June 26, 27 - Eastern Soaring League in NY
Come one, come all to the Eastern Soaring League thermal duration contest to be held at the Long Island Silent Flyers field at Syosset, LI, NY. This will be a man on man TD contest flown off winches. Pilots will be launched in groups of 4 or 5, with about 30 seconds between pilots.
We already have 25 pilots registered and have had as many as 40 pilots in the past. We have Novice, Sportsman and Expert classes. You can fly any plane that can be launch off a winch. That ranges from an Easy Glider to a 5M moldie.
For all you newer glider pilots, you can register as a Novice pilot and you will only fly with other Novice pilots. And Novice Pilots fly FREE!
Information on the contest can be found here:
Registration is here:
This is my home field so I am proud to invite you all to come fly.
For you GPS owners, use 25 Southwoods Road, Syosset NY in order to find the field. All others go to www.mapquest and put in that address to get directions.
See you there!
Hotels and Camping in the Area
Status Report - We are up to 32 pilots and I expect we will get a few more.
One problem. I would like to see more Novice pilots. Would you experienced guys grab some of the new guys and bring them to the contest please? I would like to have at least 4 novice pilots and 6 would be even better.
Scores are on the ESL Web site
The weekend started with Friday practice. LISF opened the field to anyone who wanted to come in for early practice. A winch and retriver were set-up and many flights were taken. I think we had about 12 pilots working the air.
David Beach set up a vertical landing circle made of foam. The goal was to put the nose of the plane into the ring. I don't know if anyone hit the circle but there were a lot of laughs as people tried.
Final tuning was done, last minute adjustments were made and around 4:30 the winch was taken down and people headed off to get ready for Saturday's competition.
Saturday the wind forecast was for about 5 mph in the morning going to about 14 in the afternoon. The wind was out of the NW moving SW over the day. The early breezes were light and the skies blue with just the right amount of white fluffy clouds. Just another perfect LISF day!
As the day progressed the thermal cycles got stronger and we had the classic shifts of breezes that would taper down, shift a bit, near calm as the warm air passed over the field, then the pick-up of the breeze again. It was GREAT! If you ever wanted to feel a thermal cycle this was a great example.
I don't think we ever exceeded a sustained 10 mph but there were some gusts, as those strong thermal cycles moved through. that might have hit 14 mph. But overall the wind was not a big factor.
We had 31 pilots plus two Novice pilots from LISF, Marc and Lee. It should be noted that Marc was flying a Parkzone Radian with the propeller removed. Thanks to the amazing winch skills of John Hauff, Frank Stromer and Mike Lavelle, the Radian took some high winch launches and did quite well under Marc's command.
Lee flew a Graphite V Tail which he had just gotten flying 2 days before. Lee handled the radio as more experienced winch operators launched the plane. Lee did a great job of flying the Graphite in his first ESL contest. A low turn and a sudden gust lead to a wing tip break, but Lee was not deterred at all. He continued the contest with his Easy Glider. Way to go Lee!
Overall both Novice pilots seemed to enjoy the experience and showed that they have the developing skills to be successful in the ESL.
While there were many great flights and landings, for me the height of accomplishment had to be Paul Bell's half wing performance. The tip of Paul's Supra came off either on launch or shortly after the launch. This kind of thing normally results in a crash or a rushed landing. But not Paul! Paul managed to get the plane under control and continue his flight. Paul worked the thermals and even made an excellent attempt at landing points. I don't think Paul won the round but he certainly won the admiration of the crowd for his cool composure and skillfull piloting of a crippled ship. The landing was met with the click of the watch and the loud applause of admiration from all. It was quite a performance.
The final scores are posted at the link above.
Sunday was originally forecast to be heavy overcast all day, and so the day began that way. We had a light breeze and a pretty blanket of clouds, against which to hunt for thermals. But there was lift out there and people were making their times. Later in the day the sky cleared up and went to the excellent blue with the accent of clouds that we "always" have at LISF.
As the day progressed, the sink cycles became quite strong. There were a number of flight groups where the planes came down fast. I had one flight where I was down in 5 minutes on an 8 minute task and won the round.
Marc again flew novice with his Radian, but as he was the only Novice flying Sunday, so he launched with the Sportsman. It was quite a sight to see Supras and Pikes zooming off the line and then to see the Radian go up slowly, with wings forming a deep U, then floating in the lift. By end of day Sunday Marc was showing that it is very much the pilot, not the plane, that makes for good flights. Great job! That Radian is an amazing little plane!
We hope Lee and Marc will be back for the September contest. Lee will most likely be flying his Graphite again, and Marc just purchased an AVA. I think we have two pilots who will be taking home "wood" in no time!
Toward the end of the day Sunday, the best lift was well down wind, and the breeze had started to pick up. A few people had trouble getting back to the field and a couple didn't make it but I believe all planes were recovered.
I had one memorable flight where I was ready to line up to land at 6:30 on a 9 minute task when I found a bubble at 30 feet over the landing area and managed to work it like a hand launch. I ultimately got the plane to about 200 feet before setting up to hit the tape and my time. It is saves like this which give you a feeling of accomplishment no matter how the rest of the day went.
The contest ran very smoothly. John Hauff and Frank Strommer, as co-CDs are masters of organization and keeping things running smoothly.
Rich and Kathy run a scoring booth and registration table that is the heartbeat of the contest. Flight groups were kept moving but were never rushed. And standings were posted quickly after each round.
Lunch has brought in both days and it seemed there was enough to fill everyone's needs. The big cooler was kept stocked with soda and water to make sure no on went thirsty.
John Hauff's son Sam, and his friend, handled the line retrieval most of the time and seemed to be having a good time. The winch problems were few and far between.
The Long Island Silent Flyers club was there in force to help set-up, to run and to break down after. Our thanks goes out to the the entire LISF club for doing a fine job of hosting and running the contest.
Again, the scores are posted at the link above. One note of interest on the placements for Sunday. We often hear that there are no young people coming into the sport. Well ESL does not seem to have that problem. Note that, on Sunday, the combined ages of the first and third place Sportsman pilots COMBINED is less than 29. They they showed us who the up and coming pilots are in the ESL. They don't have driver's licenses yet but as glider guiders they are top notch!
If you didn't make it to the contest you missed two glorious days of fun, friendship and excellent competition.
In two weeks, July 10, 11, the ESL moves to Birdsboro PA where we will be hosted by the Daniel Boon Silent Flyers. You can register here:
We already have 19 pilots registered. Room for at least 50 more. We have a beautiful field for you and the people who run the contest do a great job. We hope to see you there!
President, Long Island Silent Flyers
President, Eastern Soaring League
Present on the flying field whenever possible
Last edited by aeajr; Jun 29, 2010 at 01:27 PM.
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