1st AREA MEETING / ASHDOWN FOREST / 8 March 2009

Report from Gary Oulds
New Year.. New Models.. Old Models and Older Flyer

As we pulled into Friends Clump car park things looked good, many of the Area’s flyers were already preparing to walk down with their models boxes and provisions, to the specially cleared prepared flying strip on the side of the hill (complete with partially hidden trenches to catch the unwary flyer).
Conditions early on were fairly bright with clear skies, suggesting it was going to be better than initially forecast earlier in the week, but notably a steadily increasing wind picked up throughout the day, direction south westerly to start with.

CD Mike Cook set up the control shop tent cards and the beware safety-warning signs. He marked out the perfect Hand Launched Glider box bordered with nice sticks…. gorse and surrounding pit traps. Then preceded to pick off a very good series of chuck glider flights through the day obviously trying quite hard to lose the model as notably there was a distinct lack of Day-Glo on it. His score included at least three maxes, one flight just a couple of seconds short he was on a roll really but unfortunately the model was eventually broken on the last flight and the 4 seconds had to count thus slightly spoiling his overall total but still a great effort enough to place second spot on the RAFA leader board.

Ken Taylor was the only glider flyer to complete his flights for RAFA and although his total could have been beatable ....it wasn’t. John Ould's first flight landed just off the path leading to Camp Hill and as he drove round Terry and I watched the model in bins being picked up by some dog walkers, it was hard to tell whether they were then going to walk towards where John had drove round to or go down to the pond. And when they finally reappeared in view further round with the model, they walked past where we thought John had parked up this prompted us to race round in Terry’s car to intercept. It turned out that one of the walkers carrying the model back was probably returning with it. He had received a TEXT message from the people with the model saying they would be at the ice cream car park Kings Standing (a little bit misleading as they wasn’t actually there yet) as he headed back to the car it seems they saw him and called out. (I wondered how they knew he was aero modeller?.. aero modellers must have own distinctive bloodhound like searching for something look). Fortunately the model was unscathed and obviously he thanked them and not too much time was wasted. He was able to get a second flight away which followed my own one flight wonder bumpy max before the wind swung woody and the weather closed in. My model was part way bought back by Neil Allen who was carrying his F1C. He safely hid from general public view both dads and my models, so I could easily still home in on them with the biotrack.
Not so lucky was Geoff Stringer's coupe model, which from a wildly turbulent launch that sent the model left, had ended hanging high up in the tall trees over the stream. This required many poles and the efforts of team EG recovery to get it back.
Alex and Peter didn’t get out round to a rather long second Vintage rubber model flight which had landed on the far side of the Forest in time to save the poor model being crushed by what looked like some rather heavy handed handling which meant the model was rendered unflyable. On return it became clear that the woody wind swing and then the general deterioration in the weather scuppered his chance to top RAFA if he, like John, had completed their flights.

What about Maidstone? Well, Trevor Grey didn’t do too bad locally, he topped RAFA on the day with a couple of huge flights, one of which I think just over shot the top road. He just made one mistake, his first Electric power flight was brow beaten down the hill, the resulting drop most probably spoiling his chances in one fell swoop to top nationally, but he did well to carry on and complete, so well done.

Martin Stagg probably wisely chose not to risk flying and the turbulent air caught Dennis Bird out, I believe his old faithful model blew up (like old faithful) on the line for on an attempt, and John Richardson kept going but ended up with damage to his glider.

Crawley all-rounder Robin Willes rattled off HLG (in almost record time unfortunately), he then shredded a Coupe model when it looped straight into a gorse bush similar to Bob Taylors, for three seconds. He then flew an interesting Smith vintage rubber design which actually showed some flying potential, the initial power pattern looked like it could have gone almost anywhere but up, but suddenly hooked into rather reasonable air, much to the surprise I think of all who had initially ducked out of the way at launch. The power pattern settled, and it looked to be away …..until the strangely odd floating bobbin like glide set in, this sent the model straightish across the plateau and over the brow of the hill OOS. The model lay hidden for an hour or two and was finally recovered by Robin and Terry Knight on a second search effort. The fuselage was apparently badly damaged and requires some rebuilding. Peter Norman flew what I assume looking at the results must have been a sole vintage flight which looks like it probably went straight down the Hill.
I can think of one windy weather flyer who certainly wouldn’t have shied away from the conditions had he been able to attend, Tony Clark. I'm sure all the flyers have sent on their best wishes to him .

About an hour before the end of the comp the weather turned rather nasty. Most flyers I believe had stopped or were thinking of packing up…..Neil Allen though was seen striding back out across Friends car park with a chuck glider obviously on a RAFA damage limitation mission. Looking at the results posted in John Richardson's Planepaper it obviously worked out well. Despite the rain he made up some valuable points.
Nationally I would think Mike is probably best placed with his chuckie efforts.
Well done to all that flew …..You’ve all done very well!

Hopefully the next meeting on 22nd of March will prove to be a little bit better and everyone gets a chance to fly their best.


The national BMFA results for this meeting can be found on the Free Flight Technical Committee website.

 

BMFA F1A Glider
1
K Taylor East Grinstead
4.46
2
J Oulds Crawley
4.21
3
J Richardson Maidstone
2.53
4
G Oulds Crawley
2.30
BMFA Combined Power
1
T Grey Maidstone
6.36
2
N Allen East Grinstead
2.17
BMFA F1G Coupe
1
G Stringer East Grinstead
4.37
2
R Taylor East Grinstead
0.35
3
R Willes Crawley
0.03
BMFA Vintage
1
P Cameron Crawley
4.43
2
R Willes Crawley
1.51
3
P Norman Crawley
0.40
BMFA HLG / CLG
1
M Cook Maidstone
4.32
2
N Allen East Grinstead
2.55
3
R Willes Crawley
1.53
RAFA POINTS
   
class
%
points
1
T Grey Maidstone
C/P
88.0
15
2
M Cook Crawley
HLG / CLC
64.8
14
3
K Taylor East Grinstead
F1A
63.5
13
4
P Cameron Crawley
Vintage
60.9
12
5
J Oulds Crawley
F1A
58.0
11
6
G Stringer East Grinstead
Coupe
46.2
10
7
N Allen East Grinstead
HLG / CLC
41.7
9
8
J Richardson Maidstone
F1A
38.4
8
9
G Oulds Crawley
F1A
33.3
7
10
N Allen East Grinstead
C/P
30.4
6
11
R Willes Crawley
HLG / CLC
26.9
5
12
R Willes Crawley
Vintage
24.7
4
13
P Norman Crawley
Vintage
8.9
3
14
R Taylor East Grinstead
Coupe
5.8
2
15
R Willes Crawley
Coupe
0.5
1
RAFA Shield
 
1st Area
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
total
Crawley
57
57
East Grinstead
40
40
Maidstone
23
23

Weather AM : 15 mph with clear skies, PM : 25 mph with rain
Compiled by Mike Cook - CD

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