Bright and early we were, birds singing in the trees, wall to wall sunshine. It’s looking good at 6 o’clock. I’m refusing to pay attention to the few clouds on the horizon. On the field, I thought it a good idea to give the strip a quick trim. By 10-ish the clouds had caught up with me and decided to see if they could spoil the fun. Luckily we only got a few drops of rain. However the wind was 90 degrees on the strip. Not the best way to fly large models. Anyway, to test the air Matthew went up first with his Su26. Not really a sequence model, but good enough for the occasion 😉 When even Matthew was having to go around a few times to get the Su lined up for a landing, you know the rest of us are in for a treat! It is nice to see the big models drifting in the crosswind, but a bit scary for those doing the driving. Dave, also with a Su26, decided to have a test flight too. As with all, the flying is not the problem, it’s the inevitable return to earth that caused the headache. In Dave’s case, he just clipped the grass at the start of the strip and the Su nosed over. Seemingly no damage done.
Around 11-ish the competition was officially started. We had a few Sportsman pilots, and 1 each in Basic, Intermediate and Unlimited. Paul and Trevor kindly volunteered to do the judging for the most part, nothing more could stop us.
Flying took place in the usual random way, whoever had a plane ready was more or less next. Matthew flew first, then the sports guys (Dave, Harry and Kees), Sean did his intermediate thing, Phelim his basic. The cross wind made flying a challenge for most of us, and makes you realise that practising straight into the wind is actually an utter waste of time when it comes to competition flying.
Harry flew very well indeed, but at times you could see him think, I wish I had a bit more power. Dave had a bit of a dodgy 1st flight, there came a scary sound from the business end of the plane, and wisely he decided to land. On closer inspection it turned out the the prop had delaminated, and was the reason for the noise. This was a lucky escape! Me, with my usual small space-fobia, thought I managed a half decent landing after my first 2 schedules, but in the event rolled out into the long grass and broke a leg. No other damage to the plane, so it looks like pure metal fatigue got me. With 2 sportsman pilots out of action, we were down to 1 pilot in each class.
Sean flew very nicely and put in some great landings. If there was a price for that, he’d won straight out. Although Phelim was extremely lucky on his last flight, the wind died, just when he landed, and he managed a very smooth landing.
Matthew of course always makes everything look easy, but in all honesty, it helps to see how things are done properly. And to see that things can be done right, no matter how much crosswind there is. That in itself is always a great encouragement. Just keep on trying, one day you’ll get there too..
You’d think this was a landing competition, but for most of us this was the chalenging bit, nobody wants to wreck a plane so close to Tyrella.
As to the flying proper: You can see big improvements from last year, it’s good to see most of us know the schedule well enough to get the sequences right, surely, we are struggling with crosswind, but that’s a whole new chapter.
And all of us need to get practising the snaps, difficult as they are to get right. From my own experience over the past few months I know that what you think is a reasonable amount of rudder/elev throw for doing a snap, is probably way too much. Time and much practizing is stil required 😉
All in all it was a good day, we learned a lot, and due to the limited number of entrants, it was the usual relaxed Banbridge affair.
Charlie was at hand as the official photographer, we surely will see some great action shots!
As stated before, due to the limited number of entrants, we had to be creative with the scoring. Everyone ‘competed’ against a Perfect Pilot, who received 10’s for all sequences. That results in the real pilots getting a percentage of the max score. The winner is the pilot who recevied the highest percentage score.
So, using this creative calculation, the results are:
- Dave: 1 training flight, aborted 1st flight, no points, just a broken prop, but defenitely a prize for getting up early and arriving ahead of the pack, and having the guts to fly on our strip!
- Kees: 31% (2 schedules only, and a broken leg)
- Phelim (Basic) : 57%
- Harry (Sportsman): 58%
- Sean (Intermediate): 64%
- Matthew (Unlimited): 73%
I think this result is a fair representation of the days flying. Congratulations to all winners, and thanks to all for making this another relaxed enjoyable day!
The full results are over here.