A wonderful and probably too short seminar week is over. Friday morning Moriarty’s skies still looked fair, but by shortly after noon the clouds grew bigger, some started to rain while others sent down lightning flashes. Was this the final fireworks to garnish our five days of soaring, or was the weather especially brewed to make for an easier travel back home?
To be honest, the last week did not provide typical Moriarty-Weather, but it is Monsoon season, probably a little early, and therefore nobody was too surprised. Only the Monday was not really soarable, but good enough for some gliding. Everybody was invited to fly in the pattern and so finally all the girls were able to receive a field check out. Albuquerque’s Soaring Club had opened their huge hangar and pulled out several different gliders to be used by seminar participants: Grob 103’s, a Schweizer 2-33, a Schweizer 1-26, and a Libelle. A great choice!
Kristin Farry immediately fell in love with the club’s 1-26. After some first thermal test-flights she decided to take the oldtimer up for a five-hour silver-badge flight: “The first three and a half hours went by quickly. I was busy doing a little cross country, but then the sky started to overdevelop a bit, and I flew closer to the field.” Waiting in weaker thermals, sometimes lower than desired, Kristin managed to stay up for five hours, well observed by two long time 1-26 lovers, Bulldog (Pete Vredenburg) and Aeolus (Cathy Williams). Waiting for their friend, they almost missed the barbecue…
Cathy used her WSPA week to get ready for the 1-26 contest, which will also be held in Moriarty in August. She had several electrical problems to solve in her glider and did her first flight just using the seat of her pants which worked almost perfect! Usually she is the only female contestant in the “Flying Circus”, but this year she hopes to be joined by Kristin. And the fun contest has still some more open slots!
The best day of the week (Wednesday) could be used for some extended flights – unfortunately it was my husband’s day… But my fellow club members Gail Schipper and Kate Kennedy, who brought Boulder’s Schweizer 1-34 to Moriarty, used the opportunity to execute a lead and follow flight guided by Billy Hill. Kate and Billy went up in a Duo Discus, a private ship owned by the seminar’s host Conny Buenafe. True, the two different gliders did not really match, but Gail could well keep up with the Duo Discus: “We always met in the thermal and my glider often climbed better than my friends’ high performance two-seater!” Gail logged 247 points on OLC, Kate followed with another 110 points, and Boulder’s pilots are proud of their female members!
Wednesday night we were treated to Bob Carlton’s first night flying show over Moriarty. The public had been invited by newspaper, and a local radio station followed the pyro-equipped Jet-Salto performing some aerobatic maneuvers in the dark New Mexican Skies. Bob had filled the Salto’s wings and tail with a variety of different fireworks, and so his glider was well visible while flying between the lightshow-effects. Wonderful!
The WSPA-Moriarty week ended with an awards banquet and big thanks to all the people who had made the seminar happen. We also recognized Sarah Arnold’s huge success in France. She represented the American Women Pilots in an exceptional way: a third place in the WWGC Club Class, amazing performance! At home, in Moriarty, I was awarded with the AML-Trophy for the longest flight in the past year, but that’s my OLC-colleagues’ story.