The month of March had 3 -over-20 dgr.-days here in Holland and belongs to the top 3 of the warmest, driest [only 33 mm. of rain normally that’s double or more] and sunniest [ 205 hours of sun instead of 198] month in history.The fantastic weather in parts of Europe attracts pilots to travel AND to make pictures! And what pictures!!!
Dutch pilots on their way to the Alps in France, having a break.
Some of the Dutch pilots are flying in Vinon. Among them double WGC Champion Bear Selen with some members of the club from Venlo in the S. of Holland.Also Robert Werts is there with his Nimbus 3DT, he flew in the past 2 times a 1000 from Venlo.
” Always ” there is Erik Borgmann, 2d at the Borlange WGC ; he lives close by.
About 13 other friends /pilots from Holland fly in Saint Auban.
As well as Denis Guerin one of the pilots representing France in Finland at the upcoming WGC.
The WOW factor!
L’Adamello and Torri del Vajolet.
Courtesy Walter Giordani from Italy on March 28 2014.
Down-under they still fly 300 km. FAI triangles . Both from Lake Keepit and Tocumwal in JS 1 [extended to 412] and ASH 26 [extended to 376] and …on the last day of March.
The first day of April started good……..2 TIMES a 1000 from St Gaudens [ in the French Haute -Garonne in the Mid Pyrenees] in a DG 600 17 m and an ARCUS M [Robert Prat.]in what must have been great wave!
In March some of the Belgium pilots practiced there, among them the representative in open class, Daan Spruyt, who will fly a NIMBUS 4 DM in Poland.The other open class pilot in Leszno from Belgium is Pierre de Broqueville in his EB 28.
Last year I wrote about Mitch Polinsky, who had a few awesome flights from ELY flying in the Great Bassin of Nevada/Utah.
Mitch after one of his record flights.
In March 2014 , the USA Magazine Soaring spend 5 pages on what Mitch achieved and I share some parts of his story with you, because his self reflection turns out, to a very interesting story with moments in it we all might know/have experienced.
It was touching to read that he dedicated the article to a friend who died earlier in the year and who was loved by ALL who knew him; meteorologist Doug Armstrong.
” My flying took off last summer in a way that delighted and puzzled me. Although I had never set a record previously in twenty-five years of soaring, I achieved eight U.S. national records over a period of six weeks in the summer of 2013.”
After a period in which he never thought of himself as one of the top-tier Great Basin thermal pilots.
” I was solidly in the second-tier, even though I aspired to fly like these guys.”
The facts first about his great soaring in the Great Basin of Nevada/Utah ;
Free triangle distance: 1157.2 km.
Triangle speed 1000 km: 133.77 km/h.[not submitted b/c surpassed on 7/18/13]
Distance up to 3 TPs: 1070.67 km
Triangle distance: 1070.25 km
Triangle speed 1000 km: 138.99 km/h
Triangle speed 750 km: 150.72 km/h
Triangle speed 500 km: 156.87 km/h
Triangle speed 300 km: 156.87 km/h
Out-and-return speed 500 km:155.77 km/h
All of these flights were done from Ely except for the last one, which was done from Parowan.
NE near ELY …………………AND …………………… near ELY [by Hugh Milne]
Mitch has his own philosophy about gliding . Being a professor in economics at Stanford Law School, he has a few professional obligations during the summer, other than continuing to do research and writing.So he has to juggle with his time .
But he loves soaring and every year he makes time in summer ,to fly . Also in the summer of 2013 flying from ELY.
One day after his arrival, he was invited to fly with John Bally in a two-seat EB 28 . John flew some great flights early in that season and Mitch had seen that on the OLC and wanted to know how he did that. So he talked with him before John left. The invitation to fly with him was accepted eagerly and changed his look on flying. It inspired him!
Conclusion; What John did was “simply” the superb execution of the same lessons ” as I had learned from my instructors/mentors.”
” I was inspired to think that if I just concentrated on doing better what I knew I should be doing, I might be able to improve my flying outcomes significantly. “
So he changed from old habits to new ones by ,
1. focusing more on his soaring,[ instead of being on a conference- phone-call, while putting water ballast in the glider]
2. preparing himself better,[ I found time to study weather forecasts more thoroughly than I had in the past]
3. launching in time[and not an hour later because of distractions] and
4. declaring his tasks.
A week later he flew the longest flight of his life (1244 km on the OLC), including the longest triangle of his life (1157 km), and broke his first record !!!!
In the end , 5. risk management was added. Though he considers himself a conservative pilot in terms of safety , he scared himself twice in that month.
“ I knew I was pushing myself harder than usual in order to have a chance at accomplishing the record flights” ,but this consisted mainly of taking “inconvenience risks,” where he might have to motor home a long distance or land at another airport.
On his final day of flying last summer, he landed not back in Parowan as widespread thunderstorms were hanging around there, but in Cedar City about 30 k S. from Parowan.
“I expected the stormy weather around Parowan to clear and planned to take off from Cedar City about a half-hour before sunset and land back at Parowan” .
By the time he got back there,the cross wind was too strong to land there, so he returned back to Cedar City to stay there for the night.
BUT,…the cross-wind there was as strong.” The only option then, now that it was sunset, was to land on the auxiliary runway, which only had a 30 dgr. cross wind component . I knew it was narrow, but only after I had landed I noticed that I had landed on a 60 foot wide runway with a 69 foot wingspan. ”
The landing was in very gusty conditions and he bounced hard, but remained in control. Near the end of the roll-out a gust caused the right wing tip to go down just off the runway, scraping the bottom of it. Luckily the only damage was cosmetic.
” I’ve got a new goal for next summer; no more scares!”
I can advise you to read the full story, this is just a short extract from 5 pages in the USA MAGAZINE SOARING.
Thanks to both Mitch and the SSA/SOARING MAGAZINE [ Chuck Coyne] for allowing me to use the quotes.
Happy sounds from Kentucky in Australia. We knew already that the drought was broken but Bruce send some proof of green paddocks as well after a good drop of rain. By the way Bruce is one of the 3 Australian participants in the French Grand Prix.
Pictures as shared by Bruce AND good to see.
And to finish another nice recent picture this time from France;
Courtesy Philippe de Pechy.
See you next week,
On Wednesday April 2 2014