With competition starting Thursday evening, we needed to have a strong practice day. Every pilot got a chance to practice power off and short field spot landings on Rwy 08 using the 300-foot long “landing box” for precision spot landings in their respective aircraft. We left 96 Juliet to continue landings at KSNS while 91E and 79MR flew 8 miles to the Marina Airport (KOAR the former Fort Ord airport) to practice Message Drop.
It is difficult to find places to practice the MD event. Most airports are too busy to allow planes to fly 100mph at 200 feet above the ground and drop the streamer-boxes on ground targets. Consequently most teams probably do not practice the event much. We have always done well – mostly because we practice and strategerize. Using both aircraft, we flew numerous sorties and zeroed in on accuracy. Unfortunately we had to cut our practice short when the starter-shaft on 79MR (Coach Breslin’s TR-182) sheared. We had to leave the plane at Marina until new parts could be ordered and installed a couple days later. The day ended with another late-evening dinner at the Bear Paw!