SDCC Flight Team - "SAFECON 2011 - DAY 8"
> SDCC Flight Team: SAFECON 2011 - DAY 8

SAFECON 2011 - DAY 8

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 Thursday - Day 8 SAFECON 2011 Ohio State University 


Thursday forecast was for clearing skies and isolated showers, but before long the skies closed out the sun that had poked through briefly Wednesday afternoon. Then it opened again with liquid sunshine – the kind that makes everything, you know - wet. Even so, NIFA was able to complete 5 rounds of Power-Off Spot Landings. SDCC pilots did well with some close to the line and a few long in the box. We had a couple out of the box.

The "box" is a 300' long chalked box with the landing line located 100' from the front end. Judges line the runway and mark where each plane lands. They look for wheel movement and measure the distance from the landing line. Wheels are painted with white markers to make them easy to identify motion. If the plane bounces, they mark where both wheels touch down and stay on the ground. Penalties are given for irregular patterns, excessive floating, forcing the plane onto the ground etc. Pilots are disqualified for any technique considered unsafe by the judges.

The judges switched to Message drop at 6pm – determined to get as much flying as possible. But the weather would not cooperate. Visibility lowered, rain increased and flying was cancelled around 1830. The team was scheduled to meet with LeTourneau University and Liberty University for dinner and fellowship as they do each year. But fatigue was beginning to show on our young aviators and they decided to return to the hotel and go to bed early. Friday would be a long, busy day and the long trip from San Diego combined with a week of mostly sitting around watching the weather took its toll. One cannot discount the cumulative effects of fatigue – regardless of the source – in the course of these marathon competitions.

Friday is forecast to be foggy in the morning, with some clearing by noon. The plan is to get as many Message Drop rounds as possible. There are 5 rounds scheduled with 7 heats in each round. The judges will switch to the Navigation Event as soon as weather permits. Navigation requires higher ceilings in a 100 mile arc north of Columbus because the waypoints for each of the 3 NAV routes are 90nm (102 miles) long. The Nav routes loop around the area mostly north of Columbus so the judges have to verify adequate weather throughout the region before switching to NAV.
Watch: Paul Martin Power Off Spot Landing ... 



Power-Off Spot Landing Judges at the ZERO landing line. Red Flag is the touchdown spot.  Paul Martin floats to touchdown in Power-Off landings - estimate 140 feet long.  Paul Martin: Tires just above the 20 foot line  Randi Cavalier, Frank Razo & Aaron Penney watching Power Off landings at Ohio State University 

This is the paint striping on the wheels so judges can mark when and where tires touch down in spot landings Clayton Hawley celebrates the sun peeking out over the clouds - it was a short celebration! Bird’s nest in the engine of N8353T. Didn’t take the birds long to find a dry place to raise a family. Unfortunately the home was in an airplane engine...  Building a home between spark plug wires of an airplane doesn’t make for a stable homelife...  

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