June 21, 2011
The weather here has not been the best overcast, rain, thundrstorms some tornados, etc. The race officals decided that we would for go the North Dakota and South Dakota section and start at the Nebraska site which is Alliance. We were told that we could move our planes on Monday night and that the beginning of the race would be Alliance at 12 noon Wed. July 22. Laurie and I attended the breakfast and briefing and then headed out to the airport in Iowa City. We took off at 10:45 a.m. local time and flew VFR (visual flight rules) at 3000' to Hastings, NE it took us almost three hours as there were wind in excess of 30 knot headwind. We arrived in Hastings about 2 p.m. to winds of 290 degrees at 20 kts. gusting to 36 knots. Lucky for us (actually it was orchrestrated) to land at an airport with a runway that matched the winds. We landed at Hastings on their 320 heading airport with a 30 degree crosswind of 36 knots. Quite the challenge, but we did it. We got out of the plane and tried to tie it down with ropes from our tiedown kit. The wind was soooo strong that we had trouble getting the plane tiedown. The rain was minutes away, we could see it advancing on the airfield. Lucky for us we managed to make the FBO (fixefd base operator) area just as the worst of the rain came down. The wind was unbelievable!!!. We called weather to see if tornados were on their way or if we could expect this type of wind. Yes, was the answer in the next 24 hours it would be the same about 30-35 mph winds. We looked at hotels and just then we heard another plane coming in for a landing, hurray, company. The Canadian Team met us on the ground at Hastings. We got a local fellow gave us a ride to the Holiday Inn Express along with the other plane that arrive. Both planes decided to stay at the local hotel. We enjoyed a quick dip in the pool at the hotel, did some wash and had a treat of the hospitality room form 5:30-7 p.m. Dinner on Monday was at the local Chinese Rest. Now we are ready for sleep as we need to be in Alliance, NE by noon time tomorrow to start the race. We will begin the race there as weather will be much better for the last 6 stops. Each team did what they thought best some stayed in Iowa City some moved like us closer to the beginning and others flew to points inbetween. Time will tell what is best.
Sponsors for today were: ARNOLD AND ARNOLD and JOHN LEE