Past year's flying reports June 2005 to June 2006

Sunday 25th June 2006
Clear, sunny, but very cold. Doug and John shared the gliding instruction. Flying in JW were Brian Savage (backseat practice), Phil (BFR), Dan from Wanaka and Bob from 5R. We flew til sundown at which stage it was minus 3C and ice was forming on the canopy. Many thanks to Pete (and Roger S) for driving the winch all day.
And flying iron thermals on sunday where JR+Dan in Tecam RLS, John McArthur in his cub DFO and Lou in BUQ.
ERW is away getting new paint and engine but we should have a '172 on loan shortly.

Sunday 18th June
Cold but we got a lot done. Firstly Phil, Al, and Pete beavered away clearing the briar and rocks from Grass runway 14 (far end). John motored up in OQ but found little else but ice. We started winching early PM, Pete flew Al and John flew with new member Dan, and Al. Phil drove the winch. Big news of the day was Al Forbes first solo, well done and what a nice landing!

Sunday 11th June
The forecast put everyone off (could have flown tho)

Sunday 4th June
Good southerly wave all day (and several days after by the look of it). In the morning John flew OQ up to 13,000 exploring the wave. Later pm, Al and John took JW up to 12000, then Hamish White flew Dad (Doug) up to icey heights. By now the wx was packing up but we still time for a quick flight each for Bob and Bill (both from 5R) with John instructing. It was cold, wet and dark by the time we had the hanger closed but at least the clubroom fire was going well.
Thanks to Russell for towing.

Sunday 29th May
Mid morning the day didn't look too good for flying with full cover of low level cloud. This cleared early afternoon and we got the winch out. Not much wind and the air was pretty calm aloft. Doug instructed and did circuits with Al and we were joined by Bob Martin of the Five Rivers Club who also did a couple of circuits.
Thanks to Doug for instructing and Pete and Phil for running the winch.

Sunday 21st May
The day had some promise earlier in the morning, but the Southerly blew up the Roxburgh gorge. The bad stuff hung around the hills and missed Alexandra, cloudy all day though. We winched all day, ten flights in total. Doug instructed, but first did a couple of flights in JW to get familiar with the winch again; Al, Duncan and Malcolm Taylor did circuits with Doug (and Pete). Pete and Phil drove the winch and even managed to take out most of the knots (and put proper joins in) on the Dynema. Thanks to Doug for instructing and to Phil and Pete for the winch.

Sunday 14th May Wet and snowy!

Sunday 7th May
Sunday was slightly unstable after a wee front early morning. A bit more sun would have helped but we had weak thermals from mid afty. Phil winched John('KG) at 1pm and Pete ('LP) a little later. Cloudbase was 3000-4000' but there were enough thermals for reliable soaring. Chris Davis took an aerotow and all 3 soared together for the rest of the afternoon. Generally a nice day had by all. Thanks to Phil for winching and Roger for towing.

Sunday 30th April
A clear, still day. ERW was busy early (once the fog had cleared) with Steve Whitren, then Gary Wilson flying with Roger Bennett. The gliding started about 1pm. John headed away in 'OQ and spend a couple of hours soaring weak thermals on the Dunstan foothills. Pete flew a trial-flighter then instructed Dave Wilson. Phil flew SJ, as did Brian Savage. Later Brian completed his backseat rating with John in JW. Duncan and Alistair also flew. We quit with darkness and retired to the clubrooms, cranking up the potbelly stove for the first time this season. Thanks to Russell for towing.

Sunday 23th April
Very windy for a start, even some roofs blown off in Clyde! Needless to say we didn't fly in the morning, instead did a few chores around the place. Later in the afty it improved so we decided to winch. It actually turned out quite nice with heaps of lift about. We flew til dark and restricted flights to 15 mins to fit the training. John + Pete shared the instruction and winching duties. Alistair and new member Dave Watson continued with their training, and Brian Savage flew over from Queenstown in KVB and got some back seat practice in JW.

Sunday16th April
Easter, no flying.

Sunday 9th April
Club activity was pretty quiet (ERW away on maintenance). John flew some pax in KNI, then flew with Alistair in JW while Phil drove the winch.

Sunday 2nd April
A hot sunny day (28C). John instructed Christie, and Pete took a friend flying. Chris D did a couple of flights in 'SJ. It was pretty stable and we quit early. Thanks to Roger for towing.

Sunday 26th March
High cloud from cyclone Wati crept south on sunday killing any chance of thermals. However we had 5 trial flights organized so were flying early, Pete and John instructing. Phil also flew (KJ) and John flew OQ. Thanks to Russell for towing.

Sunday 19th March
OK soaring was had, especially for Pete in LP who flew all the way up to Mt Huxely. Pete scraped home on the last of the day's lift, a very good flight for so late in the season. Meanwhile Doug was instructor of the day. He took 2 good soaring flights, one was Dave from Glenorchy (who is joining), and the other Doug's son Hamish (who wants to learn too). The southerly came in later and made local soaring a bit difficult.
Thanks to Chris and Phil who helped out, and to Russell for the towing.

Sunday 12th March
A cold front went through early AM and the day cleared slowly though remained southerly.
We were winching early. Pete instructing and John (then Geoff) driving the winch. Pete was pretty busy with Al, Christie, Ian C and Claudia all present. Also a number of visitors including Ian Dunkley (Vintage Glider enthusiast). There was soaring from mid PM, Chris D flew SJ and John flew KG for a couple of hours.
Thanks to all the helpers especially Geoff for winching and Russell for towing.


Sunday 5th March
The day started fine and calm although it looked like high winds aloft. John instructed Alistair and new member Claudia. Phil, Pete and Geoff ran the winch. Chris D helped out as did Brian from England. Geoff was learning to drive the winch so he also had a flight in JW to see what it was like at "the other end".
There was the occaisional thermal but nothing much until about 3pm when the wind touched down just before we were about to start aerotowing. John and Al had an interesting flight climbing straight off the last winch to 8000' in gusty lift with varios pegged at 10 Kts plus. Meanwhile on the ground the wind had gone from calm to a very strong Sw'er. It got pretty rough and there was little doubt the day was "coozed" so we put everything away and retired early.

Sunday 25th Feb
A windy day at Alex, with some 'uncomfortable' tows. Pete instructed in JW, taking Alistair for a couple of circuits and new club member Claudia (from Dunedin) for a check-flight. No-one had soaring flights... too windy for thermals... though David (SJ) managed to hover for 20 minutes in weak ridge lift above the Waikeri translater. Phil and KJ had their second flight together and a character building aerotow. We packed up early with wind gusting to 30kts on the ground. Thanks Pete for instructing and Roger for towing.

Weekend 18, 19 Feb
Lots of flying at 5 Rivers on both days. It was soarable, but mostly below 5000ft, so everyone just stayed local. Pete (LP) and Chris Davis (SJ) had nice flights on Sat and Sun, and Christie did a couple of extended circuits with Pete in MO on Sunday. Thanks to the Southland Club for their hospitality and particularly Mo and Garth for providing the towplane.

Sunday 5th Feb (Waitangi weekend)
Kerry visited for 6 monthly maintenance on the gliders. The only flying being Kerry, followed by Phil, in Phil's new glider: Hornet 'KJ. Also flying that weekend (from Wardells) was Pete in LP.

Sunday 29nd Jan
Another stinker (36 C). John instructed Christie (4 flights) and Alistair (2). There was good soaring up to the inversion (5000'), both Al and trial-flighter Garry had hour long flights over the translater. Chris D helped out (many thanks) and Phil flew SJ. Roger B instructed in ERW all morning plus did a few tows in afty before Richard took over. It got too hot so we quit early to sample Ian's shout (solo again in ERW after several years).

Saturday 28nd Jan
Pete, John and Jeremy ('MU) flying from Wardells. A late start (2-3pm) but eventually the thermals broke through the inversion and took us to 10,000'. We flew Ahuriri and up the Dobson seeing hang gliders about everywhere, plus a gaggle of GP06 gliders and chopper cruising way below on the Neuman range.

Sunday 22nd Jan
A very hot summers day with lumpy lift about. Christie did a couple of flights with John. New member Brian Savage flew with John for a an hour or so in weak wave. Chris D flew SJ, and Pete flew LP for a couple of hours. Malcolm flew about in ERW when it wasn't towing. Malcolm also took a trial flighter in JW at the end of the day. It was murderous hard work at low level in the heat. In the end we retired early for a cool beer. Thanks to Russell and Roger for towing.

Fri 20th Jan
Pete and Grant (Campbell) flew JW back from Wardells. Hard work at times but easier than derigging!

Xmas-early Jan
We've had some good flying over the Christmas break despite some indifferent weather at times. Twin JW shifted up to Wardells for a couple of weeks and various club members took advantage of the opportunity, having good flights.
The first few days of the holidays dished up the best weather. Pete having good flights in LP. Roger G came up over that period for a flight with Pete. Pete also did a number of trial flights with his mates, and instructed Tim, then shared a flight with David in thermal/rotor on the Saturday (7th). Chris and John had a good soaring flight in JW on the 9th, Chris getting a good look around the Omarama basin. On the 10th Chris flew to the Ohau skifield solo in JW, John to Mt Cook in KG, all later meeting up with Pete (LP) and Kerry Jackson (Cirrus HY) over Ohau. On the 12th it was very late clearing. Both David (LS4 'MU) and John (KG) flew for a few hours.
The weather then turned a little sour although there was some good wave about at times. Pete and John paid a couple more visits. The winds continued, 95kt winds on top one day. We never flew on the last club Sunday (wind) but Pete and John stayed for the Monday (16th). That was a good day with thermals and up top wave in a 50kt westerly. Pete had a long flight south of Old Man and back.
So lots of flying...JW must have clocked up about 20hrs, likewise LP and KG. Thanks to the South Canterbury club for their hospitality and tows, especially Darren, Allan and Malcolm. Also thanks to Pete and JR for instructing.

Sunday 11th Dec 2005
Sunday dawned cloudy with some drizzle but it soon cleared to be a good soaring afternoon. In the AM Roger Bennett had some flights to do in ERW, and John and visitor Mike Fisher flew Rans KNI. Around noon we had the gliders sorted and began a busy day's soaring. First off was John and our new instructor Doug White. They BFRed for 50mins in thermals. Next up was Phil in SJ. Doug then took over instructing in JW for a while so John flew OQ for a couple of hours. The soaring continued with Roger Gibson and Christie enjoying soaring instruction with Doug.
With everybody airborne Gary Wilson took ERW up for some local flying. John did some more instruction, and Chris Davis did his QGP landout and retrieve from McArthur's airstrip. Later in the day John McArthur called by in his Cub to refuel and go for a flight out west.
Pete had a good flight in LP late in the day quickly racing down to Roxburgh in good thermals. Thanks to Russell for towing, and a warm welcome to Doug White.

Weekend 3/4 Dec 2005
A successful weekend in Wanaka. Saturday's weather was a bit average, so we only managed 3 flights in JW (including the tow over - Pete and Chris Davis), but Sunday was quite nice with clear skies and 25 knot N'Wester (and up to 30 knots on the ground!). The Criffel was soarable the whole weekend, and we towed there every time. No-one contacted good wave, so mostly the flying was local. Pete and a mate got over to the Hawea Range on Saturday in JW, David Laing (DP) and David W (SJ) went to Mt Roy and up the lake a bit to Mou Wahu island, and Phil and Pete (JW) cruised up the Cardrona. Owen and James Truelove had the longest flights of all and went to the head of Lake Hawea in Owen's Stem (without cheating). We did some passenger flights too. Chris Clark and Pete towed back on Sunday evening into the biggest piece of rotor behind Cromwell, and then made it over into nice Old Woman wave.
Thanks to Richard for towing both days, Pete for instructing, and Owen and Chris Streat for the use of their hangar on Sat night.

Thursday 1st December 2005
Well we tried. The southerly gunk arrived early and it was stable with a strong inversion. John struggled for 1.5hrs after a high tow. Pete and David wisely decided not to launch. We derigged LP and SJ in preparation for Wanaka. Thanks for the tow Richard.

Sunday 27th November 2005
Lots of flying. Again good soaring conditions. Both club gliders were busy along with LP.

Saturday 26th November 2005
Pete couldn't resist a perfect sky. He had a good flight along the Dunstans and then the Hawduns.

Sunday 20th November 2005
Another grotty sunday. Strong NW'er with rain coming on early afternoon. Pete flew with Alistair in wave.

SI Regionals (Omarama) 12th-19th Nov
Pete, John, Roger Sparks and Chris Streat had some good flights, plus enjoyed yacking about gliding for the whole week. Perhaps the best flying was the first day in thermals (O-Simons-Dingle-Thomson-Clearburn-O), and last day in wave (O-Cotters-Mt Cook-O). Not the best wx in between but still enjoyable.

Weekend 5/6th November 2005
Five Rivers
The crew headed down to 5 Rivers for the weekend, and were joined by the locals and a Balclutha contingent. Saturday we had a moderate S Wester setting up some disorganised wave. Pete, Terry, Karen, Matt and David, plus a few others in MO flew locally off the winch, mostly getting into the wave between Mid and West Dome, while John found his way to the south coast and back. Meanwhile Phil checked over the club's Hornet with a view to purchasing.
Sunday was contrary to the stunning day forcast... we had overcast until about 2pm and then low cloud base after that. Pete, John, Terry and David tried out the Alex club's winch (not much difference in height really) and mostly had low soaring flights close to the strip. Thanks to the 5 Rivers club for hosting us.

Sunday 30th October 2005
We ended up flying at Alex instead of Roxburgh. However the wx was good (Alex got the national high yet again). We were winching by 11am. Basically John instructed and Derek drove the winch all day, and everyone else either did all the other work involved or scored a flight or 2. Flying were Christie, Alistair, Rob and Roxburgh local Bob. Each flight included a little soaring. Later in the day Phil flew SJ, Derek took Adam Foster in JW, and John escaped to the Dunstans for a while in OQ.
Also airborne were Stevie and Geoff in Tecnam RLS. They did the grand tour of Southland (Balclutha, Invercargill, Manapouri and home).

Monday 24th October 2005
The good weather continues. John (KG) took an early high tow to get above the inversion and flew north to Omarama then home via Aspiring. Out west it was excellent soaring with 9000' cloudbases. Meanwhile Pete and Alex Sim in JW took a shorter tow and soared local below the strong inversion. Later on Derek gave them a winch launch for another flight.
Thanks Russell for the tows.

Sunday 23rd October 2005
Nice soaring weather. Peter (LP) and John (OQ) headed north in good thermals reaching Ohau Skifield before returning home. Phil also had good soaring in SJ. Thanks to Derek for winch driving.

Sunday 16th October 2005
A busy day. We hosted a practice competition event with aircraft flying in from Wanaka and Dunedin. Events included bombing, spot landing with and without engine (simulated!). Russell scored the most, followed by Gary.
While this was happening the gliders where winching away next door. John instructed Chris C, Alistair, Trev, and John Lochhead til mid afty then took KG up to Hawkduns and back. Phil had driven the winch all day so took SJ for a well deserved thermal flight. Pete took a friend up in JW and also flew with Richard W.
Thanks to Chris D (now called Bob to avoid confusion) for working all day and still not flying, and Phil for winch driving.

Thursday 13th October 2005
The front went though early AM and the day promised a lot. David (SJ), Pete (LP) and John (KG) arrived at noon along with the dreaded southerly. We were winching and wished we'd got started an hour earlier.
David and Pete eached launched and returned after a brief scratch. Derek arrived and winched John who committed to a downwind run to McArthurs strip. His luck held and he climbed away, luring David into trying the same on his next flight (but landed at McArthurs). Pete struggled for a couple of hours on his next launch but the southerly had washed out all the local lift.
John escaped over the Dunstans out of the southerly reach. Cloud base jumped from 5000 to 9500 and he flew northwards in good lift to the head of the Dingle and back. Meanwhile Phil had retrieved David from McArthurs. We were all home by 5pm.
Thanks to Derek for winching and Phil for helping out too.

Sunday 9th October 2005
A nice sunny day for lots of flights with ATC cadets. No wind, and light thermals to an inversion at about 4000ft. Roger Benett managed 11 aerotows as well as a few hours of of instructing in ERW. Pete, David and Derek took students in JW, and Phil and Chris squeezed in a flight each in SJ. Thanks Pete and Derek for instructing and Roger for towing.

Sunday 2 October 2005
More winching action at Lowburn. The day was quite unstable with some over-development at times and basically no wind. Alistair and John got away in JW on the first flight of the day, so we decided to carry on with the winch only and cancel the tow plane. Obviously it clouded over above the airstrip after that, which reduced us to flying circuits for a while. David and Chris D had a turn in JW, Phil went up in SJ and almost stayed up.
Then Pete and Alistair found a good thermal on their down-wind leg (as you do), and followed this to cloud base, joined by David (SJ) and John (KG) along the way. All three wandered over to the Dunstans and SJ and JW lobbed over to land at Alex a while later. Some really spectacular cloud formations.
Thanks Derek for driving the winch all day, John/Pete for instruction, and Chris for shutteling between Lowburn and Alex.

Sunday 25 Sep 2005
Lowburn. Considering the forecast (rain) we had a good day at Lowburn. Derek, Phil, Pete, Chris Davis, Renee and David played with JW and the winch, getting heights of around 1600ft AGL in six flights. Wasn't soarable due to a moderate ground wind killing the thermals.
Thanks Pete and Derek for instructing.

Wed 21 Sep 2005
David took Renee up in JW for a nice flight in the Old Man wave to 14500 ft. Went down to Roxburgh then across to Thomsons Gorge and Tarras, and landed at Lowburn. Thanks for the tow Richard.

Sunday 18 Sep 2005
We had a dodgy weather forecast, but the day turned out quite sunny and thermic. Miniture thermals to 4 or 5000 ft most of the day until the Southerly came in at about 3:30 and killed them. Had the winch out to start with, then Russell aerotowed. Everyone had soaring flights of an hour or more... Malcolm instructed Alistair and a visting student, Nicole, in JW, Phil and David had turns in SJ and John had 3 hours or so in OQ without cheating.
Thanks Malcolm for instructing and Russell for towing.

Sunday 11th September 2005
Last Sunday 11 Sep Not a bad day really. Quite thermic with light wave on the Dunstan and Old Man ranges to about 10000ft. Alistair and John kicked off the day with a flight in JW before Richard had to scoot down to Dunedin and back to drop off a passenger. Then Phil went up in SJ, and Derek and David in JW, both finding widespread lift over the golf course. They were joined by Terry (him and Karen visiting from Balclutha for the day).
Meanwhile John was once again quite useful in his wave-finder (OQ), and managed to spur us on to some quite long areotows. David landed to replace Derek with lighter ballast (Alistair), and they went off to find the wave above the Dunstans and later joined JR over the Obelisk. Phil was also seen quite high in that area in SJ. Terry and Derek (SJ) both had a second go, but contented themselves with flying in the lower atmosphere.
Thanks Richard for towing and John for instructing.

Friday 2nd September 2005
Wow mid week flying starts again! A weak front passed through mid morning so it was nicely unstable. The high cloud came in again but fortunately the thermals still worked and there was wave above. Pete LP, David SJ, and John OQ launched about 2pm. We towed over to the Old Man range climbed to 7000' in thermals then spent the rest of the day in gentle westerly wave. Pete got well down the Garvies. John was dressed for sunshine (shorts and sandals) and found it damn cool at 10,000' with no sun.
Thanks to Richard for the tows.

Sunday 28th Aug 2005
Sunday was overcast and cool with some wave cloud to be seen too. It remained calm on the ground but the westerly kicked in at 3000' and reached 40Kts at 10,000'.
Roger Bennett was busy instructiing in ERW during the morning and also flew with John in RLS later. Also flying RLS was Geoff Campbell and son.
The gliders where winched in the morning and Richard towed us in the afternoon. Pete instructed Chris and Alistair, John flew with Chris and also gave Roger Bennett his first winch flight. Phil had a couple of nice flights in SJ. In the afternoon most flights were an hour or more, soaring in weak wave. Late in the day John motored high in GOQ to play in the upper wave.

Sunday 14th Aug 2005
A front had gone through early AM with snow on the hills and a cold SW remained. John motored up in OQ and parked in wave for 3hrs. Above 10,000' it was 40Kts SW and -17C. Meanwhile Pete and Alistair (JW) and David (SJ) spent the afternoon soaring in unstable thermals and rotor. It was the cold that forced us down before 4pm. Thanks to Richard for the tows.

Sat 6th+ Sunday 7th Aug 2005
Saturday was spent with Kerry carrying out the "Annuals" on KG, LP, JW and SJ. A big job, special thanks to Kerry and Phil, also Pete and John.
On Sunday there were still some jobs to complete but we got gliding around 1pm. Derek instructed Andi, Alistair and Duncan. Geoff and John also did a flight each in Roger's Tecnam RLS. Both days were fine, blue and stable. Thanks to Richard for towing.

Sunday 31 Jul
A dull-looking day but it's amazing what's going on up there! There were no isobars on the map but it sure looked like some Dunstan wave was present. John motored up in GOQ to confirm (yep) and came back after a couple of hours to instruct.
High tows to the edge of the rotor at 6000' were required. John and Alistair froze inside JW for 2 hrs at 12,000' (under high overcast so no sunshine.) They were joined later by David in SJ.
Also flying about were Geoff and Stephen in Tecnam RLS, they went on a 2 hr nav exercise to Omarama, Oamaru, Dunedin and back. Phil also flew SJ and John did some power circuits in GOQ.

Last Sunday 24 Jul
Lots of winching action with some folks working their way up into the Westerly wave. Pete (LP) had the best flight of all... down to Roxburgh at 12000ft then almost to the Garvies. After we re-attached the tail skid on JW (thanks Richard for the welding), John instructed Alistair and Adam... both having good soaring flights. Phil and David had turns at not getting away in SJ, followed by Roger Gibson, who areo-towed into the wave behind the Leaning Rock. 
The day ended with people collecting in the light wave over the Waikeri translater. Thanks to JR for instructing and Richard for doing a couple of tows later in the day.

Last Weekend 16/17 Jul
A very nice pilots dinner enjoyed by around 30 people at the Blues Lounge on Saturday evening. Delicious food and a good vibe. Thanks to Gary and Russell for organising.
Sunday news from Derek...
Sunday was VERY COLD but still and ideal for circuits. Chris did 8 (6 with Pete, Derek on winch and 2 with Derek, Pete on winch), Phil did 2 in SJ and Adam Foster did 1 with Derek. So, 11 winches for the day, max height 2500 QNH, min height 2200 QNH. 

July 10 2005
A winter's nice day with some gentle instability, but not really enough to stay up in unless you motored to 8000 ft. Some folks arrived early to unwind the old winch cable and put on the *new* 4mm Dyneema. Then out onto the field to try it out... and what an improvement. Aside from no breaks and no spreading of the drum, the winch can now be run at less than full-power, even for JW. Heights acheived are better than before, the highest being 1900ft above the ground (nil wind).
So Phil (SJ), David (SJ) and Pete (LP) did a few winches from each end of the field, and Chris and Alistair each had an aerotow with John in JW. John also did a few laps in his Picolo OQ, and later motored up to some scrappy wave behind the Old Man. Thanks Derek for driving the winch, Russell for towing and JR for instructing.

July 3st 2005
Firstly congratulations to Hayden Anderson for his first solo in ERW on Saturday, gee that didn't take long!
Another nice wave day on Sunday. The morning was wet but it cleared up nicely about noon as forecast. John motored up to the Dunstan wave in 'OQ and Phil followed in SJ. Malcolm took JW for a quick circuit then both Roger Gibson and Malcolm took JW up again. Soon all 3 craft were soaring in gentle wave. John left the Dunstan wave at 12500 (still going up fast) and headed over to the Old Man wave. Malcolm and Roger climbed over Earnscleugh and did some spin/stall exercises. Meanwhile Roger Bennet and Duncan Anderson flew ERW. All day it was calm on the ground but was 30-40kts up top.
No one found any rotor, the air was pretty smooth everywhere. Fading light brought us down and we retired to the clubrooms for a beer around the fire. Thanks to Roger Bennett for his help.

July 1st 2005
Phil helped John rig his Piccolo 'OQ for the first time. After waiting for the wind to die down a bit John had his first flight reaching 10,000' in SW wave, landing with a big smile!

June 26th 2005
First nice Sunday in a looong while. 30kt Southerly set up some nice wave in the lee of the Old Man range. Quite a small turnout meant unlimited glider use by those that rocked up. Chris and Pete had 2 flights of about 1hr each in JW... first one in thermals and second one in the Old Man wave. David had 2hrs in SJ cruising the wave at 10 to 12000 ft... his feet did not really apreciate the experience. Thanks Pete for instructing, Richard for towing, and Derek for helping out.

Previous years flying.....