|Jan 02, 2005, 11:11 AM|
New Year's Day Woody Postal Contest and Other Activities
I told all of you that it wouldn't rain on our parade! We were worried though and so were the promoters of the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl. If you saw either of these events on TV you saw our flying conditions since we are only a few miles east of Pasadena. We saw sun, clouds, a slight breeze and no rain. Beginning temps were in the low 40's, climbing to the low 60's and then dropping by mid-afternoon. Yes, some of the guys wore shorts.
Our day began at about 8:00 with Major and crew setting up the winch equipment. Meanwhile some of the electric guys tore up the skies with their Slow Stiks, PT-17s, Edge 540s, Tempests and hotliners. Once the winch was ready Mike Reagan hooked up his AVA for the first thermal flight of the year. When Tom Finch showed up with his new Vandal Mike handled the maiden toss and then maiden winch launch. I'm sure you will hear more about this molded plane real soon.
Larry Jolly assembled his old Comet, held a class on how to read the air using visible moisture (clouds) accumulation in the sky and then headed to the winch to begin his nearly 3 hour adventure. Most of the time the 16' span was difficult to see due to his altitude, especially when he flew into a cloud. Spoiler deployment and up elevator eventually resulted in the plane tumbling back into view. Others, like Merrill Brady, Henry Arance and Major Anderson, followed Larry's lead and while they had great flights couldn't keep up with the Comet. Sadly, Henry had to bail out of his thermal due to visibility issues and his Aquilitos shed a wing panel. The plane was destroyed but we all marveled as the shed wing went back up and eventually disappeared in the clouds.
The BBQ was fired up and lunch was served. Larry was still up there so he and his dog Baron shared a hotdog that was delivered to the flight line. Eventually Baron got bored and took a nap but woke up in time to see Larry land just short of 3 hours. That time, however, wasn't enough to have the longest flight in Ray's contest. It seems Arizona had some pretty good air too..........
Overall, a great way to start a new year. Good friends, good weather, good contest, good memories. You can see how some of us did at http://www.swsapopoff.8k.com/PostalContest010105.htm . Pictures will be up soon.