Mid winter! A grotty day too! Snow was low on the hills and local wx was pretty yuck too. JW was derigged and trailered away by David. We are getting some scheduled tidy-up maintenance done on her during this rather quiet time of year.
The previous week saw good wave on several days but none of us were tempted.
A foggy start, slow to clear.
John, Pete, and David present. We did some theory instruction until the wx improved. After 2pm we got flying. We took turns flying SJ for quick circuits off the winch. David doing 3 flights in a row. It was damn cold and we retired early to the clubrooms. Only a week to the shortest day, roll on summer...
An unsettled SW'er. John winched up in KG and spent 1.5hrs trying to reach the upper wave...no luck. John landed and ran the winch for Peter and David. Peter gave David a couple of check circuits. The wave had disappeared by now but David did a solo in JW then in SJ.
A cool stable easterly day. Pete and John arrived early to maintain winch and fix SJ tyre. Around mid day we decided to do a few launches and at least practice short landings. John (KG) did a couple of flights, surprizingly finding small bubbles on the first launch, staying airbourne for 15 mins. Pete did better in SJ and did 30 mins aided by a local rubbish fire.
Derek, Phil, Duncan and Dave Berkett arrived. Phil did a couple of BFR flights with John. Russell arrived for towing and Duncan did a couple of flights with John and Pete. Also flying where Muzza and friends in R22 HCF and Bruce in Rans JIZ.
8/9th May, new instructor's course
Doug flew in early Saturday via the wave in MN. We had a classroom session in the morning and flew training exercises in the afternoon. Instructor trainees included Bob, Pete Mc, Petr V, Bros, Chris, and Roger S. There was a little wave still about late Saturday and Pete flew LS4 MU to 9000' landing at dusk. David Walden (SJ) and David Laing (LS4 DP) also flew. We had dinner out at the Stadium Tavern Sat. night.
Sunday was a similar deal course-wise, but too stable for any lift. John flew a trial-flighter and Darren did a couple of winch launches. Chris Jackson aerobated SJ overhead as we packed up. A big thank you to Terry, Karen and Doug for organising the course. Thanks too to Gavin and Richard for towing.
Sunday 2nd May
An unstable sunny day with a strong NW'er aloft. We had a good turn out including Darren Smith with SCGC's LS4. John was first away winched up by Pete. John thermalled up and eventually reaching the Dunstan wave after a rough ride in the rotor. Infact it was pretty rough from ground level til about 8000'. We had 2 passenger "chucks" in JW, both contained by bags although one partly leaked in negative G rotor....
Peter (JW with pass), Derrek (IX), Malcolm (JW with pass) and David (SJ) all had some soaring but commented on the rough conditions.
Darren (MU) caught the wave late in the day and zipped down to Falls dam and back. John flew north of Omarama finding little wave out that way (wind too northerly?) so returned home. Many thanks to Russell for the towing.
Sunday 25th April
It was late clearing up....fog til 3pm. However Dave was keen to fly. After a quick check flight with John we decided it was good day to convert to the PW5. Dave enjoyed the PeeWee and landed with a big smile.
Sunday 18th April
Phil, Dave and Pete flying, Keith instructing. Dave had the best flight of the day, an hour in thermals.
Pete and John flew at Wardells with the South Canty club. Friday was thermals, Saturday and Sunday good wave, and Monday mainly good thermals.
Sunday 4th April
A pretty good day for late in the season. John (Pete pass) checked out the clouds in Tecnam RLS before the gliding started. Then David Walden did a couple of check flights with Keith and aerotowed to his second solo flight He proceeded to thermal up to cloudbase and had a brilliant 1.5hr flight. Phil thermalled in SJ followed by Peter (next in SJ), John (KG), and Derek (IX). Also flying was David Berkett in his motor PIK. Pete and John headed off to Ida valley. After a good initial climb the sky proved not quite as good as it looked... John continued to the Rock and Pillars and Peter to Ranfurly. They were both a little late turning back, John landed Ida valley and Pete at Omakau.
Roger Sparks flew his RLS and Bruce arrived from Omakau in his Rans JIZ. Derek and David Berkett landed after good soaring flights. Bruce went to pick up John and Malcolm picked up Pete. A good day had by all!
A pretty bleak end to March, cold and southerly with new snow on the hills. However there was good wave about. John instructed David Walden, with Derek driving the winch. The great news of the day was David going solo off the winch. Well done David.
Also flying was David Berkett (his first experience of winch launching) , Peter Mckenzie (JW) and Broz (IX). Pete and Broz had good flights in southerly wave to Nevis, Roxbourgh and Ida.
Sunday was cross-windy (South) and we used 14. Malcolm instructed and Roger towed. Dave Walden flew twice, performing his first cross-wind takeoff and landing, he's now ready for solo given the right day, a new young member Richard? also flew with Malcolm and is probably about 2/3 of the way towards solo, and an Indian girl from Bombay was treated to a flight by a local and really loved it. We retired early for a beer. Thanks should also go to Allan who helped out on the day.
Friday 19th March
Broz (IX) and Roger (JW) flew in weak wave, changeable and patchy. Broz flew down to Rox, then over to Omarama, Ahuriri and up to Pukaki. Broz was back home at 7pm after a great flight.
Thursday 18th March The day was late developing over Alex although it looked good everywhere else. We started late. John (KG) was away at 3pm and took a long tow to the back of the Old Man range where the cloudbase was highest. He headed south getting as far a Kingston in wave and thermals. Phil (SJ) towed to the Dunstans for a good 2hr flight. Broz (IX) was even later starting and missed most of the lift.
ATC weekend 13th/14th
The weekend saw a lot of activity with 3 x 2-seat gliders, up to 7(!) singles,
3 towplanes, and a 152 doing power instruction. Balcutha and Southland clubs
Cadet instruction went well, we flew from dawn to dusk. We had some soaring both days. Best flights were late flights with the cadets when the wave developed (10,000') on Saturday and Broz (IX) heading up the Nevis on Sunday while the rest of us seemed stuck in local area. A big welcome to David Berkett (Alistair's brother) and his motorized PIK20E ('SF). David has moved to Cromwell with his family.
Sunday 7th March
High cloud killed any chance of lift. Derek took a trial flight.
Thursday 4th March
A sunny day. Thermals poping off the Dunstans however an inversion at 4500' kept us below the tops. Roger (SJ) and John (KG) flew for a couple of hours over the translator operating in a narrow band of 3500-4500'. Good practice I guess!
Sunday 29th Feb
Low cloud and no sun, still it was better weather than the North Is was getting..... Congrats to new member Ryan who went solo in the morning after a few more circuits with Roger Bennett in ERW. Also John flew RLS in the morning, taking Derek for a ride.
After lunch we rigged SJ and installed the vario averager. Then we started flying, John and Keith in JW for a quick circuit. Then Roger G. soared in SJ, Pete in JW and John in KG. All shortish flights off the winch but Pete managed over an hour in JW at the end of the day.
Thurs 25th Feb
John ('KG) and Pete ('MU) had good flights at Omarama.
Sunday 22nd Feb
Weather didn't look much early on, with a couple of passing showers after lunch. Tim & Sabine did a few winch circuits with Derek.
Derek also took a Rep. from the Promotion Assn. for a 35 min flight. Cam Withington took some photos from ERW. This was for a video to promote Alexandra. Roger Bennett instructed Ryan in the 172. p
Roger Gibson aerotowed SJ to the Waikeri Ridge and had an hour's soaring. Alistair and Derek launched into good lift and had a good flight in JW.
JR took a short aerotow and headed off in convergence/wave for a good flight as far as Ranfurly. Pete took SJ to the rough ridge to meet JR on his way home. SJ didn't make it through the lee side of a building wave and Pete had his first outlanding near Chatto Creek. Thanks to Russell for towing.
Sunday 13th Feb
It was still a strong southerly on Sunday morning. John, Broz, Alan and Peter did a few odd jobs until the wind died down towards late afternoon. Roger Sparks and Alan did an oil change on Roger's Tecnam.
Roger Bennett instructed Ryan in our 172 ERW. Around 4pm Broz and John rigged their gliders and Phil got SJ ready. Roger Bennett aerotowed us into a clearing sky. John and Broz flew down to Thomsons gorge etc, Phil had a good flight in SJ.
Sunday 8th Feb
A fairly quiet due to holiday (Waitangi) weekend. Derek instructed David, gave checkflights to Alistair and Russell. Roger Bennett got back into aerotowing (welcome back). Derek did a few other trial flights including David's hang gliding friend Chris.
Sunday 1st Feb
Wet weekend. On Saturday Phil and Kerry did the 6-monthly inspections on the 2 club gliders. Sunday started wet. We completed a number of chores includung JW maint. and rabbit hole patrol. Later in the afternoon John and David did 5 winch launches.
Wednesday 28th January
It looked a damn good day so four of us met at the airport mid afternoon for winching. Bob was first off but quickly back too. Next Pete had a go and reported poor lift, he was back 30mins later too. Pete had another launch and finally got away. John was up next and struggled for an hour to reach cloudbase. Pete and John headed to the Dunstans where the cloudbase was higher (8000'). Pete flew to Crawford hills and John flew to Thomsons and Ida but the day was too much of a struggle to go far. Bob and Phil took a tow from Richard and had an enjoyable couple of hours local soaring.
The clouds looked good all day but it was a real mission to reach them. Lift was only 1-2kts much of the time although right at cloudbase things were pretty good. Conditions improved late afternoon but the hills suffered from over development.
Sunday 25th January
A few of us arrived early for the working bee. We polished the gliders and had a general tidy-up. Then it was out with the winch for John instructing David doing circuits and landings. Actually there were bits of lift about and around midday they decided to stay up. David and John waited at about 4000' while Peter winched up in PW5 SJ. After an hour JW was handed over to Malcolm who took passenger Sue for a trial flight. The lift had now all but disappeared and rain was not far off. We suffered a number of winch cable and wire breaks....all different causes but it does look like the rope is nearing the end of it's life after 200 launches. We retired early for beer-o'clock.
Things looked pretty blue with only a few Cu's on the Hawduns. Phil and John took off about 2:30pm and the sky proved pretty lively. On the Dunstans climbs went to 7500' which was way above an obvious inversion layer in the valley. John continued to Naseby then over to Dingle and Ahuriri. Cloud bases were 10,000' on the Hawkduns. Phil flew along to Thomson's track and they both landed after 4 hrs pleasant soaring...beats work!
Friday 16th to Sunday 18th Jan (Wardells)
Friday: Pete, Broz and John headed to Wardells on the Friday as the forecast was good. Peter flew SCGC's LS4 'MU and had a good flight in thermals to the Ahuriri. Meanwhile John ('KG) and Broz ('IX) decided to head east to good looking convergence clouds over Kurow and Mt Kohurau. Despite some good lift the clouds weren't quite as good as they looked. Next it was up the Hakataramea valley. Broz backtracked and headed home but landed at Avimore. John continued and escaped home from a good climb on the Kirkelstons.
Bruce arrived late in Rans JIZ. By the time Broz was retreived the meals were "off" but Hugh feed the hungrey crew at his place.
Saturday: David and Renee arrived from Wanaka. John instructed David in GMY (nice G103). The 3 singles (gliders that is) had another late start. It was 3:30pm before the thermals punched through the 4000' inversion. However they were climbing to 8000' over St Bathans range. John headed off to the Ahuriri but Broz and Pete continued climbing up into light wave and spent the rest of the day 10-12,000'. They had a great flight getting as far as the Hunter and Mt Brewster. David had further flights with Darren in 'MY. We all landed around 7:30pm.
Saturday's high cloud turned to strong wind and rain. We did little flying but
drove down the Waitaki to check on paddocks and airstrips. Late in the
afternoon it cleared enough for Bruce to fly home, the rest of us packed up and
headed away too.
Many thanks to Darren and the rest of the South Canty club.
A good wave day. Strong NW winds were forecast so we started early. John instructed with help from Broz. First flight was David Walden with John, next was Sabine. It was very rough on these first flights, although it was surprisingly beneign on the ground. By now the NW'er was in and good wave had formed in the lee of the Dunstans. John and Tim took a high tow out that way and slowly thermalled up in very rough rotor. At 5000' they broke through into amazingly strong wave. They tracked north to St Bathans climbing at 10kts plus all the way. The vario was pinned on the stops but the stopwatch showed 1000' climb in 40 seconds (1500'/min). All the other day's flights were similar but not so rough. Broz flew Tim's brother in JW plus did a flight with Sabine at the end of the day. David and Bronwyn also had good wave flights with John.
Derek had a good 4hr plus wave flight in IX, and Phil and Bob had good flights in SJ. Many thanks to Russell for towing in the arduous conditions.
At last a thermal day? The afternoon forecast sounded good so John, Phil and David met at the Alex hanger around midday. The Cu's disappeared not long after and high cloud threatened on the western horizon. We went for it anyway.
John headed north in KG while Phil and David thermalled to cloudbase on the translater ridge in JW. Upcountry the conditions were a little better, John reached 9500' on the Hawkduns but the blue thermals where a bit erratic. The high cloud soon came in thick and fast. Phil and David where shot down after 2 hrs and John made it back after a long glide from the end of the valley. We packed up early and departed the airport about 5pm just as the first wave appeared (again).
Thanks to Richard for the 2 tows.
Southerly winching. Dave did a number of circuits in JW with Malcolm. Bob & Pete each did a couple of circuits in SJ. Derek took a family friend for her first flight (we forget how exciting the first winch launch was).
Roger takes the day prize for an 8 min flight in JW. But after handicap because he was 1up, came in equal with Bob.
The week Generally...
Broz has kept up his run of long wave flights in IX from Omarama, with a fantastic 500km (unofficial) run to 5 Rivers, Mt Cook and back to Omarama.
Pete few MU, three days with South Canty Club at Wardells.
JR had two days at Omarama with good flights in KG getting up Cook and D'archiac way in wave.
Saturday 3rd Jan
Pete & a mate had 3hrs in difficult thermals with an inversion at 3500ft.
Friday 2nd Jan, 2004
Pete & his brother had a 2hr flight eventually reaching wave, after a long tow in the sink.
NEW YEARS DAY
Phil had another good wave flight in SJ. JR flew KG ?? couldn?t find the wave. Roger dipped out with a cable break on the last launch of the day.
Derek flew his Mum for a short flight, then had an hour with his brother in JW. Phil had 2.5hrs in SJ, reaching wave.
Phil, Derek & Pete took turns driving the winch. Thanks Michelle for wing running.
Pete took the back seat in JW with Derek, for a few winch launches. There where good thermals and we easily got away for half hour flights on each. Phil did a couple of circuits from the back seat also. Bob arrived and got away for a good flight with Pete on the second attempt. They where climbing well towards the wave, when called down, for a trial flight before the lift ran out. Richard towed this one with ERW.
Monday 22nd December 2003
Omarama for the day to join up with Broz. The past few days has seen Broz have some awsome flights in wave. He's been up to Mt Cook several times and even down to Alex. On Wednesday John and Pete trailered up for the day. The day was pretty average and completely blue (no Cu's). John flew up to the Barrier, Hunter and Dingle area. Pete converted to the LS4 but by then the day was cut with a strong seabreeze easterly killing the local lift.
Sunday 21rd December 2003
Just a couple of flights before the SW crosswind became too strong to launch safely. David flew with Derek, and Bob flew SJ. We sheltered in the hanger and installed the new vario in JW.
Bruce called by in JIZ.
Wednesday 10th December 2003
Winching, at Alex in the afternoon. JR had a good flight in KG to Makarora and back getting 9500ft. Well done. Pete flew JW with one of Broz's builders, Broz (IX) and Phil (SJ). We never managed to break through a thick inversion at 4500ft. The southerly eventually killed the thermals. Thanks Derek for knocking off work to drive the winch.
Sunday 7th Dec
Not sure exactly when each of you left so whole day was as follows: JR (complete with rebored honk) did classroom work with Dave and Pete (Dave's mate) while Derek instructed. Derek flew Sabine (1hr 10m), Tim Bosse (1hr 5m) and Dave from Hawea (1hr 5m), all in choppy wave/thermals to max 7,000' around Fraser Dam, Old Man range and to Butchers Dam. Derek's "task of the day" was to get around the obelisk (not achieved), "secondary task" was around Butchers Dam basically achieved by all. Broz took IX over the Lindis into the Ahuriri (is that how you spell it ???) and back while Derek was instructing. Broz then flew Pete (Dave's mate fro Wanaka) and Steve McIllwrick (Jim's son and now new member of the Club). Not sure who flew SJ but think it was Pete, then Phil, then Malcolm. So, an excellent day in somewhat trying conditions.
Sunday (30th November)
Another busy day with 11 aerotows, thanks to Russell for towing.
Good thermals and light SW wave saw everyone having good soaring. Dave, Tim & Sabine, flew JW with Derek instructing, each having flights of an hour or so. John had a good day and covered a few miles in KG, getting down to Millers Flat and well up the Dunstans. Alistair was away for a couple of hours in GA. Broz flew along the Garvies during a long flight. Roger, Bob & Pete had good flights in SJ, making it into the wave.
The Southerly killed the lift early but John and Pete flew a little.
Broz had a good long wave flight with a mate down to Millers Flat, Onslow etc.
Sunday 23rd November
Extreme winds meant no gliding on the 16th. The 23rd looked OK and indeed there where thermals about before the strong southerly came in. Peter, Bros and Bob flew. Also Dave (hang gliderist) & Renee from Hawea had good flights with Broz in JW.
Stewart & Clinton flew JW with Malcolm & Broz (our new trainee instructor) Alistair ( ) & Bob (SJ) had an hour thermalling up to the inversion at 3,500ft. Pete (SJ) and Broz (IX) managed to break through the inversion for longer flights. Broz flew over to Cromwell but was unable to g et back over the hills.
Monday 3rd, Wed 5th November
On Monday we had very changeable wave. Richard towed Pete & Blott(winch tuner) for a 45min flight in thermal/rotor? over Alex. Broz (IX) towed over the Waikeri Ridge. Conditions changed very quickly with rain surrounding the valley.
Roger & Broz have had an excellent wave flight in JW. Waikaia bush, Thompsons Track, Onslow, jumping between three waves. Oh to be self employed.
Sunday 2nd November
Not a great looking day. Derek and Alistair did their BFR's with John. Pete and Roger also flew, and John instructed Wayne (friend of Roger's). Pete soared away from a winch launch and away for a couple of hours before landing in a strong Westerly crosswind.
Thursday/Friday 28/29th October
An unstable moist day. We winched as ERW was away. John did 1.5hrs in KG, Broz 2hrs with passenger in JW. Roger flew SJ.
Bros flew on Friday.
Sunday 19th October
Another busy day. The club ran it's annual power competitions. This included spot landing, bombing and forced landing events. Inbetween events ERW towed gliders. Most of us got long soaring flights in thermals to 7000' (with a hint of wave about too.)
Thurs 15th, Fri 16th October
BFR's and BBQ on Thursday, plus a little soaring. On Friday Pete and Bros did some good soaring in thermals and wave.
Sunday 12th October
ATC Sunday. We started early, arriving before 8am and were still flying nearly 12hrs later! John instructed in the morning and was releived in the afternoon by Malcolm, Keith, and Allan. We flew 18 cadets. The cadets also flew in Cessna DXK for their power training.
There was a strong inversion around 3000' most of the day. Some thermals were
popping off on the hill tops from mid afternoon and these were chased by club
members in the single seaters. Bob got soaring in SJ but was stranded low over
Cromwell unable to gain enough height to get back through the gorge. Eventually
Richard and Pete flew down to tow SJ home. Pete exchanged seats with Bob and
got a good flight.
John in KG towed to the Knobbies and had a pleasant 3.5hrs soaring mainly over the snowy Old Man range. Bros flew IX to join John later in the day. Cloudbase was just under 7000'.
It was certainly a big day, Richard did 22 tows and about 4.5hrs flying time.
Thursday 2nd October (...and Sunday it snowed!)
Roger and Pete took a very expensive tow through sink to the Waikeri Ridge. They spent an hour ridge soaring under 5,000ft, finally catching a thermal as the wind dropped, and worked our way over the Leaning Rock. We then got good thermals to 10,000ft. Lift was confined to the Dunstans, and we landed after a quick look over at the Fraser Dam.
Wednesday 24th Sept
Afternoon wave. Derek and Roger took JW down the Dunstan wave to Omarama saddle and back. Bob flew SJ.
Sunday 21st Sept
Not a bad day, ample soaring about. Keith instructed Sabine (and hour's flight), Bob and Pete flew SJ for many hours. Thermals topped out at 7000' were it was a stiff southerly.
Sunday 14th Sept
Another busy day winching (thanks Derek). 13 launches. The winch is performing well, with a high success rate of gliders able to thermal away from the field.
Light westerly, unstable conditions made for more good flying. Bob was first away for a good thermal flight in SJ. Being called back after an hour, didn't wipe the smile off his face.
Pete had an hour in SJ. Malcolm was kept busy instructing Tim & Sabine in JW, with flights to Chatto Creek, around the edge of rain showers.
Phil had a few attempts to stay in the air, but missed the best conditions, after a Southerly forced us to move the winch and use 14. Bridgett DeMalmanche had a flight with Malcolm after marching around the clubhouse with the ATC.
Meanwhile, John (KG) had made his way up to the Pig Route and was soaring the Kakanui's. He cancelled a call for a retrieve at Ranfurly, and eventually landed in the Ida Valley, with his path home blocked by the rain showers.
Friday 12th Sept
There where some good strong thermals, in a light northerly. John (KG), Derek (IX), Pete (SJ), had good local flights of around 2 hrs. John flew over the Leaning Rock and Obelisk.
Pete landed at McArthurs strip for out landing practice. Thanks Phil for winching, and Roger Sparks for helping with launches.
Let the thermals begin! Johns theory "thermal days occur any time of the year when there are green leaves on the willows" was proven correct yesterday. He flew KG for 90 mins. to reinforce that. Cloud base was low but JR found 4 up at times.
The winch performed well with 14 launches for the day. After a couple of circuits, Derek sent Allan McCulloch solo again after a few years away from gliding. Allan then had a couple more flights in SJ.
Malcolm Taylor is now able to instruct again after check flights with Derek and John. Bob & Pete had good thermal flights in JW & SJ. Thanks Derek for instruction and winching us into thermals.
JW's canopy is off so that one of the hinges can be repaired. This will be done before the weekend.
****A reminder to always check both canopy's during pre-flight checks.****
Rough broken wave conditions had ERW busy with 11 tows. Cheers Richard
John instructed Tim and a mate from Dunedin. Shin from Southland club also had a flight with John.
Malcolm Taylor took Tim, Sabine & Allan McCulloch for passenger flights, as it became a bit rough for instruction. Malcolm should be instructing again soon. Bob & Pete each had an hour in SJ. John flew KG, Derek & Broz (fresh from holiday in Thailand) each had flights in IX.
There was plenty of sink about with small bits of strong lift, but nobody managed to find the wave. We hope to see more of Grant Kitto who called in on his way back to Wanaka in a 172.
Sunday was clear and calm with no lift but very little sink that allowed for some good progress for students and the experienced alike.
A total of 12 aerotows were made (many thanks to Russell) 8 in JW and 4 in SJ. I flew Tim and Sabine whose aerotowing is improving greatly and then did check flights for Phil for his front seat passenger rating, Malcolm for his BFR (welcome back stranger), Kelvin Wright prior to his first flight in SJ and Allan Mitchell (also welcome back after quite an absence).
Bob took a passenger flight in JW as did Phil (his first ever !!!) and Pete, Bob, Malcolm and Kelvin (another first) flew SJ. By sheer chance it was the beer-o-clock when we finished (funny how that happens) and so we retired to tell tall stories of how long we were in the air.
We had a strong cold SW'er during Sunday. First to fly was Bob who winched in JW. Bob had a great flight reaching 10,000' in SW wave. Shortly afterwards the crosswind became to strong to fly so we waited a short while until Russell arrived to tow. The rest of the day was spent training in JW. John and Derek were instructing Tim,Ellen,Tim and Sabine. We had a couple of trial flights and Peter did his BFR with John.On each flight we had some thermal or wave lift. John also flew KG, Phil Pete and Roger flew SJ. Bruce called by in Rans JIZ.
Many thanks to Russell for the aerotows.
Lots of circuit practice for Tim #1, Sabine, Ellen and Tim #2. Derek was instructing and John and others winch driving. The airport was reasonably busy with a number of visitors... Kelvin arrived in a Cub, a couple of 172's did touch and goes, and Bruce arrived in Rans JIZ. John and Bruce had a fly in Rans KNI. Ruth Pesland landed in Tecnam ZRG and did a winch launch in JW. John McArthur visited in his Cub and new member Ben Falconer returned in ERW.
A busy weekend in which Kerry and Jaccob gave annual "WOFs" to all 5 local gliders. The weather wasn't great but later on Sunday afternoon we did do a little flying, winching up to the low (800') cloudbase. On the last flight of the day we winched through a clear patch emerging into bright sunshine high above the surrounding cloud. Magic!
Our AGM day. We did a little flying later in the afternoon, John instructing Tim and Sabine.
Not a bad day for winter, we even had some thermals! Peter flew SJ for almost an hour. Derek instructed Tim and Sabine, also finding some thermals in the unstable conditions. Later in the afternoon Terry Jones (our Operations Officer) and Karen Morgan paid us a visit. Karen had fly in JW with Derek, and later Terry continued instruction while Derek drove the winch.
On Saturday Derek instructed our Dundein members Glen, Paul, and Kelvin. Richard was kept busy with the aerotows. Yet another cold but still day on Sunday. We did 10 winch launches, mainly in JW with John instructing. The airport was pretty busy all weekend. Some of the aircraft seen include the Pioneer DC3, Rans, 2 x Tecnams, R22's, plus the usual 150s and 172s.
Sunday was fine, clear but cold. Apart from some remote wave there was little chance of lift. We decided to do "blanked-instrument" circuits and paddock-landing practice. John, Pete, Bob and Phil all flew. Keith did a circuit with Aussie visitor Ray. Later in the afternoon Tim and Sabine flew with Derek. Thanks to Pete and Bill for driving the winch.
A Low moving south off Fiordland gave "odd" NW wave conditions over Alex on Sunday. The wave looked very disorganized early in the day but in the event gave pretty good flying.
We started with the winch, getting good heights with the stiff northerly. Derek was instructing Tim and Sabine. John (KG), Bros (IX) tried to reach the wave off the winch. John succeeded on the second winch and flew up to St Bathans reaching over 14000' in good lift. Peter had an amazing 3000' winch launch in JW and just reached the wave before he was called back. Phil also had a good flight in SJ, likewise Bob.
Richard was called up to aerotow later in the afternoon. Bros caught the wave and joined John high overhead in the last of the day's sunshine. Not a bad day for mid winter, Alex reached 21C!
There was OK wave on Staurday. Roger (JW) and Bros (IX) flew for 3hrs each. Bros toured up to St Bathans and down to Roxburgh.
The wave was out of reach on Sunday but at least it was fine and warm. John instructed new members Tim and Sabine Bosse, Derek flew IX, and Phil and Peter flew SJ. Russell was flying the areotows and later he took helicopter HHK out for a short flight.
After a grotty forecast the day turned out OK. John tried 'KG on the new winch cable. The winches went well but not there wasn't much lift about. He then did a couple of trial flights in JW eventually managing a pleasant 30 min in broken wave. Derek flew Michelle in JW, then another trial flight. Several more launches we had before Pete took PW5 SJ and got 2000' AGL off the winch and found a little lift to delay his descent.
On the power side John McArthur (Cub) and Bruce (Rans JIZ) both visited, and John also had a flight in Rans KNI.
A dull Sunday but we put it to good use. We started early as we needed to replace 3000' of winch wire with the new synthetic cable (purchased with grant monies). Eventually we were all set and John did the first flight in JW. The launch was fantastically smooth with none of the jarring experienced with steel cable. With 1 up we got 1750' AGL which was pretty good. However the main benefit of the new cable is the reduction in stress and strain on both the winch and the glider. The winch is a lot easier to drive with the new light cable. Speed control on launch is easier too.
The rest of the day was spent with Roger, Phil, Derek and Bob all having a go with the new cable.
Our Honary Solicitor (Gordie) paid a visit and Derek took him for a flight. Mike (Bob's friend) and Colin (the topdresser pilot) also had a flight each.
Overall the new cable was a success, much much nicer to use and a bonus extra bit of height gained. It does remain to be seen just how long the new cable will last but only time will tell. The biggest chore of the day was winding up the 900m of springy used winch wire.
Previous years flying.....