Steve's Diary: 28 July 2004

	From: 	  	Steve Kittel
	Subject: 	What I did today
	Date: 		29 July 2004 3:43:29 AM
	To: 	  	(various)

Wednesday 28/7/04

After starting the laundry in the GDR tractor factory washing machine, I went to rig. Small catastrophe, the TE probe was left in last night as we closed the trailer and consequently was bent. To fix it we needed to drill out a small portion of tube and insert a new one.

As an aside, the airfield at Klix has two workshops a white one for glider maintenance (ie clean) and a black (dirty) one for machinery maintenance. It also has a full time mechanic named Siegfreid who helped us out. There were no proper size drills in the black workshop so Siegfreid went home and got his own personal set. They were all stored neatly in rows in holes drilled in a thick lump of perspex. In fact it was a portion of the front windscreen of a Mig15!

After drilling out the TE tube in steps of 0.1mm we finally got a good fit and repaired the probe. It flew today and the Lisas came equal 7th so it must have been OK. Didn't forget to take it out tonight.

Anyway, after that we got the pilots away in the comp and got on with the important business of the day (!). With the help of Sabine and Rolf (also known as Volume) we rigged the LS1 and I was able to take it on a quick local soaring flight. Off the Wilga at 600m I could see 3 big birds circling in the distance. I went over to them for a closer look and they seemed to be big buzzards. With a wingspan in excess of a metre or so they looked like pretty chunky birds, not the sort to have a disagreement with. After a short while one left and I continued to climb with the remaining two. We were all pretty close and they seemed to prefer sitting behind my wingtip (to ride the vortex) when they could. At times we were flying 5m or less apart. A really special climb as they either chose to stay with me the whole way or are a little less expert than the Aussie raptors (the former I think).

As we approached cloud base I cracked the brakes to stop going up into the cloud, but the buzzards went up into the gloom. Then they started doing something particularly spectactular which I've heard of but never seen. They would fly close together, one above the other, then the top one would roll around onto its back and underneath the other one. They would clasp talons and fall for a while, let go and do it again. When they started this they were well above me and I dropped 300m following them down until they disappeared below. After that I just cruised about as I knew the competitiors would be in soon. I got down and Sabine and Rolf helped derig the LS1. As we were putting it away the front runners started coming in. We waited until the 2 Lisas got back and derigged.

I don't mind the derig every day, but rigging can be a pain. We haven't yet got the trick for rapid/easy assembly. When I helped the German girls this morning, we rigged two gliders in less than 15 minutes. Then sat down to a civilized breakfast by 0730. One of the girls (Anja Kohlrausch) got a fourth in 15m class, but Swaantje outlanded 15km short, from a task of 230km. Highest of the 9 outlanders but only 21st in the field. Anyway, enough for now