Methow Valley Encampment 2019

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After a number of highly successful and popular Twisp encampments this year's encampment was moved 8 miles upriver to the Methow Valley airport - it has a long runway, lots of tie-down area and wide open surrounding fields for any eventualities.

It was the first glider event at this Washington State airport, which is also home of the Forest Service Fire Fighting/ Smoke Jumper base. Fortunately there was no firefighting activity, glider operations worked without a hitch, and I think we are welcome to return next year.

The organization was handled expertly by Brad Pattison and Ron Clark (big thanks from all participants), together with our trusted tow pilots (Duane Barr, Phil Anderson, Marton Kun-Szabo, Joe Salz, Benny Harwell, Dave Riffle and Tim Tanner) and with everybody helping out. The encampment ran from Saturday June 23 to Sunday June 29 and the area showed every kind of weather - mostly good thermal conditions with cloud bases of up to 11,000 ft and overdevelopments and thunderstorms at other times.

Your Towcard or Else!!!Best day was June 24 when Henry Rebbeck flew his LS-8-18 for 707.7 OLC points. It was also the fastest flight at 98.4 km/h and the longest duration (6:38 hrs.) and it included a 500 km triangle. This is the best so far in 2019 for Region 8! Next there is Ron Clark who posted the next best flight (w/o water) with 656.2 OLC points (and who had the best flights on 4 days).

Here is a summary of the 10 best flights during the encampment:

No Pilot Points Date Sailplane
1 Henry Rebbeck 707.7 6.24   LS-8-18 water ballast
2 Ron Clark 656.2  6.25  LS-3
3 Ron Clark 636.8 6.28 LS-3
4 Ron Clark 633.7   6.26 LS-3
5 Chris Klix 510.8  6.24 LS-7WL
6 Chris Klix 487.7 6.25 LS-7WL
7 Movses Babayan 439.0  6.29 Astir CS
8 Ron Clark 404.1  6.23 LS-3
9 Ron Clark 401.5  6.26 LS-3
10 Jeffrey Banks 384.4  6.26 Silent Electro


Movses (in X3) being pushed out onto the runwayOn Fiday June 28 we experienced fast developing overdevelopment in the mountains which kept everybody close to home - except for Ron Clark who had the third best flight of the encampment by retreating east over the Columbia visiting Wenatchee and Ephrata amongst other areas and finally landing in Waterville when Methow Valley could not longer be reached. He stayed in a hotel and was aero-towed back next morning by Tim Tanner. There was only one off-field landing when Robert Seccombe got too low in the mountains and had to land in the only landable field in the Chewuch valley.

Besides the impressive statistics the encampment was also a social gathering - pilots coming from the various clubs (PSSA, ES, SGC and others) went out together for some socializing in the local eateries and - best of all - to the memorable potluck dinner at the Mazama home of the Rebbeck family. Thanks to the Rebbecks for hosting!

Most everybody left with a smile on their face and the resolve to return next year.