Great XC day for NPT pilots on Emberger Alm

Great XC day for NPT pilots on Emberger Alm

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On Wed. April 28, 2010 it was one of the few occasions when a good weather forecast really materialized and some NPT members enjoyed very good XC conditions in Greifenburg, Emberger Alm. Hans Tockner, Mario Mayr, Wolfgang Bernhard and myself launched quite early at around 10:30 a.m. and we flew together all the way towards Pustertal valley.

As the prevailing slight to moderate north wind was forecasted to decrease to the west, the original plan was to try an out-and-return flat triangle with turnpoint as far as possible to the west. When we reached Sillian, we were faced with a 15 km/h NW wind, so I decided to turn and to try an FAI triangle, whereas all the other pilots kept on heading west, fighting against the headwind. That FAI triangle I was shooting for I had planned several years ago together with club fellow pilot Karl Haider (who unfortunately crashed in 2008 and is still working on his recovery) and is the only 200+ FAI that can be completed from Emberger Alm takeoff without crossing the Alps main ridge.

My decision to turn was a really good one. While Wolfgang, Hans and Mario struggled in picking-up westerly winds west of Toblach, I managed without major problems to approach the 2nd turnpoint (Sandkopf in upper Mölltal) and from there on enjoyed a smooth tailwind ride in gentle late afternoon thermals to 3rd turnpoint (Graslitzen in Gailtal valley).

Right in the moment when my friends started to get concerned (as I missed to send out my new SPOT messenger shared page link) I was taking the final glide back home and landed after 8h 44 min airtime with a big grin in my face at the landing place in Greifenburg. Reading out the GPS during dinner revealed a completed 200.29 km FAI in Maxpunkte – my declared goal for this XC season. However, after upload of IGC file to XContest, the flight showed up as a 199,87 km FAI.

To drown the disappointment (and to get some sleep in Mario’s mobile home that 4 of us shared – thanks Mario !) we had several beers which achieved their tasks. Next morning Hans Tockner informed me that the flight was corrected in XContest to 200,29 km and first I thought he was cheating to get a kiss from me. However, I learned later, that when an IGC file is uploaded, the XContest server first makes a preliminary optimization only (using not all tracklog points) and recalculates during the night when servers are not that busy anymore.

This was not only my personal best and my declared goal but also the very first FAI triangle over 200 km that was ever completed from Emberger Alm with a serial glider (Triton 20). Stephan Wirgler and Gerald Ameseder flew their 228 km and 212 km FAI’s respectively back in 2008 on competition wings.
Also the other NPT members had excellent XC flights that day on Emberger Alm: Wolfgang Bernhard 189 km flat triangle on Factor, Mario Mayr 183 km flat triangle on Oryx, Hans Tockner 172 km flat triangle on Oryx. What a great day !

Yours,  Michi (pictures copyright by Mario Mayr)