And… we’re back!

Sectional map with 2014 US Open Class Nationals turnpoints marked

2014 US Open Class Nationals: the arena

For a few hours at least, there will still be some JOY left in Nevada…

Of course by JOY I mean N3KF, Mike’s Schempp-Hirth Nimbus 3DM open class glider. Mike, Jay, and Jay’s girlfriend are trucking JOY in its 35-foot-long trailer all the way to Montague, California for the 2014 US Open Class National Soaring Contest. They are about three days and 2,300 grueling miles into 2,700 mile trip. Depending on how they’re feeling by the time they get to Reno, they might push to finish the drive tonight.

Naturally I wish I were along for the ride.

Instead, I’ll be leaving on a direct flight tomorrow morning—early—from Pittsburgh to the West Coast. I’ll be meeting with Mike and the gang on the evening of the 22nd. Practice day is the 23rd, and the contest starts again on the 24th. Just like in 2012, I’ll be blogging the view from the rear seat right here at stepleton.com.

In fact, I tested out the rear set a couple of weeks ago, and it seems to work as well as ever:

Rear seat testing, May, State College, PA

Rear seat testing, May, State College, PA

At top: a sectional map with turnpoints marked out for the Montague contest area. Note Mount Shasta at bottom right, which dominates all of the nearby terrain. It looks like we’ll be able to see it from all directions during the contest…

Where have I been since the last post? Same-old, same-old. I’m still flying India:

N824T in lee wave near Tyrone, PA

N824T in lee wave near Tyrone, PA

I started this year with a glider aerobatics intro lesson at Minden:

Over the top of a loop near Minden, NV

Over the top of a loop near Minden, NV

And they made me the president of the Pittsburgh Soaring Clubagain. So, still flying gliders.

More soon.

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