The 5th FAI Junior World Soaring Championships will start in Rieti, Italy, July 28 and run through August 11. Mike Westbrook will be flying a Discus 2b and Kathy Fosha an LS-8. Team Captain Richard Maleady will be doing double duty as crewman with a car and the last member of the team is Giorgio Marchisio who will be helping out while the team is in Italy. The team goes to Italy July 18th and will have the gliders in Rieti starting the 20th.

Once the team has arrived in Rieti and settled in, Richard will be providing regular reports via this blog. Visit for up to the minute news of our SSA Junior World Team performance.

04 August 2007

News From Competition Day 3 and Aftermath

We are currently in Official Competition Day 5, and both Kathy and Mike are on task. When I last wrote, we were on Competition Day 3, and were on standby for possible retrieves. Well, the possible became the definite, and Giorgio went for Kathy and I went for Mike. Giorgio got the difficult retrieve, and I got the RETRIEVE FROM HELL. I intend to write up the retrieve in detail as soon as possible, but I must go back to the retrieve site to take pictures. I am not capable of describing the events without photographic evidence.

Shown here is one of the only photos taken that night and it is just before leaving for home--where I arrived at 3:30am. Mike's glider was damaged significantly, but has been repaired and is flying today. I believe that was August 1.

On August 2, after getting to bed at 3:30am I left for the airport @7:30 to turn in flight logs for both pilots. I had Kathy's SD card and turned it in. The scorer asked if I had Mike's card, and I told him I would get it as soon as I got the fuselage out of the trailer and the Colibri out. He said he needed it immediately. I think I may not have been polite. But I turned it in and apologized for being a little short with him. Then I walked back to the trailer to assemble Kathy's glider. Giorgio was at the trailer--he didn't get to bed till 2:30am, since he and Kathy had come to help Mike and I--and we rigged the glider. As I mentioned in an earlier post, lining up for the scales was a bit difficult because of the angle from which you approach.

I was determined to get it right this time in order to avoid having to take the glider off the car and moving it by hand, so I tracked a little farther to the right.
Giorgio and I were talking and he said to move a little to the left. Well about that time there was a loud noise, I hit the brakes, and saw the tail of the glider outside of the window on Giorgio's side. The wing had hit the fencepost and was slingshot forward. What happened then was absolutely impossible. The amazing thing is the extremely minor damage done to the glider. See before and after. And the tow bar has been untwisted and is completely fine. (Note from the editor: Following is a slide show of the wing mishap. If you don't believe what you see and want to see it again, keep watching. It's on a continuous loop.)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I am going to post this now and continue later. It appears as if both of our pilots are low and anticipating a landout. We need to get prepared.


No comments: