(Near) Perfect Flying Day Caps 2021 Hand Launch Season

posted in: Flying Report | 0

By Dan G. MVSA Webmaster

Today’s Hand Launch contest was the last of the season and the conditions were near perfect as six fliers went for gold.

The crisp fall blue sky brought light and variable winds. The air warmed from 46 at contest start to 60 by the end. The lift came and went. Nearly the entire “squadron” was up for the full time of 3-minutes. These flights seemed to be followed by groans across the field marking 50-70 second flights. Several planes would work the same lift and grow small in the blue. Larry A. cheered and commentated from the sidelines and promised to fly the event in 2022. Bill C. brought out his preschool aged grandson and could be heard teaching.

“The contest today was more fun than I deserved,” Robert S. said on the club’s Google Group. “The weather was beautiful. The lift was plentiful but you had to find it and stick with it or you were on the ground.  We had lots and lots of great flights.  I think everyone had a great flight at some point.”

Wayne W. flies a practice flight before the contest. The day started at 46F and warmed up to 60F by the end.

Wayne W. finishes the 2021 season winning every hand launch contest. Today he flew 12 3-minute flights. His round 3 would be perfect – 3 flights each for 3-minutes. Round 10 was a difficult one, putting him 6th place for the round with flights of 0, 52 and 46. It would 8 be a tough round the entire squadron – 8 sub one minute flights (out of 21) and 4- zeros. He would finish nearly 120 points in the raw score ahead of Rich S.

“There was a lot of laughing and a lot of groaning.  It was HL at it’s best. You should have been there. I’m glad I was.”
Robert S.

Rich S. launches his glider after the contest.

Rich S. takes 2nd place with 5 – 3-minute flights and winning rounds 8 – (2:04, 3:00, 0:55), and round 10 – (1:19, 1:02, 1:14). He was one of 3 pilots to not get a zero in round 10. His 5 contest performances will be good for a 5th place finish for the season.

Dave Q. (right) lands as Rich S. watches Wayne’s flight.

Dave Q. flew 8 3-minute flights today, second only to Wayne. He flew perfect in round 4. Today’s performance was good enough to move up to 2nd place in hand launch for the season moving Robert down to 3rd. Also, it was good enough to move him into 3rd place overall by 125 points over Robert. The quiet rivalry for 3rd place overall will come down to next Saturday’s TD contest.

A plane brushes by tree branches in a near miss.

Robert S put 6 – 3-minute flights in today – the 3rd best. this was good for 4th place. As far as perfect flights, he would only be 2nd to Wayne. Round 2 would be his roughest round with three flights under a minute – 5th place for the round. The round would put him 111 raw points behind Dave Q. These added up to nearly 600 by the end of the day. Robert will finish 3rd for the season in hand launch.

Robert S. walks to pick up his plane during today’s Hand Launch contest.

Dan G. would squeak out 5th place over Kevin C.. This was Dan’s 2nd hand launch contest with a hand me down plane from John H. He would win round 7 (maybe his first hand launch round win) with times of 1:11, 1:48, 1:27. His day came to an early end in round 11 when his receiver quit due to low battery. The plane spiraled down. Early assessment found no damage however, later, damage was found to the nose area forward of the wing. It might put the plane on the DL place finish for the season.

Kevin C. comes out for the 5th time in 2021 for 5th place season honors and 6th place on the day. Tied for 3rd in round 9. 2nd place by 9 normative in round 10. 3rd in round 11. A sub- 1 minute round 2 would not help. 5 – 3-minute flights (not counting the 2:56 in round 11). He would tie Rich S.’s second place as far as total 3-minute fights.

Bill R. would return for his second HL contest for a 7th place finish on the day adding nearly 90 normative points over his first contest.

Bill R. winds up for his last flight.

Wayne W. compiled the scores and posted them a few hours after the contest.

“The air was very cooperative and 3:00 min maxes were showing up all over the board,” Wayne W. wrote on the Google Group. “Even Bill R. Had a 2:00min flight! This season has seen a very welcome increase in participation and also a marked increase in the level of competition. Winning rounds is no longer a foregone conclusion. Thankfully for me, those round Ks keep getting spread around the group, but I can see a time coming when winning contests will be possible for anyone just like in pro football. i.e. any given Sunday.”

“There was a lot of laughing and a lot of groaning.  It was HL at it’s best,” Robert S. wrote on the Google Group. “You should have been there. I’m glad I was.”