A cold but busy Sunday's flying, no lift so just winch circuits.
Dan flew over from Wanaka in the 180 and after a few flights with Derek went solo again in JW. It's great to see Dan back down this way again after doing his flight training in Auckland. Dan's off to the Airforce next year. We also welcomed Clinton Stokes from Queenstown. Clinton is also an experienced power pilot and is keen to learn to glide with us. John (KG) and Peter (JW) did some practice circuits. Thanks to Roger for driving the winch.
Although Sunday was a fine day we had a strong SW up at the airstrip. The crosswind was too much for training but SJ did 3 quick circuits before we packed up and did theory instead.
Sunday had grotty weather but we kept busy. Early in the day we drove out to McArthur Rd and Waikerikeri to look at emergency landing paddocks. Later in the day Peter and Broz flew JW for an hour in broken southerly wave while the rest of us filled in rabbit holes on the eastern grass.
A fine sunny day in Alex using the winch. Phil managed an hour in SJ in weak thermals early on in the day, and John+ Ellen also thermalled for 30 mins in JW right through sunset at the other end of the day. In between times it was mainly circuits for Tim, Ellen and Bob. Roger is now winch-rated on SJ.
It was a lovely fine Easter weekend...but again pretty cool and stable. With many folk away no flying was planned. However Tim, Peter and John visited Wardells, each getting some flying. Finally on Monday afternoon the thermals started again and some soaring was done.
A still, stable day. We put the winch to good use, Bob, Ellen, Tim and Peter doing circuits, Keith instructing. We gave some visitors some trial flights and later in the day one aerotow.
Pete and Roger flew Tuesday but not much lift found.
Thursday 4th April
Pete and Roger aerotowed early afternoon but didn't find much lift. Omarama instructors Darren, Will, Doug and Hugh flew over to update their winch ratings with with John in JW. Meanwhile Pete took off again in SJ and thermalled away. Late in the day Tim's siater Anne had a flight in JW with John. By now the wave was starting, and SJ and JW climbed together slowly in gentle lift before darkness forced us all to land.
Despite the forecast we were in a little Oasis of sunshine. The easterly was not too strong and there were good thermals by mid day. The only minor problem was the lowish (4500') cloudbase.
Phil thermaled straight off the winch in SJ. He was followed by John (KG), Peter (JW) and Broz (IX). After a couple of hours Phil returned SJ for Bob. We each flew for several hours but didn't venture too far. A nice late Summer's day.
Many thanks to Derek and Alan for helping with the launching.
Sunday 23rd March
Gliding this Sunday went well at Lowburn. Started off with winch and Pete got straight into thermal and away for a successfull flight in JW. Russell turned up with ERW so aero towed the rest of the day. Roger took his first flight in SJ and flew for a bit over an hour in thermals around the area. Things cooled off a bit as the front pushed in from the west. A new possible member Rachel from Wanaka took a flight in JW with Derek. At the end of the day gliders were towed back to Alex.
Sunday 16th, Thursday 13th March
On Thursday good thermals developed. Pete got going early and had along flight in SJ before returning for Phil to have a flight for over an hour. John took a Swedish visiting pilot up for a fly around Waikerikeri before returning to Alex to go up again with Roger for a pleasant hour long flight around the Dunstans and landing finally at the Lowburn strip.
Sunday started off with low crud across Central Otago which eventually burnt off to give a beautiful fine day - though rather stable. Derek, Pete, Roger and Bob met up at the Lowburn strip. Early on all took turns at doing taking a flight in JW off the winch to familiarise while we waited for the others to arrive. Pete's friend Allan came along to check how the winch performed after giving it a bit of the once over the day before. Launches of 1300ft AGL in JW all round but in the early part of the day not enough lift to keep us up though SJ would have had a better chance. By late afternoon thermal activity was just starting to kick in. Bob had a flight of 50 mins and Roger sneaked in a half hour flight at 5pm in weak thermals to explore the home territory around the Lowburn valley. We all left feeling that the strip has huge potential it was as good there on Sunday as it was anywhere in Central we just need some kinder weather.
Sunday 9th, Thursday 6th March
Thursday was a good thermal day. John took an early winch and flew to Roy's Pk and back, Phil thermalled SJ in good soaring conditions, Roger Gibson flew JW. Broz flew his new toy LS1 IX in which he owns a share now.
A good day on Sunday too. Broz had a long flight in LS1 IX . Pete, Bob and Phil did soaring in the club gliders. Alistair flew Golf Alpha.
Sunday 2nd March
A day of winching with some signs of NW wave about. Peter did a check with John and then did his first solo winch launch. Pete had another couple more attempts before catching the wave and soaring to 10,000'. John tried to find the wave but failed, then Roger did a number of launches with Keith before doing one solo.
Many thanks to Bill for driving the winch.
Tue, Thurs,Frday 25, 26, 27th Feb
Phil, Derek and John flew on Tuesday, again the stable anticyclone limited the soaring although John and Derek pottered about for an hour in JW.
We flew again Thursday in better conditions. Derek and Pete spent a couple of hours in JW, Phil SJ and John KG. It was pretty stable again but we did reach 7000' and fly about Dunstans, Old Man and Little Valley.
Friday was even better although there was extensive high cloud. Phil and John
did some winch practice then we all went soaring. Phil and Pete flew 2-3hrs in
the club gliders, John went to Dingle and back in KG. Saturday looked like the
best day of the year however we were all busy elsewhere!
Sunday 16th Feb
A pretty flat day, no wind or sun all day. There was some wave cloud in the distance but nothing much locally. Derek and Bob managed an hour in very weak lift, likewise Peter in SJ. Derek also flew a trial flight.
The rest of the day's flights were simply "glides", even Keith in IX couldn't defy gravity. After a lot of chin-wag we retired early for a beer and squinted at the America Cup race on Keith's 6'' TV in the clubrooms.
Sunday 9th Feb
We used the winch (thanks Bill), mainly Peter and Alistair flying with Keith. It was good to see Alistair back, he has the Phoebus all ready to fly next time and we look forward to him in the air shortly.
Phil and Bob flew JW for four hours and did a good tour of the Fraser/Dunstans. Shanta flew PW5 SJ for about an hour and a half then Peter flew SJ for another couple of hours. The thermalling conditions were really good, mainly blue, often 800-1,000 ft/min to 9,800 ft. Phil and Bob later got to 10,400 ft.
1+2 Feb (Wardells)
Allen and Ellen (JW) were ferried across behind Richard in ERW Saturday morning. The rest of us arrived via road and were ready to fly by mid-day, the South Canty members made us very welcome.
Saturday was a stiff westerly, the ridge worked really well. Peter, Phil, Tim and Shanta all had good flights in JW. There was reasonable wave about with lift to 17000', the upper wind was about 50kts . Bros flew up the Barrier range in SJ and John finally made it to Mt Cook and back. The wind died down in time for a pleasant evening's drinkies and BBQ. Bruce arrived in JIZ late evening.
Sunday dawned clear with a light southerly drift. Thermals started early (11am) reaching a cloudbase of 10000 later in the day. The field was pretty busy with Russell towing in ERW, SCGC pilots towing in Cub BNM and other members arriving in Allan's 172. Plus Omarama pilots landing and towing out for practice. John and Ellen flew JW across the valley to Magic Mountain in good thermals, Bros had a good flight in LS1 'IX. Meanwhile PW5 SJ was busy all day with Pete and Phil. Later Derek took IX on a long flight around the Omarama basin. John visited the Neuman range in KG. Finally Keith and Tim had a long flight, eventually flying JW all the way home. Many thanks to the SCGC members, plus our instructors and tow pilots.
Sunday 26th Jan
Poor weather again! We started early and did 3 passenger flights. Bob and Peter flew PW5 SJ but no one found any flift. We quit early afternoon just as the rain started.
Sunday 19th Jan
The day began westerly with the front arriving late afternoon. There wasn't a lot of lift about unfortunately. Bob and Peter took a long tow to the Dunstans but found only nibbles. The best flight of the day was Keith and Peter who managed an hour in difficult soaring conditions. Thanks to Bill for winch driving and Richard for aerotows.
Also congrats to Bob who converted to the Hornet 'KJ at Five Rivers (on Saturday). Peter also flew at 5R however there was no lift at all the whole day.
Friday 17th Jan
We flew Friday but again the southerly came in early and disrupted the local lift. It seems a bad year for southerlies damnit! Bob, Alan, Peter and Phil all flew, finding little to stay up in. John arrived late afternoon and took a long tow to Cu over Keith's work at Galloway. This proved the best bet and he flew to Naseby, Hawkduns, Omarama saddle and home in a 3 hr flight.
Sunday 12th Jan
A slow moving front brought heavy rain on Saturday night but things begun clearing later Sunday morning. It didn't take much to get the thermals going. Peter did some winch practice with John in JW, there were thermals about and on the third launch we soared for an hour. Next up was Alan and friend Steve in JW with Russell towing. Meanwhile Peter was trying out the PW5 for size. Once he was comfy Russell towed him off. Peter found little lift but enjoyed his first flight in SJ and did a perfect landing. German visitor Micheal next did an hour with John getting a good look around the local hills.
Phil did an hour in SJ. Another Phil, a friend of Peter's did a trial flight and finally Alan and Steve had a winch launch.
Jan 7th and 9th
Tuesday saw Mo and Garth arrive with Mo's Tecnam towplane for a few trial tows. Tecnam picture
Mo is hoping to get more activity going in Southland and 5R with towing and Microlight training. SJ was towed with ease, then Alan and Derek took a tow in JW, again behind the Tecnam. All went well despite the 100 litres of fuel and without the intended fine prop. Alan also took some friends up in JW later in the day. Mo and Garth flew home and Richard did tows in ERW for Phil (SJ) and Peter (JW). The thermals were tight and strong but an inversion at low level kept everyone between 2000 and 4000'. Later John arrived after work and flew with Kelvin in JW. The southerly had killed the local lift but a long tow to the Dunstans found weak thermals for a reasonable flight.
Thursday flying didn't amount to much. The southerly was strong enough for the Skydivers to land backwards at times. Derek winched first Phil (SJ) then John and Peter (JW). Weak thermals had to be abandoned as we disappeared downwind at low level. The crosswind meant 19 was the landing choice so we packed up and had an early beer.
5th Jan 2003
The southerly came in early and strong limiting the day's soaring somewhat. Phil had a couple of winch launches in SJ but didn't find much. Pete then had a winch flight with John. Our Dutch visitors (Jesse and Annemieke) had a winch flight each.
Later in the afternoon the weather improved a little and we did a few aerotows. Jesse and Annemieke finally got some limited soaring. Allan took Roger's Dad for a birthday flight and John took Cinton for a soaring flight.
Thanks to Keith for winching, and Clinton Stokes and Chris for the aerotowing. New Year Flying Jan 2003!
Bob, John and Peter made a brief visit to Wardels to join South Canterbury club for a couple of days over New year (1st+2nd). Darren and the crew were most welcoming and the weather was pretty good too. Bob and Pete had good soaring flights in Grob MY and had a good tour around the basin. Many thanks to SCGC for the invite. We hope to return this summer and bring our gliders, possible date being Late Jan/early Feb. Let me know of you interest and preferred dates.
22nd Dec 2002
We got a latish start here on Sunday as the tow plane had a flat battery. Anyway, once under way Derek took Pete for a quick check flight then Pete and Bob took JW for a 2 and 1/4 hr flight in mixed and difficult conditions. There was wave above but nobody got to it all afternoon. Michelle and Derek did 3/4 hr flight in JW. Phil had a couple flights in SJ.
Keith flew IX for the first time in ages and did close to two hours also failing to contact the wave.
A pleasant afternoon enjoyed by all who took part.
Particular thanks to Richard for towing in what were difficult conditions aircraft wise with no flaps, instruments, radio etc. Richard has sorted the problem with ERW, a crook alternator.
Over a beer it was decided that we were all pretty much "available" over the Xmas and New Year period and that contact should be kept and days flying arranged over the net, particularly the mid-week group system.
Another strong westerly wave day, winching off Alex.
Bob and Phil flew SJ, Bob was up for a long soaring flight. Peter had a circuit then he and John shared a 2hr wave flight down to Miller's flat and beyond. The wind was a very strong SW'er at 13,000' and the trip back from Roxburgh took just minutes. Derek is nearly mobile again so did a quick check circuit and ended up soaring for 20 mins. Thanks to Bill and Derek for driving the winch.
Dec 7th/8th (Five Rivers)
We had a great time at 5R last weekend....
Peter and John trailered SJ and KG south on Saturday. Russell deviated south in ERW after shoeing horses at Branches station. The weather was looking very nice and we were flying shortly after mid day. Bob flew PW5 SJ in ridge and thermal lift for a couple of hours, cloudbase about 6000'. John flew KG north to the Remarkables where the cloudbase was up to 9500'.
George Taylor and pass flew up to Mavora lakes in KX, Bruce arrived in JIZ early afternoon. Peter and Matt soared MO along the approaching front as far as Mossburn and back. Tim and Allan Mitchell arrived in the afternoon (Tim hitch-hiked from Dunedin in very quick time). The rain and thunder arrived late afternoon and John landed at Garston. Russell escaped home before the wx got too bad. We cattle-proofed the aircraft with Bruce's electric fence. The evening's entertainment was dinner at the Lumsden pub.
Our craft at 5R
Phil and John in Mike-Oscar
It rained heavily all night and much of Sunday morning...we all regretted not bringing gumboots. We got flying around mid-day. Phil arrived from Alex as did Brendon and Broz from Wanaka. After check flights in MO Phil and Brendon winched-up in SJ but found little lift.
Cloudbase was about 4000' but rising all the time.The sun came out finally but the conditions weren't great. Not quite enough wind for the ridge to work, although the thermals were OK if you were lucky to catch one off the end of the winch.
Broz assembled the Hornet KJ and had a couple of flights, getting as far as Mt Bee. John rigged KG again and flew to Mavora lakes. Allan and Bob flew, and Bruce departed home in JIZ. Broz and Brendon retreived John from a paddock in the Oriti and everyone was gone by the time we got back to 5R.
It was certainly a great weekend. Everybody had a good flight and we all learned something from the southland instructors Matt and George. Thanks to Mo Wills and the 5R crew for the southern hospitality. Thanks also to Russell for tows on Saturday and George Menlove for winching Sunday.
Another great summer's day with a temp in the high 20's. We had good thermals all day and a lot of flying was done. Allan was kept busy with Trial flights (about 4 I think) including some potential members. Tim and Peter each flew several flights with John backseat. The big news was Peter's first solo, well done too as there was a moderate crosswind for the landing and a choppy tow. It was good to see CFI Derek pay a visit later in the day. Derek is recovering well after his back Op and should be flying again soon. Vivienne achieved her backseat passenger rating for JW and also had a good 1hr flight in PW5 SJ. Also flying SJ where Phil and Bob, about 2 hours each. Bruce called by in JIZ to say hello too. Many thanks to Bill for winching and Russell for towing.
Good thermal conditions and little wind. No Mobile fuel meant we winched for the first few flights. Barb and Glen Allen from Dunedin (and possible members) each had a trial flight with John.
Richard gased-up ERW at Wanaka and we started areotowing. Our 3 main pre-solo members (Tim, Ellen, and Peter) each flew (John and Keith instructing). There was plenty of soaring about. Bob flew PW5 SJ for about 3hrs in good thermals. Also joining us was German pilot Gerald who is in NZ for a couple of years. He had a couple of flights and enjoyed our thermals and "high" cloudbase.
John flew KG to Hawea and back, cloudbase was 6-7000' locally and 8500' further north. JIZ was spotted over lake Hawea returning after a trip around the Alps. We just got everything away before the day over-developed and the rain arrived.
A grotty cold day (again!) however we did fly and there was lift about. Peter did 3 winch launches, then he and John took a tow and flew up to Bruces strip and back for a 1.5hrs trip amongst snow showers. Bob did a couple of flights in SJ.
A real howler of a day. Just too windy to fly. The Thursday prior saw Peter practicing crosswind circuits with John backseat.
It was cloudy all day but unstable enough to produce usable thermals. Later in the day we could thermal up to gentle wave, although getting through was pretty damn rough! Peter made good progress towards solo doing circuits plus a good soaring flight. Dunedin '152 pilot Allan Mculloch did an hours soaring with John. Allan had extensive gliding experience and enjoyed experiencing both in thermal and wave. Allan Mitchell regained is passenger rating, Bob and Phil took turns soaring PW5 SJ all day reaching 10,000'.
October 20th and the Tues/Thurs before...
It's been a busy week!
Tuesday: It was just too fine (and stable). Peter did a couple of training flights with John. There were thermals and the day was hot. John flew KG up to the inversion at 3000' but it was obvious the day wasn't going to improve, time for plan B.
This was x/c landing practical for Bob and Phil. Richard contacted John McArthur and we drove up to his airstrip for a look. Phil and Bob did excellent circuits and spot landings on the strip. The airstrip looks good enough for a club visit sometime soon.
Thursday: We started late but the thermals were still going strong. Peter had a long thermal flight with John backseat. Bob flew about in SJ, and later Roger had a couple of JW flights. By now the high cloud had killed the lift and the wind had increased. Phil had the final flight in SJ and just made it into the wave before having to return in time for dinner.
Sunday: We started by washing and waxing JW plus a few more chores. Bill and Keith did the winching (ERW is away). Those flying included Bob, Allan, Peter, Shanta and Bros. Allan had a great day, he had his first flight in SJ and got good lift, reaching 8000' in thermal/rotor. Wave was present but remained hard to catch.
After a week of thermals it just had to snow on Sunday..... By mid afternoon things had improved a little and a few hardy soles turned up. When the sun came out we had some thermals (along with snow and hail showers). Cloudbase was generally between 4,000and 5,000'. Peter and John flew JW for a couple hours on the Dunstan ridges and Bob did a couple of flights in SJ.
Thermals! A big H sat over Otago giving fine weather and no wind. Terry and Karen were visiting from Balclutha, Terry did much of the instruction for the day which was much appreciated by all. Shanta had a quick check flight in JW before flying on his own in thermals for over an hour. Bob joined him later in PW5 SJ.
Cloud base was a low 5,000' but there was no shortage of lift. A shortage of AvGas however meant we winched as well as aerotowed but most of the winch launches resulted in soaring flights anyway. John flew KG up to Becks and back via Thomson's. Phil and Bros each flew SJ. Tim, Ellen and Tim's Parents each had flights in JW.
Sept 28/29th (Lowburn)
On Saturday we derigged SJ and trailered the 3 singles to Lowburn. There was a strong (20kt) northerly straight down the strip. Bruce arrived in JIZ. Bros did a couple of short flights in SJ, as did John in KG. There was good wave above but 1500' off the winch just took us into rotor. The wind increased so we derigged SJ and tied down JIZ and KG. We spent the rest of the afternoon filling in rabbit holes with the numerous rocks.
We retired to Roger and Jeans house in the valley for a nice BBQ.
Sunday's forecast was fine but the weather wasn't! We derigged JW at Alex in the rain and trailered to Lowburn. Then it was back down to Roger's to wait out the rain. We rigged around 1pm and managed 10 flights (aerotow) before we scuttled back to Alex. Those flying on Sunday included Phil, Brendon, Shanta, Roger, Bob and local pilot Nick Kagan.
Despite the weather we concluded that the Lowburn strip is very promising, especially as a Summer thermal site. We've done much of the work needed to prepare the strip for regular use, and can't wait to get back in good weather.
Many thanks to all the workers, especially Derek and Roger. Also thanks to Russell for towing.
Sept 26th (Thursday)
Good wave again. Derek and Bob shared a 3 hr flight in JW buzzing all about the place.
Sunday started off with a strong westerly crosswind. We spent the first 2 hours on chores including filling in rabbit holes (again). It wasn't after 1pm that we started flying.
Bob and John shared a flight in JW, getting to 8500' in broken wave and thermal. Next Derek flew with Ellen and Tim, each getting good thermal flights despite the choppy conditions. Roger did a blanked instrument circuit and last the flight was Allan Mitchell doing his first solo after 5yrs away from flying.
We started early so managed to fly 10 ATC flights before mid-day (all winch with John instructing). Then Bob and Derek winched and made it into light broken wave reaching 8,000' before returning for a photo-shoot with the local paper. Chris then took a friend (another winch flight) to 13,000 for aerobatics and returned after 45 mins. Derek also flew with Ellen, Tim, Shanta and Mitch. There was good wave about and Derek and Shanta flew to Roxburgh and back.
During the afternoon Phil took SJ for a long ride after an aerotow before handing over to Bob who flew for about an hour.
Many thanks to Russell for the aerotows (in pretty rough conditions). Also thanks to Bill Grant for the later winch launches.
Sunday 8th Sept
The morning started fine but soon the forecast rain appeared. Derek and John checked (and fixed) the older joins in the winch cable. Bill Grant reassembled the tow car innards after we replaced the oil seal...it's all go now. Many thanks Bill.
Between rain showers John took an overseas visitor for a short trial flight in JW. It can't have been too bad because we got a $20 "tip" as a result! Then we waited out the rain in the clubrooms with the fire going. Later the westerly got up and the sky cleared. Bob took a tow and flew for the rest of the afternoon in good wave with passenger Mike.
We packed up early and each had a drink on the day's "tip".
Roger, Phil, Vivienne and Tim all flew. There was wave about and we had several soaring flights. Thanks to Derek for instructing and Richard for towing.
1st Sept and Thursday before...
Again another poor forecast but actually the weather was pretty good. Some sun triggered thermals, and above was a moderate NW causing a little wave. We winched all day getting good heights. Derek started Roger and Bob on their winch-driving ratings. Bros was first away for a quick check flight with John (and a simulated cable break). Next Bros flew with his friend Grogor for a couple of soaring flights. Then Roger did a couple of flights in JW. Phil flew SJ, as did Bob. With everything else airborne John rigged KG and flew for an hour or so.
Derek and Roger flew the last flight of the day finding weak lift over the tailings. We retired for beer around 5pm.
Last Thursday a number of folk flew with Derek instructing and Richard towing. There was no lift but it was ideal training conditions. Roger went solo aerotow, Tim did some good flights and Bob converted to SJ. Phil did some practice landings on 19 vector.
We weren't expecting much after a real RS forecast. However the drama held off till late afternoon and we managed some decent flying. The winch worked well with the stiff NW'er helping to easily acheive 1500' launches. Small tight thermals took us to 4000' or so although it was too easy to end up way downwind. Bob did a couple of launches in JW and soared for 30 mins or so. Roger, Ellen and Tim also flew with Derek. John and Phil each flew soaring flights in SJ. Upstairs the wind was a strong SW with some wave. The front arrived in a rush at 4pm. Keith in IX hung around until the Southerly was established and made us derig in the sleet (he did taxi up to the clubrooms though).
No flying due to snow showers! However we did run though some B cert and QGP questions.
6, 7 and 8th Aug
On Friday Derek flew with Dunedin pilots Kelvin Wright and co, just circuits from the winch. On Saturday Chris flew JW with a friend in wave above Alex. Sunday was another boomer wave day. Bob, Roger, Alan, Peter all flew high in wave with Keith in JW. The lift was terrific and it was possible to get to Roxburgh and back in 30-40 mins. Chris and Roger shared a flight, and John flew KG down to Millers flat in wave (still 10kts lift at 20,000'). Phil did a couple of hours in SJ reporting that the new vario goes really well above 10,000'. Bob did a solo wave flight in JW at the end of the day.
A busy weekend. Kerry Jackson visited and we knocked off all the Annual inspections on our 5 gliders. This was a big effort with a lot of help from various members. The biggest job was replacing the 2 mounting plates for JW's winch hook (manufacturer's AD). This was a hell of a palce to get to and hardly room to swing the required spanners and sockets.
On Sunday Bruce visited in the Rans and took Kerry for a flight.
Later in the afternoon when it cleared we winched IX, KG and JW. Bob and Roger each had a check flight including a simulated cable break. They each did a quick solo flight before we retired for the day.
Another successful day's flying. There was no lift so we concentrated on winch cicuits in JW and managed 18 x 5min flights in all. The great news of the day was Roger Gibson's first glider solo. Roger had previous power flying experience and joined the club after seeing the PW5 on display in Cromwell last March.
Bob Welsh re-solo'd after 12 years since he was last really active in the sport back in Australia. Bob has many hours both gliding and power.
Finally not to be outdone, Bredon Taylor did his first solo winch launch. Well done all!
We flew til past sundown and then retired to a scrummy pot-luck dinner in the clubrooms. Next was our AGM which was well attended. A moment's silence was respectively obverved in memory of Norman and Martin.
Derek was voted President, John VP and the general Committee members are now Vivienne, Richard, Bill Grant and Peter. Of course Phil continues his excellent job as Secretary, likewise Keith as Treas. Gary and John continue their Club Captain roles.
Russell received a hearty vote of thanks for his excellent work over the last terms as President, and Phil was awarded the Silver Spoon as "the most willing". Bill Annan presented the award on behalf of Norman.
It was interesting to hear the Omarama gliders attempting the Record flight on Saturday. We had gliders overhead Alex Fri/Sat and we heard them reporting 27,000' near Middlemarch and 33,000' elsewhere.
On Sunday The weather eventually cleared and the stiff westerly gave ideal winching conditions. The wind switched SW late in the day but we got good launch heights both ways. Bob, Roger and Peter each had 3 flights and are making good progress towards solo flight. All three managed to soar for up to 25 mins in the lift off the end of the terrace. Phil and Bros flew PW5 SJ. Bros stuck with the lift and scratched his way up to 8000' in weak wave above the field for a 2 hour flight.
Fine at last. We did a number of launches in JW using the winch plus a couple of tows at the end of the day.
Still under snow! Although there was obvious wave about we couldn't fly due to snow and ice. Peter did some theory with Derek, John and Keith did some chores on the gliders.
A fine but very cold winter's day. We decided to try the winch and the new Tost weaklink system. The first couple of flights went OK although the motor was running a bit rough. This problem recurred several times forcing early aborted launches.
Peter, Shanta, Duncan and Roger all experienced a winch launch (to some degree!). The last couple of flights were aerotows (thanks Richard). The air temp was now below zero and we had ice frost forming on the wings. It was time for beer-o'clock around the fire.
Another good wave day. Roger and Peter flew JW with Keith. Phil flew SJ. All in good wave with trips away from Alex.
Excellent wave from the SW. On Sunday Derek and Shanta launched around mid day and soon contacted the wave. John was up next in KG joining up with JW over Roxburgh. Phil flew SJ and Keith IX. Duncan and Peter also flew JW. We all had good wave flights up to 14,000' and only limited by O2 or the temperature. Bruce arrived later in JIZ. He and John flew over to the Ida valley looking for suitable winching sites (none found).
On Monday the conditions looked good too. The wind (and wave) was stronger. Again Phil flew SJ, and JW was busy too. Again we had good wave flights and trips down the gorge to Roxburgh etc. Both days were halted due to darkness. The lesson here is come along earlier and make full use of the day.
Thanks to Norm for towing on both days.
Rain/Hail/sleet/snow, fork and spoon lightening...no flying!
A dull winter's day...We took the opportunity to each do a "blanked" instrument circuit in JW. Phil, John, Derek and Keith all had a go. Phil had a fly in SJ and Peter continued good progress with 3 flights in JW.
Gary and Bruce arrived in the Rans JIZ. We packed up early and then we for a tour in BZT, ERW and JIZ to Bendigo looking for alterative venues now that we've lost our old airstrip.
Thanks to Richard and Norm for driving the power planes.
A pretty quiet day, no quite enough lift to soar but ideal circuit weather. Peter made good progress doing circuits with John (the towplane is no-longer "moving about"). Derek Instructed Keith M and Duncan. Bros, Phil and John each took Peewee for a quick fly, and Duncan did quick solo at the end of the day (perfect landing!).
We retired early for a beer by the fire.
Thermals! After a very windy Saturday it was a pleasant surprise to have light winds and thermals on Sunday. This must be a first for a May weekend. Thermals started about mid day and reached 4500' by about 2pm before slowly decreasing as the inversion dropped. By 3:30 it was getting marginal to stay up. A couple of local bonfires helped the thermals at times.
Congratulations to Duncan who went first solo after a few circuits with John and Derek.
Peter flew some circuits in JW but complained that the towplane "kept moving about"!! (it will stop moving soon Peter). Dr. Drew from Hawaii had a trial flight with Derek.
The singles were busy all day.