Sunday 9th June 2013
After a string of wet Sundays it was nice to have a warm and sunny day for flying. Soaring was however not going to happen this time of year unless it was windy enough for wave (which it wasn't). We met at noon and John instructed Jack with 5 flights. Phil did find a couple of rising bubbles when flying KJ and he was airborne for 35 minutes. Thanks to Gary for tows and Pete for winch driving.

ERW has been busy lately. Nick has been instructing several new members including Matt and Neil on Sunday. Matt actually went solo on Sunday after barely a week's instruction...well done indeed to Matt and Nick!
Stephen Morton had a pleasant flight in ERW late PM, sharing the cabin with Finn, another new member ex Taieri now living in Cromwell.

Sunday 19th May
The weather did not deter us, and despite a low cloud base JW was kept busy all afternoon. Jack had training flights with Pete, John and Doug, and in between Allen flew with Pete. Markers were set out for a 180m long 'paddock', and Vivienne was heartened to find that she could still land the HP18 short, both attempts stopping VB well within the area - good practice on an unsoarable day. Many thanks to Gary for spending his afternoon towing!

Sunday 12th May
We've not had a lot of flying recently due to poor weather. This Sunday however was a lovely warm autumn day with just a possibility of wave in the forecast. The sky remained blue all day, but wave was found late in the day. We started with stacking the season's firewood in the clubrooms (thanks to Gary and Russell for supplying).

Jack had an instructional flight with Pete initally. Phil and Vivienne had shortish flights to start off with but did find encouraging hints of wave. Doug and Jack had another go in JW and found wave over the Fraser and could hold 3-4000'. Viv joined them and they had about 2 hours pleasant soaring. Pete went biking and John returned from his bike ride (it was a nice day!). John rigged KG quickly, launched at 1545(!) and joined VB and JW who were still marking the very localised wave. The wave improved and John took it to 10,000' with a quick explore south before landing after sunset. We retired for a beer and started burning the new firewood. The day's soaring would have been impossible using the winch. Many thanks to Russell for aerotowing.

East from 10,000'

Sunday 14th April
There was good wave high above, especially later in the afternoon, but as expected this time of year it was just not possible to contact it off a winch launch. However there were weak thermals at times, and a tiny bit of soaring was done on some flights.
Steve Whritren had glider instruction from Pete and John in JW. Phil had a couple of launches in KJ, and John also flew friend Martin (ex paraglider pilot from Oz). Despite the short flight times it was gratifying to see just how much both Steve and Martin enjoyed their soaring experience (and winch launches!). We retired very early and Doug joined us for a beer afterwards.

Sunday 7th April
We met at noon to rig JW (special thanks to Steve W and JR's MTB mates for heavy lifting). The sun came out so John raced home to get KG. Phil launched him just as the high cloud returned. Pete followed in LP and they both managed a scratchy 30mins or so. Jack arrived from Dunedin and did around 5 winch circuits with Doug.

Easter Weekend (from Pete)
Here's a link to photos from the Manapouri Easter Flying camp. Vivienne and I flew JW all four days, mostly on the Takitimuís, getting some wave on Friday and Monday. With us were Nigel and Sheena, with Duo NS and LS8 ZA. Hadley Bognuda was down from Auckland and had flights in ZA and NS. Terry and Karen flew LS8 TK, and Frank Saxton from Nelson was down with his Discus TH. Nigel and Hadley did a couple of low passes (aka beatups) in N,S during a small air display on Sunday, which was part of the Tartan festival. The wave on Monday allowed us to get away from the hills (see tracks), and Nigel and Karen took NS down to the South Coast. A very good weekends flying, especially so late in the flying season. Thanks to Peter Jonson for bringing ETL Balclutha 172, and towing us all into the air, and also Bill who accompanied Peter and ran wings. Also thanks to the Fiordland Aero Club for the use of their clubrooms and superb airfield (Pete).

Sunday 24th March
Just 3 of us turned out to fly, barely enough to get airborne. Luckily Geoff call-by on his bike and ran JW's wing. and John winched Vivienne and Pete skyward. They managed a credible 1.5hrs but didn't quite get into the high wave above.

Sunday 10th March
Although it cleared late we did get a few hours local thermal soaring. Bill and Dave from Southland Aeroclub called in to have a go at gliding. Doug gave them each a soaring flight in JW. Pete, John, Vivienne and Phil also flew, all getting a thermal fix and plenty of scratching practise in the weak conditions. Thanks for Russell for the tows.

Sunday 3rd March
A blue day with broken thermals topping out at 4000' in the basin. First away in JW was Allen who almost beat the tow plane back! Phil then launched in KJ finding it very difficult to stay aloft but managed to get to 4200' but gave it away after one and a half hours of struggling. Pete in LP managed to get to the translator ridge and slowly worked his way up to 7000'. Doug instructed prospective member Jack from Dunedin and they managed 50mins followed by Vivienne and a trial flight to round off the day. Not the best of days but at least we got flying. Thanks to Gary for the aerotows.

Sunday 17th Feb 2013
The heavy overcast cleared by mid-day to give a stable blue sky so we delayed launching until 2pm when signs of some instability were evident. First away on aerotow in JW were Doug and Chris Barker who managed a pleasant 50min flight to the inversion at 4000í. Phil then launched in KJ for an hour followed by Ami and Doug again in JW, both gliders circling in the same thermal at the end of the Waikerikeri valley for a while to the inversion layer. Later Allen took JW solo for nearly an hour and Phil took a second launch in KJ for another hour to round off the day. Although the thermals were very narrow and cycling quite fast, making it quite a challenge to stay up, we all thoroughly enjoyed our days flying. Thanks to Russell for the aerotows.

Sunday 3rd Feb 2013
Although it was largely overcast we managed very good gliding. The day did go soft mid-afty but a brief patch of sun stirred the thermals for another couple of hours. Doug flew our 2 x ATC cadets and John flew their leader Tony Hollows. All got good soaring flights. Allen got soaring in JW. John, Phil and Vivienne all had long flights in their singles, reaching 9200' in thermals over Little Valley and beyond. John visited the convergence on the Rock and Pillar Range. Towards the end of the day Vivienne took friend Sophie for a pleasant soaring flight in JW. The rain arrived just after we had everything packed away. Thanks Russell for tows to the good thermals near the airfield.

Sunday 27th Jan 2013
It looked like a good day but first we had to re-rig JW. That was hot work and was followed by rigging VB and KG. By this time we were hot and dehydrated...and had yet to fly! John was first away off the winch. Doug flew JW with Kathy McIilwrick's partner John (they now live in Cromwell). Garry kindly left the cool lake to come and aerotow Phil and Vivienne and finally Doug (in JW on his own). Meanwhile John had spent a couple of hours local stuck under the inversion. It really was not an easy day down low, and only John and Doug were lucky to break through quite late in the day. Together flew down the Old Man, Garvies and across to the Hectors and along the Remarkables. At Double Cone they reached 10,000' for a glide home. Beers all round!

Sunday 13th Jan 2013
An unstable wave/thermal day. Allen had a short soaring flight with Doug before going off solo only to nicely land JW into a nearby paddock! John and Phil flew about the basin in wave for a while and everybody (including Russell, Vivienne, Nick and Malcolm) helped sort the trailer and retrieve. This was actually a good exercise (thanks Allen!) and all went well.

Sunday 6th Jan 2013
Not a flash day, but Russell towed Pete and friends for rides in JW while the rest of us put out the new marker boards around the airfield.

Thursday 3rd Jan 2013
After 2 days of rain thursday dawned clear (but with very low snow). Kristna and Anna from Auckland, and Gordon from Singapore were visiting and had flights with John and Doug in JW. It was an unstable day, at times a bit damp, but with with good thermals to 8000'. Thanks Phil for driving the winch.

Sunday 23rd December 2012
A long hot day, just what glider pilots like! We started early with Pete instructing Leigh in a couple of short (very short in one case) winch flights. John used-up the repaired cable to launch in KG and Garry arrived to aerotow. Phil towed into lift was was away for many hours. Pete and Owen were next away in JW. They had a good 2-hour flight along a convergence line on the Umbrella Range into Southland. John went down the Garvies to Five Rivers and back also along the Umbrellas, returning to launch Viv and Pete late in the day. Despite the strong southerly there was still good lift about, and they too had a decent fly out east along a cloud street. Thanks for the tows Garry.

Sunday 17th December 2012
Wave and thermals! Viv and Pete planned a big flight in JW so were ready early along with Phil. However battery/radio probs and a cable break delayed departure somewhat. John eventually winched them skyward around 1pm, followed by Phil (KJ) and Brian (KD). JW was soon away heading north in wave. Doug and Owen kindly got John airborne in KG and unfortunately never got flying themselves. The wave was initially weak with non-ideal northerly winds, resulting in JW getting stuck for 2 hours ridge-soaring Omarama saddle. However they got established again and had a great run to Mt Cook and back to Alex after 6+ hours gliding. This was a fantastic flight, the longest (time and distance) for JW for decades, and off the winch!

Meanwhile John went east to R+Ps and Danseys, Phil and Brian got some flying but the wave was dumping over the airfield making soaring difficult.

Take a look at Viv and Petes's Mt Cook pics:

Sunday 10th December 2012
Just three of us at the airfield today as the other guys were helping out at Youthglide up at Omarama. Phil launched Owen and Doug off the winch.. nice thermals up to 8 knots to 8500' over Old Man, Garvies and Hector Mountains. They turned around at Staircase Creek so Doug could go home and give Phil a launch...but the easterly had just come in which meant he couldn't contact the high climbs over the hills, but he fought valiantly to stay aloft for a while.

Sunday 2nd December 2012
Sunday 25th November was too windy for safe flying, but Pete and Vivienne installed a new vario in VB instead.
This Sunday was better, with good rotor/thermal climbs up into the Old Man wave above. John was first away, flying south in the Old Man wave then north to Mt Cook village and back after a bit of a struggle. Phil and Vivienne got good climbs after release and had good flying up and down the wave between Roxburgh and Cromwell. Pete instructed Ami in JW for an hour, also getting up high into the wave.
Many thanks to Garry for towing us through the lumpy sky!

Saturday 10th November 2012
Pete and Vivienne flew JW, hoping for a good wave flight. However the wave was difficult to find and tow pretty rough. After some hours thrashing about they returned to try another day. Sunday was wet, no flying, but we did some work on the gliders and had a beer afterwards!

Thursday 8th November 2012
Tuesday and Weds were rippers, so of course Thursday was pretty stable! Phil and Vivienne kindly winched up Pete (LP) and John (KG). It was a hot blue day and although there was lift about it was scratchy. The Dunstans just weren't working but we could get 7000' over the foothills...strange. There was was a decent northerly at ridge height so perhaps this was the problem. Anyway we gave up dreams of north and drifted to the Old Man which at least had some clouds. It looked better further south and we turned around at Millers Flat. John went Garvies and Pete went Hectors. 10,000' was cloudbase. The day got better later (to the south), perhaps we could have done more. It looked poor flying everywhere else.
Thanks P+V for helping us today.

Garvie Range looking north to Old Woman

Sunday 4th November 2012
The forecast for gliding turned-out to be fairly accurate: thermals to begin with before a westerly took over and provided wave. Phil, Viv, John and Pete all took a short tow each and released into broken thermals, eventually with some luck climbing into the Old Man wave above. John headed south to Ettrick and then back and on to Kingston. Pete headed deep into Southland, past 5R to the windmill farm. Phil and Vivienne had good long flights too, getting plenty of thermal and rotor practice before breaking into the wave later in the day. Thanks to Gary for the tows.

Sunday 28th October 2012
A good thermal day, although the thermals were difficult to centre and were. cycling quite quickly. John's description of "one-sided thermals" seemed very accurate! Despite this, Pete managed to get to Tekapo in LP while John and visiting pilot Ronald from Yorkshire spent a couple of hours over the Dunstans in JW. Phil went south in KJ but found the thermals very disorganised and ended up on the Dunstans for a couple of hours. A brisk southerly came in during the afternoon, forming a strong convergence towards the north. Thanks to Gary for the aerotows and Vivienne for running the wings (pity about the bad head cold).

Sunday 21st October 2012
After a late start, Phil (KJ) and Vivienne (VB) aerotowed into the strong convergence which had formed directly over the airfield and soon reached 7,000'. Phil then headed westwards into the gentle wave and climbed to 13,000' over the Old Man range. With the wind changing to a more southerly direction, the wave system collapsed and after a couple of hours both landed just before 6pm, happy with their first decent flights early on in the season. Thanks to Doug for helping with the rigging/derigging and to Roger for the aerotows.

Sunday 14th October 2012
After the appalling weather of Saturday it was a pleasant surprize to have a fine blue Sunday. It warmed just enough for local thermals allowing Pete and John an hour or so soaring each. Despite the wave forming above we packed up early to quiz Doug about his 2 months "abroad". Thanks for Phil for winch-driving.

Sunday 7th October 2012
A nice fine Sunday! ERW was busy with several pilots including Gary W. doing his BFR with Roger Bennett. Tecnam RLS was airborne with Steve W. AM and Geoff late PM. We started gliding at noon. Allen, John, Brian and Pete all took early winch flights and managed limited soaring within the low-level inversion. When Roger returned with ERW we all aerotowed over to thermals on the translater ridge. Vivienne joined us in GVB. Everybody got good soaring flights. Allen flew JW for 2 hours on his own and came back very happy. Although we could go far it was fun cruising the Dunstans and Old Man which were covered in snow. John and Pete landed well after 5pm and there was still lift about.
Thanks to Phil for winch driving and Roger for towing.

Old Man Range, LP from KG

30th September 2012
30 Sep - A day of scratching around off the winch, with wave above too high to contact. Phil took a check flight with John in JW after a couple of months off in Europe, followed by another check flight for Malcolm. Vivienne and Malcolm then managed 40mins and reached just over 4000' so John jumped in KG to join them. Hoping for better things, Pete quickly prepared LP but by this time the lift was very patchy and was soon back on the ground again. Phil took the last flight of the day in JW with Vivienna in the back seat enjoying the view, eventually returning after 35minutes and reaching 3800'.

Wed 19th September 2012
Vivienne's glider arrives! Tim and Cam delivered her glider, an HP18 built by her late father. The glider is a little unusual. It has a V-tail, a side-stick control, and large flaps instead of airbrakes. Russell gave Vivienne a smooth aerotow and all went well. John also flew his glider. There wasn't a great amount of lift about but they remained airbourne for an hour or two.

Sunday 16th September 2012
Steve W and Gary had a sortie over to Queenstown in ERW early Sunday morning, and later PM Stephen Morton took some friends sightseeing in ERW. In-between, ERW was busy doing glider tows with Russell piloting.
We also had Gliding NZ's Operations Offier Jerry O'Neil visiting on Sunday. He was here to audit our clubs gliding operations. Jerry also did some instruction in JW with Alan and Vivienne. This allowed John and Pete to fly their own gliders in the weak but welcome first thermals of the season.

Sunday 9th September 2012
Although the weather wasn't great we did fly. John winched Viv and Pete in JW. The wave was pretty disorganised but they did manage to fly for over 2 hours.

Sunday 26th August 2012
No gliding at Alex, it seems that the team was spread all over the globe: Doug in Denmark, John is in the Antarctic, Phil is sunning his ankles with a knotted hankie on his head in Norfolk UK, and Vivienne in Davos Switzerland! Pete was in fact gliding and perhaps his flight made up for all of us: He and Terry Delore flew from Canterbury, to Nelson Lakes, then down to Garston before just squeaking back to Springfield before night fell. (over 1000Km). Wow.

Sunday 19th August 2012
There were no thermals alas. The day felt particularly grey after obviously soarable skies of Friday and Saturday. However we still clocked up10 launches on the winch before retiring a little early to the clubhouse given the extra daylight. Vivienne was sent off for the first circuit (ostensibly because she DI'ed the glider), after a couple of launches Alan soloed on the winch, and it was good to see Chris Barker back at the airfield. Peter drove the winch, and Doug instructed before doing the last circuit of the day himself

Sunday 7th August 2012
Quite a busy afternoon. Gary reacquainted himself with ERW doing a few solo circuits. Allen Hogan did 1 winch circuit before Roger arrived for a full afternoon of aerotowing. Allen did a couple more flights with John then went away SOLO. It's been many years since Allen soloed in a glider and this is his first fibreglass. He does however have a vast amount of gliding and GA experience and it's great see him soaring again.
Next away was Pete (LP) and John (KG). Vivienne and Allen flew JW for an hour and returned to hand over to Brian and Doug at the end of the day. Most pilots got an hour or 2 soaring in weak wave. John and Pete went down the Dunstan and Old Man Ranges reaching 11,000'. Up high it was cold with no sun, they had and ice inside the canopy and John reported ice on the wings.
Thanks to Roger for towing and Allen for shout!

Sunday 26th July 2012
Lots of short flights off the winch. There was a little bit of lift about at low level and good wave just out of reach above. Flying were Pete, John, Doug, Vivienne, Brian, Paul and Allen. We stopped early to head to AGM and a pleasant 40th dinner at Chatto Creek Tavern.

Sunday 15th July 2012
Another foggy start but it cleared early afternoon with signs of wave about. Paul and Allen flew with Roger B in ERW. After that Roger towed Phil and John for Phil's BFR. They climbed in nice wave so had plenty of height for spin practice! They returned with an hours daylight left for Vivienne and Pete (JW) to play in the wave.

Sunday 8th July 2012
JW annuals. Thanks Kerry! It was -5C and foggy so no flying was missed.

Sunday 1st July 2012
Cold stable weather but the fog cleared and at least the sun shone. The air temp remained below zero though. This was confirmed when we washed and waxed JW...everything just froze on the wings.
We did about 10 winch flights. Pete, Phil, Vivienne, Doug and John all helping out. Paul, Andy and others flew.

Sunday 24th June 2012
As it was a nice sunny day, excellent for training, we prepared JW and set up the winch. New member Paul, who flies helicopters, decided to sample gliding and did a couple of launches with John. He was suitably impressed despite the brief time aloft in the still air. The rest of the afternoon was used for non-instrument check flights for Pete, John, Doug and Phil. Phil/Doug managed to find a little bubble of lift above the winch and floated around for about 15mins which prompted John to rig KG in the hope of better things to come. After scratching around for about 20 mins, he landed and we all retired to the clubrooms for a beer before heading home.

Sunday 17th June 2012
A cool but clear day. Just 3 winch flights with Pete instructing Ami in JW. Phil drove the winch and Vivienne ran the wing.

Sunday 10th June 2012
A strong SW wind was forecast and the wave looked good from early morning. We got airborne around noon and all had good long flights with Russell giving quick tows up into the wave, which was working from low levels. Vivienne flew friend Tess in JW. Either Vivienne is a really smooth pilot or Tess needed more oxygen because Vivienne took a pic of her sound asleep in the rear seat after an hour in wave. Actually it was pretty pleasant up there: nice and sunny, not cold like last time, Pete recorded about -8 at height. It was smooth up top but rough in the circuit. The last flight was Doug and Jacques in JW. They had a good flight down to Roxburgh and back. Phil, John and Pete also flew. Pete briefly ridge-soaring the Remarks before catching the wave home. Thanks to Russell for aerotowing.

Sunday 20th May 2012
Roger B. was busy all sunday flying ATC cadets in ERW. The weather was looking below average for gliding but before the rain arrived we managed about 5 winch launches and 3 aerotows. Jacques, Phil, Allen, John, Doug and Vivienne all flew. Also ex gliding member Roger Gibson called by and had a quick fly in JW (no instruction needed after 6 years away from the sport). Thanks to Phil for driving the winch and Roger B. for the tows.

Sunday 13th May 2012
Wave. We started late but flew til sunset. A moderate NW'er setup good wave in the lee of the Dunstans. Russell towed us all to the same spot over Waikeri' Ridge where the wave seemed reliable from lowish levels. Most of us got into the main wave, which was still going up at 1000-2000 fpm passing 13000'. We all flew north, as far as the Omarama Basin. The secondary bounce was 6 miles downstream, nearly as strong as the primary, and could be followed nearly to the Hawkduns.
Flying on Sunday were: John (KG), Pete and Allen (JW) , Phil (KG) and Brian (KD). Vivienne and Doug also had a long flight in JW near the end of the day, eventually getting back just in time so that new member Andy Gilmore could get a quick flight before dark. Phil lit the fire and some of us needed a lot of thawing-out!

This is a good time to remind all that it really helps organising the day (and make full use of the short daylight) if you can us know whether you're going to turn-up to fly. Simply reply to Phil's email or post a message on southern-soaring . That way we can give instructors and tow pilots plenty of warning, preferably a day in advance.

Sunday 6th May 2012
Foggy til 2pm. John instructed Allen (winch circuits) and Vivienne (back seat rating). Then Vivienne flew two flights with Phil to get used to flying from the back. Doug arrived late so shouted the beers! On the power side we had Russell returning from a few days on the coast with ERW, and Geoff doing circuits in RLS.

Sunday 29th April 2012
A grot forecast but we turned out anyway. With up to 20kt straight down the strip and rain not far away it looked like a rough day. There was little enthusiasm to rig so we decided to just winch JW and see what was happening. Chris and John went first and managed 30 mins in bits of rotor. Next was Vivienne and Brian, but the wind was changing and they were soon back with the rain not far away. We packed up and retired to the clubhouse to do a little theory with Chris (and have a beer..)

Sunday 22nd April 2012
Against all odds we were hoping for some wave for Sunday. The sounding was for light winds although the sky did show more promise AM. Phil took a high tow and found a tiny patch of wave between 4 and 5000' near Fraser Dam. John was optimistic enough to try next and he and Phil spent the next 3 hrs climbing and exploring but never breaking through to any great height. Chris Barker had his first taste of aerotowing with Doug and seemed to master it straight away! Owen and Vivienne also flew with Doug to park JW for a hour or so in the wave and admire the Autumn colours below. Late in the day Roger Sparks landed in RLS and reported the Dunstan wave was working too. Thanks to Roger B. for towing and waiting around between flights.

Sunday 15th April 2012
Another nice Autumn day with just a little lift at times. It was a good turn-out and we all flew, mainly instructional flights off the winch for Jaques and new member Chris Barker (Wanaka). Phil aired KJ and Vivienne flew JW. Neil Sutherland dropped-in as we were closing the hanger door. His red Falco Furio (NJS) made a wonderful sound overhead and looked fantastic close-up on the ground. Somehow John managed a ride, experiencing rolls and 220kts (he shouted the beers).

Monday 9th April 2012
It was soarable, but just Phil and John turned-up. They spent the afternoon fixing the flat tyre on JW so never got gliding in the end. Sportscruiser SXY called-by PM (afer being at Warbirds) to give Dave a test flight and John also did a circuit. Very nice machine, LSA cert and $160K.

Sunday 1st April 2012
A nice Autumn day with thermals! We had a really good turnout...John, Phil, Brian, Vivienne, Owen, Malcolm, Jacques, Doug and new member Allen from Wanaka. First off was John and Allen in JW, finding OK thermals on the ridge. For the rest of the day we all flew good thermal flights to 6500' on the Dunstans and Old Man Range.
Doug and Jacques ended up landing at Lowburn (thanks Stephen for your airstrip). Doug and Owen towed out again. Many thanks to Roger for aerotowing.

Sunday 25th March 2012
After yet another grotty Sunday it was good to put some hours on JW and some solid tows too! The day started late, no real wind on the ground until we started launching at 2pm. Big tows to 6k where the order of the day as the Old Man wave was only just starting. But things got better as the day continued. John (KG) followed by Phil (KJ), and the Vivienne plus pax Bruce (JW) all had 2-3hrs flights to Roxburgh and beyond, all at 10-13000'. The wave was blue (no indicator clouds) until quite a lot later so it was a difficult day, especially so early on when there was only a moderate wind just south of west (NW later). John went to Kingston Nevis after a few attempts south.

Sunday 4th March 2012
The sunny Sunday brought out 4 private gliders and a few other members to fly JW. Pete, John, Phil and Malcolm all flew their gliders. Jacques and Vivienne flew JW. Doug instructed and Gary provided the aerotows. Everybody had 1 to 2 hours soaring in cool southerly conditions that got increasingly more stable as the day progressed. Dave and Pauline flew DAP and ERW too, and the Airforce had the day off except for a few engine runs on the C130s.

Sunday 26th Feb 2012
Just Phil and John turned up to fly. It cleared late and the sky looked good eventually. John took 3 winch launches, the first 2 gave enough soaring hope to take a third which resulted in a long scratch on the ridge before getting up to height. Phil wisely took an aerotow and they both flew down the Dunstans and back. Thanks to Doug for helping and Roger for the tow.

Sunday 12th Feb 2012
The strong inversion started to break up around 1pm so we got the winch out. JW was kept busy with Doug instructing and Phil driving the winch. There was a 1hr window when the thermals started to pop around 4pm and Ami had his first decent soaring flight lasting about an hour. Owen and Jaques managed a couple of short flights each.

Sunday 29th Jan 2012
The lower wind was a strong SW, too crosswind to safely aerotow but OK for winching (thanks Phil). John instructed new member Ami and later Owen, and Phil flew towards the end of the day once Owen and John where down to drive the winch for him. There was some convergence lift about where the southerly out of the Roxburgh Gorge butted against the slight westerly and flights lasted up to an hour.

various dates through Jan
Pete and John spent some time flying out of Omarama. Pete entered in the Club Class Nationals are perfromed very well against NZ's best pilots. Take a look at:
The results

Sunday 8th Jan 2012
The cloud burnt off and we had good soaring within the inversion: about a 6000' cloudbase. John flew a trial flight in JW, then Phil was off in KJ. Vivienne flew JW for a couple of hours and John managed to break through the inversion behind the Dunstans although it wasn't a great soaring day out west. Thanks to Russell for the tows.

Tuesday 3rd Jan 2012
High cloud raced in but Phil and John had a couple of hours local soaring.

Sunday 23rd Dec 2011
Ho-hum, another stunning soaring day...fortunately some initial high cloud delayed the over-development that had occured the previous day. John flew to Aspiring, Vivienne and Pete gave the Twin its best flight for a long while...way out east then to Omarama, Lindis and home. Phil continued to have great soaring in KJ in the basin. Thanks Gary for the aerotows.

Saturday 22nd Dec 2011
Only John turned up to fly but it was a good soaring day...almost too good in Central as many of the thermals turned into thunder clouds and eventually rain. He got drenched at St Bathans but dried out over Ranfurly and got home before it when to custard over Alex. Thanks to Roger for the tow, and Derek and Malcolm for the ground handling.
Meanwhile Pete had a good flight at Omarama, he went to Aspiring and back in quick order after driving down from Methven.

Sunday 18th th Dec 2011
The sun never really came out and the southerly was with us all day. No flying, although John murdered rosehip bushes, lawns and viper's bugloss on the airfield with the mower.

Tuesday 13th Dec 2011
It was another stunning day. Even starting late at this time of year can be worth it (but it was probably soarable from mid AM). Pete was off first (2pm) and John (230) with Phil driving the winch. Roger B kindy came up to give Phil an aerotow, and Vivienne helped Phil launch too. Pete went east to Ida Valley, then south to the Blue Mountains but he got caught in the sea breeze coming up from Southland. He was unable to get far west to escape the colder air, and did well to make it to Garston where he landed and visited Matt Menlove (ex 5R). John had headed down the Garvies to Mavora and back reporting 9000' cloudbases but thickening high cloud racing in. Phil had a wonderful time all over the valley landing about 6pm. All of us found large areas of strong sink that could gobble 2000' at times. A gaggle of Omarama gliders flew a large circuit that day, passing overhead Alex about the time we were launching. They flew Garive-Mavora-Glenorchy-Makaroa-Lindis and possibly some didn't make it home as the high cloud got there first. Malcolm helped us pack up and John and Sue drove over to Southland to pick up Pete. The seabreeze had made it all the way to Queenstown and the cloudbase was now 4000'. Home after midnight. Many thanks to all those who helped with the day.

Sunday 11th Dec. 2011
Oooh it could have been better! The wx was good, Phil was off first real early finding thermals and wave for several hours. But unfortunately the winch rope had released early and it got tangled and munched during the wind-in. It then took several joins and re-joins after further breaks before we got going again. Pete was finally off next about 3pm and flew to St Bathans (off a high break) and after yet another join John had a break-free launch at 4pm and flew for hour. Unfortunately Owen and Doug were delayed with another rope break before finally getting a short flight with the soaring weather all finished for the day.
At least we seem to have rid the old rope of most of the damaged parts and we are now all up to speed with splicing!

Sunday 4th Dec. 2011
Well, we have not seen a thermal day like this for quite some time. With plenty of heat and an unstable atmosphere we saw the varios off the clock at times and cloudbases at 12,000'. We started at 1230pm with the winch and although the thermals over the airfield were scrappy to start with they soon developed enough for John (KG) and Pete (LP) to get away. Phil took a relite at 2pm and got away in KJ eventually getting to 10'000' and doing triangles Lauder-Little Valley-Fraser dam over 3hrs. Brian took visitors for an hour or so in JW. Doug took a break from being the winch driver and he and Vivienne took a couple of launches but the convergence that was forming later in the day was just too far away to reach from a winch launch. John landed after 5hrs or so having been north to the main divide at Broderick pass then south to Roxburgh in a great convergence run. Pete landed after 7pm with his best thermal flight yet under his belt. He recalls "The best day I have flown. And the longest thermal flight. Over 160km from the Ben Oahu's to the Garvies on convergence, without a turn". An amazing achievment and you can see some great pics of this flight my clicking on the map below

Sunday 27th Nov. 2011
A rubbish gliding day....very hot on the ground with high cloud snuffing out any chance of thermals. There were hints of the promised westerly so John and Phil took long tows in search of wave, the only hope of lift. However the tows were eerily calm and they were both back after short flights. Don Lamont arrived with 2 Sons who flew with Roger in ERW. Another trial-flighter also took a flight with Roger. The promised westerly eventually arrived, but too late, and by then we were enjoying a cold beer. Thanks to Roger for the tows and instruction in ERW.

Sunday 20th Nov. 2011
We managed 4 trial flights in JW before the rain returned.

Weekend 12/13 Nov. 2011, Lakes Area Rally (hosted by us).
Steve has the following report:-
Well the area rally has come and gone,Saturday morning did not look too good early on, but improved as the day wore on,all in all most successful for all involved. Friday night we had the bar b que going with whitebait patties and venison with club members providing salads. and beer and wine was consumed by all,with of course lots of tales told. So as I said Saturday did not look too good but all went ahead with getting grids set up and planning all round,we had people from Southland Aero club who arrived with 3 aircraft and another from South Canterbury, North Otago was unable to get in as the weather in there area was not too good,so with COFC we had a total of 16 competors which made for a not to onerous day. From COFC we had Garry Wilson,Russell Anderson,Wayne Matherson,and myself entered,Garry took out the bombing,Wayne got forced landing,with Russell and myself being placed in precision Landing and circuits,and the Navigation for myself. Must say we did have a bit of a hard time from Flying NZ trying to get numbers for catering and other organisational requirements,however we did work around this,not having that sort of info does make the logistics difficult to say the least,anyway on a more positive note I believe we as a club did very well with the requirements expected of us,and a very special thanks must go to Chris and Russell and Gary and Julie for the really good food on the weekend,Saturday night dinner was fantastic with lamb on the spit veges and a stunning ginger and pear desert with toffee sauce,well done guys.those of you not there missed a treat. On the day we had the ODT reporter there and Roger suggested she come with us on the Nav Comp,which was a good move as we got a great write up in the ODT on Monday,which is all good for our long term goal of promoting the club,Roger also had a very busy day as he was Chief Air Judge,and Safety guy as well. Thanks must go to those who did so much work in setting up,Geoff ,Gary,Russell and Richard,in setting up the grids and helping with the ground scoring,and to John Boyd for driving the mini van and being on call for transport on Saturday,cheers all. I think we can be very proud of our efforts,I have had a couple of calls from those who were there,saying it was one of the best regional's they had been to. Until next time,safe flying!, Steve Whitren, CC Power.

Several members have been involved with helping out and flying at the South Island Regionals at Omarama over the past week so there was no gliding at Alexandra last Sunday. On Tuesday, Roger Sparks (VT) encountered strong head winds and sink trying to make it back to Omarama from Piano Flat and decided an outlanding at Alexandra would be prudent. Fortunately, Roger Bennett and ERW was available to aerotow VT yesterday and Phil (KJ) took advantage of this opportunity to have a mid-week flight and managed 4hrs in the somewhat boisterous thermals and rotor caused by the forming Westerly wave. Roger finally made it in the wave, transiting Mt Cook on the way back to Omarama.

Meanwhile John and Pete have been flying on+off during the Regionals at Omarama. Some nice thermal days early-on and wave the later part of the week.

Sunday 6th Nov. 2011
Not enough bods to get gliding. Good wave overhead.

Sunday 30th October. 2011
Doug did a trial flight, Phil flew KJ and John flew the winch. It was southerly and little lift. We packed-up early followed by the promised westerly and possibly missed the better soaring later-on.

Labour w.e. 2011
Some soaring within the inversion. Late in the day Pete broke-through reaching 8000' over the Ida Valley.

Sunday 16th October 2011
Another nice sunday. Thermals were a bit scratchy at low level needing a few relights off the winch but we all had good flights in the end. Owen flew with John and later had a long soaring flight with Doug. Pete, Phil and John all had long soaring flights mainly over the Old Man, Old Woman and Dunstans. The soaring was very scenic over these snowy tops. Thanks to winch drivers and Roger B for a few tows later in the day.

Sunday 9th October 2011
Lots of good flying. The weather cleared as promised and it turned out to be a nice thermal day. We areotowed (thanks Gary) as the turn-out was a bit thin. Phil thermalled locally in KJ, and Doug instructed Dave and Pauline. John flew north to enjoy 9200' cloudbases on the Hawkduns in KG.

Sunday 18th Sept 2011
A great turn out and a busy day for the first decent day of Spring gliding. Early birds Steve and Geoff were the first away in ERW and Steve's description of the flight follows:- "After all that strip landing practice I have done of late with Roger I thought it was time to put it into use,so as Sunday dawned fine and relatively clear Geoff Campbell and I flew into Makaroa[NZMW]for coffee. Phoned Paul Cooper[southern alps air],who is the operator of the strip,and got permission,no problem, except that there was an electric fence wire about three quarters of the way down with large cattle beasts doing what large cattle beasts do,this in effect makes a 600mt strip 400mts,also the edges of the strip need pruning with bushes and small scrub encroaching on the runway,so with all this in mind,we set off. Bearing the above in mind did not over fuel ERW,and as there was Geoff [who weighs much more than I do!!]and myself on board,should be OK,Nice flight over to Makarora,smooth flying conditions and good visibility and no traffic,arrived at destination and carried out an overfly to check out conditions, stock etc,set the aircraft up for short field landing and dropped it just the other side of the fence,the aircraft slowed pretty quickly as coming in on 33 has an uphill slope,backtracked and parked right outside of the cafe,nice. Whilst we were having our coffee a c180 bounced in and parked behind us with the same idea,pilot with I guess a couple of tourists[they had that German look about them,you know matching outdoor clothes]. Time for takeoff, so had to choose between a tailwind downhill run or an uphill into wind one,seeing as it was about 5 knots choose a downhill takeoff so put on 20 degrees flap, foot on the brakes full throttle and away we go,got off OK but next time will let it stay on the ground a little longer,the temptation to pull it off too soon is hard to resist,as we had plenty of room in the end. Nice flight back to LX used the new GPS and flew direct right over leaning rock which still has plenty of snow. Makaroa is a good place to drop in to have a coffee, flying time there and back was 1.5 hrs, the strip is not an easy one to get in and out of, especially in gusty conditions I hear,as there is not much room for a cock-up,and one is somewhat limited especially if the whole of the runway is not in use don't think I would do it with a full load on board." By noon the gliders were being assembled and DI'd with KG, KJ, LP, JW and visitors Terry and Karen (TK) and Bob (ZP) ready for aerotowing. The high cloud that appeared later killed all prospects of thermalling but a large area of weak lift (1-2knots) appeared to remain stationary between the tailings and the Old Man range. This was sufficient to keep the gliders aloft for a couple of hours in a band between 4-5000', although Bob managed to find a stronger patch taking him to 8500'. Was this wave or a convergence? JW was kept busy with check-flights (Karen) and Doug had a nice smooth flight with son Hamish. Malcolm had the last flight of the day with a trial flight. Many thanks to Gary for the 11 aerotows, totalling 2.3hrs.

Sunday 4th Sept 2011
A busy morning at the airfield,we had a visit from a couple of microlights from Wanaka,a bantam,and a fox/ something or another, both fabric and sticks construction it was amazing to watch a guy unfold himself out of the Fox/thing he must have been 6ft 6",and I reckon he just fitted in,the guys in the bantam were suffering from hyperthermia, or they looked that way. Geoff arrived and got the Tecnam wound up and he and Phil did a quick couple of circuits, it looks as though the starting issue might have at last been put to rest. Completed my BFR with Roger by flying into QN/Arrowtown,with Roger doing lots of emergency stuff,like doing forced landing without power from 1500ft,one has to work very quickly in that situation,and it really points out that you can never get too complacent!!.[especially with Roger!] Back to LX and Nick Taylor did a scenic with it seemed half the kids from Alex on board,bet that was a good trip Nick!. This week Gary is taking ERW down to Southair as its due for its 50 hr check[Thursday],so it will back for flying duties on the weekend,Roger is away this coming weekend,so will have to wait so we can get back into those,lazy eights and chandelles,will report in due course. Just a heads up, we will be organizing a working bee in the club rooms after the next committee meeting, on the 15th,this will be on a Saturday afternoon[TBA],so would like LOTS of club members along so we can do a spring-clean, a couple of hours of your time will be all it takes.many hands will get it done quickly. Until next time,Safe Flying, Steve Whitren[club captain power]

Sunday 21st Aug 2011
Last Sunday Geof and Phil started the day by taking RLS for a spectacular trip over Thompsons Gorge and then up the Lindis valley, taking many pics of the mountains covered in thick snow. Mount Cook and Mt Aspiring were very prominent in the clear blue sky. Return trip was via St Bathans, returning to Alexandra after 1.5hrs. We then dragged the gliders out and used the winch for a couple of hours. There was a strong inversion to about 4000' but John managed 43mins scratching around in KG and getting no higher than 1700'--and that's QNH! Pete and Phil flew for a while and then Brian did a couple of launches in JW with John for his BFR. Not a bad day considering it is still winter.
The strong spring thermals should not be too far away!

Friday 12th Aug 2011
. Gary Wilson took ERW out for a flight to reacquaint himself with the pleasures of flying, seeing as he was back from ogling young Italian women on his Mediterranean cruse ! Did the three take off and landing thing and the weather was a perfect day for it.We also had a visit from the boys at Southern Alps Air who are based at Makaroa,so I hit them up about the possible use of there strip,so have got the ok if we phone in first,might be a good idea to have a trip over there stop and have a coffee a fly back. Saturday 13th. Seeing as the Met service were panicking about a big cold front coming up the country on Sunday I thought it a better idea if we did flying on Saturday,so duly got Roger on side and went flying in the morning once again the WX was perfect,so with Gary Wilson along as ballast we flew down to have a look at Ash Mc Gregors strip above Shingle Creek,[Just a note on doing this sort of thing make sure you have got clearance from the land owner/farmer before you do this, I also phoned him that morning to run past him what we intended] at this stage we were just looking at heights, approaches, surface condition, and we intend to land there in the future as it is steeply sloping strip that once you are committed you have to go in,will let you know how we get on,we also overflew a top dressing strip with a curve in the middle and at the same time one is unable to see where it ends up, not for the faint hearted!!. We then descended into Roxburgh Gorge where Roger had me do reversal turns a few times keeping below a nominated ceiling,this sort of exercise demands accurate flying as there is not too much room,also much discussion on what we would do in the event of engine failure as there is literally nowhere to go once you are down in the gorge.Many photos of the old buildings were also taken. Back over Earnscleugh got up to 3000ft to do an exercise in slow flying[this is now a requirement in the PPL] its a really good way of becoming confident with the aircraft doing 180 degree turns right on the stall one has to really work the rudder and of course Roger is constantly racking my knuckles with "use the rudder more!",Don't forget when doing these sort of things make sure you do all the right checks HELL/HASELL. Roger then demonstrated some "chandelles" to Gary and myself,I then had a go.......... lets say this will be a work in progress. Great Day, and it was fun!!,as I said last time get out of your comfort zone go up and do something different. Safe Flying,until next time. Steve Whitren[club captain Power]

Early Aug 2011
There has been very little flying over the past couple of weeks because of the many fronts that have swept through from the south. However, Geoff and Phil took advantage of a fine break in the weather and flew Roger's Technam RLS to Rangiora for some engine maintenance, spending a couple of nights there. The flight to Rangiora was routed Alex-Danseys Pass-Timaru-Ashburton-Methven-Oxford-Rangiora in order to stay clear of cloud over the mountains and avoid controlled airspace, and proved to be an excellent exercise in dead-reckoning and map reading. It's surprising how much information is displayed on the CAA maps when studied in detail! A different route was taken on the return journey from Methven via Duntroon, up the Waitaki river to Omarama and then over the saddle to Alex. We were impressed with the nice big grass strip at Rangiora which is very well maintained. In addition to the many large hangars that already exist there, several new ones were being constructed. There is obviously a very active microlite following based there with the associated maintenance facilities, in particular for Rotax engines. We even saw a couple of self-launching gliders (ASH26) returning from a flight on the second day.

31 July 2011
What a stunner!,the only thing to do is take to the skies,Geoff Campbell actually managed to get RLS [p96 golf] started and along with Phil Sumser flew along the tops viewing farm strips,I think they had a ball,and are looking at flying to Rangiora for a mechanical issue over the next few days,have fun guys ! Aaron Simpson engaged in forced landing practice in ERW on course to his PPL.Aaron is progressing well,and is not only flying regularly but is doing the exams,which in the highly regulated environment which we now operate is essential if you wish to progress,as even before you can do cross country's one has to have passed the navigation exam. Nick Taylor flew a couple of pax around Mt Aspiring bet that was a good flight. The AGM is now behind us and a new committee is in place,I think the evening went well with a good meal enjoyed by all at the Chatto Creek pub, for those who did not attend we had roast beef Yorkshire pudding, with the trimmings followed by sticky date pudding [Yum].The evening was not too late to finish so those who did not come make it a date for next year. Have resolved to upgrade my flying skills in ERW so am embarking on advanced dual with Roger Bennett at present we are doing strip flying(you should see Roger flying in the nude!!]no just joking.this really means that one has to be on top of precision landings and take offs,we have during the last month done various strips around central[Crawford hills is a real good one] from the simple to the hard, this form of training really does make for a good work load and would recommend it to any pilot regardless of hrs.Just remember we have two instructors now, and Nick Taylor is more than happy to do some dual during the week and of course Roger is available on the weekends,so don't get in a rut with your flying make use of the skills we have in the club, even if its a check ride to make sure you are still sharp. On another note take a glider flight,test your skills with no engine, the gilder pilots have lots to offer and you never know when that may be useful!. Will report again,until then keep safe. Steve Whitren, [club captain Power]

Sunday 17th July 2011
Flying 2 days in a row! More work on gliders but all done by noon. Malcolm flew JW and Phil flew KJ. Roger towed in ERW. It was a mainlt stable days, but a little lift was about at times.

Saturday 16th July 2011
Kerry Jackson arrived this morning and we completed the annual inspections on JW and KG. As conditions looked promising for SW wave John and Pete took a winch launch and managed to climb up in the convergence to contact the wave. Both had a couple of hours or so, with John getting clearance to a cold 17,000'. Later in the day Doug tried his luck in KG but conditions had changed and after three valiant but unsuccessful attempts to get into the wave off the winch decided to call it a day. In between winch launches Phil and Kerry managed to install a new elevator bracket assembly on KJ. Stevie flew circuits in ERW.

Sunday 10 July
I nice sunny winter's day with a strong inversion layer at low level but not enough gliding folks turned out to get in the air. ERW was kept busy for several hours with Nick Taylor giving air experience flights to children with special needs. Geoff and John also had a flight in RLS.

QBD weekend, 4,5,6 June 2011
Low cloud and most folk away. However Ian Williams came down to train new members John Mathewson and son Laurence on their recently aquired Dimona motorglider. On Friday they flew at Alex, and Saturday from the Mathewson's Tiaeriside airstrip near Kokonga. The Mathewsons are both very experienced pilots and they will obtain their glider licence with our club, training on both JW and their own motorglider. John R also got his Dimona rating over the weekend to help with training.
Also flying on Sunday was Geoff in RLS.

Sunday 29th May 2011 With a strong Westerly flow, good clear wave conditions were present all day with lenticulars forming at high altitude (around 20,000') and rough rotor from ground level to 4000'. First away on aerotow was Phil in KJ with a turbulent ride but eventually punching forward to contact strong lift just east of the Fraser Dam. After an hour he reached 13,000' and went to Roxburgh a couple of times. John in KG was next and after the roughest tow of his life ( and a forced release) managed to contact lift East of the airfield, eventually getting clearance to 17,000' and flying into the Nevis valley. Pete in LP released too early and after a losing battle in the rotor was soon back on the ground. In the meantime, Alistair prepared the winch and launched Doug in JW with John Mathewson and his son Lawrence flying a few practice circuits and generally being battered around. John and Phil returned after 3hours and after a few more winch launches we decided to call it a day--one of the best we have had for a while. Thanks to Roger for the aerotows, Alistair for running the winch and Owen for retrieving in the tow car.

Sunday 22nd May 2011
John Mathewson and Doug made three instructional flights off the winch before the rain became more persistant making conditions quite miserable on the ground. Up above there appeared to be quite good westerly wave forming. We retired early to the clubroom for a quick beer and a chat before heading home.

Sunday 15th May 2011
Another windy cold day. John and Owen had a couple of flights in JW. There was good wave overhead but it was a mission to contact off the winch!

Sunday 17th April 2011
Poor weather, a strong SW'er, but we got airbourne late in the day. Doug flew new member John Mathewson. They winched straight into the wave for a wonderful flight of 1.5hrs and 11000'. John and son Laurence have recently bought a touring motorglider and plan to gain their gliding licences over the coming months.

Saturday 9th April 2011
We flew the Southern Riders on Saturday. Initially we winched up into the low cloud, Malcolm instructing his motorcycle mates. Later John instructed Al and Jacques with each finding enough thermals to remain airbourne a while. The cloud cleared PM, and Russell arrvied to aerotow the remainder of the visitors, most flights were pretty short (aerobatics!). Phil got airbourne in 'KJ. The day ended with a few more winch flights, John airing out 'KG with 45 mins weak thermals. Thanks for all the helpers, especially Russell, Owen and Phil.

3rd April 2011
A strong westerly wave day, pretty windy up high. Unfortunately it took a while before we had enough bods to get going. In the end it was John instructing Owen in JW, and Phil winch driving that enabled us to fly. They had a good flight of about 2 hrs energetic (rough!) rotor climbs to 6000'. The smooth wave appeared to be just a wee way further north in the lee of the Dunstans and was out of reach.

March 12th 2011
With an inversion at around 3500' and blue thermals, we decided on winch launching only for the day. John in KG managed to stay aloft for over 2hrs in the scrappy thermals but could only get to 4500', not high enough to contact the gentle Westerly wave that formed later in the day. Doug was kept busy in JW giving instruction to Ludo and friends and Phil took a late launch in KJ and managed 40mins before the thermals dissipated.

March 5/6th 2011
Saturday was a wash-out, we even had hail in the afternoon. Pete and John Eggers took a trip into the Nevis Valley (by car), whilst the rest of us decided to return home. Sunday was not looking much better early on but by 1pm the sky suddenly changed and there were good thermals forming. The two Hornets (John Eggers in JC and Phil in KJ) each had good flights, spending a couple of hours soaring along the Dunstans and Old Man range at 6000' - 7500'. Pete and John were kept busy with training flights in JW for Brittany, Jaques and two visiting glider pilots from Germany. Thanks to Gary for the seven aerotows.

27th Feb 2011
Early on the day looked very promising but only Doug and Phil turned up. Unfortunately by the time they became airborne the thick high cloud came in and killed all the lift. Phil aerotowed KJ to the Leaning Rock and got dumped whilst Doug took JW for a lo---ong tow beyond Little Valley and managed to maintain 5000' for an hour before the lift died. Thanks to Gary for turning out for the tows.

Feb 2011
I'm not too sure what flying was had in Alex over Feb. However Pete and John flew at Omaka and Nelson Lakes. Omaka was windy(!) but Nelson dished-up pretty good wx and we had an enjoyable week of soaring.

30th Jan 2011
A gusty westerly with nil sun. John took a couple of winch launches, managing 30mins at best. There were rotor climbs about but the wind was just too strong and it was getting unpleasant up there!

23 Jan 2011
Really good soaring! John instructed Owen and Mark early PM. Good thermals. Later John flew KG around the basin and returned to join Phil (KJ) and Derry (MR) over Alex. They then all flew together over to the Old Man Range and Roxburgh way.

17th Jan 2011
Monday. The forecasts looked extremely promising for a boomer of a day so John and Phil decided to give it a go off the winch. Conditions were, however, deceiving and the sky was blue by 2pm. Phil in KJ could not get above 3500' in the difficult conditions and gave up after an hour and two launches. After a bit of a battle John managed to get to 4000' and then went to 10,000' over the Ida Valley and contacted wave, returning to the airfield via Roxburgh after a couple of hours. Pete (LP) was flying out of Omarama and reported over the radio that he was on the West side of the Dunstans in wave. Thanks to Doug for turning out and running the winch.

16th Jan 2011
Last Sunday. A Southerly flow set in about mid-day and with the high cloud around conditions did not look very favourable for soaring. We got the winch out, nevertheless, and Malcolm did his BFR with John, and just to keep him on his toes he had a cable break on the first launch, executing a perfect abreviated circuit. Malcolm then instructed Owen in JW and were able to pick-up some weak ridge lift between the airport and the town. Doug and Alistair then tried their luck and were rewarded with a 30min flight on the ridge. John could not resist the temptation to get airborne so quickly rigged KG and joined the Twin in scratching around.

9th Jan 2011
A good turn out and an enjoyable day's flying.We were pleased to welcom Derry Belcher and his son Mark who trailered Mike Romeo from Mandeville. MR is a nicely finished home-built Briegleb BG12-16 which took Derry 6 years to build. The day started of blue but by 1pm small whisps of cumulus were forming on the Old Man range. First away was Phil with a winch launch in KJ, but after 20mins was back on the ground reporting that the thermals were only just starting to form. Whilst waiting for greater things Doug gave Derry a local familiarisation winch flight in JW, followed by one for Mark. Next away was Brian in KD, taking a winch launch and managing to stay aloft over the town at 4000'. By 3pm the thermal strength was increasing and Gary arrived in ERW for aerotowing. Phil took a short tow to McArthur's and had a good climb to 6000' and then headed off up the Cromwell Gorge to watch the boating activity on the lake, followed by 3hrs local flying. Derry had a nice couple of hours local thermalling in MR. For the last flight of the day, Doug and Vivienne took a high tow (7000') to the Old Man range and worked the thermals to 9000' in the Waikaia Valley, returning after 21/2hrs to a very welcome cool beer. A great day of flying and thanks to all for mucking in with the rigging, winch driving and other ground work and to Gary for the aerotows.

4th Jan 2011
Phil and John flew but the southerly and high cloud was a problem. Pleasant local thermals for a couple of hours.

Xmas/NY/Hols various at Omarama
There's been a number of members and friends including Brian, Pete, Kerry J and John flying at Omarama at times over the hols. Pete especially is flying most days raking up incredible flights. You can keep an eye on his SPOT tracker with the following link:
Pete (LP) Spot track

26th December 2010
4 x trial flights off the winch (Brian and John).

12th December 2010
Wave and thermals. Roger B instructed Aaron in ERW, then aerotowed gliders early PM. Gusty thermals low down and wave on top. Pete and Owen had a good 2hr ride in JW, Dunstan wave and then down the Waikaia and Garston cruising around 10,000' in norwesterly wave. John did similar in KG and Phil had a good flight in KJ.

28th November 2010
A strong inversion much of the day, hot!. John flew with Owen for an hours soaring below 3000'. Doug took a PAX trial-fligher for some soaring. Phil flew KJ. The cloudbase on the Dunstans looked high but out of reach for us. We had a few hiccups with the winch and really only got going again about 430pm. However John and Pete where desperate to fly their singles so launched. The local inversion was still putting a lid at 3500' so they drifted over the translator ridge with McArthurs strip as the backup plan. After an hour of struggling they broke through the inversion and rocketed up in the convergence lift. Cloudbase was 11200' with an OAT of zero (pleasant!). It was too late to go far but they headed over to the Old Man and followed the convergence line down the Waikaia a wee way into Southland.

21st November 2010
Little acheived due to crook weather. John did a quick JW flight to test the new winch engine.

Omarama mid November 2010
With no launching avail at Alex, John and Pete flew for a few days out of Omarama. Here they had several good flights, John to Mt Cook on a clear day on the 9th, and Pete to Five Rivers in wave on the 13th (the same day Terry Delore flew to Steward Is and back!).

Douglas Neve Mt Cook Dobson Valley Baker Saddle

Sunday 7th November 2010
First OK thermals of the season. Johnheaded east to the Ida valley and then up to Hawduns,Omarama, StBathans and home. Pete had a great flight west to Mt Earnslaw via Shotover. Doug flew with Hamish in JW up to the Dingle and of the better JW flights for a long time. Phil thermalled away locally in KJ. Thanks to Garry for the towing.

Cruising along the Hawkduns

Sunday 19th Sept 2010
Yet another unsettled westerly day. Early on was strong crosswind and gliding did not look very inviting. Roger was instructing new student Mike in ERW. John rigged KG and managed 2 winch launches during the lulls. On the second flight he thermalled up into Old Man wave and flew down to Millers Flat. Doug flew JW late in the day but the wave had shifted. It was nice to see Ludo again, visiting from Dunedin.
Some pics HERE

Sunday 12th Sept 2010
Conditions were not looking particularly good for soaring so we decided to brush up on our no-instrument flying. With the primary instruments blanked off in JW, first away were John and Doug, followed by check-outs for Phil and Pete, all flights being off the winch. Everybody checked out OK and Pete and Doug managed to find some lift on Pete's check and soared on the approaching convergence for 45mins or so. This prompted John to rig KG and Phil to get KJ out of the hangar and both managed local soaring flights. Doug then instructed new member John Lochead with two winch launches before calling it a day when the lift vanished. During all this activity, ERW and Roger were kept busy with training flights and Geoff took RLS for some local flying.

Wednesday 1st Sept 2010
We planned to fly the 1st day of Spring, damn and we should have tried harder too. Phil, John and Brian all arrived at noon along with thickening high cloud. No one was keen so we called off Gary but decided to throw KG into the air anyway to confirm general flatness...nothing. We left by 1pm. However the day did come right, the high cloud had a blue gap, thermals appeared and by 2pm it was looking really good. By 3 the wave had appeared! Cripes things moved fast!

Sunday 29th August 2010
Not a great forecast, the sky was 8/8 stratus with the odd shower about. Phil and Geoff did circuits in RLS and Aaron and Greg flew ERW with Roger B. It seemed just unstable enough to get the gliders out despite the lack of any sun. John and Brian rigged and each got an hour of local soaring.

Tuesday 24th August 2010
This must be a record---midweek flying during winter!! Malcolm gave his two Japanese exchange students an aerotow each in JW, staying aloft for around 30mins each, and Phil took a high tow in KJ and managed 50mins. Conditions were too stable for any appreciable lift to form but it was good to be back in the air on a nice sunny day after the dull no-flying days of winter. Thanks to Gary for turning out for the three aerotows.

Sunday 22nd August 2010
ERW was away on a Mainland Air charter so we pulled the winch out for some circuit practice. Conditions were squally with a front going through but little lift around. Malcolm gave his Japanese exchange student a couple of trial flights in JW and then flew with Don Lamont and his son. Phil gave KJ an airing with two flights and managed to work a bit of lift in front of an approaching squall. Thanks to Pete for operating the winch for a total of 8 flights. Earlier in the day Roger Bennett took Bob Kilgour for a sightseeing tour in the Technam RLS.

July 25th 2010
A fine sunday, even above freezing for a change...Aaron and Dion flew with Roger in ERW, Doug did his BFR with John in JW, and Malcolm took a high tow above the clouds to look at the snow on the Dunstans. Steve Morton had a couple of winch flights at the end of the day.

July 17/18th 2010
Saturday saw Geoff and Steve W. flying to Manapouri in RLS, sunday was also fog-free for a change so a few hardy glider pilots assembled in the cold. Vivienne had 5 flights in JW, earning her BFR and also flying a friend from Dunedin. John instructed and he and Pete also did a quick flight in RLS. Sunday evening was our AGM followed by a pleasant dinnner at Chatto Creek Tavern. As usual there was no great fighting for Office positions and we retain our familiar hard-working crew for another year.

Sunday 4th July 2010
We're back flying after a bit of a pause. The early winter weather knocked out the last few sundays with either fog or rain. Over the period we did have a few work parties though so all was not lost. On the 4th the weather was perfectly clear after a frosty start. Geof and Phil flew RLS and Aaron and Dion flew with Roger B. in ERW. In the PM John had a quick hunt for wave in KG but returned after an hour battling with rotor in the strong southerly off the Old Man Range. Phil and Brian required BFR's so each did quick winch followed by a high aerotow with John instructing. JW spent a lot of time in strange attitudes either trying to spin or (in Brian's case) trying to loop. Last flight landed at sunset. Thanks to Pete for driving winch and Roger for the aerotows.