Sunday, June 11, 2023

Two Boomerang Flights in One Day

The night before, I saw SkySight's prediction that Saturday was going to be a great soaring day. 
SkySight had actually been predicting a great soaring day for several days in advance, but I knew that the conditions were going to be great.  Recently, there had been some great soaring days ruined by a lot of smoke from a wildfire in Canada.  I spent some time looking at the satellite photos, and air quality reports, and determined that SkySight was probably correct. thermal strength prediction for 10 June. Yellow means thermals are 5.5 knots in strength prediction for thermal height.  My route is in black. Orange is 7000 feet. 

There were a few items of maintenance that I had deferred since the contest. This included some boring things like updating the firmware on the flight computer. I showed up to the airfield early enough to take care of these items without any serious time pressure. 
Evan volunteered for co-pilot duties. Since he's nice and light (158 pounds), we had a lot of room for water in the wings, and no need for water in the tail. We had loaded 40 liters of water in the wings. We had room for another 40 liters, but I didn't want to spend the extra time getting the water in the wings. 
We released over the Massanutten and immediately climbed in our first thermal. The first thermal wasn't that strong, so we moved on to an area somewhere around Interstate 66, north of Signal Knob. There, we found a strong thermal that took us closer to cloud base.
Evan and I picked clouds and flew to them. Each time I got to the top of a thermal, I'd ask Evan's opinion on which of the 3 clouds ahead we should take. There was no point where we were desperate for thermals, and every cloud was a reliable source of a thermal. It was a very easy day to do a cross-country flight, and it's a terrible shame that there were so few private gliders flying on Saturday.
Evan and I continued north towards Martinsburg, WV, then north to Hagerstown, MD. We established a good final glide, flying to the northwest of the P-40 prohibited airspace.

M-ASA operates on 123.3, so I was already on their frequency. At 4 miles out, I declared "Mid-Atlantic traffic, Quebec-Quebec, Four miles out." Immediately the peanut gallery started responding, "Oh, not you again!"
We flew over the airport, I called "Quebec-Quebec, Finish", and we connected with a few more thermals just to have fun. I flew alongside their club's 2-33, and one of their club's ASK-21s. I was flying alongside Danny Brotto in his LS-8, when I got a call from M-ASA ground. "Are you coming in to land, or what?" They asked me to land, so I dumped water ballast and pulled spoilers.  It took us an hour and 40 minutes to fly over M-ASA after release. We landed at 15:00. 

Flight Log: OLC / SeeYou WeGlide

As we landed, we saw an LS-4 lining up for take-off. It was Peter Glause flying their club's glider, Romeo Delta. Peter is the guy who got the boomerang back from us back in May. Peter was launching to Front Royal to re-acquire the trophy. There are no rules against two moves of the boomerang trophy in one day. (we checked!)  (see below)
Peter Glause is launching to re-retrieve the Boomerang trophy

We took a few pictures at M-ASA to commemorate the reception of the Boomerang Trophy.  However, the trophy was not brought to us from their clubhouse.  Mike Higgins suggested that we could get a quick aerotow to 3000 feet, and soar back to Virginia.  Or we could wait a bit longer and aero tow back to Front Royal.  
Evan Dosik and I successfully got the Boomerang Trophy... for a few minutes at least. 
Check out the Pawnee in the background.  It's launching Peter Glause. 

The conditions were still booming. After all, we pulled spoilers from 6000 feet to land in short order.  Instead of running to the clubhouse to get a picture with the Boomerang trophy, we got back in the glider and launched as quickly as MASA's tow queue allowed. We launched again at 15:29. 
After a 3000 foot tow, we connected with a thermal that took us up to about 6600 feet. 
On the way back, we chose cloud-after-cloud, and all of them worked reliably. By the time we got to Martinsburg, WV, we had 8000 feet, and the flight computer said that we were within a few hundred feet of a final glide to Front Royal with a MacCready of 2. We found another nice thermal, and tuned the MacCready to 3.0, and had 700 feet to spare after that.  I set out for a long final glide, and I even found a street along the way; which was conveniently lined up with our route home. We did the long final glide somewhere around 80 knots. 
By the time we landed, Peter had already made it to Front Royal.  He had a 15 minute head start in front of us, and had taken the eastern path around P-40.  He had crossed over to the Shenandoah Valley somewhere around Harpers Ferry.  As of Sunday evening, Peter has not uploaded the flight log to OLC. 

Flight Log: OLC / SeeYou WeGlide

There have been some questions raised about the validity of the fact that the Boomerang Trophy moved twice in one day.  Let's review the rules:
  1. To claim the Boomerang, you must fly a minimum of 100km (50km if L/D is less than 30:1) and land at the site where the trophy resides. Straight line or dog leg flights are permissible, and FAI rules apply
  2. The flight must originate within a 500km radius of New Castle, VA.
  3. The longest flight of the day wins. In case of a tie distance over different courses, the best speed over the course wins.
  4. Team efforts are permitted, in which case each pilots name will be engraved on the trophy.
  5. A pilot may not be involved in 2 consecutive moves of the trophy.
  6. When the trophy is claimed, the pilot is asked to notify the Blue Ridge Soaring Society of its new location.
So let's evaluate the two flights with each rule. 

Piet's flight from Front Royal to Mid-Atlantic Soaring: 

  1. Flight was 75 miles which is more than 100 km. We landed at the site where the trophy resides.  "FAI rules apply".  OK.  I'm not sure exactly what that means, but OK. ✅
  2. The flight originated from a 500 km radius of New Castle, VA.  New Castle is 231 km from Front Royal.  Check. ✅
  3. The longest flight of the day wins.  I was the only one to fly to M-ASA.  So this checks out. ✅
  4. Team efforts are permitted.  I flew this in one glider, there were not multiple gliders enroute. ✅
  5. I was not involved with the last trophy move, that was Peter Glause. ✅
  6. I updated the boomerang wiki tonight ✅
Now let's evaluate Peter's claim to the boomerang trophy to get it back to Fairfield, PA. 

Peter's flight from Mid-Atlantic Soaring to Front Royal: 

  1. Peter's flight was 75 miles which is more than 100 km. While the trophy was physically still in Fairfield, PA, it virtually resided in Front Royal after I claimed the Boomerang trophy with my landing at 15:00.  Check. ✅
  2. The flight originated from a 500 km radius of New Castle, VA.  New Castle is 347 km from M-ASA.  Check. ✅
  3. The longest flight of the day wins.  I was the only one to fly to M-ASA.  So this checks out. ✅
  4. Team efforts are permitted.  Peter flew this route in front of me, and it was not a team effort.  While I made the trip too, I didn't make any claims to the trophy for my second flight. ✅
  5. Peter Glause was not involved with the last trophy move, that was me, 2 hours prior. ✅
  6. I updated the boomerang wiki tonight ✅ 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to all three of you!!