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Oct 09, 2017, 03:37 PM
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2017 CVRC Fall Soaring Festival

Another Fall Soaring Festival (FSF) has been placed in the books. We had a new format this year for the FSF but itís not really new to many of us. The open round format (not called flight groups) has been used for 3 years in the CVRC Bent wing event. You have a specified round length in which you need to make your flight. It has a lot of benefits. People see the pilots in the air and decide to launch or not based on how they see others doing at a given time. I find it more of a benefit for the guys who are working winches and flying. They can go fly when there is a lull in the round. They canít easily do that with a called flight group. Another first for the FSF was to use Glider Score. It seemed to go well.

We flew a 5, 8, 10, 10, 8 on Saturday with a 5, 8, 10, 10 on Sunday. The weather was nice on Saturday with south west winds at the start of the morning transitioning to a western breeze in the afternoon. We started at 8:30AM and ended around 5:30PM. Thermals were a little on the light side until mid-day when they started to become stronger. It was very hazy all weekend due to the Almond and Walnut harvesting taking place. Sunday was totally different with the wind out of the west and much cooler temperatures. Thermals were very light early on and it caught a few people by surprise when they circled and they broke apart. More than one person was seen walking back to the field. As the day progressed that changed to moderate strength lift cycles that were fairly consistent.

I started the FSF with my X2.5 with a 3.7 wing and ended up using Steve Georgeís Maxa. I have been chasing a problem with the right aileron for a while now. Iíve removed and replaced three MKS DS6100ís in the right tip during the 2 years I have owned this plane. I donít know why they keep failing. They most likely are too light of a servo for the launch loads on tow. My last flight with that plane was Saturday on round 5 when the servo locked in the up position and I was hung up in the tow line. I then switched over to Steveís Maxa for the remainder of the contest. Iíve never spent any time with a Maxa but it launched like a missile for me. The launch started out vertical and just got better as it progressed. I was really surprised at how well it handled all the light air I needed to work for the two days. On landings it settled right in and never wavered. It did not surprise me since Iíve known Joe or over 30 years and he doesnít design slugs. After the dust settled I would up in 10th slightly after Steve who was in 5th. Iím not sure that I have ever seen a year where 1 sailplane was in the top 10 being used by 2 pilots. That was really a nice thing to experience with Steve after all our years flying together.
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