10, Newcastle, VA to Dinwiddie County Airport, Petersburg, VA - Tuesday,
July 1, 2003:
Leg 11, Dinwiddie County Airport, Petersburg, VA to Edenton, NC - Wednesday,
July 2, 2003:
Not to worry, if it rains, then we'll
eat, drink, and have a good time instead!
RTKH - Leg 10/11 report
From Dave Nadler (July 3, 2003):
We left New Castle in the pouring rain, after a great breakfast put on
by BRSS (Blue Ridge Soaring Society). A long wet drive brings us to Manteo
NC, were we'll launch for our ceremonial flight into Kitty Hawk on the
Crew David Fitch and I stopped and visited the Wright Brothers National
Monument and had a look at the exhibits and the landing areas. Its a bit
surreal, jammed between the overbuilt strip malls, vacation cottages,
K-Mart, Wal-Mart, outlet stores, etc... Nice
small exhibit describing a bit of what the Wright's accomplished.
Nothing to do otherwise but go eat some crabs (unless one wants to visit
the outlet stores).
Weather is looking good for the 4th,
Best Regards, Dave
From Dave Nadler (July 2, 2003):
Castle Virginia, the thunderstorms and rain associated with the north
edge of tropical storm Bill have arrived. No chance of flying for the
next legs, so we'll trailer to Manteo, North Carolina. July 4th looks
like the weather will permit our ceremonial flights
from Manteo into the actual site of the Wright Brother's first flight.
Its been an amazing trip ! Too bad the weather wasn't better, but we've
still managed to fly across a big chunk of the USA.
Blue Ridge Soaring Society is nestled up in the middle of ridge country.
Thecla and Lanier Frantz host the club on their beautiful field, complete
with a club house, hangars, a trailer hangar, plenty of space. And of
course lush green everywhere, and southern hospitality. The fall contest
(Region 4 South) is always a classic; I flew this for many years and need
to find time to start doing so again.
Many of us stopped at the Air Force Museum while in Dayton a few days
ago. It is really staggering to see how far we have progressed in the
100 years since the Wrights first left the ground under control. The scale
of the Wright's accomplishment is little appreciated; it isn't just that
they understood and conquered controlling turns, but also that they created
wind-tunnels, airfoils, propellers, not to mention designing and building
their own engines in their quest. Overcoming each of these individual
obstacles was a fantastic engineering feat in isolation, but it is mind-bending
that they strung these all together to achieve controlled flight. It will
be quite an honor to land at the site of first flight.
The dinner bell is ringing for the feast that the Blue Ridge Soaring Society
has prepared for us - gotta run !
Let's hope for good weather on the 4th,
Best Regards, Dave
From Jim Payne:
RTKH Report July 1, 2003
Well, Tropical Storm Bill slipped it to us. It looks as if RTKH racing
days are finished, but we should have nice weather for the ceremonial
flight on July 4. For our first time we experienced the famous hospitality
of New Castle‚s Blue Ridge Soaring Society, hosted by Lanier and
Thecla Frantz. The ceilings were hovering on the hilltops, and the forecast
was something Jackie doesn‚t remember seeing - 100% chance of rain
with up to 5 inches tomorrow. So the BRSS folks had packets of possible
non-fly day activities. Some went the historical route in nearby Roanoke,
some took the energy to hike a challenging nearby piece of the Appalachian
Trail, some took a well-deserved snooze, and we took a simple hike to
a lovely waterfall punctuated by gentle rain that started at 2 PM.
Although it was the shiniest (thanks Jeff Cloud) brass cannon that called
us to the mornings pilot's meeting it was a dinner bell at 6:30 that announced
the opening of the yacht club for an outstanding pig roast BBQ. Lawn chairs
in the creek seem to be the prerequisite sailing vessel of choice. Rumor
has it that John Murray is an admiral. The daily winners were announced,
but the cumulative scores won‚t be announced just yet.
Mike Bird (Platypus to Sailplane and Gliding readers) said he felt so
at home with the conditions we described yesterday that he screwed up
less than everyone else to win with George Moffat in the ASH-25 at 39
mph. DJ felt like he and Martha already had two of the RTKH glass mugs
so he gave his prize to Moffat and Bird so they wouldn‚t need to
share across the Atlantic. Ron Clarke (ZA) won in 18-meter for the day.
John Lubon took first for the day in the Motorglider contest which is
a subset of the RTKH race.
We meet again for a fish fry at Manteo at 5 PM on the evening of July
3rd for a mandatory meeting of pilots flying into First Flight Airport.
The National Parks Service has been so gracious to allow us to commemorate
the Wright Brothers contribution to aviation and gliding at their facility.
As it draws to a conclusion we look back on two years of preparation,
two solid months of ironing out details, and feel that only the weather
has been uncooperative. John, Linda, Jackie and I could not have possibly
done this without the willing help of so many folks. Each day brought
new challenges which someone in the race had the skills to deal with.
We are appreciative of all the assistance all along the journey. As a
yardstick, the Smirnoff Derby had 7 pilots and ships with corporate support.
We have 40 pilots in 33 ships who have completed the entire race on their
own. They and their crews are all winners.