Gliding weekend report Nov 11-13

Gliding weekend report Nov 11-13

The skies threw a bit of everything at us to entertain and amaze last weekend. The airfield swung into seasonal life once again. It was fun to mingle and swap stories with the Auckland crew that arrived to fly with us as they got familiar with our backyard. So far, a big bird tried escaping, the tow plane threatened strike action, I learnt the importance of hydrating your glider as well as yourself, and some people will do anything to avoid paying airfield landing fees. What a great start to the Club flying week.

Flight instructor – Jenny Wilkinson
Tow Pilot – Baptiste Harduin
The most popular day by far, the weather gave us 25 degree temps 10knot NE, good thermals and convergence. The grid was packed for a 24 flight day! Baptiste you’re a tank mate for soldiering through that many tows. Respect.
Jenny took care of our trial flight Russel Palmer and the student workload for the day. Students Beni, Tim, Luca and Sol all inching closer to their particular aviating mile markers. Progress is going well.
Colin got current again on the Janus after a year’s sabbatical.
The thirsty single seater Javelins were all gridded up and loaded with water ballast (Nick, Alex and Nigel) to bias the polar curves for some cross country action to Saint Arnauds and back. (Alex flight link)

The next row over 18m+ span gliders and self launchers carrying some AKL members also headed off for some lengthy cross country adventures, but the longest flight trophy went to John McCaw for his grueling 6hour 43min flight! (Johns flight link)
He came back looking like he had been to Fiji, which is a good reminder to us to carry sunscreen for the summer.  It’s a good thing John has to sleep so the glider gets to have a rest from him.
Not to be outclassed by last week’s landout submission in castle hill, an honorable mention for our new landout contender of the week was a late entry by Mr Wal. 
A remarkable effort in his powered single seat shark that fell prey to a gravity assisted glide down the backside of the Springfield ridge (suspiciously in the direction of the Springfield pub I noticed?) Although amusing to many it was a great educational opportunity for retrieval crews to study the scenery and scenario to store away in the memory banks for future consideration.
The evening’s activities finally wound down at the debrief bar over drinks and a pleasant shared dinner. 

Flight instructor – Mark Aldridge
Tow Pilot – Peter Chadwick
A striking contrast to the day prior. Wave and ridge conditions grew for those who were up early enough. With an excellent briefing on high wind landings from Bruce Cooper and Mark Aldridge, only 2 good flights were managed for the day due to the tow plane being grounded for a few hours from a defect discovered on the daily inspection by eagle eye Pete.
Once rectified the two lucky birds (Duo Discus and the Janus) were towed aloft although rodeo style due to the ground winds really picking up. Aprompt call to stop further flights that afternoon for safety reasons dashed the hopes of our newest student aviators who were threshold staged and patiently waiting all day for their turn.
That left classroom theory which at least got something signed off on the training syllabus for their trouble.

Mike Mara and some helpers managed to expedite some scheduled club glider maintenance that mornin for the Twin Astir (OR). 

If you are ever looking for opportunities to get under the hood so to speak and more familiar with gliders, email Mike and ask him when the next annual inspections are. He appreciates the help and is generous in sharing his wealth of knowledge to anyone that shows interest.

What we didn’t do
Flying 🙁
The ol wind bag was blowing 25knot + on the field most of the day with some cool cloudscapes.
Definitely added a few more pegs to the washing on the line.
What we did instead
Mike mara was in spanner mode again and gave Alex Hewson’s Cirrus (JJ) an annual inspection with some help from curious bystanders. 
Sandy the energiser bunny was planting the last of the plants in the gardens before the real summer arrives. Always appreciate your dedication to this Sandy. 
Bruce organised a really useful and pragmatic classroom discussion on the foundations and peculiarities of the discipline of ridge soaring. It was extra helpful getting the input of his own and other instructors’ experiences, to weed out the traps of what can be a very complicated but rewarding form of flying in our varying hill regions. Very interesting discussion crashing model planes into furniture hills. 
Much appreciated Bruce
While the winds persisted, the final excitement for the day was capturing the big ASH25 (TF) that escaped from its picketed spot in the middle of the field while we were not watching. After yanking out its leash and half wiggling out of its wing covers, it seemed fed up from being cruelly bound and muzzled all day. (I don’t blame it). The team caught the jail breaker and relocated it to a more appropriate location, with much improved metal anchored restraints and some extra canopy straps to persuade it to stay put. Sorta like gagging an alligator that really wants to go to the beach. 🤣

There’s plenty more action to come. With the 3 day weekend finally arriving, weather wizards are watching the sky to make the most of the opportunity. Make sure you’re a part of it.

Coming Events
13th -17th Nov – CGC Members flying week

4th – 8th  December – CGC Task week
26th Dec – 6th Jan – Omarama Summer Camp

Trial flight Russel Palmer off to see mount Russel

JK (John McCaw) and UZ (Nigel Maxley) hydrating on the I.V before a big trip

A glider named GRM

Colin reccurency flight on the Janus

A northern (DX) Duo Discus visiting for the week
When do we all get a free T-Shirt

John winging it over the country

Everyone waited patiently for their flight.

Mike, Beni and Niel fixing CC canopy latch and Some new CGC members recently shifted into Kraak control.

Wals landout in Springfield – Imagine Wals surprise when Elwood the blues brother turned up to rescue him.


Chow time 🙂


Oscar rabbit (OR) Heavy DI

Long Clouds flat Clouds


Windy clouds

The one that almost got away

Annual inspection on JJ (cirrus)
S Taputoro

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