Gliding weekend report 17-19 Nov

Gliding weekend report 17-19 Nov

The delay of last weekend’s report owes itself to the diabolical and time sucking diversion of moving houses. Nonetheless, here was a quick overview.
With one of the most memorable long flying weekends for a while, an enviable amount of cross country flights were consistently being hurled over the hill. Students and seasoned pilots alike celebrated aspirational and long awaited firsts. The digital world came to life as a celebrity came to town, and we said a temporary farewell to the Auckland gaggle who I’m grateful to have had the friendly companionship of this past week.

Flight instructor – John McCaw
Tow Pilot – Colin Winterburn
With a southern mass arriving just after midday there was just enough time to sneak in some instructional student flights covering ridge flying, skillfully demonstrated by John in some very testing light south eastern breeze. DX – Duo Discus. Russel and Grant’s last flight was brought back down to earth by the big bad cloud arriving overhead to water Sandy’s wetland plants. At least the shared dinner was lovely that night. Lastly we mention the podium was finally completed for the first land outs of the season with Mike Oakley filling in 3rd position, following Fabian and Wal. 

Flight instructor – Rob Campbell
Tow Pilot – Bruce Cooper
This was a huge day for Bruce towing 25 flights to keep our passion alive launching:
Kevin Clack and Oli Finnigan were our Trial flighter’s.
Oli Roberts getting cross club instructors tuition flights thanks to Wal.
Heaps of cross country flights – Peter, Nick, Nigel, John, Mike, Rangi, Terry and Edwin 
who clocked(6hours 17min!) Almost 500km
Luca was finally sent off by Wal to tackle his first solo flight which went off without a hitch. Hi fives all round and great pictures to commemorate the occasion!
The achievements didn’t end there. Under the diligent supervision of Wal, Rob, Bruce, and John, Solomon also grasped the opportunity to obtain his single seat conversion in the Grob 102 single seat astir (MQ), which had been on the hit list for a while. The flight planned and executed as planned, his comments, its a pleasure to fly and theres many more to come. Mission success.
As the day drew later an unfamiliar bird arrived at the field which was instantly and suspiciously noticed by Baxter. A lone Hang Glider from Cheeseman ski field made a entertaining touchdown as a completion to his cross country flight for the day. 

Flight instructor – Alex McCaw
Tow Pilot – Peter Chadwick
Carrying on the momentum of Solomon’s previous days achievements, a few nicely sized sucky clouds were loafing around so another short flight in (MQ) was on the agenda to gain more familiarity with the new aircraft. Well it seems one flight must’ve been sufficient because, an hour and 45 minutes later he was back with his 90minute Soaring syllabus flight ticked off. Derek slotted together his very shiny and new AS-33 glider and boy is it a beaut. I’d be proud too, but the real anticipated flights of the day was reserved for the visiting World Glider GP champion 2023 Stefan Langer and Elena, who came out to visit. With the kind assistance of Terry in TF and John McCaw in the Janus (OB) they enjoyed some back country flights and were most amused at Thomas the retrieve cart.
If you want to watch Stefans video footage of his flight check it out here: First Time Flying ASH25 with World Record Holder Terry Delore – New Zealand

Definitely most memorable, and worthy of praise, another first in the cross country field, Edwin nailed his first 500km verified badge flight in a touch over 6 hours seat time. It was very satisfying to see him come away with the win, especially after watching the planning and practice on top of his agonizingly close attempt the weekend prior. Below are probably some of the best cross country pics of him out in his element. Way to go Mr Edwin. Fly high, fly far.

So much more to come as the season ramps up. I’ll try to keep up. Here comes December silly season.

Big cloud bad for gliding, good for plants

Carl Sheppard 16 Nov 9000ft brakes out looking west to Torlesse

Mike Oakley landout derig                                                                                                                       Dinner time


Rob taking youngest member Oli for some more airtime

Across the country they roam

Grant and Russel duo                                                                                                                                    Oli roberts instructor training with Wal

Luca Solo flight

Solomon Single seat conversion

Hang Glider from Cheeseman ski field


Solomon 90 minute soaring flight ridge hopping around Russel flat

Dereks new presidential hotrod “air force one”

A northern Arcus appears

Stefan Langer and Terry Delore

Edwins 500km flight with some previous photos taken by Edwin showing landmarks along the way. Absolutely Stunning!

Lake Sumner

Libretto Range

Studleigh Range

Craigeburn Range

Lake Coleridge

S Taputoro

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