SDCC Flight Team - "SAFECON 2011 - DAY 9"
> SDCC Flight Team: SAFECON 2011 - DAY 9

SAFECON 2011 - DAY 9

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 Friday - Day 9 SAFECON 2011 Ohio State University

Within a few hours as the visibility improved, it was decided to fly two rounds of the Message Drop event.

Aaron Penney and Frank Razo, who had done so well at Regionals took off first in heat 6. Their drops were close, but not as close as some others. We won't know the results until Saturday night. Kyle Mayhugh and Dylan Jones flew in round 2. Their drops were slightly closer. In the pictures accompanying this blog, you can see both "dropmasters" leaning out of the window with their message boxes and a 3-foot streamer attached so judges can see the box falling. The pilot flies the airplane along the wind line at the direction of the dropmaster, and the box is dropped up-wind of the target in order to drift back to the orange barrel. The drop is made at 200 feet above the runway at about 100 mph. Altitude is verified by the judges with a rangefinder and anyone lower than 200 feet is disqualified.

Following Message Drop, Clayton Hawley and Aaron Varela prepared for the single round of VFR Navigation that would be flown in these championships. Normally there would be 3 rounds. They reported their route went well but they were off by a gallon on their fuel estimate. That will hurt their score. We'll find out the results tomorrow. 

There is a significant build up to the awards ceremony. Some schools spent over $100,000 on their flight teams and results are critical to future budgets. So they spend a considerable amount of time and money on their programs. Consequently the awards are critically important for them and they take it very seriously.

Tomorrow morning we will complete the final round of Power-On Short Field Landings. Jenna Sims is scheduled to fly in the final round which will close out all flying events in these national championships. Competition will end with a business meeting for teams who will decide where next year's championships are to be held.

At this point we believe the best proposal will come from Embry-Riddle in Daytona Florida.

Your SDCC pilots will go back to the hotel and prepare for the awards banquet. I'll try to take a picture of them as they dress up really nice for this event.

Tomorrow: Final Day

 Message Drop judges prepare tapes to measure distance from target barrel to where message box lands  This is a great picture of the message box target, a 55-gallon barrel painted orange. It is easily sighted from the air.  Frank Razo and Aaron Penney take off in Heat 6 Round 1 of Message Drop. Target barrel is in foreground  Aaron Penney prepares to drop the message box upwind and slightly beyond the barrel at 200 feet and 100 mph 

Aaron’s hand is open and the streamer from the message box (red) is just behind the wheel pant and just in front of the E in 91E - the registration number of the airplane.  Aaron prepares message box for second drop. There are two drops in each run - one at either end of the runway with about 8 seconds to make adjustments before second drop  Dylan makes first drop. You can see white message box and blue streamer just below the 1E in N5291E airplane number.  Pilots preparing 91E for the VFR Navigation event with Clayton Hawley and Aaron Varela  

Scroll  over photo for caption.
Click photo to enlarge.


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