Hello Members!!! I, the friendly Sheriff will be giving you a day to day
rundown on the events of Goal Strike. I will try to give this through "Goal
Strike Virgin" eyes so that those of you who couldn't make it can either
vicariously live the experience through me, or simply delete my E-mail. (I'd go
for delete, if I were you.)
Day One - Travel day
I took off work at 12:30 after much begging and cajoling to my boss telling him
that I needed to hit the road. These subtle hints along with the airplane
sitting in the parking lot seemed to do the trick!! Off I went to my great Goal
Strike adventure. The trip was rather uneventful other than a small problem
with my aileron locks that forced me to substitute them with rags. After a call
from George Powell while I was on the road instructing me to not stop in Jean,
rather to turn west and go to Goodsprings where they were drinking adult
beverages. After the long trip, I gladly made the turn away from Jean to join
The Sheriff unloads his weapon on the hapless
town of Jean. (Notice the casino’s in the background)
As I walked into the bar, I immediately knew that "The Pioneer Saloon" was
going to be something different. There is nothing in that bar that is newer
than 1980. Most of it is much older than that. It turns out that the bar was
established in 1913 by the miners of the area. It has the original mahogany bar
and complete wood interior. It turns out that this bar's claim to fame was that
Clark Gable waited there as his wife's body was removed from the wreckage of a
plane crash in the mountains. I thought that this story was a GREAT way to
start my adventure, as it seemed, from observation on my drive that safe places
to land out were pretty sparse around these parts.
After a couple of beers and some fantastic entertainment which I will talk
about more in the next "Issue" of the Goal Strike Report, George and I took the
plane to the airport. We tied it down and returned to the hotel, which is a
gaudy, Vegas - style Casino designed to look like a Mississippi steam ship,
hence the name "Nevada Landing" And that concludes my day. Hopefully we will
have pictures tomorrow night.
Goal Strike Day – Saturday
Hawkeye landing on Valley View Road.
Here is the full report as promised. I am sitting down at breakfast with George
Powell as we speak getting together the events from yesterday. Garry Dickson
and Joedy Gregory made 180-mile flights to Tonopah, and George Powell made a
90-mile flight to Valley View Road with landing. Pete Donath landed on
Haul Road six miles away from the airport garnering him the “Down Duckling”
award, given to the pilot who lands out nearest to the field.
Hawkeye and Mark Greenstone find out about all
the advantages of having GPS
Joedy Gregory and Garry Dickson will share the “Captain Monkey” award for their
flight to Tonopah. Obviously “Captain Monkey” is for the furthest flight of the
day. (Editors note, all stories are subject to revision.) Mark
Greenstone flew a GREAT sweepstakes flight of 34.2 miles for the bronze
category. However, because he did not initialize his GPS or take turn point
pictures, it did not count. He will be doing it again today with initialized
And now it’s time for “The rest of the story” with Merle Clements. It seems
that on Friday Merle and Wayne Walker picked up Wayne’s glider at Warner
Springs and headed for Jean. Halfway to Jean, Wayne’s Ford Taurus blew up. At
the hellhole town called Amboy (Which indecently is for sale on E-Bay! Buy now!
If you think I’m kidding, look it up!) They had to dig a hole in order to get
the trailer that had showed up down to ground level so that they could get the
vehicle up on the trailer. They then proceeded to tow the car around in circles
with a pickup truck until enough speed was gained to let the car roll up on the
trailer. The vehicle went west on the trailer, the glider went south, and Merle
hitchhiked north arriving in time for the LVVSA picnic. More updates on this
riveting story to follow.
It has become a group goal in commemoration of Wilbur and Orville’s flight to
fly the distance from Jean to Killdevil hills…2,209 Sweepstakes Miles.
Remember, these are just the warm up’s, Goal Strike has not even started
Goal Strike Day – Sunday
Cu’s over Mt. Charleston
The terrain in Jean can be somewhat
intimidating, but as I found out there are plenty of places to land.
As I got out of bed on Sunday, Bill Vickland got up and asked me “Gee, I wonder
what the weather is going to be like”?
“Hot and sunny is my guess, Bill”
And so it was, hot and very sunny. The temperatures today peaked out at about
104, and the first thing on my agenda was to get my airplane so that Bill
Vickland could be comfortable in it. This was not nearly as large a project as
I thought it would be, and we had him set and ready to go in about an hour.
Bill had a great flight of around 90 miles, although we have not had a chance
to analyze the flights yet because I’ve been so busy. I will analyze all the
flights upon my return from this great adventure!!!
Adiamo, AKA Captain Zap puts on his best “Teddy
Bear” charm for Mike Wells’ daughter and crew, Melissa.
The Longest flight of today was Garry Dickson, from Jean to Fran’s Star Ranch,
and back to Hidden Hills strip. An incredible 196 miles! The next was Jody
Gregory who flew the same course, but landed at Calvada Meadows airport for
175. We are well on our way to our “Kitty Hawk” Goal for Goal Strike. The next
update will be the official start of Goal strike, Monday, day one. Until then,
here are some pictures of the happenings.
Dell unveils the new Goal Strike shirts with
HUGE pomp and circumstance. The colors?? Air Force blue, of course!!! At the
request of your humble Sheriff.
Goal Strike Day One Results, and Tuesday Events.
As I am writing this, I am sitting in a restaurant simply labeled “BBQ” on the
far north side of the town of Pahrump. It is a beautifully over decorated place
with a husband and wife team running it. She is known affectionately as “The
bitch” (She also describes herself that way). When you order your food, you’d
better get something that is on the menu and you’d better clean your plate, or
you’re in for a butt chewing.
There were three 1-26’s who landed here specifically in order to take this
abuse. George Powell, Steve Whiting, Bill Vickland, and Jimmy Zapata all came
down with the plan to land and eat at this restaurant. Not for records, not for
speed, but simply to have fun flying and be with their friends. I sometimes
wonder if glass pilots would ever even conceder this type of event. We fly in a
sport which is as pure as flying comes to mankind in any form, and I think,
that the 1-26ers are the one’s who appreciate the beauty, and the fun that is
involved in flying the most.
George Powell overflies and sets up to land at
Calveda Meadows airport in Pahrump, NV
As the sun sets on another great day of flying, there are four 1-26’s all
headed down a lonesome Nevada highway in a row, safe and sound to fly another
day. As we pass by the billboard advertising a cathouse on our way back to
Vegas, I can’t help but to smile and wonder again if us glider pilots don’t
truly know what the secret of life is.
And The Award Goes To…
All the guys pose outside the BBQ joint in
Pahrump, with the owner, waitress, and bartender. (All the same gal) In the
background is Mt. Charleston.
Captain Monkey award - Garry Dickson also flew to Tonopah for a total of 187
miles. His usual partner in crime, Jodey Gregory also joined him in Tonopah,
however, Gary rolled five feet further than Jodey did, thereby garnering the
longest flight of the day.
Wayne Walker discusses details with Del as Bob
Hurni looks on.
Wayne transfers the Downed Duckling award to
All the guys at shirt night.
The Sheriff works hard on today’s update, and
downloading track logs while drinking at the pioneer.
Our “Downed Duckling” award went to Wayne (Sky) Walker for a 32.5 mile flight.
Wayne said that he actually flew 121 ½ miles, according to the GPS, but only
32.5 of it involved a turn point. He landed in a gravel pit off the side of the
highway. Mike Wills flew an incredible 143 miles for the bronze category. Jim
Zapata flew this entire flight with Mike, however he was at a slight
disadvantage because he had NO varios. He spent the entire flight flying with
feel, and watching for the altimeter to go up. Lane Decker flew 51 miles to
Calveda Meadows airport for a bronze category flight as well. Bob Hurni flew
144 miles, Del Bloomquest flew about 88 miles and George Powell after having
some trouble in the beginning, had to take three tows before he finally flew a
104 mile flight, while his crew won $90 at the casino at Whisky Pete’s.
Garry Dickson receives the Captain Monkey
We are on our way BACK from Kitty Hawk! Kitty Hawk is 2,209 miles from Jean. We
have flown approximately (No way to tell an official number until I can add the
mileage up completely) 2,300 miles We have rounded the turn!! This means that
we are going to start flying back to Jean from Kitty Hawk now, and show that
those guys in their glass ships this summer really aren’t doing anything
Tonight was “Dirty Shirt Night” at the Pioneer saloon. The instructions were
for everyone to wear the dirtiest (Meaning graphic, not stinky) T-Shirt they
could find. Yet another excuse to wear horrible clothes and get together and
drink! Who needs Golf?!
Goal Strike Day Two!!!
Here are the raw numbers from Tuesday…
Wayne “Sky” Walker
Bill “Mustang” Vickland
George “Hawkeye” Powell
Garry “2x4” Dixon
Mike “Sparky” Wills
Joedy “Cheech” Gregory
For a grand total of around 900 Sweepstakes miles flown for the day!! We now
have 3,400 miles towards our out and return “Trip” to Kitty Hawk.
The Pilot’s Meeting
A couple of interesting stories came about during the pilot’s meeting. I typed
like a stenographer while the people were talking in order to try to get them
down with accuracy. So here they are, as told by the individual, through my
clumsy fingers on the keyboard.
Wayne Walker and his Gravel pits, made a landing in his THIRD gravel pit for
the contest. After running to Mt. Charleston and working the ridges, he pressed
on to Jackass with plenty of altitude, decided that he had to take a pee.
Trying to grab the turkey baster, the airplane is doing all kinds of
wifferdills as he franticly reaches for his relief tube, and he finally
realized that he was getting kinda low. He couldn’t make the airport at
jackass, so he landed on a gravel pit just on the east side of Jackass. More
car troubles for Wayne as well. The muffler is going out on his truck, so when
Merle pulled up with his crew car, Wayne could hear him coming from the
Hawkeye awaits take off.
Joedy Gregory got pulled over in Pahrump, on his way home from his flight. He
stepped it up to 70 on the way out of Pahrump, and sure enough here come the
lights! He’s got his handheld radio on in the truck and as his buddies drive by
with their airplanes in tow, all the officer could hear as he walked up was
“Holey crap, they got Jodey!!” The officer asked him all about the airplane,
and said “I’ve been watching you guys come through here every day”. He got out
without a ticket, and the officer left with information on how he could get
into soaring! Who says that you can’t promote the sport ANYWHERE? Oh yeah, he
had a great flight too.
Bob Hurni and Steve Whiting await take off
Almost the whole gang at the casino posing for
George Powell was awarded the “Down Duckling” award, as his landing from
yesterday at Calveda Meadows with no turn points garnered him the honor. Garry
Dixon once again took home the “Captain Monkey” Award for his spectacular
flight on Tuesday. Way to go, Garry!!
Jimmy Zapata’s crew, Ron Crawford strikes it
rich with a $75 dollar win on this slot machine.
Events for Wednesday
Wednesday turned into a rest day after three people launched and immediately
had trouble getting above 7000 MSL. The weather was hot, and the crews and the
pilot’s all needed a break. It was decided that everyone would to up to the Rio
casino in Vegas and have dinner, and a bit of fun around this huge casino as
well. I have included a couple pictures from tonight here.
First of all, let me thank you for the magnificent job you did passing the word
to the 1-26ers describing our Goal Strike adventures. You do good work! Also,
many thanks to Mike Havener for organizing the unorganizable and posting those
pics on the website.
Here is a preliminary report:
Friday, June 6:
"One Flew Over the Cherry Patch."
I don't know any of the Sweepstakes mileages, but I can tell you where the
northbound contingent landed. Two By Four, High Gross, and Hawkeye dug out of
the Jean Valley and headed across the Blue Diamond Pass just before it
overdeveloped and rained at Jean. As we headed north up the Parumph Valley west
of Mt. Charleston, Joedy radioed that his bird (#187) was on the trailer and he
and Kathleen were on their way to Bishop to make another attempt to earn that
elusive goal: Diamond Distance in a 1-26. Garry and I made the decision in the
air to join Joedy and give the Owens Valley a try on Saturday. About the time
my crew, Greg Sperbeck, reached Cherry Patch road, Jim Leary radioed that
Garry's truck had blown a tire. He was on the same back road where I had landed
Hawkeye on Monday. Garry aborted his flight and landed on the Cherry Patch Dry
Lake. Del waved as he passed overhead on his way to Jackass. I landed Hawkeye
at Calvada Meadows. As Greg and I were de-rigging, Joedy and Kathleen drove
into the airport followed by Jim with the blown tire. Joedy took the bad tire
to Parumph for repairs. Jim sped off to the dry lake to retrieve Garry. Poor
Garry had to wait on the dry lake for over an hour and a half in 105 degree
temperatures. Jim reported that Garry was well-done on both sides when he
arrived. Within the hour we rendezvoused for a short cool beer at the Short
Branch Saloon and headed north. As we passed through Jackass, Del and Tom
rolled out of the airport with 144 on the trailer.
Rumor has it that Wayne Walker landed Skywalker on Haul Road during the rain
storm. If this is true, it appears that Del captured "Captain Monkey" and Wayne
won the coveted "Downed Duckling" award on Friday.
Joedy Gregory makes a victory pass after
completing his Diamond Distance
Saturday, June 7:
"Thar's Diamonds in Them Thar Hills!"
Looks like Kathleen get's her diamond too!
By 11am Saturday, cu's were popping over the White mountains and the Sierras.
187, 2x4 and Hawkeye were at the Bishop airport, rigged and ready to go. Joedy
made his diamond distance declaration: Bishop -- Montgomery Pass -- Dolomite
Mine -- Boundary Peak. If he could make it from Boundary Peak to Manzanar, he
would have his 500 km. Our faithful crews waited patiently at the Bishop
airport while 2x4 and Hawkeye joined in the fun to earn a few Sweepstakes
miles. It was indeed a merry chase. The three 1-26s raced along the White
Mountains under cloud streets, puffy cu's and through sheets of virga. Cruising
altitudes varied from 14,000' to 18,000'. When flying downwind, ground speeds
approached the speed of heat. However, the temperatures at 18,000' were
anything but hot. It was so cold at altitude that, at times, the virga turned
into snow, our drinking water turned into ice and we shivered and shook in our
short sleeve Goal Strike T-shirts until our teeth were chattering. Joedy made
the turn at Montgomery Pass, raced south over Westgard Pass to the Dolomite
mine, back up the Inyo and White mountains to Boundary Peak and again headed
south -- this time toward Manzanar. (A WWII Japanese internment camp). Joedy
not only reached Manzanar, but flew on past it to the Lone Pine airport, where
he made lazy circles in the sky waiting for Kathleen to arrive. (She had
stopped enroute to buy a bottle of champagne.) By the time Kathleen, Greg and
Jim arrived at the Lone Pine airport we could hear Hangman on the radio. He was
racing up the highway toward Lone Pine with #042 in tow. Two By Four and
Hawkeye landed and we all watched Joedy make a high speed, low-level victory
pass over our heads. He landed with a mile-wide smile on his face which was
immediately covered with sloppy kisses from Kathleen and doused with a bottle
of champagne. Joedy has been trying for 10 years to fly diamond distance in his
1-26. Time of flight: 5 hours, 20 minutes. Distance: 322 miles.
CONGRATULATIONS, JOEDY! You are our Hero!
Garry Dickson (left) and George Powell (right
congratulate Joegy Gregory on his achievment!
Doug joined up and we celebrated Joedy's success at a restaurant in Lone Pine.
After dinner, Joedy, Kathleen and Doug headed north with visions of diamonds
dancing in their heads. (Joedy had promised Kathleen a real diamond when he got
Garry, Jim, Greg and I drove south across the Mojave desert and arrived home
tired but happy in the wee small hours of the morning.
Unofficial distances flown on Saturday were:
Thanks to Del, those wonderful guys at the LVVSA,
and my hard working crew, Greg Sperbeck, this was one of the best Goal Strikes