BAeA Open Club Event, 2016 results

The story of this Club event, at least in part, began back in June. It was originally scheduled to take place on June 4th, the weather was rubbish!

We made the sad decision to postpone the event. At that point we weren't sure if we would be able to reschedule. Would the nice folks at Little Gransden allow us to make another date? Would we be able to find competitors, judges? Would my wife ever forgive me for not taking her to watch the Manchester Derby which clashed with the eventually rescheduled competition date? Only time would tell.

The date was rescheduled for Sept 10th and guess what, in this year of weather-ravaged aerobatic competition, as the 10th approached the weather for that date was rubbish too.

With two days to go, we decided to explore the possibility of rescheduling for Sunday, which had a much better forecast. Everyone pitched in. Little Gransden were accomodating, again! Adrian Willis juggled things so that G-EEEK was available for the competitors due to fly it. Jack Willis stepped in to fly because Adrian had prior commitments. Judges were juggled, Pilots were prepped, NOTAMS rescheduled - it was a real team effort.

In the end Sunday's weather was as glorious as Saturday's was dismal so we made the right call. Flying commenced at 10:30 and progressed a little slowly at first because we had only one, hard-worked, saftey pilot, Jack, with more than half the field demanding his services.

Each competitor got the chance to fly in a practice area near the airfield and then return for a critiqued, judged, flight in the box. The aim being to give them experience of competition flying and some advice on what to improve for the competition proper. There was some very nice flying in the first round. After which Ollie Young was just ahead of Neil Whitehead in the scores, both acheiving marks in the high seventies. Ollie, flying a very nice Extra 300L, flew some very graceful and accurate figures.

Neil, and his RAF colleague Matt, were flying the T67. Neil also did some very nice flying, despite the T67 struggling a bit with hot-starts.

NOTAMS were published and I had a chat with the tug-master at the nearby gliding club who was very helpful in trying to keep gliders away from us. Both of these no doubt helped a bit, but didn't prevent several box incursions. Several gliders gave us a visit, despite the tug-master's help, but perhaps the most notable unexpected visitor was a Korean War era fast jet flying straight through the middle of the box - fortunately at a lull in proceedings, between competitors. (I thought it was an F86 Sabre, but I was corrected by my esteemed chief judge, Leif - it was in fact a MIG 15 on it's way to Duxford.)

In the afternoon we moved on to the competition flights. The competitors had a wide range of experience, from fast-jet pilots to one young man, Kieran, who has not yet completed his PPL - he flew with Jack as safety pilot and came complete with a cheering section made up from his family.

The standard of flying was very good - the spread from first place to last was only 4.24%! Ollie made another nice flight but lost heading in a stall turn and so vital points. Neil Whitehead made another very tidy flight, perhaps the most consitent pilot of the day, but was pipped to the post, by just 0.2%, by 16 year-old, yet to earn his pilot's license, Kieran Satchell. 

Congratulations Kiearn, and to his Mum and Dad - Sorry, but I can forsee an Unlimited Carbon Monoplane in your future ;-)

Thanks to everyone for their help in making this event happen at all, but more than that thanks to everyone for making it such an enjoyable day. One final special thank you goes to Mark Jeffries and the folk at Little Gransden for giving us the run of their airfield at such ridiculously short notice - Thank you!

Dave Farley

BAeA Little Gransden Club Event - Final Results

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Known #2 Totals O/all %
1 Kieran Satchell Extra 200 G-EEEK 573.62 573.62 75.476
2 Neil Whitehead Slingsby T67M G-CIKS 572.13 572.13 75.280
3 Jake Cook Extra 200 G-EEEK 570.33 570.33 75.043
4 Ollie Young Extra 300L G-MIII 565.94 565.94 74.466
5 Andrei Bejenari Extra 200 G-EEEK 563.71 563.71 74.173
6 Colin Boyd Extra 300L G-BZII 545.86 545.86 71.824
7 Matt Williams Slingsby T67M G-CIKS 541.40 541.40 71.237

Contest Chief Judge: Leif Culpin, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham

Judges: J1 - Leif Culpin, J2 - Jez Burgoin, J3 - Paul Morrison,

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