February 2nd (Happy Groundhog’s Day!) at the ATLAS SITE. The current weather forecast, subject to change, predicts comfortable winter temps and favorable, light wind conditions for flying. Range and waiver are expected to be ready for operation starting at 9 AM and lasting until 3 PM or until we run out of motors, lose interest or the weather chases us away, whichever happens first. All flights for this launch must remain under the 12,000
Ah, what an awesome day! 27 different flyers put up a total of 69 flights (31 Class One 38 Class Two) including L2 Cert for Scott Dukes and L1 re-cert for Warren Musselman, Michael Huber’s 20,000′ long burn L, Steve Clapp 100′ rainbow streamer and Bob Steinke’s Vmax Moment of Inertia Mach shot and recovery. Green prairie for August – looks positive for Ofest.
Rough calculations have been made, and MAYHEM really did happen. Over the three clear and sun drenched days, a total of somewhere over 60 different fliers put up something like 241 flights (145 Class One, 96 Class Two), including a few L1 Certifications, a Jr. L1 Certification, 6 M powered flights and 2 N powered flights. Huge thanks to Colin Apke , William Bussell and David Pinter for excellent service as LCO’s and Pad Managers and to everyone that helped with set up and the end of an epic weekend cleanup.
I can provide a better break down for each day, starting with Thursday afternoon/evening when we got most of the range set up and ready. Prairie very lush and green – antelope were happy, cattle are happy, cattlemen are happy and mosquitos ecstatic with all the opportunities to drill and fill, or die trying. Friday started slowly, as expected, but 21 different fliers still managed to loft 48 flights (28 Class One, 20 Class Two), including a Level One Certification flight for Rick Sipin and a Jr. L1 Certification for Collin Ruprecht. Flight line grew slowly during the day and kept growing late into the night. Saturday started with another review of safety concerns and operating procedures before we got really busy with 57 different fliers putting up 122 flights (65 Class One, 57 Class Two). Definitely a HIGH POWERED day that kept the skies busy. Had a brief visit from the Colorado State Highway Patrol (2 patrol cars) – Officer Scott Pucket used to be a member that flew with us maybe ten years ago. He was just showing his partner what’s up. Saturday also included Certification Flights and two high altitude flights in arranged “windows” – one hit 26,000′ and change, I’m waiting for info on the other. Saturday night campfire and possibly a beverage too many for some. Sunday morning started slowly – an hour later than planned, and we finished up about 3:30 with 34 different fliers putting up 71 flights (52 Class One and 19 Class Two).