Monday, 22 July 2013

2013 Canadian National Soaring Championships – Epilogue



T he Nationals have come and gone and we should all be proud of what we as a club have accomplished. By all accounts, this year’s Nationals was a great success (in spite of the weather challenges). We showed the Canadian soaring community the spirit that is GGC. A special thank-you goes out to MSC for supplying an additional tow plane. Between MayFly and the Nationals, GGC has now hosted two of the premier Canadian soaring events for 2013.

I would like to thank everyone that helped make this contest a success (and there are many of you!).

Next stop, Lake Placid wave camp this fall!

Roger
 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

More photos - rigging line, Shark detail

Following photos from Tom Hastie:
















Old fashioned but effective method of passing on info (CD Roger Hildesheim posting grid order)
















Looking from the end of one line of the trailers - From the Shark (see the pretty winglet) to PE, an ASW20BL, to OX, Antares, and MF, a Jantar at the far end.  First Shark I've seen.  VERY pretty.
   Note the technique Emmanuel (PE) used; Tail dolly is open on ground, so that the glider cannot abruptly rotate in a gust.  A good idea, even in the hangar.
















Detail on the 'droop' horizontal stab of the Shark...  Will all gliders get them?

DD

Misc Nats pictures

People are sending good pictures to me (and did when I was too busy to open/look/use them).  I will post them as I get to them in the post-contest mode.

Two pics from Doug Scott - crew W2 - now freed from his captivity, one hopes.

















           KI's shirt on the last day






















Tom H. always has interesting T-shirts (an apparently endless supply).  Doug, an amazing tow-pilot (who may eventually be presented with that SOSA tuggie of the year award he won (third award)) thought he looked hungry and gave him lunch... then took his picture.  Towplane is QIH, our 160 hp Citabria. 
In addition to towing, Tom sniffed for us in the club L-33, and had his first flight (3 hrs) in the new Gatineau ASW-20, RM - "It goes".  Another tireless volunteer, without whom the contest and club can't operate.

Looking back at the contest, the thing that I will remember is the persistence of the CD, task committee, and pilots in using the very small soarable windows that Mother Nature gave us, and managing to get one of the two contests in.  You came to fly... and did!  And if it's raining, the GGC clubhouse is comfy and cozy with the two fireplaces going...
















W2, Chris Wilson, SOSA, Mosquito (crew Doug Scott); S1 in background


















Hard to believe we had a day like that...  Nationals grid on one of the practice days - some competitors had not arrived yet  (Photos by Dan Duclos)

Contests stretch your abilities, make you fly on days you wouldn't, and go cross-country on days you wouldn't think you could...  In Eastern Ontario, we have GGC May-Fly to induct new pilots to contests, but really to make them better cross-country pilots, and the RVSS-GGC-MSC Inter-Club Contest (flown out of any of the 3 airports) to safely stretch their abilities.  It's said that the Nationals gives you at least a year of cross-country experience.  Why not plan to attend next year's?

If you can't fly, why not volunteer to help?  Crewing for an experienced pilot gives you a window into how to prepare the aircraft, see the briefings, watch the contest staff do their jobs (weather, scoring, gridding, launching, recovering, retrieving)...  Even a few days would be appreciated by the organizers.  It's rewarding.  I learned a lot about weather - by being the weatherman (thanks to Nick (as always), Joerg, and Jean Richard)

Sun shining - must have been a practice day... (photo by Dan Duclos)

How was Saturday?  Comment on OLC on a flight from Hawkesbury/MSC:

"blue start, sucker clouds that drew you in, took your money and left you with 0.5-1.0 kts. Big gaps of nothing, hot humide and ....  Until next time mother nature."  Look familiar? 

DD


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Post - banquet pre-nap post - Cdn Nationals (update with club unofficial and FAI preliminary scores)

Winner of the day in FAI was Joerg Stieber.  Winner of the day in Club was Martin Lacasse - flying a club aircraft - ask your club if you can compete! 

The day was not as good as forecast.  Not nearly as good... the cirrus stayed around, and the lift was spotty.  Still, FAI and Club both got days.

FAI scores - these are preliminary; two scores may change slightly; they don't affect the top 3, and won't affect placing.  Unofficial scores will follow later in the weekend.





































Club:























At the Awards - Trophies not awarded:

Carling-O'Keefe Trophy - highest scoring team in any class - minimum 2 teams; each pilot must fly one day.  No teams entered.

CALPA Trophy - National Champion - Club Class.  Club Class did not have a contest - only 3 days...

Trophies awarded:

Dow Trophy - Best Flight in:
Club Class:
Pierre Cypihot, AVV Champlain, S1, 194.73 km at 62.20 kph hcp (Day 2 – 1000 point day)

FAI class:


Joerg Stieber, SOSA, JS, 224.07 km at 67.65 kph hcp (Day 3 – 1000 point day)

note - this was the same day - a small spread between the FAI and Club!

 
SOSA Trophy - Best Novice in the Nationals - there were two.  Judged best by higher daily scores was:  Martin Lacasse, GGC, ASW-24, M7.
 
Wolf Mix Trophy - National Champion in the FAI Class:
Joerg Stieber, SOSA, LS-8, JS.  On the final day in FAI, there were 330 m difference between the first 3 FAI finishers...  A well-deserved victory.
 
I'll post scores tomorrow. Unofficial 11 July scores are official as posted.
 
12 July scores become official 24 hrs after being posted at 10 PM EDT at the Awards if no protests are received.
 
DD

Friday, 12 July 2013

4 pm update - one return to base, two landouts

But in which class?  The suspense is probably killing you...

Will it be a contest?

dd

Sniffer stuck; launch finished; gates open; all have started (update 4)

Club L-23 climbed to 3,500'.  Karl in KI climbed in 4 kts to 3,500', Wolfgang in RM (new ASW20) climbed to 4,000'.  MSC reporting climbs to 3,500'. 

Launch commencing - just heard a Pawnee and L-19 and Citabria go about 30 secs apart.  Yesterday we launched in 26 mins...

Club gate opened at 1356.  Not a flood through the gate right now...  Tracker shows heights from 1,700 to 3,500'.  We just heard someone flying from MSC might land out (that's our first turnpoint)...

FAI gate opened at 1414.  There is now a flood of fibreglass flowing east.

We've confirmed the tracker is up and running on the internet, in Google earth. Link on the Nats webpage.  They're currently from 2,500 to 3,600'.

One group - large - left together; 3 hung back and have just left.  The cirrus deck appears to be moving in, not out...

DD

12 July - Last day of Championship - post-briefing

The Bermuda high has meandered east, and the front lies south of the task area.  It is still throwing a cirrus deck north at 2 PM local, and the forecast is for a blue day by 5 PM as it leaves the task area.

Winds are light and variable to 9,000' with light east-north-easterly light flow at the surface - we're gridded on 08 at 12:30 PM. The cirrus will suppress heating, and we expect the day to begin a little later.  I just looked outside, and the cirrus edge is right overhead; there are a few crappy wisps just in the blue area, no other Cu showing.  The 1000 local Dr Jack/XC Skies forecast shows the cirrus coming much further north than the previous one...  We may change Maxville for FAI to something a bit further north.

Joerg Stieber won the day yesterday in FAI, with a handicapped flight of 224.07 km at 67.65 kph (254.62 km at 76.87 raw), and Pierre Cypihot in Club had an amazing flight of 194.73 km at 62.20 kph handicapped (213.28 km at 68.13 kph raw).  Given that every pilot fell into a hole at least once, requiring perseverance to survive, and the unforecast rapid cycling of an e-w band just south of Pendleton to Montreal Soaring that pilots had to penetrate, these are very good speeds over wet terrain.  Commonly heard "That wasn't easy."

There are longer flights on the Online Contest - but flying a pre-declared task, where you must make the best of what is there, is infinitely more difficult - and rewarding, particularly if you finish.  There are many days at this contest where no one would have taken their gliders out of the trailer if they hadn't had to fly the contest.

Dr Jack says average 4 knots to 4,000 rising to 5,000.  We have set MAT tasks, 3 hour minimums, for FAI and Club.  FAI is off first today.

Next big event is the dinner - 7 gathering, for a 7:30 pm sit-down.

We'll announce task changes, and the tracker will show the flights, but we will not be announcing results until after the banquet - probably Saturday morning (not too early).  We expect both FAI and Club to get minimum distance today, which would mean FAI gets a contest in, and Club doesn't (3 days, 4 needed).  A visitor to the contest from another club was overheard to say "I was going to take up golf, but it wasn't frustrating enough, so I took up gliding instead."

FAI:





Club:



Thursday, 11 July 2013

Preliminary scores 11 Jul

Here are preliminary scores for Club Class.


One competitor in FAI had a file download problem; he will replace the computer, download the spare flight recorder tomorrow morning, and deliver the file.  In the meantime, I have used the unofficial file from the flight tracker (with about 17 winscore warnings).  These are provisional results and subject to change:
 
Overall, a good day.  FAI has three days; Club has 2, with one remaining.  The weather looks good for tomorrow and spectacular on Saturday - but isn't that always the way?  Tracker will be up tomorrow - it was great to watch.
 
DD

 








First finishes, club and FAI

Awaiting files to score.  Heard KI, PG, JS, ST, W6, Z7 finish and enter circuit so far.  M7 landed uneventfully at Windover Field and aero retrieve just left to get him.  I may have missed a finisher or two when I relocated from the pool to the scoring office.

PE just called 10 km east for field advisory.

dd

Enroute

Most of the gliders are enroute turnpoint 2; working band is 4500 - 2500'.  Looking good.  It appears weak just north of the Seaway...  most gliders are avoiding that area.

It also appears to be cycling; this is slowing average speeds a bit right now.  Wind is about 340/11, averaged over the contestants, according to the tracker.  Legs 3 and 4 will be more into wind, and thus more difficult - but easily doable in modern gliders/sailplanes.

Task Changes and start gate times

Things look better than 10:00 update indicated; back to Task A; time decreased from 3:30 to 3:15 for FAI, 3:00 for Club.  Same basic geometry, just a bit longer tasks, shorter time. Some GGC club single-seats now launching for fun.

FAI gate opened at 13:27.  Club gate opened at 13:35.  Most competitors on course now.

Watch the race live at (task indicated is FAI, Club will be a bit shorter (Montreal Soaring vs Avocat - south and north respectively of the Ottawa River)):
http://www.withonestone.com/tracker/Nats2013_11jul/tracker.html

Task sheets:


 
 
Club:





11 July - sniffer launched at 1230 and stuck

At 1236, he was climbing 3 kts on the average through 2,600.  Update, through 3,000, 5 kts on the averager, estimated cloudbase 3,600`.  Update, 4,000` 6 kts.  Launching in 15 minutes.  Cloudbase, 4,500`.  Looking for next thermal.

We`re gridded on 31, winds northerly at ten, drying out the considerable surface moisture.

Next - start gate opening.

Many of us have been saved on flights by a raptor soaring; you go over, and use his lift when you`re low...  An interesting variation on this occurred on the 9th, when KI landed at Alexandria.  This bird led him to the clubhouse...

 
You just don`t see that every day!

TAF CYOW 111438Z 1115/1212 33012KT P6SM SCT040 TEMPO 1115/1122 BKN040
FM112200 33012KT P6SM FEW050

DD

11 July - Looking promising

Strong front went through just after supper; CBs, dropped a lot of rain.  However, this morning, the temperature/dewpoint spread was 10 deg C, rather than the 4 (one day, 2) we`ve seen to date, so cloudbase should be significantly higher.  It feels nice not to have the moisture, too, in the tent.

Dr Jack and XC Skies say 3-4 kts to 4,000' by about 3 pm, and the tephigram/skew T diagrams suggest Cu will rise, then spread somewhat, worse to the north.

Tomorrow looks better yet...

KB is sniffer today.  Lift should have started at 11:00 AM, and we are about 7 OCTAS Cu, based about 3,500' right now.   It is starting to open up between the Cu.  Towplanes have been test flown.

Results for 9 July are now official and will be posted on the contest webpages later today.  The tracker has been repaired, and FAI B task is shown; the Club task is of the same geometry, but a little shorter, since the performance of the club gliders is less than the 18-20 metre FAI gliders.

Tasks take both FAI and club south-east initially, then west-south-west in the direction of Brockville, to a 'steering point' at Lodi (to avoid Ottawa airspace), then north-east (to Avocat for FAI, Montreal Soaring for Club).  These are Assigned Area Tasks, planning for 3.5 hours.  Let the Eagles dominate today!  This is the B task, initially we had them going further west, but the 1000 update to Dr Jack/XC Skies restrained the task committee a little.

FAI is first off today, then Club.  Next update when they launch.

Update - Sniffer launched at 12:30 sharp.

``B`` Tasks:



Wednesday, 10 July 2013

10 July - Raining - No Contest Day

The surface winds are southerly 10 gusting 25. Little lift forecast. We're taking a rest day, and doing a "laundro-MAT" task. 

We're doing a roundtable on AAT and MAT task strategy later today - once everyone's clothes are smelling sweet. Tonight is next big social event: Lucile's pulled-pork sandwiches.

The preliminary scores are now unofficial for 9 July (originally I had blogged 10 July) Mea Culpa.

Joerg (JS) and Chris (WS) described their winning strategy and chose from an assortment of adult beverages. 

Soaring NV provided gifts for pilots and hard-working groundcrew - thanks for everything from the good folks in Minden.

Tomorrow looks - challenging.  We should be able to get two more days in.

There is a good blog from a crew point of view at http://www.sosaglidingclub.com/2013-canadian-nationals.html

In the evening, an impressive thunder-bumper went through -- lots of rain and thunder.  GGC president Doug Laurie-Lean gave a presentation on WWII interesting facts - he's an amazing historian.

Dan

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Club Preliminary Score update

 
The sky is looking threatening; we hope to finish with 3 of 3 days, for a full contest!
Great work for all the pilots on a very challenging day.
 
 

Club preliminary scores

5 of 6 files in; MF landed uneventfully in a field near Alexandria Airport, Jarek is doing a trailer retrieve; I will update once I have MF's file.

It is a contest day, with 3 pilots making minimum distance.  Great work in lower performance gliders than FAI, on a tough day!  Great work by our tow pilots with aero retrieves, and our minimum groundcrew slaving in the heat!  We love you gals/guys!


Click on images to make them bigger.
 
I'm off to have a beer and dinner; awaiting MF's file, you'll have it shortly after I do.
 

FAI preliminary scores

Club Class had 4 landouts; results when they all get back. JS was 26 seconds early.

Tuesday update at 1630

Many of the FAI-class gliders are back, having completed the task; three landouts so far, in club, two getting an aero retrieve (one from Windover Field, the other, Alexandria Airport), the other in a field, with the trailer to leave shortly. W2 just entered the circuit.  A fourth club class just called landing out, but sounds closeby.  It will be touch and go for a day in club...

Awaiting files to score.

Dan

 

July 9 - Task time change and Gate opening time

The task for both classes was reduced to 2 hours.  The sky is about 4/8 Cu based, I estimate at about 3,200'ASL.  It's about 29C with a light easterly breeze.

Club gate opened at 1349.

FAI gate opened at 1352.

Many competitors have availed themselves of the opportunity to leave quickly...  The sky appears to be improving, though it's hazy.  I expect the sky will improve as they go to the east, since it is dryer there.  It's east, then south, then north to Montebello, and back...  See my earlier post for details.

First returns should be about ten to four local.

Crews are returning to the clubhouse and changing to frolic in the pool.  Life is hard when you're sailplane racing!

Dan

Tuesday 9 July - launch began at 1300 sharp

The tracker is unserviceable today.

DD

9 July post-briefing

Finally, frontal passage!  Blue skies in the morning! The 10 AM Dr Jack/XC Skies update was better than the morning's...  The competitors have a spring in their step.

It looks like 3 knots to 3,000', getting a bit higher in mid-afternoon, and abruptly shutting down about 4:30 PM, when you will want to be on final glide.  There is a lot of moisture, and Toronto (a small town on the western outskirts of Ottawa) had some rain and flooding last night.  Grid time is 12:30 and we expect to launch as soon as the sniffer "sticks" - you throw him up and he stays up. Karl Boutin has volunteered to sniff in his ASW-20, KB, and as I write this 12:04 PM, he's launching.

Here are the Tasks for today - if things go as expected and there is not a change on the grid:

Club is up first on the grid, here's their task:






















 
 
Then FAI:
 
 






















John Firth - a famous Canadian soaring pilot, first to fly a 750 kilometer flight in North America (from Kars, Rideau Valley Soaring School (RVSS), July 10, 1977 to Bethany, to South River (Algonquin Park), and return, frequent Canadian Team member at World Contests (70, Marfa Tx, 72, Vrsac, Yugoslavia, 74, Waikerie, Australia, 76, Rayskala, Finland, 78, Chateauroux, France), dropped by to see what was up with the Nats; stories such as his landout in Romania at the Yugoslavia Worlds, which required retrieving the glider (big heavy Kestrel) in pieces, hand-carried, to the border (5 km away) were very entertaining.  John flies a PIK20E, and if the conditions permit, he will soar in from Carp Airport (just west of Ottawa (not as far as Toronto)).  Great to see him!

More photos of Nationals competitors (photos by Dan Duclos):




















RN, Raphael Nunes, SOSA, flying an SZD-55.



















M7, Martin Lacasse, Gatineau Gliding Club, flying a Gatineau club ASW-24

After yesterday's scrub, two 18m glider pilots decided to swap aircraft to see what the difference was; Nick (ST) flew the HP 304S Shark, and Gabriel (W6) flew Nick's Lak-17a.  Their short flights confirmed it was marginally soarable, but shut down before a task could have been flown (with launch, start gate delay, and the length of the soarable day).





 
 
 





 
 
 



  
 
Nick in the Shark - that's a big cockpit...






 
 
 











Gabriel in the Lak-17, with crew ST, Christine helping



















Shark from the Lak - photo by Gabriel Duford. Note the line of Cu to the south, lower, over the areas that had been drenched.  The ratty Cu are obvious.  In the area of Casselman, Ontario, SW of Ottawa. It was interesting to hear each other's impressions of two generations of 18 metre span gliders with similar performance (Shark 0.845, Lak 0.855).  The Shark is brand new, and the Lak17a was certified in November, 1994.


Monday, 8 July 2013

8 July - day scrubbed - no lift

After several sniffs by GGC members (4), and one competitor, all 'sled rides', the day was cancelled.  There was no wind, hot, muggy, and alternately high overcast and blue.  Several competitors decided to fly, since it's a long pull back from 08. 

There's always tomorrow!

Dan

Photos from 6 July - all by Dan Duclos


"The long thin shade":  MSC ASW-24 flown by Yves Bastien




















What!?!  Your club doesn't offer therapeutic massage at the flight line?

 




 Towplane graciously provided by Montreal Soaring Council on final beside the grid; pilots bolted into their cockpits ready to go on Saturday.

Three of the competitors - MF (and crew)  Krzysztof Wiercioch, flying a Jantar Std 2


















 PE, Emmanuel Cadieux, flying an ASW 20BL (he had the choice of two wingspans - 16.6 or 15 m, and he will be flying the contest in 15m)



















S1, Pierre Cypihot, flying an ASW-20.



Thanks to the keen eye of Dan Duclos (he also is a tireless
 mower at GGC)

Monday 8 July - optimistic

The front is finally through our location; some rain last night. If we reach 24 degrees, we should get lift along the Ottawa River to about 3,000' AGL, 1-2 kts after deducting sink rate of the gliders.  It's overcast right now but we hope that will burn off shortly. They're gridded on Runway 08; Handicapped Club Class is first, then the Handicapped FAI Class.  Club has no official days, FAI has one so far.

We expect lift to start when the temperature hits 24C.  There is a slight risk of thunderstorms, but that is likely to be east of the task area today.
When the "sniffer" launches, the task committee and line crew are very interested in his/her progress... Photo by Dan Duclos, 6 July.
Grid pic from Saturday just before the Cu started.  Looked like a nice soaring day... Runway 26 Pendleton.  Photo by Dan Duclos.
 
Here are the tasks; we are keeping them along an east - west line, with circles as large as we can make them to increase their ability to use the best lift they can find.  Grid time is 12:30.
 
The safety meeting was on the subject of the perils of contest finishes, based on an incident at the Canadian National Soaring Contest in 2009, given by Dan Daly.




Sunday, 7 July 2013

July 6 - First Contest Day

And not.  Despite challenging conditions, FAI Class got a day in; in Club, only one contestant went minimum distance; it takes 25% to have a day, so Club was cancelled.  Here are the scores for FAI Class:
Club Class:

Yves Bastien, KI, did go minimum distance.  Bravo.
 
So, congrats to OX for finishing.  JS landed just short of the airport rather than do a marginal finish.

There were multiple landouts at the nearby Plantagenet Field, some at Windover Field, some in other fields, some multiple relights, and some who never really got going.  A VERY challenging day.  Congrats again to the line crew, with boss Sonia, and the tow pilots for a great launch and a lot of aero retrieves.

Here is Plantagenet field late in the day:

From left:  KI, Mr. McKinley, Crew PG, PG, JS.  Mr. McKinley owns the Field, has met many glider pilots over the last while, runs wings well, and is extremely popular with the pilots! 

By the time we got everyone back, it was time for the spaghetti dinner, and Emmanuel got great support.  After, I went back to finish scoring, do a preview of the weather, fight the rain out to the tent, and didn't get to blogging.  Sorry.

7 July
The task committee worked hard trying to find a window, and Jean Richard helped greatly, however, a wall of rain approached just after briefing.  After a second pilot meeting, the day was called.  No contest day.  We believe that we can get a contest in, because we sent the CD out to the line to do a Moses act and part the clouds:

I guess we'll find out how powerful AT really is...
 

The safety briefing was done by Ronald Smith, an aerobatic pilot, who discussed spin recovery from different spins, and those which might catch glider pilots in particular.  Very interesting.  Derigging, general work, and lunch followed.

The Sporting Committee then held a seminar to discuss rules and possible changes for the future (several hours), and I gave a briefing on PowerFLARM, including a video and a panel showing installation tricks.

Lucile ran a great ice cream treat after dinner.  Time for a quick check of the weather, and a nap.





Saturday, 6 July 2013

Cry Havoc and let loose the dogs of... sailplane racing!

Thanks to Norm Fortin - IN - who sniffed for a few hours in his lovely Discus 2, followed by Wolfgang in the new (to us) ASW20.  Thanks for exploring the skies for us.

Task B is called, two hours.  First launch, 1352; last at 1424.  32 minute launch, due to great work on behalf of the hard-working tow pilots and long-suffering line crew!

We have 3 towplanes - the MSC L-19 (213 hp), the GGC Citabria (160 hp), and GGC Pawnee (235 hp).  The pilots kept nice spacing, despite the disparate performance.

FAI handicapped gate opened at 1427. Club handicapped gate opened at 1441.  Thanks to Christine, the voice of the Nats. 

There has been one relight, and one land-out at a near-by airport - an airtow retrieve.

The tracker is up and running.

First competitor has turned the first turnpoint and has been as high as 4,200'AGL.

Dan

Modified Assigned Speed Task (MAT)

Today's "B" task is a MAT.

In the "MAT" or "modified assigned speed task," the competition director assigns a minimum time, and you choose where to go. The CD can also assign some turnpoints. In this case, you have to complete the assigned turnpoints before going on to turnpoints of your choice. If you can’t get through all of the assigned turnpoints, you can still return to the home airport for a finish after completing only some of the assigned turnpoints.)
 
In today's case, there are 3 assigned turnpoints; the competitors' GPS files must prove they were within 2 km of each, and after Windover Airport, each competitor must either return to the finish gate (2 km around Pendleton, at a minimum altitude of 800' above sea level (540' above ground)), or select other way points to increase their distance before finishing.  The pilot who goes the furthest in 2 hours 30 minutes (highest average speed) wins.
 
The distances are handicapped to allow different types of gliders to compete fairly.
 
I have taken the above from faculty.chicagobooth.edu/john.cochrane/.../Fun%20with%20MAT.pdf‎.
 
Here is a picture from the discussion (TP 1, 2, 3 are mandatory):
 
The MAT allows pilots of various skill (or daring) to compete using the same initial course.
 
 
It is probably obvious that a navigation computer, or a GPS with a moving-map display is very useful when flying this task... since a bunch of other gliders are doing the same course, and other general aviation aircraft may be transiting the area.  It is very challenging to fly these tasks, but if the day is much better than forecast, you can add turnpoints, to a maximum of 11 total, to use all the day.
 
 
 
 

6 July - looking great for a contest day!

After a frontal passage last night (finally), and a bit of rain (graphic below thanks to Jean Richard), today is looking very good.  Forecast is for 3-4 kts of lift to 3,500 south of the Ottawa River, better in the Gatineau hills - though getting across might be interesting.  The 10 am update of both Dr Jack and XC Skies (two good soaring weather prediction programs) say it is better than the previous update. A nice SW wind is drying the standing water, and I think that either of the called tasks is doable.





You can see the task area on it, bounded by Thurso, Alfred, Alexandria... lots of water south of that; fairly dry in the hills.

Thanks to Lucile for the amazing Mango Chicken, rice, salad, and pie dinner...  Quite the feeding frenzy, and we have chicken for sandwiches today!  I'm still full.

Tasks - A is an Assigned Area Task, 2.5 hours, B is a Modified Assigned Speed Task, 2.5 hours.  Due to the intricacies of the scoring program, A says FAI, B says Club, but we're sending both classes on the same tasks (better thermal marking).  In another post, I will describe what AAT and MAT are...

A Task for both classes
 
B Task for all classes

The normal Saturday Gatineau operation is humming, the L-23 is flying students, the Puchacz is being cleaned prior to being pulled out to fly, the MSC towplane and our two are getting ready; grid time is 12:30 pm, and we will try to launch as quickly as we can, since the soaring forecast indicates that by 5 pm, the soaring day will be over.  But, in a great coincidence, tonight is the spaghetti dinner for the 2013 World Junior Team. 

Due to the generosity of WestJet, there is a raffle for two seats anywhere they fly... $25 per raffle ticket, 2 for $40.  I have my tickets - WestJet flies to Hawaii, and that would be very nice in February!  WestJet has been a strong supporter of competitive soaring in Canada, supporting similar draws for the Senior and Junior teams, and I think it's only right that when you spend your hard-earned dollars for travel in Canada, you support someone who supports us so well (this is a personal opinion).

Grid is at 12:30pm.  We're having trouble with the SPOT tracker, but the Varicalc trackers are working very well, do a report every 4 secs, and give position, altitude, and past track... very easy to follow the race with this system; it's on the Nationals website.

Dan





Friday, 5 July 2013

Maybe not...

The sniffer, ST, launched at 1448; a monumental scratching for height followed for 40 minutes, before gravity won the battle (rule 1 of gliding - "Gravity gets a vote.").  A series of light showers ran through, and each time, cut off heating.  There was high overcast above.  The day was called at 1430.  Two competitors took their gliders back to the hangar via a 3,000' tow. It was an "all-LAK" day (two -17a's and a -12).

KI says he is narrowly leading the Canadian National Rigging and De-Rigging Championship... 

Tomorrow looks very good, and we're pretty excited.  Tonight is the mango chicken dinner, and the pool is getting a real work-out right now.

Dan

5 July - Maybe!!!

At 10:30, we briefed, and then, it was not good enough to grid. A second pilots' meeting was called for 12:00, and we consulted other respected weather people for their opinions (thank you).  It looks like the ceiling will rise from 2,000' AGL (we sent up a towplane) to between 2,500 and 3,000', but the higher it goes, the greater the chance of the sky over-developing.  There is the risk of a thunderstorm; it is hazy and humid, and the sky is changing every time I look...

At the briefing, JS gave a safety talk on emergency egress (bailing out), and various facts on how to operate a parachute.  Great talk, lots of comments.

Tasks for today - zig-zag east-west-east-west, along the line between Pendleton and Montreal Soaring (lots of airports):

FAI and Club:

Modified Assigned Speed Task
 
 
 
ID Name Distance (Km) Radius
 
 
5 05 StartW 0.00 5.00

52 52 MntrlSrng 36.86

28 28 Fournier 64.51

78 78 WindovrAP 79.95

1 01 PENDLETON 101.73 2.00
 
Minimum Time: 01:30

Note, on a MAT turnpoint radius is set at 2 km (for our American viewers, Canadian rules do not have a graduated penalty if a turnpoint is missed - you make the turnpoint, or you don't).  The task should make use of the soarable day, but it is unforgiving in that, if you miss a thermal, you will be so low, you will have to land out...  When clouds are low, the thermals are generally closer together. 

Grid Time is 1300.  No launch before 1315.  Last minute rigging right now, the towplanes are getting their daily inspections and run-ups.  Gliders are starting "the march of the elephants" out to Runway 26.

FAI Class will take off first, followed by Club Class.

It takes four flying days to make an official contest; we are making every attempt to use a minimum soarable day to get one in...  Watch the trackers!

In the event there are thunderstorms overhead or approaching, the rules permit a "safety finish", at a safe radius and altitude from the airfield, so that competitors can finish the task, and then land somewhere else (or stay up until the danger passes).

Dan
Scorer





 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

4 July - No Contest Day

More low ceilings, higher probability of thunderstorms, low ceilings, a special weather statement suggesting 25-50mm of rain in an hour (1-2")... Today had it all!

CD called the day at briefing, and there were few complaints, as contestants de-rigged, and securely tied down the trailers and tents.  There was an analytical safety briefing - James Reason's organizational theory that led to the Swiss Cheese model of accident analysis. 

A subset of the Soaring Association of Canada Sporting Committee will be holding a rules workshop on the next non-flying day, in order to consider modifying the rules - something that is done annually.

A contest risk assessment matrix was handed out to the competitors; it is based on the matrix that was  discussed in Free Flight earlier in the year, that one based on the USAFA 94FTS matrix.  We'll look at it at the end of the contest, to see what value it has in evaluating whether it helps individuals assess their fitness to fly.
  
Contestants scattered to work on instruments, visit the National Aeronautical Collection, do laundry, and try to stay cool. As you might expect, about an hour later, the sky was more blue, though with significant Cu at very low altitudes.

There will be a spaghetti dinner on Saturday night to benefit one of our competitors, Emmanuel Cadieux, PE, who will represent Canada in the Club Class at the World Junior Soaring Championship in Leszno, Poland, later this month.  Anything we can do to make it easier is good.  I understand he's rented a Standard Cirrus 75 for the contest...

Not this one; it came from Google.  Nice pic, though...

We try again tomorrow, and hope the Bermuda High shooting moisture up the eastern seaboard calls it a day soon.  In the worst case, we will be way early for Lucile's famous mango chicken dinner - yummy!

Finally, we graciously wish our neighours to the south a happy Independence Day, although if I recall Canadian history from school, it was called "The Rebellion" rather than "The War of Independence".  I guess it all depends on your frame of reference, as my physics prof used to say.

(Just kidding; please don't invade us).

Dan