SEN issue 1103 - 25 June 2007

Table of Contents - SEN 1103

  1.  Odessa Report
  2. Vol Libre Update
  3. MMM 14 Rounder Update


Odessa Report

Ken Bauer


US team update from Odessa.
It is now Sunday here and we have finished the Black Sea Cup and are getting ready to process models for the WC. The whole US team has arrived safely with model boxes and gear intact. Mike Mck's model box did not arrive with us when the main group got to Kiev, and John Lorbecki Sr was also missing one bag of clothes and gear, but fortunately these arrived the next day with little harm done. The Spences just got here and had carefully packed a large jar of Texan Barb-b-que sauce to share with relatives in Hungary, but the inspections guys did not re-pack it properly and so it broke, spilling the sauce all over their clothes so they were up all night washing.
Despite all the optimistic weather reports last week we have seen almost nothing but wind, 12 to 22mph. It blows either out to the Black Sea or directly off the Black Sea. We've had one calm evening just as the wind was making its 180 degree shift. A couple of mornings have been only a 5 - 10mph breeze instead of wind which was pretty nice. The field is pretty big in most directions and chasing is mostly done on foot.
Thursday afternoon they flew the mini events in a good breeze. Tiffany Odell lost her coupe on the first flight in a huge thermal. I was downwind and saw it DT but it was barely coming down and we never got a good signal on the tracker. It appeared that it may have come down in a large area with bombshell holes and a bunch of target practice obstacles. Blake and Tiffany searched clear out to the Black Sea but it still hasn't been found, although they are trying again today. One of the Israeli models landed in a tree right in the middle of our "Chabanka" accomodations, which is only a few hundred yards from the sea. The accomodations and food here are very good by most standards. Nice rooms, air conditioning, new sheets and towels brought in. Hot water is seldom "hot" however. We're still trying to figure out the best time of day to shower to avoid cold water.
The field is an active Military base and is obviously used for training exercises. Many areas are littered with trenches, mockup tanks, walls, bunkers, etc., but in some directions the chasing is wide open across wheat fields. Driving in you have to have a guard open the up gate. Most are young kids who look pretty serious, but some will actually crack a smile or wave. Sometimes the soldiers are seen marching around with guns and bayonets....
I was chasing for Jim Parker flying F1H thursday and his 4th flight was up for about 7 minutes and took us a long time to finally track down in one of the target areas. He was clean with 4 maxes but he had no other models and couldn't get back in time for the 5th flight so he was done. This happened to other flyers as well in the challenging conditions.
Thursday night there was an opening ceremony for the Black Sea Cup on a large stage set up with a huge sound system, lights, dancing girls and the works. I've never heard such big fanfares for model flyers.
Friday F1B and F1C were flown at the same time staring at 7am. The drift was moderate the first round but the rest of the rounds had them going from 1 to 2.5 km. Chasing the US models was a huge problem because there was only three of us F1A flyers downwind trying to find 9 F1B/F1C models per round. There was no road in the direction of the drift to use a car, although I created one with my Mitsubishi Outlander rental 4WD, although I came close to getting stuck a couple times. When I rented this thing in Kiev the Avis guy made a big deal about how this was a new one with only a few hundred km, and declining their expensive insurance was a painful process, so I'm glad he can't see what is going on here! Many of our fliers decided to quit after a flight or two or three because of the tough conditions to save models and energy for the WC. We spent a lot of time finding Fast Richard's F1C after the 2nd flight. Mike finally tracked it to the edge of the lowest spot on the field, the only moist swampy area in the whole place, so we naturally named this spot Snider Swamp. How cool is that? Walt Ghio decided that the 4th round would be his last. I was about 2km downwind and saw his model go over my head and DT. When I walked up to it 5 min later one wingtip was broken and the stab was gone from tumbling in the wind, and before I could pick it up another wind gust lifted it 4 feet in the air and broke the other wingtip. I grabbed the parts before anything else could happen and didn't let go until they were safely in a vehicle headed back upwind.
John Lorbecki Jr in F1C and Blake Jensen in F1B were the only clean US flyers going into the final 5th round, and by this time we understood why this was only a 5 round contest. Unfortunately neither of their flights made it to our chase team 2km downwind, so we ended up with nobody in the flyoff. The flyoff was postponed until 6am Saturday morning with around a dozen flyers in each B and C. The weather was nice but I don't remember the results.
The F1A rounds started at 7am and I was hopeful this would be a nicer day. The wind was only moderate the first couple rounds, but by the 5th round was almost as windy as the previous day. Brian Van Nest, Mike McKeever, Jim Parker and myself were flying and this time the chasing was pretty well organized with plenty of downwind people. Jim was doing well until the 3rd round when he had to tow in, and on his 2nd attempt got in a line tangle so he took a zero and quit to help the team. Brian was having a challenging day and in the 3rd or 4th round the towline wrapped around his arm during his 2nd attempt and the wind pulled the model into the ground hard breaking the tailboom. I dropped 28 seconds in the 2nd round when I tried to launch under a couple of thermalling models but ended up off to the side instead of under them. Then I flew over "Alex's Hole" and the model struggled. In this wind direction the field slopes downhill and over some of the dropoffs the air is very bad. If you are not high enough when you drift over the models get sucked down. I managed to survive the rest of the rounds with maxes. Mike the WC was our only hope for the flyoff going into the last 5th round. He launched and the model was going up in good air. Mike was winding up his line and we all thought it was in the bag when the downwind guys started yelling in the radios "it's spiraling down, it's on the ground!" Reports were that it lost about 250 feet in 20 seconds from some kind of severe turbulence in the air, most likely created over one of these "holes". It didn't actually spiral in, but just sort of stalled and lost air and fell out of the sky and was on the ground at about 142 seconds. Oh well...
Out of about 100 flyers only 11 survived the 5 rounds and made it to the flyoff which was held at 7:30pm. Only two guys made the 5 minute max, an Israeli and a Swede. The Israeli won it in the 7 min round at 8:30pm.
Overall of course we are enjoying just being here with friends from around the world. Hopefully the weather gods will bring something just a little nicer this week. More news later. We had hoped to send some video clips back home, but the internet access here appears at this point to not be fast enough to send these large files. We may send something when we get home.
Full Results later ..
F1A - Anders Persson, Swden
F1B -  Ivan Kolic, Serbia
F1C - Boris Ivanov

VOL LIBRE Saga CCCP F1B now available

60 pages with Usov -gulugonov-stafanchuk - Manichev - Roshonok - Ivanov - Gorban - Samaohish- Andriukov - Fedoprov ....
Many pictures and plans . out
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MMM - the Only 14 Rouder - Update

Critical info for the upcoming MMM 14 Round FAI Annual: The lock combination on our field access gate has changed to 2675. If you lose the combination or have any problems, call me on my cell at 720-201-6218. We've had a wet spring so the grass is green and we no longer have cows on the property. If you're chasing America's or National Cup points, consider joining us on our 35 square mile field June 29 - July 1. Email me for info at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks. -
Chuck Etherington
Roger Morrell