1996 BLANIK MEET

This was posted on rec.aviation.soaring by Jim Dobberfuhl.


Results of the 1996 Blanik Meet

New Castle, VA
May 17-19, 1996

The 1996 Blanik Meet was a success. Twelve contestants attended the competition and had a lot of fun. The L33 Solo (single place) class was comprised of eight pilots and the L13/L23 (two place) class had four pilots.

We were very fortunate to have Bill Holbrook and Ed Byars attend the meet and give us some of their insight on cross country and competition soaring. Cole Frantz graciously lent Ed and Bill her LS-3 so that they could trade off flying and observe/coach the contestants from the air. Each morning at the pilots meeting, Ed and Bill would give us their observations regarding the previous days events. They pointed out the competitors mistakes, and they also pointed out the solutions and better tactics for flying cross country. Ed and Bill were also available to speak with individual pilots and help them with particular aspects of cross country soaring.

May 17th, 1996 - Day 1 - Weather conditions started off with a heavy layer of haze in the morning that burned off by noon. Wispy cumulus clouds were scattered over the course by mid afternoon. The clouds were only mirages of lift, proving to be completely unreliably as indicators of thermal activity. Consistent thermal lift did not start working well until late in the day, favoring late starters. The assigned task was the sand plant, sheep shed, sand plant, sheep shed, and return to NCI. Cole Frantz was the only pilot to complete the task. The conditions were very weak. The average thermal strength was between 1 and 2 knots with heavy sink in between. The sheep shed made a difficult turnpoint because it is roughly 1000 feet higher than the sand plant.

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Single Place Class (L33 Solo) - DAY 1
                        Completed Trnpts        Daily           Total
Pilot(s)                or Speed                Score   Pl      Score
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cole Frantz             29.7 mph                800     1       800
Jim Dobberfuhl          3                       600     2       600
Charley Shuffler        2                       400     3       400
Roland Monette          1                       400     3       400
Bill King               1                       400     3       400
Curt Lewis              1                       400     3       400
Bruce Fox               1                       400     3       400
Eliel Depaz             DNC                     0       4       0

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Two Place Class (L23 Super Blanik & L13 Blanik) - DAY 1
                        Completed Trnpts        Daily   Total
Pilot(s)                or Speed                Score   Pl      Score
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Devinney          1                       400     1       400
 & Dave Cole
B.B. Brown              1                       400     1       400
 & Penn Smith
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May 18th, 1996 - Day 2 - Weather conditions were sunny and hot with no clouds in sight. The assigned task was the sheep shed, sand plant, Lawrence (pvt. airfield), sheep shed, sand plant, and return to NCI. Total task distance was 31 miles. Late starters were the favored group again. Conditions were relatively weak, with thermals averaging between 1 and 2 knots and relatively heavy sink in between. There were the rare 5 knot thermals, but they were difficult to find and surrounded by heavy sink.

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Single Place Class (L33 Solo) - DAY 2
                        Completed Trnpts        Daily           Total
Pilot(s)                or Speed                Score   Pl      Score
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Roland Monette          26.1 mph                1000    3       1400
Charley Shuffler        16.6 mph                617     3       1017
Jim Dobberfuhl          4                       600     2       1200
Bill King               2                       500     3       900
Bruce Fox               2                       500     3       900
Cole Frantz             2                       500     1       1300
Curt Lewis              0                       0       3       400
Eliel Depaz             DNC                     0       8       0

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Two Place Class (L23 Super Blanik & L13 Blanik) - DAY 2
                        Completed Trnpts        Daily           Total
Pilot(s)                or Speed                Score   Pl      Score
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Devinney          2               500     1               900
 & Dave Cole
B.B. Brown              1               400     2               800
 & Penn Smith
---------------------------------------------------------------------
May 19th, 1996 - Day 3 - Weather conditions were sunny and hot. Thermals did not start working well until late in the day, again favoring late starters. The assigned task was the sheep shed, Lawrence (pvt. airfield), sand plant, sheep shed, sand plant, and return to NCI. Total task distance was 31 miles. Temperatures reached 96 degrees Fahrenheit; a real shocker for Virginians in May. The thermals were weak early in the day, but things improved significantly by 4 pm. Five knot thermals were common with a couple of ten knotters to be found. Thermal tops were up around 7500 ft MSL. This was the type of weather we had hoped for.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Single Place Class (L33 Solo) - DAY 3
                        Completed Trnpts        Daily           Total
Pilot(s)                or Speed                Score   Pl      Score
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Dobberfuhl          46.5                    1000    1       2200
Roland Monette          43.4                    933     2       2333
Bill King               33.9                    730     3       1630
Curt Lewis              26.0                    599     4       999
Cole Frantz             0                       0       5       1300
Charley Shuffler        0                       0       5       1017
Bruce Fox               0                       0       5       900
Eliel Depaz             DNC                     0       5       0

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Two Place Class (L23 Super Blanik & L13 Blanik) - DAY 3
                        Completed Trnpts        Daily           Total
Pilot(s)                or Speed                Score   Pl      Score
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Devinney          34.9                    1000    1       1900
 & Dave Cole
B.B. Brown              34.2                    980     2       1780
 & Penn Smith
---------------------------------------------------------------------


FINAL BLANIK MEET SCORING

--------------------------------------------------------------------- Single Place Class (L33 Solo) - FINAL Pilot(s) Final Score --------------------------------------------------------------------- Roland Monette 2333 Jim Dobberfuhl 2200 Bill King 1630 Cole Frantz 1300 Charley Shuffler 1017 Curt Lewis 999 Bruce Fox 900 Eliel Depaz 0 --------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Place Class (L23 Super Blanik & L13 Blanik) - FINAL Pilot(s) Final Score --------------------------------------------------------------------- Steve Devinney 1900 & Dave Cole B.B. Brown 1780 & Penn Smith ---------------------------------------------------------------------
The 1996 Blanik Meet also received support from several other people and the LET factory. Vitek Siroky of Blanik America flew in from Washington state to attend the event and give his support and encouragement to the pilots and crews. He had lots of helpful advice regarding LET (Blanik) sailplane maintenance and available options. Blanik America and the LET factory helped sponsor the event by providing t-shirts to the pilots and crews, as well as, hand held GPS units to the winners of each class (one unit per class.) The runners up received museum quality scale model Blaniks. The Frantz' also helped sponsor the event and had everyone over for a delicious supper Friday evening.

Thanks to some good weather, great sponsorship, and a lot of very enthusiastic people, everyone had a wonderful time. We are already planning next year's Blanik Meet. Get your trailers ready and start talking to your club. This event is one that you don't want to miss.


1996 BLANIK MEET on soaring.guenther-eichhorn.com


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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