Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Papa Seven 30 Kilometers Out"

Just got Gary's call that he's 30k out.  He'll be finishing in about 9 minutes.

DB and SS Home

DB and SS finished together and have landed.

"ZL Finish"

Dave Leonard (ZL) just called his finish and is entering the landing pattern.  Ron Tabery (SS) and Dick Butler (DB) are on final glide. 

Concordia Today

On Course

They're all out there now and we can hear the radio communication between DB and SS clearly on the Team Radio.  Of course, neither ZL or P7 have a flying partner today, so they are  quiet.  Both of these gentlemen are naturally quiet, anyway.  

The WGC Management have arranged for fifteen tracking transmitters that will be placed in five sailplanes in each of the three classes each day.  These devices update very rapidly and when you click on a competitor, their altitude profile is also displayed.  Dick Butler has a tracker installed in Concordia today.  You can watch DB and fourteen other competitors here:


They're Up!

Launch is complete.  DB, SS, P7 and ZL are all airborne.  Both the Open Class and 18 Meter gates are now open.  The 15 Meter gate will open at 1447.

Official Practice Day 4

Well, yesterday got very busy in the Team Office and I didn't have time to write anything while all six US Team pilots flew their tasks.  For today, we will have four pilots up and racing.  Bill Elliott and John Seaborn are taking rest days.  

Pete Alexander has sniffed his way up to 5,200 feet and today's launch will begin in just a few minutes at 1335.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Official Practice Day 3

One of the "sniffers" here is Pete Alexander who is flying his beautiful new two-seat Arcus sailplane on behalf of the Contest Management.  For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a sniffer is a pilot that is sent aloft prior to the beginning of a contest launch.  His function is to make an actual observation of the lift that is available.  The Competition Director will then base his decision on when to begin launching all of the contest gliders.  Today, Pete reported weak lift at 1230, so the decision was made to delay the launch and give time for conditions to improve.  Twenty minutes later, Pete reported climbing through 4,000 feet and the launch is beginning now.

We think Pete is one Sniff-tastic Dude. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Official Practice Day 2 Completed

All three U.S. Team pilots that flew today, WE, ZL and A8, completed their tasks and have landed safely back in Uvalde.
Ron Tabery's ASW-22 BLE ready for scrutineering today

Official Practice Day 2

Launch is in progress with 18 Meter pilot Bill Elliott (WE) now airborne.  The 18 Meter gate opened three minutes ago at 1348 (CDT).  15 Meter pilots, John Seaborn (A8) and Dave Leonard (ZL) await their launch.  WE just called in his start at 1353.    

Saturday, July 28, 2012

P7 reported 30 miles out on final glide about 15 minutes ago.  P7 just finished and is in the pattern to land.
First Official Practice Day

Three pilots flew tasks today.  A8 and ZL have both landed back at Uvalde.  P7 is still out there on course and I'm standing by to hear from him on the team radio.  SS and DB have both just arrived and their crews are towing them to the assembly area. WE took the day off to rest.
Good afternoon from Garner Field in Uvalde, Texas.  For those of you who don't know me, my name's Dennis Linnekin and I will serve the six pilots and eleven crew members of the US Soaring Team as their Team Captain for these 2012 World Gliding Championships here in Uvalde.  I'll be sending out blogs as often as possible to help keep you informed on the US Team as we progress through the contest.  I hope you'll enjoy them!

The US Team has been preparing for this competition literally since the close of the 2010 WGC in Szeged, Hungary.  Great effort has been expended in practice with an emphasis on team flying techniques.  Most US Team pilots met at the Chilhowee Gliderport in Tennessee earlier this year for a US Team Coaching Camp.  We were very fortunate to have Brian Spreckley as our coach for the week-long camp.  Brian was the 15 Meter World Champion in 1987 and did a fabulous job in mentoring, critiquing and improving our Team.

Our 18 Meter pilots, Bill Elliott (WE) and Gary Ittner (P7), arrived in Uvalde about six days ago and flew together several days during the unofficial practice period.  John Seaborn (A8) was next to arrive followed yesterday by Dave Leonard (ZL), so our 15 Meter guys are here, too.  Open Class pilots, Ron Tabery (SS) and Dick Butler (DB), have been practicing all week at an undisclosed location.  As you're probably aware, DB been in the flight test mode with his beautiful new ship, Concordia.  Well, today's the day he'll take off the wraps and introduce her to the world!  Butler and Tabery should be airborne now and enroute in their ships to Uvalde.  They are planning to land here together between 5 and 7 pm this evening.  As you can imagine, we're really excited to watch their arrival and have our Team complete!