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Leg 1, Crystalaire to Jean - Thursday, June 19, 2003:

The Return to Kitty Hawk Glider Race Lineup at Crystalaire

Sad news, Gene Carapetyan was killed today. The wreckage was found just a few miles North of Crystalaire several hours after the crash. No further details yet. The location is what the locals call the "second ridge". Gene was a great guy, very friendly, and a local to the area. He will be greatly missed by all of us with RTKH, as well as his, I'm sure, many other friends.

The task was from a point a few miles SSW of the airport, using a 5 mile cylinder with 13K MSL top. Most pilots had trouble getting all the way to 13 for the start. I managed about 12.5 before going to the cylinder and makng a start at 12K. Due to the accident, the contest staff has been distracted, so there were no scores yet when I left the airport around 8:30pm. It sounds like most of the contestants did the task of 174 miles in around 2 hours. I heard Kevin Wayt, a guest, mention a speed of around 90 mph. I did about 85. Overall, the weather today was 'so-so' with climbs of mostly around 11K on course.

The marine layer over LA was very deep, and I regret not having my camera along to take photos of the miles & miles of fog to the South of the San Gabriel Mountains. My flight log has been uploaded to the Aerokurier site, so you can see the loooong glide to get out past the marine layer into the desert air around Barstow. After that, I managed to stumble into a nice thermal at around 8K or so for a nice uneventful run to Jean.

On a lighter note... After landing, John Murray approached me with a question about MOA's. It turns out he believed the should be treated as restricted areas, and so flew a few more miles than
the rest of us.

Tom Serkowski.


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