Tomorrow’s ALES Contest Cancelled Due to Weather

March Schedule – A Wash

Dan G., MVSA Webmaster

No kidding, April 1st might be the first contest of 2023. Saturday’s first ALES contest was cancelled due to a now familiar forecast of rain and wind ended hopes of flying in March.

“In order that everyone might plan for a more fruitful Saturday, I going to go ahead and pull the plug now,” Wayne W., the ALES Contest Director wrote in the club’s Google Group late last night. “Stay home, stay dry, stay safe, and keep warm. We’ll try again next month.”

Tomorrow’s canceled contest marks the fourth for the month – all due to wet and cold late winter now spring weather. Week after week, sad news filters across the club’s communications. Dashed dreams of flight – postponed until future dates. Under club rules enacted over the winter, during the 2023 season there will be no rain or makeup dates due to a full schedule of flying and respect for club member’s time.

The annual “Frozen Fingers” event, held on New Year’s Day, was first (and last) held club flying event so far in 2023.

“Hi Fliers: Too much rain. 🙁 Darn!”

– Robert S., CD March Hand Launch Contest & MVSA President

March Recap

March 4: Hand Launch Contest
Recorded Weather: Temp 38-46F / Wind 10-30 mph 38-46F
CD Statement: “Hi Flyers:  Too much rain. (Sad Face) Darn!” – Robert S.

March 11: Thermal Duration (TD)
Recorded Weather: Temp 30-44F / Wind 10-20 mph
CD Statement: “Been watching the weather all week. We have had a fair amount of rain so it is not a good idea to put foot traffic and cars on and around the field. Forecast for Saturday is overcast, low forties, windy, and then rain. Doesn’t look like fun to me…” – Bob G.

March 18: Fun Fly
Recorded Weather: Temp 30’sF / Wind 10-20 mph
CD Statement: (No statement)

March 25: ALES
Predicted Weather: Fri. Rain 9AM – Sat. 1 AM , Sat. 55F / Wind 10-20mph CD Statement: “Alas, the worst has come from the sky. Not what I was hoping for. The rain that came in tonight is forecast for 2-3” over the next 24hrs with showers extending into early Saturday morning. The clouds did not part and go around us and they left no time for drying out. The temp Saturday morning will be in the 40s, and the winds are forecast for 15+ with gusts to 40. Not my kind of fun. No need to break any more planes on a cold and blustery day. In order that everyone might plan for a more fruitful Saturday, I going to go ahead and pull the plug now. Stay home, stay dry, stay safe, and keep warm. We’ll try again next month.” Wayne W. CD

Why cancel due to Weather?

What is the big deal? The gliders (for the most part) don’t interact with the ground much.
Rain / Wet Field: The club’s private fields can be damaged if used in wet or soggy conditions.
Cold or windy weather: Granted, there is a bit of swagger, bravado, gutsy-ness for all pilots – flying in cold weather is just not fun. It’s cold! The main activity of flying R/C gliders is standing and looking at the sky through sunglasses for 2-10 minutes (depending on if they find lift or a rising current of air or not). The club’s Contest Coordinator, Bob G., wrote “it would not be fun” as one of his reasons for cancelling the March 11 Thermal Duration (TD) contest. The forecast was for air temps in the low 40s F with 10-20 mph winds.

High wind: What is “high wind”? First off, a perfect day for R/C Soaring varies. Some will say, 70F, a slight chill in the air, light wind and big thermals. Other’s will say, any day you go flying, catch lift and return with an undamaged airplane. High winds, over 15 mph make for a dangerous flying environment. Planes must go up and find lift and then come down and land. High winds just are not very fun and can lead to damage to an aircraft.

Club flyers will not be at the field tomorrow. Instead, many will be home maybe working around the house, building planes and doing other activities such as checking the weather forecast for next week and next Saturday – possibly the first official club activity of the 2023 season*.

The current forecast is for showers on Thursday, scattered thunderstorms on Friday and partly cloudy – wind 10-20 on Saturday – April’s Hand Launch Contest. (No joke)

All of this being said, the first official event of 2023 was a great success. The annual *Frozen Fingers Fun Fly (some call it the FFFF) on New Year’s Day had t-shirt temps, light wind and good lift. Winter has turned to Spring which will turn to Summer – the real contest and fun fly season. –

As the rain slowly drops in St. Louis today and tomorrow, Reed Timmer, “Extreme Meteorologist” chases the same storm 400 miles to the south in Paris, Texas. This video is not from today but from last Friday.