Thanks to the change to Daylight Savings Time the Miners could do a little star gazing when they got to the airfield early this morning. The few exhausted students on hand staggered zombie-like through the dark, lit only by the headlights of what few vehicles were approaching.
Though the skies were clear predictions of 30+ mph winds by mid-day prompted event officials to announce only one flight round; no second round to help bring up your flight score average. Bad news for S&T which only completed one of yesterday’s three rounds.
With only one flight left most teams went for broke by adding more payload; a lot more payload in hopes of moving up in the rankings. That strategy meant that many planes couldn’t even escape the pull of gravity. Several planes charged down the concrete and rolled right out into the grass. A few managed to get airborne only to “porpoise” through the air, unable to respond to the pilot’s input before finally cartwheeling into the ground. Two pilots became heroes to their clients by nursing the aircraft to stay just above the weeds and out of the trees.
One pilot decided the only way to keep the bird in the air was to drop its payload when the machine was about two feet above the clover, roughly 98 feet below the required “drop” altitude. His skills saved the plane and earned him strong applause from the crowd.
The Miners? They ran out of time (3 minute limit) when they had to reboot their electronics, and in the resulting rush they couldn’t get the engine started. Flooded apparently.
Pigs can run, pigs can jump, but this weekend has proven beyond doubt that that pigs can’t fly.