Monday, 3 November 2014

Hole of Horcum. Winter League 1

Winter leagues already?

The first event of the 2014-15 Northern F3F Winter League took place at the Hole of Horcum on Saturday. Despite a later departure of 04:30 Peter got us there bang on time at 9 am. Dave arrived immediately after us having been right behind us from where he stayed in Middlesbrough on Saturday night.
After a brief discussion in the car park about the south-west wind swinging south-south-west later in the day Jon had us all head for Levisham with the likelihood of having to relocate to the south bowl after lunch which is indeed what happened.
The lift on Levisham was very variable but we flew four rounds (enough to call it a comp if we couldn’t get going on the south  bowl) before we headed back to the Saltergate car park where we met up earlier. The south bowl was working well when we got there.
Ronnie getting ready to lauch a Strega
Jon's Needle getting heaved off
Needle launched
Dave Watson flew his new Pitbull and it was going well and looked like it has great potential. Dave was flying immediately after me in the flying order so I didn’t get much chance to watch him fly. Peter flew his Jedi and it really does seem to suit his flying style. Fast!! Peter had a really bad cut on the south bowl (Dave may have a video of this to torture Peter with!) which cost him valuable time. Peter also fell foul to a buzzing error on a very fast run and was understandably a bit miffed!

South Bowl action
I flew my Pike Precision which was going quite well until round 6. Round 5 went very well and I got a reasonable 42.60 (fifth place in the round) and was looking forward to a few more good times in the steady wind but it wasn’t to be. After launch in round 6 I was immediately thinking all was not well and that I was in some horrible variable sinky air; pumping was not going well. As soon as I flew the model on course and banked for turn one I knew something was seriously amiss with the model. I aborted the round and flew off the course to attempt a landing. The model was rolling ok to the right but very sluggish and wallowy to the right and I suspected I had lost an aileron servo. Several attempts at landing revealed issues with the left flap too. Landing my Precision with 1.3kg of ballast, no brake on the left wing and poor aileron response certainly concentrated my mind! I did discover F3F models don’t side-slip very well! I eventually got it down in one piece (about a third flap, full left aileron and rudder and full down were required; juggling the descent rate with the one remaining flap adjusting the aileron and rudder accordingly). Phew!

The cause? The Multiplex greenie plug (non-too expertly) glued into the wing-root by me had come adrift and pushed inside the wing. The model flew fine the previous flight but the landing must have dislodged the dodgy connection. I was happy to still have an intact model.
I had stupidly left my reserve model in Peter’s car and with only one more round to go I gave up at this point. In fact another two rounds were flown and the last one was in the fading light.
Flying by moonlight!
A great start to the winter leagues.

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