Back in the Saddle

Posted by Steve Sides
Posted on 4/11/2016

untitledAs you may have noticed (or not) I didn’t post anything in the month of March.  My wife and I took the month off and made a road trip from Greensboro to Seattle by way of the Grand Canyon.  I have to say that it is the most impressive ditch I’ve seen.  All the photos that you may have seen of the canyon don’t do it justice.  Just has to be seen to be believed.  Also was able to see the Painted Desert National Park and the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.  And of course an airplane buff can’t go to Seattle without going to the Boeing plant.  But now it’s time to get back into the swing of things.





The AMPS contest on February 28 – 29 in Miami led off the season with 25 pilots attending including one international pilot.  Got 4 rounds completed and the unknown for a successful contest.  Tony Fandino CD’d the contest at the AMPS field just outside Miami proper.

Next up was the Spring Ocala event on March 19 –20.  This event is always well attended with a large Canadian contingent.  Always good to have our Canadian friends join us in the lower 48.  Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate very much and only 2 known rounds and the unknown were able to be completed.  Peter Jackson managed this event for us.  Thanks to Peter and the Ocala club for hosting us and doing all the hard work.

Jerry Hailey hosted the Dan Myers Basic Only contest at his club field in Lexington, NC.  Five pilots came out and were treated to a mini judging school covering the Basic sequence figures only along with some tips for flying the figures better.  These were presented by experienced judging instructors and pilots.  After that the competition began with each pilot’s flight being critiqued afterward highlighting some consistent deficiencies and how to correct them.  Three known rounds and the unknown later, awards were presented and the new group of pilots were sent off hopefully to join future IMAC events.  Many thanks to all the folks that came out to help with judging, critiquing as well as all the usual stuff that goes along with running a contest.  Helping in their first SE event were Mike and Candi Hurley recently moving to the SE region from Colorado.  Welcome to the SE !  Glad to have ya’ll join us.

Rounding out was the Southwest Florida challenge run by Dave Ortmayer on April 2 –3.  On this outing there were 3 rounds plus the unknown were completed for the 23 pilots attending.

Mocksville is the first full contest in the northern part of the region.  As I’m writing this I’m sitting in my trailer at the Mocksville field feeling it shake and shudder in the howling wind outside.


Flying and Judging question

In a stall turn maneuver performed with a cross wind in the pilot’s face,  the pilot applied rudder to wind correct the upline for a vertical line.  At the pivot point of the figure, the pilot opted to pivot with the wind and the aircraft moved 3 half wing lengths before establishing the vertical wind corrected down line.  On the down line, the aircraft was seen to pendulum 5 degrees on 3 occasions before settling into a consistent line.  Once the settled line was established it was vertical.  There were no other errors observed in the figure.  So what is the deduction ?  There’s no clear answer.  For sure there is a 1.5 degree deduction for the pendulum.  But what about the pivot ?  Here you as a judge need to determine if the pilot performed a poor pivot or the wind caused the aircraft to move that distance.  Perhaps a difficult call.  As a judge I’d be likely to give the pilot the benefit of the doubt and not deduct.  As a pilot, I’d pivot into the wind to take that decision out of the judges hands.  Please refer to Family 5 in the IMAC rule book.


Other Stuff


There was an issue brought to my attention where no reports could be printed from the program.  I found this quite confusing since I do that all the time with no difficulty.  With some more investigation it was discovered that changing the destination of the report files to something other than the default may have caused the problem.  Printing to the default location always works correctly.


I learned something that I didn’t know in that you may receive Alternate sequences for your contest even though you didn’t request them.  This occurs if on the same weekend there is a contest that DID request the alternates.  For any given weekend there is only 1 set of unknowns sent out and they are Alternates if any contest has requested them.  So don’t be surprised if when you receive your unknowns if they include alternates for Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited.