Monday, April 24

Female Glider Pilot Sarah Arnold Ready for the WGC Czech Republic

“I’ve had times when I really didn’t like what was going on with my points,” Glider Pilot Sarah Arnold said, “but I’ve never had a scary situation.  I mean, you have to plan ahead.  If you don’t find a thermal, you have to land in a field below you.  I’ve landed in lots of fields, but I can’t say that I’ve been afraid of them because I planned well.”  She confirmed what I had been hearing, that Thursday in the 2017 R5N contest was an ambitious task, that five pilots landed out and that some didn’t get back to Perry until 7:00.

Arnold runs a flying school near Chattanooga, TN, the Chilhowee Glider Port.  “Pilots all over the country know where Perry, SC is because of Al and Rhonda Tyler,” Arnold told me.  She enjoys the challenge of gliding, how every day is different and a glider pilot in competition never knows what conditions they’ll be facing on the course.  

In this area of SC, 4,000 – 6,000 feet altitude is expected for a glider.  In this contest, 4 – 5 hours in the air is typical.  Everything depends on the weather, the thermals.  The pilots have an estimated start-time each day, but it all depends on the weather.  

The Region 5 North contest has four different classes for competition, mostly based upon wing size.  The Open Class has the biggest wing span, 20 meters.  Then there’s the 18 meter class, the 15 meter class and the Sports class.  Each class has a daily winner.  Add up the daily points and the cumulative points for the week is the winner in each class.  The Soaring Society keeps the records and a pilot’s ranking helps them get into the busy contests, like Perry’s.  

Each day, a task is given in each class.  The task is to get inside the radius of each designated location which is then recorded on the pilot’s GPS.  Each pilot has to complete his task in a certain time frame.  Going below the time frame results in a penalty.  With a Turn Area Task, the pilot just has to touch inside that area to count.  If a pilot is not confident in the weather, he can just touch each area and go, but if a pilot is confident, he can fly to the back of the designated area and fly a longer distance.  That is what differentiates the pilots.  The task is scored by the total distance and the speed.  The speed is the pilot’s time divided by the distance.  Maintaining time is part of the challenge, figuring out how to stay up there.  The pilot who flies through the strongest thermals and flies through the most rising air from other sources is the pilot who will win.

Pilots are passing each other often, navigating mostly with their eyes.  Pilots have to infer where to find rising air based on the clouds or something on the ground that might be a source of thermal, but if they see another glider circling and rising, they can just follow and not poke around looking for a thermal.

Gliders are fairly low weight and carry water as a ballast.  It helps to be light while going up, but once they are up there, it helps to be heavy, to go farther.  In some cases, pilots are dumping water early, but normally they try to keep it as long as possible for the advantage of being heavier -- higher speed due to more mass.

Sarah Arnold was the only female competing at Perry this year.  She is preparing to compete in the Women's Glider Championship in the Czech Republic next month and she has medaled in a previous WGC in France.

Sunday, April 23

Soaring Society Glider Competition 2017 Kicked Off in Perry

Jim Hogue, a retiree from Alabama & 40 year veteran pilot, was excited to compete this week at Al & Rhonda Tyler's airstrip, the kick-off contest for the Soaring Society's competition season.

The Region 5 North hosts the Perry contest each year, maxing out with 65 pilots & a long waiting list of hopefuls primarily due to the excellence of the Tyler's air-strip, the high level of expertise Tyler demands, & the social camaraderie of any sport's seasonal kick-off event.

The international glider competition visits our beautiful edge of Aiken County for 7 days annually, bringing 200 visitors to patronize our local businesses and to both entertain our families and encourage our kids to pursue their dreams via dedicated STEM studies and piqued curiosity.

I found and interviewed the only female pilot in the contest, can't wait to share that with you soon!

Travel Info.

The contest is held at the Perry International Airfield, Perry, SC each April.  Not sure if campsites are available for non soaring society members.

Hotels in Orangeburg, Columbia or Aiken, SC are about a 40 minute drive from airstrip.

Restaurants, parks & grocery stores are available in Wagener, 2 miles or so from the landing strip.

Sunday, April 16

Jesus Lives and Gives Peace, Connection to God

"Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb...."

"... now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven demons."

"....She turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, 'Woman why are you weeping? Who are you seeking?'

She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away.'

Jesus said to her, 'Mary!'

She turned and said to him, 'Rabboni,' which is to say, Teacher."

A lot of people in a variety of locations saw & spoke with Jesus after his death, burial and Resurrection.  His spirit is alive and vibrant in me, although I have never seen Him.

The Bible promises that we will, again, be mocked and persecuted for our faith in Christ.  It has begun here in America and really scares me for our future, especially that of my kids and grandkids.  But the peace that passes all understanding is comfort.

As I age, and as I come to know & experience Jesus more, I regret the years I wasted not witnessing, not telling others about Him.

"And if I weep, let it be as a man who is longing for his home."  - Rich Mullins lyrics

Thursday, March 9

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea

How are you doing with all your New Years resolutions?  Are you participating in my #52Weeks of change?  I am still participating, I just haven't been posting about it.

Around the third or fourth week, I added this anti-inflammatory tea to my morning routine.  Honestly, I haven't noticed a change in my health yet.  Add the following to your cuppa boiling water:

  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper if you can tolerate it, I hate it
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, I usually add more
  • 2 tsp. raw honey
Google's all over this, so you can easily find alternative recipes.  You can use more ginger, but I'm not a fan, so I keep mine minimal.  Ditto with the pepper.

If you recall, on week one of my personal #52Weeks, I began Yoga.  Well, I'm still doing it, but I haven't improved much because first my son had a burst appendix and I spent a lot of time with him during his 5-day stay at the hospital.  Then I was in a bad accident on January 23rd in which I had bruised ribs, a bruised nose (I think maybe broken) and a badly sprained wrist.  The doctors thought the wrist was broken in two places and they put it in a cast at first.  Then another doctor viewed it differently and put me in a splint.  I still have another week in a wrist splint from that.  While six of us in the vehicle were injured, one friend died from her injuries five days after the accident.  It was an absolutely horrific week and I still can't believe she's gone.  It's been a tragic start to the new year for my friends and family.

In addition to the Yoga and turmeric tea, the weekly changes include being deliberate and intentional with love, forgiveness, gratitude, & releasing bitterness.  The #52Weeks of change will include abstract changes like these as well as the concrete, physical changes.  Go for it!  Join me with #52Weeks of change in 2017. 

Popinjay: Betrayal


be - 'tra (-e)l \ noun

Betrayal's root is betray, which comes from the Middle English word bitrayen — meaning "mislead, deceive." Betrayal has to do with destroying someone's trust, possibly by lying.
Synonyms:  perfidy, treachery, treason, knavery, subversiveness.

'per - fe - de \ noun

The noun perfidy means "deceitfulness" or "treachery," so it's not just being mean, but deliberately betraying a trust. The Latin root of perfidy is made up of per, or "through," and fidem, or "faith." So in order for perfidy to happen, there has to have first been a sense of faith in place, which was then broken or betrayed.

Sunday, February 12

Cleaning Up the Canoe Trail at Aiken State Park

I was thrilled to hear that my old friend Doug Busbee cleaned up the Aiken State Park Canoe Trail on the South Fork of the Edisto River again so I can kayak through again.  I went with him one time when he did this after a hurricane, I know it can be dangerous and definitely time consuming.  I am very appreciative of his efforts.

Guest Writer:  Doug Busbee, Busbee Truck Parts

It was truly a privilege and honor to have Jacob Chavious driving the boat yesterday for me as we cleared some trees out of the canoe trail on the South Edisto river at the Aiken State Park. 

Jacob is a direct descendant of the Edisto Indians that have paddled this river for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Jacobs family is the closest thing that I am aware to being true native Americans in Eastern Aiken County. 
At one time in the early 1700s the Edisto river and adjacent lands were deeded to the Edisto Indians by the King of England. The Edisto Indians were known for their oarsman and guiding capabilities in the black water swamps of the Edisto and brought many trading parties up the river deep into the midlands of South Carolina. 
Jacob and his family are still known locally to be some of the best fishermen, oarsmen and possessor's of infinite knowledge of the black water jewel that we call the Edisto!

If one should want to know more about the Edisto Basin's native people check out the Beaver Creek Indians that meet in Salley, SC once a month. Jacob, Thank you once again for sharing your time and teaching me the value of conservation of our most precious resource, Water! You did a great job!

More of Doug Busbee on Planet Pookie:

North Carolina's Original Hilbilly
Doug-Busbee-South-Carolina Nice-To-Meetcha
In Which Doug Baaaas Extraordinarialy Like a Sheep
In Which Doug Had to Taste the Glacier Runoff
In Which Doug Has a Slight Steering Malfunction
How to Cast Net Shrimp and Everyone Yelled at Me for Promoting Putting Lead in Your Mouth
Busbees Gatorade Duel 1
In Which Doug and I Compare Views of Alaska at 36,000 Feet