6th AREA MEETING / ASHDOWN FOREST / 18 October 2009

Report from Gary Oulds

"It descended Into The Valley Beyond"

The last day of 2009 on the Forest started with a light northerly wind. This caught out a few late arrivals that were a bit slow driving round from Colemans Hatch. The weather forecast was for the wind to swing round more and more southwesterly during the day, which CD Mike Cook had allowed for and everyone tucked in at Friends.

Flyers set up stooges and other aero paraphernalia around the edges of a clearing along the ridge looking out towards the Airman's grave side of the Forest. We'd packed enough for a mini Ray Mear's jungle expedition, and walked across Friends' car park, arms stretched round model boxes trying not to drop anything. Saw Robin Willes early on returning for more model armoury. His Winding Boy, a classic class rubber model, wound in twice for a zero score. He followed this with a max that badly damaged his Mentor on landing. Undeterred Robin went on to fly his Walthew rubber model to good account next with some interesting low level maxing in Mini Vintage. He was also top in Crawley's Glider B team along side Terry Knight and Tony Clark. Peter Norman topped Classic Rubber at Ashdown and backed this with a good average in the Mini Vintage class. Ken Taylor was already well on the way to maxing out with his Senator.

Mike Richardson and Martin Stagg put up good efforts in Coupe dropping little time, both made the top 12 nationally. Geoff Stringer dropped just short of the fly-offs by 5 seconds flying in East Grinstead's Glider A team. Maidstone's John Richardson also missed by just over a minute in glider, tricky day. Team mate Dennis Bird was about half way up the Ashdown Mini Vintage board. Peter Lang unluckily tree'd his F1Q electric power model early on and eventually finished up with a total of 4.10 and 8th place nationally.

Whilst I was changing burst spaghetti, Croydon flyer Keith Miller's Hepcat was wafting above our heads in a standing thermal. The model DT'd down into the clearing just a few yards from where he launched - nice flight!

John and Gary had chosen to fly rubber first, glider later. This proved more than a little bit too ambitious flights wise. Its never dull. John forgot to put the tracker bug into his Hepcat, we then had the drama of trying to thread a bug and aerial with tweezers into a model that was now being held on about 1000 turns, it coincided though with a distinct cold spell, after which the sun remerged strong again. With temperatures and mylar rising John launched into a super patch of air, worth the wait. But the delay and late starting Oulds decided they were going to switch over to glider soon.

I then had a one-flight wonder with the Mercury Mentor no doubt a lovely looking flight but slightly overkill at 8 mins! There were obviously some questions surrounding how long I'd set the DT for. It was well marked down by those watching and from Terry Knight I got a good GPS line on it. The Model was temporarily abandoned, but recovered OK on return to Ashdown the following day. Peter Cameron dropped some time with his Hepcat which apparently struggled a little but Alex Cameron was doing well He'd maxed out comfortably, all in good air and high up. His third DT'd safely down around 4 mins just onto Friends' car park. Mike Cook on the other hand started the day with a flight that off the launch looked like it could have been down on the ground in under a minute. But the model amazingly held on floating around the hill top on a cushion of warm air dropping lower than the copse of trees on the bank above when it finally DT'd it was only a few paces away. He went on to max out.

This left John and Gary who'd packed up to move across to Friends they were now in glider mode with time seriously running out John managed to squeeze the last max in which DTd safely down into the valley putting Crawleys A team into the fly offs nationally.

Fly offs

Robin Willes overseeing the fly-off sounded the start and finish with a blast of the old air horn

Ken Taylor was surprisingly the only rubber flyer at Ashdown to make the fly-off. He made a credible 2.46 (Ken placed 8th nationally) with his Senator in Mini Vintage, not a bad flight considering there was very little assistance over the Forest at this time.

Mike Cook, Alex Cameron and John Oulds lined up in glider.

John launched straight up and off fairly early on a slight mark, his model bunted well, but the air was rather calm. The model hung around overhead for a while, but it never looked like it was going to escape the valley, it still squeezed the best from what it had and was timed down into the bottom for 3.26 (John placed 6th nationally)

Alex launched next another pretty good bunt launch in what I thought initially was slightly better air than John but that quickly fell away. His model recovered and made a valiant effort to climb up out of the valley but was also getting lower at the same time. Eventually Terry noted the ground shadow behind the model and not long after, it landed on the plateau edge for 4.09 (Alex placed 4th nationally)

This left Mike who continued to circle on a little longer before finally launching the model again bunted well, then hung into the light breeze and actually looked like it had lost some height at this point. I think the flight could have gone either way but as it slowly turned away out over the valley it defiantly kicked on the turn this bumped the model up giving it crucial extra height finding something the other two hadn't when crossing the valley it maintained this and the glide trim looked pretty much spot on for the remainder of the flight watching it slowly tick the minutes off we realised it had a good chance of running the timer out still up. Eventually it descended into the valley beyond the Camp Hill firebreak and was clocked off for 8.32 (Mike Cook placing 1st nationally). What a great last flight that was, and very fitting way to end the year on a high!

The Crawley Glider A team scored 22.30 mins + 16.07 fly-off, as of writing nationally confirmed 2009 Model Engineer Cup winners

Well done to all the clubs and individuals who flew or just came along to support free flight at Ashdown during the year

Apparently there could be 8 meetings next year, including an early chiller brrrrrr!

Merry Christmas and roll on the New Year!

Finally many thanks to C.D Mike Cook for all his efforts.

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

BMFA Combined Glider Team
1
M Cook Crawley A
7.30 + 8.32
2
A Cameron Crawley A
7.30 + 4.09
3
J Oulds Crawley A
7.30 + 3.26
4
G Stringer E Grinstead A
7.25
5
J Richardson Maidstone
6.23
6
M Richardson East Grinstead A
6.13
7
R Willes Crawley B
5.46
8
T Knight Crawley B
4.13
9
A Clark Crawley B
4.10
10
K Taylor East Grinstead A
3.47
11
R Taylor East Grinstead
2.29
BMFA Mini Vintage
1
K Taylor E Grinstead
6.00 + 2.46
2
P Cameron Crawley
5.31
3
R Willes Crawley
5.22
4
D Bird Maidstone
3.59
5
P Norman Crawley
2.59
6
K Miller Croydon
2.00
6
J Oulds Crawley
2.00
BMFA Classic Rubber
1
P Norman Crawley
3.25
2
R Willes Crawley
2.30
3
G Oulds Crawley
2.30
BMFA Coupe d'Hiver
1
M Richardson East Grinstead
9.35
2
M Stagg Maidstone
9.20
BMFA Classic Power
1
R Taylor E Grinstead
1.36
BMFA F1C/F1Q
1
P Lang Maidstone
4.10
RAFA POINTS
   
class
%
points
1
M Cook Crawley
C / G
100
22.5+10
2
A Cameron Crawley
C / G
100
22.5+8
3
J Oulds Crawley
C / G
100
22.5+6
4
K Taylor East Grinstead
Mini Vin
100
22.5+6
5
G Stringer East Grinstead
C / G
98.9
20
6
M Richardson E Grinstead
Coupe
95.8
19
7
M Stagg Maidstone
Coupe
93.3
18
8
P Cameron Crawley
Mini Vin
91.8
17
9
R Willes Crawley
Mini Vin
89.4
16
10
J Richardson Maidstone
C / G
85.1
15
11
M Richardson East Grinstead
C / G
82.9
14
12
R Willes Crawley
C / G
76.9
13
13
D Bird Maidstone
Mini Vin
66.4
12
14
T Knight Crawley
C / G
56.2
11
15
P Lang Maidstone
F1Q
55.6
10
15
A Clark Crawley
C / G
55.6
9
17
K Taylor E Grinstead
C / G
50.4
8
18
P Norman Crawley
Mini Vin
49.7
7
19
R Taylor East Grinstead
C / G
46.4
6
20
P Norman Crawley
Classic R
45.6
5
21
G Oulds Crawley
Classic R
49.7
4
21
J Oulds Crawley
Mini Vin
33.3
3
21
R Willes Crawley
Classic R
49.7
3
24
R Taylor East Grinstead
Classic P
21.3
1
RAFA Shield
 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
total
Crawley
57
128
74
92.5
49.5
179
580
E Grinstead
40
77
96
38.5
90.5
92.5
434.5
Maidstone
23
62
14.5
30
56
45
230.5

Weather : Sunny with light northerly winds, turning southerly for fly-off

Compiled by Mike Cook - CD

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