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Monday, July 16, 2012

13.5 Meter Super Regionals Day 5

Leah and I were out to the field early to rig after a very relaxing rest day.  We did attend a dinner at the airport and the following 1-26 Association annual meeting last night. Other than that we didn't do a darn thing and it was great. The area was hit with heavy rain about 4 PM and by it all cleared around 6 they had gotten 1.9 inches of rain at TSA.

There was still a lot of mud on the field and I don't think anyone was really optimistic about getting a flying day in. We knew it was a bad sign when the PW-5 pilots were hooking up their trailers before takeoff, not just the 1-26'ers and us.

Task for the day was a 2hr open ended MAT, with just a final steering point. There was plenty of preflight discussion about general strategy, rules, etc. Grid time was set for 1 PM.

The launch actually went surprisingly well, with only one relight. The task opened and I headed east because the clouds looked good that way. I headed initially for the Waxahachie Dam but then continued on to Ennis as it appeared there was a line of building clouds out that way headed to the southwest. I intended to turn along that line and make great time down to perhaps Italy or another turnpoint in that area. I was making great time on the way to Ennis and it was on the edge of a shadow but I felt confident that I could get back to the sunlight with plenty of altitude to find some lift.  Famous last words!

Initially after Ennis I turned into the wind and started dropping like a stone until I crossed the lake and was over the Flying O airport which happened to be a turnpoint. From there I headed more or less due west towards Shank airport and into the sunlight. I was getting lower and lower but headed towards a huge open cut wheat field which seemed to me like it should be a great thermal generator. Unfortunately it was not but it did make a good landing site. It was right next to a paved road with no fence or gate or anything. The ground was soft but not too soft and we were able to get the trailer in.  We were back to the airport in plenty of time for supper.

So after todays lawn dart I am down to 7th overall. There were several 1-26's who were either well under time or just got distance points so the day was devalued at least. Tom McKnight in PW-5 "67" also landed out.

Last I saw the blipmaps were looking great for Tue and Wed so hopefully we can finish off the contest with some awesome flights!

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