Feb 2017 Contest Report-
If you thought our SC-2 President, Tom Trivitt, is a crazy kind of guy for daring to fly an event in the face of a rain storm, you would be right! He is an animal that knows how to work the weather! We started showing up around 7:30am and it was overcast, but with plenty of ceiling, A little chilly, but not bad. Actually, this field, the Hemet Model Masters back-up field was ideal for the winches. It was flat and weed free, allowing the winch lines to launch and retrieve without much trouble. The landing zones needed a little help, and the result was a soft landing for us, even allowing a couple of “arrivals” that would have been damaging on another field, just a cushion for us this day!
While Tom did his magic to keep the rain away, the pilots were making ready to fly an 8 minute, 8, 10, and 10 minute task. Most everyone thought the sky conditions would be flat…not today. In some cases, it was booming lift!! And you could fly most anywhere without worry about trees, lightpoles or other things to hit. This is a great field and thank you to the Hemet Model Masters for allowing us the use of the field.
We did have some new faces show up. Sean Summers is a new pilot who only recently soloed and already facing competition. With his current Radian being repaired, he was handed a Radian XL to fly, and he did quite nicely. He loves the flying ! Jonathan Garber is a newcomer to the circuit, as well, but well versed in sailplane work. And for good reason…he has been coached by Larry Jolly, a world class pilot. Watch out for this guy, as I expect him to try for a spot on a U.S. flight team in the near future
Yeah, I like this field and I look forward to flying there again. If I am not mistaken, our next stop is the artificial grass landing zone of the Silent Wings Soaring Association (SWSA). This place is also known as Fish Canyon. While the area is not as wide open as the Hemet field, it is certainly a nice place to fly.
The date is set for March 19 so plan on joining us at SWSA for a good time!
March 2017 Contest Report-
SC-2 event Number 2, in the foothills of the Fish Canyon, was a welcome site as the pilots arrived under sunny skies and a mild early morning breeze. It was only three weeks earlier that rain had threatened to shut down the first event. But the weather cooperated by giving us a window of time just right for getting the tasks flown. At SWSA, there wasn’t a rain cloud to be seen. Four rounds were scheduled, running a 7,8,9 and 10 minute flight order. It almost got a bit scary with the breeze…it was blowing west for a downwind landing! Not to worry. President Tom Trivitt ordered the wind to change, and it did! With that done, the pilots jumped into the sky.
Lift was pretty good, and you could choose to slope the plane for your time or ride out some very good thermals. I only noted one time where a large patch of sink passed through the area and 5 planes all tried to land at the same time. SWSA has placed some new carpet on their landing zone, and requires a slide landing or a non-aggressive landing aid to prevent punching a hole through the carpet. My standard stopping aid for this field is a length of silicone dog toy glued to the nose. It used to be pretty reliable, but on this new surface, it had a bit of slide that I had to adjust to. It appears that the most effective stopping device seems to be the hook side of industrial strength Velcro stuck to the bottom of the nose. If you didn’t use a stopping aid, it was easily possible to slide the full length of the landing zone. But, the bottom of the plane comes out nice and shiney from being polished by the rug!
There was a potentially serious incident that occurred during the event. While I attempted to fly my 10 minute round, a chain of events pretty much wiped out the left side winch. I launched my plane into a normal high angle launch and was close to topping off the launch when the line broke near the plane. What I saw was the line break and it whipped downward into the winch, which was still spinning on the motor. The slacked line was caught up in the spinning drum and whipped a length of the line to the ground where it immediately tangled with the battery charger next to the 12-volt battery. In an instant, the line gripped the charger and tried to suck the charger into the drum…successfully. All I saw was many pieces of what used to be a battery charger fly upward past me and then raining down on me. I am convinced that I am quite lucky to be here writing this story as the winch suffered serious damage and there aren’t enough parts left to rebuild the charger. To SWSA club members, I apologize for the incident and if there is anything I can do to help repair or acquire another winch, please let me know.
Tom has already posted the final scores for the event and it was great to have nearly 30 pilot entries for the event. I am adding another goodie to the season end raffle, open to every pilot when you pay entry to an SC2 event. I am adding a Spektrum 600mw, 5.8GHz transmitter for FPV flying. With 600mw of power, you are talking serious range! Add a micro camera to this bad boy and get some serious landscape video with your sailplane. Runs on 2 to 7 volts.
Our next event will be at the Riverside RC Club field in Perris, CA. This will be a SC2 sponsored event with a little from the SC2 clubs. I am asking for assistance with launch equipment to use in the event. If you can help us out, that would be great! Hope to see you there!