A flat tire for 5E prior to the launch and the response from the crews epitomizes the team’s efforts for a world championship….from Paul Weeden’s perspective……
“and so.. we go through weighing grid, get back to the clubhouse for a Latte, then to the pilots meeting..after which it is learned that out fellow 15 meter pilot has a glider gridded..with a flat tire.. so we rush out to help.. Noah and I get the wheel out ok, then the struggle with the tost 4-inch wheel begins.. and we pinch & hole the first tube, (this is taking place in high noon sun & heat) we have all the issues with a watered glider, with one main wheel, and now what? one of the Aussie ground types shows up with a dolly that gets us off the ground, now we need to remove the glider from the grig, and the dolly slips off a couple of times, (made for a K-21) (big glider) this Ventus is an a model..(very small fuselage’s) but by now we’ve drawn a crowd of crews & pilots..so with a group heave-ho we lift the glider (1157lbs) and get off the grid.. Noah & I take the wheel apart and have no small trouble getting the new tire assembled (bloody Tost 4″ers are a fight even i a shop, we’ve no talc powder, no soapy water and we’re doing this in the bed of a truck)..in the blazing sun..well, we pinch the new tube and ruin it.. we then decide to retreat to the glider port shop..(air compressors, work bench, shaded) I stay with our pilot & ship, Noah leaves for the shop, installs a used tube..yea it’s used..and has a leak..next tube has a similar issue with the fill-stem..and what-Ho, the fifth (5th) tube works.. all this takes close to three hrs to complete.. and we launch Eric, with 15 minutes before his start gate opens…”
Dave Weaver, Noah Reitter, Paul…
Noah and Paul
“Super crew Noah Reiter, Dave Weaver, and Paul Weeden were at their best today, handling our poorly timed flat tire at peak heat (car was reading 37 C), on the runway, surrounded by a plague of flies. Just phenomenal work under very hard conditions–I can’t thank them enough for getting me airborne in time to enjoy a fun, high-yield day of racing and pair flying practice with XC. Thanks also to the crowd of fellow pilots who so happily helped lift our maximally ballasted glider multiple times–what a privilege to be part of this team and this wonderful sport”. — 5E
5E in it’s sling
After the launch from Paul….
“all this on a 500k task..and the sky is gang-busters..both pilots out on course and flying together..Noah & I have retreated to the air conditioning.”
Great work, guys!
Leigh’s connection to soaring and competition is through her husband, SZ, for whom she’s crewed for 42 years. She’s a passionate supporter of the US Teams and loves contest reporting. She currently resides in both Steamboat Springs, Co. and Greenville, SC.