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Oct 09, 2018, 11:06 AM
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45th CVRC Fall Soaring Festival 2018


Another amazing CVRC Fall Soaring Festival (a rolling circus) is in the books. This is the 45th annual event and once again the entire CVRC Club has pulled it off. Several of the original members are pulling a heavy load to pull this event off. They are the people everyone still in the sport needs to reach out to for help. We may not think this is a team sport but now is the time we all have to pull together and do more than ever to keep our events rolling. It getting serious.

I’ve had my good cups of coffee in the morning while enjoying the cooler fall air. There is nothing like being in the central valley this time of the year when the air is cooler. One thing that I can report is that everyone I saw was happy to be at the FSF and see everyone. It might be a sign of the times with so many of the people we have known in the past no longer being with us. I’m not really sure. All of the guys I know who have had personal challenges told me they were glad to be here and flying again. That says something to me about how special the FSF is to so many people in this activity.

With the cooler temperatures we enjoyed a full 3 days of head winds. Friday kicked off the rolling circus with all the typical smack talk and light conversations as people arrived. The guys all gathered in various sections of the field to sport fly prior to the ALES fun event. I use the word fun lightly because this was a very competitive group. Many have flown in 5FJ events and we did have members of the current US F5J team present. Kent Nogy and Time Johnson ran this event with such precision one has to admire the ease that they do it. I’ve been responsible for contest but these guys run the scoring like its using artificial intelligence and they just monitor it. I know it is very hands on but these guys are so good at it.

I saw several of the new current designs in person. Explorer Big Flap, Ultima, Volo, Dynamic, and Infinity all were there. I have been using an Explorer and like the way it flies. I did see some of the new light designs and really was not totally in awe of them. It appeared to be from my port hole they have a unique flight envelope which is not like my own preferred flying style in active air. Don’t send me hate mail on this. It’s my observations and that might be what other like. Full disclosure: I flew my Explorer with little flaps ballasted to 50 ounces / 1417 grams and had no problems making time. I did witness the Explore 4 meter Big Flap version fly. I was impressed at how it did fly. It appeared to be normal in flight but on landings those flaps have to be carefully managed. One quick deployment and that plane STOPS. I saw one landing where the flaps were pulled at least 80 degrees and it stopped and then cross wind moved the tail like a weather vane and the nose went with it. WOW

My ALES event was just as exciting as ever on round 4. I launched out west with Tim Johnson’s Ultima and we found a nice thermal. We worked it up to 1,200 feet at the 6 minute mark and then promptly ran into each other. As usual we both saw the dance with parts being thrown off a model. I saw a tip and other carbon confetti blow off then it was what do I have to deal with? After a complete spins and wild recovery my Explorer responded like normal. Tim however, had a missing right tip and no rudder. Out of the corner of my left eye I could see him level off and the guys yelling how well he is doing. As the time ticked off I descended to about 200 feet then deployed flaps for the final. Just as I did that my right wing tip folded under the Explorer right main panel with a loud crack. I held full left Aileron and Rudder and watched the large sweeping right hand turn down to the lower section of the field. Tim landed on the grass to cheers and I landed in the lower section on soft grass. I was amazed at the damage to the Explorer center panel. It completely shattered the skins and spar in 3 sections. My best guess is his rudder was the point of impact. We both laughed and steered clear of each other for the remaining two days of flying.


Friday
• We flew 5 rounds of 8 minutes in 10 man groups.
• Landings were pretty exciting with so many people in the pattern
• Round 4 took a nice pattern out to a dust devil and climbed up to 1,200 feet with an Ultima
• About 7 minutes in we midaired at 1,200 feet. I was okay and he had a rudder and right tip blown off and still managed to land on the field
• I continued my flight and wondered what my damage was? It looked fine.
• 200 feet on the last 50 seconds I was deploying flaps and descending when the right tip folded under the fuselage – SPECTACULAR sight!
• With full left I was able to do a very wide right turn and land in the lower basins soft grass.
• Round 5 I used Steve G’s Electric Perfect and wound up the day
• I do very well with this plane and would have loved seeing my scores with all 5 rounds. It felt really good on landings
• I need a new center panel for the Explorer and I am back

Kent Nogy was the CD and he ran a very tight ship. Steve and Chris George gave the rules on how to launch on the winches. It was so nice to have Virginia Turner play her flute for the national anthem. She did an amazing job for us all. For the two full days of flying the Fall Soaring Festival we had great cool weather. At times we have had 95 to 100 degrees in October so this was awesome. Using the time allocated flight rounds (there is a defined time to make the task for each round) everything went smooth. Pilots could define when they flew in the time slot. That makes it nice. You have the chance to read the air and fly when you want. In the early years a pilots time was a called flight round which could make or break you. There is plenty of time for pilots to mingle with each other and catch up between the rounds. The breezy conditions on Saturday caused more than one real test for all of us as the lift ran down wind quick. Several times we had sand picked up by large thermals. As the day progressed to 3 to 4 PM the lift was very soft on the 8 minute round making this a soaring contest and not a landing contest.

Sunday on the longer flights I found the traffic over the field to be very concerning as I descended from above. Typically there were 30 sailplanes up and at various altitudes. As much as I wanted to dive down and do consecutive rolls or fly inverted it was too risky. The chance of midair’s are very high in a target rick environment like the Fall Soaring Festival. With so much flight time over the three day I was really glad to have the last 10 minute round complete. I would make a few minor changes but felt good about the way my new X3 flew. It’s the first 4 meter I have ever used and it is an amazing plane. NAN has done an impressive job on the new fuselage and tips to make this a very sporty sailplane as I have it set up. Love it!

I’d like to thank everyone who attended for making this a very fun and memorable event for me. Steve and Chris George your countless years of winch dedication have not gone unnoticed; David Dahl and all the guys who took time on the winches; Kent Nogy you have been an amazing CD and technical support resource for me, Tim Johnson is the best score keeper ever, Paul Rose, Ed Hipp, Nick, and Arty you guys kept the landings moving. Thank you!


Saturday
• We flew a 5, 8, 10, 10, 10, and 8 minute rounds
• Wind was a head wind all day. Lift was pretty good most of the day till 3 pm. At 3 pm we had 10 mph wind with light dust storm activity.
• I used 5 ounces of Aluminum to fly the 8 minute round
• X3 was amazing all day. The launching was totally impressive and it landed on rails. So much better than the X 2.5
• Made all the times and landings
• Left the field at 5:15 PM

Sunday
• We flew a 5, 8, 10, 10
• It was a lot cooler. Light variable wind till about 12 pm. Lift was a lot lighter and you had to go out to get it
• Launches were flat for everyone
• On the 5 minute I took a decent tow and used rudder to fly in the cool air 90% of the flight. Landed on rails
• The remaining flights were made at long distances. I was so glad to have the 4 meter wing. Easy to see and an amazing L/D
• Overall I placed third which made me happy. I was 99.66% from being perfect to the winner
• With 1.5 months on the X3 that tells me something.
• This plane lands better than anything I have ever flown.
• It tracks straight and has excellent flap resolution on the entire final 15 seconds.
• The plane just keeps a constant speed all the way in.
• In launch mode it is the most amazing wing with a head wind.
Last edited by Keith Kindrick; Oct 11, 2018 at 04:42 PM.
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