Back in Aug of 2009 I showed up at the DARTS field and on a whim announced I was hoping to either do the 30 min thermal task or the 1 kilometer goal and return for LSF III. David Rice jumped into action and started unbolting the cap from his Ford Ranger pickup. David Wrinkle was to be the official "Is he high enough to start judge" and before I knew it we had all the makings of a 1 km goal and return team.
That day it was about 80 F with 10 mph winds out of the east and the lift in central Ohio was kind of spotty. The one and only thermal that actually got me big altitude was the one I needed. Kind and generous Dave Wrinkle landed his Supra even though he was going for a 2 hour TD task for his LSF goals and we all jumped into the truck. Dave Wrinkle and me in the bed - Ken and his brother Dave in the cab. The wind was out of the East so we were starting from the west edge of the Twin Towers field. We drove down the hill to the park entrance, which eats up about 1/2 of the 1 km distance. Then we tootled along going east on the Dayton-Yellow Springs road at about 25 mph. With the ~10mph head wind that means I was flying the plane (an Eraser F3J) at about 35 mph airspeed. After the rest of the guys determined we had gone .6 or .7 miles as the crow flies they pulled into a driveway. I had to fly the plane even with the driveway or a little past and then turn around and head back west which was downwind. I had not lost much altitude on the upwind leg, maybe 100' or so, but I was starting at perhaps 500'-700' to begin with. I heard we raced back around 50 mph and the plane pretty easily kept pace. It did lose some altitude but I had plenty to fly past the western boundary of the Twin Towers field and was perhaps 3-4 times tree height. After that all I needed was to land the beast and get the flight into the books, which happened without drama. The actual goal and return flight was all straight lines with no need to reacquire a thermal to get more altitude.
All in all, it was definitely one of the most fun times I've had flying sailplanes just for the sheer novelty for me. I could not have done it without those guys who generously dropped what they were doing and helped me out. Thanks again David Wrinkle, Ken Rice, and Team Leader David Rice. Awesome job guys!