Past year's flying reports June 2006 to June 2007

Sunday 11th June 2007
A cool clear winter's day. No real lift. Winching. Pete + John flew with new member Peter Robinson (Wanaka), and he went on to fly some circuits in SJ. Pete's mate Athol flew with Pete in JW. On one winch launch they got 2000' agl, not bad in nil wind with two solid bods aboard!. That was about it for gliding.
A good day for iron thermals though, Greg Foster and friend flew ERW, Roger B checked a BFR, and John flew circuits in RLS.

Weekend 26/27th May (Five Rivers)
Another typical good 5R weekend. Pete and John joined Karen+Terry (Balclutha) for a weekend at NZ's most southern gliding club. Peter Johnson arrived in ETL for towing although at times it was too rough to tow, so we winched. However the ridge lift was smooth, as was the wave once through the rotor. The wind was strong: Terry measured 74Kts at height. Most of us had good wave flights to 16000' on the Saturday and ridge (and thermals!) on Sunday. Many thanks to Nigel, Bill, Bob and the rest of the 5R crew for hosting us.

Sunday 20th May 2007
Another nice day, actually a 22C high...very odd for this time of year! We met early for a working bee. Geoff, Al, John and Phil spend several hours filling in rabbit holes on grass runway and taxiways. Chris Streat arrived later on and we decided to do a few flights. John sat backseat to get Chris up to speed with our airstrip and winching proceedures. John gave Phil a check flight then Chris did a solo winch. We decided to pack up early to continue with working bee on the gliders while it was still light. Late in the afternoon John sent Chris away in OQ to grab a quick wave flight while Phil and Al worked on JW's wheel brake. We packed up at dusk and retired to clubrooms to fire and beer.
Many thanks to Al for driving the winch, and to Geoff for helping with the bunny holes. Remember we plan to visit Five Rivers next weekend. Balclutha will bring ETL for towing, and we should fly both days wx permitting. For full info check out our Events page at:

Sunday 13th May
Nice clear autumn day with a Sou West aloft. John took off to sniff out the wave in the Piccolo followed by Pete (LS3, ) Phil ( Hornet ), Doug in John's Pik 20, and Brian in his new ASW 19 towed by Garry who gave us high tows into the lee of the Old Man Range. The best spot turned out to be above the Obelisk as the Sou Wester funnelled up the Waikaia Valley with the wind coming out of 210 at 40 knots. John trundled down to Roxburgh Hydro in the Piccolo high in wave, and Brian and Phil had good flights to 13,500 in 6kt wave.The fire was lit in the clubhouse at the end of the day and the two Englishmen regailed us with stories of their gliding expertise. Thanks Garry for towing.( 2 hours altogether).

Sunday 6th May
Warm and sunny (for a start). Westerlies were forcast but it looked pretty still and blue. Dion did some training in ERW with Roger during the morning. At noon Roger gave John (KG) a high tow into the Dunstans. John found weak wave and called the others up. More avgas was burnt towing Chris+Al (JW), Pete (LP) and Brian (KD).
JW struggled to get into position but all the singles were soon up at 13000' and heading north towards Hawkduns and beyond. The day changed fast and high cloud (and cold) saw everyone back before dusk.
Thanks to Roger for towing us to the rotor.

Sunday 29th April
A foggy start. Pete and John did some work on the gliders waiting for action (none, it was pretty stable). Roger Bennett flew ATC cadets both days (over 7hrs flying). John flew RLS, and that was about it.

Sunday 22nd April
Pete did an hour in LP, Phil had a tow for a 40 minute flight, Chris did some time in SJ, John did a quick flight in KG. Pete and John (thanks to them) both did some instruction circuits with students and thanks to Phil for driving the winch.

Sunday 15th April
Well the soaring continues....Doug instructed a couple of visitors, Pete flew LP and Al SJ. John winched folk for a while until they started staying up. There were weak thermals to 3500' and these kept going til 5pm or later. John flew OQ later in the day exploring the SW wave to over 12000'.

Easter 2007
Pete flew at Wardells. John flew 'OQ on monday at Alex for a couple of hours in thermals but reported an inversion at 4500'

Sunday 1st April
Cloudy with gentle a southerly on the ground but some westerly up top. Big news of the week is a new glider joining our private fleet. Brian Savage bought a very nice looking ASW19, rego ZK-GKD. You can see a pic of Brian's glider at:

Brian had a few winch flights in KD before doing a couple of pax flights in JW. John motored up in 'OQ late morning and explored the Old Man wave for several hours. Pete got away off the winch in LP and climbed up into the OM wave too. Also flying were Chris (SJ) and Al (JW). Thanks to Phil for driving the winch for much of the day.

Sunday 25th March 2007
A sunny warm day, winching off 32, a few thermals and some strange wave. Al and Pete had a long flight in JW finding lift off the winch. They could climb to 7000' but not reach wave higher up. Chris and Brian alternated in SJ but generally finding more sink than lift. Last flight was John and Martin in JW and again reaching 7000' in strong wave-like lift. However the GPS indicated little upper windspeed and the higher wave remained out of reach.

Sunday 18th March 2007
The day after St Patricks Day... to be sure! Didn't think the day held much promise early on, a front went through from the West/SW and dumped a rain shower. It cleared early afternoon but the wind picked up just as we lined up on 14. There was the promise of wave if we could get off the ground! as the Westerly pumped in gusting from 15 to 25 kn. Pete in LP elected to take off from 19, the first time both he and Russell had done so. Doug and Alastair decided to shift up to 32 and use the relative shelter of the trees to get away. Both LP & JW got in wave after thermalling up and made their way to Millers Flat before returning (looked like some dodgy weather coming out of Waikaka). Thanks to Russell for towing and Doug for instructing.

Sunday 11th March 2007
An OK day with soaring off the winch and aerotow. There were thermals all day and some wavey-looking clouds above. The club welcomes another Phil: Phil De Joux who joins from Canterbury GC after moving south to Queenstown. Phil did a soaring flight with John early in the day.
Other flying: Brian and Chris D flew SJ; Roger Gibson shared a flight with Brian in JW, and John instructed visitor Martin and others.
Thanks to Roger Bennett for towing. Roger also instructed new member Dion between aerotows.

Saturday 3rd March 2007
Winching started late Saturday morning. John Eggers and Darren practiced winch launches with Pete in the back seat of JW. (John E's first time on a winch) Brian did a couple of check circuits in JW, then had a long flight in SJ. Terry and Karen arrived at the field but couldn't fit any flying in between a wine trail and a "do" at Succulents. Gary towed Darren (MU) John (JC) Phil and Pete then Chris Davis (SJ) after lunch. Initially we were stuck below 3,000ft then Phil got the first good thermal to over 5,000ft. Pete managed to get on top of the Dunstans from nearer Cromwell, and up to the St Bathans and back. Good local flying was had until the Southerly killed most of the lift later in the afternoon. Nigel arrived late to fly a passenger, Kris in JW. Kris enjoyed his flight and joined us for a BBQ at home in the evening. We may see him back to learn to fly.

Sunday 4th March 2007
Doug & Martin (JW) & Darren in MU did some winch launches early. Russell arrived to tow when the day heated up. We had one of the busiest gliding days in some time, with Nigel MG, Karen TK, Darren MU John Eggers JC, Doug JW, Pete LP, Chris SJ, Phil KJ all flying in the afternoon. We had some good thermals locally, but the high westerly wave was elusive. It was good to see so many gliders in the air around Alex. Thanks to everyone for coming and flying with us. Thanks to Garry & Russell for towing, and Doug for instructing on Sunday. And a big thank you for Pete for pulling it all together

Sunday 25th Feb 2007
Nearly everybody away! John and Chris still away flying at Nelson Lakes in the Vintage and Classic Sailplane soaring camp (they report excellent weather and heaps of soaring).
Meanwhile in Alex only Pete and Phil turned up to fly, Pete soaring away from a winch launch into wave.

Sunday 18th Feb 2007
The day started off with patchy thermals, hard to locate but strong when in found. Later the SW came in and producing some wave. Phil managed 2.5hrs thermalling to around 6000' in KJ, but couldn't hook the wave. Pete managed to get to Roxburgh in LP at 13000' and Doug went to about 8000' in JW, getting 2.5hrs with visiting Czech student glider pilot Martin. Doug also had a flight with Cameron Day earlier in the day. All in all not a bad day. We were a bit thin on the ground (Chris and John soaring at Nelson Lakes). Thanks to Gary for towing.

Sunday 11th Feb 2007
Southerly and lowish cloud. Al and John got the stuff out early waited for the weather to improve. Eventually we were flying. John drove the winch while Al, Chris and Pete flew. There was a little soaring on the first attempts, improving later. Finally with all airborn John motored up in OQ for join Pete and Al over the translater.

Tuesday 6th Feb 2007
The long weekend dished up excellent soaring weather right through to our club day on tuesday. Pete flew at Wardells Sat-Mon then returned to Alex for instructing.
A brilliant thermal day, calm to start but by about 6pm "someone threw the Southerly switch" and this killed much of the thermal activity. We had no trouble winching into lift for soaring flights up to a cloudbase of about 7500. Pete instructed in JW and flew with Wayne, Daniel and a paying passenger. Al and Chris had soaring flights in SJ. By the time we repaired a rope break (and had done some maintenance we managed around eight flights. The Southerly indicated it was beer o'clock after such a hot day. A big thanks to Wayne for working on JW (still working on aircraft on his day off!). The wheel- brake assembly required a hard to get at bolt replaced and the drum needed some attention too, but it's all good again now. Thanks to Phil for driving the winch and to Pete for instructing

28th Jan 2007
Sunday begun as cloudy and northerly with some wave about. John was first off in KG trying to reach the wave off the winch. He was soon joined by Doug and Hamish in JW. The wind enabled good launch heights (2000' agl) and it was easy enough staying up in bits of rotor and wave. However after an hour and reaching 5000' both gliders were quickly shot down by a change in conditions.
Rain moved in but we continued lauching. Al did a check with Doug then a nice solo fly including some soaring. Wayne and Phil also flew. Pete pulled LP's fuse' out and poked it back when the rain arrived. The wind swung to the south so we all packed up in the wet and retired for a warming beer in front of the fire(!) in the clubrooms.
Thanks to Phil+Chris for the winch driving, and Doug for instructing.

26th Jan 2007 (Friday)
Fluffy white clouds? Cripes better go flying! This was quickly organised by noon...Pete lauched John (KG) then Phil kindly came up to launch Pete (LP). Both climbed away off the winch to cloudbase at 5000'. The sky was over-developing around the hills so they headed out ot the Ida valley, on to Naseby and Ida/Hawkduns before returning via the Dunstans. Cloudbase remained lowish but it was heaps better than being at work.

21st Jan 2007
A moderate southerly all day, no sun and no lift. The weather slowly deteriorated and the last couple of flights were made with wet wings.
However we managed a good number of winch launches thanks to Chris, Phil and Peter sharing the driving duties. John instructed Cameron Day and Daniel. We rigged PW5 SJ and Phil had a short fly.

13th/14th Jan 2007 (Wardells)
Pete had a couple of flights but the rain came in early. Rained most of Sunday too, just clearing enough to derig the gliders in a semi-dry state. SJ returned to Alex and plans are to fly Alex 20th as normal.

7th Jan 2007
Doug instructed Wayne, Hamish and Daniel. Thermals to the inversion at 4000'.

Christmas/New Year
Pete's been flying at Wardells over Xmas. He was joined by Chris Davis and John at New Year. All have had good flying dispite the cooler weather over that period. Our PW5 'SJ is currently at Wardells and available for our members to fly. Best to ring Pete or Chris to confirm that SJ is still at Wardells if you plan on driving up there.

Sunday 24th Xmas Eve!
The drizzle cleared early afternoon and John was the only punter (everyone else shopping?). He reports motoring up 1000' then plenty thermals. Later in the day he did some soaring in weak westerly wave.

Sunday 17th
Thank you to the pilots who turned out to clean up ERW, oil stains all gone and looking shiny again.
We are back into aerotowing again with ERW. Some of us spent our time remembering how. Thank you to Gary for his services as tow pilot, all went smoothly with around 12 tows for the day.
Brilliant weather and brilliant day had by all (well, John would rather have been away in KG, and we thank him very much for instructing). Had a good turnout of pilots including Duncan, Brian, Pete, Wayne, Chris (welcome back from the USA), Phil and Al.
With plenty of thermal activity there wasn't much trouble staying up. John flew with Wayne, Al, Duncan and Chris in JW. Once SJ was rigged Brian, Phil and Chris all had good flights. John took trial flighter John Lesley (no relation, but he is Scots), with John Lesley seemingly enjoying the experience. Pete, in LP, had the second tow (I think) of the day, he bunged off at 1000' over the vineyards (Gary was beginning to get a complex after the previous aborted launch) and we didn't see him again until the end of a well calculated final glide five hours later.
At the close of the day we completed some maintenance chores. Thanks to Phil and Wayne for their assistance in replacing the bolt in the brake assembly on JW.

Manapouri December 8th - 11th
Terry and the 5R team got their aircraft across on Friday, even managing some soaring before the front came thru that night. The new snow of Saturday morning made the thermals a bit late but we still had good soaring as far as the Iris Burn. Sunday started with local thermals which were wiped out late PM with the SW'er, which itself produced wave to 10,000'. Monday started early for some who tiki-toured to Milford in ETL whiles others went fishing in Nigel's boat. Training continued in GMO and the soaring started about 1pm. Again it was local thermals to 5000' then across to the Keplers for more height then forward into the wave. Most cruised a circuit around the lake high in wave but Nigel and Terry pushed out to Doubtful Sound.
We all had a good time, really enjoying the stunning scenery. Many thanks to Nigel and the crew for organising the camp, we hope we repeat it all next year. Campers included: Nigel, Jules, Laurie from Qtown, Bob, Bill, George, Peter V from 5R, Jenny (chch) and Phil (UK), Terry, Bill, Lloyd and Peter J from Balclutha, plus Brian and John from COFC.

Sunday December 3rd
Geoff and Steve fixed, replaced and greased the windsocks since there was not much wind (for a change) mid morning. Roger was kept busy in ERW with an ATC flying instruction day, taking groups of three until late afternoon. There looked to be some convergence happening above, however there didn't prove to be much lift so only circuit flights. Al and Brian had a couple of short hops in SJ and Wayne and Doug and John did likewise in JW. We packed up early as a strong southerly came up and make things unpleasant. SJ was derigged and packed for the trip to Manapouri. No Gliding in Alexandra this weekend Sunday 10th December as there is a camp at Manapouri and various other personnel are not available. As advertised the camp is an informal affair mainly for single seaters, SJ will be there and I understand a club two seater (not ours) will be there too.

Sunday 26th November
A good soarable day. John checked out the conditions early in 'OQ. Strong thermals from ground level to cloudbase at 7300' and not much upper wind for a pleasant change. Once a quorum arrived we got JW airbourne with Doug and Bob inside. They were soon at cloudbase after a good winch launch from Phil. Brian was away next in SJ for the briefest of flights (the weak link parted, worn out after 5 years use..). By the time we got that sorted the northerly had got up making it a bit hard to handle SJ on the ground so we tucked her away and John headed to Queenstown to join Pete and other glider pilots at the funeral for Owen and James Truelove. (There's a nice tribute to Owen and James on the "news" section of the Omarama Gliding Club )

Meanwhile Doug and Bob had a good long flight cruising south down the Garvies, only returning when rain looked imminent.

Tuesday 21st November
Phi winched John up for some mid week soaring. Gary was flying ERW local and John snapped some pics of the lovely new paint job.

Sunday 19th November
A strong cold southerly, but at least it wasn't raining. Brian flew some friends in JW. Later John instructed Bob and others. The air got pretty rough so we quit early. Not long after Stevie arrived in ERW from Wanaka. Thanks to Pete for winching and Phil for doing a lot of tidy-up around the runway and tie-down area.

Sunday 12th November
No local gliding as John and Pete both at Omarama for Regional Gliding Champs.

Sunday 5th November
You'd expect the day to go off wouldn't you, a fizz to start, more of a bang at the end! We got underway at around one o'clock with Pete flying LP, Al in SJ and John and Bob in JW. Pete got away and we didn't see him for a few hours. Al scratched around for 45 min without much success. John and Bob managed a couple of longer flights. Phil had a go in SJ and climbed away in rotor. By about 4pm the wind had come up from the South/SW and things had got decidedly more lumpy aloft. Landings on the crosswind vector were the order of the day. Thanks to John for instructing and to Phil for driving the winch.

Sunday 5th Nov
JR flew RLS am for circuits and reported thermals about. Pete was away early in LP and soared up to the St Bathans in thermal/wave. Next was Al in SJ for soaring and soon joined by JR + Bob in JW. Phil later flew SJ and had a good long flight. JR+Bob had a second flight and we all landed about the same time as the southerly arrived.

Mid week 1st Nov
Excellent day, lift everywhere... but just JR flying in OQ.

Sunday 29th October
Rain. No flying.

Sunday 22nd October
We had typical Labour Weekend weather all weekend EXCEPT for Sunday! Turned out a brilliant day for soaring and cross country with plenty of thermal activity. Al had a couple of flights in SJ making it to about 6000 doing a 90 min tour of the Alex basin for the second one. While Doug and Brian had a couple of flights in JW the second one being a 3.5 hour epic over to the West of Omarama then to Waikaia and back (well done). Pete did similar distance in LP having taken off later in the afternoon.
Thanks to Doug for Instructing and to Pete for driving the winch.

Sunday 16th October 2006
Good flying to be had, but a poor turn-out. John + Phil did a few chores AM and we finally reached a quorum about 2pm when Brian arrived from Qtown. Phil winched John + Brian into the air for instructor-training in JW. Showers remained mostly in the hills with plenty of lift for spin and stall exercises. After an hour's soaring they landed to give Phil some flying. He did 3 flights, 2 with Brian.
The sky was looking better as the sun set, John did a quick investigation in OQ finding good thermals/convergence to 7000'.

Sunday 8th October 2006
A windy day was forecast and that's what we got (in the end). There was good wave high above, would we reach it from the winch?
Pete and Dan in JW and John in KG each needed 2 launches before hooking into the rotor and climbing away. Brian only needed 1 launch in SJ. The rotor was lumpy all the way to 8000' and the wave only smoothed out above that. At 9000' it was blowing 50Kts westerly.
Although there was adequate lift to stay aloft we all came down early due to building surface winds. Back in the clubrooms Brian practiced instructional briefing techniques using the whiteboard. Many thanks to Phil for driving the winch.

Sunday 1st October 2006
Total overcast with occaisional showers. However we did numerous training flights, mainly Dan flying with Doug, plus Doug's family taking to the air too. John drove the winch and Al had a couple of PW5 flights.

Saturday 30th September
Five Rivers visit. Terry, Karen + John visited Matt, Nigel and George at 5R Saturday. Wave to 16000 but hard work, cloudy, and the rain arrived early. We decided to fly in Alex the Sunday.

Wednesday 27th September
Mid week gliding starts for the season! John thermalled OQ for a couple of hours and Steve flew about in ERW.

Sunday 24th September
Blossom festival, drag races at airport so no flying...

Sunday 17th September
Windy! 20Kts straight across he strip so no flying. However we did some theory study and a nuber of chores including O+F change on the tow car.

Sunday 10th September
Power; ERW is finally back in the stable looking very shiny indeed. Steve and Geoff were busy organising the fitting out of the interior with the new carpet being cut to shape. They went for a local flight in the Tecnam mid-afternoon. ERW now has to complete 25 hours of run-in, after which the quality of the oil and the filter will be looked at.
Gliding; Calm day with small amount of thermal activity picking up mid to late afternoon, some wave there too if you could get to it. John, Pete and Al were it for the day. Al did a few circuits off the winch in SJ, then Pete had a few launches in LP, managing to stay up a bit longer. John cruised about exploring in OQ contacting the wave after motoring up to 7000'.
With summer approaching and the conditions starting to get better we'll move back to a 10am start from this Sunday the 17th.
Remember pilots who will be regularly flying the club gilders over Summer the prepay option is the best way to go, now is a good time to sign up (good way to keep the motivated too).

Sunday 3rd September
A calmish day after a very windy week (70 kts at Lauder on Saturday). Blue all day. Doug instructed and John drove the winch. Bob and Al did the flying. By mid afty JW was happily soaring with Bob and Doug so John rigged KG and launched too. Thermals went to 6000' then weak wave was contacted, eventually improving to 10 kts at 13000'.

Sunday 27th August
Pete, Bob and Brian doing mainly circuits with Alistair driving the winch. A nice day with the first thermals not far away.

Sunday 13th August
Grot weather, cold southerly squalls. John did some quick circuits in OQ followed by Mesa and Roger circuiting in KVB.

Sunday 6th August
Cool but clear day. Steve did some circuit work in KVB earler in the day.
Glider maintenance and checks were the order of the day to begin with, checks were completed on the private gliders resident at Alexandra the club aircraft having been checked on Satruday. Thanks to Phil and John (and Kerry) and anyone else involved in the checks on the club gliders. No major problems found so the fleet is still in pretty good shape.
We got to some flying in the afternoon, John and Kerry buzzed around in OQ, while Doug instructed Bob in JW. After a couple of circuits Bob went up solo for a couple more.

Sunday 30th July
The forecast was grotty and true to form. John had a quick fly in 'OQ soaring to 9000' in poor wave before the rain arrived. Next Bob (and John) did a couple of very crosswind winch circuits in JW before packing up. Thanks to Phil for driving the winch.
Also flying briefly on Sunday was Roger B and students doing circuits in KVB onto '01.

Sunday 23nd July
Had a good day, one where everyone flying managed to to get into the westerly wave. First John in KG had a circuit to check out conditions, then Doug and Al did a couple of training circuits. Brian flew SJ (after we reattached the canopy, seems there was somehow a small stick stuck in the jettison mechanism!). John then went off and contacted the wave, Al scratched around in JW and eventually made it there too. Brian kept at it in SJ and succeeded for the last flight of the day. Thanks to Doug for instructing, to Phil for driving the winch and to the ladies (and "bottle washers") for dinner prior to the AGM.

Sunday 16th July
Cool, clear and still day. KVB got some circuit work earlier in the day. Also Geoff and Steve in Tecnam RLS went to Omarama and back for a cup of coffee.
Thirteen winch launches in all. John instructed; Al, Brian and Bob were the students for the day. After checkflights Brian and Al converted to the PW5, sharing circuit flights for the rest of the day, while John and Bob continued in JW. Phil had the last two (well earned) flights of the day in SJ before we retired for the day for a beer and a bit of a classroom session with John.
Thanks to John for instructing, to Phil for driving the winch and Roger Sparks for helping out.
The progress report on ERW says that work is progressing favourably, some of the painting has been done and the engine is almost ready for reassembly.

Sunday 9th July
Strong Westerly Wave day. Only one flight for the day. John and Al in JW winched up into a rotor gust off the Northern end contacting with wave somewhere over Galloway. About this time the rest of the crew on the ground decided to retreat as conditions got even stronger. JW had a good tour 'round for about 2 and a half hours in strong wave. Thanks to Phil and Pete for launching and John for instructing.

Sunday 2nd July 2006
Cold frosty start to the day, eventually the sun broke through for some warmth, before disappearing early behind the hills. This all made for a calm day and we had a good crew working well together for a total of twelve winch launches.
Doug instructed taking Al for check circuit in JW then he was up again (almost up, rope break first, all that training really does pay off!) solo for a couple of circuits. Doug and Hamish White then did a couple of circuits as did Bob Martin.
Mid afternoon John decided flying beat skiing and "joined" us in OQ before contacting with the Dunstan wave (tantilisingly out of reach for the rest of us). Pete took SJ out for a couple of circuits, even managing to stay up for a while. Hamish, Al and Bob did more circuits before retiring to the warmth of the clubhouse and Camembert and crackers c/o Bob.
Thanks to Doug for instructing, to Phil and Pete for driving the winch and to Roger Sparks for helping out. The 172 on loan, KVB has arrived at Alex and is available for flying, normal booking procedures apply.

Previous years flying.....