Initially we were thinking of cancelling the day due to forecast high winds later on but the morning winds on the Butte (30 mph) died down so up we went. It was actually pretty nice on launch with nice cycles and not off Green Monster (a bad direction for windy days) so we set a shortish task of ~66 km to Coulee City airport, via Mansfield, to get everyone on the ground early before the forecasted winds as the front moves through this evening. And instead of a race start, we used 4 start gates so pilots could transition over to the rim when they were high enough and not have to wait around, drifting out of the start cylinder, for a mass race start.
At least that was the plan. In actuality most pilots chose to wait until the final start gate (only a few took the first one). This was because we were unable to climb high enough for the glide across the Columbia river (usually at least 2400m and preferably more) as we were only getting 2000m. Finally we were able to get to around 2200m as the final start gate came and went so it essentially turned into a race start anyways with everyone leaving at once.
|I had a lovely walk today!
It was actually a pretty nice walk towards the main road to Mansfield and the retrieve truck actually came and found me so it was very efficient. I had my sun umbrella and plenty of water so I wasn't worried, and saw lots of deer bounding off as I disturbed them from their mid-afternoon nap. A beautiful walk and I wasn't too broken up about landing early, as I've had 3 good days of flying and lots of flight hours, and it's a treat to come back to HQ early!
Reports are that Andrew Berkley made goal as well as a handful (?) of other pilots according to the Chelan Flats SPOT page. Congrats to Andrew on well-done flight!