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Leg 8, Terry Airport, Indianapolis to Caesar Creek Gliderport, OH - Saturday, June 28, 2003:

Alpha Alpha lands at Terry Airport

Picture courtesy of Dave Newill

From Dave Nadler:
RTKH - Leg 8 report

Today's task is Terry (north of Indianapolis) to Caesar Creek Soaring club south of Dayton Ohio. After yesterday's grind we're ready to go again. Only a few finishers yesterday. One bloke flew the whole way with the wheel down, then retracted it in the pattern before landing downwind. Ooops, more repairs required. In motor-gliders, Natalie was yesterday's only finisher with her big ASW-22BLE.

This morning the club at Terry fed us a great pancake breakfast. We tied the Ventus out and it had plenty of fuel, so only pre-flight checks to do before blast-off. The weather briefing was unfortunate, as the guys had trouble getting any current data. Missing from the briefing was any mention of the large front to the North-West, which had already had us briefly in shade. I planned to head out *immediately* so as not to get caught. Launch commenced, followed shortly by planes returning to the field, unable to stay aloft in the shadow of the approaching front. I taxied out and took off promptly, and seeing the huge shadow and light rain approaching, decided to ignore the race and get going. I'm here to fly !

Ran the motor up to 5k, shut down, and glided out towards the sun to the East. After some distance, the clouds started to work. A couple of other gliders and many motor-gliders had the same idea. DJ headed straight out after tow. Lift was 3+ knots under the clouds, so it should be a short trip to Caesar Creek. I should know better than to think...

It blued out going East, and shortly I'm struggling between 2k and 3k, occasionally up to 4k AGL. Its summer weather with week lift cycling quickly. Chasing wisps is a waste of
time as they're gone before you reach them. Talked to AA, who then landed back at Terry and hitched a tow from one of the towplanes headed East with us, releasing once they reached the sun.

Eventually reach final glide, after which I hit a 6 knot thermal ! Seems like we got ahead of the lift (it developed later to the East). DJ, AA, Natalie, myself, and a few other motor-gliders reached Caesar Creek, though the official race was cancelled. Can't help but indulge in a few loops before landing, then frighten the locals taxiing the Ventus.

Fun flight - Only 100 miles soaring and 3:30 airborne, but it definitely beats driving ! Crew David Fitch arrives shortly, and the Ventus is promptly squeaky-clean and back in its trailer. The Caesar Creek club has a lovely grass strip and several tugs including a stealth Pawnee equipped with a Hoffman 4-bladed prop and muffler - you have to not hear it to believe it. Quiet towplanes make good neighbors. Hangars for the sailplane
trailers, pads for campers, clubhouse with shaded picnic area.

Even a river with canoes by the runway. And everything is green ! What a contrast to the western desert with its grit and heat. We're stuffed with a nice BBQ dinner they've put on for us. And good beer on tap. What hospitality ! Wouldn't mind
getting stuck here for a bit.

During dinner, Bob Ward entertained us with "Turbulence", a bit of Australian lore about cowboy "Billy Hayes" first airplane flight. Bob Ward is from Queensland Australia, and is sharing Dick's Ventus 2CM "RV" (Bob owns a 2CM in Oz). Martha Jacobs looked particularly fetching tonight.

Dick Van Grunsven gave a presentation to Jim and Wilma Wynings. Jim, Dick and Tom Ward worked until 2AM building a gear puller, pulled out the loose and damaged starter ring gear. Jim and one of his friends re-machined the improperly manufactured ring gear attach, and flew the renewed parts out to Caesar Creek for Dick. If you don't know, Dick is the proprietor of the firm that designs and manufactures kits for the RV series of homebuilt aircraft. They've shipped over 9,000 kits, of which more than 3,300 are flying, and their annual production is comparable to Cessna. Dick's got a lot of friends to call
upon ! Hopefully Dick will soon have his motor-glider working properly (Bob Ward landed it in a field yesterday, as the motor was inoperative).

Wife Renee is hoping I'll return home one of these days, and parrot Rupert is learning to use the telephone (Rupert and I had a brief phone conversation after I talked to Renee).

Task for tomorrow - Laundry ! Getting a bit odiforous 'round the gliders (but, possibly its the pilots).

Best Regards, Dave

From Jim Payne:
RTKH Report June 29, 2003
Today (ed. Sunday) we called a rest day. The crews have traveled and the "three wheeled motorgliders" have flown every day since June 21. Since we are at the home of the Wrights it will give pilots and crews the opportunity to visit the Air Force Museum and museums devoted to the Wrights and to catch up on laundry.

Yesterday was one of those days that make a CD life difficult. The overcast moving from the west shut things down just as the launch was beginning. Doug Jacobs, one of the first off, headed east and managed to sustain until he got to the sunny areas where the soaring was good. The other launchers who stayed near the airport were soon back on the ground. Since it was obvious soaring was problematic, the CD cancelled the day since those who still hadn‚t launched would not have a fair opportunity.

The motorglider pilots that subsequently launched reported that they had to motor 10 to 25 miles to the east depending on launch time before they encountered thermals.
Once into the good airmass, pilots enjoyed good soaring to the Caesar Creek Gliderport, south of Dayton, Ohio.

The folks at CCSC put on an awesome party for the contestants. No one went away hungry. Jackie and I were members of CCSC when I was stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB 21 years ago. It is great to see the club still prospering.

So far, we have had at least one reporter visit us at each stop. For instance, the Dayton Daily News had a reporter at CCSC yesterday who wrote a nice article about RTKH in the Sunday edition.

Jim Payne

Tom Serkowski in his ASH-26E

Picture courtesy of Tom Serkowski

From Tom Serkowski:
Today was a rest day, so I slept in quite late then Karen, Dan Gudgel, his son Joshua and I hit the Air Force museum for a few hours.

Yesterday was an interesting day. We had a great breakfast in the big hangar followed by the daily briefing and winners's speeches. The forecast was for the front just North of us to move South and shut things down, so we got ready for a quick launch to get out of Dodge as soon as possible.

By the time we grid, it's overcast with cu visible to the East. The self-launchers are staged on a taxiway just in front of the pure sailplanes, so we can launch any time we choose between tows. I get in the air at a bit after 1230 and motor straight
out on course to 2500' AGL.

After shutdown, I turn South toward a little spot of sunshine on the ground and at about this time, the tasks are cancelled - we're on our own to do as we please. I find a little thermal and manage to limp along at a little more than 2,000' MSL, which is not much more than 1,500' AGL. There are enough airports that I always have one within glide, but for the first 10 miles, I'm flying over suburbia, nothing but homes and parks and shopping malls.

About 21 miles out I make a low save from about 500' AGL while set up for a straight-in (confortably high) for Mt Comfort airport. 10 miles later, I'm not as lucky and have to start the engine over a private strip. I motor up to 4500' under some nice looking cu. Unfortunately, I'm still not connecting with the good lift. I hear DJ, 22 and YO chatting about the good lift and climbs to 6K as I continue to flounder in junk. Finally, about 48 miles on course, I get the one good climb of the day, 4 knots and a 3,000' gain all the way to 5700'.

South of Richmond, I hear Dan in Kitty Hawk Air (Chris Woods' Cessna 185) on his way to CCSC, but still behind me. I ask him if he has a camera and photographer, he does, so we meet up and get a few photos of the ASH-26E. One looks great and I'll get it
posted on the website soon.

After this, I'm still a couple thousand feet below glide to CCSC, so I continue sniffing for lift under wisps of cu and some moisture domes visible on ahead. I see TH circling in some lift and join them for a decent climb, then we split with different ideas of where the next thermal should be. In the next thermal, I'm joined by Greg Crook in AHA, his ASH-25. We climb to final glide altitude and glide to Caesar Creek. The airport is a lush green everywhere. The runway is a huge manicured lawn and all the trees are thick with leaves.

Temperature's mild and it's wonderful to spend the rest of the afternoon sitting in the shade while we wait for dinner. The club members provide a wonderful dinner for us all.
As always, my flight log is posted on the Aerokurier website.


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