This is the blog for the USA Soaring Teams. Check here for the latest on-site contest reports from the team members.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Official Practice Day 1

Rayskala is the most active multi-sport aviation center in Finland. There are parachuting activities, light sport aviation, model aviation, and glider flying. Nearly 60 gliders are based on field. The airfield has 8 paved runways (four sets of parallel runways).

This gliding site has hosted many championships in the past, including the European soaring championships. In 2005 there was a 1000k task declared in the open class, of which 17 pilots flew the task. The long length of day leads to a long duration of convection and the soaring day can provide consistent thermals for long distance flights. The past two weeks of weather have been less than spectacular. Chris Gough from Canada participated in a contest immediately preceding the junior worlds. They only flew two days. His father, Andy Gough, is here to crew for Chris and has been kind to help us find whatever we need to get us up and operational. Two weeks of rain have provided him much time to scout the area for wants and needs, and locations of convenient stores.

The guys had a decent flight today with good thermals and a total of 350km on task. Mika Ganszauge, who is loaning us his car, is running the Spot tracking feature for the competition. The Spot units provide a reasonable tracking system for the cost. The organization said that 10 trackers for $150 per unit was a good deal compared to $500 a unit for real time tracking; we will have to see how it works out. It seems there was a positive response from the US competitions it was used in so far this year.

Mika was also kind to forward the following photos of the guys landing this evening.

Tomorrow we will have our time for technical inspection so the guys will only make short flights.


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