Are We There Yet?

Phew…

I had a very long day today flying until I absolutely couldn’t see the airplane.  It feels good to be flying the Alferma again but it has taken some work reprogramming my brain to fly it and reprogramming my radio to adjust for the change in density altitude here.  For the preliminary pattern it is so much less critical to have the airplane feeling the same way as when you left.  The finals sequence has tons of timing critical snaps, integrated rollers that need to be finessed, and radii that need to be given care. All of this means it takes much longer to retune the airplane to the new environment.  I’ve gotten everything back though and am ready to give the semi finals everything I’ve got.

We had gotten pretty far into the preliminaries without incident, but unfortunately we couldn’t get through the nationals without a mid-air collision.  Mark Atwood’s Proteus met Ken Velez’s Celestia and both turned into confetti.  It happened on site 1 but several saw it from site 3 as it happened.  I’ve had two mid-airs and they’re devastating.  It’s an unfortunate fact of life here in the United States.

Something you might have noticed from updates I’ve posted… I had three rounds in the preliminaries with exactly the same raw score.  1576 was just my number this year apparently.

I will try and do a larger update tomorrow and include pictures and some more insider stories.  It’s hard to put in long days and have the time to get back to the hotel and get a blog post done, but we’re trying our best.  Look forward to a feature with master craftsman Carlos Tuny from Venezuela and his self built Diaguita biplane, as well as videos of flights from the top pilots, some of which will have corresponding score sheets to reference!

See you tomorrow…

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