The first-ever national level flying competition in MIT, Skyrush was the perfect competition for aero-enthusiasts. Eight teams from colleges all over the country demonstrated their skill at constructing aircraft and piloting them. Each group was sent a problem statement three weeks prior to the contest. The teams first had to pass the technical inspections which ensured that all the specifications listed in the problem statement were met.
The event consisted of two rounds–Timed Lap and, Limbo and Spot Landing. In the first round, the participants were tested on take-off, landing, and on their ability to maneuver the obstacle course. The higher the number of laps they completed within the time limit, the higher they scored. However, this round was continuously interrupted by heavy rains causing one of the judges to leave early.
In the second round, the teams had to complete limbo and drop a payload at a designated spot. Many teams had trouble completing the limbo, often crashing into poles, getting tangled in the ropes or diving straight into the ground. Once again Manipal rains struck, causing delays in the event. Pilots faced an additional difficulty of strong winds which were pulling the planes off course. By the end of the round, the poles in the limbo had fallen onto the ground.
Setting up the course proved to be a challenging task for the organisers. The core committee came up with the ingenious idea of using boxes filled with gravel to keep the poles steady, and when the rains poured down, volunteers were sent out with umbrellas to hold them upright. Further, the ropes for the limbo went missing before the second round, making the organisers run all over town to fetch new ones.
Sumanth, a participant from team Skyriders, found the event very well organised regardless of the bad weather. Ashwin Mani, a volunteer, summed up his entire experience with three simple words, “This is insane.”
Regardless of the torrent of bad luck that rained upon the organisers and participants alike, the event was a huge success with ACS Flyers from ACS College of Engineering bagging the first place.