Of Bovines and Brave Pilots

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A lot has been said and speculated about the best preparations for XC soaring preparedness - two-seat XC, buddy flying with more experienced pilots, simulator training, planned landings in grass airfields and so on. One key ingredient is of course being prepared to make off-field landings "when the wind dies" and there is no convenient airfield in reach.
b1-400x280.jpgIn 1988 the combined Boeing Employees Soaring Club and the heritage Evergreen Soaring Incorporated club decided to test everybody's ability to make realistic short landings over an obstacle combined with general entertainment. So a landing task was devised to land over a (frangible) fence and to come to a stop in the shortest distance behind. To make it more realistic (or more entertaining) a Styrofoam cow was added in front of the fence.
Unfortunately the only record of this memorable contest is the following picture (printed and then scanned) taken at that time by Mark Nyberg who promptly decided to join ESI.

b2-400x288.jpgAccording to vague reports pilots pretty soon were bored with getting the shortest landing runs and went for the cow which did not survive this event. But such an event sounds like a worthwhile exercise for days without any thermals and can be both useful and entertaining (especially with good video coverage).Another picture by Mark from this day is the lineup of the gliders used on this day.

There were several Blaniks (l-13s), a Schweizer 2-33 and one composite sailplane (Pegase?). And last not least there was our timeless Super Cub 74D doing its duty. The concrete patch is also still there. Some things never seem to change.