Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pre Worlds Day 7

Well it had already been a huge morning with the spot landing comp and little sleep and now we had to fly 110kms to the NE. I was not feeling teh best and rested as much as I could before taking off and climbing out to 9,000 ft. I was able to be in the best position for the first start which was going to be the best one as it was already starting to rain to the left of course line quite heavy. I knew that we would have to hurry up and try to make it around the front of the storm before we got shut down. I was out in front with Attila and Andre and soon were approaching this storm quite fast. It started lightning quite frequently and we were running along the edge of it no more than 10kms from the lightning bolts. I was starting to get nervous but kept going trying to keep my eyes closed. I got out into teh blue a little and was able to see how fast the cloud in front of me was growing and how high it had towered upto. It then started to dump rain and in my oppinon was only minutes behind the storm that we were next to which was not looking good with gust fronts going out all sides of it and still throwing down lighning bolts. At this point I decided it was not worth risking my life for a days score and consulting with Kraig who also had the same oppinon. I quickly turned around and starting heading back towards the airport and was joined by Robert Resinger but everyone else kept going towards goal. Kraig and Chris headed back more to the south and landed about 35kms from the airport in a safe field. I ws more upwind with robert and we kept going and eventually were shut down and landed 15kms from the airport on the main road. We packed up and returned to the hangar to find out what was happening with the task. To our suprise we found out that the task had not been cancelled and they had spoken to the saftey committee who had said they thought it was safe. Wow we were quite amazed as I am not normally the first person to get scared but when it comes to lighning on course I was not going to risk it. After a very long discussion it had seemed that we had made the right choice to land but we according to the results were going to lose a days scores as it was still a valid task. At this point we were trying to figure out why it is that we come to comps to compete when "stuff like that" happens. It was decided that the only way nowfor us to keep our positions was to protest the day and have it cancelled to due to unfairness for all the pilots. None of us wanted to do that cause we thought it was quite obvious that this day was not meant to be flown and it should not be up us to be the bad guys. It was not until the other pilots started retuning home and also complaining about having to run from this monster storm for safety. The mexicans were herd to be calling "may day may day" on the radio as they were trying to out run the storm. Attila who I had left behind when I aborted my flight continued on to win the day in 1hr and 18mins. Many of the guys at goal were also not happy with the task and thought that it should also be cancelled. Attila went ahead and put in a protest being the best man for the job as he was already winnng the comp and was the winner for the day. The protest was upheld and they day was cancelled, of course there was a few unhappy people but there were a lot more in favour of having it cancelled.