3rd AREA MEETING / ASHDOWN FOREST / 5 April 2009

Report from Gary Oulds
"Right said Fred"

What a great day for flying at Ashdown again, bright, sunny, some broken cloud and light winds.
Initially we pulled up at Bushy Willows Car Park. CD Mike Cook quickly assessed, after Keen Ken’s first A1 marker, that we would all need to move round, those that had started walking out raced back to the cars as quick as they could to try and grab a decent spot at the rather small Roman Road pull in. Some chose to drive right round and park and walk up to Camp Hill from the old fire pond side.
Camp Hill was the preferred spot on the day for the majority of the glider flyers to set up and fly from, as its generally a good towing area on the top plateau.
The rest managed to squeeze into Roman Road. Just off the car park there’s a good area for setting up stooges, streamers and winding gear etc, so it wasn’t long before models were soon launched away.
Direction was ok, although it’s always tight when models head out towards the woods. It actually improved later in the day, flights descending safely in middle of the Forest.
John and Mandy with hounddog in tow walked up the hill intending to join up with the hill top flyers with his A1. On return we were informed by John that things didn’t exactly quite work out as planned. His A1 was unfortunately severely trodden on whilst on the ground by …a dog…. not their own dog.
That’s good! …Well not quite, it seems he was somewhat indirectly involved kind of an accessory to the event during a mad dog chase around. …Oops!
Never mind John, hope better luck next time mate.
With no score from John, it was rather left to Martin Stagg to fly the flag for Maidstone. His neat 50 gram rubber model though missed out, even that nice long motor run couldn’t save it from dropping a flight this time. Nice to see good support from Jervis Shepherd and Mike Riggs timing.

Before I started flying I was given a bottle of wine by Mike Riggs for retrieving a glider flight he did last meeting, which was a nice thought thanks, good to see him flying again. I see Keith Miller had his film camera with him (hope got some nice footage of the day) he also had brought along a Hepcat with him just in case, but I think he decided that today was a day to relax and watch the action from the side rather than dashing mad around the Forest chasing planes.
Ken Taylor rattled off yet another A1 flight after the move round, eager to complete his flights quickly no doubt for those all important RAFA points, he came unstuck on his third after towing in twice.
My wry grin didn’t last that long as I prepared to wind up my first comp flight with a Mercury Mentor. This flew into well-selected sink, it looked like it might need a very good glide at prop fold to save it…. Mmm hammerhead - 1.40 to the ground. Drat!
East Grinstead flyer Mike Richardson’s super looking tailless rubber ship had been impressive during the mid-week trimming but suffered wing damage. Probably partly down to its rather sharp DT decent, he put that away and switched to Combined Rubber. I think an early flight was recovered from trees, so he was fairly late finishing his comp flights the good news is they were all maxes.
John Oulds was flying a Fred Boxall Classic rubber model. His first comp flight was rather long; the model took an age to come down, eventually disappearing behind trees left of the Manor. It looked a bit grim at that point I thought our day may well have been over flying wise. Before “Oulds Recovery” drove round to search, I got a pretty good line with compass and GPS. I also almost forgot to dismantle and take the Mylar pole with us …”we’ll need that!” Being as it doubles up as a second recovery pole.
Dad homed in on a good tracker signal across the stream and we spotted the model hanging, not too bad, about 30ft up a tree on the edge of a field just down from the Manor. The tail plane was missing, this must have flicked off when it hit the tree, and was laying on the ground not too far away under a holly tree. Model recovered, it was soon patched up and we were able then to complete the rest of our flights in good time before the fly-offs.
Bob Taylor also flying a Mentor had time for power flights as well
Ken having completed his A1 flights had switched to rubber, but a strange slow draggy prop run described as “the big ends gone on it” rather scuppered his chance, Geoff Stringer flying his Wakefield also dropped (one by one they fell) he seemed bemused that so few had maxed out on such a good day, it wasn’t that easy then.
Late in the day Geoff appeared with the scoreboard and we discovered good news from the Hill. Both Mike Cook and Alex Cameron had maxed out with their A1s. Mike Cook circle-towed his way to the fly-off with minimum fuss fluster free flying this year after previously just missing out the other year. I’m sure he must have been well pleased to make that crucial last one count. He’d teamed up with Terry knight on the day also flying A1. Terry had a mixture of flights, his circle tow model was going well but when he glided it down in a becalmed spell into the back of a gorse bush the resulting damage forced him to switch to his reserve Little Hinney impulse model. The trim wasn’t perfect, a bit tight, but he ended the day well with a max, which is always nice to do.
Alex had a little bit of luck in his run of flights with his straight tow model, the model went away with the line still hanging on it apparently going up in lift, it spiralled back down undamaged, he made no mistakes with the re-fly. Apart from that it all went well he finished early and this allowed Peter Cameron to complete his remaining rubber flights in RAFA.
Peter Norman flew a nice looking Smith rubber model which according to Robin had plunged into the ground after an excellent climb, on its last flight. Hopefully it didn’t sustain too much damage. Robin flew the float plane version of Fred Boxall's Open Rubber design and also a rather eccentric looking balloon tissue covered flying wing glider called a Floating Kidney. Terry mentioned one flight looked like it actually showed some signs of flight. Robin's currently got a bet on with Peter Michel at Epsom Downs, he’s also foolishly built one…the first to break the minute barrier, apparently the loser buys the other a beer. Currently I think in the Kidney Competition both beer glasses are still very dry!
Neil Allen flew a Coupe I think and also spent some time playing with his power toy in middle of the Forest, fine-tuning that nice looking 2.5m six-panel Hummer driven F1C model. It looked to be going a lot better which must have pleased him. When we last saw him during the week, it had suffered a wing fold, so good to see the repair was holding up. Best of luck with it when next flown for real.
Surprisingly despite the good conditions only two rubber flyers and two glider flyers would make the fly off at the end of the day.
Bob Cherry was probably the unluckiest flyer he flew an adapted Open Rubber model cut down to suit the 50g rules, almost but not quite, just missing out by a few seconds, good effort though.

The Fly-Offs - On the Hill

Alex and Mike Cook flying A1s flew off but didn’t contact anything fantastic to assist their models. Alex’s was down at 1:28, Mike’s faired a little better for 1:40. His flight was spoilt by a bad stall which brought the model eventually right down to the ground according to timer Geoff Stringer. Mike had accidentally flooded too much super glue around his rudder doing a repair prior to the fly-off. This seized up, stopping the model circle towing properly and also I guess was the major factor to the stally glide, what a shame. A great effort though from both flyers to max out, its a bit of a rarity to get one A1 fly off and we had two. It may well be that both will have done well enough to place Nationally, lets hope so.

Roman Road

Mike Richardson and John Oulds were both fully wound up and ready to go at 6pm. We were treated to a spectacular when they launched together after walking along to a point just in front of the old radio station compound, going on what looked like a nicely marked indication from the streamer.
The models weren’t slow to hook into it climbing to a great height quite quickly before transitioning to glide. Initially both looked to be flying rather close for a minute or two and I was able to keep the models together within the Bino’s for a while before slowly they drifted apart. Direction was good heading out towards the Lodge Road right of the old manor. The Fred Boxall model with its rather distinctive U Boat Submarine like appearance and small free wheeler DT'd down first safely into a sparsely treed area edge of the forest, just down from the Lodge Road gate house. Landing for 6:17 a nice easy retrieve. Mike’s was probably a bit more awkward as it flew on almost two mins longer for 8:10 and was further left. Hopefully team EG recovered it OK.
Wow what a day, we had lets hope the next meetings as good or better
Is there a better place for watching fly-offs?
Ashdown’s hard to beat on a good day.


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

 

BMFA & RAFA F1H Glider
1
M Cook Crawley
10.00 + 1.45
2
A Cameron Crawley
10.00 + 1.28
3
T Knight Crawley
6.10
4
K Taylor East Grinstead
5.13
5
R Willes Crawley
2.00
BMFA Combined Rubber
1
M Richardson East Grinstead
7.30 + 8.10
2
J Oulds Crawley
7.30 + 6.17
3
M Stagg Maidstone
7.25
4
G Stringer East Grinstead
7.10
5
R Taylor East Grinstead
7.05
6
K Taylor East Grinstead
6.59
7
G Oulds Crawley
6.40
8
P Cameron Crawley
6.09
9
R Willes Crawley
4.05
10
P Norman Crawley
2.42
RAFA Combined Rubber
1
M Richardson East Grinstead
7.30
2
J Oulds Crawley
7.30
3
M Stagg Maidstone
7.25
4
R Cherry East Grinstead
7..25
5
G Stringer East Grinstead
7.10
6
R Taylor East Grinstead
7.05
7
K Taylor East Grinstead
6.59
8
G Oulds Crawley
6.40
9
N Allen East Grinstead
6.30
10
P Cameron Crawley
6.09
11
R Willes Crawley
4.05
12
P Norman Crawley
2.42
BMFA & RAFA Tailless
1
R Willes Crawley
1.02
BMFA & RAFA SLOP
1
R Taylor East Grinstead
6.02
RAFA POINTS
   
class
%
points
1
M Richardson East Grinstead
C / R
100
17.5 + 8
1
J Oulds Crawley
C / R
100
17.5 + 6
1
A Cameron Crawley
F1H
100
17.5 + 2
1
M Cook Crawley
F1H
100
17.5 + 2
5
M Stagg Maidstone
C / R
98.9
14.5
5
R Cherry East Grinstead
C / R
98.9
14.5
7
G Stringer East Grinstead
C / R
95.5
13
8
R Taylor East Grinstead
C / R
94.4
12
9
K Taylor East Grinstead
C / R
93.1
11
10
G Oulds Crawley
C / R
88.9
10
11
N Allen East Grinstead
C / G
86.7
9
12
P Cameron Crawley
C / R
82.0
8
13
R Taylor East Grinstead
SLOP
80.4
7
14
T Knight Crawley
F1H
61.7
6
15
R Willes Crawley
C / R
54.4
5
16
K Taylor East Grinstead
F1H
52.2
4
17
P Norman Crawley
C / R
36
3
18
R Willes Crawley
F1H
20
2
19
R Willes Crawley
Tailless
13.8
1
RAFA Shield
 
1st Area
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
total
Crawley
57
128
74
259
East Grinstead
40
77
96
213
Maidstone
23
62
14.5
99.5

Weather 3 to 10 mph winds in poor direction, clear skies.
Compiled by Mike Cook - CD

Mike Cook
Mike Cook
Alex Cameron
Alex Cameron
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