On the fourth day we did our task
The secondary task, if the conditions weren't that great, was to go from
Wilotree Park north up highway 33 to Grass Roots airfield, turn west toward
Center Hill. There was a 1 km turnpoint cylinder around Center Hill, then back
I came in under Larry Bunner at the Mickey Mouse shaped lake just northwest of
Wilotree Park and slowly climbed up to join him. I climbed at an average of 200
fpm to 3,800' as we drifted to the northwest at 11 mph. I didn't see Rob
Clarkson or Greg Dinauer. And the radio channel wasn't working likely from
Larry's broken PTT button.
Larry signaled for us to leave together and we headed north toward Grass Roots.
The twelve kilometer glide with no lift got us down to 700' AGL before we found
lift north of Grass Roots. I was headed a bit to the west going under Larry to
get over a preferable landing field (the one we were over had a bunch of cows in
it), and found the lift with Larry right behind me. We climbed, but slowly, and
only to 2,600'. This made the decision to head toward Center Hill instead of the
primary task turnpoint at the overpass at the Turnpike and highway 33 fairly
straight forward. Of course, after that everything got much better.
We climbed to 4,000' in the next thermal just before Center Hill. Larry was in
the lead and took us low over a small community where he found the lift at 900'
AGL. I was wondering if he had a landing option.
The wind had died to 4 mph out of the south east. We quickly got the turnpoint
and headed east southeast. We both found lift separately over a field that I've
been over many times and appreciate for its consistent lift.
Joining up we climbed to 4,000' and headed south east toward the chicken coops
at Mascotte, another known thermal hotspot. We didn't get low before climbing
again to 4,000' a third of the way to the coops. I lost Larry as I headed a
little more south then he did, but apparently my line was much better than his
as he watched me continually glide higher and higher than he did.
I found 200 fpm a kilometer before the chicken coops again to 4,000' and then as
I came over them saw Larry just to their south climbing far below. A couple of
turns over him and then on glide to goal. There was plenty of lift along the
way. We came in together.