I am actually writing this a day early as I will be traveling on the 14th and will not have time to post anything that night.† I will arrive at Quest Air for the Flytec Championships around 8:30 in the evening.† This year I am going on the cheap because money is tight.† I will camping there, which will be a first for me (not camping, but not staying in a motel during the comp).† Nancy (my wife) will be staying home this year, earning money so I can play (it sounds like I got the better deal, but I assure you, I did an awful lot of honey doos to earn the time off).† I will be hooking up with Mark Stump and Ollie, two pilots from Arkansas.† I flew with Mark in Texas last year.† James Linscome will be driving retrieve.† ††
I am in a little better shape this year aerobically than in years past.† I was able to run through most of the winter, except for two weeks after my shoulder surgery, when I had staples on the incision and the doctor did not want me to run.† I usually gain about 10 pounds over the winter and this year I only gained 5, so I will have 5 less pounds of ballast for this years comp.† I have not been able to fly much this winter, only two flights totaling 2 hours and 45 minutes.† This is about the same amount as last year at this time.
I thought I would be better prepared this year for the competition I Florida, having gone the last two years.† I was wrong.† I waited until three weeks before I was to ship my glider to do an annual on it.† I found the spoiler ropes were worn a little more than I liked.† I finally found some replacements at Mission Soaring.† I originally tried using regular Perlon for a replacement.† After installing them I found that the Perlon stretched way too much to work properly.† The factory ropes must be made out of Spectra or some other low stretch material.
After finally getting the spoilers correct, I was going over the glider one more time when I found the front crossover wire to be badly worn.† I now had less than a week to find a replacement before my glider had to be in the crate and on itís way.† I had the proper size cable on hand (left over from another glider), but I did not have the proper size swages.† Again I found the proper ones at Mission Soaring.† The cable was 2mm.† The swages needed to be either 2mm or 5/64ths.† It turns out that Wills Wings uses 5/64th on some of their gliders.† My swaging tool had the proper die to crimp them so I was able to make the cable.† I made another one at the same time as a spare.
I donít really have the room to set up my glider at my house.† I have to use most of my neighborís front yard to put it together.† I will feel much better when I can get it put together at Quest and take a test flight.
At the last minute, I put a lot more items in my crate.† This was to make room in the truck that Mark Mulholland was going to drive to Florida, pulling a trailer with three Swifts and my crate.† I hope that I used enough padding.† This is another reason I will feel better once I get the glider together at Quest.† I have been told that my crate arrived safely so that is comforting to know.†
The crate ended up weighing close to 500 pounds (my guess).† I used my trusty engine hoist to lift it on to Marks trailer.† He was impressed how easy it was to get it loaded.† Whatís interesting is I have never used that hoist to lift an engine, but at least a couple times a year I find a use for it.
My flight leaves San Jose at 6:15 in the morning.† I change planes in Phoenix, then on to Orlando, arriving at 6:30 in the evening.† I then have to pick up my rental car and head for Quest.† On the way their I will stop by a store and pick up some ice and a few items for breakfast and lunches.† I intend to eat breakfast and lunch of my own making and go out for dinner (or possible eat dinner at Quest).†
Once the competition starts, things should settle down and I can get into more of a routine.†
Sorry, no pictures as my camera is packed in the crate.
I am having the same
problem that Ernie is having with uploading files. I don't know if I will get
it worked out. For now I will post to here.
I got in earlier than I expected. My flight arrived in Orlando by 4:40pm. I made it to Quest by 6:30. I set up my tent, but I think I picked a bad spot. I will probably move tomorrow. I have not taken my glider out of the crate.
It was blowing 20 gusting to 30 at the Orlando airport when we landed. At Quest it was blowing 15 at 6:30. Nobody flew today. The weather is supposed to get better tomorrow and continue to get better for the next week. Ron Gleason said this has been a very windy spring.
My harness is wet from rain leaking into my crate. I have it drying out. Some of my spare downtube weak links rusted. My radio seems fine.
I better get going and finish up some more chores.