Contestants and others arrived at Caesar Creek Soaring Club, in Waynesville,
Ohio, on July 6th and 7th, and some had driven through heavy thunderstorms to
get there. Leftover storms were still moving through the area on the morning of
the 7th, and though the grass runway was draining well, the forecast, provided
by Edward (Ward) E. Hindman, implied a lot of hangar flying. Contest Director
Tom Holloran said contestants could fly locally if they liked, but no task
would be called.
Contest Director Pat De Naples welcomed contestants throughout the day, and
Official Scorer Tom Presley helped pilots set up their GPS s. Rules Chairperson
Irn Jousma and Bill Vickland, 1-26 Association President, were among the early
arrivers, as were Jeff Daye, Milt Moos, Bob Hurni, Russ McAerny, Del Blomquist,
and 2001 and 2002 champion Bob von Hellens.
More news on the Championships coming tomorrow.
July 8, 2003
Practice Day 2
Jim Walker and Marv Willis
Del Blomquist and Tom Basham
Rod Pool and Kevin Ford
Bob von Hellens
Practice Day Two began pretty much the same as Practice Day One: overnight
thunderstorms giving way to (temporarily) clear skies, with plenty of
instability and more storms coming from the northwest. Ward Hindeman’s forecast
for the day was uncannily accurate. At the morning briefing, he predicted weak
lift and quickly building thunderstorms beginning around 2:00 p.m. CD Tom
Holloran called a short task: CCSC to the closest two turnpoints and back.
Days like these bring out the silliness in contest folks, and Marv Willis set
the tone today with his rendition of “The Old Gray Mare” on harmonica. Ward
Hindeman complained that he has to take naps during the day because he can’t
get a full night’s rest. He camps at the gliderport and is kept awake by the
bullfrogs honking on the pond, the neighborhood dogs barking and howling, and
the late-night thunderstorms rolling through.
Six pilots ventured into the air today: Marv Willis (097), Kevin Ford (157),
Del Blomquist (144), Bob von Hellens (194), Kevin Anderson (192), and Vern
Hutchinson (390). Other contestants assembled their sailplanes or tried to find
cool, breezy places to await the promised storms. True to Hindeman’s word, the
lift was weak (about 200 fpm), and none of the pilots left the area. Hutchinson
took off into what turned out to be the day-ending system: about five minutes
after his release, the skies opened up. Hindeman wasn’t joking when he warned
of a 2:00 p.m. thunderstorm moving in from the northwest. Hutchinson kept
scratching in 390 to the south of the field until calling it quits, landing
during the downpour, water streaming off the wings and fuselage as if from an
airborne jet ski.
The storm passed after about 10 minutes, but it was enough to end the day.
Tomorrow and Thursday’s weather will be about the same.
July 9, 2003
Ward Hindman’s welcome for his
Kevin Ford holds the Yardstick Award.
The first day of the 2003 1-26 Championships continued two themes established
during the practice days: soupy flying conditions and goofy pilots. After some
preliminary orientation to the field by Pat De Naples, Ward Hindman stood up to
give the weather report and was greeted by the opening of umbrellas. Ward got a
kick out of it, and the umbrellas appropriately validated Ward’s weathercalling
and introduced today’s forecast. As Ward put it, soaring opportunities would be
hard to come by because it was “too wet, too cloudy, and there’s no lift.” Tom
Holloran called a short task, just for laughs, and declared today “treat your
crew day,” as contestants consulted the information packet put together by
Chuck Lohre for sightseeing information. Kevin Ford inaugurated a new trophy,
the Yardstick Award, for the shortest scored flight in the Championships, in
recognition of the 10th anniversary of his 1.07 mile flight in #566 in Albert
More news tomorrow.
July 10, 2003
Ward Hindman predicts the weather.
Tom Holloran’s optional task for crews.
Pilots, crews, and interested locals met at 10:00 a.m. today to hear news they
already knew from just one look at the gray cloud deck: there’d be no flying.
Pat De Naples apprised drivers of alternate routes to Caesar Creek Soaring Club
if the Little Miami River overflows its banks. The river has been rising
steadily, and most of southern Ohio is under a flood watch.
Ward Hindman, whose forecast was greeted yesterday with umbrellas, was
Ward consults the weather portal.
serenaded this morning with “Singin’ in the Rain,” led by Marv Willis’s lively
tenor. Ward said he has never made a forecast where the trigger temperature is
higher than the day’s high temperature, but today’s prediction changed all
that. It’s unlikely that pilots are “happy again” with another no-fly day,
though Tom Holloran’s COST (Crew Option Sightseeing Task) assignment probably
made crews happy.
Ward managed to upstage the chorus today when he explained that his
weathercalling success can be purchased for $6.99 at the local Odd Lots: he
simply asks the Magic 8 Ball.
If the field dries out after Friday’s early morning passage of a cold front, we
may be flying.
NVS: No valid start
DNC: Did not compete
Powered by SeeYou,
Scored by Thomas A. Pressley, Thomas.Pressley@ttuhsc.edu
They looked like cloudstreets.
Ward Hindman prepares his HP 14
to make sure his forecast was correct.
The long-awaited change in the weather occurred just after midnight. At the
morning meeting pilots had flying on their minds and a song in their hearts.
Marv Willis led the group through a verse of “Blue Skies” as Ward Hindman
stepped forward to describe the flying conditions. Though absent of rain, the
forecast included strong winds all day: 26 knots at 2,000 AGL and increasing
with altitude. Tom Holloran called a minimal task of 33.6 miles, the first two
turnpoints upwind, setting up a 16-mile downwind leg to finish. Holloran
estimated an average of four hours to get around the course.
Pilots gridded on the quickly drying field, Pat De Naples was dispatched to
sniff the conditions not once but twice. Hindman, flying his HP 14, found lift
and soared for about three hours, radioing back the improving conditions.
Pilots on the ground discussed asking him to drop his flaps 60 degrees and try
flying like a 1-26. At 2:00, yet another sniffer, Vern Hutchinson, went aloft,
and Holloran ordered pilots to their cockpits.
Pat De Naples prepares for one
of his sniffing voyages.
Pilots gather round for De Naples’s
Even with a two-mile start cylinder, the wind challenged pilots trying stay in
the area as conditions slowly continued to improve. By 3:30, six pilots were
out on course, some landing out in short order and at short distances. Ron
Schwartz, Del Blomquist, and Hutchinson all came down within three miles of
CCSC. Other pilots had slightly better luck: Jeff Daye, Bob von Hellens, and
Kevin Anderson landed at the first turnpoint. Flight tracks from GPS’s
graphically demonstrated the wind’s influence on the day: turns in thermals
registered like elongated springs, the wind making spirals look like flattened
coils on the track record.
Pilots and crews looked to Saturday for lighter winds, better soaring
conditions, and a first official day.
Penalties represent missed
NVS: No valid start
DNC: Did not compete
SeeYou, Scored by Thomas A. Pressley, Thomas.Pressley@ttuhsc.edu
The weather improved just enough to have an official contest day. Ward Hindman
was greeted with “You Are My Sunshine,” and he presented pilots with an
encouraging forecast of soaring conditions beginning weak but building through
the day. The main problems in Hindman’s forecast would be low cloudbases in the
early afternoon and only moderate lift.
Encouraged by the significant decrease of wind in the forecast, Tom Holloran
called a 62.6-mile Turn Area task, with a more forgiving 54.2-mile Assigned
Speed task as backup. Pilots had many questions about the Turn Area task for
scorer Tom Pressley. Because each turnpoint had a three-mile-radius cylinder, a
pilot could successfully fly the course by touching the edge of each turnpoint
cylinder and land at CCSC having flown 62.6 miles. To make things interesting,
however, Holloran had set two minimums for the task: 65 miles and two hours.
The time minimum was easy enough to understand, but pilots wanted to
discuss how and why they were supposed to add three miles to the course.
Pressley helped clear up both questions. Since the four turnpoint cylinders
were each three miles in radius, a pilot needed to fly to the center of only
one turnpoint to add the extra distance; at the remaining turnpoints, a pilot
only needed to touch the outer edge of the cylinder. That answered the how of
the 65-mile minimum. The why was even more straightforward: because Holloran
Before the meeting adjourned, Del Blomquist described his landout of the day
before. Not wanting to land in what looked like a very wet, muddy field, he
opted for a country lane, which turned out to be a driveway. As he rolled out,
Blomquist spotted a few hazards he hadn’t seen from the air, managing to clear
a couple concrete posts but, unfortunately, not completely clearing the cast
iron mailbox pillar, which passed under 144’s wing about three feet from the
Bob Root and Pat De Naples (team).
cockpit, denting the leading edge and opening up a three-inch gash in the
aluminum underside. Blomquist wasn’t hurt, but he’ll be heading back to
California in a couple days. His crew, Tom Basham, also had an adventure that
same day. Blomquist had landed just 4.2 miles from the field, but Basham read
the numbers as 42 miles, which shows he has a lot of confidence in Blomquist’s
flying, and wound up in Oxford, OH, near the Indiana border. Pilot and crew
were reunited later that evening at their motel.
Tom Pressley and Marv Willis
singing the Turn Area Task rules.
The arcane discussion about the Turn Area task encouraged Holloran to revise
the task as pilots began to grid. The minimum distance was reduced to 62.6
miles, so that pilots could fly along the edges of the cylinders and complete
the task without penalty. That detail out of the way, Hindman flew his HP 14 to
report conditions for about 45 minutes before Vern Hutchinson went sniffing in
390: their findings convinced Holloran to go to Task B, the 54.2-mile Assigned
Speed task with a very friendly 28.1-mile downwind leg between the first and
second turnpoints, and a 12.6-mile upwind leg to complete the task. Half the
field came back for relights, including the day’s winner, Bill Vickland, the
only pilot to complete the task. Kevin Anderson landed about two miles short of
CCSC for second place, three pilots landed at the second turnpoint, and Pat De
Naples and Jeff Daye landed well along the way between the first and second
turnpoints. Daye retuned to CCSC with De Naples and crew, got into his own car,
and returned to where he had landed to earn the distinction of retrieving
At the other end of the score sheet, Hutchinson made a bold challenge for the
Yardstick Award, landing just 0.2 miles outside the start cylinder (he gets
points, then, for a 0.2-mile flight). Milt Moos, flying in his first
Championships, landed within the cylinder (and on a beautiful lawn), so didn’t
qualify for the Yardstick competition. Hope springs eternal, however, for
Sunday looks to be a better flying day.
Penalties represent missed turnpoints 1Completed task, but premature start
NVS: No valid start
DNC: Did not compete
Powered by SeeYou,
Scored by Thomas A. Pressley, Thomas.Pressley@ttuhsc.edu
Tom Holloran in another competition:
1973, Cleveland, OH, with wife
Shirley. Tom and Shirley won
2nd place in ice dancing.
Soaring conditions improved today, prompting Marv Willis and Irn Jousma to
break into “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” as soon as Ward Hindman stepped
forward at the morning meeting to deliver his weather report. They got into the
second verse before pilots took seriously Willis’s promise to keep singing
until told to stop. Hindman’s forecast was for moderate lift and improving
conditions throughout the day, leveling off at around 5:00 p.m. and 6,000 ft.
MSL cloudbases. Tom Holloran called a Turn Area task of 73.2 miles, the pilots
gridded at the west end of the runway, and by 2:00 p.m. everyone was in the
Kevin Ford, Jeff Daye, and
Del Blomquist debate what’s spiffy
and what’s not about 293.
Ron Schwartz won the day at 34.0 mph, and six other pilots finished the task:
Bob von Hellens (28.3 mph), Bill Vickland (27.4 mph), Irn Jousma (24.8 mph),
Bob Hurni (23.1 mph), Jeff Daye (21.8 mph), and Vern Hutchinson (18.2 mph).
Notable among the aircraft was #293, team-flown by Pat De Naples and Bob Root.
Bob Root in the open cockpit of 293.
“Open Class” 1-26
An entrant in the Spiffy contest, 293 was flown today with a sport canopy.
“That makes it open class,” Root said. Maybe. Root didn’t get around the course
like he was in an open class sailplane, landing before the first turnpoint.
Perhaps 293 will have better luck in the Spiffy competition.
July 14, 2003
The pilots of the 2003
Pilots and crews.
For much of this afternoon, Tom Holloran kept a watchful, waiting eye on the
sky he had sent his pilots into. Ward Hindman’s forecast was for good soaring,
though early convective clouds might dry up by mid-afternoon, leaving only dry
thermals. Holloran called an 85.2-mile Turn Area task, which he revised after
Hindman returned quickly to the field having sniffed nothing. Soaring
conditions were developing very slowly, and with time running short, Holloran
shifted to Task B, a 66.2-mile Assigned Speed task. Pilots began taking off at
2:35 p.m., and the task opened shortly after 3:00. Holloran’s waiting game
began right around then and continued for another three hours.
Early reports were not good: Bob Root, Milt Moos, Kevin Anderson, Kevin Ford,
Vern Hutchinson napping on the
and Irn Jousma landed out. Bill Vickland and Jeff Daye returned to the field,
but neither went to the fourth turnpoint (cutting nearly 33 miles off the
task). There was a lull of about half an hour, during which Holloran consulted
with Mary De Naples at the retrieve desk, hoping that at least a third of the
pilots had flown 30 miles or more, otherwise this day would not count. In short
order, though, three pilots returned to the field having flown the full course:
Ron Schwartz, Bob von Hellens, and Bob Hurni. On the radio, Marv Willis blew a
short tune on his harmonica, signaling his final glide. Perhaps Holloran’s call
had been just about right, after all. Young pairs of eyes spotted Jonathan Leal
circling in #125, about four miles short of the finish but with enough altitude
for a final glide. Some ground crew members were tempted to hail Leal on the
radio and tell him to quit circling and head for home, but he made two more
turns and landed with a whoop from the cockpit. In all, five pilots flew the
course, and more than half went the minimum distance; today was a contest day,
the third in a row.
[A possible wrinkle in Jonathan Leal’s flight: according to Leal’s GPS track
record, he was outside the start cylinder when he headed for the first
turnpoint. A preliminary discussion of the rules suggests that despite flying
the entire course, Leal will receive no points for his flight.]
Marv Willis and Ron Schwartz,
Special Note: Ward Hindman was not greeted with a song this morning, but
Sarah Anderson sings “It’s Hard to be
Humble” with Schwartz and Willis
after dinner pilots and crews (and Hindman) learned why: Marv Willis and others
were conserving their energy. As the sun drew even with the horizon, Willis and
Ron Schwartz pulled out mandolin and ukulele. Willis introduced Sarah Anderson,
a rising star on the ground crew entertainment circuit, who sang “It’s Hard to
be Humble” with very little humility but with lots of talent. Willis and
Schwartz, stalling for time, plinked through “You Are My Sunshine” and told a
few (lame) jokes. Anderson returned with Joan Moos in grass skirts for some
Hawaiian dancing. Jeff Daye, whose sense of shame is on the level of guests on
the Jerry Springer Show, joined Moos and Anderson, but in drag, with cocoanuts
for breasts, and showed remarkable indifference to rhythm, grace, and time. The
good-natured pilots and their scandalized crews, families, and pet dogs gazed
in awe at Daye’s gyrations while Moos and Anderson helpfully held his cocoanuts
in place. Since the audience was plainly not sure whether they should applaud
this, um, display, Karen Jousma stepped forward to confess that it was all her
idea. It may be imagined that Tom Holloran is now devising a task for tomorrow
that will ensure that Daye, who has no crew, lands out – in Wisconsin.
July 15, 2003
Rich Carroway — Crew Chief.
Bill Gabbard — Ground Crew.
Tow pilots Roy Hennig and Bob Anderson.
Today's weather forecast was for a cold front to pass swiftly through the
region, and though Tom Holloran called a 31-mile Assigned Speed task, neither
he nor anyone else took it seriously. The front should depart the area this
evening, and tomorrow looks more likely for contest flying
July 16, 2003
Tom Pressley — scorer and sniffer.
The last day of the 1-26 Championships started with clear skies and a falling
dewpoint. As the sun burned off last night s rain, pilots gathered for the
final meeting of the 2003 Championships. Ward Hindman s forecast was for an
adequate soaring day, Tom Holloran called a 65.3-mile Turn Area task, and
pilots gathered on the flight line anticipating a good though cloudless contest
We’re going to Task B!
Unfortunately, though the weather may have matched Hindman's forecast, pilots
expectations were higher. Sniffers found weak lift and could stay up (there
would be no relites today), but all optimism for Task A vanished after just a
few reports from the sniffers. Holloran went to a Pilot Option Speed Task, with
a mandatory turnpoint at Greene County Airport (which would guarantee minimum
distance 30 miles for pilots returning to CCSC). With thermals very few and far
between, especially to the north, Greene County played host to five landouts,
and three other pilots landed nearby. Only three pilots finished the task:
Irn Jousma, Bob von Hellens, and Bill Vickland, less than the minimum to make
this a contest day.
Russ McAnerny chose not to compete today, but he declared that he was going to
have fun, and for two hours he piloted #429, enjoying every minute. Playing
around in the local thermals, Russ watched the other contestants set out for
the turnpoint at Greene County Airport, and he may have seen, way off on the
horizon, the maneuvers of aircraft preparing for the Dayton International
Airshow. Perhaps, as he turned and climbed, Russ was thinking of two brothers
from Dayton, Ohio, who, one hundred years ago this December, created powered
flight at Kittyhawk, North Carolina. Russ, and other soaring pilots like him,
have challenged the notion that having fun among the clouds requires an engine.
For years, 1-26 pilots have been quietly asserting that high-performance
sailplanes are not required for strong competition, that 150-mile tasks and
65-mph speeds don't always separate good pilots from great ones, and that
landing out doesn't mean losing the day. Flying these little Schweizers
requires humility, yes, but the single design places all pilots on a level
glide path: a pilot s skills win the day.
July 17, 2003
A table full of trophies.
Ron and Betty Schwartz
with the Marion C. Cruce Trophy.
Jim Walker and Marv
Willis won the McNeill/Cuny Memorial Team trophy.
Bob von Hellens.
Ron Schwartz holds the
Pat De Naples hands
Ron Schwartz the Old Goat.
Bill Vickland picks up
the Old Toad trophies.
Jim Walker is the Old
Jonathan Leal holding
the Johnson Memorial Trophy.
carries off the Yardstick.
Bob von Hellens won
the Spiffy Award.
Pilots, crews, and 1-26 fans met for breakfast in downtown Waynesville, Ohio,
for the 2003 1-26 Championships awards breakfast. Bill Vickland, President of
the 1-26 Association (and 4th-place finisher this year), made the
presentations. Notable among the awardees were Vern Hutchinson, whose 0.2-mile
flight earned him the Yardstick and 18.2 mph speed locked up the Turtle; at the
other end of the spectrum, Ron Schwartz picked up a triple crown: the Old Goat,
the President s Trophy (34.0 mph), and the Marion C. Cruce Trophy (1st place).
Jim Walker picked up the Old Buzzard and shared the McNeil/Cuny Memorial Team
trophy with Marv Willis. Bill Vickland was this year s Old Toad, Jonathan Leal
won the Johnson Memorial Trophy as the best finisher in his first
Championships, and Jeff Daye won the third place award. The Spiffy award went
to Bob von Hellens and #194, which is good-looking outside and in.
Everyone involved in this year s Championships will be taking home a cockpit
full of memorable events, in-flight and on the ground. Kevin Anderson never
gave up, and was usually just one thermal away from completing a task. Jonathan
Leal will never again forget the diameter of the start cylinder. Bob Root and
Pat De Naples will continue to fly topless. Jeff Daye, whose dancing needs
improvement, will never again forget a turnpoint. Next year, these and other
pilots will meet at Texas Soaring Association in late July for the 2004
Championships. Please join them and be a part of the fun competition.