"Two by Four"
* Sociable, Tenacious Aircraft Retreiver
During the first week of June 1998, 19 1-26s, 22 pilots and 23 crew-persons
converged on Jean, Nevada seeking silver, gold and diamonds at Goal Strike IX,
a fun event hosted annually by the Las Vegas Valley
New faces this year included: Charles and Jo Shaw, who took turns flying # 196,
Josh Meyers, who flew silver altitude and distance in "Merlybird", Devin Martin
in his newly acquired #184, Paul Bowmar who flew the LVVSA club 1-26, Dennis
Sharp and Ray Swartz, who shared #540, and Pete Donath, who flew #309 and
performed the duties of official Goal Strike photographer.
On opening day, Goal Strike organizer and that now famous shirt designer, Del
Blomquist, passed out the official GS-9 shirts. (This yearís colors appear to
have been chosen by a Marine Corps drill instructor - red on gold). Del also
passed the word in no uncertain terms that there would be no more landing on
the taxiway and that violation of class B airspace would not be tolerated.
El Nino was credited with keeping the temperatures below the three digit highs
which were common at previous Goal Strike meets. A cold front passed through
during the middle of the week bringing strong winds and resulting in a higher
than normal 1-26 "fall out" rate in the vicinity of the Pioneer Saloon.
Merle Clements demonstrated the spirit of camaraderie for which 1-26ers are
famous by loaning "Merlybird" to newcomer, Josh Meyers, long enough to allow
Josh to fly over 100 miles at altitudes exceeding 15,000í to the Beatty, NV
airport - a flight which qualified for silver distance and altitude.
Ray Swartz made his first off-field landing in a 1-26 and flew silver distance.
Unfortunately, his claim was negated by the dreaded 1% rule.
Doug Levy, Kevin Ford and Garry Dickson made several long distance flights in
excess of 200 miles, landing at remote sites beyond Tonopah, NV. On Thursday,
Bob Hurni led the way across the Colorado River into Arizona. He flew to
Williams (180 mi) and Flagstaff on Friday (211 mi). Curt Laumann flew all the
way to Turf Soaring and Doug Levy landed at Circle City - both airports are
located near Phoenix.
A FUN FLIGHT
On the Saturday before Goal Strike officially began, Al Gough suggested a race
from Jean to the Shoshone, CA airport. First pilot and crew to land, de-rig,
drive to Tacopa Springs and jump into the hot bath would be declared the
Hawkeye and his crew were the first to arrive at the hot springs. However, when
greeted by a totally nude bather with, "Hi there, Big Boy!" - all bets were off
and the race was forfeited.
THE "FLIPPER" INCIDENT
While derigging Hawkeye at the Jackass NV airport on Monday afternoon, a dust
devil flipped #198 upside down. Unable to right it, Pete Donath and Mark
Britton raced from the Cherry Patch to provide assistance. Del Blomquist flew
#144 to the rescue (an extra 20 miles beyond his intended landing site). Under
Delís expert supervision, the wing was carefully removed while the glider was
inverted. Damage was minimal, and the bird flew perfectly the next day. Pete
snapped the incriminating photos which appear on this monthís cover.
THANKS TO OUR HOSTS
Many thanks are due the members of the LVVSA
for making Goal Strike IX possible. Next year will mark the tenth anniversary
of this classic event, at which time your editor will hire a band, make
arrangements for the press to attend, and invite all the citizens, especially
the patrons of the Pioneer Saloon, to witness his Intentional Tenth Anniversary
Goodsprings Landing. Iíve had enough of those unplanned events!
See you next year - at the Pioneer!