The second day of Air Cargo Challenge 2019 did not go as expected for our team. The cross winds were intense and the challenge for us even greater. The competition today started with Nephele III, which after three attempts failed to take off, because of a rear landing gear failing. At first, Aurora’s performance looked really promising for us. Judging by its lap times, its payload, and the crowd’s reactions, we expected the flight to be Aurora’s most successful one, however the winds hindered our landing attempt. The pilot, while trying to reduce velocity for a safe landing, approached with a wide turn, and landed smoothly. Nevertheless, the flight area’s boundaries were hardly distinguishable from the pilot’s point of view, resulting in the aircraft flying barely outside the safety zone. This translated unfortunately in the flight being invalid. The safety zone limit indicators were placed after our flight, following a pilots briefing organized by the competition’s committee.
Nephele III’s second flight was not completed, despite the unobstructed takeoff, the stability under adverse conditions and the exceptional pilot’s handling, as noted by the judging committee. It should be noted that only 5 of the 27 teams risked a flight during the competition’s third leg, because of the harsh weather. The strong gusts loosened the empennage connection, which in turn destabilized the aircraft, and lead to a high velocity impact with the ground. We would to inform you that our team decided to repair the damage until the competition’s fourth leg, which will begin tomorrow morning, allowing us to compete again with both our aircrafts. This decision keeps us driven and we hope that our hard labor will bear fruits.
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