By Wally Adasczik
Come to Muncie, they said. Run an Unlimited Sailplane contest, they said. You will have big fun, they said …
Well with that said, the Unlimited contest is in the books! First, thank you to Ed Dumas and Don Richmond for all the help on Saturday, July 15; without them, Unlimited surely would not have happened. It took all day to sort through the League of Silent Flight (LSF) trailer—finding all of the winch stuff, setting up the electrical line for charging the batteries, the turnarounds, and other sundry items.
Ed Dumas was asked by “Random Guy” to load the winches with heavy “ground” line and light “air” line for “stretch,” as heavy line tends to yank the sailplanes out of the contestants’ hands on launch. Well, we honored that request knowing the peeps that fly F3J sailplanes will without a doubt load up the line, burn the winch brushes, and break the line 3/4 of the way up the half sine wave curve. Why did we do this, I kept asking myself. Why … because it’s what the contestants wanted! Remember, it’s a kinder, friendlier, gentler Nats.
At the pilots’ meeting, it was announced that there would be “no pop-offs” and “no dropped rounds.” This was a blatant attempt to get fired and drummed off the flightline, but alas, they kept me as contest director. This thought process forces the good pilots to fly better and the mediocre pilots to think about what they are doing. Those folks that went “hero or zero” did that, with many of the good pilots taking doughnuts on their scorecards for landing out…and in some cases, they landed way out—way out in the corn, that is.
Remember back when I questioned light line on top? Well, some folks that are really good pilots popped that line 3/4 of the way up launch and got a relight due to defective equipment. Many an hour was spent retying light line and, in one case, the flightline team replaced all of the line on one winch due to all of the line breaks …
Let it be said that in Unlimited, you can be standing around minding your own business far from the flightline and, without looking (or asking), get bombarded by a Free Flight airplane! It was one of those days, and Dave Resinger took one for team by a gasser that dropped in unannounced. He was okay in the long run.
Day two was hazy again and not as breezy. You had to work hard for it. Many a hero or zero was obtained by pilots taking the downwind dance. In the end, the pilots that worked hard rose to the top!
Congratulations to Gordy Buckland (first), Josh Glaab (second), Dave Bradley Jr. (third), Mike Lachowski (fourth), Dave Resinger (fifth), and Jim Martin (sixth). Bubble boy for the event went to Jeff Carr.