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WAC Blog #10 - 24 August 2009

Flying resumed today, close to schedule. Richard Pickin, one of our warm-up pilots who is from the UK, flew his CAP for the Judges, drawing the low lines for them. Finally about 13.17, flying at the 25th WAC started up once again with the flight of Alex Leboulanger in his CAP 232, F-GMRG. We started flying with a weather break and that break has been in place all day. However, as luck would have it, we are now on weather hold and the local time is 17.00. There has been a cold front over the UK which refuses to move through – it even backed up for a while – but it’s on its way now and hopefully will be through by 18.00. US Team pilot David Martin was the first to fly today and it was another American pilot, Michael Racy (pilot #41) who was in the air when the weather turned bad again and we had to put the contest on hold. Michael had reported the ceiling at just over 500 meters. It has gotten a bit cold and windy. No rain yet, though it does look ominous.Silverstone has been very gracious and we are now authorized to fly until sunset, so we will continue until about 20.00 tonight once the front moves through.

Tom Cassells of the UK had a technical abort today and it was almost an identifical problem to Leboulanger’s (who was first up today as it was a re-fly for him). The wing root fairing (toward the leading edge) came loose. The Technical Commission Chairman, Mark Davies, had it fixed very quickly but it was disappointing for Tom who was anxious to fly. I could see the disappointment in his face as he sat in the cockpit. In any event, when we start flying again, my reporting will continue but I should mention the excellent communications we have here at WAC. All Team Managers and contest officials were issued UK mobile phones. The WAC organization has the capability to send mass SMS’s to everyone and this is the sort of notification we are getting throughout the day. Weather updates are also sent by SMS. There is no need for running back and forth between team tents and official bulletin boards.