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topic: Larry Bunner

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Krys' Drogue Incident 8-15-21

Thu, Oct 7 2021, 10:43:50 pm MDT

New and untested chute

bridle|drogue|Greg Dinauer|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|Moyes RX 3.5|triangle

Larry Bunner reports:

On 8-15-21 Krys Grzyb and Greg Dinauer set an 83km triangle task from Twin Oaks airport in Whitewater, WI east to East Troy, northwest to McDermott airport and then southwest back to Twin Oaks. Greg aborted the task early and flew back to the airport. Krys was doing well getting over 5200’agl on nine climbs. He tagged the first two turn-points and was headed back to the airport.

To this point he had been in the air for 2hr 15min of which over 1½ hours was above 4200’. The winds were 5-9mph from the southeast. Sustained climbs over 1000’ were averaging about 350fpm with one climb averaging 770fpm. He found a thermal just past the last turnpoint 18km out and climbed 300 feet to ~4400’. He needed about a 12:1 glide to get back with a crossing tail wind. He confidently left the last climb knowing he could make it and even if he hit increased sink, he would hit a thermal soon enough.

He went on a long glide sinking over 300fpm and was soon down below 1000’. He selected a narrow field of grass along a farm for his LZ. Approaching from the southeast at 500’ he unzipped the drogue pouch and began extracting it from the pocket. His intent was to deploy it near the ground but the drogue slipped away and accidentally deployed.

Immediately the glider turned right and his sink rate increased to 600+fpm. He pulled in on the control bar, the glider began to pitch down and the sink rate increased to over 900fpm (peak). Thinking the drogue malfunctioned, he reached back to grab the bridle but couldn’t find it. He instantly began to correct for the turning dive. With extreme effort the glider rounded out pointing downwind and just above the corn. The glider, slowed somewhat by the corn, whacked in hard but the glider and Kris were miraculously unharmed. Pretty shaken, he called to the airport to get a retrieve; Greg and Chico showed up quickly to help get the equipment out of the corn.

Krys has used a drogue chute for many years. This particular drogue was developed to train runners to improve their speed. It has one long bridle that runs back to the chute shroud lines. These lines are short relative to the length of the bridle. He used this type of chute for several years with the drogue deploying aft of the keel. This spring he purchased a new drogue from a different manufacturer and replaced his old worn one. He did not compare bridle lengths before installation. Up to this flight the new drogue had not been tested/deployed. After landing, Kris discovered that the keel had penetrated between the shroud lines and the drogue was affixed/centered around the keel.

The bridle length was a couple inches shorter than his previous drogue. When the drogue accidentally deployed, the position of the drogue effectively provided a lifting surface on the end of the keel. When the control bar was pulled in to increase sink rate, the forces on the aft end of the keel decreased the nose angle further thus progressively increasing the sink rate (to the point the nose was pointed at the ground). It took close to all of Krys’ strength to push the bar out far enough to overcome the resistance to level out the glider before entering the tall corn.

In the moment, he focused entirely on recovering the glider turn and descent and felt there wasn’t enough time or altitude to throw his main parachute. His Moyes RX 3.5 sprogs were at the factory settings. Corrective actions that Krys has taken or intends to take include: shorten bridle to prevent keel interaction, add an extra line to one of the shrouds and the harness loop to give access to the pilot to deflate the drogue, and adding a drogue release so the drogue can be cut loose from the pilot.

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Flying the Dry Line

July 15, 2021, 5:57:19 pm MDT

It's almost like flying from Zapata

Dry Line|Larry Bunner|Pete Lehmann|record

Dry Line|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann|Pete Lehmann|record

Dry Line|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann|record

Dry Line|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann|Pete Lehmann|record|Robin Hamilton

The Texas crew is making a very smart move (if hang gliding and weather history is any guide). Here is what Larry Bunner writes:

We begin our south Texas encampment next Monday. Ten pilots, one super tug and some good weather should put produce some epic miles!

Most of the X Flight crew that flew from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada in 2019 are back together again to fly in an cross country encampment starting July 19. Robin Hamilton and Larry Bunner have put together this event that will be based out of Cotulla, TX for the week. They will be joined by X Flight member Pete Lehmann who has vast experience in the area having flown out of Zapata for many years (which is the site of many world record hang glider flights).

Venerable tow pilot Gregg (Kim) Ludwig will provide the “mountain” that we need on his super trike to get us high over the west Texas plains. Also joining us will be the multi aviation skilled Mick Howard, Rich Reinauer, and Nathan Wreyford all veterans of previous encampments out of Refugio and Falfurrias, TX.

Rounding out our group will be Texas pilots Makbule LeFay, Richard Milla and Matt McCleskey and relative newcomers Ric Caylor and Ken Millard.

Our intentions for the week are to take advantage of the early morning soaring conditions that start over the coastal plains and fly north through The Hill Country of west Texas onto the Edwards Plateau and beyond.

Looks to me like they will be launching out of the Cotulla-La Salle County Airport. This is just slightly north east of our preferred route out of Zapata. It is along interstate 35 which heads from Laredo to San Antonio. It is about 170 km (105 miles) north of Zapata and 110 km north northeast of Laredo.

They won't have to worry about Laredo airspace and they won't have to worry about less than optimal retrieval options between Zapata and Laredo.

From this venue they will have the option of traveling up along highway 83 toward Uvalde, and then along highway 55 toward Rock Springs and beyond into the panhandle.

The issue is will they have the early morning cloud streets (the over running) that you get in Zapata that allows for you to go far and fast while not getting high but always under a very visible set of cloud streets. Of course, this is very dependent on the location of the high pressure, hopefully south of New Orleans.

Larry writes:

The terrain to the north is much friendlier than Zapata. We'll see how well the morning streeting is. All of us will be flying with GPS and linking them to Loctome. This app provides location and altitude among other parameters for our drivers and also allows Loctome subscribers from around the world to watch our flights (ie. all of us in one group). It's like Life360 with altitude, climb rate and distance.

Doesn't look to me that you need to subscribe to follow along: https://loctome.com/live

They have a great opportunity to go far if we look at the long term conditions. Here is the soil moisture:

It looks pretty dry in west Texas all along their route.

https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Soilmst_Monitoring/US/Soilmst/Soilmst.shtml

You can follow the local weather at launch here: https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=28.454&lon=-99.2185#.YO9s90xMGcw Looks to be generally southeast for the next few days, which is what you want. Looked good on Wednesday as I write this.

I'll be following the weather forecasts on https://www.xcskies.com/map.

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Another South Texas Adventure

June 16, 2021, 8:26:02 MDT

Hot and Far

Larry Bunner|record|sailplane|South Texas

Larry Bunner|record|Robin Hamilton|sailplane|South Texas

Gregg Ludwig|Larry Bunner|record|Robin Hamilton|sailplane|South Texas

Robin Hamilton Robin2808 writes:

We are again heading out to the South Texas flatlands for a week of aerotow fun in July 19th-25th. Gregg Ludwig will bringing along his mega trike and we have eight pilots confirmed for the trip with up to four more slots available to interested pilots.

This year we have several possible start points for “base camp” and will make a selection closer to the time (1-2 weeks), based on weather pattern and ground conditions. Needless to say, barring any tropical weather event, the July cross country conditions in south and west Texas are typically extraordinary with more 300 and 400 mile hang glider flights (and the world records) than anywhere else on the planet.

Start Location Options:

Refugio, best for early start and best overall distance potential, but will be best in SE wind direction and if coastal plain is not too wet. Also a very friendly airport and airport manager.

Junction / Rock Springs, both located on the south end of the Edwards plateau. Junction is known, and friendly and there are many local accommodation options.

Rock Springs (Edwards County airport) is located ~48 miles SW of Junction and offers possibly friendlier terrain immediately downwind. Accommodation likely to be more restricted than Junction especially if annual rodeo is on. It is right on the traditional route for most of the big flights coming up from Zapata.

Hobbs NM is higher elevation and offers an option to fly on the dry air side of the dry line. Typically excellent soaring conditions and track record of successful sailplane and hang gliding competitions and records. Less likely to have significant tailwinds of TX start points and likely needs O2 and arctic clothing for the extended time at altitude.

Decision made based on:

1. If Coastal Plain dry and winds S-SE direction, go to Refugio,

2. If NO for 1 and Edwards Plateau conditions good (e.g. no larger tropical system affecting all of gulf side) move up to Junction or Rock Springs.

3. If NO for 1&2 then move to Hobbs and other side of dryline

If there are pilots out there interested in joining the South Texas adventure (and it always is) July 19th-25th, please contact Robin Hamilton (Robin2808) or Larry Bunner (lbunner).

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White Water 250 km FAI Triangle

Fri, Jun 4 2021, 8:26:31 am MDT

More good conditions in the Midwest

James-Donald "Don" "Plummet" Carslaw|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|triangle|Wills Wing T3

Larry Bunner writes:

The extraordinarily epic weather continued this week in the upper Midwest with multiple soaring days. On Wednesday high cloudbase (9000’) and light winds warranted a long triangle task. I awoke early to confirm the weather was holding and selected two 250km tasks one of which I extended to 300km in the event the climb rates were exceptionally strong. On my way to Whitewater, WI our longstanding aerotow park that friend Danny Lange operates, I fired off a text to Kris Grzyb about the weather. He responded that he was leaving work to come up and fly.

The top of the lift was predicted to be over 5000’ at 10:00 so the plan was to be ready to takeoff when the cumulus clouds started popping. Kris arrived and we selected a 250km FAI triangle around the city of Madison in a clockwise direction to ensure any high clouds that may arrive from the west later in the day wouldn’t shut the conditions down.

Airspace would be an issue should we have any drift however there was plenty of room on this task to divert should we need to. Danny pulled me and my Wills Wing T3 Team 144 up at 11:11 through a lot of sink before finding lift under a nice cloud to the north. The climb was strong at 430fpm to 7500’, unbelievable for so early in the day. Clouds were lined up to the west toward Lake Koshkonong however the lift near the lake was broken. Better clouds to the northwest resulted in good climbs, one with Kris to over 8200’ right at the edge of a nice street.

The day was shaping up well however the street didn’t work very well for me as I flew under multiple clouds missing the lift and plummeted to 800’ above the ground. A lucky climb over a a farmer on his tractor plowing his field took me to 8000’ at an average climb rate of 424fpm. Whew back in the game again however Kris was long gone.

I continued to plow west under four clouds without a decent climb before managing to get back above 7000’ again at the first turnpoint. It took a long time to get there and I began to doubt whether the task could be finished however the clouds to the northeast looked powerful with dark flat bottoms indicating strong lift. The next climb was to cloudbase at 8700’ and I hit 8 in a row topping out near base in each thermal with the best average climb at 702fpm and top altitude over 9200’. And with that I was at the second turnpoint of Gilbert in just over 2 hours.

On this leg I was beginning to feel fatigued so gorped down a Clif Shot Espresso energy gel, chased it with some water and within minutes the tenseness in my lower back was gone.

Radio problems kept Kris and I separated most of the flight. I could hear him sporadically (and he, me) however the communications were garbled with a lot of static; not really discernible. It was tough to leave the line of clouds that led to Gilbert however the last leg of the flight was 78km back to Whitewater to the southeast. Unfortunately there was big blue hole on the course line with the only reachable clouds to the south.

It turns out both of us took this path. Flying toward the Madison Airport was a bit daunting as we were staring right down the barrel of the main runway. Thankfully no air traffic was on our flight path. I climbed from 3600’ to 6200’, took a look at the airspace on the 6030 map page and knew the only legal path was to head east. This was a good decision as I topped out at 8500’ and headed southeast where Kris was thermaling under the next cloud. Our contact was only temporary as he left up high and I took another path. We never saw each other again.

The climbs were now suppressed as the day was getting long; 250fpm was the new norm and the lift was super smooth. The cumulus clouds were dissipating rapidly so the visual clues of lift were farther apart and less prominent. South of US Rte 94 I found a thermal in the blue and settled in for a long climb. I relaxed and concentrated on maximizing my climb eventually leaving at 7400’, 20 miles from goal needing a 16:1 glide ratio to make it in.

Heading southeast on a long glide into the blue I was maintaining my numbers but wasn’t confident they would last. Off to the east near Jefferson there were the remnants of the last clouds in the sky so changed direction to get one last climb. Ever so faint wisps of cloud were forming before the clouds in front of me where I eventually found lift, starting at 100fpm and slowly ramping up over the next 15 minutes to 450fpm. I left at 7000’ now needing a 10:1 glide with the 6030 showing that I would arrive at 2000’. Woohoo, I was going to make it.

The final glide was surreal as I flew over familiar territory noting the landmarks beneath with the airport slowly rising in the distance. The roller coaster of emotions from the day were now peaking after the low 800’ save early in the flight to the 1000+fpm peak climb on the second leg to this, the thrill of flying my longest triangle. I was totally stoked. There isn’t anything much better than to set an aggressive goal that is on the edge of being achievable and then going out and making it happen. I touched down at the airport after flying for 7hrs and 56 minutes and over 250km (150 miles). Kris arrived ahead of me and was already celebrating with a fine Polish beer. What an incredible day!

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The US National Team

May 19, 2021, 11:33:21 MDT

The US National Team

Eight spots reserved for the 2021 World Championships

Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|USHPA|US National Tea|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|USHPA|US National Tea|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|USHPA|US National Tea|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|USHPA|US National Tea|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|USHPA|US National Tea|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|USHPA|US National Tea|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

https://ntss.ushpa.aero/ntss1/index.php

Pos Name Points Comp 1 Comp 2 Comp 3 Comp 4
1 Zac Majors 1534 609 PAN2021 482 SCF2018 443 WPN2021
2 Bruce Barmakian 1452 393 PAN2021 385 QA22019 352 WPN2021 322 BSN2019
3 Robin Hamilton 1385 561 SCF2018 467 PAN2021 357 WPN2021
4 Davis Straub 1270 396 SCF2018 338 PAN2021 280 BSN2019 256 WPN2021
5 Pedro L Garcia 1265 496 PAN2021 492 QA22019 277 WPN2021
6 Kevin Carter 1126 445 PAN2021 412 QA12019 269 BSN2019
7 John Simon 1120 437 QA22019 400 PAN2021 283 WPN2021
8 Willy Dydo 1089 377 PAN2021 293 BSN2019 230 WPN2021 189 QA22019
9 Larry Bunner 984 413 QA12019 310 PAN2021 261 WPN2021
10 Gary Anderson 951 315 PAN2021 262 WPN2021 209 BSN2018 165 BSN2019
11 Kevin Dutt 917 497 PAN2021 420 QA22019
12 Phil Bloom 812 420 SCF2018 392 PAN2021
13 Patrick Pannese 669 341 SCF2018 328 WPN2021
14 JD Guillemette 645 264 PAN2021 232 QA12019 149 WPN2021
15 Derrick Turner 634 333 WPN2021 301 BSN2018

I won't be going and pilots are being surveyed right now to see who wants to make up the team.

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The Midwest is the Best

Mon, May 17 2021, 3:25:53 pm MDT

Larry and Kzry

dust devil|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|PG|triangle|XC

Larry Bunner «Larry Bunner» writes:

This week in the Midwest we have had just epic flying conditions; actually the best I have ever experienced.

On Tuesday, post frontal conditions provided decent northerly winds (up to 19mph) a solid lapse rate but cool temps (58°F) on the surface and less than 25°F at cloudbase (about 8000'). My brother Rob and I were the only ones to venture to Whitewater, Wisconsin where Danny Lange was waiting to give us a tow. The winds were expected to tail off throughout the day and were blowing a steady 10+ when I launched at 11:40 and pinned off in 400fpm to 5000'.

The second climb was better to 5600'. I was gliding south to Highway 43 when I saw dust devils on the ground already. Clouds were prevalent and lined up in nice long streets in a slight southwesterly direction. I chose to push a little east to ensure I would clear Rockford airspace even if I got low. Not to worry though as the next climb averaged 500fpm to 6700'.

I stayed high for the next two hours thermaling to between 5000' and 7800' with two notable climbs averaging over 900fpm. The best climb was 998fpm which I gained 1200' in three turns.

As I approached the Illinois River I could see high cirrus off to the south. Winds shifted to northeast and the climbs decreased notably with cloudbase now at 6500'.

I began to worry about retrieve as I wanted to get back at a decent time to fly again on Wednesday. The plan was for Rob to fly local and then come and retrieve me. It wasn't a solid plan though because the winds were strong enough up high that I thought he might not be able to stay at Whitewater.

I continued to the SSW under the milky skies getting reasonably good climbs and having no real problems. Approaching Peoria, IL airspace I decided to spiral down from 4500' and landed in Metamora at 248km.

I walked the glider out of the field and called Rob. He said the winds in Whitewater never died off so he decided to go on chase and was only 20 minutes away. Woohoo! he picked me up and we were in my hometown of Byron, IL at 7:40. We checked the weather before retiring and noted climbs to 10000' and L&V winds.

Larry's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:lbunner/11.5.2021/16:41

On Wednesday, we headed out early to meet Kris Grzyb ready for a big triangle. Kris is the best cross country pilot in the area and my good buddy. He already planned out a 204km triangle that I scrambled to get into my instrument. The forecast remained the same and the plan was to fly SE to McHenry IL then WNW to Brodhead, WI and back to Whitewater I mentioned that conditions to the SE didn't look as good but the plan was set. He got the jump on me launching at 11:17 and was gone. We didn't see each other the entire flight. I followed at 11:51.

Conditions were again outstanding with average climbs as high as 765fpm and cloudbase over 9800'. Early on I changed my plan to abandon the task and fly the clouds as the route to the SE had sparse clouds. I flew a southerly line under an excellent cloud street and turned west ~10 km south of Harvard, IL while Kris tagged the first turnpoint and did the same. I had another good line of clouds to the west and zoomed from cloud to cloud staying high.

Northwest of Rockford the clouds began to expand outward and I flew through several small climbs searching for the stronger lift I had been getting. The size of the clouds made zeroing in on the lift more difficult and just short of Durand, IL at 3500' under a big cloud I was getting antsy. Twenty five minutes later I was over 9200' and headed north.

A beautiful powerful looking street was laid out in front of me. All I had to do was connect the dots. Four thermals over 9000' and I was in line to run further north up toward Madison and then come back SE to goal. Clouds looked good toward goal directly as well. Fatigue from the nine hours I had been in the air the last two days won out and I headed back to Whitewater arriving high and struggling to get down.

In the mean time, Kris made the second turnpoint and reached goal before me however continued on north to Jefferson before returning to the airport. My flight was over 190 km and 5½ hours. Kris crushed it with a 243 km FAI triangle and 7 hours. What a day! Many soared at Whitewater this day, Rob managed 3½ hours and topped out over 9000' four times. We all left our gliders set up as Thursday was going to be epic as well.

Larry's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:lbunner/12.5.2021/16:51

Krzysztof Grzyb's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/12.5.2021/16:17

On Thursday, we were all back for more. Conditions were to be light west wind with cloudbase at 11200'. We chose a 250 km triangle around Madison, WI. Kris got off first again and I was not far behind launching at 12:07. Danny pulled me into a thermal right over the training hill on the airport, did one 360 and waved me off.

I climbed straight up at 450 fpm to 8300'. The climbs weren't as strong however the lift was higher. The further northwest we went the winds picked up out of the southwest and the clouds began expanding out again. I had one climb to 10,497' which is the highest I have ever been in the Midwest.

Unfortunately the clouds continued to thicken and eventually shaded out most of the ground. I ended up landing in Arlington north of Madison. Kris continued on toward the second turnpoint but eventually turned back toward Whitewater under the ever thickening skies landing south of Fitchburg. I only managed 2:50 in the air and 90km and Kris went for 173km.

Krzysztof Grzyb's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/13.5.2021/16:47

Rob had another good flight topping out over 10200' on a lengthy flight. The week was over for me as the conditions in Whitewater for Friday were to cloud over early. Kris however had one more vacation day and decided to chase the good conditions to the east.

On Friday, he headed to Napannee, IN to tow with the paragliders. He reports: this time the wind speed was a little stronger between 7000'-9500' than all models show. The average lift speed was slower than days before and significant sink between thermals. Much nicer flying was under huge rolled Cumulus Clouds (less head wind) but damn nasty cold.

Funny thing was when the owner of the house where I landed and two buddies showed up, they came with 1 shot gun and 2 other guns instead of with three beers for thirsty pilot. Thanks to driver John Enrietti for all day companion.

Kris ended up with 153 km and another 6½ hours totaling over 18 hours and 575 km for his three days.

Krzysztof Grzyb's flight: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/14.5.2021/17:00

Due to my decision to return to Whitewater instead of following the street like Kris did I ended up with 528 km for my three days.

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Go Long In Texas, Full Up »

Thu, May 13 2021, 10:54:51 pm EDT

FOMO

Glen Volk|Go Long In Texas|Greg Chastain|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|Rohan Taylor|Sara Weaver

Glen Volk|Go Long In Texas|Greg Chastain|Jim Yocum|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|Rohan Taylor|Sara Weaver

https://cuhanggliding.com/golongintexas/

Confirmed Pilot List
Jonathan Irlbec Read Bixby
Tavo Gutierrez Doug Hale
Rick Maddy Sujata Sen
Charles Cozean Carl Boddie
Makbule Baldik Matt Mccleskey
Robin Hamilton Larry Bunner
Eduardo Fonseca Sara Weaver
Michael Williams Greg Chastain
Bob Fisher Soham Mehta
Glen Volk Tyson Taylor
Majo Majors Ron Berry
Rich Reinauer James Race
Nate Wreford Mitch Sorby
Richard Hiegel German Boliviar
Mick Howard Jim Yocum

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2021 Wilotree Park Nationals »

April 25, 2021, 10:14:20 pm EDT

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals

Task 4, the last day

Attila Plasch|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Konrad Heilmann|PG|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|PG|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|PG|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Bobby Bailey|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|PG|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Bobby Bailey|Butch Peachy|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|PG|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Bobby Bailey|Butch Peachy|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Leonardo Ortiz|PG|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Bobby Bailey|Butch Peachy|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Leonardo Ortiz|PG|Tim Delaney|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Bobby Bailey|Butch Peachy|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Leonardo Ortiz|Moyes Litespeed RX|PG|Tim Delaney|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Bobby Bailey|Butch Peachy|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Leonardo Ortiz|Moyes Litespeed RX|PG|Tim Delaney|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Bobby Bailey|Butch Peachy|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Leonardo Ortiz|Moyes Litespeed RX|PG|Robin Hamilton|Tim Delaney|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Bobby Bailey|Butch Peachy|competition|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Leonardo Ortiz|Moyes Litespeed RX|PG|Robin Hamilton|Tim Delaney|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Attila Plasch|Bobby Bailey|Butch Peachy|competition|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Leonardo Ortiz|Moyes Litespeed RX|PG|Robin Hamilton|Tim Delaney|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

The Replay: https://airtribune.com/play/5021/2d

It was a difficult day to end a meet that proved to have difficult days. The day started with a little bit of rain as a thin line of thunderstorms brushed by, then dark skies for a few hours which made the prospects of staying up seem remote, then after 2 PM the sky started to open up, the clouds went away and we had a blue day. The wind was out of the west but not nearly as strong as all the models as well as the National Weather Service predicted with not so strong gust factors either.

Yes, Derrick, Willy Dydo, and Alan Arcos took off and only Derrick was able to stay up for a good while before landing. The task committee then changed the task to an open window. Pilots were very reluctant to get going while there were start gates because they feared getting blown out of the 5 km start cylinder with weak lift and strong winds (those were forecast at least).

Pilots kept hesitating which is why we changed to task to make it so there would not be a penalty for leaving the start cylinder, but finally they started launching after 3:30 PM, and I was able to get pulled up by Bobby Bailey at 4:06 PM. It was the best tow I've every had from him as I insisted that he tow me straight up wind and do not do any turns. With the wind still seeming to be strong I wanted to get upwind as far as possible and he took me as far as Osborn field.

We had been in lift it seemed and I found 300 fpm right off tow. I was all alone and could not see any other pilots so I was completely happy to be turning at a radius that maximized my climb rate without having to look after other pilot's circling. That did not last long. Bruce immediately came over to me, just above me and JD just below so at least they were not a bother. Then Zac and Robin, but again Robin was below and Zac up with Bruce, but it was starting to get crowded. At least no one else was at my altitude. Bruce was 60 feet above me.

The wind was only 12 mph out of the west, so all the scary forecasts about 22 mph at 2,000' were not the case and I wondered why the pilots who had gone up earlier reported strong winds and kept us on the ground.

Alan Arcos, Derrick Turner and John Simon joined the thermal and things got very choppy. You can see the result of going in and out of the core on the SeeYou altitude graph. We quit going up for a few minutes then slowly climbed to 3,600'.

Following Zac we all headed southwest into a 17 mph west wind. We found it a bit to everyone else's east and nine pilots came together to bother each other in another weak thermal (100 fpm). I was only able to climb to 2,700' before JD and John Simon lead out and headed southwest again.

They found weak lift just west of highway 33 at 1,400' I came in at 700' and wasn't willing to stay under them for more than one turn not finding anything. There was a very inviting field to the north a little and I landed there followed soon by Alan Arcos and Butch Peachy.

After that it was only six pilots left in the air and slowly Robin, Zac and Bruce had them drop out below them. Zac and Robin were able to make it a total of 30 kilometers down the course line landing near the mines north of Wallaby Ranch.

https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/results

Task 4:

# Name Glider Distance (km) Total
1 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 29.76 112.8
2 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 29.66 112.6
3 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 25.89 100.7
4 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T3 136 15.92 77.4
5 Derreck Turner Moyes RX 4 14.24 72.3
6 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 13.86 71.2
7 JD Guillemette Moyes RX3.5 11.30 61.5
8 Mick Howard Moyes RX 3.5 9.40 53.8
9 Tavo Gutierrez Wills Wing T3 154 8.72 51.1
10 Alan Arcos Icaro Laminar 13.7 7.96 48.0
11 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 7.55 46.3

Finals:

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 T 4 Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 661.2 781.1 864.1 112.6 2419
2 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 674.4 832.1 639.6 29.9 2176
3 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 310.2 805.3 916.8 112.8 2145
4 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 421.7 710.5 880.4 100.7 2113
5 Derreck Turner Moyes RX 4 633.1 856.0 439.9 72.3 2001
6 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T2C 408.7 796.3 735.4 29.9 1970
7 Alan Arcos Icaro Laminar 13.7 379.3 750.8 720.6 48.0 1899
8 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 133.3 742.6 752.9 71.2 1700
9 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 220.0 814.5 629.6 0.0 1664
10 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 447.3 706.7 463.6 38.6 1656

Sport Class Final Results (they didn't fly on the last day):

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 T 4 Total
1 Leonardo Ortiz Moyes Litesport 4 308.3 673.5 514.7 0.0 1497
2 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 213.4 787.2 408.2 0.0 1409
3 Rick Warner Wills Wing Sport 2 155 102.7 635.2 567.7 0.0 1306
4 Jordan Stratton Moyes Gecko 155 133.8 748.1 368.9 0.0 1251
5 L.J. Omara Wills Wing Sport 3 155 151.0 726.4 353.8 0.0 1231
6 Attila Plasch WillsWing U2 209.2 852.9 161.0 0.0 1223
7 Bill Snyder Wills Wing U2 145 150.5 538.8 410.4 0.0 1100
8 Bill Monghaloe Bautek Fizz 0.0 742.2 350.7 0.0 1093
9 Kelly Myrkle Moyes Gecko 118.5 657.2 277.5 0.0 1053
10 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 147.3 504.4 380.5 0.0 1032

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2771828

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/25.4.2021/20:06

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2021 Wilotree Park Nationals - Midair During Task 3 »

Sat, Apr 24 2021, 7:40:01 pm EDT

Pedro and Tyler collide while thermaling

CIVL|collision|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021

Below you will see frames of the period just before and at the time of the collision taken every two seconds from their track log files. You can make your own interpretation of who should have done what to avoid this incident. Tyler is the red glider (978) and Pedro the blue one (969). I have left the pictures at their original size as taken on my computer.

Be aware that at launch Pedro's instrument measured 140' and Tyler's measured 120' of elevation (GPS altitude). Therefore the altitudes displayed in these frames could easily be off from each other by 20' (or more) or not at all.

You can make your own interpretation of what you see here. Note the different climb rates between the two gliders. Both gliders were flying after the collision and both pilots followed the CIVL section 7 rule: "A competitor involved in a collision in the air must not continue the flight if the structural integrity of his glider is in doubt."

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2021 Wilotree Park Nationals »

April 24, 2021, 7:11:15 pm EDT

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals

We don't go that great up wind when it is windy

Dragonfly|Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021

Replay of the task: https://airtribune.com/play/5020/2d

On Friday, after a delay to move the start box to the west side of the east/west runway we had the first start window at 3 PM. Launch went smoothly for the open class, but there were further delays for the Sport Class.

I had a galloping tow behind Mick Howard in his 582 2-cycle powered (under powered) Dragonfly and when the rope went completely slack at 1,600' and we both went sideways, him to the right, me to the left, I pulled the release, but the weaklink (200 lbs.) broke at the same time and the bridle went for an unexpected flight into a small pond. We had just been in 400 fpm so it was easy to turn around and start climbing.

Half a dozen pilots were soon at cloud base which was over 4,000'. There were plenty of cu's and they were all working and you just had to be careful about the 11 mph southeast wind and not let it blow you too far outside the 5 km start cylinder. I was able to start at 3:04 PM as I watched the count down on the Naviter Blade and listen to its messages about when to get to the edge of the start window. It seemed to know exactly when to go.

With a strong southeast wind we were racing over the ground at almost 50 mph. There were multiple cu's ahead so little worry about finding lift. The first turnpoint was downwind to Center Hill.

With everyone in the first thermal along the course line we were going up at 400 fpm on average to 4,900'. After touching the turnpoint at Center Hill we headed north toward the 15 km turnpoint cylinder around Dallas, a waypoint at the northwest corner of the Villages. The waypoint had been expanded to account for the delay at launch.

It was 12 km to the next thermal from the previous one with a 17:1 glide ratio. A 300 fpm climb rate and then the next thermal just northwest of the prisons and south of the Turnpike at 400+ fpm to 4,900' before heading for and tagging the Dallas turnpoint just on the south edge of the Villages.

Now we had to turn into the wind and things did not go as well. The lift miraculously got much weaker with a climb of 100 fpm and then a little less than 200 fpm over a lake on the north side of the Turnpike with a 13 mph east southeast wind. About a dozen pilots were all in the lead gaggle just north of the Turnpike.

I left the thermal at 3,800'. We were getting to almost 5,000' just a few minutes earlier. Now we weren't getting as high as we would like heading into the east southeast wind. The half dozen gliders above me headed a little more southerly as I headed right down the Turnpike trying to get upwind of the course line back to Wilotree Park. Zac was heading that way also as there were good looking clouds in that direction and a lot fewer clouds south of the Turnpike.

The back and forth had begun. I found 230 fpm 4 km to the east and climbed to 4,300', then went east again and climbed to 4,500' at 150fpm with Larry Bunner. Heading toward the better looking clouds north of the Turnpike I was able to gain a total of 8 km to the east and get upwind of the course line but I was now down to 2,700' and not finding anything.

I saw Larry turning back behind me and turned around to see if I could get up in that thermal. That cost me half the distance I had gained and I found only weak lift that I'm able to use to climb to 2,500'. Larry got to 4,000' and flew to the south southeast landing soon there after.

I hooked up with Maria Garcia in the light lift and after topping out we headed south east toward the east west road for a safe landing with good retrieval. Down to 900' AGL we found a little spot of lift and started turning in an extremely pleasant climb. We climbed at 80 fpm and then I noticed Tavo Gutierrez circling below us just south of the highway and went over to him to find almost 200 fpm. I climbed to 3,800' over the prisons losing 4 km.

Topping out I headed east down the highway toward highway 48 and along the Turnpike toward a good looking cloud but found a net pf no gain at 1,000'. I should have just kept going, but I turned around and landed in a friendly field to the west. The lift was negative on the upwind side of the cloud. Retrieval from the Turnpike was not as easy as from the surface roads, but it was possible.

Pilots were scattered about in this area except for Bruce, Zac and Robin who while also had to do back and forths were able to get further south and a lot closer to Wilotree Park.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/23.4.2021/18:23

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2768418

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2021 Wilotree Park Nationals »

April 24, 2021, 9:16:41 EDT

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals

Results from Task 3

Davis Straub|Konrad Heilmann|Larry Bunner|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Larry Bunner|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Larry Bunner|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Larry Bunner|Moyes Litespeed RX|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Larry Bunner|Moyes Litespeed RX|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Larry Bunner|Moyes Litespeed RX|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

competition|Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Larry Bunner|Moyes Litespeed RX|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

competition|Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Larry Bunner|Moyes Litespeed RX|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Replay of the task: https://airtribune.com/play/5020/2d

Results: https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/results

Task 3:

# Name Glider Distance (km) Total
1 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 75.84 916.8
2 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 71.22 880.3
3 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 69.74 863.9
4 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 58.18 752.1
5 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T3 144 Team 57.76 744.5
6 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T2C 56.55 734.5
7 Alan Arcos Icaro Laminar 13.7 55.36 719.6
8 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 54.59 706.8
9 Gary Anderson Wills Wing T3 144 53.99 697.3
10 Raul Guerra ICARO Laminar 14,1 52.77 674.1

Cumulative:

Name Glider Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 2306
2 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 2146
3 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 2032
4 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 2013
5 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T2C 1940
6 Derreck Turner Moyes RX 4 1929
7 Alan Arcos Icaro Laminar 13.7 1851
8 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 1664
9 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 1629
10 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 1618

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From Zero up to Hero

April 22, 2021, 11:14:32 pm EDT

From Zero up to Hero

Fastest for the day

Larry Bunner|PG

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG

Luck often plays a substantial part of how the competition day goes. Today it played a major part for me. I proposed a task in the task committee meeting which was then substantially changed but still had the same goal near the Gilbert airfield in Winter Haven to our south. Given the forecast for a poor blue day with light lift, a seven mile per hour northeast wind, and a low TOL, the task was shorter than the day before (when only three pilots made goal). This was my first piece of luck.

In the pilot briefing I suggested that we change the start radius to 5 km from 3 km because of the "lake effect" from Lake Apopka. This was agreed to. My second bit of luck.

I was last off because I got a zero for the first task having left the 3 km start cylinder way too early. I was just looking for a safe place to land after I put myself in a position to be unable to make it back to Wilotree Park for a relaunch un(like almost all the open class pilots were able to do). But, I was happy to be last because given how many relights there were on Wednesday, and how poor the day looked. I wanted to be reassured by all the pilots in the air, that we could stay up.

We moved the launch back to 2 PM because the TOL at 1 PM was forecasted to be 2,200'. It wasn't forecasted to be much better at 2 PM, 2,400'. We would open the task at 3 PM, when the forecast said that we would get to 3,000'. So we just had to stay up for an hour (if you launched first) at low elevation until 3 PM.

I launched at 2:30 PM behind Greg Ludwig on his powerful trike. After losing 400' I was able to climb to 3,200' which seemed to be the TOL. I quickly lost all that was gained and it looked like a day very much like the previous day where it was hard to get high near the flight park. Also I was now in gaggles that were just terrible with pilots who do not know how to put their glider up on a tip. This made the lift very broken up as you could only be in the core for brief moments.

Finally I had had enough after losing 300' in the gaggle where I had been able to get to 2,800' and headed south southwest toward a much smaller gaggle of Sport Class pilots. It turned out that they were circling just at the edge of the start cylinder, my next bit of luck.

Unlike the forecast (see previous article) the winds were very light, 2 mph. We would have had an out and return task if we had known that the winds would be so light. But now they very much served my purposes because I was able to climb in the gaggle near the edge of the start cylinder without being blown way south of it.

I got to the gaggle low, 1,800', which made it so I didn't have anyone to contend with in the gaggle (more luck) and 30 seconds before the second start window opened. I could see all the pilots high above me take off for the second start. I was too low to join them and had to wait fifteen minutes (and not twenty) for the third start time. A next bit of luck.

The thermal continued for fifteen minutes as I drifted to the south. First 160 fpm, then 44 fpm as I slowly climbed to 3,400'. The main benefit was that I could just keep turning and not lose altitude and with the light winds I could stay close enough to the start cylinder to make it back (against a light wind) to get the 3:30 start time. Perfect luck.

I flew back, took the start time at 3:31, down to 2,800' and flew back to join a gaggle of Sport Class pilots 2 km south of the start cylinder. Now in the task committee we wanted to have the Sport Class pilots fly to their goal (3 km cylinder around Dean Still) with the Open Class pilots. Now I was using them to provide markers down the course line (and I was going to stay very close to the course line unlike on previous days). This was an additional very important bit of luck.

I was able to jump from Sport Class gaggle to Sport Class gaggle, for a total of four gaggles including the first one at the edge of the start cylinder. The next gaggle after those four to the south southeast (south of 474) was an Open Class gaggle and there was Larry Bunner who I was on the radio with. I had caught a bunch of the pilots who had started fifteen minutes before me.

The forecast told us that things would improve as the afternoon progressed. And things were improving. Better lift and I climbed in this gaggle to 3,700'.

Now it was jump from marker or gaggle to the next one and race to catch up with the guys ahead. Larry and I were working well together and when we got in a thermal at about the same altitude we did not do these stupid flat turns, but put our gliders up on their tips and spiraled up like actual pilots. So refreshing, like when we were flying alone together the week before the first competition.

We found our last thermal just north of Fantasy of Flight north of I4 and were able to get to almost 3,300'. When the lift slowed down it was time to go to chase John Simon down who had been with us on the last few thermals and had left early on this one. It was almost 11 kilometers to goal and I recall reading on my instruments that it was 13:1. We head about a 4 mph tail wind.

Seven kilometers into the glide I was getting quite nervous down to 1,600'. I was passing up possible safe landing areas and it didn't look like there was any ahead. I was about to go over a small lake.

Down to 1,150' AGL on the north side of the lake I could see the swamp ahead but there seemed to be an open area between new houses just on the east side of the lake if needed. Coming to the south side of the small swamp (trees) on the south side of the lake I was down to 650' AGL. Then I hit 100 fpm lift. A real piece of luck.

I wasn't aware that I was within half a kilometer of the 3 km goal radius as I just couldn't read my instruments in the glare of the sun low on the horizon.

I was able to climb 400' which made it very easy to get to the preferred landing fields. It was also a waste of time because I probably could have made it there from 650' AGL. At times like that your instinct for survival is screaming at you to be as safe as you can be.

Nice fields at goal. Lots of pilots showed up.

Given all the luck I had and the fact that I was able to catch a good number of the pilots who started 15 minutes before me I was able to fly the fastest to goal. I therefore got the most time points. Because I started 15 minutes behind I got less leading points and less arrival points so I ended up in sixth place.

From bad luck (and poor decision making) to good luck and better decision making given the hands I was dealt.

It's all here: https://airtribune.com/play/5018/2d

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/22.4.2021/18:31

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2767333

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2021 Wilotree Park Nationals »

Thu, Apr 22 2021, 9:45:15 pm EDT

Results from Task 2

competition|Davis Straub|John Simon|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

The forecast for the day:

How is Thursday different from Wednesday?

The wind shifts from northwest to northeast.

Day starts off sunny.

Be aware of the lake effect where Lake Apopka suppresses the lift just to our east and over us.

Winds are lighter at 4 PM (about half the wind speeds on Wednesday).

There will be a high pressure centered on the Florida/Georgia border.

Six degree lower surface temperatures and lower high temperature for the day, 79 vs. 84.

NWS:

Thursday

Sunny, with a high near 80. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Hourly forecast for the afternoon: Northeast surface winds at 9 mph decreasing to 7 mph, cloud cover 7% dropping to 4% by 4 PM.

https://www.wunderground.com/maps/surface-analysis/24hr

Shows cold front in Miami at 2 PM tomorrow, clear skies to the north.

HRRR

1 PM:

Northeast surface wind at 1 PM: 9 mph, 2000' 11 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 3,300'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 440 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 3,300'

B/S at 1 PM: 3.4

Cloud cover 7%

4 PM

Northeast surface wind at 4 PM: 7 mph, 2000' 9 mph

TOL at 4 PM: 3,800'

Updraft Velocity at 4 PM: 460 fpm

CB at 4 PM: 0'

B/S at 4 PM: 5.6

Cloud cover 9%

Skew-T:

1 PM:

TOL: 3,200'

Temperature: 56 degrees at TOL (73 on the surface)

https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/results

Task 2:

# Name Glider SS ES Time Speed (km/h) Total
1 Derreck Turner Moyes RX 4 15:15:00 16:38:39 01:23:39 32.2 856.0
2 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 15:15:00 16:40:26 01:25:26 31.5 832.1
3 Pedro L. garcia Wills Wing T3 144 15:15:00 16:42:06 01:27:06 30.9 814.5
4 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 15:15:00 16:42:13 01:27:13 30.9 805.3
5 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T2C 15:15:00 16:42:43 01:27:43 30.7 796.3
6 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 15:30:00 16:51:20 01:21:20 33.1 783.8
7 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 15:15:00 16:44:19 01:29:19 30.2 781.1
8 Alan Arcos Icaro Laminar 13.7 15:15:00 16:47:53 01:32:53 29.0 750.8
9 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 15:15:00 16:48:09 01:33:09 28.9 742.6
10 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T3 136 15:15:00 16:50:43 01:35:43 28.1 718.8

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 1507
2 Derreck Turner Moyes RX 4 1489
3 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 1442
4 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T2C 1205
5 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 1154
6 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 1132
7 Alan Arcos Icaro Laminar 13.7 1130
8 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 1116
9 Pedro L. garcia Wills Wing T3 144 1035
10 Austin Marshall Wills Wing T3 154 1012

Eleven Sport Class pilots made goal with Attila winning the day and he is first overall afater two tasks. See results at link above.

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2021 Wilotree Park Nationals »

April 21, 2021, 9:35:24 pm EDT

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals

Results from Task 2

Konrad Heilmann|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Butch Peachy|Konrad Heilmann|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Butch Peachy|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Butch Peachy|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Butch Peachy|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Butch Peachy|competition|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

Butch Peachy|competition|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/results

Task 1:

Name Glider Time Distance (km) Total
1 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:17:35 73.84 674.4
2 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:18:00 73.84 661.2
3 Derreck Turner Moyes RX 4 02:34:19 73.84 633.1
4 Thaisio Feliz Moyes RX5 Technora 66.74 476.6
5 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 60.60 447.3
6 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 56.17 421.7
7 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T2C 52.49 408.7
8 Alan Arcos Icaro Laminar 13.7 55.57 379.3
9 Butch Peachy Moyes RX 3.5 49.54 328.6
10 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 40.43 310.2

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2021 Wilotree Park Nationals »

April 21, 2021, 4:16:36 pm EDT

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals

Rain on day two, but blue on day three

Task 1:

Zac and Tyler way far in the lead.

Tyler and then Zac first and second for the day. All other pilots who are in the air are 40 km behind.

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2021 Wilotree Park Nationals »

April 19, 2021, 8:50:04 pm EDT

2021 Wilotree Park Nationals

Rain

It cleared up around 3 PM, but didn't show much prospects of lift then. We went for a bike ride, https://www.strava.com/activities/5156726742.

Good chance of rain on Tuesday then things clear up on Wednesday.

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2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 7 »

April 17, 2021, 5:54:36 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 7

Cancelled

The southwest wind was too strong. If the wind direction had been south, southeast, south southeast, west, east, northeast, northwest, or north, the speed would have been fine. The results at the end of day 6 are the final results.

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2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6 »

April 16, 2021, 8:30:48 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6

Results

Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Konrad Heilmann|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Konrad Heilmann|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Konrad Heilmann|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

competition|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

competition|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

# Id Name Glider Time Distance (km) Total
1 948 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:56:52 57.74 342.0
2 973 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:57:35 57.74 334.7
3 979 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 02:57:36 57.74 332.4
4 978 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:58:22 57.74 329.8
5 974 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 23.20 168.4
6 985 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 19.23 152.8
7 957 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T3 136 12.96 132.0
8 969 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 12.90 131.8
9 946 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 12.68 130.8
10 967 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.11 127.9

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2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6 »

April 16, 2021, 7:43:02 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 6

Blue Sky|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Wallaby Ranch

You know, every now and then
I think you might like to hear something from us
Nice and easy but there's just one thing
You see, we never ever do nothing nice and easy
We always do it nice and rough

The forecast:

NWS:

Today

A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Hourly in the afternoon: 6 mph west wind at 1 pm increasing to 8 mph west northwest by 4 PM, cloud cover 64%. Hourly and daily forecast do not agree on high temperature with hourly displaying 78 degrees.

RAP

1 PM:

Southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 6 mph, 2000' 8 mph , 4,000' 14 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 5,100'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 600 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4,000'

B/S at 1 PM: 8.0

4 PM:

West southwest surface wind at 4 PM: 10 mph, 2,000' 14 mh, 4,000' 14 mph

TOL at 4 PM: 6,100'

Updraft Velocity at 4 PM: 620 fpm

CB at 4 PM: 5,100'

B/S at 4 PM: 7.0

This is what it looks like most of the day:

Every once in a while it will open up and there will be sunshine on the ground., Cu's form under the high level clouds and there are spots of rain here and there.

We've got a hell of a task:

Wilotree Park to Gore and then back to Wallaby Ranch.

There is some reluctance to launch given how dark the sky looks at times. They delay the launch by 40 minutes so it's not until 1:20 that pilots start launching. Kasey pulls me up at 1:40 above everyone else but two pilots at 2,100' (2,000' AGL). I'm right under those two pilots that are off by themselves and under a weak looking cu. Everything looks weak under the high level clouds.

I climb to 2,800' but fifteen minutes after I pinned off I'm back down to where I started. Despite unrelenting circling and joisting with one pilot after another, half an hour after I launched I'm down to 800' AGL at the south end of the field. I climb at 6.6 fpm until I find 160 fpm west of Wilotree Park and climb to 2,200'. I was previously very concerned about how all of us would land at the same time at the park, which it looked like we were going to do. There were many relights.

After a few different thermals and lift at around 130 fpm I'm able to climb to 3,200'. I'm only 2.5 kilometers from Wilotree, but hanging with four or five other pilots downwind to the east.

I follow the pilots I'm near to the southeast to where just outside the 5 km start cylinder they find 144 fpm and I join in. Pilots are landing every where behind us.

It is all dark and shaded to the south along our course line. We get to 2,900' and then the six of us head south into the darkness. For over 6 km we glide and it looks like we are going to land (as two pilots already did) just north of the mines. Down to 900' AGL I spot Zac below us just north of the mines and to our east when he begins to turn. We come over him and start turning in lift that averages 134 fpm. I'm on top of him for at least 5 minutes when I lose my focus for a second and suddenly I'm on the bottom and out of contact. I see the five pilots I was with climb up faster and get away from me.

I head southeast to get under where they have stopped for lift but it takes me nine minutes to get back up to 3,000' and I can no longer see the other pilots.

I'm just east of the mines but in an area where retrieval will not be easy unless I drop straight down. I've got to go south following where they went to get south of highway 474. I head for the best looking patch of cumulus cloud but there is no lift there. I'm down to 1,400' at 474.

South of this east west road there are very limited access possibilities for quite a ways. I feel that I need 3,000' to chance going out south of the highway. I can see to the south that there is blue sky and lots of cumulus clouds that look so much better than anything that we have been flying in., but they are too far away for a pilot who is as low as I am.

I search around near the highway but not finding any lift land in a field just to the north of the road.

The pilots I was with are able to make it to the cu's and then complete the task.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/16.4.2021/17:40

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2763323

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2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 5 »

April 15, 2021, 7:55:32 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 5

Very windy and overcast

Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Kevin Carter|Konrad Heilmann|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Konrad Heilmann|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Bobby Bailey|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Konrad Heilmann|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Bobby Bailey|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Bobby Bailey|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Bobby Bailey|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Bobby Bailey|competition|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Bobby Bailey|competition|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Konrad Heilmann|Moyes Litespeed RX|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Replay: https://airtribune.com/play/5009/2d

Forecast:

There is a large mass of clouds moving from west to east in the northern Gulf. We saw a bit of this on Wednesday in the morning before the clouds to the north and west disappeared.

NWS:

Thursday

Increasing clouds, with a high near 87. South wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Hourly in the afternoon: 11 mph southwest wind at noon increasing to 15 mph by 5 PM and turning west, cloud cover going from 19% to 50% then 71% at 5 PM

HRRR

1 PM:

Southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 14 mph, 2000' 21 mph, 4000' 22 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 4,800'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 500 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4600'

B/S at 1 PM: 4.3

4 PM:

West southwest surface wind at 4 PM: 13 mph, 4,000' 21 mph

TOL at 4 PM: 3,900'

Updraft Velocity at 4 PM: 400 fpm

CB at 4 PM: 0'

B/S at 4 PM: 1.4

So we expect a windy and gusty day with the upper level clouds coming completely over us, but letting in filter sunlight. With the southwest direction we first look at a task to the northeast but conclude that with the high winds the safety factor finding landable areas would be very narrow. I propose a cross wind task to the north hoping that we will get lighter winds and it will be soarable.

Results: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

Task 4: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5009/day/open-class

# Name Glider Distance Total
1 JD Guillemette Moyes RX3.5 26.72 192.0
2 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 23.65 177.4
3 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 23.67 177.3
4 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 23.59 176.8
5 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 23.54 176.2
6 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 23.12 173.4
7 Konrad Heilmann Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 Technora 22.75 169.0
8 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 22.40 165.1
9 Austin Marshall Wills Wing T3 154 18.32 122.0
10 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 18.07 120.7

Cumulative: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5009/comp/open-class

# Name Glider Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 2972
2 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 2936
3 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 2916
4 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 2845
5 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 2844
6 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 2599
6 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 2599
8 Kevin Carter Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 2541
9 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 2283
10 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 2220

There was no Sport Class task today given the high winds forecasted.

The winds at launch were within our pre assigned parameters (20 mph south and 10 mph west - so 15 mph southwest). The safety and meet director were monitoring the winds at launch and their criteria was 10 - 15 mph with no gusts over 5 mph. That's what they got.

The high level clouds from the north came near us but there were plenty of cu's underneath them. When I got pulled up after not choosing to go in the first round I pinned off in lift at 1,500' behind Bobby Bailey. I quickly climbed to 5,200' at 335 fpm despite all the upper level clouds. I was drifting at 12 mph out of the west southwest. I wanted to get to the west side of the 5 km start cylinder, which was not all that easy to do.

Heading west and then climbing back to 5,000' it was time to go to get the first start clock.

After the task opened we all raced to the northwest and found lift west of Groveland again back to 5,000'. I followed three pilots ahead and over me and found 350 fpm to 4,500' behind them and they had to come back to me.

As we went further north under the upper level clouds, but still toward cumulus clouds, the lift deteriorated. As we came over Grass Root airfield at a little less than 3,000' we spotted Zac Majors circling low on the north side. We climbed at 140 fpm to 3,300'. Zac headed off to the northwest low and we all lost track of him, except maybe Austin.

I'm only able to climb to 2,800' in the next thermal at 124 fpm. Others get higher. We are all being pushed to the east northeast and there is a small gaggle northeast of the Turnpike. I don't find any lift under them at 2,600' and head west toward the open fields on the south side of the Turnpike and near highway33. I note that the wind is 22 mph out of the west.

Making very slow progress against the head wind, down to 1,200', and not being able to make it to my preferred field to the west I turn east to be able to land near highway 27. There is a huge field there and I come in at 500' and stay prone and on the base tube all the way to the ground not wanting to get turned. My ground speed is less than 5 mph when I land in a nice soft field. It is very turbulent.

Kevin Carter measures 30 mph when he is coming in to land, hits 1,500 fpm low, and just keeps heading into the wind and landing. J.D. gets out ahead of everyone and wins the day.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/15.4.2021/17:34

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2762660

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2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 4 »

April 14, 2021, 10:24:21 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 4

Task 3, more blue then a few cu's

Attila Plasch|competition|Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Phill Bloom|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tim Delaney|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

The forecast:

NWS:

Wednesday

Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Light southeast wind becoming south southeast 5 to 10 mph in the morning.

Hourly in the afternoon: 7 mph south southeast wind , 38% decreasing to 23% cloud cover

RAP

1 PM:

South surface wind at 1 PM: 6 mph, 2000' 7 mph, 4000' south southeast 6 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 4,400'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 580 fpm

CB at 1 PM: none (with south southeast there is almost always cu's)

B/S at 1 PM: 9.7

4 PM:

South surface wind at 4 PM: 6 mph, 6,000' 6 mph

TOL at 4 PM: 7,700'

Updraft Velocity at 4 PM: 720 fpm

CB at 4 PM: 7,500'

B/S at 4 PM: 10.0

The Task:

Quest 3 km
Turn33 3 km (Intersection of the Florida Turnpike and highway 33)
T33D 3 km (Intersection of Dean Still Road and highway 33)
Quest 400 m

Results for Open and Sport classes: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

Task 3 Open: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5007/day/open-class

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:24:22 991.2
2 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 02:24:24 981.9
3 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 02:24:32 973.1
4 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 02:25:03 963.5
5 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 02:25:27 958.0
6 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:26:24 931.8
7 Kevin Carter Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:27:05 920.9
8 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 02:30:02 900.3
9 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:30:47 898.2
10 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 02:39:58 838.2

Cumulative:

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 928.2 980.4 898.2 2807
2 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 822.3 954.9 981.9 2759
3 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 806.6 941.6 991.2 2739
4 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 815.0 945.7 973.1 2734
5 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 779.4 991.7 900.3 2671
6 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 650.1 961.5 963.5 2575
7 Kevin Carter Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 655.4 865.4 920.9 2442
8 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 754.7 832.7 834.4 2422
9 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 634.3 580.8 958.0 2173
10 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T3 136 787.1 503.1 804.5 2095

Sport Cumulative:

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 828.3 954.8 504.2 2287
2 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 624.4 598.6 986.6 2210
3 Douglas Hale Moyes Gecko 328.3 581.1 772.6 1682
4 Ric Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 137.6 989.3 475.5 1602
5 Abishek Sethi Wills Wing U2 145 563.4 547.4 462.5 1573
6 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 624.4 533.6 411.9 1570
7 Attila Plasch WillsWing U2 285.5 479.2 704.7 1469
8 Soham Mehta Wills Wing U2 145 327.7 581.6 524.1 1433
9 Richard Sibley WW T2 144 450.6 361.3 350.6 1163
10 David Hayner Wills Wing Sport 3 155 247.0 438.6 475.1 1161

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2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 3 »

April 13, 2021, 10:16:54 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 3

Task 2, in the blue

Filippo Oppici|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Filippo Oppici|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Filippo Oppici|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Filippo Oppici|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Raul Guerra|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Filippo Oppici|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

competition|Filippo Oppici|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

competition|Filippo Oppici|Gary Anderson|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Raul Guerra|Robin Hamilton|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Live and Replay Open task: https://airtribune.com/play/5004/2d

Results for Open and Sport classes:

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results

Task 2 Open: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5004/day/open-class

# Name Glider Time Distance (km) Total
1 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 02:55:37 90.70 991.7
2 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:56:25 90.70 980.4
3 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 02:56:36 90.70 961.5
4 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 02:56:48 90.70 954.9
5 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 02:56:55 90.70 945.7
6 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:56:58 90.70 941.6
7 Kevin Carter Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 03:15:26 90.70 865.4
8 Raul Guerra Icaro Laminar 14.7 03:22:46 90.70 832.7
9 Gary Anderson Wills Wing T3 144 85.53 591.0
10 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 82.16 586.8

A blue day with a north wind and a mixed forecast that made us unsure if we would have a lot of lift or just a little. Later the day turned out very well with climbs to 6,000' and sustained 500 fpm.

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The Sky Wants Us to Return

Mon, Apr 12 2021, 11:10:54 pm EDT

The forecast was an utter failure

Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|PG|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021

competition|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

competition|Davis Straub|Filippo Oppici|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|PG|Phill Bloom|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Willy Dydo|Zac Majors

We were confronted with a forecast that said we were going to get to only 3,000' and have really light lift. None of that was true but it made life difficult for the task committee. None the less with Larry Bunner's guidance we called a great task that took advantage of the superb conditions and got most of us back to Wilotree Park.

Now we have to be concerned about why the forecast was so wrong and how to deal with the fact that the forecast for Tuesday is similar. Likely we'll just grab another forecast from our set of models and also go with whatever Skew-T brews up for us.

Given our great uncertainty about the forecast we called for an elapsed task with no leading or arrival points. We were concerned that it would be difficult for pilots to hang around for an hour in poor conditions. As it turned out there was no reason for that.

I was about the third pilot to get hauled up as a few pilots in front of me backed out and went to the end. Phill Bloom was first off and I was hauled up right under him. We climbed right to cloud base at 4,100' and then sampled nearby clouds wondering who would go first. Raul left early.

Larry and I left a gaggle of about half a dozen of the top pilots to go to the next cloud just outside the start cylinder and got up back to cloud base. When they came to join us in the lift we headed back and got a later start time by about three minutes. We then caught back up with them.

The task was a bit complex:

There were cu's around and we just hopped from cu to cu, which is why we didn't follow straight along the course lines:

There was plenty of lift under most of the cu's and at one point it averaged 500 fpm for 3,500'.

The results can be found here: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5003/day/open-class

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 01:46:52 981.2
2 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat C 13.5 02:04:54 804.8
3 Willy Dydo Wills Wing T3 136 02:05:27 800.3
4 Pedro L. garcia Wills Wing T3 144 02:06:40 790.5
5 Filippo Oppici Wills Wing T3 144 02:06:47 789.6
6 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 02:06:48 789.4
7 Austin Marshall Wills Wing T3 154 02:08:55 772.6
8 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T3 144 02:11:43 750.8
9 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 02:13:13 739.2
10 Kevin Carter Tbd 02:15:57 718.5

Sport Class results here: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/results/task5002/day/sport-class

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/12.4.2021/17:08

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2761334

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20210405&gliderclass=hg1

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2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 1 »

April 11, 2021, 12:17:08 pm EDT

2021 Paradise Airsports Nationals - day 1

We have crushed the drought

Belinda Boulter|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|video

It's hard to believe that it will only be from one to two inches of rain today (Sunday).

We have not had anything like this in the five months that Belinda and I have been here:

Those folks staying in tents will be most unhappy. Looks like a warm day tomorrow, sunny, with a north wind.

The Sandhill Cranes can eat and drink at the same time:

https://vimeo.com/535653182 by Randee Azzar.

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A Spanner in the Works

April 9, 2021, 11:10:34 pm EDT

A Spanner in the Works

There to tighten the nut on the Blade's arm.

Larry Bunner

I was waiting for the tug to come back and pull me up after it took up Larry Bunner and decided to pull out the little 10 mm wrench that I had stowed away in my harness attached to an older thin bridle line. I started to pull it out and it just wouldn't move. I took off my harness and followed the line around in the harness to see where the wrench was.

I was pretty amazed to find that it had traveled on a rather long circuitous journey and was now up and through the slot in my slider on the back plate. It was difficult to even dislodge it so it was hard to imagine how it got half way through the slot to begin with. I took the wrench and its lanyard out of the harness and put them away in a safe spot so that that wouldn't happen again.

As I thought about it something occurred to me. Recently I've been having difficulty grabbing the right down tube. I then realized that I've not been rocked up as usual and was reaching for the downtube too low. I began to see that the wrench would have kept me from rocking all the way up and I just hadn't noticed. I've taken out two down tubes because I had trouble getting my hand on and up the right down tube.

Since that discovery I've had two landings without this being an issue. I've rocked up earlier and went back to my old favorite "monkey bar" landings.

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Around the Green Swamp the Hard Way

Mon, Apr 5 2021, 8:27:16 am EDT

John Simon, Pedro Garcia, and Larry Bunner make it around

Green Swamp|Larry Bunner|PG

Green Swamp|John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG

Green Swamp|John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG

Here's the forecast and the task:

NWS:

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 76. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Hourly in the afternoon: East northeast surface wind 7-8 mph, 20% cloud cover

HRRR 3:

11 AM:

East northeast surface wind at 11 AM: 7 mph

TOL at 11 AM: 5,700'

Updraft Velocity at 11 AM: 520 fpm

CB at 11 AM: 5,100'

B/S at 11 AM: 9.3

Cloud cover at 11 AM: 20%

1 PM:

East northeast surface wind at 1 PM: 3 mph, 2000' 4 mph, 4000' east 2 mph, 6000' east 2 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 7,200'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 680 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 6,600'

B/S at 1 PM: 10.0

Cloud cover at 1 PM: 28%

Temperature at CB: 35 degrees (dress warmly)

6 PM:

TOL: 8,200'

Updraft velocity: 500 fpm

CB: none

B/S: 10.0

Task:

Quest 3 km
Panoak 3 km
Clinton 3 km (keep us away from airspace)
Fantsy 3 km (keep us over landable areas)
Quest 400 m

156.5 km

The hard way because it is much longer than our normal way around the Green Swamp.

Larry and I take off just after noon as the cu's get close to Wilotree Park. But we don't get any lift and getting down to 700' AGL at the southwest corner of the field, I find a bit of lift and after a few turns Larry comes in under me. I'm happy that he isn't at my altitude as I do not want to be dealing with another pilot and trying to get up from low at the same time.

It averages 260 fpm to 4,100. We leave with Larry just below me at 3,800'. We climb together in the next thermal just southeast of Mascotte to over 5,000'. As I'm a couple of hundred feet over him I lead out.

Larry finds better lift behind me which I don't go back for and he gets out in front. Getting low to the north he finds 440 fpm to 4,800' while I work weaker lift behind him before finally coming in underneath him. I'm now 7 minutes behind him.

I come under him in the next thermal and now I'm just two minutes behind as we climb to over 5,000 east of the Lake Panosofkee turnpoint. He makes the turnpoint at 4,600' and heads south. I find weak lift along the way and make it at 3,100'. Now I've lost touch with him.

Pedro and John show up at the turnpoint after launching later than Larry and I. I try to hook up with them but whenever I circle with them, I lose altitude. Finally I give up and head south east, get low and then work weak lift again before I find 300 fpm to 4,600'. John and Pedro have found better lift to my north and get high and out in front of me. I turn down the volume on my radio as I figure I'm now way behind and don't need the distraction.

Larry moves quickly to the south toward Clinton but gets stuck low south of Kokee. John will soon pass high over him getting strong lift to Larry's northeast. Larry will finally find the almost 800 fpm to his south and climb to 6,500'. Meanwhile a little to his north on the south side of Bushnell I get down to 2,100' before finding 400+ fpm and climb to 6,000'.

A 9 km glide puts me back down to 2,600' over non landable areas and I have to turn around and go back to a large bail out field. Searching around at 1,000' AGL I find 550 fpm to 6,300' which will let me clear the non landable areas to the south.

There are cu's all along the route to the south near the western edge of the Green Swamp. At Dade City I again have to back track to get under a better looking cloud and climb to 6,300'. Back tracking will be a feature of both my flight and Larry's.

I can't get to cloud base after Clinton where the route takes us over trees to the southeast. I have to go back a couple of times and off course once to get under better looking clouds. I also have to work some weak lift, but keep searching for 500+ fpm. I don't get back to near cloud base until southeast of the turnpoint (not used on this route) at 471 and 98. There are plenty of dark cu's ahead but I don't find any lift under them. The ground it too shaded. I'm been getting the lift on the west (sunny) side of the cu's and now I'm heading east to the next sunny patch.

It doesn't work even under a strong looking cu and I have to go back again to land in a convenient spot.

Larry also got low at Clinton but didn't have to go back to get up and found lift that got him to 6,800' before 471 and 98. Pedro and John were out in front now.

Larry got low before Fantasy but was able to put four 300 fpm thermals together to get past the turnpoint and up to Dean Still and 33. He then made a big back track to climb to 6,800' just northwest of that intersection. Because we could see the cu's we could back track to the best lift and did it often.

That wasn't quite enough to make it in and he had to stop at 1,000' AGL and climb to 1,800' to make it in with 500', a little after 6 PM. Six hours of flying.

Larry's flight:

My flight:

John was in first followed by Pedro, then Mick, who took the abbreviated route and then Larry.

Monday looks even better with lighter winds. Maybe an 11 AM launch?

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/4.4.2021/16:11

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2755423

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20210405&gliderclass=hg1

Discuss "Around the Green Swamp the Hard Way" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

What is with these forecasts?

March 27, 2021, 10:09:26 pm EDT

What is with these forecasts?

The cu's keep arriving late in the afternoon

Larry Bunner

John Simon|Larry Bunner

John Simon|Larry Bunner

Mick Howard takes off at 11 AM to try out his new Moyes Litespeed. He is able to stay up as long as he likes and there are cu's nearby, but he can only get to 2,000'. He decides to land around noon and go for lunch. Later when he flies after 1 PM he is unable to connect with the lift and lands back at Wilotree Park.

The forecast from Friday night for Saturday:

NWS:

Saturday

Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Hourly in the afternoon: Southeast surface wind 7 mph, 49% cloud cover drops to 22% at 1:30 PM.

HRRR 3:

Southeast surface wind at 1 PM: 4 mph, 2000' 5 mph, and 4000' 5 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 4,900'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 570 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4,400'

B/S at 1 PM: 10.0

Task:

Quest 3 km
T7598 7 km
T98471 3 km
Quest 400 m

94 km

or if the fire in the Green Swamp is still causing a problem:

Quest 3 km
Panoak 3 km
Baron 3 km
Quest 400 m

80 km

Looking at the HRRR 3 forecast we thought that there would be cu's by noon but they all dried up as Mick flew. I should have reviewed the updated forecast in the morning as it showed that the cu's would not be happening. HRRR 3 would continue to show no cu's and RAP would say that there would be a plethora of them. Turns out they were very sparse.

When I got to launch I found that my radio was having some problem so I turned it off. This was a mistake and I should have gotten out of line and launched after fixing it. If we are flying together we need to be able to communicate.

I launched around 1 PM and saw Larry turning upwind to the south but didn't go to him and instead climbed in weak lift then found 160 fpm to 4,000' under a cu on the west side of Wilotree Park joining up with Maria Garcia. The wind was 8 mph out of the east southeast.

I figured that I'd stick with Maria and help her get around the Green Swamp. But then with so few cu's around it didn't look like a very promising task.

We headed west with me without any idea of where anyone else was. We worked more weak lift together and I had to go back east to get under a cu and Maria followed just below. I was being very patient. We were climbing at barely over 100 fpm and only getting to 3,800'

Circling just south of the nursery I spotted Cory Barnwell climbing in his Fizz on the northeast corner of the Green Swamp. I flew right to him and climbed at 80 fpm to 3,900'.

I was not aware of the fact that at about this time Larry was on the west side of the nursery climbing up fast from 400'. He called out his potion and climb rate and Cory took off to the north to his location while I continued to climb slowly. I could soon see Cory climbing well although I didn't see Larry. Maria, who was well below me, soon followed Cory and started climbing a few kilometers to my north.

My second mistake was not figuring out why Cory and then Maria had gone that way which wasn't in the direction of the task, but toward Lake Panosoffkee, our alternate task. Cory said that he wasn't going to try to go around the Green Swamp as no king posted glider had ever made it all the way around, so I thought he was taking on the alternate task. I didn't think that Larry might have called him and told him where the lift was.

There were no cu's on our course line. There were cu's to the north and northwest. It would turn out that going around the Green Swamp would require going much further north than is usually the case in order to hook up with the cu's.

Looking to the west, not seeing great prospects of completing the around the Green Swamp task in that direction I decided to see if I could fly back to Wilotree Park. There was a big fat cu over the nursery to my east and I went for it.

That cu was dying and all I got was zero sink at 2,900'. I was facing a head wind with no cu's between me and Wilotree Park. I decided to run for it down wind to find a place to land. Without a radio I couldn't keep my driver appraised of where I was going. They didn't have Live360 on their phone.

I was quickly down to 800' AGL over a large field but the cu's were nearby and I was going up at 75 fpm. I wanted to find a better field with easier driver access so I hung on to the weak lift as the wind picked up out of the southeast to 11 mph.

I was wondering how the other pilots were going to make it on the west side of the Green Swamp against the head wind.

Climbing up to 1,100 AGL I moved over a little to the east and found 180 fpm which got me to 3,200' a little west of Center Hill. The wind had picked up to 15 mph out of the southeast.

I kept finding lift and cumulus clouds every where as I went quickly down wind searching for a nice LZ. I tried first at Cheryl, an actual north/south grass strip but there was way too much lift there and I was going up not down, so I headed for the Lake Panosoffkee airfield.

Just south of there I spotted a wide field just south of the landfill that would handle a southeast landing approach. Despite continuing to find lots of lift I was able to put it into the field with no issues although a bit of a walk out.

Meanwhile the other pilots had made the northwestern turnpoint going around the Green Swamp and now were very slowly making their way south. John Simon, Cory Barnwell, Maria Garcia, Max and in the lead Larry Bunner. But the wind and not being able to get super high made it difficult and everyone landed on the western side with John on the southwestern side. Larry landed in the landfill.

We were able to drive down 471 north/south through the Green Swamp and pick him up.

We'll see if tomorrow's forecast of plenty of cu's actually happens. I'll also check in the morning for an update.

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A lot of time looking at the ground

Fri, Mar 26 2021, 10:05:26 pm EDT

It looked like we would get high

A lot of time looking

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|PG

The forecast for Friday:

NWS:

Friday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Hourly in the afternoon: South southwest surface wind 8 mph, 29% cloud cover.

HRRR 3:

South southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 8 mph, 2000' 11 mph, and 4000' 11 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 5,900'

Updraft Velocity at 1 pm: 580 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4,900'

B/S at 1 PM: 8.5

At noon:

TOL: 4,100', 420 fpm, CB 4,270' (RAP), B/S 5.6 (so early launch may be possible if the cu's show up, which is likely)

Sea Breeze:

There is a forecasted sea breeze from the west. Surface wind turn more westerly around 4 PM around Brooksville and 5 PM at Groveland. Cu's mostly gone by 5 PM.

Cumulus cloud base will almost be 7,000' at 3 PM.

Task:

Quest 3 km
Kokee 3 km
Baron 3 km
Quest 400 m

82 km

Despite the forecasted 11 mph south southwest winds I figured that with us getting quite high we would be able to overcome them.

The early morning started off with a Zapata, Texas like overrunning with low clouds filling the sky and moving quickly to the north. After a while the clouds separated and there were dozens of cloud streets stretching from south to north as far as we could see to the east and west.

Bunches of pilots were ready to go as we watched the cloud streets disappear later in the morning and just a few cu's appear at noon. Finally a little after one we decided to just get going and hope that the cu's would appear later as they had the previous day.

Larry Bunner was not going first after not hitting any lift on Thursday and I took off after Greg Dinauer at 1:15 PM. Other pilots wanted to see how we did.

Kasey took me to a nearby cu west of Wilotree Park and I climbed to 3,300' but essentially stopped there when the lift went to zero. Heading south with Greg we found lift at 900' AGL at the south end of the field and worked our way back to 3,400' This recovery from 900' was to be a precursor for the day.

Six pilots got together over Groveland and got in each others way as we climbed to 3,600' and then headed west. Apparently pilots had forgotten how to gaggle fly without much practice lately.

There was a dark looking cu south of Mascotte and we all joined up again climbing at almost 240 fpm to 4,200'. This was the strongest lift so far. The cu's were very sparse and there weren't any others nearby that looked this good. I was almost an hour into the flight and had barely gone any where. The wind was cross at 7mph. We were not getting at all high.

We climbed in 144 fpm a few kilometers over the nursery back to 4,000' as the south wind pushed us to the north of highway 50. There were a few cu's off in the distance toward the sawmill.

Heading west we all spread out and separated losing track of each other as we got low by the mine just north of 50. Not finding any lift I was down to 1,400' on the east side of the mine while Larry was further south climbing slowly. None of the pilots I was near was finding anything.

I saw a cu back east toward highway 469 and dove for it. In search mode down to 700' AGL I found lift over a nice open field and a wind that appeared to be out of the southwest at 6 mph.

At this point I figured that my task had changed. My task was now to stay in the air and get up from low. Everything else could wait until later. I was watching the nearby fields very carefully to make sure that I had a safe landing area as it was not at all assured that I would get up.

I climbed to 3,000' and then when the lift gave out headed south southeast toward a huge field that I was familiar with and that had a nice cu over it. 13 fpm got me back to 2,000' and downwind further north and over my next good looking LZ where Mick and I had also previously landed this year (it was a bit down hill).

I flew north back to the next good looking LZ and again at 900' AGL I found lift, this time 240 fpm and climbed to 3,800'. To the north it was mostly swamps and fields that were only accessible by paths so I wanted to stay near my good looking LZ's.

I headed south southeast toward the best looking cu's that I had been watching for a while. It looked like they sort of lined up for a route back toward Wilotree Park. As I was doing all this low work the cu's had started to fill up the sky and they made it much more likely that I would in fact be able to get up, not just stay in the air and perhaps get high enough to make it back to Wilotree Park, my next task.

While I was watching LZ's and staying in the air, other pilots were having trouble landing back near the mine with one pilot suffering leg damage, two broken down tubes and a concussion and another with a sprained ankle. Only Larry, Tiago and I were still in the air, but that would not be for long as there was a fire pumping smoke toward the Kokee turnpoint and cutting off the lift just before the first turnpoint.

I climbed to 4,200' three kilometers north of the chicken coops and headed in the direction of the next cu's but they had moved further east and they were no longer lining up for a good run back to Wilotree Park. Quickly down to 3,100' and what looked like a south southeast head wind, fewer landing options and no cu's where I wanted to head for I turned west and went back to the previously visited huge field that had a nice black cloud on its eastern edge.

I figured that the wind was still southwest on that side of the cu and sure enough by heading north once again on the western edge of the cu I was able to climb at 250 fpm to 4,500'. Now the cu's lined up and I was able to easily follow them back to Wilotree Park. Everyone else was down and some were being rescued while I was all set for tomorrow.

All that took three hours. Sometimes your task is not the one that you started out with, but can be very interesting and challenging none the less. I had turned down the volume on my radio so I had no idea how others were doing as I needed to focus.

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2745314

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Substantial clouds come with the southern flow

March 19, 2021, 8:08:45 EDT

Substantial clouds come with the southern flow

They are there to invite us to fly

Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane

I've been good about getting sunscreen on my nose and cheeks, but today I missed it and I'm pretty red as is Larry Bunner. Lots of sun, wind and cloud today.

Here was the forecast:

NWS:

Monday

Patchy fog before 10am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Light south southeast wind becoming southeast 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.

Hourly in the afternoon: Southeast surface wind 7 mph, 30% cloud cover

HRRR 3:

Southwest surface wind at 1 PM: 6 mph, 2000' 7 mph, 4,000' south southwest 6 mph (Note the conflict with the NWS on wind direction)

TOL at 1 PM: 5,400'

Updraft Velocity at 1 PM: 560 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 4,400' (RAP)

B/S at 1 PM: 10.0

Sea Breeze from the west (and east east of Orlando) at highway 301 by 3 PM. Winds turn more westerly during the afternoon. TOL at 4 PM at Wilotree at 6,400'.

With cu's noon launch is possible:

TOL: 4,600'
Updraft Velocity: 520 fpm

Task:

Quest 3 km
Kokkee 2 km
Turn33 1 km
Quest 400 m

74 km

Launch from the north or northeast end.

We got out to our magic circle on the northwest end of the runway (not including the northern section north of Groveland Airport Road) early and waited for the cu's to appear overhead. When the sky filled up we got in line and launched. I launched right after Larry at 12:50.

Pinned off at 2,100' and climbed at a little less than 100 fpm in a 7 mph southeast wind with Larry coming over to join me. Once we got to 3,200' in the weak lift we headed to the next closest cu to the northwest, down wind, and climbed to 4,700' just west of Groveland.

With an 11 mph south southwest wind we climbed back to 4,700' after heading west and not losing much west of Mascotte and just north of the Green Swamp and highway 50.

Larry proceeded not finding much west along highway 50 while I headed a bit to the north to get under a good looking cu over the sand mine. 200 fpm got me back up from 2,600' to 3,500' but I was dribbling along to the west not finding much and Larry was working weak lift to my south along highway 50.

Headed for some greenhouses that have worked for us in the past and climbed back up from 2,600' to 4,200' before shifting over to a good looking cloud just a tiny bit to the west. That produced 500 fpm to 5,400', which was cloud base. Larry found some good lift to the south then also.

An 8 km glide to Kokee got me there with 3,800' and the next thermal right at the edge of the cylinder and up to 4,800' just a few kilometers ahead of Larry. Larry announced he was taking the alternative route and heading north to Lake Panasoffkee. I decided to join him.

The cu's were there along the course but the lift was around 200 fpm. The wind was now 11 mph out of the southwest. After tagging the Panasoffkee waypoint I headed northeast over the swamp to get back to 4,700' in light lift. The prisons and the mines were to the east and I headed for them. Larry was out in front. I headed further southeast toward a good looking cu over the mine building just before the prisons, while Larry was up by the Turnpike.

I came under the cu at 3,400' and indeed it was quite good averaging 450 fpm. Quickly two sailplanes came in under me. Then three sail planes came in over me. By the time I left at 5,200' I had been flying with eight sailplanes in this one thermal. I didn't go too near the top of the lift as I didn't want to suddenly disappear on these guys. The top three left very quickly also.

After nicking the next additional turnpoint at Baron I searched going east north of the Turnpike at the southern edge of the swamp getting down to 1,900'. I found ratty 200 fpm which was not a bit pleasant to circle in but necessary to get back to 3,200' and drifted back into the Baron cylinder. Did that again just a touch to the west to 3,600'.

Went out to the south and then back to the west to get under some cu's and back down to 2,500' for my third swipe at Baron. But this time it worked with the thermal much better behaved over the flat lands and I climbed at 340 fpm to 5,700'. Larry was a few kilometers to my east.

Heading south I came near the turnpoint that Larry called at the Turnpike and highway 33 but decided to forego it. I found 400 fpm up to 5,800' and worked to stay in visual contact with the ground.

Found 200 fpm right under Larry but misinterpreted his call out and left the lift right under him to find little to nothing to the south. Worked up to 2,500' just north of the nursery but that gave out and I headed south across the nursery hoping to get under a good cu. That didn't work.

I had to pick out a field just south of highway 50 and as I figured out the wind direction (south 5 mph) I ran into some lift at 700 AGL. It was almost 100 fpm so I figured that I would stay in it long enough to make a good decision about where to land.

The lift continued as I drifted north back over the non landable nursery and improved to an average of 300 fpm. It was 4:20 PM. I took it to 5,600' which was plenty of lift to make it in after Larry made it.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/15.3.2021/16:48#fd=flight

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2738335

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20210313&gliderclass=hg1

Discuss "Substantial clouds come with the southern flow" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Counter Clockwise Around the Green Swamp

March 15, 2021, 8:34:19 EDT

Counter Clockwise Around the Green Swamp

Would there be cumulus clouds?

Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane|Wilotree Park

The morning forecast:

When does the sea breeze come in from the west?

NWS:

Today

Sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming south southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Hourly in the afternoon: South southeast surface wind 6 mph, 4% cloud cover

HRRR 3:

Southeast surface wind at 1 PM: 4 mph, 2000' east southeast 6 mph, 4,000' east southeast 6 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 4,900'

Updraft Velocity at 1 PM: 580 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 0' (but with this wind direction, very likely to be cu's)

B/S at 1 PM: 10.0

4000' winds at 4 PM by Dade City 2 mph south

TOL at 4 PM: 6,000'

Updraft velocity: 560 fpm

Can you launch at noon (11 am sun time)?

TOL at noon: 4,300'

Updraft Velocity at noon: 520 fpm

Solar noon is at 1:34 pm

As I noted last night there is a sea breeze from the west coming inland in the afternoon. By 4 PM it is between Brooksville and Dade City. By 5 PM it is just east of Dade City. The forecast yesterday was for a south southwest wind at 4,000' at Dade City at 5 mph at 4 PM. Today the 4000' winds at Dade City at 4 PM are forecasted to be 2 mph south.

In order to avoid the sea breeze Larry Bunner wants the task to change to counter clockwise as per below. This allows us to go somewhat downwind to the northwest corner of the Green Swamp and then head south along the western edge, getting back away from the sea breeze on the eastern side later in the afternoon. We'll be able to come north back to Wilotree with a light south southeast flow.

Task:

Quest 3 km
T7598 7 km
T98471 3 km
Quest 400 m

94.3 km

Launch from the northwest corner - the magic circle.

Good days it still appears through Wednesday.

So the two major questions were would there be cumulus clouds and would we get stopped by a western sea breeze that would cut off the lift. The HRRR 3 model on XC Skies and the Skew-T graph showed the cu's just above the inversion layer. But with a south southeast flow I felt that almost every time there are cu's. But the day didn't start off that way and with daylight savings time that messed with people's perceptions.

The cu's didn't start showing up until almost 1 PM (about solar noon) and they were very sparse. I towed up right behind Larry Bunner at 1:26 PM and heard him say that he was going to take a high tow so I held on also. There was a cu 5 kilometers to the south and we held on until we got near it, me at 3,900'. There were three sailplanes under it also. We climbed to 4,800'.

With a 4 mph east (tail) wind we headed west toward the first turnpoint on the west side of the Green Swamp. The cu's were over the Green Swamp just south of its northern border at highway 50 and we just went from one cu to another. Greg found some better lift behind us and was soon up with Larry and I. We all have flown together a lot so it is easy for us to team fly.

The cu's were getting further and further to the south into the Green Swamp. We found a good one over highway 471 south of the sawmill and climbed to 5,300'. This committed us to go deeper into the swamp. We took a chance heading toward the western edge with what we felt was enough altitude to make it, but found 300 fpm over a small clearing not that far from some bail out fields and climbed to 4,500' at 300 fpm. This assured us of the chance of making it to the west and landable terrain. It's always exciting going around the Green Swamp.

The circumference of the first turnpoint is just a couple of kilometers passed the western edge of the Green Swamp and we found 340 fpm before we got to it and drifted into it with the east wind. Heading south we flew into a 5 mph south southeast head wind. We flew back to over the Green Swamp and lost connection with Greg who stayed further west.

Flying south toward the rapidly diminishing cu's (soon it would be all blue) we found 400 fpm to 5,400' on the southwest corner of the landfill. These site has often worked for me before.

Now it was time from another jump across a patch of Green Swamp to the southeast. Larry and I spread out and I spread out a little too much as I lost track of Larry.

We both got stuck by the second turnpoint at the intersection of highway 471 and 98. It took me a couple of back and forths before I found 225 fpm to 4,600'. This was the highest I would get after this turnpoint. Thankfully there were a few cu's at the turnpoint. Larry got up and headed southeast to get under a few cu's that didn't produce any lift for him.

I figured I was high enough to make it 11 kilometers due east across this patch of Green Swamp. There looked like some emergency bail out fields along the way. Nothing that you would actually want to land it though.

I heard from Larry that he was just ahead and circling in nothing at 2,000'. I came into his field at Famish at 2,100' and found lift on the northwestern corner and Larry came in over me. There was a small sail plane way down below us (Steve Arndt?) and it was hard to believe that he would get up from so low.

After climbing at 130 fpm I left with 2,900'. Larry was above me and left also. We were flying together again but I couldn't see him.

Gliding for 4.5 km I was down to 1,600' and checking out the fields along Green Pond Road. None the less I was feeling some lift and turning around getting a better feel for the appropriate field. I felt that at 4:54 PM (3:54 sun time) the day was getting late and it was hard to see how we (Larry had joined me) would make it in with no more cu's to help out. We stayed and climbed at 185 fpm to 3,900' (Larry was higher).

Yet another jump over the Green Swamp to just west and south of the intersection of highways 474 and 33, to a field that I have landed in a number of times and feel confident about. Down to 1,900' I found 130 fpm and Larry soon joined me right on the western edge of the field over the trees. We had a 3 mph southwestern tail wind.

More Green Swamp and over to the Seminole Glider Port where almost all the competitor gliders were parked (not the one we saw earlier barely over Famish). Larry was climbing up on the east side and I finally found good lift on the south end of the runway where Larry had originally found it. He was climbing high and I was struggling.

One wants to be at about 4,000' when leaving the glider port for Wilotree Park. I had to leave at 3,200' when the lift gave out (or I lost it). I continued north along the edge of the trees and the open fields. There were bits of lift and 6 km I found 160 fpm which got me too high and it was easy to get to Wilotree but difficult to get down.

Larry, me and later Pedro made it back. John Simon, Mick Howard, Maria, and Greg all landed short. Going earlier was the better option.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/14.3.2021/17:25

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2737892

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20210313&gliderclass=hg1

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Chatter on the radio

March 13, 2021, 7:43:14 EST

Chatter on the radio

Larry Bunner has a reminder

Larry Bunner

Hey all, just a friendly reminder to keep our communications in the air to the point and informative.

Today there was quite a bit of unnecessary chatter which can end up being a distraction to fellow pilots.

First off, I am guilty of it as much as anyone so this message is for me too!

The goal in XC communications is to share critical information so others can take advantage of it if so inclined. In the past if we wanted to share our good fortune, we would call out location (ie: distance from waypoint and cross track), altitude and climb rate.

On occasion it is good to call out a person by name (when they are in sight) to a good climb. When someone calls you to a climb, it isn't necessary to say anything more than "copy" so the sender knows you heard them.

When calling out a climb, it is very helpful to give the rate in fpm versus "I've got a good climb over here". Also it is better to share perhaps your average climb rate rather than the peak surge you are going through ie: underpredict and let the pilots determine whether you are climbing better than them so they can make an informed decision regarding whether to stay where they are or to head your way.

If you are in an area by yourself and get a good climb, share it so others know what is out there. If you are at the tail end of the group, there really isn't any need to share critical information as everyone is out ahead of you.

I have to say it was awesome today having everyone's radio working and on the correct channel (my radio worked great Thursday, I was just on the wrong frequency, lol). So let's tighten up the communications so we can improve our group performance in the air.

Discuss "Chatter on the radio" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Out and Return to the Fantasy of Flight

March 12, 2021, 7:14:48 EST

Out and Return to the Fantasy of Flight

A cross wind task

Fantasy of Flight|Larry Bunner|PG|triangle|Wilotree Park

A strong cross wind turns an out and return into a triangle by creating very well defined cloud streets.

After two days of "strong" east winds we decided that the winds were going to be light enough to launch going to the east and to fly south and then back north. This was the morning updated forecast:

Will there be cu's? After two days of high cu's and a similar wind (now with a slight bit of south) you would think so. The NWS and HRRR 3 say there is 20% cloud cover.

NWS:

Today

Sunny, with a high near 79. East wind 5 to 10 mph.

Hourly in the afternoon: East surface wind 8 mph, 20% cloud cover.

HRRR 3:

East surface wind at 1 PM: 8 mph, 2000' 10 mph, 4,000' 10 mph

TOL at 1 PM: 6,400'

Updraft Velocity at 1 PM: 640 fpm

CB at 1 PM: 0'

B/S at 1 PM: 8.7

Skew-T says maybe cu's.

TOL at 2 PM: 6,900'

Task:

Seems that the winds are a little too strong for around the Green Swamp (maybe tomorrow) so a cross wind task instead? I'll ask pilots what they want to do.

Quest 3 km
Fantsy 1 km
Quest 400 m

81 km

I was second to launch after Larry Bunner at 12:18 PM. The wind was 15 mph out of the east southeast. The lift started right from the start as we climbed out at 850 fpm. Pinning off in light lift I then headed downwind to get under Larry and climbed to 4,100'.

Larry headed southeast and I followed from below a little to his north side and found 700 fpm under the copious cu's. It was absolutely smooth and I had no idea I was climbing so fast at first. Larry was a kilometer to me south quickly getting smaller.

I climbed to cloud base at 5,000' and followed Larry to one side from a thousand feet over him. I marked the next two thermals and kept an eye on Larry to make sure that he was following. His radio was on the wrong frequency so I couldn't give him any help other than showing him the lift.

I climbed in the fourth thermal up the front face above cloud base and waited for Larry. I really wanted to fly together and get close enough so that we could signal each other visually. Unfortunately Larry got to base and headed south without passing close by so I didn't see him as I flew in and out of the mists. Finally I headed south and saw him circling at my altitude just ahead at the next cu. I was disappointed that he didn't wait for me there like I had waited for him at each of the previous thermals. We wouldn't be flying together after all.

Heading south 8 km past 474/33 I came in under Larry and then moved a bit east in sink while Larry moved a bit west and found 700-800 fpm. I found 500 fpm from 2,600' and climbed to over 5,100' drifting west at 9 mph. I was on my own.

The thermals averaged between 400 and 600 fpm and I climbed to over 5,000' just south of Dean Still. The wind was 5 mph out of the east northeast. The cu's were streeted east to west. The run from Dean Still to Fantasy of Flight looked not too inviting with only a few cus' ahead.

I didn't find any lift on the 9 km glide to just 1 km downwind of Fantasy. There was a cu to the east of Fantasy but lakes between me and it and I was down to 2,100' and headed for the nearest dark cu on the downwind side over land (and houses).

A dark cloud street formed right over Fantasy heading west. I was under it and searching all around finding light lift and finally finding 300 fpm to 5,000' in a 12 mph east southeast wind. I used the cloud street to get upwind and make 7.5 km to the turnpoint and then to the east southeast edge of the cloud street. I wanted to get upwind of the course line after being way down wind of it attempting to get myself back in the game.

I headed north cross wind, cross the sink area between cloud streets toward the next black-looking cloud. I had been finding lift on the south upwind sunny side of the clouds. I searched around and drifted downwind until down to 1,600' I finally found it along with a few buzzards getting back to cloud base at 5,000'. The wind was still 12 mph out of the east southeast, totally cross as we expected.

I headed due north to Dean Still to get under the closest cloud that I thought that I could connect with. I didn't feel that I could make it to the north east to get under the further cloud. I climbed at 200 fpm from 3,400' to 4,300' before I ventured directly upwind over a forested area hoping to make it high enough to feel comfortable when I got to the cloud to the east northeast.

I made it and climbed at over 400 fpm to 5,700'. This extra altitude was a great gift as I was going over areas that were off the main road and where I didn't really want to land. I headed north northeast to cu's 4 km southeast of 474/33. There I found 350 fpm to 5,800'. I wasn't that far from the Seminole Glider Port. It looked like I could make it back to Wilotree Park despite the cross wind.

I found a few light thermals north of Seminole that I hung on to just to make sure that I could make it back with plenty of altitude. The cu's were still looking very dark and I was not having a problem getting under them. It was easy to make it in.

Only Larry and I ventured out today although lots of people flew. Looks like at least two more days of east winds that are light enough for cross wind tasks. I'm sure more pilots will join us.

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2736583

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2021/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/11.3.2021/17:18

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

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Supporting the Oz Report

March 9, 2021, 8:28:29 EST

Supporting the Oz Report

Overwhelmed

Davis Straub|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Oz Report|Scott Weiner|Wilotree Park

Davis Straub|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Oz Report|Scott Weiner|Wilotree Park

Davis Straub|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Oz Report|Scott Weiner|Wilotree Park

Davis Straub|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Oz Report|Scott Weiner|Wilotree Park

I'm working here making sure that everyone gets acknowledged for their contribution to supporting the Oz Report. With every day windy since Friday evening, I've been working on making Wilotree Park look the best that it can as well as riding the bike (today with Mitch Shipley as he continues his recovery). This evening I have the opportunity to again call out those who have been extra helpful in providing support, but I must say I appreciate every thing that I get from my readers.

Special thanks to Larry Bunner (who is not here right now but went home to visit his wife and will be back soon), Michael Tryon, John Simon (he's here and wants to fly), John Dullahan, Scott Weiner (who sold a lot of gear on the Oz Report Classifieds), Ronald P Gleason, Bill Belcourt, Mick Howard, and Vincent Collins.

Here are our supporters: http://ozreport.com/supporters.php

As you know, all we are asking for is a subscription payment of $20/year.

Seems simple enough. Like most content on the internet, you get to read the Oz Report for free. The trouble for us, not you, is that there are not enough hang glider pilots in this world to make advertising pay for our web hosting costs.

Please, help us out. Support something that you find useful so that it can continue to be there for you.

Options:

1) Click paypal.me/davisstraub.

You should see this:

Type in the amount that you want to send in for your subscription.

Click "Next"

You should see something like this:

If you can contribute from your PayPal Balance or from your bank account that is connected to your PayPal account, please do as this incurs no PayPal fee.

2) If instead you are using a credit card to make this contribution, click this button:

3) Another way to do this is, click here: https://www.paypal.com

With this option please click the "Send&Request" tab.

Type in my email address which you can discern from "davis" and I'm at "davisstraub.com". (I have to write it this way as we hide email addresses here at the Oz Report.

Click "Next."

You'll see:


If you consider me a friend then click the "Sending to a friend" button.

Enter the amount here:

If you’d rather just send a check for $20 or more (US Dollars only, please), please feel free to do so.

Payable to:

Davis Straub (Not to the Oz Report)
6548 Groveland Airport Road
Groveland,FL 34736

If you send a physical check, be sure to send me your email address so that I can register you as a subscriber.

These are our supporters (if you are not on the list and have donated to the Oz Report, email me and I'll make sure that you are recognized): http://ozreport.com/supporters.php. Some of you who I've missed in the past did write to me and made sure I knew just how important the Oz Report was to them. If I've missed you, please do tell me.

4) This last option. Come over to the Oz Report support web page and sign up to support us: http://ozreport.com/support.php. Or click here:

Thanks to all our supporters: http://ozreport.com/supporters.php who have kept us going and paying our bills over the last twenty five years.

Discuss "Supporting the Oz Report" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Friday Before the Rains

March 7, 2021, 8:24:53 EST

Friday Before the Rains

We grab a blue day to fly

Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

We know that hang glider pilots love cumulus clouds because they can actually see the lift. Otherwise we are out there trying to find it without being able to see it. Makes for an interesting quest.

We knew that Friday would be blue with no cu's and a light northeast wind. But without cu's pilots aren't clued into the reality that they should go down to the launch area at the regular time anyway. They just aren't as motivated.

There were a bunch of pilots who had made their way down to the west end of the east-west runway for launching into a light east northeast breeze. I was off third at 2:30 already an hour and a half late. Without Larry Bunner here there was no one to push us into going "early."

I got pulled to 2,400' but lost 1,000' searching for lift. Down to 1,300' over Wilotree Park I worked 100 fpm on average until I moved over to the northwest a little and found 300+ fpm to 4,000'. Kinsley Sykes had come in under me earlier but must have flown away.

Moving to the northwest to the Mickey Mouse lake I hooked up with Mick Howard and we climbed back to 4,000' before heading northwest toward Mascotte. We could see John Simon far below.

The lift was strong and we climbed to over 5,000' just south of highway 50, 5 kilometers south of the chicken coops. I took a straight glide to the north side of the chicken buildings but lost track of Mick as he was to the east going up highway 33 and getting low.

I found 200+ fpm on the north side of the buildings and climbed back to 4,500' and Mick and John struggled low over highway 33. Heading north west of 33 I kept an eye on John as he headed for the Grass Roots airfield. I was over a thousand feet higher than him but he wasn't doing all that well.

I was able to find the lift in the southwest corner of Grass Roots and climbed to 4,100' at 200+ fpm. John struggled down much lower, was getting up at 100 fpm, then came over to get under me but didn't find it and after a while landed at the airfield.

Mick was working south of me and continued to slowly recover and get over 3,000'. I headed north toward the normal turnpoint of the Turnpike and highway 33, although today our turnpoint was a bit further north. Down to 1,200' I found some weak lift and started working it just southwest of the Turnpike and highway intersection.

I climbed back to 3,400' inside the 1 km radius turnpoint cylinder and decided to call that turnpoint good enough. I wasn't getting high enough to make to safely to the 3 km radius cylinder around the Baron airfield. Mick agreed. John was on the ground.

I turned around and headed south as Mick came in to get the Turnpike and 33 turnpoint. A thick layer of clouds came over to the west obscuring the sun. It did not look great.

I was able to get a little lift heading south but not enough to get up high enough to have a reasonable shot of making it back to Wilotree Park. The lift was light and the ground was shaded. It was after 4 PM.

I searched around, but didn't find anything and soon was landing with John Simon at Grass Roots. Mick came in right after me. What a great place to land. No problem swooping it a bit.

We all left the windows rolled down in the truck to enhance dispersion of viral bits (and the air conditioner was on a fritz also). Thanks to Joann for her invite to join the ride back. It was a lovely spot for her to retrieve also.

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2732259

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/5.3.2021/19:28

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Pilot Entry Fee Goes Up March 10th

March 7, 2021, 8:08:17 EST

Pilot Entry Fee Goes Up March 10th

$100 per competition

Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/info/details__info

https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/info/details__info

Discuss "Pilot Entry Fee Goes Up March 10th" at the Oz Report forum   link»

A Near Cyber Death Experience

Wed, Mar 3 2021, 8:23:21 am EST

We almost lost it

COVID|Facebook|Oz Report|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Wilotree Park|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021

You might have noticed that it's been a tough year for most of us. Hang gliding continued without many competitions which would have lead to gatherings which were either frowned upon or completely forbidden by the authorities. Here in Florida we continued life outside where it is is 19 times safer (https://bestlifeonline.com/coronavirus-indoors/). Due to travel restrictions we canceled the Sport Class, Rigid Wing and Women's Worlds as well as all the Nationals competitions. Same for Big Spring.

Now a year later we are planning for the 2021 Paradise Airsports and Wilotree Park Nationals in April to be run under COVID protocols with continued international travel restrictions: https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/info and https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/info.

During the year of crises mode we also decided to move to a new web server to reduce our costs. This transition has not been without numerous glitches as the Oz Report is a complex web site. For example, yesterday the host automatically updated PHP which caused all sorts of problems for Scare. Hopefully over time the situation will stabilize.

At one point we considered just going strictly on Facebook which would relieve us of all the web hosting issues (the high cost being the primary concern). We also were getting most of our content via Facebook posts, so it made sense to go to our Facebook version of the Oz Report.

This would mean that we would drop our email push of Oz Report issues. Also, those who find Facebook objectionable would no longer get to see our content. After a few disappointing experiments we decided to leave well enough alone. There is a Facebook version of the Oz Report and a stand-alone version. Sometimes content from the Facebook version comes over to the stand-alone version.

You can just go to the Oz Report on Facebook and ignore your news feed: https://www.facebook.com/ozreport

We don't know where things stand with our readers. We've decided not to publish every weekday unless there is news every weekday. Before it was publish or perish five days a week for 24 years. Now we are taking a bit more relaxed attitude and publishing when something interesting is happening, and hopefully with a new year and good changes to our pandemic situation coming, there will be more interesting things happening.

Thanks to all the Oz Report readers for their support over the years.

Discuss "A Near Cyber Death Experience" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

Flying Toward Keystone

Sat, Feb 27 2021, 11:15:31 pm EST

With a ten mph tail wind

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|Wilotree Park|XC

Larry Bunner and I were off first long before anyone else at 12:30. I was pulled to just south of where Larry was climbing and he immediately joined me as we climbed at an average of 460 fpm to 4,700'. With a southeast wind at 14 mph we headed to the north northwest where we continued to find climbs under the west side of the cu's climbing up to 5,300' by the time we made it to the Florida Turnpike. We shared the air with bald eagles and hawks.

We were out there alone together with our pilot friends still on the ground back at Wilotree Park. When you find 500 fpm lift after getting off tow, you know that you launched later than you needed to.

Heading into the Villages north of the Turnpike Larry wanted to go to the north northwest although there was a great cloud street straight north of us a little east of our normal route near highway 301. I felt it was a mistake but went with him as he lead from below. He later agreed that we should have followed the much better street.

Just east of Wildwood we climbed at 200 fpm to 4,300'. At that point Larry lead off again from below to the north northwest. There was a dark black cu straight north of us that I wanted to head toward after we climbed up to 5,300' but Larry had already left before we could continue our climb so I followed. There was a clear mistake as we we flying into a blue hole. Larry later agreed.

We found 100 fpm at 2,500' and tried to find a better core climbing to 3,200' before we started losing altitude. Larry said he was heading north into the blue. By that point I had had it. I saw a nice dark cu to the northwest and headed for it.

Down to 2,400' I found 500 fpm under the cu. I climbed to 5,400' while Larry was down to 1,500' and working light lift. When I got to cloud base I headed toward him to the north.

Larry was turning in 300 fpm way down below me and I told him to come a little to the east where he found 600 fpm. I was soon at cloud base and told him I'd wait under the cu at the Leeward airfield just to the north. He got there quickly as I stayed out of the cloud on its western edge, the edge where all the lift was on this day.

Larry had had it also. He said lead out. I was still over him as I had been most of the flight so I took off at 5,700' to the north. It was a 16 km glide to the first landable field to the north. There were a few widely spaced cu's in that direction.

To the north northwest there were plenty of good looking cu's toward Ocala and I wanted to get under them, although there are few landing areas at all. With Larry following I headed for the best looking clouds.

There was no lift under the cu's. The problem was their western edges were far to the west of us. We couldn't get to them. After 12 km we were down to 1,400' with only one nearby landing field of any length. We had to stay near it and soon landed there. Larry used his drogue chute. I ducked under a phone line and past a tree to land in the second half of the field. I had scoped it out enough to know that I could do that.

Everyone else had landed earlier or soon would be except John Simon and Robin Hamilton. No one made goal.

Discuss "Flying Toward Keystone" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

Round the Green Swamp in February

February 26, 2021, 9:27:37 pm EST

Round the Green Swamp in February

This global warming thing is working out

Green Swamp|Larry Bunner|triangle|Wilotree Park

Green Swamp|John Simon|Larry Bunner|triangle|Wilotree Park

Green Swamp|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|triangle|Wilotree Park

Green Swamp|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|triangle|Wilotree Park

The morning update forecast for Friday

A Green Swamp Day

Larry Bunner writes:

Slight inversion at 11:00 that stops lift at 2400'. Inversion breaks by noon with TOL at 5300'. When we see clouds we should go even if it is at 11:30. The winds at noon per skew T are ESE at 4kts at the surface going to zero above 4000'.
1:00 SE at 3kts going more south at 3 kts up high tol 5700'
2:00 SE at 4kts southerly up high at 4kts tol 6000'
3:00 SSE 4-6knts tol 6000'
4:00 SSE 7-9knts 6200' so perhaps we go clockwise around the swamp
5:00 SSE 7-11knts 5800'

NAM12 and RAP show convergence on the west side of the swamp slowly migrating east with good clouds over the entire area

Looks like swamp day to me.

NWS:

Today

Sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming south southeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Hourly in the afternoon: South southeast surface wind 5-6 mph here at Wilotree Park.

HRRR 3:

Southeast surface wind at 1 PM: 3 mph, 2000' southeast 4 mph, 4,000' 3 mph south southeast

TOL at 1 PM: 5,700'

Updraft Velocity at 1 PM: 620 fpm

TOL at noon: 5,100'

Updraft Velocity at noon: 540 fpm

4000' winds at 4 PM at Dade City: south 7 mph

Task:

Quest 3 km
T98471 3 km
T7598 7 km
Quest 400m

FAI triangle

94 km

This is our clockwise around the Swamp task back to Wilotree Park.

Larry Bunner was watching the cu's forming and had been looking forward to launching at noon, which he did when there were enough cu's forming nearby. Most pilots were waiting for stronger conditions and a later launch. I waited for 50 minutes and then had Jim Prahl haul me to the south to 2,900' where I connected with some cu's and climbed at 300 fpm to 4,700'.

The sky was not full of cu's but they were around. The wind was out of the southeast at 4 to 6 mph. I headed toward Larry who was just north of the Seminole Glider port. I got there at 1,600' while Larry was above me at 3,000' and climbing.

The lift was broken and it was a struggle at less than 200 fpm to get only up to 2,800'. Heading south southeast and down to 1,400' it was again a struggle to only get back to 2,800' again at 200 fpm. The lift was broken up. Larry was further south and doing much better. Everyone else was now launching after 1 PM.

Heading further south it was not going well. Down to 600' AGL I finally found some scraps of lift and held on looking for better landing areas. There was an 8 mph wind out of the east southeast.

I kept hanging on and searching for better nearby and going over the trees but with a landing field to the south. The lift kept improving and being more consistent. I drifted back a few kilometers but finally climbed to 4,500' and saw Pedro Garcia, John Simon, and Robin Hamilton to my west a couple of kilometers at my elevation.

Heading to the south side of the Green Swamp gliding into a 9 mph south head wind I hooked up with Pedro and John and we climbed to 4,900'. Pedro had to turn around and go back to Wilotree Park because he had tandems to do.

It was a short glide to the next cu and we climbed to 5,900'. Robin Hamilton had come in underneath us.

The next glide was 11 kilometers to the southeast corner of the Green Swamp, the last place where you need to get high before cross over the swamp to the first turnpoint. John found something just below and behind me and we were able to climb to 4,800' with a 6 mph southwest wind pushing us back a little.

Down to 2,100' just near the turnpoint I climbed back up as John found better lift to the north and topped out at 5,200' with a 7 mph south wind pushing us up the course line to the second turnpoint.

With that nice tail wind it was extremely easy to head north. I quickly caught back up with John and climbed to 6,000' at 400 fpm. Robin was just behind us.

There were some good looking clouds in the 7 kilometer radius turnpoint further north and I took them to 5,100'. We could hear from Larry that he had been struggling at the turnpoint and not getting up, but as we got close he finally was able to climb up. The wind was 8 mph out of the southwest, a tail wind to get us home.

We would normally head straight east across the Green Swamp toward Wilotree Park but we were at less than 4,000' on the western edge. With the wind direction and the cloud spacing we heading east northeast toward open landing fields and highway 50, as well as the inviting cu's. I was able to climb to 5,200' under them.

After that thermal the lift was weak along highway 50. The wind was out of the southwest at 9 mph, but I could continue to the east northeast. Coming over the huge nursery north of highway 50 and Mascotte, I just settled into ubiquitous 70 fpm and climbed to 3,900'which gave me an easy 9 km cross wind glide to Wilotree.

Larry, John, Robin, and I made it around. Others abandoned and returned to the flight park. Pedro had to go to work. A few landed out. A busy day at Paradise Airsports.

Tomorrow the winds are stronger out of the south southeast and we may have to fly a downwind task.

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The Florida 2021 Spring Competitions

January 19, 2021, 9:09:03 pm EST

The Florida 2021 Spring Competitions

They are happening

Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/info/details__info

April 10th through the 17th.

Competition flying 11th through the 17th.

https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/info/details__info

April 18th through the 25th.

Competition flying April 19th through the 25th.

There will be plenty of social distancing and everything will take place outside.

Discuss "The Florida 2021 Spring Competitions" at the Oz Report forum   link»

The Florida Competitions in 2021

November 27, 2020, 10:35:06 EST

The Florida Competitions in 2021

The new meet organizer

Belinda Boulter|Ben Dunn|COVID|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Risk Retention Group|USHPA|Wilotree Park

Stephan Mentler <team> writes:

To my fellow competition pilots, the Florida based hang gliding competitions - in April of next year - are moving forward pending official USHPA re-sanctioning.  This includes the Paradise Airports Nationals, Wilotree Park Nationals, and the 2nd FAI Sport Class World Championship.  The respective competition dates along with registration process is provided on the Airtribune sites.  

https://airtribune.com/2021-wilotree-park-nationals/info

https://airtribune.com/2021-sport-world-championships/info

https://airtribune.com/2021-paradise-airsports-nationals/info

The competition organization understands that there will remain many unknowns regarding COVID-19, even with the development and distribution of a vaccine.  Pilots who sign-up for a competition and submit payment will be entitled to a full refund of entry fees minus $3.00 (three dollars) or the foreign equivalent if they are unable to attend due to impacts of COVID-19.  This includes government-imposed travel restrictions, government-imposed restrictions on sporting events, surges in cases, pilot illness, pilot family member illness, etc.  The $3.00 (three dollars) is retained to pay for anticipated non-refundable Organizer competition expenses.
 
There are a couple of changes - other than the impacts of COVID-19 – from previous years of Florida hang gliding competitions.  The first and most impactful is the retirement of Davis and Belinda from official Organizing and Meet Directing duties.  As competition pilots, we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their personal sacrifice and doing what can be a thankless job.  Without their commitment to organizing the Spring Florida competitions from the Green Swamp Klassic to the Nationals series, I suspect that the Florida and Big Spring competitions would have died-out a long time ago.  Thankfully, they have volunteered to help the new organization team, as needed to get things going for next year.  
 
This gets us to our second change.  In my role as the primary Organizer for next year’s Florida competitions and also considering the long-term prospects for U.S. based race-to-goal competitions – I along with two other competition pilots founded a hang gliding competition specific non-profit organization - the Hang Glider Racing Association Corp (HGRAC), a registered Florida non-profit corporation.  This was done upon the advice of past and potentially future organizers and several attorneys.  
 
A little background - some of the requirements enacted by the Risk Retention Group (RRG), for a competition to be insured, transfers a substantial level of risk to competition organizers.  This includes the potential for the RRG to refuse coverage for incidents that would be beyond the control of the organizer.  Without the creation of a competition specific organization as an additional protection for organizers, it is unlikely that anyone would have stepped in to organize another hang gliding race-to-goal competition in the U.S.  To be fair, the RRG has been made aware of the concerns and their leadership is working to resolve them – but in the interim - the HGRAC will be the entity under which I along with one or two other potential hang gliding competition organizers will organize U.S. based race-to-goal hang gliding competitions.
 
The HGRAC is currently composed of a president and two Directors.  The two Directors are Ben Dunn and Cory Barnwell.  Ben is a former multi-year Open Class U.S. National Team member and Cory is an experienced Open and Sport Class competition pilot.  We will be looking to appoint additional Directors if and as the HGRAC evolves.   

The comp organization email address is <team>.

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New Wisconsin State Record - 209 Miles »

August 10, 2020, 7:19:49 MDT

New Wisconsin State Record - 209 Miles

Larry makes an ordinary day into an epic flight

Larry Bunner|New Wisconsin State Record|record|Wills Wing

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|New Wisconsin State Record|record|Wills Wing

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|New Wisconsin State Record|record|Wills Wing

Larry Bunner writes:

After an excellent spring here in the midwest, things slowed down a bit of late with soarable conditions but high humidity limiting the climbs and altitudes seen back in May. Our first cold front of the summer passed through on Monday bringing cool dry air to the region. Post frontal air masses mean good conditions and for Tuesday, August 4th XC Skies was predicting 10-15mph north surface winds (20mph at the top of the lift) and fair climb rates up to 6000’msl (mean sea level) cloud base later in the afternoon in Illinois. The Buoyancy Shear (BS) ratio was low as expected due to the stronger winds so the lift would be very turbulent however it would be better further to the south. The Skew T diagram (my favorite weather tool) substantiated the info from XC Skies and showed solid soarable conditions by 11:00. The temperatures at the top of the lift were expected to be in the low 40’s so cold weather clothes would be necessary to keep comfortable.

I spoke with Greg Dinauer in the morning and stated I would get to Whitewater, WI early and be ready to go by 11:00 with the intent to launch once the clouds showed the conditions were solid. Short lived cumulus clouds began forming at 8:30 on my drive to the flight park and slowly began filling the sky as we set up. Chico Sulin volunteered to be our chase driver so we were all set. Greg was towed up at 11:20 to a building cloud street to the northeast and immediately climbed to 4500’msl in 500fpm (feet per minute). I towed up at 11:30 directly to the north. We hit some fair lift and Danny began a broad circle to the west. The winds were already strong and we weren’t very far from takeoff. I feared getting off near the airport in weak lift would put me in a tough position, so I tapped on the line to try to get him to take me further up wind. In my zeal I inadvertently activated my release and separated from the tow plane! Having to land and relaunch entered my mind but the lift was solid as I slowly climbed to 4100’msl (3300’ above the ground) at 133fpm . Greg reported that he landed south of Whitewater Lakes 14 miles to the south. This intensified my focus and I hung on to the next thermal for every bit of altitude exiting at 5000’msl. I thought for sure the day was on however the next few clouds did not deliver and soon I was at 1500’ looking for a suitable landing field. Luckily I latched on to a gnarly bubble that was dumping me on the backside repeatedly as I circled but was slowly gaining altitude. Eventually the lift expanded and there was lift all the way around, taking me to 4200’ (3400’agl). Whew!

XC flying for me is all about maximizing the day. It’s about getting to the site early, getting prepared, assessing the conditions and then launching as soon as is practical. It is critical to be very conservative at the beginning of the day, stay as high as possible and Do Not race. Then during the meat of the day put the hammer down as conditions dictate only to switch gears again late to hang onto any lift regardless of strength. If a pilot can do this and glide from the last cloud to the ground then I would call it an epic flight! This is in contrast to an epic day however. An epic day would be one that has strong lift, high cloud base, early soaring conditions, beautiful cloud streets and strong wind. A day like this leads to big miles.

Switching gears once again after almost decking it, I flew to every little cloud within my downwind periphery and worked them for all they would offer as I passed over the state line into Illinois. The size of the thermals made it difficult to get a complete turn in lift but I had figured out by now that this was how the day was going to be. It was a bit like riding a bucking bronco but thankfully I was flying a Wills Wing TIII Team 144! The handling on the 144 is so easy it feels as if I am on a much smaller glider and even though I was circling in very rough air I was relaxed and confident I could maximize the lift to stay aloft. I kept telling myself to just hang on. With winds aloft at 16-23mph, any lift that kept me climbing was drifting me at a good speed down wind.

Two hours elapsed before I found another good thermal that took me over 5000’msl (4200’agl). I could see better developed clouds to the south and west but just couldn’t quite get to them until I found a solid climb north of Sycamore, IL (about 60 miles from takeoff). From then on I was feeling more comfortable as the clouds were better developed with nice black bottoms and were distinctly lined up in streets (a series of clouds with a very short distance between them). For 40 minutes I stayed relatively high and cruised downwind to Hinckley always scanning for the best clouds and planning my next moves. To the west a robust cloud street formed so I pressed to the SW to connect with this good line. Initially the street didn’t produce the strong lift that the clouds were indicating, I groveled along underneath looking for that monster climb but instead sank like a rock to 2700’ twice before connecting with a stronger core just south of the Fox River near Sheridan that took me back above 5000’.

The thermal drift was now to the southeast and still strong. I was reading wind speeds aloft at ~20mph. Ahead I could see I was on line to fly over the Illinois River and a large cooling lake for the LaSalle Nuclear Plant. From previous experience I knew that large bodies of water can adversely affect the lift down wind so headed further to the southeast to keep me over dry land. Just before the river I connected with a line of clouds and surfed in the lift underneath only turning a couple times when I hit 700fpm. This put me in great position at 5800’ to cross the river and continue down the east side of the lake. Fortunately on this day the water in the lake was considerably warmer than the air due to the warm effluent coming from the nuclear plant so clouds continued to form downwind and the lift remained relatively good.

I have two instruments mounted on my control bar, the Flytec 6030 and Naviter Blade, that provide information that maximizes my ability to soar. They are actually flight computers that provide visual and/or audio cues for altitude, airspeed, climb rate/descent, distance from waypoints, speed to fly, wind speed and more. I have been using the 6030 for over a decade now and am very familiar with the information that it provides. I purchased the Blade a couple years ago as it has a couple of additional features lacking in the 6030; a color map and a thermal assistant. The map provides a high resolution picture of the terrain, roads and towns and more importantly shows controlled airspace in the area that must be navigated around. The thermal assistant gives a pictorial of the strength of the thermals and audio alarms that help the pilot get centered in the stronger lift more quickly. I use both instruments as I am trying to wean myself from the 6030.

After the river crossing, I was heading toward Pontiac, IL a waypoint that was programmed into the instruments that would keep me on a path clear of controlled airspace between Bloomington and Champaign IL. My track to this point was very slightly east of due south. Just north of Pontiac I thermaled up in my best climb to this point at 390fpm to 6100’. Knowing that I would need to navigate around airspace soon, I chose to head SE where the clouds were aligned in that direction. Two thermals later I had the best climb of the day at 449fpm and maxed out at 6309’. I could clearly see Champaign off to the SSE and knew that I’d have to deviate to the east. Fortunately there were good clouds in that direction and I was able to pass just south of Rantoul and skirt around the airspace.

The clouds began to change quickly as the sun descended late in the day. The lift in each thermal became lighter and lighter. I was now hanging on circling and drifting sometimes circling in no lift but knowing I was moving quickly down wind. I had intermittent contact on the radio with Chico and Greg, however they knew my location from the Life 360 app that we all use for tracking. I did hear Greg state that I had just passed over them. I didn’t see my SUV as I was too intent concentrating on the lift and continually scanning for a field to land in. Glancing at my instrument, I was nearing 200 miles. And knew that the current state record (202 miles) was within reach. I just had to hang on. I flew toward one last cloud over a tractor cutting hay and found weak lift. I circled and circled drifting and drifting until there was no more.

In this part of the state there was nothing but corn and soy beans as far as I could see, not another hay field in sight. I maneuvered south to a grass strip of land thinking it was an airstrip but it turned out to be too rutted to safely land in. I now resigned myself to land in the soy beans and after 7 hrs and 4 minutes in the air I unceremoniously landed in 4’ of soy beans 100 yards from the road. I was struggling to lift the glider and slog my way to the road when to my surprise Chico and Greg pulled up and graciously helped extricate me from my predicament. Greg informed me that I set the state record. He was the previous record holder. I was super tired but also super stoked as I finally broke the 200 mile barrier this year after two flights earlier in the year came up just short (190+).

Well, all in all, it wasn’t an epic day as I only topped 5000’ (above the ground) four times and only had three sustained climbs above 300fpm the entire day but it was certainly an epic flight for me as I launched early in questionable soaring conditions and flew to the last cumulus cloud before succumbing to terra firma once again. I am incredibly grateful to enjoy this sport at 66 years of age. Many thanks for the support I get from my wonderful wife Sue, flying friends and Wills Wing. Chico and Greg did an outstanding job keeping up with me and getting me back at a reasonable hour, for this I owe them big time. Thanks all!

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209 miles from Whitewater

Thu, Aug 6 2020, 2:41:30 pm MDT

Larry Bunner finally goes over 200 miles this year

Larry Bunner|PG

We are awaiting the details. South to Homer, Illinois on Tuesday.

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2594334

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Marfa Expedition Day 1

June 22, 2020, 7:36:05 MDT

Marfa Expedition Day 1

Piddling around

Larry Bunner|Marfa Expedition 2020

cart|Larry Bunner|Marfa Expedition 2020

Larry Bunner writes:

Sunday was a bit of a cluster for day 1. We had the last minute details to work out and met with the Airport Manager and Airport Administrator (who flew in from Corpus Christi). Once they found out the qualifications of all the pilots, things went smoothly. They have provided a hangar for the week for a nominal fee and have given us the ok to tow from the taxi ways.

Rich Reinauer kicked things off by towing soon after noon, sank out and then towed up again and thermaled on out of the airport heading east. He landed a short distance away at Alpine due to some short lived over-development on his course track.

After short adjustments on the tug I was lined up on the cart when my harness zipper broke thus putting me into repair mode for the afternoon.

Glen had a fine flight doing a triangle to Alpine, Fort Davis and back getting to 15300'.

Mick Howard launched last and had the flight of the day proceeding up highway 17 through the Davis Mountains and onward to the NE. Last I heard, he was near Pecos and quite high. Robin and Nathan arrive to fly tomorrow.

The forecast on Monday is for west wind 5 to 15 mph, 102 degrees. Tuesday northeast wind. Wednesday east wind.

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Marfa Expedition

June 21, 2020, 8:24:16 MDT

Marfa Expedition

Southwest Texas

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton

Glen Volk|Gregg Ludwig|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton

Larry Bunner writes:

Well, here we are a year later and the three of us (Robin Hamilton, Glen Volk, and I) who flew to Canada last summer are back together for a reconnaissance mission flying out of Marfa, Texas for the next week.

Gregg Ludwig will be doing the towing on his Super Trike and we kick it off today. Gregg has been doing south Texas encampments for four years now and is an expert tow pilot.

Mick Howard, Nathan Wreyford, Rich Reinauer, and Patrick Pannese are also here to fly. We are all amped to fly the mountains and break off some big flights. Wish us luck.

If you want to track our flights you can go to the Marfa Expedition group on the Flymaster website url. Here's the url for the Marfa Expedition: https://lt.flymaster.net/bs.php?grp=3275&pwd=8a581b00931f9fc3943fc276266d8

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300+ km in Texas

June 20, 2020, 8:18:06 pm MDT

300+ km in Texas

Gavin McGlurg is in Hebbronville

Larry Bunner|PG|record

Larry Bunner|PG|record|Robin Hamilton

He flew to 30 miles north of Leakey today before the cu-nimbs to the west on the Dry Line blocked the sun. Light winds made for slow going.

He is there with other paraglider pilots towing, likely at the airport. Hebbronville is 45 miles north east of Zapata and has been used before as a starting point for paraglider flights (keeps them over a more accessible area and away from Laredo airspace).

Larry Bunner is on his way to Marfa and so is Robin Hamilton.

I'm helping with the weather forecasting remotely here in Boise for both record camps.

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212.5 miles

June 12, 2020, 6:42:10 pm MDT

212.5 miles

Kzry in the Midwest

Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|record

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/11.6.2020/17:01#fd=flight

Larry Bunner writes:

Yesterday Kris flew from Cullom, Illinois to Eaton, OH some 213 miles. Top of lift was 8800'. He had good climbs but not great and a decent push. Unfortunately, the cloud dotted sky led into a 30 mile blue hole before the cloud streets reformed. It was the blue hole that ended the flight with plenty of sunshine left.

He is on a roll this season with two flights over 200 miles (one an east of Mississippi River record), one 193 mile flight and one 100+ mile triangle. The Midwest is cracking right now. Unfortunately I couldn't partake yesterday as I was installing a new septic system at my flip house.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

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Larry and Krzy in Indiana

Tue, Jun 2 2020, 9:57:52 am MDT

Blowing from the north

Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|PG|Wills Wing

Larry writes:

On Saturday, Kris and I decided to test out his tow rig again at Cullom, Illinois (southwest of Chicago). Conditions looked to be quite good with a brisk north northwest wind turning north at the Indiana/Illinois border. We set our sites on going to Kentucky.

Big John towed me up around 11:30 into a fat thermal and I took it to cloudbase at 5300’. Kris meanwhile had a line break and had to relaunch with some delay. He took off around 12:30.

We both had no trouble darting from cloud to (the cloud spacing was tight early) as we headed SSE down the state and eventually into Indiana.

South west of Terre Haute, Indiana, a thick fast moving narrow band of cirrus blew through from the west momentarily stopping me cold as the ground shaded over completely. I saw it coming and headed to the south east trying to outrun it but it was moving at well over 50mph and very quickly overran my path. I changed gears and went into survival mode telling myself to stop for any lift. Until this time average climbs (from thermal entry to exit) were in the 400-500fpm range with peaks in the 800fpm range.

At 3500’msl I felt a bubble and searched out a 50-100fpm climb. Thirty minutes later, I was back at 5800’. The cirrus was now gone and the clouds were looking robust again.

Meanwhile Kris was charging hard from behind hitting three 500-600fpm climbs to help close the gap. He was far enough behind that the cirrus was gone by the time he cruised through the overcast area I had encountered (timing). He spent over an hour cruising between 5000 and 6000’ only stopping briefly to grab some precious altitude before pushing on. I could tell he was getting close as his radio transmissions were now clear as a bell.

The problem was that back at launch we got too amped up when we saw clouds forming at 10:30 and didn’t take the time to put in a task. I had Franklin, Kentucky in my instrument but he had a different waypoint. So our communications were useless relative to our locations.

After digging out under the cirrus overcast, conditions improved markedly. I was able to stay higher and had my best climb of the day west of Wheatland, Indiana to 6000’. The cumulus clouds now were thinning out and there was a heavily forested area to the south so I diverted to the south east to ensure my track was over landable terrain. I thermaled up under the last cloud and glided downwind landing near Velpen, Indiana. Kris took a slightly different track more to the south and did the same landing near Somerville. We ended up with 301 and 300km respectively. Woohoo, what an awesome day.

As is his habit, John Enrietti was “johnny on the spot” pulling up to me just as I put the last strap on my Wills Wing T III (awesome glider BTW) and soon we had Kris and headed back. I made it home at 3:00am and spent Sunday recovering. Kris of course went flying again (beast). Our two flights put Kris in first and me in second place for the hang gliding world online Cross Country contests (XContest and Leonardo). Not bad for a couple of Midwestern flatlanders, eh?

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2020/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

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Bunner and Grzyb go long again

May 30, 2020, 7:38:43 pm MDT

Bunner and Grzyb go long again

Around 200 milers from Illinois into southern Indiana

Facebook|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner

>

Looks like Krzy went half a kilometer further a bit to Larry's west.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/30.5.2020/17:29

The US way way ahead: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national-teams/

Poland rising basically due to Krzy.

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Rich Reinauer sets new site record

May 25, 2020, 11:01:13 MDT

Rich Reinauer sets new site record

Alamogordo

Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|record

Larry Bunner writes:

Rich went 195 miles yesterday from Alamogordo. More details soon.

His flight from the day before: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:Richreinauer/23.5.2020/18:47

142.5 km.

The world ranking of nations:

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

Krzy flies for Poland.

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Cold Weather Flying

May 14, 2020, 7:28:53 CDT

Cold Weather Flying

They are outside staying safe

Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|PG

Larry Bunner writes:

This spring has been very good weather wise for hang gliding here in the Midwest. Multiple cold fronts passing through have resulted in extremely dry atmospheric conditions and therefore strong thermic days. The air has been so dry we have missed the typical cumulus development that helps us fly faster. Yesterday was another of those days with winds out of the west a t 10-15mph, sparse cumulus formation but strong lift.

Kris and I again braved the cold temperatures (20F) and opted to do a 100 mile (160km) triangle. We flew from Whitewater, WI southeast to Wilmot near the Illinois border and then west into the wind to Beloit, WI before returning to Whitewater. Our average climbs for the day were stronger than Saturday however the upwind leg was difficult and took us over 2 1/2 hours to complete.

Kris got the jump on me again and headed back toward Whitewater but then instead flew further to Fort Atkinson before coming back to land at Whitewater.

From Beloit I made it half way back before having to dig out of a soft area. Down to 2000' above the ground I found some weak lift that I slowly worked up to 2700'. I spotted a cloud shadow indicating a cumulus cloud, forming to the west of me and decided to leave the weak lift and flying 2 miles upwind to get under the cloud. I was rewarded with 400fpm and circled in the lift back up to 7000'.

The remainder of the flight back to the airport was uneventful and I landed at the field 6hrs and 5min after takeoff. Top of the lift was 8300'msl this day.

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:lbunner/12.5.2020/15:54

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-open/

Almost: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national-teams/

https://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/league/world/2020/brand:all,cat:2,class:all,xctype:all,club:all

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:grzybk/12.05.2020/16:47

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388 kilometers from Illinois

April 11, 2020, 11:04:22 EDT

388 kilometers from Illinois

Paragliding

Larry Bunner|PG

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:flyboy0871/10.04.2020/15:36

Jaro Krupa
date : 10.04.2020 10:36 =UTC-05:00
launch : US Cullom
glider : 777 Gambi
airtime : 7:57 hours

Larry Bunner writes:

High temp for the day at the surface was 45F and at top of lift a whopping 17F.

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Wills Wing T3 136

March 13, 2020, 9:10:12 pm EDT

Wills Wing T3 136

There is such a thing

Larry Bunner|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wills Wing|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Wilotree Park

It probably isn't ready to be announced by Wills Wing but Pedro Garcia is flying Claudia's and says that it is a wonderful glider. He flew just behind Larry Bunner who was flying his Wills Wing brand new T3 144  today for about ten kilometers and they had the same glide ratio. Both Pedro and Larry don't weigh that much.

A good flight today with Larry Bunner, John Simon, and Pedro Garcia flying south to Famish then to Fantasy of Flight and then back to Wilotree Park. Betinho and Carla flew from Wallaby to Wilotree. My right scapula muscle was aching so I took a rest day.

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Supporting the Oz Report

March 6, 2020, 8:02:44 EST

Supporting the Oz Report

Pilots are generous people

Alan Deikman|Larry Bunner|Martin Henry|Oz Report|Vincene Muller

Alan Deikman|Larry Bunner|Martin Henry|Oz Report|Vince Furrer|Vincene Muller

Alan Deikman|Larry Bunner|Martin Henry|Oz Report|Vince Furrer|Vincene Muller

TThanks to these special contributors: Ken Lightsey, Benjamin Friedrich, David I McAnally, Collard Collard, Alan Deikman, Larry Bunner, Charles Allen, Martin Henry, Indasky, Vince Furrer, Karl Allmendinger, Vincene Muller, Daniel Guido, and Nicholas Palmer.

This is the month where I ask Oz Report readers for their support.  Your contribution pays for hosting our web site and for Gerry's technical support to keep it running.

Here are our supporters: http://ozreport.com/supporters.php

As you know, all we are asking for is a subscription payment of $20/year.

Seems simple enough.  Like most content on the internet, you get to read the Oz Report for free.  The trouble for us, not you, is that there are not enough hang glider pilots in this world to make advertising pay for our web hosting costs.

Please, help us out.  Support something that you find useful so that it can continue to be there for you.

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These are our supporters (if you are not on the list and have donated to the Oz Report, email me and I'll make sure that you are recognized): http://ozreport.com/supporters.php.  Some of you who I've missed in the past did write to me and made sure I knew just how important the Oz Report was to them.  If I've missed you, please do tell me.

4) This last option.  Come over to the Oz Report support web page and sign up to support us: http://ozreport.com/support.php.  Or click here:

Thanks to all our supporters: http://ozreport.com/supporters.php who have kept us going and paying our bills over the last twenty four years.

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We Love Watching the Satellite Photos

March 5, 2020, 8:16:31 EST

We Love Watching the Satellite Photos

And their animation

Larry Bunner|photo

https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES/conus_band.php?sat=G16&band=GEOCOLOR&length=12

https://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/GOES/conus.php?sat=G16

Larry Bunner likes this version. Just scroll over to the part of the country that you wish to view.

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Going to the Northeast

March 4, 2020, 7:57:14 EST

Going to the Northeast

Navigating around the Orlando airspace

Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

When there is a strong southwest wind like on Tuesday (and it looks like on Wednesday) you've pretty much got to go to the northeast. It's a beautiful area with lots of big lakes, which you also have to avoid. Thankfully there are plenty of possible landing areas.

I hadn't gone off in that direction in a good number of years, but was up for it on Tuesday with Larry Bunner and his brother Rob, along with Adam Smith. We set up launch in the northeast corner.

I was pulled up first at about 1:45 PM. The wind on the ground was 13 mph out of the west southwest. I hung on until 2,900' as we were headed straight for a cloud street but hadn't reached it yet. I had to go to the upwind side of the nearest cloud about a kilometer further west before I found the good stuff and climbed out at 380 fpm to 4,800' before escaping the cloud.

The wind was averaging 20 mph out of the west southwest but I didn't find any turbulence on tow or while thermaling. As I topped out I headed due north across to the cloud street to the north to avoid the rather large Lake Apopka to the east northeast. There were plenty of cu's around indicating lift, but the cloud streets were dominant.

My biggest concern was checking out possible landing areas. Of course, I was quite high so no need for one right away, but I wanted to see how setting tasks in this direction would fair during the upcoming competitions. Lots of swamps, and lakes, and small towns, but plenty of possible LZ's, also.

I worked light lift to the west of Lake Minneola just to stay high enough to be comfortable and have as many options as possible. I have to keep moving to the north east cross wind to get around the lakes and head toward the turnpoint at Mid Florida airfield.

I work light lift west of Lake Apopka climbing to 4,200' and looking at all the wet farm lands north of the lake. I want to be sure to have other options further north so I turn that direction after toping out and head for more clouds.

Down to 2,400' northwest of the lake but heading toward farming areas that don't look all that accessible I find the first turbulence of the day. Larry is back at Wilotree Park unable to get away and being beat up by the turbulence. Se Bunner is chasing. Rob Bunner has been advised not to launch given the turbulence.

I climb at over 200 fpm to 4,800' on the line that gets me north of the lake and toward good looking possible LZ's.  I continue climbing flying straight under the cloud street to 5,100' but I'm going to miss the turnpoint at the Mid Florida airfield as the cloud street has too much west in it.

I hear from Larry that he can't get away from the flight park, so I think about landing near the turnpoint. Having passed north of Lake Apopka I turn north to head for the turnpoint. I also see lots of trees ahead on my current path and it looks a lot better if I get closer to the turnpoint.

I hear that Larry is not going to get away and so it is a good idea to land so that Sue won't have to chase just me. I find a huge field just east of the turnpoint and land coming in in a 20 mph wind and stay on the base tube all the way to the ground.

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Winter Flying at Wilotree Park

February 18, 2020, 9:13:29 pm EST

Winter Flying at Wilotree Park

It's been light lift the past three days

Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

Larry Bunner, John Simon, Greg Dinauer and I have been flying the past three days. Sunday and President's Day my flights were a little shorter than I would have liked. Others did well, but no one was able to complete the triangle tasks given the light lift.

Today was no exemption, but perhaps better lift.

Conditions started weak and after a while Greg decided to stay local. The wind was out of the south at about 13 mph.

Launching at 1:20 PM (second launch) I worked 100 fpm or less following Larry who had launched earlier to the north northwest and not getting above 2,800'. There were plenty of cu's around but they were misty and not well formed. No black bottoms.

I lost contact with Larry north of Mascotte, but saw that John was nearby. We flew together and found 200 fpm west of Grass Roots airfield to 3,400', then turned west to head toward the first turnpoint at Cheryl, a north/south grass air strip.

We worked a couple of less than 200 fpm thermals south and west of Center Hill until we found lift that on the 30 second averager showed 480 fpm (but overall was 260 fpm) on the southwest corner of the forested area three kilometers from Cheryl. That got us back to 3,400'.

Larry joined up with us there although he had been ahead and then got the turnpoint after us.

The next turnpoint was the Baron airstrip on the northeast. John caught a better climb and got to 4,000' on the west side of the forest. Larry came in under me and I climbed to 3,700' before heading after John toward the prison complex.

There were plenty of cu's ahead and John got halfway through the forest and then called out that he was heading toward the cu's to the northeast. I got there and decided to head to the cu to the east instead. I noticed that there was a fire feeding it.

I got there and found 600 fpm (it averaged 370 fpm) to 4,200'. John came back under me to join in the better lift and Larry came in low (but didn't go far enough south toward the fires). Larry would land at the Turnpike.

I headed out in front for Baron with John coming soon behind me. I was down to 2,600' in the 3 kilometer turnpoint cylinder when John called out 300 fpm 2 kilometers behind me. I came in under him but it averaged 45 fpm for me.

John topped out at 4,100', made the turnpoint at Baron and headed north up along the east side of the Villages. I left at 2,500' and headed west along the north edge of the Turnpike over areas being graded for development and toward a large black bottom cloud over a lake and swamp area.

I was only going down at 200 fpm and there were some possible landing areas ahead along the Turnpike. I wanted to get south of the big cumulus cloud. I finally did find the source of its lift at 1,700' and started climbing at 300 fpm in a very smooth and very tight thermal. The air was rising throughout each rotation.

I took it to 4,100' and headed north northwest slightly to get around the blue hole to the north and toward the better looking cu's. I wasn't getting anything and northwest of Wildwood I heard from John that he had laded. He didn't get anything after Baron.

I kept heading toward the thickness looking cu's but I didn't find a thing. I came over a really big field next to a paved road at 1,300' and then searched around to see if there was any lift in the vicinity. Not finding anything worth hanging out in I landed in my preferred field. Logan, our driver, was there with John as I finished breaking down. 52 minutes back to Wilotree Park.

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Not Paying Attention to the Forecast

February 10, 2020, 8:07:03 EST

Not Paying Attention to the Forecast

Hadn't planned to fly on Sunday

Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

Larry Bunner said that he was going to give it a try so I said okay and never looked at the forecast. The wind seemed to be about ten mph out of the east northeast on the ground. There were no cu's but around noon they started to form to our south. By 12:45 they were overhead and we were getting ready as fast as possible.

I was off at 1:05 PM and the aerotow out of the field was a little turbulent but not too much. Looking at the lakes below, it was clear that the wind was in fact due east and strong. When I pinned off at 2,700' it was 15 mph due east. We had thought to go south to Avon Park. That was now out of the question. I thermaled 7 km down wind to 4,000' from 2,200' at 140 fpm.

Larry was below me after launching second and our radio communication was barely happening at all. I could talk to Don, our driver, but Larry couldn't hear us although we could hear him. I tried to get him to agree to go down wind, to the west, but he wasn't hearing me.

After Larry announced he was heading back east, we headed back to Wilotree Park with Larry behind and lower. We followed a ragged cloud street down to 1,300' just east of the the flight park to either land or find lift. We found lift.

I was measuring 21 to 22 mph wind speed as we were pushed back to the west in the thermal. I had no desire to land at Wilotree Park in a 22 mph east wind.

Climbing to 4,200' again 7 km downwind from the start of the thermal, I was desperate to get Larry to go to the west. He was determined to go east as I could hear on the radio. I thought, no thanks, and headed west northwest to get around the Green Swamp.

I watched Larry head east but didn't realize that he saw me and turned around and came after me. I was just heading for any big field that wouldn't have trees at the east end to cause turbulence. Didn't hear from Larry.

There was lots of lift and it was easy to cover a lot of ground checking out various fields. Finally I saw the big round field to my west southwest, a field that we had all flown over many times. It was huge and looked perfect for a turbulent landing.

There were birds circling up all over the field. There was also plenty of lift on the way toward it. I concentrated on getting a safe landing.

It was an easy landing and I was very happy to be on the ground. The farmer and his son came right upon his ATV as he had seen me from his house, which was way east of the field. He was very friendly and helpful. Thankfully the gate wasn't locked.

Larry, not as concerned as I about the wind speed, headed further west west of I 75 and landed in a huge field also and also in high winds.

Here's the HRRR 3 forecast for the 2 PM winds at 4,000'. I did find 25 mph winds east of Webster as forecast.

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Top of Lift

January 22, 2020, 8:40:31 EST

Top of Lift

How high can you go?

Larry Bunner

Larry Huffman writes (to Larry Bunner):

"I know you put a lot of effort into weather forecasting and sharing your skill with others. I’ve been using a quick and dirty way of forecasting thermals that I’ve had pretty good results with.

Go to a National Weather Service point forecast such as this one for Groveland, Fl. https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=28.5593&lon=-81.8553

Then scroll down to the hourly forecast graph and click on it.

There are some additional options with check boxes at the top. Under “Fire Weather” (on the right) select Mixing Height and then select Submit.

When the new graph comes up (at the bottom) if you run your cursor across it you can read the hourly values at the very bottom or click on the graph again and it will give you a digital read out.

I like it because it gives me multiple weather values for the whole day. You can use the temperature dew point spread and divide by 4.5 to calculate the cumulus cloud base.

If you haven’t seen this before I hope it will be useful."

TOL from XCSkies for 4 PM Tuesday:

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Bunner on X-Flight

December 12, 2019, 1:55:33 pm EST

Bunner on X-Flight

The podcast

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Pete Lehmann

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann|Pete Lehmann

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann

Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Lawrence "Pete" Lehmann|Pete Lehmann|Robin Hamilton

https://www.cloudbasemayhem.com/episode-107-larry-bunner-the-x-flight-and-flying-in-the-moment

We’ve had a LOT of amazing talks on the Mayhem over the past bunch of years but this one is in a category of its own. Last summer Larry Bunner and three other very experienced Hang Gliding pilots (Glen Volk, Robin Hamilton, and Pete Lehmann) flew from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border in a series of tow and mountain launch flights over 21 days (1884 miles) and 11 States. They were supported by an amazing crew on the ground and allowed themselves lateral shifts, but all South to North travel was done in the air.

This was an incredibly cool mission and it sounded like amazing fun was had by all, but in the course of the talk we also learn some terrific advice and hear some great stories from a pilot who’s been flying 45 years (accident free). Larry’s advice applies to everyone who flies (and there’s some life advice in this one that probably applies to everyone). What do all the best pilots have in common? How do you become “excellent”? How does flying change your life? How do we negotiate the inevitability of finishing projects? Do yourself a favor - DON’T MISS THIS ONE!

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WPRS Ranking US pilots

September 2, 2019, 9:44:08 MDT

WPRS Ranking US pilots

As of September 1st

Davis Straub|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Glen Volk|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Glen Volk|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Glen Volk|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|Glen Volk|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|Glen Volk|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|Glen Volk|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Davis Straub|Gary Anderson|Glen Volk|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Willy Dydo|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Rank Name Points
1 Pedro L. Garcia 253.5
2 Zac Majors 215.6
3 Davis Straub 168.1
4 John Simon 163.3
5 Bruce Barmakian 162.7
6 Kevin Dutt 155.5
7 Kevin Carter 144.9
8 Phill Bloom 142
9 Larry Bunner 135.4
10 Patrick Pannese 104.6
11 Glen Volk 101.2
12 Robin Hamilton 97.7
13 JD Guillemette 75.8
14 Kip Stone 65.2
15 Gary Anderson 59.1
16 Willy Dydo 58.3
17 Jeff Chipman 57.3
18 mick howard 53.5
19 Patrick Kruse 51.1
20 Derreck Turner 49.3

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X Flight »

July 12, 2019, 7:39:43 pm MDT

X Flight

Ceremonial flights into Canada (and back)

Larry Bunner

The X Flight adventure was completed today with ceremonial flights from Dorothy Scott International Airport in Oroville (where Robin landed on Thursday) into Canada and then back to the airport. They had originally planned to take off from Mansfield east of Chelan Butte, but the cirrus clouds from the last two days were still happening causing havoc at the Chelan Open also, so they moved north and waited for the cirrus to thin out a bit.

Pilots were taken up one at a time starting with the pioneer of this adventure, Larry Bunner, and they all flew across the border and then back to the airport. Robin was actually towed across the border and the trike pilot got to go into Canadian airspace also.

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X Flight »

July 8, 2019, 11:22:54 MDT

X Flight

Wet

Facebook|Jim Lamb|Larry Bunner|Mike Degtoff|record|weather

Larry Bunner writes:

On Sunday we flew out of Casper, WY. Initially we were going to launch from the Harford County Airport just north of town. I was able to contact Kevin Christopherson to get a read on the weather conditions for the day and he mentioned that he had a runway on his property and invited us to fly from there.

I met Kevin over 30 years ago when my buddies from Wisconsin (Matt Thoreson, Dale Maas) and Iowa (Jim Lamb, Gary Newt) flew at Kevin's primary mountain site, Whiskey Peak from which he set the previous world distance record in 1989. It was good to see Kevin again at his beautiful place nestled in the foothills of the mountains. He and his family greeted and treated us very warmly.

We launched around 1:00pm and early on we climbed up over 15000' in WSW winds upward of 20mph. I had one climb in ridiculously smooth air at over 1000fpm but alas only one. The top of the lift slowly descended to 13000' further to the east as the converging air masses from the west and east collided. We were able to climb up the side of the clouds at one point which offered a unique perspective. Three of us managed to fly to Wright, CO before a persistent thunderstorm off to the north migrated across our flight path and shut us down.

Photo by Mike Degtoff.

Again, eastern Wyoming is very wet, many small lakes dot the landscape as the rainfall there has been abnormally high. After flying for almost two weeks in good conditions, we hoped the rest of the trip would be more of the same. It just hasn't been the case.

On our original predicted flight path the ground moisture levels are very high which reduces the surface heating and resultant altitudes we can thermal up to. In addition the atmosphere is quite explosive throughout the upper west and thunderstorms have been around us each day. We study the forecast models to pick the best location to fly and Monday may take us in a different location to find the southerly winds and the high top of lift that we need to continue north.

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X Flight »

June 27, 2019, 10:30:53 MDT

X Flight

Dilley, Dilley

Facebook|Glen Volk|Larry Bunner

Facebook|Glen Volk|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton

Larry Bunner has gone back to Dilley, Texas and there meets up with Robin Hamilton and Glen Volk for flying to the northwest.

Forecast looks a bit iffy near Uvalde.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2379942232235288/2436931713203006/

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X Flight: Gulf of Mexico to Canada »

June 21, 2019, 7:36:57 pm MDT

X Flight: Gulf of Mexico to Canada

Press day today

Facebook|Larry Bunner|X Flight

Facebook|Larry Bunner|Sara Weaver|X Flight

Facebook|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|Sara Weaver|X Flight

Sara Weaver writes:

This is the face of a pilot's dream coming true.

(Larry gave up his prized yellow for the fight against breast cancer.)

Larry Bunner and Robin Hamilton have committed to fly about 1600 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border while partnering with the @susan_b_komen_foundation. It's a task never before conceived, much less executed. They're inviting every single pilot who wants to join to come along. I'm looking forward to a crazy exhausting long flying weekend boxed by 34 hours of driving. Nothing compared to the weeks and weeks of cross country these guys are about to undertake. Grateful to be able to pop in and fly some of this massive expedition with some of the world's best cross country pilots!!

All the good comes with some real talk too. After years of painstaking planning and training, Larry is starting his ultimate expedition with the flu. Seems like he's feeling pretty darn good after today though. Nothing like flying for a few weeks straight to cure a guy though, right?

Today, we flew from West Houston Airport to some nearby fields after the guys enjoyed a kickoff celebration. The wind was strong and lifty, but the airspace was just too close to go far. But it was a fantastic start to this unbelievable journey. Make sure to go follow X Flight: Gulf to Canada on Facebook to be a part of this crazy ride.

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Getting out ahead of one's self

May 9, 2019, 8:10:39 CDT

Getting out ahead of one's self

My most consistently costly mistake

Larry Bunner|Suan Selenati

John Simon|Larry Bunner|Suan Selenati

competition|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Suan Selenati

competition|John Simon|Larry Bunner|Suan Selenati

Over the two weeks of 2019 Nationals competition the one mistake that I made too many times was to go out in "front" when it wasn't clear where to actually go. Sometimes I would actually be in front of all the other pilots. Sometimes I would just be in front of all the other pilots near me and there would not be another pilot that I could see in front of me. Sometimes it would mean getting in the lead with a couple of pilots nearby but just a bit behind me.

I would get into trouble on the days where there were no cu's which was most often the case during the Nationals. I wouldn't have a visual clue as to where the next thermal was. I would just head down the course line hoping to stumble on the next patch of lift.

It was fine to lead when there were cu's around. On the last keg of task 5 of the Nationals (week 2) I got lucky finding a thermal at the turnpoint at 1,100' AGL and getting up above the pilots nearby. Nene, Zac and John Simon were already way out in front of us and not to be seen.

I headed out toward the cu's ahead and after turning back to get under a better cu I was joined by Larry Bunner just below me. We would continue for three thermals under cu's and lead five pilots below us to goal.

But on the days without these thermal markers things did not go as well. For example, on the first day of week 2:

I get out in front after we leave the developed areas behind north of the Lake Wales airfield. I've got two pilots sort of nearby but not in front of me and it's hard to keep track of them. We are well spread out. There are no cu's ahead (nor any where all day). All the glides up to that point have been short with lots of pilots around to find more lift.

The glide goes a lot longer than I would have hoped for and I have to make a low save to stay up and get to goal late. All I needed to do was not go out in front quite so early and stay with the other pilots for a few more minutes while a couple of bird dogs went out and showed us the lift.

Here's an example from the Spring Meeting - Friuli Venezia Giulia Trophy 2019.

Matjaz Klemencic, Suan Selenati get out in front of everyone include Christian, Alex, and Peter when just before this they were all together as the lead gaggle. Matjaz ends up landing before goal. Suan does a low save and comes in forth behind the other three.

On task 4 during week 1 I was consistently out in front as it was an elapsed time task and I started relatively early. None-the-less there were cu's and I flew the cu's the whole way, 224 kilometers, which allowed me to stay in front and fly by myself. The Replay doesn't work, but the results are shown here: https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-1/results/task3982/day/open-class. Only at the end did I miss seeing some little wispy cu's off to the east toward the last turnpoint and goal.

So the rule I should follow is, unless you know where you are going (to find lift) stay with others who can help you find it.

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CIVL WPRS ranking, for the USA »

Mon, May 6 2019, 7:36:16 am EDT

Updated after week 2

CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Quest Air|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Quest Air|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Bruce Barmakian|CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Bruce Barmakian|CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Bruce Barmakian|CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

http://civlrankings.fai.org/?a=326&ladder_id=1&nation_id=235&

Rank Name Nation Points Rank/Ranking-points/Competition
1
W: 24
ZAC Majors
Civl Id: 10613
 USA 227.0 5 62.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
3 57.4 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
1 54.3 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
7 53.2 HG Brazil Open 2019 Round 1 Valadares
 
2
W: 37
PEDRO L. Garcia
Civl Id: 9442
 USA 185.4 2 59.7 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
37 47.9 2018 Hang Gliding Pre Worlds
18 43.5 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
40 34.3 20TH Fai European Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
 
3
W: 40
JOHN Simon
Civl Id: 10959
 USA 181.2 3 52.1 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
6 50.7 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
19 42.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
7 36.3 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
 
4
W: 48
DAVIS Straub
Civl Id: 6143
 USA 174.5 10 54.7 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
2 43.6 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
11 40.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
8 36.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
5
W: 51
BRUCE Barmakian
Civl Id: 8035
 USA 173.3 7 59.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
7 47.9 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
10 42.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
16 24.2 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
 
6
W: 65
KEVIN Dutt
Civl Id: 9017
 USA 160.6 7 48.5 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
15 47.6 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
9 33.8 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
11 30.7 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
 
7
W: 71
KEVIN Carter
Civl Id: 6871
 USA 156.4 3 65.2 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
11 43.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
10 32.1 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
18 15.4 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
8
W: 72
PHILL Bloom
Civl Id: 7426
 USA 156.1 9 44.2 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 2) Class 1
14 40.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
7 38.5 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
7 32.7 22D Open De Canaris De Ala Delta Class 1
 
9
W: 82
LARRY Bunner
Civl Id: 6925
 USA 141.9 2 66.8 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
5 39.1 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
39 18.8 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
17 17.2 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
10
W: 99
ROBIN Hamilton
Civl Id: 7536
 USA 131.4 1 54.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
4 40.6 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
9 28.8 21ST Fai World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
8 7.9 2017 Midwest - Class 1
 

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CIVL WPRS ranking, for the USA »

Mon, May 6 2019, 7:32:54 am EDT

After the 2019 Nationals week 1

CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Quest Air|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Quest Air|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Bruce Barmakian|CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Bruce Barmakian|CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

Bruce Barmakian|CIVL|CIVL WPRS ranking|Davis Straub|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Phill Bloom|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|World Class 1 Championships 2017|World Pilot Ranking Scheme|Zac Majors

http://civlrankings.fai.org/?a=326&ladder_id=1&nation_id=235&

Rank Name Nation Points Rank/Ranking-points/Competition
1
W: 26
ZAC Majors
Civl Id: 10613
 USA 215.7 5 62.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
1 54.3 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
7 53.2 HG Brazil Open 2019 Round 1 Valadares
4 46.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
2
W: 53
DAVIS Straub
Civl Id: 6143
 USA 170.3 10 54.7 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
2 43.6 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
8 36.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
19 35.9 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
 
3
W: 64
KEVIN Carter
Civl Id: 6871
 USA 156.4 3 65.2 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
11 43.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
10 32.1 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
18 15.4 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
4
W: 67
JOHN Simon
Civl Id: 10959
 USA 155.5 3 52.1 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
19 42.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
7 36.3 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
13 25.0 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
5
W: 69
PEDRO L. Garcia
Civl Id: 9442
 USA 154.3 37 47.9 2018 Hang Gliding Pre Worlds
18 43.5 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
40 34.3 20TH Fai European Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
27 28.6 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
 
6
W: 77
BRUCE Barmakian
Civl Id: 8035
 USA 144.0 7 59.1 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
7 47.9 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
16 24.2 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
51 12.8 21ST Fai World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
 
7
W: 80
LARRY Bunner
Civl Id: 6925
 USA 141.9 2 66.8 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
5 39.1 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
39 18.8 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
17 17.2 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
 
8
W: 83
KEVIN Dutt
Civl Id: 9017
 USA 139.8 15 47.6 2019 Quest Air Nationals (week 1) (pre-Worlds) Class 1
9 33.8 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
11 30.7 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
28 27.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
 
9
W: 95
ROBIN Hamilton
Civl Id: 7536
 USA 131.4 1 54.1 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
4 40.6 2018 Big Spring National Series Class 1
9 28.8 21ST Fai World Hang Gliding Class 1 Championship
8 7.9 2017 Midwest - Class 1
 
10
W: 112
PHILL Bloom
Civl Id: 7426
 USA 120.1 14 40.7 2018 Quest Air National Series Class 1
7 38.5 SANTA Cruz Flats Race – Mark Knight Memorial 2018 Class 1
7 32.7 22D Open De Canaris De Ala Delta Class 1
7 8.2 2017 Midwest - Class 1
 

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Protest committee

May 1, 2019, 7:53:45 EDT

Protest committee

At the 2019 Nationals

Larry Bunner

Bruce Barmakian|Larry Bunner

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Larry Bunner

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Larry Bunner

We had a couple of protests regarding the day we went around the Green Swamp:

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results/task4007/day/open-class

The problem is that after the pilot meeting a waypoint was added. The waypoint added a very slight increase in the task length (0.6%).

Famish was the added waypoint:

Unfortunately three pilots were not cognizant of the task change. Kevin Dutt, Bruce Barmakian and me. Fortunately I was flying with Larry Bunner and he told me on the radio to go get the Famish turnpoint. Kevin and Bruce didn't hear about the waypoint until after their flights. Bruce made a verbal complaint to the meet director which latter led to two written protests

The meet director made a number of errors so that there wasn't full communication between the pilots and the task committee. She appointed a protest committee to sort out the problem.

The first judgment of the protest committee was to cancel the day. This was met with almost universal opprobrium. There were lengthy discussions before and after the protest committee met for the first time that were held on the What's App groups set up by the meet director. All the issues were brought up and thoroughly adjudicated.

The protest committee was convinced to meet again and to reconsider their conclusion. This is what Section 7A states:

5.5.2 Result of Complaint or Protest

If a protest from a pilot or group of pilots calls for the retrospective cancellation of a scored task, the jury must consider the position of other pilots in the competition. If the protest is justified, the jury should consider how to compensate the affected pilots, but should only consider cancelling the task if there is no other fair option.

There were multiple fair options other than canceling the day. The protest committee came up with a reasonably fair option: Score the day with the original task without the addition of the Famish waypoint because not all pilots were notified of the task change (and the local rules were not followed describing how they should be notified).

The meet director and the protest committee were exemplary in their actions regarding this issue and there were no objections to the final result. This is the most fair action I have seen coming out of a protest committee. A committee must use its judgment when interpreting the rules and not just see them as iron glad commandments from on high. The major thing is to be fair. Sometimes juries forget this.

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From the Gulf of Mexico to Canada

April 30, 2019, 8:40:14 EDT

From the Gulf of Mexico to Canada

Larry and Robin plan to go far

Facebook|Larry Bunner|record|Rick Mullins

Facebook|Larry Bunner|record|Rick Mullins|Robin Hamilton

Larry Bunner <lbunner> writes:

Join Larry Bunner and Robin Hamilton on an epic journey as they fly ~1600 miles (2700km) from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. They will be attempting this challenge by aerotowing aloft and then soaring their way northward over Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana over a three week period in June and July.

I began flying hang gliders with my four brothers in 1975. We purchased a glider for $395 that had a Sears swing set seat to support us as we ran down the dunes of Lake Michigan skimming over the ground to land near the lake. Floating unencumbered above the earth is a feeling that few can imagine. For me it was the realization of a recurring dream to fly freely through the sky. And thus began my passion for the past 44 years.

Reflecting back, there have been many notable moments leading to the present. In the early 80's, pilots began towing in the flatlands behind trucks to get aloft. This opened up new opportunities to get airtime and led to my first cross country flight of 23 miles. This one flight ignited a fire in me to continually strive to fly as far as possible. In 1987 I towed up and flew from West Brooklyn, IL to Herrick, IL for an unheard of 176 miles. It was the longest flight in Illinois, Region 7 and east of the Mississippi River, and the longest flight ever off of tow.

I started competing in the early 90's with good success. Competition flying is a great way to improve your skills by learning to fly further faster. It is for this reason that I continue to compete; to become a better pilot so that I can fly even larger distances. Flying with the best pilots in the world opens up new possibilities on what I can accomplish. I love studying maps and meteorology as it relates to soaring and continue to challenge myself by dreaming up and then executing flights that haven't been accomplished before.

This all leads up to my loftiest dream to date; to fly from the Gulf to Canada during the upcoming summer months. This project/dream is taking shape and the resources have been procured to make it happen. Joining me will be well known international pilot Robin Hamilton and tow pilot Rick Mullins.

Robin writes: I started flying hang gliders in 1981 in the Scottish Highlands and started competition flying in 1983. I initially flew in Europe and since 1996, I've been flying mainly in the US. I have competed for both UK and USA National teams in over a dozen European and World Championships and have 8 podium medals from all that. I also hold medals in Class II hang gliding and a half dozen World distance records in that class.

Besides competition, I simply love flying and for as long as I can remember, have been fascinated with flight and thankful for all the wonderful life experiences hang gliding has provided. The experiences very much include being part of the whole community and culture that comes with free flight.

I am super excited to be doing the Gulf-Canada migration. Firstly, we are going to start from my flying backyard down in Texas - It has some of the most friendly fly-far air on the planet and for sure the best way to start an adventure. Second, I've often looked out the window from the many Houston-Calgary business flights I've taken and wondered what it would be like to fly over the expanses of Kansas, the Dakotas or Montana, with the super-high cloud bases and interesting colorful terrain. Now we have the opportunity to find out!

The journey will begin from the Mustang Beach Airport in Port Aransas on the shores of the gulf in late June or early July by towing aloft and then racing northward as far as we can go. We will then select the nearest airport, to repeat the process until we reach the Canadian border sometime in July.

Come and follow us each day via live tracking and be sure to join our Facebook group too. Daily reports will be published as we fly through America's heartland northward. Pilots are welcome to come and fly with us as we journey northward!

I will publish links to their live tracking and Facebook pages as soon as they make them available.

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2019 Nationals (week 2) »

April 25, 2019, 11:07:51 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

We don't go down wind

Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|PG|weather

The forecast:

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Thursday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the morning.
Surface wind 5 mph, southeast

HRRR 3, 2 PM:

Updraft velocity: 680 fpm
TOL: 6,000’
Wind TOUL: 10 mph, south southwest
B/S: 10
Surface winds 3 mph south southeast
A good chance of cu’s.

The task:

No Leg Dist. Id Radius
1 0.0 km QUEST 400 m
2 SS 4.6 km QUEST 5000 m
3 10.7 km GATORS 400 m
4 31.7 km BARON 4000 m
5 47.5 km PANOLK 3000 m
6 63.4 km KOKEE 3000 m
7 ES 91.5 km QUEST 400 m

The flight on-line: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/25.4.2019/17:27

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2255949

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20190426&gliderclass=hg1

The narrative:

There are no cu's in the nearby area so the first pilots (including me at number 3) naturally decline to launch and go to the end of the queue. About half the pilots do this, so we quickly start the second round. We find plenty of lift and climb out slowly while drifting to the north toward the first turnpoint at Gator field.

Our drift in the 12 mph south wind and climb rate (weak) are perfectly timed so that we reach the edge of the start cylinder at our highest altitude (4,500') just as the window opens for the first start at 2PM. Jonny and Jon Simon start with us, but go back later. Kevin Dutt is with us. Nine pilots take the first clock.

Gator field is a short distance away so we quickly get there then head northwest up the Florida Turnpike. I get south of the Turnpike to get to the wispy cu's and climb out at over 200 fpm to 4,800'. I saw Kevin, Patrick and Konstantin higher and in front of me further down wind to the north (the wind is now 13 mph out of the south), but I feel that I can catch them by getting to the cu's and climbing faster.

I keep finding good lift under the cu's along the turnpike and sure enough I run into those pilots ahead of me at the turnpoint at Baron and we climb out fast to cloudbase at 5,800'. We let Chippy and Kevin go out in front.

I wanted to get as high as possible because the next leg looks difficult. It's a straight cross wind leg. It's unclear where we are going to find the lift despite the presence of cu's. Sure enough I get down to 1,900' before I find a little something west of the prisons.

Patrick goes a bit further west and finds better lift. I come over him and climb out to 4,300' while he loses the lift for a while. He fortunately comes back down wind to find it again but I leave him low by the turnpike. The 7 mph wind out of the south southwest pushes us way to the north.

The pilots who took the second clock have almost caught up with us and they are further upwind having found lift near the prisons, which we did not find.

It's an up and back struggle to take the next turnpoint at the grass air strip southwest of Lake Panasofkee and to get away from it to head south southwest to the turnpoint at Kokee. There are plenty of cu's ahead and as soon as I get away from the lake I find strong lift, at one point averaging almost 500 fpm to 5,000'.

That height gets me to 2,500' 3 kilometers north northeast of he turnpoint. I circle there a few times with Jonny in negative 110 and then leave as I can't figure out why we are doing this. I head for the turnpoint while Glen turns back upwind to get up at Bushnell.

I get lucky. Down to 1,100' AGL I tag the turnpoint and then find a thermal which at 250 fpm takes me to 4,400'. This puts me ahead of all the nearby pilots. I head out with Larry Bunner, who took the second clock, nearby.

After an 8 kilometer glide and down to 2,100' I decide to turn back to get under a better looking cu. Larry comes in under me. I climb to 3,800' at almost 200 fpm with Larry right below me. Five or six pilots who were just behind us come in under us as we climb up.

We lead out and find three more thermals for the following pilots, being their guiding lights ahead. The last one just south of the nursery on highway 50 takes me to 3,600'with a 9.5 kilometer glide to goal. With a 4 mph cross wind it is an easy final glide as I lead them all into goal.

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2019 Nationals (week 2) »

April 25, 2019, 10:20:58 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (week 2)

Preliminary Results for day 5, task 5 (Kevin Dutt not scored yet)

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Corinna Schwiegershausen|Davis Straub|Glen Volk|John Simon|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|Phill Bloom|Raul Guerra|Tim Delaney|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-2/results

Task 5:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 02:28:56 987
2 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 02:29:51 968
3 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 02:30:59 953
4 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 02:43:59 845
5 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 02:44:41 839
6 Akira Nagusa Wills Wing T23144 02:51:41 798
7 Raul Guerra Aeros Combat C 12.7 03:09:40 709
8 Corinna Schwiegershausen Moyes RX 3 Pro 03:21:44 647
9 Wolfgang Siess Wills Wing T3 154 03:23:50 641
10 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T2C144 03:20:34 636
11 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 03:39:55 631

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 4634
2 Pedro L. Garcia Wills Wing T3 144 4445
3 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 4283
4 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 4121
5 Marcelo Alexandre Menin Wills Wing T2C 154 4042
6 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 3978
7 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 3861
8 Akira Nagusa Wills Wing T23144 3655
9 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 3641
10 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 3631
11 Guilherme Sandoli WillsWing T2C 136 3415
12 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 3393
13 Glen Volk Moyes RX 3.5 3364
14 Philippe Michaud Wills Wing T2C 144 3236
15 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T3 144 3227

Sport task:

Name Glider Time Distance Total
1 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 02:23:18 51.30 1000
2 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 31.46 615
3 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 28.50 584
4 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 26.15 552
5 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 24.28 522
6 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 19.19 422
7 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 17.67 388
8 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 17.38 381
9 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 7.53 155
10 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 5.00 105
10 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 5.00 105

Sport cumulative:

Name Glider Total
1 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 3718
2 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 3689
3 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 2987
4 Richard Milla Wills Wing U2 145 2632
5 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 145 2140
6 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 2110
7 Knut Ryerson Aeros Discus C 1816
8 Ken Millard Moyes Gecko 155 1541
9 Danilo Lohse De Stefani Wills Wing U2 160 1374
10 Attila Plasch Moyes Litesport 4 918
11 Phil Siscoe Wills Wing U2 509

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2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds) »

April 19, 2019, 3:48:34 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds)

Georgia

Bobby Bailey|Christian Ciech|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|PG|Richard Lovelace|Suan Selenati|Tullio Gervasoni|weather

The flight:

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/18.4.2019/16:37

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2247267

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20190419&gliderclass=hg1

The Thursday forecast:

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Thursday

Sunny, with a high near 89. East southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Surface wind 10 mph, south southeast

RAP 13, noon:

Updraft velocity: 600 fpm
TOL: 4,300’
Wind TOUL: 19 mph, south southeast
B/S: 3.8
Surface winds 9 mph south southeast
A good chance of cu’s.

HRRR 3, 2 PM:

Updraft velocity: 700 fpm
TOL: 6,000’
Wind TOUL: 20 mph, south
B/S: 5.3
Surface winds 10 mph south
A good chance of cu’s.
Strong upper level winds. Convergence over highway 301 to Vidalia, Georgia

The earlier winds make for a few timid pilots at first. David Fynn, the Safety Director measures 7 - 11 gusting to 14 mph. The report from the Leesburg Airport to the north is consistent with that with the wind decreasing from 14 mph to 10 mph by 1 PM.

The local rules state:

Wind direction and velocity determine the launch area and launch direction. South-southeast wind speeds up to 15 - 20 mph can be accommodated from the north-northwest launch area. Westerly winds up to 10 - 15 mph can be accommodated from the east and southeast launch. East winds up to 10 - 15 mph can be accommodated out of the west launch. Northerly winds 10 - 15 mph can be accommodated out of the south launch.

Variations in wind direction and gust factors below 5 mph will be evaluated to determine launch safety. For winds above 10 mph, gusting above 5 mph will keep the launch suspended or closed.

Despite the earlier whining, the pilots get in line and start to launch. It is a little rough coming out of the field, but I've launched here to the south southeast in 22 mph winds and it was fine.

Bobby Bailey takes me south to 2,000' AGL in a 14 mph south wind. He drops me in lift and I climb at 160 fpm to 4,100' and cloud base. We climbed again to cloud base just to the northwest of Groveland within the 10 kilometer start cylinder. As we get near cloudbase we head out. It's Tullio, Larry Bunner, Andrew Hollidge, Guilherme Sandoli, and I. Larry gets low by Grass Roots trying to get his radio working.

Andrew and I do a bunch of the pulling as we head northwest along the Turnpike toward the 5km turnpoint cylinder around Coleman. I keep leaving when the lift gets weak. None of the thermals average over 200 fpm until we get north of the Turnpike next to the turnpoint where we climb back to cloud base.

Northeast of Wildwood I find 300 fpm to 4,800'. Always leaving well below cloud base as the lift peters out. Tullio gets out in front and leads us up highway 301 to the north toward the next turnpoint at the state prison northwest of Starke.

I can't spot Tullio as he is too low on the west side of the Villages quite a ways east of highway 301. I leave Guilherme and Andrew and lead out on my own. I can see them, turning 5 km behind me. The lift is between 200 and 300 fpm.

I pass Tullio and head for a dark cu southeast of Leeward airfield. The thermal is almost 300 fpm as is the next one at the Leeward airfield. I climb to 4,600'. Tullio is back out in front along 301 over east Ocala, a tricky spot with few landing options. We've left everyone else behind.

Tullio gets too low in this poor area and lands.

I fly over the Ocala National Forest and the Silver Springs Conservation area east of 301 toward good looking cu's. I keep heading north northeast off the course line to stay under cu's. I've never gone this far east before on this course. I'm nine kilometers to the east of the course line but it's blue a long the course line.

Suan, Kevin Carter, and Rudy are about 10 km to 20 km behind as I come up east of Orange Lake and far from the paved highway.

Southeast of Hawthorne and ten kilometers east of Lochloosa Lake and at 5,200' I change direction heading north west toward more cu's that are now conveniently closer to the course line. I need to get around the west side of Keystone airfield to stay out of restricted airspace to the north of it.

Northeast of Hawthorne I find a thermal at almost 300 fpm and leave that at 4,800' still climbing but slowly. Southwest of Lake Santa Fe I find over 300 fpm to 4,500'. Suan has caught me from behind and is just over me. He heads out in front and I follow.

He marks strong lift 12 kilometers south of Stark next to 301. We are well west of the restricted airspace. I climb at a little over 300 fpm to 4,500'. Suan is way out in front but goes down by the turnpoint at the prison just before a huge expanse of forested lands. I work the cu's northwest of Starke and climb to 5,500' before turning north northwest toward the 2 km turnpoint cylinder around the prison.

Guilherne and Andrew are about 5 km behind near Starke. Kevin Carter, Rudy, Richard Lovelace and Christian Ciech are just behind them another 5 to 10 km.

I make the turnpoint and find 240 fpm right away to 4,800'. It's 4:45 pm. Every where I look to the north northeast I see forested lands, with patches of clear cuts and sand roads. The cu's are to the west of the course line and I head for them. There is only lift under the cu's and it is blue to the northeast. I have every desire to stay up and not land out in the middle of nowhere with bad road access.

I climb at 210 fpm southwest of Macclenney over open fields three kilometers west of the course line. To get under the next cu's I have to turn further to the north northwest to climb at 180 fpm to 4,700'. I'm now 6 km west of the course line. Guilherme comes in 2,000' below me.

Andrew has made a turn to go to the east to get back on the course line and is flying over the Saint Mary river heading north toward the turnpoint at Saint George while I follow the clouds. I wonder if he found a cu out there.

Rudy and Kevin are west of Macclenny and turning to the northeast to get toward the course line. Guilherme and I have crossed the river and are well into into Georgia and he is flying low over clear cuts and forests. I'm staying as high as possible.

I climb to 5,300' drifting a bit with the 16 mph south southwest wind, somewhat closer to the course line. Reasonable landing fields are 12 kilometers to the east. I can't really see them even when I'm at 5,300'. The only other options to my east are rough cut clear cuts.

As I get down to 2,500' I head toward pasture lands to the northwest just in case and find 200 fpm to 4,800' Guilherme is low under me and over the clear cuts. I turn northeast to leave the cu's behind but head toward the turnpoint as I'm about to be blown past it. It seems to me that I will not find any lift in that direction. I see Guilherme land in a clear cut by highway 94.

Behind me Rudy and Kevin with Jonny Durand behind them have made the leap to the northeast. I can see cu's in that direction but they seem far too far away. Maybe not. Andrew has landed after ticking the turnpoint at Saint George. I don't like the landing prospects on highway 94 (that's a mistake) and head for what looks like a farm to the east northeast.

It turns out to be nothing and I, like Guilherme, have to land in a clear cut off a sand road just slightly northwest of the turnpoint a little after 6 PM. My driver does a heroic job as we communicate over the phone navigating six miles in over slippery sand roads.

Nene, Jonny and Olav land a little to the south of me. Rudy and Kevin find lift and able able to make it into goal on a final glide from about 20 kilometers out. They are the only ones to make it.

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2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds) »

April 19, 2019, 3:47:05 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds)

Day 5, task 4, results

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Corinna Schwiegershausen|Davis Straub|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Kevin Carter|Konstantin Lukyanov|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|Richard Lovelace|Suan Selenati|Tim Delaney|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-1/results

Replay: https://lt.flymaster.net/bs.php?grp=2672#

Task 4:

# Name Glider Time Distance Total
1 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 05:17:30 246.97 976
2 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 144 05:27:21 246.97 950
3 Andrew Hollidge Wills Wing T3 144 229.64 797
4 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T3 144 227.50 792
5 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 223.80 781
5 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 223.63 781
7 Olav Opsanger Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 219.65 765
8 Guilherme Sandoli Wills Wing T2C 144 216.75 752
9 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 208.10 719
10 Konstantin Lukyanov Moyes RX 3.5 183.13 666

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 2989
2 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T3 144 2921
3 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 144 2911
4 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 2893
5 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 2768
6 Olav Opsanger Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 2764
7 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 2569
8 Andrew Hollidge Wills Wing T3 144 2545
9 Suan Selenati Wills Wing T3 144 2529
10 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 2504
11 Guilherme Sandoli Wills Wing T2C 144 2341
12 Richard Lovelace Wills Wing T3 144 2306
13 Wolfgang Siess Wills Wing T2C 154 2058
14 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 2020
15 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 1987

Sport Task 4:

# Name Glider Time Distance Total
1 Erik Grabowski Moyes Gecko 155 03:41:08 148.15 984
2 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 03:45:38 148.15 958
3 L.J. Omara Wills Wing Sport 3 155 132.44 724
4 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 128.29 709
5 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 111.58 631
6 Ricky Rojas Aeros Discus 14C 72.18 505
7 James Race Wills Wing U2C 160 49.34 425
8 Bill Snyder Wills Wing U2 145 32.25 362
9 Ilya Rivkin Will Wing Sport 3 155 31.51 359
10 Nick Jones Wills Wing U2 145 30.49 353

Sport Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Erik Grabowski Moyes Gecko 155 3282
2 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 2725
3 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 2141
4 Ricky Rojas Aeros Discus 14C 2107
5 Nick Jones Wills Wing U2 145 1968
6 Lee Silver Wills Wing U2 160 1885
7 Adam Smith Wills Wing U2 145 1826
8 Pete Wall Wills Wing U2C 160 1787
9 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 1775
10 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 1757

Warnings:

Name Note
Patrick Pannese Courtesy warning for flying over Ocala Airspace.
Rodrigo Gerundo Courtesy warning for flying over Ocala Airspace.
Corinna Schwiegershausen Courtesy warning for flying over Ocala Airspace.
Larry Bunner Manually scored based on pilot tracklog.

Penalties:

Name % penalty Reason
Kevin Dutt 100% Violation of R2903A Airspace
Krzysztof Grzyb 100% Violation of R2903A airspace.

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2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds) »

April 16, 2019, 8:13:34 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds)

Day 3, task results

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Davis Straub|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|Tim Delaney|Tullio Gervasoni|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-1/results

Task 2:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 03:03:30 973
2 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 03:04:46 962
3 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 03:07:21 941
4 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 03:23:36 924
5 Alvaro Figueiredo Sandoli Wills Wing T3 144 03:23:25 923
6 Guilherme Sandoli Wills Wing T2C 144 03:24:48 918
7 Tullio Gervasoni Wills Wing T3 144 03:24:44 912
8 Andrew Hollidge Wills Wing T3 144 03:25:56 908
9 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T3 144 03:27:31 898
10 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 144 03:33:22 874

All the Sandoli's (Nene and his two sons) made goal.

Cumulative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 1617
2 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 1556
3 Andrew Hollidge Wills Wing T3 144 1516
4 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T3 144 1494
5 Rodolfo Gotes Wills Wing T3 144 1401
6 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 1382
7 Olav Opsanger Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 1374
8 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T3 144 1327
9 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 1266
10 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 1234

Sport class:

Task 2:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Erik Grabowski Moyes Gecko 155 02:37:20 985
2 Lee Silver Wills Wing U2 160 02:58:54 875
3 Adam Smith Wills Wing U2 145 03:08:22 865

Cumullative:

# Name Glider Total
1 Erik Grabowski Moyes Gecko 155 1443
2 Adam Smith Wills Wing U2 145 1169
3 Rod Regier Moyes Litesport 4 1145
4 Nick Jones Wills Wing U2 145 1071
5 Lee Silver Wills Wing U2 160 1051
6 Ricky Rojas Aeros Discus 14C 961
7 Richard Westmoreland Wills Wing U2 145 899
8 Tim Delaney Wills Wing Sport 3 135 820
9 Richard Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 787
10 Pete Wall Wills Wing U2C 160 755

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2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds) »

April 15, 2019, 10:19:36 pm EDT

2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds)

Day 2, task 1

Bruce Barmakian|competition|Davis Straub|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|PG|Richard Lovelace|weather|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/15.4.2019/18:13

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2245019

http://wxc.fai.org/module.php?id=22&date=20190416&gliderclass=hg1

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Monday

Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 80. Northwest wind around 10 mph.
Surface wind 10 mph northwest.

HRRR 3, 2 PM:

Updraft velocity: 500 fpm
TOL: 3,300’
Wind TOUL: 20 mph, northwest
B/S: 2.2
Surface winds:11 mph northwest

That forecast was brutal. We wouldn't get high, the winds would be strong, the lift wouldn't be that good.

We felt that it just would not be a good day. Blue, no cu's in the forecast, often difficult launch conditions with the westerly component.

Still the task committee called a couple of tasks for the sport class and for the open class, and the safety committee and safety director felt that the launch conditions were good, even with the wind almost directly west.

I'm sixth to launch in the right line at 2:13 PM. April takes me up and waves me off at 2,000' AGL. I search around and find 24 fpm then 45 fpm drifting east southeast at 10 mph and climbing to 2,300', slightly above the altitude that I pinned off at. This is progress.

Push up wind with other pilots to pilots circling and from 1,100' AGL, climb back again to pin off altitude at 113 fpm. Do this a couple more times not getting quite so low and then down to 1,400' AGL hook into a reasonable thermal at 230 fpm and climb to 3,200' drifting downwind outside the start cylinder to the east southeast at 3:00 PM, so over 45 minutes in the start cylinder basically just trying to stay up. The day has fulfilled the prognosis.

I climb a little more to 3,500' and then head out to the south southwest with others. Today is a day to stay with your friends. No cu's to mark lift. You've got to be careful and use other pilots to indicate where the lift is. Also hold on to any lift. Weak lift is better than no lift or worse.

The wind is pushing us hard to the east but we are slowly working our way west toward the course line. Pilots are pretty scattered but there are a few to hang with. The next four thermals: 150 fpm, 2,800' top, 83 fpm, 2,300' top, 44 fpm, 2,400' top, 106 fpm, 2500' top. These get us to highway 474. Not getting high reduces the chances of finding the next lift, but we seem to get lucky and there is lift out there.

I hook up with Richard Lovelace, Andrew Hollidge, and Malcolm Brown, the UK contingent. We work 101 fpm, 2,600', 123 fpm, 2,200', 166 fpm, 2,800', 176 fpm, 2,800'. That's 13 kilometers from 474 to Dean Still Road. The lift is getting better. We approach the left side of the 5 km cylinder around the Fantasy of Flight and find 196 fpm to 3,000' in a 14 mph cross wind breeze.

We split up and cross Interstate 4. I follow Andrew Hollidge toward some nice looking open fields after flying over lots of forested areas. He's getting lower and lower and I'm getting skeptical. I spot buzzard heading to the northwest (as I head southeast) and turn to follow him. He looks like he's on a mission and indeed he is. He finds the lift and I find it with him.

It's 265 fpm to 3,700', the highest point of the day, the best lift of the day, and only 30 kilometers from goal.

Now the trick is to stay high enough to be able to get to one of the few landing areas as I'm now alone and over built up housing areas. Thankfully there are a few open fields that allow for a reasonable search for thermals. The best lift seems to be downwind of the small lakes. You can see all the wind on the lakes and all the thermals that interrupt the smooth flow of the wind across the lakes.

About twenty kilometers out from goal I'm joined by Bruce Barmakian and Andrew Hollidge coming in at my altitude. We work broken lift often less than 100 fpm to stay between 2,600' and 2,900'. We're right on the course line in spite of the cross wind.

Twelve kilometers out we find 196 fpm and go on glide from 2,900'. It's good all the way into goal.

This day seems totally impossible. How could we get to Lake Wales in a strong cross wind with no cu's and rarely getting over 3,000? I just can't believe that we did it. We were obviously very lucky. Andrew said it was because we were willing to hang on to the lightest lift, like they do in England.

I certainly never ventured out in front and only went off on my own when the leader looked like he was in trouble and I saw a sign of good lift.

Five of the pilots making goal were flying the new Wills Wing T3's.

https://airtribune.com/2019-quest-air-nationals-week-1/results

Task 1:

# Name Glider Time Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T3 144 01:55:40 682
2 Olav Opsanger Moyes RX 3.5 Pro 01:56:32 674
3 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 02:13:26 616
4 Andrew Hollidge Wills Wing T3 144 02:14:38 613
5 Davis Straub Wills Wing T3 144 02:18:51 603
6 Richard Lovelace Wills Wing T3 144 02:19:24 602
7 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T3 144 02:19:32 601
8 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 Pro 02:26:00 587

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Flying the new TIII

April 12, 2019, 11:02:34 pm EDT

Flying the new TIII

I've got five hours on it

Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

cart|Larry Bunner|Wilotree Park

Larry Bunner has been flying his earlier prototype version for the last two months and telling me about how much he loves the handling. He pulls on 3/4 VG and forgets to take it off while thermaling. Finally on Thursday I got a chance to fly the new one myself.

As I came off the cart the glider felt "big." I had 1/3 VG on (as usual) but there was too much force required to pull in the base tube relative to what I was used to on the T2C 144.

I flew around to the northwest doing a portion of the task before deciding to head back to Wilotree park. The glider was very smooth in the air. No longer did I have to "bump" it to enter into thermals, just shift my weight. I thermaled at all levels of VG and that worked fine. I could stay in small cores.

Yes, I would have to say that the handling, as promised, was vastly superior. Soon after my tow I flew with one pilot on an Icaro and noted that I was out climbing him.

But I didn't like the "big glider" feeling. Near the end of my flight I figured out why it felt that way. It was because I was used to hanging from the more forward position and this glider was no doubt set up for the pilot to hang from the middle position (a difference of about half an inch).

After I landed I moved the little rocker arm to the forward position which took less than a minute.

Speaking of landings, I haven't landed the TIII as well as I would like. I've had to run, when I thought I wouldn't have to. The glider has fallen off to one side and I've had the nose come over, but not touch. I'm using 1/3 VG. Maybe a little more is needed.

I flew the glider again today. It instantly (coming off the cart) felt like the T2C 144 that I had previously been flying. I mention this because I wanted to drive home the fact that very small changes in the glider make remarkable differences. You may fly a demo glider that is not set up right for you and your experience.

I flew for four hours. The glider was as smooth as could be. The handling was vastly superior. Whether gliding or thermaling the glider just feels smooth and stable.

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Getting ready for the ⁢2019 Nationals (pre-Worlds) »

Fri, Apr 12 2019, 11:01:40 pm EDT

We fly to Keystone, 150 km.

Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|PG|Tullio Gervasoni|weather|Wilotree Park

Gary Anderson|Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|PG|Tullio Gervasoni|weather|Wilotree Park

Bruce Barmakian|Gary Anderson|Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|PG|Tullio Gervasoni|weather|Wilotree Park

Bruce Barmakian|Gary Anderson|Larry Bunner|Nationals 2019|PG|Tullio Gervasoni|weather|Wilotree Park

The flight:

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/12.4.2019/16:17

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2243108

The forecast:

https://OzReport.com/seweather.php

Today

Sunny, with a high near 89. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Surface wind 8 mph south southeast

HRRR 3, noon:

Updraft velocity: 500 fpm (other models show 600 fpm)
TOL: 3,600’ (other models show 4,000’ – 5,000’)
Wind TOUL: 19 mph, south southeast
B/S: 2.7
Surface winds: 8 mph south southeast

HRRR 3, 2 PM:

Updraft velocity: 800 fpm
TOL: 7,000’
Wind TOUL: 11 mph, south southeast
B/S: 10.0
Surface winds: 10 mph south southeast
Cloud base at 6,300’
Convergence east of highway 301. Earlier starts preferred given southwest flows approaching course line after 3 pm.

Task:

Quest, 5000 m
Keystone, 400 m

Weather Underground showed rain at 2 PM north northeast of Ocala.

Larry Bunner launches first and I'm right behind him at 12:17 PM. Larry finds lift on the southwest corner of Wilotree Park and we climb at 200 fpm to 3,200'. That's not that great an altitude for our first jump over Groveland.

We head for a little cu that doesn't fulfill its promises and immediately turn west to get over the chicken coops and under some good looking cu's that indeed are working. We leave at near cloud base at 3,200' and find less than 100 fpm to the north under cu's. I finally chance it out further north and at 1,800' hit 600 fpm that averages 200 fpm over the climb to 4,400'. Larry joins me. We are drifting in a 10 mph south southeast wind just south of the Turnpike.

There is a series of dark cu's on a line paralleling the Turnpike to the northwest (which is where we want to go anyway), so we fly under them keeping our altitude loses in check and then find weak lift over the prisons. We continue to climb in weak lift checking all around under the sky full of cu's for better lift. We keep drifting to the north northwest just staying above 2,600' and sampling the lift that is on offer.

Finally, northwest of Wildwood, we find 300 fpm to 4,800'. Larry finds some better lift and is above me but when he leads out to the next thermal he doesn't find it at first and loses enough altitude to just get below me. I carefully milk the weak lift while he charges on ahead toward east Ocala. I'm able to stay high.

Working a couple of hundred feet per minute west of Leeward I see Larry coming back south under me to get over the sunlit fields and to get back up before going over the area of few landing spots. I'm high enough at 4,900' to head for the two fires that are burning the underbrush in the Ocala National Forest. I find 300 fpm just on the south side of the smoke plumes while Larry struggles to get up 9 km south of me.

By the time Larry gets up and to the smoke plumes, Tullio, Gary Anderson, and Mick Howard have caught up with him. I dawdle along hoping for Larry to catch up with me so that we can fly together. He can hear me on his radio, but his mic isn't working.

I fly to a dark cloud street going from the south southeast to the north northwest. It goes out over the big lakes, but for now it is a good path. I look ahead for where I can jump to the northeast to get under the cloud street to my east. I stay high. I climb to 5,300' at the end of the second cloud street.

I'm 43 km from goal and there is a blue hole in front of me with cu's far (10 km) to the east over swamp lands and the St. Johns River. It looks like the day is going to end soon. I take a 14 km glide with a bit of a turn to the northeast to get under some little wisps over landable fields east of Hawthorne. I'm down to 1,800'. I find 255 fpm under these almost cu's and climb back to 3,700', 27 kilometers from goal.

There continues to be a blue hole between me and the goal, as well as a big lake and lots of forest. I'm on my own as I can't hear from Larry, but he can hear me calling out the locations and climb rates.

I head to the northeast to try to get as near as possible to the cu's in that direction and also to get over landable fields. Down again to 1,800' I find 70 fpm and start turning in a 15 mph south southwest drift over non landable areas:

I'm only able to ride this thermal to 2,500'. The next landable field is 7 kilometers to the north, which to be sure is downwind. I don't want to chance it and head upwind to the fields just to my south.

I decide which field to land in but before I do I check out the possible lift to the south and east of the field. I can see good looking cu's overhead and a very small fire. I get there with 1,200' to find 260 fpm Climbing to 3,600' I'm confident of making the next landable field and keep searching for better lift.

I spot Gary Anderson to the north and get under him in a thermal going up at 400 fpm. This is way more than I need to get to goal.

Larry has caught me and made it in already. Garry gets there and after me Tullio and Mick. Later Bruce Barmakian who started much later and Phillip Michaud who flew from Wallaby.

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2019 Green Swamp Sport Klassic »

March 26, 2019, 7:53:42 EDT

2019 Green Swamp Sport Klassic

Day two

Green Swamp Sport Klassic 2019|John Alden|Larry Bunner

Bobby Bailey|Green Swamp Sport Klassic 2019|John Alden|Larry Bunner

We had a forecast of southwest winds turning west as the day wore on. Less than 10 mph on the ground, but up to almost 20 mph west up above near cloudbase. The forecast also called for good lift and cu's and cloudbase around 5,000', so a good day. But we were perplexed as to where to launch from.

Bobby Bailey said launch from the northeast corner as the wind kept coming much more from the south than the southwest or west and that is what we did. We got off all the competitors before the wind went strong from the west and launched everyone else from the east end of the east/west runway.

It's still taking a long time to launch everyone and drag them to 4,000'. Most of the mentors get off early and climb up. I took two flights as after climbing up to 2,400' on the first flight. I then went up wind and didn't find anything.

A good number of pilots got up and out. A number landed back at Wilotree. The lift was broken and often not that strong in the wind. I only experienced at 9 mph out of the west in the air.

The task was to go north to a turnpoint at the Turnpike and highway 33 and Larry Bunner mentioned that as he headed north he had a tail wind, which then became a quartering tail wind from the south west and then was a cross wind from the west as the day proceeded. The second leg was to the south east to Gator field. A short task but we can hardly go east at all given the Orlando airspace.

None of the mentees made it to goal although Mitch and Fabiano did. Larry who almost made goal said that he saw Mick over goal but he hadn't made the turnpoint yet. The wind was much more west later in the day and Mick launched almost last.

John Alden won the day with Mitch hanging with him most of the way.

The lift was pretty broken up and weak, both times I flew. Mitch had to dig himself back out from not finding lift after getting over 5,000' over Wilotree Park and then heading upwind into nothing (which is what I did also, but from a lot lower). Larry Bunner reported 700 fpm early in his flight. The changing wind direction no doubt was a factor in the changing climb rates.

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Can't reach the Airtribune web site on AT&T

Thu, Mar 21 2019, 8:15:06 am EDT

Can you?

Airtribune|Belinda Boulter|Larry Bunner

Last August I wrote to Brett Janaway at Airtribune about this problem:

1. We both can use the Airtribune App on our phones over the AT&T network (or Wi-Fi).

2. I tried to access the Airtribune web site using the browser (Chrome) on my phone using the local Wi-Fi. I could get to the web site, no worries. I can not get to your web site using the browser on my phone if I’m not on Wi-Fi but on the AT&T network. Belinda can’t access the Airtribune web site using her browser on her phone using the AT&T network.

3. I can access the Airtribune web site on my computer connected to the internet via my phone as a Hot Spot on the AT&T network (and have never had a problem doing so).

4. Belinda on her computer can access the Airtribune web site whenever she is on Wi-Fi (and so can I) but she can not do so when she is on her computer and accesses the internet through my phone or her phone as a Hot Spot on the AT&T network.

Today Larry Bunner reported that he could not get to the Airtribune web site on his phone.

I have asked Brett about this a few times now and just recently.

Pilots are now registering for the Wilotree Cross Country and some are finding that they can’t access the Airtribune web site via AT&T, just like us.

We can Check-in with the Airtribune App, no problem. We just can't get to the Airtribune web site.

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We honor the Green pre-Saint Paddy's Day

March 15, 2019, 10:06:34 pm EDT

We honor the Green pre-Saint Paddy's Day

By flying around the GREEN Swamp

Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane|weather|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane|weather|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|PG|sailplane|weather|Wilotree Park

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2217308

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/15.3.2019/17:16

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

Mick Howard, Greg Dinauer, and I decided to fly around the Green Swamp, 103 km, given the forecast for lighter winds out of the southwest. Larry Bunner had to be back early for a dinner engagement so he would only fly with us to the first two turnpoints.

This was the morning forecast:

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. Calm wind becoming south southeast around 5 mph in the morning.
Surface winds 7 - 6 mph, south southeast going slowly to southwest

HRRR 3, 1 PM:

Updraft velocity: 660 fpm
TOL: 5,600’
Wind TOUL: 3 mph, southwest
B/S: 10

The forecasts for the winds at TOL have been reduced substantially compared with last night. While the winds are still west or southwest they are in the 4 to 7 mph range to our west. So, a closed task around the Green Swamp could be possible. There will be cu’s.

Larry launched first given his pressing dinner engagement, got towed to 3,000' and headed out on his own. Mick, I, and Greg were next a little after 1 PM and we all got together and headed south. There were sailplanes every where as they are having their competition just to our south so we got to use them as thermal markers.

I was leading out and had to dig out from 1,500' on the third thermal as Greg and Mick joined me. Then we saw the sailplanes as we got up and two thermals later we took 500 fpm to 4,900' in a gaggle with five sailplanes. This was high enough to send us over to the southern section of the Green Swamp where there were plenty of cu's and a few sailplanes to keep us high.

The lift was broken with no solid identifiable cores that lasted for the entire climbs. The lift would average over 200 fpm, but vary between 400 and 100 fpm  as you circled around. The wind was 2 - 4 mph out of the southwest. Mick and I had dropped Greg after getting the 3 km turnpoint just south of a sailplane port. We joined up with Larry who was heading back from the second turnpoint.

After climbing at 450 fpm to 4,900' 7 km from the second turnpoint at the intersection of highway 98 and 471 I went on glide to the next cu's just on the east side of the turnpoint. 1 km before I got to the turnpoint I found 150 fpm, weak lift and broken and climbed back from 2,600' to 2,900'.

I made the mistake of leaving this lift (wasn't it just 450 fpm) and heading for good looking cu's next to the turnpoint. I was so close. But they weren't working for me.

Down to 1,100' AGL I was checking out landing options west of the turnpoint while hanging out over a swamp in zero sink. I heard from Mick that he was climbing at 100 fpm, but I could not get him to describe what the land looked like below him. Finally I spotted him above to my north over the obvious white (sandy) field and came in under him at 900' AGL. The lift was indeed there and all three of us joined up with me on the bottom and climbed out, them much higher as I left at 3,900' and they were well over 4,000'.

Heading northwest across the swamp I stopped for 100 fpm when they were well ahead of me. Mick came back after not finding any thing. Greg struggled out to our west.

The lift was ridiculously broken and weak but we had to get up in something. It was already almost 4 PM and we were concerned about the day shutting down early as shown in the forecast.

I headed north and found 300 fpm to 4,500' and lost Mick in the process. Greg was northwest of us and climbing east of Dade City. I headed for him and found lift at 1,500' AGL as he circled at 4,200'. 113 fpm, broken and just a pain to fly in, but again I had to stay up and started pretty low. The wind was 8 mph out of the south southwest and I drifted three kilometers getting back to 3,300'.

Greg was near the turnpoint at Ridge Manor when his Flytec 6030 stopped working. He now had to rely on his backup, XCSoar on his phone. 8 km south of this turnpoint I found 300 fpm and climbed to 5,200'. Mick came in underneath me as I was climbing up and reporting my location and climb rate.

This was a big flat bottom cu, the first that we had seen all day. The lift was actually pleasant to climb in. There were more of these ahead as the day got later and things mellowed out a bit.

I headed for the similar looking cu north of the turnpoint but only found 100 fpm lift. But, I was patient because I had to be. There was a big chunk of swamp land to the east that I had to cross. There were other cu's a little off to the east that promised a bit of lift. The wind was now 5 mph out of the west southwest. Mick had again come in under me at the cu north of the turnpoint.

We headed east and I found a little over 200 fpm just southwest of the lumber yard, our last 3km turnpoint. That got me from 3,000' to 4,800' and the 6030 was saying I just would make it into goal. The tail wind helped a lot. Mick was just 500' or so below.

With goal at Wilotree Park just a 11:1 glide away I went on glide with the altitude at goal predicted to be over 1,000'.  I headed for the cu's on the course line but I wasn't finding anything. The 6030 was still showing me making goal but there was a 2.5 km wide swamp just before the goal field that I didn't really want to go over low.

Down to 1,100' under a good looking cu and over a nice big landing field I found nothing. I decided that I could go a little further east and land at Osborn airfield just on the west side of the swamp if I needed to.

Down to 900' AGL and before I got to Osborn I found 140 fpm lift. I was able to climb to 1,700' AGL drifting toward Wilotree and came in with plenty of extra altitude as I got a 14:1 glide over the little swamp.

Mick came in just behind me. Greg had already made it in using his phone as his vario. It is always nice to have a backup.

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Larry Bunner is today's hero

March 14, 2019, 9:31:51 pm EDT

Larry Bunner is today's hero

He was past Williston the last time we looked on Live 360.

Larry Bunner|record|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|record|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|record|Wilotree Park

He was followed by Mick Howard and Cory Barnwell.

https://airtribune.com/play/3935/2d

It shows me, Cory and Mick. I dropped out early along with Greg Dinauer. Cory made it well past Williston on his U2- 145. Mick's track log doesn't show him past the turnpoint at Dunellon, but we saw him heading for Gainesville (not a good idea) earlier on Live360. Larry didn't check in to the Wilotree Park Cross Country, but it looks like he could have made it to the new goal at the small private airfield south of Lake City, 186 km.

The day started with a strong east wind. Leesburg airfield to our north recorded southeast 14 mph gusting to 24 mph at 11 AM, and 15 mph east at 10 AM. We wanted to wait until the wind turned southeast as forecasted and calmed down to less than 10 mph.

The sky at noon was full of cu's, too full. The earth wasn't getting much heating from the 90% cloud cover. We waited until a little after 1 PM as the sky gradually cleared a bit and the winds become more south east and calmed down a bit. I launched first at 1:20 followed by Larry, Mick, and Greg.

The lift was very weak at first and I lost 500' down to 1,900'. Then I drifted to the north, down wind, and found 250+ fpm on average to 4,100' Larry joined in with me.

There were plenty of cu's, but not particularly thick or black bottomed, so we headed northwest. More weak lift and then we found 300 fpm northwest of the chicken coops back to over 4,000'.

Again we found weak lift and I left it at 3,500' heading toward the prisons. There were plenty of cu's ahead so it seemed safe, but it wasn't I maintained at 1,400' but that lasted not much more than 5 minutes before I lost the zero sink and landed. Larry had gone further west toward Center Hill and found enough to stay up and then get up. Mick was catching up. Greg soon went down just a few kilometers to the north west of me south of the prisons.

We'll know tomorrow just how well Larry did and whether Mick was able to get to the west and not land in Payne's Prairie south of Gainesville.

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Friday's flights

March 9, 2019, 5:47:20 pm EST

Friday's flights

A bunch of us head up highway 301.

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|Rob Clarkson

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2212602

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/8.3.2019/16:02

234 kilometers to the north

I launched first at 11:02 AM (soon to be 12:02 PM). I was pulled up to 2,600' to the nearest cu', about 4 km south southwest of Wilotree. I climbed at an average rate of 150 fpm to 4,200' which was the predicted 11 AM cloudbase. I was drifting down wind at 7 mph, 1 mph less than the predicted value.

Cory Barnwell and Larry Bunner launched a bit later after me and found good lift right over Wilotree. I dribbled along finding less than 100 fpm under cu's to the north northwest, downwind at 11-12 mph. Cory and Larry joined up with me.

It wasn't until we were west of Grass Roots that we got good lift over 250 fpm to 4,000'. Things were improving at noon.

Larry and I left Cory on his U2-145 behind as we headed north northwest to get set up on the west side of the Village up highway 301 over Wildwood. We found 400 - 500 in a couple of thermals and got to almost 5,000' as we crossed the Turnpike.

We wasted time in 66 fpm at 2,800' before Larry went a couple of kilometers forward and found 200+ fpm to take us back to 4,300'. We were about 11 km south of Belleview. I got the jump on Larry in a better thermal and got 1,000' over him and headed out.

300+ fpm thermals got me up to 5,100' and easily though the scarce landing fields in east Ocala. There were plenty of cu's ahead but at first they seemed to be predominantly off to the north northwest, which would put them a it too near Orange Lake. Then a street formed to their east. I dove over to the eastern street and down to 2,600' over a mostly forested area found almost 400 fpm to 5,500'. Larry came in low under me as I worked the last 1000'.

There was now a cloud street right along the course line for the next 50 km. This was sort of reminiscent of the better formed cloud street than John Simon was under going to Keystone at the end of February. It wasn't nearly as filled in, but there was the lift there. With a 9 mph tail wind I was able to quickly pass Hwathorne and then find 300 fpm to 6,000'.

It took us to the west of Keystone airfield, which kept me out of restricted airspace. I knew that there was also airspace ahead east of highway 301, which we were essentially following. We used the Prison turnpoint to keep up out of the restricted areas north of Keystone.

The cu's were thinning out but always working. We were still able to climb to over 5,000'. Larry got over 6,000' behind me.

Twenty two km north of Stark the open pastures give way to forests and clear cuts. Fortunately some of what looked like clear cuts were graded mine areas, that would be okay for landing barefoot. Down to 2,200' over this less than inviting area I found 200 fpm and hung on to 5,300'.

Larry was off to my right to the east at about my altitude so I went and joined him. His thermal was actually worse than mine. We left together at 5,700'.

He took a line a little to the east of where I decided to go. I had been experiencing better conditions to the west of where he was going so I just kept heading a bit further west than he did. I wanted to stay well clear of highway 301 which runs into airspace further north.

Still lots of forested areas and few landing areas. West of the Jacksonville White Executive Airfield airspace I found 240 fpm and climbed from 3,500' to 5,100'. I got to get a close up view of a multi passenger jet just below my altitude making an approach into the airport. I was just off the approach line.

After that climb I headed north northwest a bit cross of the 13 mph south southwest wind. I was heading for the turnpoint at Saint George in Georgia which was just across the Saint Mary river to my west. We had already gone north of the southern part of Georgia and were just flying north through Florida next to it.

Larry got low on his bad line and had to land. I looked over at Saint George and didn't see any landing areas so I stayed to the east over the now pleasant farms lands. The sink was light and I found bit of lift to play with to let me choose where to land. There were plenty of fields to choose from.

Finally picked out a farm with multiple fields and decided to go there. There were cows in a couple of the fields so I landed a bit further away from them. Turns out that the gate was locked but it had an intercom which allow Don Spratt, who was chasing me, to get in and get to me with the rancher's help. We got out of there just before sundown.

We picked up Larry in the dark not too far away and then Cory 19 miles north of Starke. We got back at midnight. Rob Clarkson, Jereomie Hill, Patrick Halfhil and others flew also getting good flights of 50 miles or more.

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Thursday's flights

March 8, 2019, 8:24:02 EST

Thursday's flights

A box shaped task

Blue Sky|Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2211328

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/7.3.2019/18:15

We had two tugs with Tim and Jim Prahl towing and I was launched right after Larry Bunner who was ready first a little after 1 PM. The wind was north east at about 10 mph and then it would stop and be light. I took off in light conditions. There were a few cu's around which quickly dried up.

The first climb was less than 50 fpm but I finally moved over when I saw Cory and Larry climbing up wind of me and came in under them. At 175 fpm I climbed to 4,600', the forecasted TOL. Cory and Larry were higher.

We headed southwest to Bay Lake and found 200 fpm to 5,000'. Larry got to 5,900' over the turnpoint.

Cory and I were lower than Larry but we headed out anyway. This second leg took us along the east edge of the Green Swamp toward Center Hill. The lift was weak all along the route and I often just kept going to find something better. Cory and Larry caught up with me just north of highway 50 over the nursery. It was 150 fpm, but that was relatively good compared to the rest that I had experienced along this leg.

I worked 135 fpm 4 km south of Center Hill to 4,300' and then found 100 fpm right at the turnpoint after I got there first before leaving at 3,600'. Cory was below me and Larry was off to the east a bit.

Larry and I headed east northeast toward the Turnpike and highway 33 overpass, our next turnpoint. I was keeping up wind in the 11 mph south southeast wind when Larry found a general area of lift just north of me along the course line. I came over and found the core and got up at 300 fpm.

Leaving at 3,900' I found 400 fpm 3 km further east and climbed to 4,800' before leaving when the lift got weaker. Larry was still working the weaker lift in the previous thermal. Cory was below him. Mick Howard was behind all of us.

Took the turnpoint at the Turnpike and climbed up to 3,900'. I was reading a wind speed of 10 mph out of the east southeast. The next turnpoint was to the southeast at Gator field. It was after 3 PM and we had already been flying for 2 hours. We had only gone 42 km. We had had lots of weak lift and now I was heading into a head wind. Larry was now far behind me and I was on my own. I decided to skip the last turnpoint and head south down highway 33 toward Wilotree Park, 20 km away. I wanted to not have to break diwn my glider and have it ready for Friday.

Half way home I was down to 1,600' just south of the Grass Roots airfield. I worked zero and then 50 fpm back to 2,000'. I was drifting back to the northwest. Then I did it again from about the same location, a little further down wind to the west, but now in 150 fpm to 4,400' drifting northwest.

I headed south toward the chicken coops which have always been a good thermal source. Searching around at 2,500' I found 160 fpm to 3,700'. I was drifting further away from goal as my required glide ratio got down to 8:1. I was facing an 8 mph head wind.

Of course, I was averaging less than 7:1 on glide as I came over Mascotte and then Groveland. I was keeping an eye on possible landing areas and then as I came over Groveland I was looking at the fields just north west of Wilotree Park on the west side of highway 33.

As I got down to 1,100' AGL over Groveland I stopped dropping like a rock and it looked like I would make the fields just south of Groveland. The light sink held on and I just kept gliding toward goal. A kilometer out and down to 800' AGL it looked like I could actually make it into the goal field.

I came in over the trees at 500' AGL., saw that the wind was from the east on the surface, cut over the tops of the trees on the west side of the main runway, turned at the west end of the east west runway and landed smack in the middle of the runways gliding into a light head wind.

Mick and Cory showed up not too long later. They had made the course taking the Gators turnpoint. Later Larry landed just on the west side of highway 33, in one of the fields I was looking at. He didn't have to break down his glider.

A very pleasant day in the air with a few sharp edges, but nothing to worry about. Almost completely blue sky after the initial cu or two.. Very manageable wind speeds. Good fun to fly with a few other pilots.

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Felt like a Sailplane

February 26, 2019, 7:57:32 EST

Felt like a Sailplane

Four five kilometers under two cloud streets

Larry Bunner|sailplane

John Simon|Larry Bunner|sailplane

John Simon|Larry Bunner|sailplane

http://ozreport.com/data/igc/2019-02-23-XCS-JOH-01.igc

On Saturday John Simon went on final glide from a little over 45 kilometers out. He had just climbed up from 2,000' to cloud base at 5,400' just north of the Greystone airfield and told himself after a few turns near the south end of Orange Lake that that was it, he wasn't going to turn any more.

His glide ratio was 41:1, including the portion where he pulled in to 50+ mph airspeed to get down to goal.

Average ground speed was 54 mph with airspeed of 37 mph. The wind was 17 mph out of the south southwest.

For the 37 kilometers that he flew under the two cloud streets without pulling in to get to goal his L/D was 130.

Larry Bunner writes:

Your L/D for the first 25km in 18 minutes was a whopping 293:1. At one point on glide you gained over 600' over a 3 minute period going from 4931' to 5580'. Another point of interest is that the cloud line appeared to be slowly drifting eastward as you glided NNE to goal.

John Simon writes:

I could have gone quite a bit further. The only reason I lost any altitude was that and about 2/3 of the way in the street ended and I had to shift slightly NE to join it again losing 1000' and down to 4000' before I rejoined and then I stayed there easily while gliding. I spent much time with the bar stuffed trying to stay out of the clouds in the first section. In the second section at 4000' I slowed up a bit.

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North to Keystone

February 23, 2019, 11:46:29 pm EST

North to Keystone

The south wind comes up so we head north for 150 km

Larry Bunner|PG|Rob Clarkson

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|Rob Clarkson

John Simon|Larry Bunner|PG|Rob Clarkson

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2202792

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/23.2.2019/17:45

This was the forecast:

A 20 percent chance of showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. South wind 5 to 10 mph.

Surface winds south 9 mph.

Lift at 2 PM 400 - 700 fpm, five models

TOL 4,000’ - 6,000’, five models

Wind at TOUL 15 – 19 mph south, five models

B/S 3– 6.7, five models

Cloud base, 5,000’, three models and Skew-T.

With the strong winds Keystone would be the goal.

With strong south winds at the surface and a forecast for good lift and a sky full of cu's we get ready early to launch before 1 PM EST. Larry Bunner is off first but gets the rope and lands when he gets too low behind the tug coming out of the field, a field full of bumpy air.

I'm next and yes there are a few bumps but once we're over 200' the ride is smooth. I hold on to 2,600' and then climb at 230 fpm to 3,400'. While Larry is getting back to launch to tow again, I head south up wind four kilometers against an 11 mph headwind in order to wait locally for Larry.

Larry gets off quickly and finds 300-400 fpm and gets to cloud base quickly and heads north while I have to make up for being way to the south to chase him. The wind gets us going over 60 mph over the ground.

There are lots of cu's to head for and I keep going finding weak lift. Finally 5 km south of Grass Roots airfield I find a sustained climb and get to cloudbase at 4,400'. Larry is about five kilometers ahead. Rob Clarkson, Patrick Halfill, JD Guillemette and then John Simon are launching south of us.

We're heading off to the north northwest to get away from Leesburg airspace and up the west side of the Villages (which are further to the north). Larry calls out a climb a bit further west and I head for the cu in the vicinity. Down to 1,400', far from roads I find 400 fpm and leave at 3,700' heading further northwest.

Just west of the Okahumpka Service Plaza  I'm back down to 1,700' when I find 300 fpm again under great looking clouds. Cloud base is rising and I take the thermal to 4,800'. I can keep an eye on Larry now.

The sink is light for the next 11 km as I find the next lift at 4,200'. There isn't a full cloud street but plenty of cu's.  I leave at 4,500', with Larry at 5,300' 2 km in front, 12 km south of Bellevue.

There are a couple of small fires ahead near Bellevue in the shade of the cu's overhead. Larry continues north high toward east Ocala. I stop and work the 100 fpm in the area of the fires as Larry goes on. I see him make one turn high above me near the fires but he doesn't stop.

I'm shading a little bit to the west as I can only climb to 4,100' due west of Leeward airfield. I hear from Larry that he is at 2,800' east of Ocala in the area with very few landing areas and just on glide. I want to stay away from where he went. I would much rather to be at 5,000' as I enter east Ocala.

I go on a 9 kilometer glide. I hear from Larry that he is very low and may be landing. I've been spotting the field that he is approaching and using it as a possible bale out. I'm down to 2,500' without many other possible landing areas.

As Larry lands I find 300 fpm that takes me to 5,000' and cloud base. John Simon is finally able to get up high enough to get on the course line and is about 30 kilometers behind. Rob, Patrick and JD have gone down south of the Turnpike.

The day is heating up. It's a little after 2:30 PM and there are lots of good looking cu's ahead southeast of Orange Lake. After a 11 km glide I'm down to only 3,500' when I find 300 fpm to 5,100'.

Now ahead, east of the big lakes, the cu's are widely scattered. I take a 14 km glide toward some wimpy looking cu's down to 2,500'. I head northeast to get over a possible landing area with none downwind and find 400 fpm but only back to 3,700'.

I'm over an area with only few scattered landing areas at 3,000'. I venture out looking at a possible landing area far to the north if I can't get up, or maybe an area with small trees. I don't lose much and then find 30 fpm to let me drift toward possible landing areas.

I don't see it but behind me a cloud street in forming. John has been working back up from low and climbs to 5,000' north of east Ocala. He'll get under that cloud street. I find 40 fpm and hang with it, and then find a better core to 4,400'.

Very quickly the lift is improving now that I've gone beyond the area of poor lift. I climb at over 300 fpm to 5,600' just south of Hawthorne. The cu's look much better ahead.

I glide 14 km to the next thermal at 330+ fpm to 5,000'. I'm only 17 km out from goal at the Keystone Airfield. I hear from John behind me that he hasn't turned for the last 25 kilometers under a cloud street.

I pull it in hard to get down going to goal. Even at 600 fpm down I'm only able to get down to 1,100' at goal. Given the strong south winds I choose to land in the middle of the field.

A few minutes later John Simon makes it to goal having flown the last 45 km without making a single turn under two different cloud streets caused by the breeze from the west.

The sky clouds up about half an hour after we get to goal as forecasted earlier in the day.

The flight puts me into first place in the US National contest: https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/ranking-hg-national:US

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On day five the cu's finally come

Fri, Feb 8 2019, 10:40:26 pm EST

Friday ends our work week of soaring conditions

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Wallaby Ranch

I take the day off to work on my RV roof, while Mitch Shipley, Rob Clarkson, Greg Dinauer, Larry Bunner and numerous others take to the skies that are filled with cu's for the first time all week. Larry says that he left low going downwind to the south and didn't get above 2,800' until he was past the Seminole Glider Port. He was able to make it back after getting the first turnpoint at Dean Still and highway 33.

The cu's disappear early and Mitch was not able to make it back with a triangle task that included a turnpoint at Wallaby Ranch. The weekend looks windy and maybe a bit of rain.

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On the fourth day we did our task

February 8, 2019, 7:16:57 EST

On the fourth day we did our task

Grass Root and Center Hill

Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

Greg Dinauer|Larry Bunner|PG|Wilotree Park

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2191667

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/7.2.2019/18:52

The secondary task, if the conditions weren't that great, was to go from Wilotree Park north up highway 33 to Grass Roots airfield, turn west toward Center Hill. There was a 1 km turnpoint cylinder around Center Hill, then back to Wilotree.

I came in under Larry Bunner at the Mickey Mouse shaped lake just northwest of Wilotree Park and slowly climbed up to join him. I climbed at an average of 200 fpm to 3,800' as we drifted to the northwest at 11 mph. I didn't see Rob Clarkson or Greg Dinauer. And the radio channel wasn't working likely from Larry's broken PTT button.

Larry signaled for us to leave together and we headed north toward Grass Roots. The twelve kilometer glide with no lift got us down to 700' AGL before we found lift north of Grass Roots. I was headed a bit to the west going under Larry to get over a preferable landing field (the one we were over had a bunch of cows in it), and found the lift with Larry right behind me. We climbed, but slowly, and only to 2,600'. This made the decision to head toward Center Hill instead of the primary task turnpoint at the overpass at the Turnpike and highway 33 fairly straight forward. Of course, after that everything got much better.

We climbed to 4,000' in the next thermal just before Center Hill. Larry was in the lead and took us low over a small community where he found the lift at 900' AGL. I was wondering if he had a landing option.

The wind had died to 4 mph out of the south east. We quickly got the turnpoint and headed east southeast. We both found lift separately over a field that I've been over many times and appreciate for its consistent lift.

Joining up we climbed to 4,000' and headed south east toward the chicken coops at Mascotte, another known thermal hotspot. We didn't get low before climbing again to 4,000' a third of the way to the coops. I lost Larry as I headed a little more south then he did, but apparently my line was much better than his as he watched me continually glide higher and higher than he did.

I found 200 fpm a kilometer before the chicken coops again to 4,000' and then as I came over them saw Larry just to their south climbing far below. A couple of turns over him and then on glide to goal. There was plenty of lift along the way. We came in together.

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Conditions continue to improve

February 6, 2019, 8:07:39 pm EST

Conditions continue to improve

Higher TOL and stronger lift

Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|PG|weather

Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|PG|weather

Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|PG|weather

https://airtribune.com/davisstraub/tracks__213410

http://www.paraglidingforum.com/leonardo/flight/2191292

https://www.xcontest.org/world/en/flights/detail:davisstraub/6.2.2019/19:03

With a further increase in temperature and continued light winds the flying conditions improved today over Tuesday. We started earlier at 1:15 PM for our first flights. I was off first and came down almost last 37 minutes later after climbing to 2,700' and then working weak lift low.

Mitch Shipley, Larry Bunner and I got right back in the air and the conditions were much better with a launch at 2:04 PM. We all drifted west in the east wind and found light lift to over 3,000'. Larry and I went further downwind and found 360 fpm to 3,400'.

Our task was to go south past the Seminole glider port and back but the TOL was a little too low for that. I worked my way back east and played around with getting low and then working back up. I then decided to go land. Mitch and Larry were able to get to 4,000' at 3:30 PM.

Tomorrow, Thursday, looks very promising with a southeast flow of light winds. Could be cumulus clouds tomorrow. The winds are light enough for a closed course task.

https://ozreport.com/seweather.php

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NTSS returns to the USHPA web site

December 18, 2018, 9:22:27 EST

NTSS returns to the USHPA web site

They made a home for it, not just on the Oz Report

Bruce Barmakian|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Krzysztof "Krys/Kris" Grzyb|Larry Bunner|Patrick Kruse|Robin Hamilton|USHPA|Zac Majors

https://www.ushpa.org/page/ntss-class-1

https://www.ushpa.org/page/ntss-class-3

https://www.ushpa.org/page/ntss-class-5

No sport class.

Pos Name Points Comp 1 Comp 2 Comp 3 Comp 4
1 Zac Majors 2257 582 Din2017 568 SCF2018 556 Mid2017 551 QAN2018
2 Robin Hamilton 2089 660 SCF2018 550 Mid2017 493 QO12016 386 BSN2018
3 John Simon 1895 660 Mid2017 437 QAN2018 401 QO12016 397 SCF2018
4 Bruce Barmakian 1775 599 Mid2017 437 SCF2016 416 QAN2018 323 SCF2018
5 Phil Bloom 1710 555 Mid2017 495 SCF2018 355 QAN2018 305 SCF2016
6 Kevin Carter 1666 486 Mid2017 459 SCF2016 376 QAN2018 345 SCF2018
7 Glen Volk 1611 555 Mid2017 409 QAN2018 337 SCF2018 310 SCF2016
8 Larry Bunner 1517 420 Mid2017 384 BSN2018 368 QO12016 345 SCF2018
9 Davis Straub 1472 466 SCF2018 387 BSN2018 314 QAN2018 305 QO12016
10 Patrick Pannese 1414 402 SCF2018 400 SCF2016 333 QAN2018 279 Mid2017
11 Kevin Dutt 1377 466 SCF2018 363 Mid2017 313 BSN2018 235 QAN2018
12 Dustin Martin 1291 567 SCF2018 362 Hom2017 362 SCF2016
13 Kipp Stone 1240 393 SCF2018 340 Mid2017 284 Din2017 223 BSN2018
14 Derrick Turner 1204 355 BSN2018 352 SCF2016 300 Mid2017 197 QAN2018
15 Mick Howard 1087 392 Mid2017 257 QO12016 225 BSN2018 213 QAN2018
16 Jeff Chipman 1085 362 Mid2017 304 SCF2018 249 QAN2018 170 SCF2016
17 Krzysztof Grzyb 1048 499 Mid2017 395 QAN2018 154 QO22016
18 JD Guillemette 1018 454 Mid2017 314 QO12016 250 QAN2018
19 James Stinnet 960 530 Mid2017 430 QO12016
20 Patrick Kruse 929 349 QO12016 323 QAN2018 257 BSN2018

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Why did I stop and search for lift?

October 4, 2018, 9:14:45 MDT

Why did I stop and search for lift?

Could I have made it into goal directly instead?

Dustin Martin|Larry Bunner

Larry Bunner asks:

Could you have glided from Mobile into goal? What was your final glide performance when you did leave?

Let's look at the final glide on the last day of the 2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race.

Five of us left the thermal south of Mobile close together. Just looking at Zac, Dustin and I, Zac left at 15:30:44, Dustin 18 seconds later at 15:31:02 and I left at the same time as Dustin, but as I'm using my Flytec 6030 IGC tracklog with five second intervals I chose the 15:30:58 track log point to be the time I left. Zac was at 7426', Dustin at 7558', and I was at 7270'.

After a 10.8km glide I started circling at 4.5 km from the edge of the 1.5 km goal cylinder. My 6030 was showing goal at 7:1 (this is to the edge of the goal cylinder) and my then current L/D was 5:1. I was facing a 17 mph head wind.  My mean L/D since leaving the thermal was 9.1 (mostly perpendicular to the east wind) and my average ground speed was 35 mph. I had flown 10.8 km and I was at 3359' or about 2,000' AGL. I'd flown for 11:31 minutes. I started circling at 15:42:29.

Zac was close to the location where I start circling at 15:39:55 or about two and a half minutes before me. He was at 3,712' or 353' above the altitude I would be at when I got there. He was facing similar winds. His mean L/D since leaving the thermal was 9.4 (close to mine) but his ground speed was much higher at 43 mph. He'd flown for 9:11 minutes and covered 10.6 km.

Dustin came to the same location at 15:40:40, forty five seconds after Zac and not quite two minutes before I got there. He was at 3453' or about 100' higher than I would be at that point.

Both Dustin and Zac kept gliding toward goal from this point. I felt the lift and turned in it then scooted north less than a kilometer to find even better lift.

Zac made goal from there with a mean glide of 8.3 at 50 mph ground speed down to 1898'. He lost 1,814' and arrived at about 600' over the ground and still had to glide to the airfield center 1.5 km away.

As we discussed before in the previous article the wind was much lighter below 2,000' AGL.

Dustin made goal from that point with a mean glide of 16.6 at 42 mph ground speed. He arrived at 2538'. He lost 915' and arrived at about 1,200' AGL.

It is pretty clear that because the wind died down to 5 to 7 mph below 2,000' AGL I would have made it into goal by just continuing to fly straight to goal and not have taken the last thermal. At the time I was not quite low enough to see the head wind component on my Flytec 6030 drop to 5 or 7 mph instead of 17 mph which is what I saw. From the contours of the nearby hills it appeared that I was in a venturi and I had experienced the high winds throughout the flight. I had no desire to come up short.

After climbing in my last thermal to 5934' I flew to goal against a 15 mph head  wind with a ground speed of 33 mph. My mean L/D was 13.5.

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Zac Majors is the 2018 US National Champion

September 24, 2018, 12:22:30 pm MDT GMT-0600

Zac Majors is the 2018 US National Champion

This is my calculation and I don't think that it is official

Ben Dunn|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Quest Air|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Quest Air|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Ian Snowball|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Quest Air|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Ian Snowball|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Quest Air|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Ian Snowball|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Quest Air|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Ian Snowball|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Quest Air|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Ian Snowball|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Ian Snowball|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Greg Kendall|Ian Snowball|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|competition|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Greg Kendall|Ian Snowball|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|competition|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Greg Kendall|Ian Snowball|Jeff Chipman|John Simon|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Quest Air|Robin Hamilton|Wayne Michelsen|Zac Majors

2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race results:

Pos Name Score Points
1 Robin Hamilton 3810 660
4 Zac Majors 3607 568
5 Dustin Martin 3604 567
7 Phil Bloom 3145 495
8 Davis Straub 2964 466
9 Kevin Dutt 2962 466
10 Mitchell Shipley 2829 445
11 Ben Dunn 2637 415
12 Patrick Pannese 2556 402
13 John Simon 2523 397
14 Kipp Stone 2499 393
15 Greg Kendall 2359 371
16 Wayne Michelsen 2307 363
17 Larry Bunner 2197 345
18 Kevin Carter 2194 345
20 Glen Volk 2144 337
21 Bruce Barmakian 2053 323
22 Jeff Chipman 1933 304
24 Sergey Kataev 1145 180
25 Mick Howard 1102 173
26 Austin Marshall 1087 171
27 ian Snowball 965 151
28 Luke Waters 894 140
29 Kevin Kernohan 795 125
30 Bill Bennett 654 102
31 Alex Tatom 405 63

The Pos column is the results of the race. The score column is the pilot's score the 2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race. The points columns is the NTSS points from the competition.

https://airtribune.com/santa-cruz-flats-race-mark-knight-memorial-2018/results/task3767/comp/open-class

Partial results from the 2018 Big Spring Nationals:

Pos Name Score Points
2 Davis Straub 2327 387
4 Robin Hamilton 2316 386
5 Larry Bunner 2305 384
7 John Simon 2170 361
8 Derrick Turner 2134 355
9 Zac Majors 2074 345
10 Kevin Carter 2023 337
11 Kevin Dutt 1880 313
12 Nathan Wreyford 1828 304
13 Glen Volk 1810 301

https://airtribune.com/2018-big-spring-national-series/results/task3576/comp/open-class

Results from the 2018 Quest Air Nationals.

https://ozreport.com/22.127#0

https://airtribune.com/2018-quest-air-national-series/results/task3172/comp/open-class

The top five finishers for the 2018 US National Championship:

Zac = 551 + 568 = 1,119

Robin = 386 + 660 = 1,046

Davis Straub = 387 + 466 = 853

Phil Bloom = 355 + 495 = 850

John Simon = 437 + 361 = 798

The procedure for determining the US National Champion:

A pilot's National Champion ranking is based on his/her total NTSS points accumulated in their best two US “National Championship Event” competitions for the current year.

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2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race »

September 22, 2018, 10:10:58 pm MST

2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race

The lift returns along with the high top of lift. No cu's, of course

Ben Dunn|Brian Porter|Chris Zimmerman|competition|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Fred Kaemerer|Glen Volk|Greg Chastain|Gregg Ludwig|Greg Kendall|John Simon|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Moyes Litespeed RX|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Tyler Borradaile|Wayne Michelsen|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/santa-cruz-flats-race-mark-knight-memorial-2018/results

I wrote in a review of the 2018 Big Spring Nationals that luck is an important part of a hang gliding competition. Today really illustrated that truth. Larry Bunner launched early and climbed up to 6,400'.

I launched in the tenth position with Gregg Ludwig pulling me behind his trike upwind and took me to a thermal where I pinned off at 1,600'. That thermal averaged 270 fpm and it got me to 5,700' (the first piece of luck). I had just a couple of other pilots with me in the thermal (none at my altitude) so it was no problem staying in the best part of the lift.

Four or five of us headed northeast against the 11 mph east wind and down to 3,100' (1,600' AGL) I found a nice thermal that averaged 450 fpm (second bit of luck). Robin came in under me and Zac, Dustin, Tyler and Mitch came over me. We all climbed to 8,000' with me ending up just slightly on the bottom. As I was climbing up I heard from Larry and he was landing back at the tow field having not found any more lift.

This was our task for the day. The forecast was for a strong east wind:

After topping out at 8,000' we headed northwest three minutes late for the second clock just the six of us with no one else around. This seemed like a good group to go with (third bit of luck) and I doubted that we would get any higher in the start cylinder.

I followed just behind and just below the other five pilots. I would do that all day. It was a 16 kilometer downwind glide to 300+ fpm to 6,700' before the turnpoint at Maricopa. A bit of nothing didn't work out after the turnpoint, but further south we found 280 fpm in a 15 mph east wind to 5,500'. We lost contact with Mitch at this point as he didn't connect well with this thermal.

At the second turnpoint we found 225 fpm climbing to 5,700' in a 17 mph east wind. I had now caught up with Zac, Tyler, Robin and Dustin, finding my spot about 100 feet below them. I would spot the best core just below them and they would use me as a sniffer dog to keep climbing at the best rate.

Heading north toward the three kilometer cylinder around Mobile and down to 3,200' I found a thermal that averaged 290 fpm and the four other pilots joined me as we climbed to 7,300' yet again in a 17 mph east wind. I had hoped to climb to 8,000' but Zac headed out and we all went with him.

After a 10 kilometer glide I was down to 3,600' (2,200' AGL) 4.5 kilometers from the edge of the goal cylinder at Estrella. The Flytec 6030 was showing a required L/D of 7:1 and I was getting 5:1 going into the 17 mph head wind. I felt a little lift and felt around going a bit to the north.

I found 460 fpm and took it way too high at 6,000'. That got me to goal in fifth position at 4,500'. The four guys in front of me found lift from four kilometers out and were able to stuff the bar in on the rest of the final glide.

https://airtribune.com/santa-cruz-flats-race-mark-knight-memorial-2018/results

Task 6:

# Name Glider Time Distance Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T2C 144 01:43:20 70.37 682
2 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 01:43:38 70.37 676
3 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 PRO 01:43:49 70.37 673
4 Dustin Martin Wills Wing T3Cx 144.2 01:44:46 70.37 666
5 Davis Straub Wills Wing T2C 144 01:58:05 70.37 607
6 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 PRO 02:10:34 70.37 539
7 Mitch Shipley Wills Wing T2C 144   53.79 401
8 Austin Marshall Wills Wing T2C 144   50.62 366
8 Oliver Chitty Moyes Rx5 Pro   50.16 366
10 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5   49.97 363

Final Results:

# Name Glider Total
1 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 3810
2 Oliver Chitty Moyes Rx5 Pro 3692
3 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 PRO 3620
4 Zac Majors Wills Wing T2C 144 3607
5 Dustin Martin Wills Wing T3Cx 144.2 3604
6 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 PRO 3313
7 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 3145
8 Davis Straub Wills Wing T2C 144 2964
9 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 2962
10 Mitch Shipley Wills Wing T2C 144 2829
11 Ben Dunn Moyes RX 3.5 2637
12 Patrick Pannese Wills Wing T2C 2556
13 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 2523
14 Kip Stone Moyes RX 5 PRO 2499
15 Greg Kendall Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 2359
16 Wayne Michelsen Icaro Laminar 2307
17 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T2C144 2197
18 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T2C 2194
19 Felix Cantesanu Aeros Combat C 12.7 2179
20 Glen Volk Moyes RX 3.5 2144

None of the ATOS Class gliders made it around the task, but Peter Cairns from Australia won the day (his first win here) getting almost to the last turnpoint. Fred Kaemerer won over all.

Greg Chastain won the day in Swift Class and the competition ahead of Chris Zimmerman, Brian Porter and Stephen Morris.

Dave Aldrich won the last day and Matt Pruett won overall in Sport Class with David in second and L.J. Omara in third.

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2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race »

September 19, 2018, 10:41:54 MST

2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race

The competition so far

Larry Bunner|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018

When I think of flying at the Santa Cruz Flats Race I think of weak thermals, low top of lift and good luck finding the next thermal. So far for me at least this has not been the case. It was true for the Sport Class pilots on Tuesday when the conditions got very weak when they launched and only a trickle of pilots were able to get out on the course line.

The first day was spectacular with pilots getting over 7,000' in the start cylinder and later out on the course. The light winds really helped make the thermals coherent and strong, as well as easy to find and stay in.

The Casa Grande mountains (hills) worked both on the way out and returning. Because of the good conditions (light winds, good lift, high enough top of lift) and the relatively short (75 km) task, we were able to fly in the best conditions for the day and get back early (3:30 PM) before the lift got weak.

On day two we had more winds, 7 - 9 mph out of the northwest. We were able to get to 7,000' in the start cylinder but I was only at 6,000' when we started. The Casa Grande mountains were still working well on the way out.

With the winds it was harder to find and stay in the thermals going east. A few pilots who were out in front didn't find lift before Newman Peak and went down. The lift at Newman Peak was okay, but just okay, and we expected a lot more and hoped to get much higher. We wanted a nice kick to get us going back up wind.

A few of us had to work up from down low in weak lift and got drifted back quickly nine kilometers west of Newman peak. But soon after that we easily found 500 fpm and got to 7,000'. There was more good lift as we aimed at the Casa Grande mountains for the final push to goal. Unfortunately at 4:15 PM there was very little lift there just above the peaks.

Other than the lack of reasonable lift on the way back to goal at the mountains it was a pretty good day with lift to be had for many pilots. The first pilots made goal at about 4:30 PM, so a task that was twenty kilometers longer took an hour longer to complete.

On day three it was up and down. In the start cylinder, I could only climb to 4,600' instead of 7,000' like the past two days. The wind out of the west was even stronger than the previous day. I could not get myself into a good location for the start gate.

Still even though I got low near the optimized point for leaving the start cylinder I was able to climb back up and get the second start time. There were thermals around that were not that hard to find. Five kilometers to the south west Sport Class pilots were not getting up.

While my first glide out on the course got me down to 700' there was a thermal to latch on to and good lift and then spectacular lift in the next thermal to 6,900'. I was able to work numerous other thermals, whose strength was not that great, but they were available to get me back up. The wind made it difficult to get high enough on the last thermal before the last turnpoint, but it was great that the thermals were still working at almost 5 PM.

Larry Bunner did amazing getting up from low over my landing spot and making goal at 5:45 PM. Weak lift for sure, but still there and working.

So far I've been very pleased with the conditions here and amazed that we can fly so late.

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2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race »

September 19, 2018, 8:23:10 MST

2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race

Day 3 Cumulative Results

ATOS VR|Ben Dunn|Brian Porter|Chris Zimmerman|competition|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Fred Kaemerer|Glen Volk|Greg Chastain|John Simon|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Phill Bloom|Rich Burton|Robin Hamilton|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Sara Weaver|Tyler Borradaile|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/santa-cruz-flats-race-mark-knight-memorial-2018/results

Open class:

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 789 891 937 2617
2 Oliver Chitty Moyes Rx5 Pro 985 987 616 2588
3 Zac Majors Wills Wing T2C 144 806 996 527 2329
4 Dustin Martin Wills Wing T3Cx 144.2 734 765 727 2226
5 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 512 839 777 2128
6 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 944 606 531 2081
7 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 PRO 919 228 931 2078
8 Davis Straub Wills Wing T2C 144 946 602 510 2058
9 Mitch Shipley Wills Wing T2C 144 823 585 542 1950
10 Glen Volk Moyes RX 3.5 850 518 487 1855
11 Kip Stone Moyes RX 5 PRO 726 576 538 1840
12 Ben Dunn Moyes RX 3.5 766 816 240 1822
13 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 708 235 860 1803
14 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T2C144 448 630 652 1730
15 Tyler Borradaile Moyes RX 3.5 PRO 752 585 390 1727

Sport Class:

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Matt Pruett Wills Wing U2 145 1000 775 41 1816
2 David Aldrich Wills Wing Sport 3 135 458 757 66 1281
3 L.J. Omara Wills wing U2 160 458 500 60 1018
4 Ric Caylor Moyes Gecko 170 753 197 41 991
5 Jeff Parrott Wills Wing U2 145 624 310 49 983
6 Bill Snyder Wills Wing u2 440 456 41 937
7 Sara Weaver Wills Wing Sport3 135 618 230 41 889
8 Abhishek Sethi Wills Wing U2 643 179 57 879
9 Mitch Sorby Wills Wing U2 427 405 41 873
10 Bill Comstock Wills Wing S3 458 170 41 669

ATOS Class:

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Fred Kaemerer AIR ATOS VR 1000 1000 925 2925
2 Peter Cairns A.I.R ATOS VQ 676 380 411 1467
3 Rich Burton Icaro Stratos 594 325 78 997

Swift Class:

# Name Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Chris Zimmerman Aeriane Swift'Light 991 964 990 2945
2 Greg Chastain Swift 773 1000 986 2759
3 Brian Porter Aeriane Swift 951 682 0 1633
4 Stephen Morris Bright Star Swift 287 220 672 1179

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2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race »

September 18, 2018, 9:25:14 pm MST

2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race

Day 3 Results

ATOS VR|competition|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Fred Kaemerer|Glen Volk|Greg Kendall|John Simon|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Moyes Litespeed RX|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

https://airtribune.com/santa-cruz-flats-race-mark-knight-memorial-2018/results

Task 3:

# Name Glider SS Time Distance Total
1 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 14:00:00 02:18:17 81.04 937
2 Jonny Durand Moyes RX 4 PRO 14:00:00 02:19:01 81.04 931
3 John Simon Aeros Combat C 12.7 14:20:00 02:20:29 81.04 860
4 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 14:00:00 02:42:56 81.04 777
5 Dustin Martin Wills Wing T3Cx 144.2 14:20:00 02:51:07 81.04 727
6 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T2C144 14:20:00 03:24:30 81.04 652
7 Oliver Chitty Moyes Rx5 Pro 14:00:00   72.00 616
8 Greg Kendall Moyes Litespeed RX3.5 14:00:00   69.79 571
9 Mitch Shipley Wills Wing T2C 144 14:00:00   65.00 542
10 Kip Stone Moyes RX 5 PRO 14:00:00   65.00 538
11 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 14:20:00   64.97 531
12 Zac Majors Wills Wing T2C 144 14:20:00   63.86 527
13 Peter Suchanek Wills Wing T2C 136 14:00:00   62.76 512
14 Davis Straub Wills Wing T2C 144 14:20:00   63.45 510
15 Glen Volk Moyes RX 3.5 14:00:00   59.07 487

Cumulative results haven't been posted yet. Kate, the scorekeeper, is likely fixing earlier results.

Fred Kaemerer, flying the latest tricked out version of the ATOS VR, won the day and it looks like he is leading over all.

The Swift results aren't final for the day as there is no score for Brian.

The Sport Class had a tough day with David Aldrich wining but only going 13.83 km.

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2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race »

September 17, 2018, 9:12:12 pm MST

2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race

Day 2 results

Ben Dunn|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Phill Bloom|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Phill Bloom|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Phill Bloom|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Phill Bloom|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|competition|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

Ben Dunn|Bruce Barmakian|competition|Davis Straub|Dustin Martin|Glen Volk|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mitchell "Mitch" Shipley|Mitch Shipley|Phill Bloom|Robin Hamilton|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|Wills Wing|Wills Wing T3|Zac Majors

You'll find all the results for all the four classes at the link below:

https://airtribune.com/santa-cruz-flats-race-mark-knight-memorial-2018/results

Task 2:

# Name Glider Time Distance Total
1 Zac Majors Wills Wing T2C 144 02:51:44 89.46 996
2 Oliver Chitty Moyes Rx5 Pro 02:52:02 89.46 987
3 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 03:09:08 89.46 891
4 Bruce Barmakian Aeros Combat 12.7 03:08:43 89.46 884
5 Kevin Dutt Aeros Combat 13.5 03:18:34 89.46 839
6 Ben Dunn Moyes RX 3.5 03:22:08 89.46 816
7 Dustin Martin Wills Wing T3Cx 144.2 03:43:09 89.46 765
8 Larry Bunner Wills Wing T2C144   86.50 630
9 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5   77.42 608
10 Davis Straub Wills Wing T2C 144   77.92 602

Cumulative:

  Name Glider T 1 T 2 Total
1 Oliver Chitty Moyes Rx5 Pro 985 987 1972
2 Zac Majors Wills Wing T2C 144 806 996 1802
3 Robin Hamilton Aeros Combat 13 789 891 1680
4 Ben Dunn Moyes RX 3.5 766 816 1582
5 Phill Bloom Moyes RX 3.5 944 608 1552
6 Davis Straub Wills Wing T2C 144 946 602 1548
7 Dustin Martin Wills Wing T3Cx 144.2 734 765 1499
8 Kevin Carter Wills Wing T2C 875 599 1474
9 Mitch Shipley Wills Wing T2C 144 823 586 1409
10 Glen Volk Moyes RX 3.5 850 526 1376

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2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race »

September 16, 2018, 9:37:07 pm MST

2018 Santa Cruz Flats Race

Day 1 is just a lot of fun for almost everyone

dust devil|Glen Volk|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon "Jonny" Durand jnr|Jon Durand Jnr|Kevin Carter|Larry Bunner|Mike Degtoff|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2018|weather

The task committee committed to a 75 km task before they came up with the task. The idea was to do a shorter task to get lots of pilots back to goal to start the competition with smiles all around. And besides the days are short now that it is mid September with Sunrise at 6:12 AM and Sunset is 6:33 PM.

Launch opened at 12:15 for the Swifts and ATOSes and 12:30 for the open pilots and the sport class started after them. We expected the lift to stop around 4 or 5 PM. With the first start gate at 1:40, that leaves two hours and twenty minutes to carry out the task. It's got to be short. This is not Big Spring.

With Larry Bunner stuck at the airport in Phoenix with a bomb scare, I subbed in as the weather man and the guy with SeeYou for task setting. We had half an hour to come up with a task among six people. Given a deadline like that it was easy to cut off debate.

The weather called for 500-700 fpm, light winds, top of lift going from 6,000' to 8,000' during the afternoon. The task committee came up with this 75 km task:

I was set to launch 10th, but the pilots in front of me were really reluctant to get going. I don't know what the story was. Finally I launched after a few pilots as I was ready to go. I pinned off at 1,400' AGL in 140 fpm. It took about 15 minutes to find 300 fpm to 5,900'. There were a few pilots around including Glen Volk and Patrick Pannese.

The top of lift kept rising and I was lucky enough to keep rising with it in weak lift getting to 7,000' just before the 1:40 PM start gate opened. 

I was out early with Jonny Durand and another pilot and they quickly let me take the lead. It was only 7.5 km to the optimized point on the cylinder around the next waypoint to the southeast. I hit it almost perfectly and turned east to go to the Casa Grande hills just south of town.

I found 200 fpm just before the hills but kept going when I saw Jonny go to the hills. He was above me and so was another pilot. The lift was 265 fpm just on the west side of the hills and Jonny and Kevin Carter were climbing above me. I had about four or five other pilots nearby including Glen Patrick, Ollie Chitty and Phil Bloom.

With Jonny and Kevin leaving before we got up we climbed to 6,400', spread out and headed east northeast to the next 400 meter radius turnpoint at Grogan. We found over 300 fpm up to 6,600' half way to there. As we approached the goal Jonny and Kevin were below us and turning.

We came in just under them them after the turnpoint but they got high over us again and headed out south southwest to the turnpoint at Sunland. We followed and about ten of us worked scattered 360 fpm lift about 7 kilometers down the course line to 6,900'. Five kilometers later four or five of us averaged 500 fpm to 7,300', the highest we'd been and the strongest lift.

As we approached the turnpoint another 7 km further south we saw Kevin and Jonny a ways below us heading north. The goal was to the north northwest. Glen and I made the turnpoint and headed north to get over Kevin and Jonny but didn't see them.

Instead of going along the course line Glen and I were heading for the Casa Grande hills. After a short climb back to 5,800' I glided into the hills at 2,600'. That was plenty to get over the lower ridges and I climbed with Glen who was just a little bit behind at 400 fpm to 7,200'. I could see a few pilots working along the course line out in the flats to our west.

We left the thermal when we were still climbing at almost 400 fpm with our instruments showing that we had goal by less than 10:1 and by over 1,500'. That was a mistake as we could have taken the thermal probably to 8,000'. We were facing a 5 mph northwest wind to goal. We were 17 kilometers out.

At 5.6 km out I was down to 1,300' AGL. Even with a 1 km goal cylinder it didn't look like I was going to make it. I fortunately found a nice semi-weak thermal at 260 fpm. Of course, at this point I held on to it a little too long climbing to 4,100'. Glen was behind me also fighting the head wind and working his way back up.

With plenty of altitude I headed fast for goal at 50+ mph air speed. I could see a shadow just in front of me of another pilot. I pulled in to go as fast as possible to see if I could catch the shadow. The glider was below me and just to my left but I could not see it, only the shadow. I couldn't quite catch him.

Turns out Ollie Chitty, Phil Bloom and I were first into goal. Jonny came along a bit later. Glen made it in also about 5 minutes later as did other pilots.

The launch crew saved a glider from a dust devil (Mike Degtoff photo):

Because we got back before 3:30 PM, we had plenty of time to relax. People were hanging out at the pool and drinking beers in the pool and just smiling and talking and enjoying the evening after a day that saw 107 degrees. I flew with two light under shirts and speed sleeves and it was marvelous.

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Out and return tasks

August 13, 2018, 8:50:59 CDT

Out and return tasks

Draw a 40 kilometer cylinder around the start point, go any direction, come back

Gary Osoba|Larry Bunner|weather

Larry Bunner <<lbunner>> writes:

The last two days of the 2018 Big Spring Nationals were quite difficult to predict weather wise for me. Even Gary Osoba was reluctant to offer his insights on the last day. I am still convinced that an out and return with a large radius exit cylinder that allows pilots to fly the task in the direction with the good weather would be the best answer on hard to predict days.

We wouldn’t have to change the task on the flight line as the weather conditions changed. In addition, it offers a new element of decision making to the race to goal format that is used all of the time in free flying. Unfortunately we couldn’t test it out.

Some pilots think there would be too much luck involved in such a task, but I think that is overreacting a bit. Sure there is an element of luck where a “lesser” pilot could take a line that produces a result better than the top pilots, but I think that would be an anomaly rather than the rule.

As you stated in the weekend's Oz Report there is luck involved already and this system has been in place for the past 40+ years. It is time to shake things up a bit and migrate toward tasks that reward individual decision making and less on the ability to follow other pilots.

It’s too bad that Florida isn’t conducive to this type of task. I doubt if I could convince the meet director to do this at SCFR but I’m gonna bring it up there.

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2018 Big Spring Nationals »

August 11, 2018, 9:18:08 pm CDT

2018 Big Spring Nationals

Only three tasks, but what flying!

Attila Bertok|Big Spring Nationals 2018|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Larry Bunner|Wills Wing

Attila Bertok|Big Spring Nationals 2018|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|Wills Wing

Attila Bertok|Big Spring Nationals 2018|competition|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|Wills Wing

Attila Bertok|Big Spring Nationals 2018|competition|Davis Straub|Derrick Turner|Larry Bunner|Robin Hamilton|Wills Wing

The task committee wouldn't call a task given the forecast of a 50% chance of rain, radar images showing approaching storms, and what happened the day before.

It looked later like we might have been able to get a smaller task in launching around 2:00 PM.

Attila has won the Big Spring Nationals once again. He's come to fly at Big Spring four times and won every time. He flies well in Forbes-like conditions. He pushes hard.

My results as the second placing pilot really highlights the prominent role that luck plays in a hang gliding competition. Looking at the scores of the top few finishers in the open class you can see that they are quite closely spaced after Attila:

https://airtribune.com/2018-big-spring-national-series/results

# Name Nat Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Attila Bertok HUN Moyes RX 5 Pro 933 902 967 2802
2 Davis Straub USA Wills Wing T2C 144 704 775 848 2327
3 Rodolfo Gotes MEX Wills Wing T2C 144 680 973 666 2319
4 Robin Hamilton USA Aeros Combat 13 846 812 658 2316
5 Larry Bunner USA Wills Wing T2C144 906 722 677 2305

Photo by Audray Luck

Any one of the pilots in second through fifth place could have been in second place. Robin and Rudy were tied before all the results were calculated.

There were many other opportunities for both good and bad luck as well as tactical errors.

I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to take the first start clock on Monday, the first task, and get way out ahead of other pilots. It was my sixth thermal inside the start cylinder and while I worked to stay in the start cylinder against the strong south wind it just worked out that I was approaching the north edge of the start cylinder just as I topped out in the best thermal so far. So I got a great start which really helps the morale. Being in front really helps also as I'm not trying to catch anyone.

I was able to stay in front by flying as fast as possible and luckily finding good lift. I only got a little bit low at two points on the first leg, but there were plenty of cu's to indicate thermals and they worked for me.

I made a tactical error after getting the turnpoint by not heading due east even though I thought I was. That caused me to not make goal as I was pushed too far down wind. I didn't take the strong south wind as seriously as I should have and got low very quickly. The bad luck for Rudy which helped me was that he didn't make goal that day and behind me in points (although slightly closer to goal). I was eighth for the day with good leading points.

On the second task I was fortunate to be able to recover from not being able to get good starts at the first and second clocks by finding a strong thermal under a cu that I spotted to the east, which is where I really wanted to be upwind. I was able to find strong thermals when down three times below 2,000' AGL and then work a strong thermal before the last turnpoint to 10,800' which allowed me to pass Larry Bunner who started out at the second start clock.

Strong lift allowed me to fly fast and get up quickly from lower altitudes. I was again eighth for the day. The bad luck was that Bruce, Zac and Glen did not make goal and that eighteen pilots did, drastically reducing the total distance points available and greatly upping the value of making it to goal.

On the third task I was again able to get where I wanted to start upwind of the course line in time for a good start. The sky was full of cu's which beckoned good luck with lots of lift indicators to choose from.

With the tough cross wind legs it was lucky to have great thermal indicators and I pushed upwind to get to them. I was having a hard time with the last turnpoint as I had forgotten just how big its radius was. I had not realized that I could set one of the user fields on my Flytec 6030 to "Distance to Optimized Point," so I was confused abut the cross track error being plus 12 km (upwind) but the waypoint 12 km away. Looking at the map view showed that I was near the edge of the cylinder and that I would be fine.

Fortunately I drifted right into the cylinder in a thermal and much reduced the length of the last leg into the strong head wind.

I could see a cu ahead along the last leg and even though I was not willing to go with the pilot just ahead of me, who turned out to be Attila, I was able to get plenty of lift that got me to goal high. I am very wary of final gliding into a strong head wind. Many pilots landed just short on that day. A shelf of cirrus clouds came over just after I landed and cut down the lift. Larry landed short. I was fifth that day.

Bad luck caught Larry just short of goal. In addition, Robin and Glen landed short. Derrick Turner landed short on the first day far back enough that two goal landings didn't help enough. Bruce landed way short.

The final stroke of luck was the small number of days for the competition, only three tasks. Therefore the law of large numbers did not have the opportunity to play out, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_large_numbers.

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More flying at the 2018 Big Spring Nationals

August 9, 2018, 8:33:20 pm CDT

More flying at the 2018 Big Spring Nationals

A later start time

Gary Osoba|Larry Bunner

On this day (Tuesday, the second task day) I was not quite as fortunate as I was on the first task. I had been at 9,400' waiting for the start window to open but was lower at 8,300' but 4 km from the edge of the start cylinder at the first start time. I decided to wait for the second start as only one pilot had headed out. By the time the second start window came around I was down to 5,900' and 2.5 km for the edge of the start cylinder. Larry Bunner would take off but I would have to wait again for the third clock.

I spotted a cu to the south east with Gary Osoba circling in his Stemme (glider) near it. I wanted to go that direction anyway to get upwind of the course line so off I went.

I got in under the cu at 6,300' at just before the third start window opened, half a kilometer away from the edge of the start cylinder and climbed out at 550 fpm through the edge to 9,300'. I was very lucky to get that lift in exactly the right spot, even if I was five minutes late to going on glide.

The task line was right down wind to the north northwest and with cu's along the course line, unlike the area to the west where most of the pilots were. I was able to make great time and start catching up with the pilots who took the second clock.

The second leg was to the west northwest which still offered some tail wind component. It was a bit soft and I was down below 5,000' before I found the core of 530 fpm thermal near highway 87 back to over 9,200'.

The cu's had mostly disappeared and it was a bit trickier finding lift heading to the turnpoint. I was close to Larry Bunner but he was getting reasonable lift upwind a few kilometers south of the turnpoint. I went into the turnpoint 2 km radius cylinder over the small town and found 440 fpm just north of the small town. This put me downwind of the course line but back to 9,000' up from 5,200'. The wind was 16 mph at 162 degrees.

Reflecting on the lesson from the day before I was actually able to head east and get upwind of the course line and find lift from 5,000'. I had to work some thermals averaging around 300 fpm, but I had positioned myself correctly and when the 19 mph wind took me back to the course line I was still in a good position.  The course line was to the north northwest which was perfect for the now south southeast winds.

There was light sink along the the course line so I was able to glide for ten kilometers until just before the turnpoint and enter the thermal at 7,400'.  This beaut of the thermal averaged 4440 fpm and got me to 10,800' just in time to nick the 8KM turnpoint around the Tahoka airfield.

The wind was 19 mph at 166 degrees I headed due west for 27 kilometers toward the Brownfield airfield. I was north of the course line but it looked good.

At 22 kilometers out from goal I climbed back to 10,300'. That made it plenty of altitude to make it to goal.

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