Monday, August 6, 2012

Pemberton Canadian Nats August 6

The weather forecast was for increasing winds and possible thunderstorms this afternoon coming from the south, so we made a short 42km task that would keep us to the north and out of the approaching weather, with a goal field at the foot of the Hurley Pass.

We convinced pilots to launch earlier in the open launch window (compared to yesterday when many waited until the last minute and were late or low for the start) and most pilots were in the air by the time the start window occurred.  It was windy from the WSW but not unmanageable, and given the ridge running that we'd be doing, being super-high wasn't necessary.  The cu's were starting to form as the front approached which made the lift easier to find, but they stayed small and popcorn-like the further north we went on task.
The skies on the glide into goal. Goal is the green field
just NW of the brown plowed field.

Meanwhile to the south it was ODing in Whistler and over Lillooet Lake, but the task route stayed clear and sunny.  I was probably 10-12th in goal with many pilots coming in after me for something like 20-25 pilots in goal.  A cell was ODing over Owl Peak, the last TP, but most people were on the ground already and packed up as we watched it starting to rain to the south in Pemberton.

I'm becoming more and more confident on this glider; the sink rate is amazing as well as the performance into wind.  I'm not as fast as some pilots who are heavier on their gliders, and I'm still not using the speed bar to its full potential (I dared to go to 2/3's on final glide today!!) but I'd rather take things conservatively and have a positive learning experience.  At some point I hope to be flying this machine at 100%!

It was only on the drive back that we noticed a couple of gliders still in the air, right under the brewing thunderstorm over Owl Peak (!).  I was amazed that they were still in the air as it looked obvious that they shouldn't be under such a thing.  I think there was a miscommunication as I heard nobody in the air calling level 3 and nobody official was stopping the task for these final few pilots still in the air.  Having said that, pilots need to also take personal responsibility for their own flying and not rely on the organization to tell them what to do.  I think there will be some more discussion at tomorrow's pilot meeting regarding the safety committee and personal flying judgement.

1 comment:

  1. Great bloggin Nicole...amazing how a comp can impair ones judgement. I heard that there were 5 reserve tosses yesterday, 1 tree landing and 2 helicopter extractions..not good stats for the organizers...of course , they can do only only so much..each individual gas the responsibility to fly safely

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