02 August 2014

HD Home Depot Report

 I worked  yesterday on water valves as one of the valves was locking and I was losing water in one wing when I  adjusted water ballast during flight
After 5 hours of work I was able to seal  valve and it works now.
US Team calls my glider Home Depot and I think they are right as glider is my working project with parts from Tesco ( our Home Depot) I hope to finish my project before end of the Worlds.
The owner showed up today and was quite happy that some problem were solved as he was trying to fix valves for last two years.
Today task was short, but very challenging with poor lift and fake clouds and blue holes.
I was able to move couple spots ahead, but it is long way to go.
To many points lost in first 4 days.

 Every day when we finish there is cirrus over the field and no thermals .
The grain elevator is visible from long distance and it helps in navigation as there is no time to look at instrument panel due to heavy traffic of other gliders

Dave's Day 7

As you can see from Jarek's earlier post, the pre-start gaggles today were huge.  The problem was we couldn't climb more than about 400 ft above release altitude in ridiculously weak lift.

I was one of the first to launch today around 1330 and we struggled until 1430, when suddenly the lift increased and top of lift rose 1500 feet in a matter of minutes.  I assume there was some sort of inversion in the sounding and at that time, the temperature rose to the point where the rising air could get past this inversion.  This is clearly visible in the barograph trace below..

The other thing that you can see in the trace is that my start occurred at the lowest point on my trace.  Today, I really blew the start.  I was not happy with the huge gaggles and moved away and into the start area (in the blue) to join a smaller group who, it turned out, were circling in nothing.  I tried a couple of wisps that had formed and found nothing and just kept getting lower.  As I crossed the start line I headed back towards town where there had been climbs for the last 2 hours with the thought that if I found a good climb I could restart.  Over town I had a lovely 1.4 kt climb and based on this I elected not to restart and headed out on course low.

This really slowed me down, as most other people started about 4000 ft, so I had to spend at least 10 minutes extra climbing to make up the deficit.  While this did not cost me a first place finish, it did cost me about 14 places on the day.

So now the list looks like this:
- don't deviate too much
- don't make stupid mistakes
- don't start too early, and 
- don't start too low

Weather and ... how many gliders you see there

Answer - 26 (i know, my lens is quite dirty...sorry!) LOL


We have marginal day with poor visibility and possibly blue condition on the tasks.

for 15M - 1:30h assigned area
for 18M - 1:30h assigned task

Launch time was 1:30 local, our team is in the air waiting for gate to open.

Tonight we have "Polish Day" at the hangar with local food and drinks.


01 August 2014

Day 6 - cancelled

I think the picture says it all.  Leszno is located at the yellow square and 2/3rds of Poland is under cloud cover.

July 31 evening

Yesterday (July 31) WGC organized International Day.
Large hangar was converted to "international buffet" with teams serving national food and drinks.
Our group didn't prepare anything. Our reality is that in Canada we have this sort of "buffet" every day due to diversity of our population:-) Maybe with the exception of "Maple Syrup" that we didn't have:-(
Hangar was full of chatter and people serving food & drinks.

We even have original Japanese ladies in traditional dresses serving "sake".

Overall, great evening!!!

Today's morning looks promising. They're some high level clouds and sun is out.
There's dew on grass and cars - usually that indicates great day!!


31 July 2014

Day 5 - some pictures

This first picture shows the Leszno airfield at 0830 this morning, looking from the road at the eastern edge of the field.  In terms of a standard airfield, it does not really have runways laid out as we are accustomed in Canada, it is really just a big field.  Yesterday, as I was on final, there were 6 other gliders beside me and we all landed line abreast.

Based on the sky this morning, it did not seem likely that we would fly, but at the 10 AM meeting, the decision was postponed  to noon.  Around 11 AM, the Open class was told to grid for 1 PM.  In the Open class, almost everyone has an engine, so a mass landout day is not nearly as taxing as in the other classes.

At 1:30, the launch of the open class started into a very dark sky as shown in the picture below.  There were cu, but also a heavy cirrus shelf over top.

A small gaggle of Open class gliders shortly after release.

Once everyone was in the air, the day was cancelled.


Today weather conditions are not the best, we're are in the area between two fronts.
At this moment there's no decision about grid for 15 & 18 M classes.
We expect to have final "go/no go" about possible grid/task after noon local time.
Open class is getting ready for 1 PM local. 


30 July 2014

HD First Four Contest Days

Last four days were full of  technical problems

On Day One ,one of the varios didn't work other was slow . Each day before flight and after I had hour and half to work on plumbing , no change very frustrating.

Day Two - we tried other configuration , none of varios worked .Flew without working  varios.

Day Three
One vario worked, but hard time to center didn't believe vario ,vario was right because thermals were very broken. After landing we found that there is no air in the  main wheel. Inner tube was fixed by some one before and patch gave up. Because of  fixed $ 20 tube I could  damage  $150,000 glider.
Leader of contest Karol Staryszak give us his spare. Unfortunately wrong size we  damaged it during filling with air .
Day Four
We found new tube today morning and installed . Pete Alexander from US team lend me his spare vario I was able to compare settings.
 At the same time based on instruction from Clear Nav Team I was able to sort out vario problem .

When I converted imperial polar numbers to metric I entered wrong number in polar and vario was giving wrong indications.

Vario worked today ,but pilot didn't I went in to restricted airspace 60 km from the start earned 60 points for the day .

I hope I used all possible bad luck credit :)

Dave's Day 4

Today was another interesting weather day.  We again had a 2 hr area task because the forecast was that we would again have a lot of cloud and some isolated showers in the area around 4 pm.  Today, that forecast was correct.  At this morning's meeting, the weather man apologized for the forecasting error yesterday and told us that he hopes his forecast today is correct.  The satellite image below shows the cloud cover at 1645 local time proving that the weather forecast was correct.  The yellow square in the image is Leszno and you can see there really was a lot of cloud.

The next pictures were taken at our B&B around the same time and show the full overcast and no cu.

In this last picture, the view is towards the SE where our last turnpoint was located and you can just see the last bits of blue sky.

In general, the day was quite good for the short 2 hr task period and I had a couple of really good climbs, with the best climb at 6.1 kts.  Unfortunately, on the way home as things were starting to get dark and rain showers were popping up, I took a couple of very weak climbs with the gaggle that cost me a good 5 minutes.  At one point, I finally had enough and moved forward to find a "good" 2.5 kt climb - this in comparison to the less than 1 kt in which the gaggle was climbing.

The finish gate today was a 10 km circle around the airport at 1000 ft AGL and for most of the glide home, I didn't believe the final glide calculator, it showed I needed too much height.  I then realized I had the Mc ring set to 4 kts and dialed that back, and then finally (too late) it occurred to me that I did not select the navigate to the edge of the ring option, so it was calculating arrival at 1000 ft over the airport, plus my safety factor.  So today, stupid mistakes cost me.

The goal tomorrow - no stupid mistakes (and no weak thermals and less deviations)!


Another hot day with high possibility of rain/thunderstorms.
Organizers trying to mitigate risk and avoid situation from couple days ago when some pilots waited in the air for storms to pass and teams on the ground got soaked to underwear (our crew included).

for today:

Results from all days available  here

We will try to post few pictures this evening.


29 July 2014

Dave's Day 3

Today, I was beaten by the weather man.  Now, let me explain that statement.  At the morning briefing and on the weather briefing sheets that were handed out, the weather man said there would be 100% cirrus cloud cover over Leszno by 4 pm.  A short 2:15 task was set for our class to get us home before the day shut down.

Unfortunately, the weather man was wrong and as of 8 pm, there are still no cirrus clouds over Leszno.  Because of the expected short day, I started with another group at 1345, and we had a slow run in weak thermals and low cloud base (about 3000 AGL) for the first and second legs.  Most other pilots must have had better weather information as the majority of the class started an hour after our group in significantly better weather.

The problem with setting short tasks like 2 hrs is that it lets people wait that extra hour or more and fly in better conditions and really is no test of pilot skill, but of team composition and which team has the best weather man.  This is really frustrating for us who don't live on this continent and don't have access to good weather sites, or can't read the language on the local sites.  Well, that's enough complaining!  Hopefully, the weather man will improve his forecasting.

As you can see by the barograph trace, things improved significantly after 3 pm, in part due to being later in the day, but also because the first and second legs ran through the area where a lot of rain fell during yesterdays thunderstorms.

 On the route map below, you can see the large deviation that I made on the third leg.  This was again because of the large blue hole from the yesterday's rain.  The path that I followed was quite good with a really nice cloud street that ran about 1/3 of the leg north.  I was then able to connect to another shorter street and then some isolated clouds before turning almost 90 degrees across the blue to enter the third area.  From there, it was a turn back towards the clouds in the east  for the fourth area where I was able to connect with a good climb that put me on final glide back across about a 30 km hole.


The weather yesterday was quite challenging with showers and thunderstorms passing around.
Our team returned before major storm, some other pilots waited in the air until they can come back home. Today's situation looks similar, so far no sign of rain. Very hot and humid.

Orginizer posted the follwing tasks:

Results from each individual day and overall are posted on WGC2014 site.


PS. some new pictures from Opening Ceremony are posted - see our gallery

28 July 2014

Dave's Day 2

Day 2 was another challenging day and I had another slow day.  There were rain showers scattered throughout the task area, but had the largest impact at the second turn area, and then on the last leg home.  I had to fly through some heavy rain about 25 km from Leszno on the final glide.  About 15 minutes after I landed, it started to pour at the airport and some pilots had to wait out the storm before they could finish and land.

During the flight, I kept seeing the same gaggle, so I thought I was doing OK, but it seems they all picked up 10 extra km in a couple of the turn areas and that made the difference.

I am trying to analyze my flight against some of the other flights to see where I made mistakes, but I am having trouble seeing material differences in some of the statistics.  The only thing that really stands out for today was I flew and extra 11% distance above the task distance and the other flights were 4 and 5 %, so on a 380 km task, that makes about an additional 20 km of unnecessary distance.

Below is my flight trace combined with two other traces.  My trace is the red one. From this, I see that I flew the same route as the blue, but green drove really deep into the second turn area.  This is where we ran into our first wall of rain today.  Just before the rain, I had a great 7 kt climb to 6000 ft and then was able to run the shelf of the rain front into the turn area.  The green guy decided to take it further, but then had to deviate a long way west on the way out.  However - he won the day.  Probably based on that extra distance.

The barograph trace shows that I used about the same working band as the other two pilots.

So the goal for tomorrow is to try and deviate less, but on a day with rain in some quadrants and blue holes in others, it seemed reasonable to make the deviations at the time!


Today we have similar weather condition as yesterday. 
Overall very hot day influenced by southern air mass. 

Grid time 11:45.

There's real time tracking page for limited number of competitors where you can see progress.


27 July 2014

Dave's Day 1 - off to a roaring start

After a day like today, it is important to analyse where things went off the track.  Two things stand out.  First, I started too early.  The forecast called for conditions to weaken after 1600 so I thought a 1330 start would be good for the 2.5 hour task to arrive home around 4.  Reviewing the start times for the class pretty much everyone else started 20-30 minutes later.

The second thing that stands out is that I went too deep into the first turn area in less than ideal conditions.  The max distance on the task was 380 km and if an average speed of 140 km/hr was achieved for the 2.5 hour task the distance flown would need to be 350 km.  This did not leave much choice besides trying to max out the first two cylinders.  My weather analysis also suggested that the third cylinder would be the weakest part of the flight, so the decision was made to go deep in the first so I wouldn't run out of space late on.

As you can see, I did max out the first cylinder, but this proved to be a poor decision as I had to make large deviations going in and out of that corner.  On the way in, I was getting low and needed to move east into the sun to climb in some weak lift.  On the way out, the second leg was blue, but there was a good line of clouds to the north that I again had to deviate towards.  This push into the back of the cylinder cost me around 15-20 km/hr on the day.  By the time I was re-established on the second leg, my average speed was down to 84 km/hr.  So now, there was no need to push deep into the second as this would put me well overtime and into weakening weather at the end of the task.

As it turned out, the east side of the second cylinder had much better conditions then the west half where I was flying, so I probably should have turned sooner in the first and then continued further in the second  But the damage was done  and continuing now would have added another 30 km and my current speed didn't justify going that much further to the good weather that I could see from the cockpit.

My last leg home was the best of the flight and although it didn't look very good with very few clouds, there was a climb where I needed it and then a couple of short streets as I got closer to home.

So all in all, not a good start to the contest, but the great news is there is lots of up potential from here!

Day ONE task info and results.


Today we woke up to high cirrus and no wind and looks like very hot day ahead.
task for 15m is 2.5h task distance 214.6/380.3  (292.3 KM)
task for 18m is 2.5h, task distance 223.1/401.6 (308.2 KM)

gate was open 1:12 PM for 15m and 1:26 for 18m class.

couple of pictures from morning grid uploaded to gallery.