stop him from winning overall. Four Guatemalans in the top five.

Swift Class:

Chris won the task again by three minutes and won the meet overall.

The sky was still blue at 1 PM. The temperatures here were about 10 degrees warmer than what we have experienced in the past (104 Vs. 95). The sky has been blue instead of full of cu's reliably appearing at 1 PM. We've also not had good lift conditions until around 2 PM. There has been at least a slight inversion at 1 PM this year.

Three pilots launched at about 1:15 PM and two stayed up but didn't get high. I launched right after we saw them thermaling, and climbed to 5,200' but no higher and then lost the thermal and landed as did Willie Dydo, one of the three The wind was seventeen mph out of the south.

After a new bottle of water I went again at about 2:20 PM and now the lift was there and sustained. I went right up after the Swifts and circled with them over the airport. I circled up to about 8,000' drifting just outside the start cylinder and then went back and tagged it for the fourth start time at 2:45 PM. I was averaging a little over 200 fpm.

I almost took the 2:30 PM clock but decided to stay near or inside the start cylinder by heading back upwind against the seventeen mph wind, to just get the fourth start clock. The Swifts went with me. About six minutes later Erick and Bruce left the start cylinder late, but I was basically on my own. Rudy would take the 3 PM clock.

Five kilometers out I found almost 500 fpm to 8,300' which told me that the day was truly on. There were no cu's in the vicinity though. This can also be a sign that you'd better be careful if you think that all the lift is going to be this good.

That thermal got me to the turnpoint at a little over 7,000' Turning to the southwest, my tail wind turned into a cross head wind of ten mph. I flew almost six kilometers before I found lift down at 4,200'.

I was low and the lift was weak at 220 fpm and I could only climb to 5,800' losing distance all along drifting to the north. I pushed to the south directly into the wind getting south of the course line before once again starting from 4,200' I climbed at 300 fpm to 7,900' but north and east (downwind of the course line and back up the course line) so I had to cover the same ground again.

Heading southwest then south passing under the first cu's, which when they did not have any lift that, I continued to another cu to the south where I found 150 fpm and was heading backwards once again. I moved east a kilometer from 5,400' and worked slightly better lift until I was seeing 1000 fpm on the twenty second averager. I climbed at 400 fpm on average to 9,700'.

There was a large area of uncultivated flat lands to my southwest and toward the second turnpoint. The wind was between eleven and eighteen mph out of the south. A cu formed over me as I climbed and there were now scattered cu's out in front. I was high enough to get over the less friendly area and flew thirteen kilometers to get to the next lift three kilometers from the turnpoint. As I flew toward the turnpoint, I kept seeing wisps of cu's forming to my southwest but they disappeared before I could get to them.

When I found that thermal it took me to 8,000' at over 400 fpm. It was easy to get the turnpoint despite the 13 mph south wind.

Turning east south east twenty two kilometers from goal it looked like there were cu's ahead. Then I spotted Eric and Rudy turning and flew the four kilometers past the turnpoint to them getting down to 4,500'.

The lift was very strong, sometimes at 700 fpm and averaged 540 fpm. Though Erick and Rudy started out about 3,000' over my head I quickly gain most of that altitude up to them flying in the same thermal which was much stronger down below them. I climbed to 9,500' which gave me a 10:1 glide ratio to goal. Rudy and Erick took off about 500' above me and I went with them.

There was a ten mph cross wind going to goal. At first I was all going well and I wasn't losing much altitude, then things changed and I was losing consistently 800 fpm. My required glide was down to 7.5:1 but I was getting 6.5:1. I stopped for a dust devil and a cu above it at seven kilometers out to be sure that I had enough altitude to make it. I came in five minutes behind Rudy and Erick.

It was an incredible competition with great conditions, just what we expect from Big Spring. We held it a week later than normal, and they had rain after four months of no rain. Next year we go back to the first week of August. The only reason we held it when we did was because we wanted to have two weeks between the Worlds and our meet. That was a useless gesture which we won't ever repeat.

The task and safety committees performed brilliantly and made the competitions with their great calls. Mitch was the best CIVL meet steward we have ever experienced, by far. Belinda was a fantastic meet director and very much in charge and worked well with Mitch. Kate Griffin was a fantastic scorekeeper and tracker wrangler. She is very experienced now (Brett Janaway keeps updating the procedures so it is a task just to know what is going on.) Thor was a very calming presence as the launch director and Mike Degtoff was a great second in command at the launch. The tug pilots, Mick, Bobby, and Jim were spot on and their little cooperative of tug pilots is working great.

Thanks so much for all the help from the Big Spring Community. We could not pull this off without their tremendous support - water and free ice cream included. Thanks to all the sponsors for their prizes.

Photo by Mike Degtoff.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 16, 2019, 10:58:53 pm CDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

Another incredible call from the Safety Committee

Chris Zimmerman|competition|Davis Straub|Erick Salgado|Gary Anderson|Kevin Carter|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Tom McGowan|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo

Today's task and flight:

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results

Big Spring to Lamesa to Town, 145 kilometers.

Task 6:

# Name Nat Glider Time Total
1 Erick Salgado MEX Moyes RX 5 Pro 02:31:00 776
2 Rodolfo Gotes MEX Wills Wing T3 144 02:25:57 765
3 Kevin Carter USA Wills Wing T3 02:33:31 684
4 Davis Straub USA Wills Wing T3 144 02:34:23 671
5 Vic Hare AUS Wills Wing T3 144 02:38:30 642
6 Willy Dydo USA Wills Wing T2C 136 02:39:37 625

Cumulative:

# Name Nat Glider Total
1 Erick Salgado MEX Moyes RX 5 Pro 4537
1 Rodolfo Gotes MEX Wills Wing T3 144 4537
3 Bruce Barmakian USA Aeros Combat 12.7 4103
4 Vic Hare AUS Wills Wing T3 144 3609
5 Kevin Carter USA Wills Wing T3 144 3542
6 Willy Dydo USA Wills Wing T2C 136 3534
7 Davis Straub USA Wills Wing T3 144 3419
8 Nathan Wreyford USA Wills Wing T2C 144 3039
9 Rich Reinauer USA Wills Wing T2C 144 2225
10 Gary Anderson USA Wills Wing T2C 144 2191

Open class:

The open class task was stopped at 5:46 PM and scored stopped at 5:31 PM. Seven pilots had already made goal. (Tom McGowan also made goal right after me but was scored incorrectly.)

Sport class:

Stopped at 5:40 PM and scored at 5:25 PM, Jose Sandoval was in the lead when the task was stopped. No one made goal. There was over-development to the west which got close to or came over the course line.

Swift Class:

Chris Zimmerman won the day.

With a forecast for strong lift, cu's, cloud base at 13,500' and 10-13 mph southwest winds we called cross wind tasks to the north. But when we launched at 1 PM it was not happening at all and almost everyone landed and went for a reflight.

When I relaunched at about 2 PM things were much different and I climbed up to 8,500'. I've been adding more layers each day after only two layers on Wednesday (which was very comfortable) with four moderate layers today with the forecast for 37 degrees at 13,500' cloud base later in the day. I don't recall us ever getting that high here before.

There were plenty of cu's after 2 PM as there had been none at 1 PM. I took the last start clock at 2:30 PM, which was the popular start time as almost everyone had to launch late for the second time.

I headed for a fat cu to the north northwest fourteen kilometers and found little lift there. It was all blue ahead so I wanted to get up from 2,200' AGL and I left 160 fpm at 6,000' heading into the blue after a disappointing climb.

Of course, there was good lift right out in the blue and I found 300 fpm to 7,900' and then 400 fpm to 8,900'. It wasn't 13,500' but it was getting up there. The wind had started out at 10 mph out of the south southeast and was now 10 mph out of the south.

I had enough altitude to find the next bit of reasonable lift at twenty two kilometers to the north northwest. I was heading for the ten kilometer cylinder around Lamesa. I headed for an isolated small cu over the canyon area that looked like it was feeding off the gullies. The sink increased dramatically as I approached the spot that I thought looked like the origin of the thermal, and that assured me that there was a good thermal there. I took 250 fpm to 7,200' from 4,500'.

With more cu's ahead I was able to climb to 8,200' at 430 fpm just before the turnpoint cylinder edge. I pushed to the west to get the cylinder and get myself lined up for a cloud street to the north. The wind was averaging thirteen mph out of the south southeast.

The cloud street was working and I was able to climb at 300 fpm and then 330 fpm and then flying straight and climbing to 9,200'. I still had not climbed high and felt the icy cold winds. Speaking of winds, the winds were now eighteen mph out of the south southwest.

For the first time I noticed the over-development and shading from the west. There was rain about fifteen miles away. I wanted to go fast to get north of the rain if possible.

Twenty seven kilometers north of the turnpoint at Lamesa I found a strong thermal at 7,600' It averaged over 500 fpm and I took it to 12,400'. It was cool up there. I was forty three kilometers from goal and had goal at 14:1 with a seventeen mph tail wind. I went on final glide.

During the final glide it showed I had about 2,300' above best glide. That value changed very little no matter how fast I flew nor how much sink or lift I encountered. I was racing the storm to the west which was producing more rain but wasn't effecting goal as yet. Mitch Shipley was at goal and he was saying it was level 1. Tom McGowan and I on the Safety Committee were flying near each other and agreed.

As I got within five kilometers of goal I no longer was losing any altitude even with the bar stuffed.

When I go to goal it was shaded as was the last five kilometers and I found nothing but lift. I had to fly to the east five kilometers to finally find some sink and get down. I assume that it was being affected by the over-development to the west.

The over-development affected the Sport Class goal much more strongly as it built to the south of our goal. Their task was stopped a few minutes earlier than ours was.

The task committee had originally set a task to Levelland to the west of the Town goal. That would have put us right through the over-development. The safety committee moved the task based on the forecast.

So far three days in a row affected by thunderstorms. The task and safety committees have been brilliant in task calling, keeping us safe but with fun tasks. The conditions here have been excellent as well as exciting. All the pilots are enjoying themselves immensely. It was great getting so high today. It was great flying the last forty three kilometers in less than half an hour.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 15, 2019, 7:46:27 pm CDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

Setting the best task that the weather forecast allows

Chris Zimmerman|competition|Davis Straub|dust devil|Erick Salgado|Flytec 6030|Gary Anderson|Kevin Carter|Roger Irby|US Nationals 2019|weather|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo

Today's task and flight:

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results

Task 5:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 01:55:47 960
2 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 01:55:57 882
3 Erick Salgado Moyes RX 5 Pro 02:13:02 841
4 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 02:00:22 821
5 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T2C 136 02:08:10 746
6 Nathan Wreyford Wills Wing T2C 144 02:24:56 667
7 Rich Reinauer Wills Wing T2C 144 02:47:42 589
8 Vic Hare Wills Wing T3 144 02:34:51 559
9 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 144 02:37:59 544
10 Gary Anderson Wills Wing T2C 144 02:44:33 533

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 3904
2 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 3772
3 Erick Salgado Moyes RX 5 Pro 3761
4 Vic Hare Wills Wing T3 144 2967
5 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T2C 136 2909
6 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 2858
7 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 2748
8 Nathan Wreyford Wills Wing T2C 144 2617
9 Roger Irby Wills Wing T2C 154 2041
10 Gary Anderson Wills Wing T2C 144 1882

Sport Class:

Five pilots made it back to Big Spring with Peter Wall winning the day. Jose Sandoval is in the lead over all.

Swift Class:

They made a task to the south. Chris Zimmerman won the day and leads overall.

The weather forecast was for over development in all directions after 4 PM. So we decided on short tasks with early starts.

There were cu's to the west and east of the airport very early and there were too many cu's to the north with cu-nimbs to the west and north at Lamesa which almost stopped the task at 12:30PM (we launched at 12:15). Mitch was on the radio to the safety committee and we said level 2 and 2.5. We were south of the airfield and in good conditions climbing to 7,400', so we said it was level 1 where we were. We were just concerned about the conditions to the north.

As we were six or seven kilometers from the top of the five kilometer start cylinder I flew up to the north at four minutes before the first start time but found weak lift down to 4,500'. I hung in it with a couple of other pilots trying just to stay up.

We stayed in the poor lift for almost half an hour until, just before the last (third) start time, the lift we were in finally turned on and we were able to climb up to 6,000' before going on glide and finding a good thermal to 7.400', nine kilometers to the north. There were no cu's near us.

The winds were light which is why we called a triangle task for the open class and an out and return task for the sport class. The towering cu's to the north dissipated and there was plenty of sun shine on the ground. It no longer was a level 2.

I was leading out in front of the other two pilots which seemed easy to do. We found 200 - 300 fpm average climbs and hooked up with Rudy for a few climbs south the the first turnpoint. The lift was improving as the day went on. We had taken the last clock at 1:45 PM.

I found a nice dust devil just before the first turnpoint where I had seen Rudy turning a bit earlier under a cu and I climbed to 7,700'. There was a much bigger dusty to the east by the second turnpoint which Rudy got into. Before I got to that dust devil I found a thermal under a small cu that averaged 425 fpm so I took it to almost 9,000'.

As I headed south on my own I could see the over development further to the west. The rest of the sky was inviting. I found a forming cu out in the blue and climbed at 380 fpm average to 9,300'. The 6030 said I had goal but it was 12:1 to get there from twenty five kilometers out so I didn't exactly believe that.

The outflow from the top of the over development was partially shading the ground between me and goal. I could see a nice little cu about half way to goal, but off the course line a couple of kilometers. I felt that there was a good chance of finding lift just going down the course line in spite of the partially shaded ground.

At thirteen kilometers from goal I found 440 fpm and took it to 7,500' with an 8:1 required glide.

I came into goal with 600' AGL and landed. The wind was light out of the west toward the over development.

The over development continued to grow and come toward us but all the pilots who made goal made it in with incident. It was just shaded and there were no thunderstorms near us.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 14, 2019, 9:21:51 pm MDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

East northeast wind with low top of lift

competition|Davis Straub|Erick Salgado|Gary Anderson|Kevin Carter|Roger Irby|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo

Today's task and flight:

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results

Task 4:

# Name Glider Time Distance Total
1 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 03:26:40 118.09 534
2 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 03:52:45 118.09 458
3 Erick Salgado Moyes RX 5 Pro 03:57:58 118.09 418
4 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144   44.46 235
5 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3   29.02 188
6 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T2C 136   15.77 132

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Erick Salgado Moyes RX 5 Pro 2860
2 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 2844
3 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 2816
4 Vic Hare Wills Wing T3 144 2421
5 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 2297
6 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T2C 136 2153
7 Nathan Wreyford Wills Wing T2C 144 1963
8 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 1904
9 Roger Irby Wills Wing T2C 154 1749
10 Gary Anderson Wills Wing T2C 144 1362

Sport Class:

Jose Sandoval Sandoval was the only one to make goal at 48T. He continues to lead the sport class.

Swift Class:

Didn't fly.

The forecast was for an east northeast wind, lighter than the previous day. With a huge downpour and flash flooding around Big Spring on Tuesday night we figured the lift around the airport to be very poor. That proved to be the case.

The wind was sixteen mph northeast just south west of the airport so that made things even worse. Our task was to the west northwest given the forecast for lighter and east northeast winds.

I was circling with Bruce and Kevin as we climbed at 170 fpm. That thermal got us to the edge of the start cylinder just in time for the first clock at 3 PM. We joined up with Roger Irby and Rudy Gotes and climbed to 6,800' just outside the start cylinder.

After a short weak climb we headed north northwest to try to get on the upwind side of some shallow lakes. Roger Irby landed and Bruce and Kevin thermaled downwind of the lakes. I pushed further up wind and found better lift at 345 fpm and after a while they came and joined me. We lost track of Rudy.

We climbed back to 6,800' and headed again to the north northwest cross wind in order to go toward the turnpoint at 48T. We stayed above 5,600' climbing to almost 6,000' and hooked up with Rudy. I was able to find lift by pushing up wind to the northeast when after I felt any lift.

The lift gave out for a while and down to 800' I found lift near a very strong gas flare. Rudy came back to join me and Kevin landed. Bruce was behind us and climbing. We were only able to get to 5,600'.

There were now little cu's popping along our cross wind course line so we could fly to them. I found the next thermal and Rudy joined me but it was only 100 fpm. We had lost Bruce who was high and behind us. We only climbed to 5,700'.

Rudy stayed back as I raced to get under the next thin cu, but got low and had to work it back up to 5,300'. The lift was broken up near the top so I went for a cu just forming up wind of us. It didn't work and I soon landed.

Rudy and Bruce were able to make it around to goal with Erick coming later.

I should have been more conservative and not tried to chase cu's. The lift down low was broken and ratty.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 13, 2019, 11:54:10 pm CDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

Dealing with the forecast for no lift later to the south

Chris Zimmerman|competition|Davis Straub|dust devil|Erick Salgado|Gary Anderson|Greg Chastain|Kevin Carter|Roger Irby|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo

Today's task and flight:

Today's forecast for lift at 5 PM:

The task committee set a task with a eighteen kilometer radius around the airfield at Rankin so that we didn't have to go over a territory full of pump jacks (oil wells) to get to the airfield. It also helped that it kept us away from the likely over development.

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results

Task 3:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 01:41:50 874
2 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 02:05:34 777
3 Vic Hare Wills Wing T3 144 02:05:22 776
4 Erick Salgado Moyes RX 5 Pro 02:07:18 742
5 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 144 02:03:44 631
6 Rich Reinauer Wills Wing T2C 144 02:11:01 628
7 Roger Irby Wills Wing T2C 154 02:23:03 624
8 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 02:32:55 566
9 Gary Anderson Wills Wing T2C 144 02:36:34 544
10 David Proctor Wills Wing T2C 154 02:40:47 481

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Erick Salgado Moyes RX 5 Pro 2442
2 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 2358
3 Vic Hare Wills Wing T3 144 2335
4 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 2310
5 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 2109
6 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T2C 136 2021
7 Nathan Wreyford Wills Wing T2C 144 1877
8 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 1669
9 Roger Irby Wills Wing T2C 154 1663
10 Gary Anderson Wills Wing T2C 144 1276

Sport Class:

Six pilots in goal with Jose Sandoval winning the day. Jose is now back in first place overall.

Swift Class:

Greg Chastain landed short and now Chris Zimmerman is in first place after making it back to the airport.

With an unusual north northeast wind at launch we launched from the south part of the taxi way. There were no cu's around at first at 1:30 PM. There was good lift just southwest of the airport and I was able to get to 7,400' with half a dozen other pilots. When that lift ran out twenty three minutes before the start window opened I headed back toward the airport and then north to a cu when I didn't see anyone climbing near the airport.

The cu quickly disappeared and I chased a remnant of a dust devil further west to hook up with what remained of it after it disappeared also. That set me up alone north of the course line at a little less than 7,000' for the 2:30 PM start.

To the south the area of forecasted zero lift was already filling up with cu's. There were a few wispies along our course line. The forecast said that we wouldn't get too high, maybe to 8,000'.

I found a couple of good climbs but twenty kilometers out from the edge of the twelve kilometer start cylinder I was down to about 1,000' AGL. I was able to work 250 fpm back to over 6,000'.

There had started to be a few scattered good looking cu's about so it was easier to find the lift. Lots of cu's starting and disappearing quickly.

I kept an eye on the vast area to the south where the thick cu's were forming. They were far enough away that I couldn't see their shadows. They did not look dangerous. There seemed to be a limit on how high they went.

I found a nice set of cu's and was able to climb to 9,200' under the dark bottoms. They were still pretty small. I continued to stay northwest of the course line.

The wind changed from lighter northeast to stronger east northeast. This pushed me further to the west of the course line. I also was following the cu's which were more to the west of the line.

There was a mix of possible landing areas and lots of areas with not such great landing opportunities below. I had already been low so I didn't want to do that again.

Twenty kilometers out from the goal cylinder I chased after some little forming cu's and when those didn't work I flew to the area where I had seen a dust devil when I was a few kilometers to the north. Down to 900' AGL I found that there was good lift under some forming cu's that got me back to 6,000' which was enough to get over a large patch of unlandable area and to goal over a super big cultivated field.

I landed with the areas in shade further to the south but plenty of sunshine where I was. It looks like the task committee called a good task given the conditions.

The thunderstorm did hit Big Spring around 8:30 PM with flash flooding.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 12, 2019, 11:37:18 pm CDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

Air sick

Bobby Bailey|Tom McGowan|US Nationals 2019

We take a bit later launch than originally planned as the pilot meeting drags on a bit so the launch is at 1:30 PM (half an hour before Sunday) and the start window at 2:30 PM. After all the relights on Sunday pilots are a bit reluctant to go right away, but we see the first few sticking so the open class pilots are all off in half an hour.

The cu's do start late with a few at 1:30 but more at 2 PM. Bobby Bailey tows me up and before we get to the end of the taxi way to the south he's bank up and I hang on as best I can. I  go around with him twice and then pin off at 1,700' AGL. I work that thermal with lots of pilots coming over to join me to over 10,000'.

It's still a few minutes before the start window so we mush around in light sink before heading out at 2:30 PM at about 9,400'. The wind is averaging 7 mph out of the south west. Our turnpoint is to the northeast. There is a big turnpoint radius around Fish at eighteen kilometers and then the course goes north to Jayton airfield.

About eight of us start off together high and head up the highway toward Snyder to the east north east. The optimized course line will take us right over town and right over the sport class goal. We climb to 10,600' nineteen kilometers from the edge of the start cylinder at almost 600 fpm.

After that I struggle with weak lift and not getting high for the next fifty kilometers as the wind turns from southwest to south at 16 - 18 mph.. Down to 5,000' I get too hot (too much clothing) and get nauseous. I check to see if it is heat stroke or air sickness, but I'm still sweating so it's air sickness. I keep flying as it is not overwhelming as it has been two other times.

I climb to 9,400' just before Snyder over the airfield that is the sport class goal. East of Snyder the land mass changes from open fields to canyon lands. I have to go cross wind to get to the turnpoint eighteen kilometers from Fish. I find another thermal twenty two kilometers out from Snyder at 400 fpm to 8,500' but then it all gets worse as I continue to fight with the air sickness.

I'm six kilometers north of the optimized course line and  work my way south southeast to get back toward the optimized waypoint on the eighteen kilometer radius turnpoint. I'm soon down to 2,000' AGL working weak lift and drifting to the north away from the optimized turnpoint. I go back south and back up the course line to try again and it doesn't get  any better. I'm over the canyon lands low with a few landing options that present difficult retrieves.

I was three kilometers from the turnpoint but low and not willing to go cross wind across unlandable area to go further east to get the cylinder. Taking lift I climb to over 6,000', still relatively low but now six kilometers from the turnpoint and it's upwind. All the lift I find under the fast moving cu's is weak.

I push again upwind to get under the best looking cu and there is nothing there. I'm drifting away from the turnpoint. There is no reason to continue and I'm ready to land as I feel pretty ill.

I land near a paved road and fortunately I can contact Tom McGowan who has landed near Snyder and is in the retrieve vehicle not far away. I curl up on the ground under my glider not having moved it since I landed and go to sleep. I can't stand up. Tom and Dave Proctor break down the glider for me as I rest in the air conditioned truck.

The field is full of stickers and our shoes are covered with them.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 12, 2019, 10:51:26 pm CDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

Down and cross wind almost 100 miles

Chris Zimmerman|competition|Davis Straub|Erick Salgado|Gary Anderson|Greg Chastain|Kevin Carter|Roger Irby|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results

Task 2:

  Name Nat Glider Time Total
1 Erick Salgado MEX Moyes RX 5 Pro 02:39:00 974
2 Nathan Wreyford USA Wills Wing T2C 144 02:38:26 935
3 Rodolfo Gotes MEX Wills Wing T3 144 02:44:49 917
4 Willy Dydo USA Wills Wing T2C 136 02:44:17 901
5 Vic Hare AUS Wills Wing T3 144 03:00:00 783
6 Bruce Barmakian USA Aeros Combat 12.7 03:00:11 779
7 Kevin Carter USA Wills Wing T3 144 03:36:29 599

Cumulative:

# Name Nat Glider Total
1 Willy Dydo USA Wills Wing T2C 136 1824
2 Erick Salgado MEX Moyes RX 5 Pro 1700
3 Rodolfo Gotes MEX Wills Wing T3 144 1581
4 Vic Hare AUS Wills Wing T3 144 1559
5 Nathan Wreyford USA Wills Wing T2C 144 1525
6 Kevin Carter USA Wills Wing T3 1478
7 Bruce Barmakian USA Aeros Combat 12.7 1436
8 Davis Straub USA Wills Wing T3 144 1103
9 Roger Irby USA Wills Wing T2C 154 1039
10 Gary Anderson USA Wills Wing T2C 144 732

Sport Class:

Twelve out of fourteen made goal at 75.6 km with Max Conde winning the day.

Max Conde is in the lead overall with Jose Sandoval in second. Two Guatemalans.

Swift Class:

Chris Zimmerman and Greg Chastain. They are doing out and return tasks as they don't have a driver.

Greg has won both days.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

Mon, Aug 12 2019, 6:23:37 am MDT

Sport Class to La Mesa

competition|US Nationals 2019

Four out of fourteen pilots made it in Sport Class seventy kilometers to the goal at the La Mesa airfield.

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results

Jose Sandoval, Ric Caylor, Max Conde, and John Irlbeck.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 12, 2019, 6:19:07 MDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

We glide on up to Brownfield

Blue Sky|competition|Davis Straub|dust devil|Erick Salgado|Kevin Carter|Roger Irby|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/results/task4325/day/open-class

Task 1:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T2C 136 02:33:51 921
2 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 02:26:25 877
3 Vic Hare Wills Wing T3 144 02:35:14 772
4 Erick Salgado Moyes RX 5 Pro 02:56:44 721
5 Roger Irby Wills Wing T2C 154 02:49:29 682
6 Davis Straub Wills Wing T2C 144 03:03:35 662
7 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 03:07:10 659
8 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 03:08:43 651
9 Nathan Wreyford Wills Wing T2C 144 03:09:12 583

14 to 18 mph south southeast wind. A few cu's. The dry line was clearly visible to the west. Top of lift/cloudbase around 11,000'. A 2 PM launch and 3 PM start to get the better part of the day.

Mick Howard towed me three kilometers south toward the nearest cu due south of the taxi way. The area to the west of launch has proven to be a poor area for lift so I was happy to avoid it. The cu's had been popping since about 1:30 PM (half an hour before launch) on our east side, but we are restricted from going there because it crosses the main runway.

After I pinned off it was a continuous climb from about 4,000' (1,700' AGL) to almost 9,000' drifting seven kilometers to the north northwest in a 15 mph south southeast wind. The start cylinder had a six kilometer radius so given that Mick had towed me way to the south I had no issues staying inside it for the second start time.

North of the airport the cu's were mostly off to the east of the course line about ten kilometers and the first turnpoint was at the La Mesa airfield to the north northwest. While it was all blue ahead I headed in the direction of the turnpoint about five kilometers east of the optimized course line. The start cylinder is centered on a point five kilometers west of the Big Spring airport.

Despite the blue sky there was lift where there were no cu's. I even took a thermal over a gas flare of which there are many (not like years ago north of Big Spring). I was able to hook up with a sweet dust devil north of Ackerly averaging 460 fpm and called Dave Proctor over to join me.

There were towering cu's off to the west quite far aways, but just little wisps along our route. There were some haze domes north of La Mesa which marked 400 fpm lift and I could see ahead a large area of green cotton fields that indicated weaker lift.

I had to search around just south of the cotton fields to find 270 fpm. Bruce, Erick, and Dave came in under me as we all had the idea to get high here before venturing out into the less promising area. I couldn't get any one to go so I headed off by myself (which had been ture for all the flight so far) and it was thirteen kilometers before I found 200 fpm at less than 2,000' AGL (the land elevation was rising).

Kevin and Erick came in under me and we climbed back to 8,000' (5,000' AGL). Kevin had taken the clock after me and Erick the one before me. I couldn't get Kevin to leave so again I headed out on my own as we drifted close to the turnpoint at T-Bar.

There were cu's to the northwest which I had decided to go to before the turnpoint. It was all blue and cross wind to the goal to the west northwest at Brownfield airfield.

I misjudged the distance to the cu's and that took me north and downwind of the course line. Then, when I got to the cu's, they didn't work so I had to go hunting for lift in the blue anyway. I ended up twelve kilometers downwind of the course line working lift to get as high as possible to give me a chance to beat back upwind.

I worked to over 9,600' at 280 fpm and headed southwest knowing that it would take a bit more lift to make it in. Fortunately it was there eight kilometers out and I was able to make it in with plenty of altitude despite the 18 mph head wind.

Kevin went into the blue after the T-bar turnpoint and found lift along the course line going into goal. Willy Dydo took the first clock and grabbed all the extra points getting to goal twenty three minutes before Kevin.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 10, 2019, 11:00:10 pm CDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

The Welcome Dinner

Gary Osoba|US Nationals 2019

Photo by Gary Osoba.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

August 5, 2019, 5:13:50 pm MDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

It begins this weekend

US Nationals 2019

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/blog

https://www.livetrack360.com/livetracking/

https://lt.flymaster.net/

Get ready for following the 2019 Big Spring Nationals.

We'll put up the link to Flymaster Live Tracking this weekend when we set things up.

X Flight

July 12, 2019, 7:39:43 pm MDT

X Flight

Ceremonial flights into Canada (and back)

Larry Bunner

The X Flight adventure was completed today with ceremonial flights from Dorothy Scott International Airport in Oroville (where Robin landed on Thursday) into Canada and then back to the airport. They had originally planned to take off from Mansfield east of Chelan Butte, but the cirrus clouds from the last two days were still happening causing havoc at the Chelan Open also, so they moved north and waited for the cirrus to thin out a bit.

Pilots were taken up one at a time starting with the pioneer of this adventure, Larry Bunner, and they all flew across the border and then back to the airport. Robin was actually towed across the border and the trike pilot got to go into Canadian airspace also.

Discuss "X Flight" at the Oz Report forum   link»

X Flight

July 8, 2019, 11:22:54 MDT

X Flight

Wet

Facebook|Jim Lamb|Larry Bunner|Mike Degtoff|record|weather

Larry Bunner writes:

On Sunday we flew out of Casper, WY. Initially we were going to launch from the Harford County Airport just north of town. I was able to contact Kevin Christopherson to get a read on the weather conditions for the day and he mentioned that he had a runway on his property and invited us to fly from there.

I met Kevin over 30 years ago when my buddies from Wisconsin (Matt Thoreson, Dale Maas) and Iowa (Jim Lamb, Gary Newt) flew at Kevin's primary mountain site, Whiskey Peak from which he set the previous world distance record in 1989. It was good to see Kevin again at his beautiful place nestled in the foothills of the mountains. He and his family greeted and treated us very warmly.

We launched around 1:00pm and early on we climbed up over 15000' in WSW winds upward of 20mph. I had one climb in ridiculously smooth air at over 1000fpm but alas only one. The top of the lift slowly descended to 13000' further to the east as the converging air masses from the west and east collided. We were able to climb up the side of the clouds at one point which offered a unique perspective. Three of us managed to fly to Wright, CO before a persistent thunderstorm off to the north migrated across our flight path and shut us down.

Photo by Mike Degtoff.

Again, eastern Wyoming is very wet, many small lakes dot the landscape as the rainfall there has been abnormally high. After flying for almost two weeks in good conditions, we hoped the rest of the trip would be more of the same. It just hasn't been the case.

On our original predicted flight path the ground moisture levels are very high which reduces the surface heating and resultant altitudes we can thermal up to. In addition the atmosphere is quite explosive throughout the upper west and thunderstorms have been around us each day. We study the forecast models to pick the best location to fly and Monday may take us in a different location to find the southerly winds and the high top of lift that we need to continue north.

Discuss "X Flight" at the Oz Report forum   link»

2019 Big Spring Nationals is on

Tue, Jul 2 2019, 6:57:01 am MDT

We've got enough pilots to keep the loses under control

Belinda Boulter|CIVL|US Nationals 2019

The tee-shirts are going to be donated. Belinda has come up with trophies. The CIVL costs will not be as high as we thought. We still will suffer substantial losses.

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/pilots

We look forward to having a great competition in Big Spring.

X Flight

June 27, 2019, 10:30:53 MDT

X Flight

Dilley, Dilley

Facebook|Glen Volk|Larry Bunner

Facebook|Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton

Larry Bunner has gone back to Dilley, Texas and there meets up with Robin Hamilton and Glen Volk for flying to the northwest.

Forecast looks a bit iffy near Uvalde.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2379942232235288/2436931713203006/

Discuss "X Flight" at the Oz Report forum   link»

X Flight: Gulf of Mexico to Canada

June 21, 2019, 7:36:57 pm MDT

X Flight: Gulf of Mexico to Canada

Press day today

Facebook|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|Sara Weaver|X Flight 2019

Sara Weaver writes:

This is the face of a pilot's dream coming true.

(Larry gave up his prized yellow for the fight against breast cancer.)

Larry Bunner and Robin Hamilton have committed to fly about 1600 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border while partnering with the @susan_b_komen_foundation. It's a task never before conceived, much less executed. They're inviting every single pilot who wants to join to come along. I'm looking forward to a crazy exhausting long flying weekend boxed by 34 hours of driving. Nothing compared to the weeks and weeks of cross country these guys are about to undertake. Grateful to be able to pop in and fly some of this massive expedition with some of the world's best cross country pilots!!

All the good comes with some real talk too. After years of painstaking planning and training, Larry is starting his ultimate expedition with the flu. Seems like he's feeling pretty darn good after today though. Nothing like flying for a few weeks straight to cure a guy though, right?

Today, we flew from West Houston Airport to some nearby fields after the guys enjoyed a kickoff celebration. The wind was strong and lifty, but the airspace was just too close to go far. But it was a fantastic start to this unbelievable journey. Make sure to go follow X Flight: Gulf to Canada on Facebook to be a part of this crazy ride.

2019 Big Spring Nationals

June 20, 2019, 10:22:39 MDT

2019 Big Spring Nationals

Get confirmed by July 1st

Gregg "Kim" Ludwig|US Nationals 2019|Wilotree Park

I wrote to pilots:

We are very much looking forward to the Big Spring Nationals in August. We trust that you are also. It’s great that this year it will also be the test competition for the 2020 Pan-American Championships.

As you know we have to bring everything to Big Spring to run a championship. This includes the Dragonflies from Wilotree Park. Gregg Ludwig will already have his trike in Texas, even though he now lives in Florida.

As you can no doubt see from the aerotow fee, this is an expensive proposition and we need to know well in advance of the competition how many pilots are coming this year. As we have informed almost all of you previously, your status in the pilot registration needs to be marked “confirmed” in order for you to reserve a spot in the competition. The number of pilots with “confirmed” status will determine the number of tugs that we will have at Big Spring.

For example, if we have 50 “confirmed” pilots we will have a total of 5 tugs at Big Spring. We currently have 53 pilots registered and 13 “confirmed” pilots. You can see the pilot list here: https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/pilots.

The number of spots reserved on July 1st will determine how many tugs we will have at Big Spring. If we have only 13 pilots “confirmed,” as is the case now, Gregg might be the only tug pilot there.

So to make this competition a success we need your cooperation. If you are coming to the 2019 Big Spring Nationals you need to take the steps necessary to become “confirmed.” They are as follows, and as found here: https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/info/details__info:

1) Pay $250 entry fee here: http://ozreport.com/2019BigSpringpay.php

2) Sign waivers and medical information form: http://ozreport.com/onlinewaivers.php or: http://ozreport.com/waivers.php

Pilots not confirmed by July 1st will be so noted and only if there are spots available will they be allowed to enter the competition. Again, the number of spots available will be determined by the number of tugs that we have available at Big Spring and therefore by the number of pilots “confirmed” on July 1st..

If you are registered, but not coming to Big Spring we would very much appreciate hearing from you also so that we can delete your entry from the pilot list. In this case please email Davis at <davis> saying that you won’t be coming.

If everything goes to hell in a hand basket (i.e. the meet is canceled), you will receive a 100% refund.

Again, looking forward to having a great time as always in Big Spring. Hope to see you there.

2019 Nationals - week 1 long task

Mon, May 13 2019, 7:24:37 am MDT

Replay is now working.

US Nationals 2019

https://airtribune.com/play/3982/2d

https://OzReport.com/23.94#0

The cloud street is to the left (west) of the course line. Andrew Hollidge has found a wisp along the course line marking lift and keeping him on track to make the last turnpoint.

Carter and Gotes also stay along the course line and get high enough to make it into goal.

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-1/blog__day_5

Getting out ahead of one's self

May 9, 2019, 8:10:39 CDT

Getting out ahead of one's self

My most consistently costly mistake

Larry Bunner|Suan Selenati

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Suan Selenati

competition|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Suan Selenati

competition|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Suan Selenati

Over the two weeks of 2019 Nationals competition the one mistake that I made too many times was to go out in "front" when it wasn't clear where to actually go. Sometimes I would actually be in front of all the other pilots. Sometimes I would just be in front of all the other pilots near me and there would not be another pilot that I could see in front of me. Sometimes it would mean getting in the lead with a couple of pilots nearby but just a bit behind me.

I would get into trouble on the days where there were no cu's which was most often the case during the Nationals. I wouldn't have a visual clue as to where the next thermal was. I would just head down the course line hoping to stumble on the next patch of lift.

It was fine to lead when there were cu's around. On the last keg of task 5 of the Nationals (week 2) I got lucky finding a thermal at the turnpoint at 1,100' AGL and getting up above the pilots nearby. Nene, Zac and John Simon were already way out in front of us and not to be seen.

I headed out toward the cu's ahead and after turning back to get under a better cu I was joined by Larry Bunner just below me. We would continue for three thermals under cu's and lead five pilots below us to goal.

But on the days without these thermal markers things did not go as well. For example, on the first day of week 2:

I get out in front after we leave the developed areas behind north of the Lake Wales airfield. I've got two pilots sort of nearby but not in front of me and it's hard to keep track of them. We are well spread out. There are no cu's ahead (nor any where all day). All the glides up to that point have been short with lots of pilots around to find more lift.

The glide goes a lot longer than I would have hoped for and I have to make a low save to stay up and get to goal late. All I needed to do was not go out in front quite so early and stay with the other pilots for a few more minutes while a couple of bird dogs went out and showed us the lift.

Here's an example from the Spring Meeting - Friuli Venezia Giulia Trophy 2019.

Matjaz Klemencic, Suan Selenati get out in front of everyone include Christian, Alex, and Peter when just before this they were all together as the lead gaggle. Matjaz ends up landing before goal. Suan does a low save and comes in forth behind the other three.

On task 4 during week 1 I was consistently out in front as it was an elapsed time task and I started relatively early. None-the-less there were cu's and I flew the cu's the whole way, 224 kilometers, which allowed me to stay in front and fly by myself. The Replay doesn't work, but the results are shown here: https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-1/results/task3982/day/open-class. Only at the end did I miss seeing some little wispy cu's off to the east toward the last turnpoint and goal.

So the rule I should follow is, unless you know where you are going (to find lift) stay with others who can help you find it.

Discuss "Getting out ahead of one's self" at the Oz Report forum   link»

CIVL WPRS ranking, for the USA

Mon, May 6 2019, 7:36:16 am EDT

Updated after week 2

Bruce Barmakian|CIVL|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Worlds 2017 Class 1|Zac Majors

CIVL WPRS ranking, for the USA

http://civlrankings.fai.org/?a=326&ladder_id=1&nation_id=235&

Rank Name Nation Points Rank/Ranking-points/Competition
1
W: 24
ZAC Majors
Civl Id: 10613
 USA 227.0 5 62.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
3 57.4 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
1 54.3 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
7 53.2 HG Brazil Open 2019 Round 1 Valadares
 
2
W: 37
PEDRO L. Garcia
Civl Id: 9442
 USA 185.4 2 59.7 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
37 47.9 2018 Hang Gliding Pre Worlds
18 43.5 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
40 34.3 20TH Fai European Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
 
3
W: 40
JOHN Simon
Civl Id: 10959
 USA 181.2 3 52.1 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
6 50.7 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
19 42.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
7 36.3 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
 
4
W: 48
DAVIS Straub
Civl Id: 6143
 USA 174.5 10 54.7 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
2 43.6 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
11 40.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
8 36.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
5
W: 51
BRUCE Barmakian
Civl Id: 8035
 USA 173.3 7 59.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
7 47.9 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
10 42.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
16 24.2 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
 
6
W: 65
KEVIN Dutt
Civl Id: 9017
 USA 160.6 7 48.5 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
15 47.6 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
9 33.8 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
11 30.7 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
 
7
W: 71
KEVIN Carter
Civl Id: 6871
 USA 156.4 3 65.2 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
11 43.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
10 32.1 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
18 15.4 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
8
W: 72
PHILL Bloom
Civl Id: 7426
 USA 156.1 9 44.2 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
14 40.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
7 38.5 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
7 32.7 22D Open De Canaris De Ala Delta Class 1
 
9
W: 82
LARRY Bunner
Civl Id: 6925
 USA 141.9 2 66.8 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
5 39.1 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
39 18.8 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
17 17.2 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
10
W: 99
ROBIN Hamilton
Civl Id: 7536
 USA 131.4 1 54.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
4 40.6 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
9 28.8 21ST Fai World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
8 7.9 2017 Midwest - Class 1
 

CIVL WPRS ranking, for the USA

Mon, May 6 2019, 7:32:54 am EDT

After the 2019 Nationals week 1

Bruce Barmakian|CIVL|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Worlds 2017 Class 1|Zac Majors

CIVL WPRS ranking, for the USA

http://civlrankings.fai.org/?a=326&ladder_id=1&nation_id=235&

Rank Name Nation Points Rank/Ranking-points/Competition
1
W: 26
ZAC Majors
Civl Id: 10613
 USA 215.7 5 62.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
1 54.3 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
7 53.2 HG Brazil Open 2019 Round 1 Valadares
4 46.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
2
W: 53
DAVIS Straub
Civl Id: 6143
 USA 170.3 10 54.7 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
2 43.6 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
8 36.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
19 35.9 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
 
3
W: 64
KEVIN Carter
Civl Id: 6871
 USA 156.4 3 65.2 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
11 43.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
10 32.1 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
18 15.4 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
4
W: 67
JOHN Simon
Civl Id: 10959
 USA 155.5 3 52.1 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
19 42.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
7 36.3 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
13 25.0 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
5
W: 69
PEDRO L. Garcia
Civl Id: 9442
 USA 154.3 37 47.9 2018 Hang Gliding Pre Worlds
18 43.5 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
40 34.3 20TH Fai European Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
27 28.6 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
 
6
W: 77
BRUCE Barmakian
Civl Id: 8035
 USA 144.0 7 59.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
7 47.9 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
16 24.2 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
51 12.8 21ST Fai World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
 
7
W: 80
LARRY Bunner
Civl Id: 6925
 USA 141.9 2 66.8 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
5 39.1 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
39 18.8 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
17 17.2 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
8
W: 83
KEVIN Dutt
Civl Id: 9017
 USA 139.8 15 47.6 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
9 33.8 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
11 30.7 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
28 27.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
 
9
W: 95
ROBIN Hamilton
Civl Id: 7536
 USA 131.4 1 54.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
4 40.6 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
9 28.8 21ST Fai World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
8 7.9 2017 Midwest - Class 1
 
10
W: 112
PHILL Bloom
Civl Id: 7426
 USA 120.1 14 40.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
7 38.5 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
7 32.7 22D Open De Canaris De Ala Delta Class 1
7 8.2 2017 Midwest - Class 1
 

2019 Big Spring Nationals and pre-Pan-Americans

Fri, May 3 2019, 8:04:56 am EDT

Get ready for the big fat air

Pre-Pan-Americans 2019|US Nationals 2019

https://airtribune.com/2019-big-spring-nationals/info/details__info

This is a unique opportunity. This is the test event for the first Pan-American Championships (Class 1 open class). We are looking for pilots from Central and South American to join us and get a taste of that Big Spring air.

Protest committee

May 1, 2019, 7:53:45 EDT

Protest committee

At the 2019 Nationals

Larry Bunner

Bruce Barmakian|Larry Bunner

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Larry Bunner

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Larry Bunner

We had a couple of protests regarding the day we went around the Green Swamp:

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results/task4007/day/open-class

The problem is that after the pilot meeting a waypoint was added. The waypoint added a very slight increase in the task length (0.6%).

Famish was the added waypoint:

Unfortunately three pilots were not cognizant of the task change. Kevin Dutt, Bruce Barmakian and me. Fortunately I was flying with Larry Bunner and he told me on the radio to go get the Famish turnpoint. Kevin and Bruce didn't hear about the waypoint until after their flights. Bruce made a verbal complaint to the meet director which latter led to two written protests

The meet director made a number of errors so that there wasn't full communication between the pilots and the task committee. She appointed a protest committee to sort out the problem.

The first judgment of the protest committee was to cancel the day. This was met with almost universal opprobrium. There were lengthy discussions before and after the protest committee met for the first time that were held on the What's App groups set up by the meet director. All the issues were brought up and thoroughly adjudicated.

The protest committee was convinced to meet again and to reconsider their conclusion. This is what Section 7A states:

5.5.2 Result of Complaint or Protest

If a protest from a pilot or group of pilots calls for the retrospective cancellation of a scored task, the jury must consider the position of other pilots in the competition. If the protest is justified, the jury should consider how to compensate the affected pilots, but should only consider cancelling the task if there is no other fair option.

There were multiple fair options other than canceling the day. The protest committee came up with a reasonably fair option: Score the day with the original task without the addition of the Famish waypoint because not all pilots were notified of the task change (and the local rules were not followed describing how they should be notified).

The meet director and the protest committee were exemplary in their actions regarding this issue and there were no objections to the final result. This is the most fair action I have seen coming out of a protest committee. A committee must use its judgment when interpreting the rules and not just see them as iron glad commandments from on high. The major thing is to be fair. Sometimes juries forget this.

Discuss "Protest committee" at the Oz Report forum   link»

2019 Nationals

April 30, 2019, 9:38:36 EDT

2019 Nationals

Some of those who came to help run the competition

Facebook|US Nationals 2019

From the Gulf of Mexico to Canada

April 30, 2019, 8:40:14 EDT

From the Gulf of Mexico to Canada

Larry and Robin plan to go far

Facebook|Larry Bunner|record|Rick Mullins

Facebook|Larry Bunner|record|Rick Mullins|Robin Hamilton

Larry Bunner <lbunner> writes:

Join Larry Bunner and Robin Hamilton on an epic journey as they fly ~1600 miles (2700km) from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. They will be attempting this challenge by aerotowing aloft and then soaring their way northward over Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana over a three week period in June and July.

I began flying hang gliders with my four brothers in 1975. We purchased a glider for $395 that had a Sears swing set seat to support us as we ran down the dunes of Lake Michigan skimming over the ground to land near the lake. Floating unencumbered above the earth is a feeling that few can imagine. For me it was the realization of a recurring dream to fly freely through the sky. And thus began my passion for the past 44 years.

Reflecting back, there have been many notable moments leading to the present. In the early 80's, pilots began towing in the flatlands behind trucks to get aloft. This opened up new opportunities to get airtime and led to my first cross country flight of 23 miles. This one flight ignited a fire in me to continually strive to fly as far as possible. In 1987 I towed up and flew from West Brooklyn, IL to Herrick, IL for an unheard of 176 miles. It was the longest flight in Illinois, Region 7 and east of the Mississippi River, and the longest flight ever off of tow.

I started competing in the early 90's with good success. Competition flying is a great way to improve your skills by learning to fly further faster. It is for this reason that I continue to compete; to become a better pilot so that I can fly even larger distances. Flying with the best pilots in the world opens up new possibilities on what I can accomplish. I love studying maps and meteorology as it relates to soaring and continue to challenge myself by dreaming up and then executing flights that haven't been accomplished before.

This all leads up to my loftiest dream to date; to fly from the Gulf to Canada during the upcoming summer months. This project/dream is taking shape and the resources have been procured to make it happen. Joining me will be well known international pilot Robin Hamilton and tow pilot Rick Mullins.

Robin writes: I started flying hang gliders in 1981 in the Scottish Highlands and started competition flying in 1983. I initially flew in Europe and since 1996, I've been flying mainly in the US. I have competed for both UK and USA National teams in over a dozen European and World Championships and have 8 podium medals from all that. I also hold medals in Class II hang gliding and a half dozen World distance records in that class.

Besides competition, I simply love flying and for as long as I can remember, have been fascinated with flight and thankful for all the wonderful life experiences hang gliding has provided. The experiences very much include being part of the whole community and culture that comes with free flight.

I am super excited to be doing the Gulf-Canada migration. Firstly, we are going to start from my flying backyard down in Texas - It has some of the most friendly fly-far air on the planet and for sure the best way to start an adventure. Second, I've often looked out the window from the many Houston-Calgary business flights I've taken and wondered what it would be like to fly over the expanses of Kansas, the Dakotas or Montana, with the super-high cloud bases and interesting colorful terrain. Now we have the opportunity to find out!

The journey will begin from the Mustang Beach Airport in Port Aransas on the shores of the gulf in late June or early July by towing aloft and then racing northward as far as we can go. We will then select the nearest airport, to repeat the process until we reach the Canadian border sometime in July.

Come and follow us each day via live tracking and be sure to join our Facebook group too. Daily reports will be published as we fly through America's heartland northward. Pilots are welcome to come and fly with us as we journey northward!

I will publish links to their live tracking and Facebook pages as soon as they make them available.

Discuss "From the Gulf of Mexico to Canada" at the Oz Report forum   link»

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 28, 2019, 3:25:20 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

Results for day 7, task 6

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Corinna Schwiegershausen|Davis Straub|John Simon|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Phill Bloom|Raul Guerra|Tim Delaney|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results

Task 6:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 03:00:56 993
2 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 03:00:36 989
3 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 03:01:12 987
4 Nene Rotor Wills Wing T3 144 03:01:13 985
5 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 03:02:08 971
6 Akira Nagusa Wills Wing T23144 03:01:58 970
7 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 03:02:28 969
8 Corinna Schwiegershausen Moyes RX 3 Pro 03:04:59 945
9 Giovani Tagliari Wills Wing T2C 154 03:05:28 943
10 Raul Guerra Aeros Combat C 12.7 03:47:06 758

Final:

# Name Glider Total
1 Nene Rotor Wills Wing T3 144 5614
2 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 5426
3 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 5266
4 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 5153
5 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 5005
6 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 4827
7 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 4635
8 Akira Nagusa Wills Wing T23144 4620
9 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 4430
10 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 4242
11 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 3956
12 Corinna Schwiegershausen Moyes RX 3 Pro 3911
13 Guilherme Sandoli WillsWing T2C 136 3875
14 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T3 144 3770
15 Raul Guerra Aeros Combat C 12.7 3747

Sport Task 6:

# Name Glider Distance Total
1 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 48.36 900
2 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 44.29 847
3 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 42.30 813
4 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 26.41 528
5 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 22.35 475
6 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 19.75 431
7 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 16.77 369
8 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 5.00 116
8 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 5.00 116
8 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 5.00 116

Final:

# Name Glider Total
1 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 4531
2 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 4217
3 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 3462
4 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 3063
5 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 2987
6 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 2716
7 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 2226
8 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 1541
9 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 1490
10 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 1287
11 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 625

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 28, 2019, 3:23:51 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

The last day

Jeff Chipman|PG|US Nationals 2019|weather|Wilotree Park

The forecast:

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 85. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming east in the afternoon.
Surface winds 8 mph decreasing to 5 mph east northeast.

HRRR 3, 2 PM:

Updraft velocity: 600 fpm
TOL: 5,000’
Wind TOUL: 8 mph, east northeast
B/S: 9.8
Surface winds 5 mph east northeast
Cu’s unlikely.

The task:

No Leg Dist. Id Radius
1 0.0 km QUEST 400 m
2 SS 4.6 km QUEST 5000 m
3 35.1 km GROSS 3000 m
4 53.4 km CENTER 400 m
5 68.1 km CENTER 15000 m
6 82.7 km CENTER 400 m
7 ES 101.9 km QUEST 400 m

A 15 kilometer exit circle around Center Hill.

The flight on-line: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/27.4.2019/17:30

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2257915

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20190428&gliderclass=hg1

The narrative:

The idea is that we would fly west to get away from the lake effect with the northeast wind to the 3 km turnpoint around the Gross airfield. Then back east to Center Hill against the east wind. There is a 15 km exit cylinder around Center Hill so you have to get anywhere outside it to get this next waypoint, then back to Center Hill before heading back to Wilotree Park.

Again pilots were reluctant to launch until they saw a few pilots in the air, and some of the pilots did launch in their original order. When the launch organizer when around again calling upon us to launch, we all launched in our order.

The lift was indeed suppressed by the lake effect and I didn't find anything at first. Then I drifted down wind to the Mickey Mouse lake and with the help of the "locals" skimming over the lake, I found 200 fpm that took me to over 4,300'. And then after every one joined me we went over and found another thermal to 4,300', but this was 8 minutes before the start window opened and with a 7 mph east southeast wind.

Unfortunately I lost a bunch of altitude when this thermal gave out and was down to 2,800' at the start which put me in a bit of a deficit. Others had managed to stay near 4,000'.

Managed to find 200 fpm over Mascotte and was soon back to 4,200'. I could see the lead gaggle ahead and we found reasonable lift going west toward the Gross airfield, at one point averaging over 300 fpm, and getting to over 4,000' so even though I was behind things looked good.

Three kilometers from the Gross turnpoint I came over the lead gaggle. I found the better lift and they all came in under me. I was back in the game.

As I was on top I lead out to the turnpoint, but instead of heading to the east north east headed back toward where we were previously climbing. This turned out to be an error as the guys that were below me were now above me climbing up over a small fire that was now to my north. I quickly got over there but now I was on the bottom instead of on the top. It took a while to center the smoke thermal from 1,800' but I was finally in the 300 fpm core to 3,900'.

South of Bushnell I climbed to 3,800' but only at a little over 200 fpm. I hadn't caught up with the lead guys yet. I saw a few pilots further north higher and turning but didn't go to them thinking that I would find lift to the east toward Center Hill That was my second mistake.

The lift along the east/west highway going to Center Hill was very weak. The first three thermals: 140 fpm, then 50 fpm, then minus 22 fpm. Leaving the last non-lift at 1,600' I thought for sure that we were going down. At 600' AGL as I looked at fields to the north for landing opportunities as we were over intensively farmed nurseries, we found 225 fpm that took us to 3,800' drifting back at 5 mph.

This made it possible to find lift to 3,100' at 284 fpm just before Center Hill. I headed northeast and found 100 fpm then 180 fpm over a very small fire which got me to 3,600' over the forested area on its southeast corner. A kilometer further north Jeff Chipman and I had the help of two bald eagles as we climbed to 4,300' at 250 fpm.

I went further north past the Florida Turnpike to get past the edge of the 15 kilometer exit cylinder. The wind was 5 mph due east. Coming back from outside the cylinder around Center Hill I started at 2,400'.

Down to 1,700' I found 240 fpm just east of the prison. As I drifted over the prison I climbed to 3,900'. I hoped that they didn't think that I was going to drop anything.

Heading south directly across the center of the forest I found a couple of thermals to get me to the south side, north of Center Hill. There I found 190 fpm to 3,900' at 5:49 PM. After that it was a 12:1 glide for 11 kilometers into a 6 mph head wind to one of the most beautiful and friendly landing fields near us, but 4 kilometers short of the chicken coops where I hoped to get back up.

Raul would land at goal about 5 minutes after as the last one to make goal.

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 26, 2019, 10:14:14 EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

Rain day, winds later

US Nationals 2019

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 25, 2019, 11:07:51 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

We don't go down wind

Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Larry Bunner|PG|US Nationals 2019|weather

The forecast:

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Thursday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the morning.
Surface wind 5 mph, southeast

HRRR 3, 2 PM:

Updraft velocity: 680 fpm
TOL: 6,000’
Wind TOUL: 10 mph, south southwest
B/S: 10
Surface winds 3 mph south southeast
A good chance of cu’s.

The task:

No Leg Dist. Id Radius
1 0.0 km QUEST 400 m
2 SS 4.6 km QUEST 5000 m
3 10.7 km GATORS 400 m
4 31.7 km BARON 4000 m
5 47.5 km PANOLK 3000 m
6 63.4 km KOKEE 3000 m
7 ES 91.5 km QUEST 400 m

The flight on-line: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/25.4.2019/17:27

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2255949

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20190426&gliderclass=hg1

The narrative:

There are no cu's in the nearby area so the first pilots (including me at number 3) naturally decline to launch and go to the end of the queue. About half the pilots do this, so we quickly start the second round. We find plenty of lift and climb out slowly while drifting to the north toward the first turnpoint at Gator field.

Our drift in the 12 mph south wind and climb rate (weak) are perfectly timed so that we reach the edge of the start cylinder at our highest altitude (4,500') just as the window opens for the first start at 2PM. Jonny and Jon Simon start with us, but go back later. Kevin Dutt is with us. Nine pilots take the first clock.

Gator field is a short distance away so we quickly get there then head northwest up the Florida Turnpike. I get south of the Turnpike to get to the wispy cu's and climb out at over 200 fpm to 4,800'. I saw Kevin, Patrick and Konstantin higher and in front of me further down wind to the north (the wind is now 13 mph out of the south), but I feel that I can catch them by getting to the cu's and climbing faster.

I keep finding good lift under the cu's along the turnpike and sure enough I run into those pilots ahead of me at the turnpoint at Baron and we climb out fast to cloudbase at 5,800'. We let Chippy and Kevin go out in front.

I wanted to get as high as possible because the next leg looks difficult. It's a straight cross wind leg. It's unclear where we are going to find the lift despite the presence of cu's. Sure enough I get down to 1,900' before I find a little something west of the prisons.

Patrick goes a bit further west and finds better lift. I come over him and climb out to 4,300' while he loses the lift for a while. He fortunately comes back down wind to find it again but I leave him low by the turnpike. The 7 mph wind out of the south southwest pushes us way to the north.

The pilots who took the second clock have almost caught up with us and they are further upwind having found lift near the prisons, which we did not find.

It's an up and back struggle to take the next turnpoint at the grass air strip southwest of Lake Panasofkee and to get away from it to head south southwest to the turnpoint at Kokee. There are plenty of cu's ahead and as soon as I get away from the lake I find strong lift, at one point averaging almost 500 fpm to 5,000'.

That height gets me to 2,500' 3 kilometers north northeast of he turnpoint. I circle there a few times with Jonny in negative 110 and then leave as I can't figure out why we are doing this. I head for the turnpoint while Glen turns back upwind to get up at Bushnell.

I get lucky. Down to 1,100' AGL I tag the turnpoint and then find a thermal which at 250 fpm takes me to 4,400'. This puts me ahead of all the nearby pilots. I head out with Larry Bunner, who took the second clock, nearby.

After an 8 kilometer glide and down to 2,100' I decide to turn back to get under a better looking cu. Larry comes in under me. I climb to 3,800' at almost 200 fpm with Larry right below me. Five or six pilots who were just behind us come in under us as we climb up.

We lead out and find three more thermals for the following pilots, being their guiding lights ahead. The last one just south of the nursery on highway 50 takes me to 3,600'with a 9.5 kilometer glide to goal. With a 4 mph cross wind it is an easy final glide as I lead them all into goal.

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 25, 2019, 10:20:58 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

Preliminary Results for day 5, task 5 (Kevin Dutt not scored yet)

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Corinna Schwiegershausen|Davis Straub|Glen Volk|John Simon|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Raul Guerra|Tim Delaney|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results

Task 5:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:28:56 987
2 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 02:29:51 968
3 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 02:30:59 953
4 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 02:43:59 845
5 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 02:44:41 839
6 Akira Nagusa Wills Wing T23144 02:51:41 798
7 Raul Guerra Aeros Combat C 12.7 03:09:40 709
8 Corinna Schwiegershausen Moyes RX 3 Pro 03:21:44 647
9 Wolfgang Siess Wills Wing T3 154 03:23:50 641
10 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T2C144 03:20:34 636
11 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 03:39:55 631

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 4634
2 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 4445
3 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 4283
4 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 4121
5 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 4042
6 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 3978
7 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 3861
8 Akira Nagusa Wills Wing T23144 3655
9 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 3641
10 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 3631
11 Guilherme Sandoli WillsWing T2C 136 3415
12 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 3393
13 Glen Volk Moyes RX 3.5 3364
14 Philippe Michaud Wills Wing T2C 144 3236
15 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T3 144 3227

Sport task:

Name Glider Time Distance Total
1 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 02:23:18 51.30 1000
2 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 31.46 615
3 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 28.50 584
4 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 26.15 552
5 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 24.28 522
6 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 19.19 422
7 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 17.67 388
8 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 17.38 381
9 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 7.53 155
10 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 5.00 105
10 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 5.00 105

Sport cumulative:

Name Glider Total
1 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 3718
2 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 3689
3 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 2987
4 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 2632
5 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 2140
6 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 2110
7 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 1816
8 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 1541
9 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 1374
10 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 918
11 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 509

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 25, 2019, 7:58:08 EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

Results for day 4, task 4

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Phill Bloom|Tim Delaney|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results

Task 4:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 02:43:32 987
2 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 02:47:40 922
3 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:51:00 917
4 Philippe Michaud Wills Wing T2C 144 02:47:56 915
5 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 02:51:18 912
6 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 02:51:02 882
7 Jeff Chipman Moyes RX 3.5 02:53:35 863
8 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 02:56:40 847
9 Wolfgang Siess Wills Wing T3 154 03:03:09 804
10 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 03:11:24 801

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 3666
2 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 3647
3 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 3631
4 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 3600
5 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 3360
6 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 3296
7 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 3276
8 Guilherme Sandoli WillsWing T2C 136 3207
9 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 3203
10 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 2908

Sport task 4:

# Name Glider Time Distance Total
1 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 01:34:28 38.23 1000
2 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 01:35:11 38.23 979
3 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 01:38:31 38.23 934
4 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 35.24 518
5 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 27.66 441
6 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 26.35 424
7 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 25.02 402
8 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 11.06 156
9 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 5.38 87
10 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 5.00 83

Sport Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 3074
2 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 2718
3 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 2606
4 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 2080
5 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 1588
6 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 1556
7 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 1436
8 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 1394
9 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 1219
10 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 530

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 25, 2019, 0:20:37 EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

Counter clockwise around the Green Swamp

Belinda Boulter|Bruce Barmakian|PG|Steven "Steve" Pearson|US Nationals 2019|weather|Wilotree Park|Zac Majors

The forecast:

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Wednesday

Sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Surface wind 5 mph, southeast

HRRR 3, 2 PM:

Updraft velocity: 660 fpm
TOL: 5,600’
Wind TOUL: 6 mph, east
B/S: 10
Surface winds 2 mph south
A chance of cu’s.

The task:

No Leg Dist. Id Radius
1 0.0 km QUEST 400 m
2 SS 4.6 km QUEST 5000 m
3 11.7 km T50469 1000 m
4 28.2 km KOKEE 3000 m
5 45.7 km DIARIA 5000 m
6 67.3 km T98471 1000 m
7 78.6 km FAMISH 2000 m
8 93.5 km T47433 1000 m
9 ES 110.1 km QUEST 400 m

The replay: https://lt.flymaster.net/bs.php?grp=2696#

The flight on-line: http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2255169

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20190417&gliderclass=hg1

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/24.4.2019/17:39

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

The narrative:

Steve Pearson, Zac Majors and Wolfgang Seiss let me borrow the Wills Wing TIII that is here at Wilotree Park and in Wills inventory. So I'm back on the TIII.

After the pilot meeting I go over across the runway to setup the glider. This keeps me from hearing that the task has changed slightly. A waypoint is added at Famish. The meet director, Belinda, forgets to call another pilot meeting at the launch site, forgets to tell the volunteers working the line to mention the task change to pilots, and doesn't have the safety committee review the task change that was made because of pilot input for safety reasons (which were bogus).

She does call a pilot meeting at the normal location but at least three of us are far away near launch and don't hear the whistle. She brings over the amended task board to the launch, but we don't see it. She doesn't even mention it to me. The small blank task board is not used to highlight the task change in the line.

Many of the pilots skip their launch spot given what happened the day before with so many relaunches. There are no cu's in the sky, but Larry thinks that they will show up (he's right).

We go through the list again and with evidence of good lift we all get pulled up. Numerous gaggles form with the lift working and soon a bunch of us head to the edge of the start cylinder as it's only a few minutes before the first start time. We hang in weak lift near the top of the lift at 4,000'.

Ten or so of us head out but don't go very far before turning in more weak lift. I can tell right away that this group is going to turn back and take the next start gate. We come back from 2 km out with 5 minutes to spare and take the 2:20 PM clock.

We're racing west along the north edge of the Green Swamp. The lift varies from 85 fpm to 300 fpm. Mostly it is less than 200 fpm. Pilots are jumping from gaggle to gaggle.

We've got a 3 km turnpoint cylinder at the northwestern edge of the Green Swamp. After finding 300 fpm on the northeastern edge we again find 300 fpm on the northwestern side and climb to 4,400'. It's after 3 PM. We find the first cu's, which then populate the western edge of the Green Swamp.

The lift gets good. We head south and find 300 fpm, 300 fpm, 400 fpm, 300 fpm and 450 fpm in the next thermals to over 5,500', not quite cloudbase. Larry Bunner and I are working with each other to make sure that we find the best lift.

Larry and I head south to the cu's west of the turnpoint at the bottom of the Green Swamp. Those pilots who took the more direct route are down below us as we get nearer the turnpoint at 471 and 98.

Larry and I climb out at 350 fpm to 5,400' under the sweet looking cu's that we come to expect when we do the Green Swamp task. There are more in front of us and we are able to take advantage of them.

I'm cruising along at 5,500' over the Green Swamp when Larry comes back at me from the south and asks if I got the turnpoint at Famish. This is the first I've hear of it. He had just gone to the south to get the turnpoint. I'm quickly fiddling with my instruments to see how far away the two kilometer cylinder around Famish is. I get within less than a kilometer of Famish itself before turning back to parallel the course line.

I head out over the pasture lands, not the forest land toward little wisps. Down to 2,600' I work 190 fpm to 4,400' and then scoot back over the forest to get to 5,000' under some wisps. Based on the latest transmission from Larry who is near the turnpoint 8 kilometers away I should be able to find lift there and can leave at 5,000' to get to it.

Sure enough there is plenty of lift just north the 474 to 5,000' and that makes the glide into goal easy.

Controversy erupts when Belinda comes up with a way to score the day with a bonus for those pilots who made the Famish turnpoint. Only Bruce Barmakian and Kevin Dutt didn't.

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 23, 2019, 10:49:16 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

A funny shaped task at 90 km

Flytec 6030|PG|Rob Clarkson|US Nationals 2019|Volirium P1|weather|Wilotree Park

The forecast:

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Tuesday

Sunny, with a high near 87. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the morning.
Surface wind 6 – 8 mph, east

HRRR 3, 2 PM:
Updraft velocity: 640 fpm
TOL: 5,000’
Wind TOUL: 11 mph, northeast
B/S: 7.2
Surface winds 5 mph east
A slight chance of cu’s.

The task:

  Leg Dist. Id Radius
1 0.0 km QUEST 400 m
2 SS 4.6 km QUEST 5000 m
3 17.0 km T47433 400 m
4 31.5 km WALABY 5000 m
5 53.5 km DSROK 400 m
6 71.5 km T47433 400 m
7 ES 88.4 km QUEST 400 m

The Replay: https://lt.flymaster.net/bs.php?grp=2696

The flight on-line: http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2254486

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20190417&gliderclass=hg1

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/23.4.2019/19:09

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

The narrative:

The wind is out of the east and we're back in the slot at the west end. There are no cu's and with the brisk enough we are probably getting some suppression of the lift from Lake Apopka. But we are not aware of it at first.

I'm 17th to launch and we've already had one pilot land. Tim takes me to the south of the field and I find strong lift, 400 fpm to 4,300'. When it peters out I head north east then east looking for the next thermal.  I don't find anything even in the smoke from the fire to the east. Kevin Dutt is right below me and he turns to go back to Wilotree Park for a landing just as I do.

Unfortunately I take out a down tube on landing, but fortunately David Lopez and Alex Skyride operate as a pit crew and get me back in line for another tow. It's probably been three years since I took out a down tube.

I get back in line but it's time for the sport class launch. Everyone has to wait for them. There is a fifteen minute interval after the end of the open class launch for relights, then pilots have to wait for the sport class to launch. The top three pilots have to wait as they all had to relaunch. There were many relaunches.

It's a long wait, but when we get up we find good lift to the southwest away from Wilotree Park. I climb to 3,800' at 240 fpm and take the fourth clock (out of four) at 3:24 PM (last clock is at 3:15 PM), more than an hour after the first clock. No one is able to take the first clock at 2:15 PM.

I glide 8 kilometers from the edge of the start cylinder down to 900' AGL just north of the Seminole Glider Port where I spot hang glider pilots turning. I climb out at 240 fpm to 4,900'. This makes it easy to get the first turnpoint at the intersection of highway 474 and highway 33.

There are a few pilots around and it is five thermals to get to the Wallaby 5 km turnpoint to the southeast. The first thermal is reasonable strong at 340 fpm to 4,300', but the rest of them are weak, under 300 fpm.

I turn around at the turnpoint to head west to the intersection of Dean Still and Rockridge and find 364 fpm to 4,300' drifting to the west. I can see pilots climbing in the distance and after a 10 kilometer glide get under them and it's 250 fpm to 3,500'.  A little over a kilometer further west I find 280 fpm to 4,500'.

I've got two flight instruments the Flytec 6030 and the Volirium P1. I'm noticing a significant different in the indicated distance to the turnpoint. Finally I figure out that I've put the turnpoint at the intersection of Rockridge and highway 98 in the 6030, but the P1 has DSROK. I know that that is the right  turnpoint and this hasn't caused any delays in my flight. I take the turnpoint at DSROK and manually select the next turnpoint on the 6030.

As I make the turnpoint I head into the headwind. The first thermal averages minus 35 fpm. After eight minutes of waiting to see if it will turn on I head out toward public roads to the east so that I can land with a manageable retrieve.

Down to 600' AGL I spot a pilot turning at just above my altitude a short distance to the north. I come in under him and climb out at 134 fpm drifting back to the west. I top out at 2,400'.

I spot Peter Kelley and Rob Clarkson to my north over edge of the Green Swamp. I race toward them and find lift before I get there. It's 180 fpm to 3,200'. They join me.

We move to the east a couple of kilometers to find 190 fpm to 4,400'. Leaving this lift it's a nine kilometer glide to the turnpoint at 474 and 33. My 6030 user fields go blank so I can't see my glide ratio over the ground among other bits information. It states that the wind direction is south west which is a bit confusing. The actual wind is about 5 mph out of the east.

There was a forecast for a sea breeze from the west late and it is definitely late, eight minutes after 6 PM. The user fields return as I get to the turnpoint. They show a north wind component of 3 mph.

I'm down to 1,400' at the turnpoint and head north along highway 33. There are plenty of open field to land in if needed and it appears to be needed. Peter and Rob are just behind me.

I pick out a huge field that I am familiar with just east of the Seminole glider port. I look around and there appears to be no wind in the field. I come in low at the north end assuming a southwest wind, but I am mistaken. It is in fact north east if light. Suddenly I realize that I'm going to eat up the whole field.

Just before I smack into the fence at the southwest corner I turn but hit the fence on the western side. I'm unhurt but there is enough damage to the glider that I won't be flying that one on Wednesday. First time in over 5,000 flights that I've hit a fence.

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 23, 2019, 9:25:33 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

The preliminary results for day 3, task 3

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Corinna Schwiegershausen|Davis Straub|Fabiano Nahoum|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Konstantin Lukyanov|Phill Bloom|Raul Guerra|Roger Irby|Tim Delaney|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results

Task 3:

# Name Glider SS Time Distance Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 14:35:00 02:40:29 88.43 958
2 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 14:35:00 02:40:45 88.43 944
2 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 14:35:00 02:40:46 88.43 944
4 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 15:15:00 02:35:04 88.43 901
5 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 14:35:00 02:56:35 88.43 862
6 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 14:35:00 02:58:54 88.43 852
7 Corinna Schwiegershausen Moyes RX 3 Pro 14:35:00 02:59:28 88.43 846
8 Guilherme Sandoli WillsWing T2C 136 14:35:00 03:15:02 88.43 782
9 Roger Irby Wills Wing T2C 154 14:15:00 03:29:18 88.43 778
10 Konstantin Lukyanov Moyes RX 3.5 14:15:00 81.69 622

Cumulative:

Name Glider Total
1 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 2836
2 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 2827
3 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 2758
4 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 2669
5 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 2654
6 Guilherme Sandoli WillsWing T2C 136 2422
7 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 2416
8 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 2382
9 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 2301
10 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T3 144 2297
11 Akira Nagusa Wills Wing T23144 2175
12 Konstantin Lukyanov Moyes RX 3.5 2137
13 Fabiano Nahoum Icaro Laminar 14.1 2119
14 Raul Guerra Aeros Combat C 12.7 2118
15 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 2047

Sport Task 3:

# Name Glider Distance Total
1 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 19.58 257
2 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 15.34 219
3 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 6.77 145
4 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 5.00 129
4 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 5.00 129
4 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 5.00 129
4 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 5.00 129
4 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 5.00 129
4 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 5.00 129
4 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 5.00 129

Sport Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 1853
2 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 1660
3 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 1614
4 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 1564
5 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 1375
6 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 1144
7 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 1021
8 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 911
9 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 869
10 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 405
11 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 404

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 22, 2019, 10:19:28 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

100 km, FAI triangle

James-Donald "Don" "Plummet" Carslaw|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|PG|US Nationals 2019|weather|Wilotree Park

The forecast:

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Monday

Sunny, with a high near 84. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph in the morning.
Surface wind 6 mph, northeast

HRRR 3, 2 PM:

Updraft velocity: 640 fpm
TOL: 5,600’
Wind TOUL: 9 mph, north
B/S: 10
Surface winds 6 mph east
No cu’s.

The task:

No Leg Dist. Id Radius
1 0.0 km QUEST 400 m
2 SS 4.6 km QUEST 5000 m
3 41.9 km CHIN 10000 m
4 77.4 km BARON 3000 m
5 ES 105.7 km QUEST 400 m

The Replay:

https://lt.flymaster.net/bs.php?grp=2696

The flight on-line: http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2253551

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20190423&gliderclass=hg1

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/22.4.2019/17:56

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

The narrative:

We move the launch from the northeast facing direction to an east facing direction further west in the east/west slot runway and delay the task half an hour to start at 2:30 PM. There are no cu's as forecast. The wind is light out of the east.

I launch 24th and find light lift to the south of Wilotree and climb slowly to 3,600' with a couple of other pilots. Pilots who left this thermal early before getting as high as we did and head to the northwest have to land back at Wilotree Park.

We head northwest toward the first turnpoint, a ten kilometer cylinder around the Chinese airfield. It's still six minutes before the first start gate. We find 200 fpm and then 300 fpm. I leave the start cylinder four minutes after the window opens as I climb to 4,400'. There are about eight guys higher and in front of a few of us behind.

We are doing a bit better behind finding better lift and keeping an eye on the gaggle in front. The lift is poor, less than 200 fpm, and the lead gaggle is getting lower and lower with each thermal.

I veer off to the south a bit just northwest of the lumber yard and south of some greenhouses to find much better lift at 300 fpm and climb to 4,700'. The lead gaggle is far below and soon out of site to the north.

I take over the lead as the lead gaggle struggles and head out on my own toward the turnpoint. I've been out here before so I have some idea of what to look for in order to get back up as I come down from my commanding height.

It's a nine kilometer glide before I find 170 fpm by the Kokee turnpoint and I can climb back to 3,000'. A six kilometer glide and I come over apparently from the smell, some chicken coops just east of a prison (so many of them in Florida). I'm down to 1,400' and looking at a possible landing field just past the prison, but I find little bits of lift and hang with them.

I average a little over 100 fpm to 2,000' which gets me past the prison and the field next to it. I'm familiar with the fields ahead having climbed out of them on a previous flight. They are the last fields before the river which is surrounded by trees. Our optimized turnpoint is just on the other side of the river. I'm too low to cross it.

I see a small bit of smoke in the trees next to an open field and get to it at 600' AGL. I take the 254 fpm to 4,500' where we all get together at the turnpoint. I relinquish my lead at this point.

Now it's sixteen guys racing toward the three kilometer cylinder around the Baron turnpoint to the east northeast with seven guys in front. We race ahead and stop for 200 to 300 fpm about every five kilometers. Five or so guys at the top of each thermal.

As we pass south of the prisons, Phil Bloom goes out in front, with Pedro, Nene and me just behind him getting higher. I lead out to get over Phil who has lost a lot of altitude as we approach the turnpoint. I lead out again with Raul and Bruno just behind racing for the turnpoint. We get the turnpoint and head south.

Those behind us see us plummeting and take a line further to the east also heading south. Bruno moves to the south east to get in the lead with Jonny and Kevin Dutt behind him as they work weak lift from low. Bruno lands.

Raul and I work 25 fpm for twelve minutes to climb from 2,200 to 2,700' as we drift in an eight mph north wind toward Wilotree Park and goal. I lead out as I'm familiar with the area. We work 100 fpm and 55 fpm climbing to 2,800' and drifting south.

I come over the nursery on the north side of highway 50 west of Mascotte but I don't find much. Raul spots a vulture climbing and climbs with him when I turn east to head for the chicken coops and possible landing area. Down to 600' AGL I find a little bit of zero sink and start working and searching for the better core.

The guys to our east are finding better lift. Kevin Dutt gets out ahead and continues on a long glide into goal. The pilots who took the second clock are able to come in fifteen minutes later and score well despite poor leading and arrival points.

It's almost 6 PM. I find the area of better lift over the possible landing field and slowly climb out drifting slowly to the south. I climb at 120 fpm to 3,700' topping out at 6:22 PM with a 6:1 glide to goal. I'm not in the mood for landing short. It's an easy seven kilometer glide into goal for the last guy to make it to goal at 6:28.

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 22, 2019, 10:18:12 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

The preliminary results for day 2, task 2

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Fabiano Nahoum|Glen Volk|Jeff Chipman|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Phill Bloom|Tim Delaney|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results

Task 2:

# Name Glider SS ES Time Total
1 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 14:30:00 17:44:36 03:14:36 947
2 Glen Volk Moyes RX 3.5 14:50:00 17:59:14 03:09:14 926
3 Jeff Chipman Moyes RX 3.5 14:50:00 17:59:23 03:09:23 918
4 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 14:30:00 17:49:30 03:19:30 905
5 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 14:30:00 17:49:50 03:19:50 896
6 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 14:30:00 17:49:55 03:19:55 886
7 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 14:50:00 18:04:05 03:14:05 864
8 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 14:30:00 17:55:56 03:25:56 861
9 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 14:50:00 18:05:51 03:15:51 857
10 Fabiano Nahoum Icaro Laminar 14.1 14:50:00 18:06:43 03:16:43 845

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 1935
2 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 1883
3 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 1843
4 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 1818
5 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 1814
6 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 1807
7 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 1802
8 Akira Nagusa Wills Wing T23144 1800
9 Glen Volk Moyes RX 3.5 1771
10 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T3 144 1748

Sport task 2:

# Name Glider Distance Total
1 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 27.06 900
2 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 22.70 803
3 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 20.80 749
4 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 20.11 726
5 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 20.07 724
6 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 17.60 624
7 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 17.54 621
8 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 16.19 553
9 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 15.07 491
10 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 6.59 177
11 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 5.00 142

Sport Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 1724
2 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 1485
3 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 1435
4 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 1403
5 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 1156
6 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 1015
7 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 892
8 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 782
9 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 724
10 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 404
11 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 276

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 21, 2019, 10:42:08 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

We stick together

John Simon|PG|US Nationals 2019|weather

https://lt.flymaster.net/bs.php?grp=2696#

The forecast:

http://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 78. Light northwest wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the morning.
Surface wind 8 mph, northwest

HRRR 3, 2 PM:

Updraft velocity: 700 fpm
TOL: 5,600’
Wind TOUL: 11 mph, northwest
B/S: 8.8
Surface winds 10 mph northwest
Chance of cu’s.

There is a strong inversion and no chance of cu's.

The task:

No Leg Dist. Id Radius
1 0.0 km QUEST 400 m
2 SS 4.6 km QUEST 5000 m
3 40.1 km Fantasy of Flight 1000 m
4 87.6 km Avon Park 22000 m
5 ES 100.0 km Lake Wales 400 m

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2252178

At one o'clock, there are no cu's and a pretty brisk wind out of the west. I'm scheduled to launch ninth, but will all the help I'm giving to the meet director I'm not ready, so opt to launch at the end of the line. John Simon has already told me that he is launching last so as to not have to wait around for an hour in the start cylinder, so that helps me make my decision to wait.

The pilots that we pulled up before us stick and we get towed up at 40 minutes after the launch window opens and twenty minutes before the start window opens. At almost 300 fpm we climb to 5,000' a few minutes before the start window opens and take it high at 4,800'. I'm not the highest pilot but high enough to not be disadvantaged by launching so late. Almost everyone takes the first start clock.

With no cu's everyone relies on everyone else. We jump from group to group and climb up in a friendly fashion not cutting each other off. We climb to 5,600' before the Fantasy of Flight our first turnpoint with lift averaging 300 and 400 fpm in the last thermals before we cross interstate 4.

We've got twenty to thirty pilots sticking together and using each other to find lift as we move over Winter Haven. The distance between thermals is less than 5 km. We are flying over built up areas with just a few landing areas but with plenty of lift we don't consider the ground below.

Lots of lakes below, of course, but not many indicators of lift with the light winds. Just south of Winter Haven we climb at 300 fpm to 5,100'. I'm near the top of the gaggle now after playing catch up the whole flight. I head off with Bruno Sandoli and one other pilot. We are soon in the lead overall.

There are mostly open fields ahead and we are 23 kilometers from the edge of the 22 km turnpoint cylinder around Avon Park to the south. We expect to find lift quickly and perhaps get away from the rest of the gaggle.

This doesn't work out. We glide for twelve kilometers without finding a bump. I see Sandoli turning to the west and down to 1,600' I go under him, but find only sink. I head further south as I don't see him head north and start rising and down to 800' AGL find 50 fpm to 1,600'. I stick with this for 15 minutes then it improves to almost 300 fpm climbing for the next ten minutes to 4,300' over possible landing areas.

I go from being in front to being behind. But it is quite exciting to be so close to landing and being able to climb in weak lift for so long.

There are a couple of gaggles just ahead hovering around the turnpoint at the cylinder edge. I'll have to work some lift to be able to get high enough to come in to goal behind them.

Thirty pilots in goal.

2019 Nationals (week 2)

April 21, 2019, 9:14:50 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

The preliminary results

Bruce Barmakian|competition|John Simon|Roger Irby|US Nationals 2019|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results

Task 1:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 02:37:01 990
2 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 02:36:57 988
3 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 02:36:57 987
4 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:37:03 981
5 Akira Nagusa Wills Wing T23144 02:37:20 972
6 Bruno Sandoli Wills Wing T2C 144 02:37:24 970
7 Bruce Barmakian Moyes LS 3.0 02:38:07 957
8 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 02:38:19 954
9 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 02:38:34 953
10 Roger Irby Wills Wing T2C 154 02:38:19 946

Sport Task 1:

Name Glider Time Distance Total
1 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 02:08:47 52.28 1000
2 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 41.31 692
3 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 40.81 687
4 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 30.45 542
5 Adam Smith Wills Wing U2 145 17.02 376
6 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 11.95 319
7 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 11.73 316
8 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 9.33 275
9 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 9.12 271
10 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 8.99 268

2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds)

April 20, 2019, 1:40:42 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds)

Too windy on Saturday

US Nationals 2019|weather

At Leesburg Airport to our north:

Time
(edt)
Wind
(mph)
12:53 W 20 G 28
11:53 W 16 G 29
10:53 W 22 G 33
09:53 W 18 G 28
08:53 SW 10

The local rules state:

Wind direction and velocity determine the launch area and launch direction. South-southeast wind speeds up to 15 - 20 mph can be accommodated from the north-northwest launch area. Westerly winds up to 10 - 15 mph can be accommodated from the east and southeast launch. East winds up to 10 - 15 mph can be accommodated out of the west launch. Northerly winds 10 - 15 mph can be accommodated out of the south launch.

Variations in wind direction and gust factors below 5 mph will be evaluated to determine launch safety. For winds above 10 mph, gusting above 5 mph will keep the launch suspended or closed.

The day was cancelled by the Safety Committee and Director.

The second week starts on Sunday. The forecast is for good weather with light winds.

2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds)

April 19, 2019, 4:00:43 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds)

Rain day, Friday

US Nationals 2019