Gliding weekend report Feb 24-25/Mar 2-3

Gliding weekend report Feb 24-25/Mar 2-3

March – officially marks the turn of the seasons and finally tempers summers heat as the solar equinox approaches. The increased sightings of agricultural vehicles roaming through Canterbury’s pale fields of gold over the past month, is a welcomed sight for flatland pilots because they leave behind lovely new landout options to use. (How considerate) The flying season is approaching final glide with operations still progressing nicely, club members are taking every opportunity to make the most while the sun shines. I’ve also been bumping into quite a few new faces around the club which has had me reflecting on the age old principles or reaping and sowing. Quite fitting I thought. Well here’s what the gang’s been up to lately . . .

Saturday 24th Feb
Flight instructor – Rob Campbell
Tow pilot – Luca Ruzzon
John McCaw was the early bird, his eager sights set on a large trophy flight for the day, only to be shot down on tow by electrical gremlins plaguing his Cirrus. It put a sore damper on his day but at least he recovered midday for a localized flight.

Gideon Hodge our newest 6 flighter had his first apprehensive flight ever with Rob in the Grob as he was introduced over the next 45min to the art of the glide.  As I ran their wing down the runway I nostalgically recalled being in his shoes approx a year ago. It was good to remember.
The midday westerly winds continued to strengthen creating broken wave, tumbling over the Torlesse range out onto the plains below. Rangi (CV) and Fabian (CC) quickly escaped its meddling bother to go play further afield, but others weren’t so lucky. Solomon got the best violent rodeo tow of the day in the 102 Astir, bouncing the stick off all the stops and getting two good bumps on the head for his troubles. Time to put the tow plane away before we break that too.

Sunday 25th Feb
Flight instructor – John McCaw
Tow pilot – Colin Winterburn
With only 9 flights for the day it wasn’t uneventful.
Colby another one of our potential tow pilot has been grinding away at his solo gliding training and is dangerously close to that point. Keep watching.
Edwin (RY Ventus 3) 3h19m and Derek (DK) 4h13m explored northwards to kept up the x-country public persona for the club, but the most notable achievement went to Rod Stewart who finally got his chance to complete his single seat conversion after weeks of prep. I’m sad I couldn’t have been there to congratulate him in person but the smile on his face said it all. Proud of ya Rod.

Dennis our Saturday trial flighter lookin mighty comfortable. It’s a good thing he can’t see Rob reading the flight manual 

John Towing out to the start line

Is there a more happier bloke than this guy? I don’t think so.

Mamma mia, che bella questa aereo!

Edwin flys again

(Hot Rod) Stewart proud of his first successful flight in a single seater

Saturday 2nd Mar
Flight instructor – Mark Aldridge and Peter Taylor
Tow pilot – Baptiste Harduin
With two instructors for the price of one today, there was plenty of action for the duty pilot to keep up with. He bounced between Martin Brill/Nick Bower inspecting an old wooden glider (GFK) to prepping and cleaning club gliders, to meeting new members, to launch and retrieving duties, to BBQ and lunch duties, to retrieve crew alert level 6, to derigging and back to the start again. No time for mischief here.

There was such a contrast of action on the field that it really does show there’s something for everyone out here.
The newbies Peter Van Veen, Britta and Gideon got to hog the instructors all to themselves. Vern and Tim played rock paper scissors for the single seater (MQ), and the X country hooligans had really itchy feet to get out of dodge for the day.
Derek’s flight (DK) found a road that to his pleasant surprise, actually didn’t go north this time. (4h26m)
Terry kindly offered John Hudson a ride along in his albatross and boy did they pull finger climbing to 20,000ft to Ogle at some lenticulars by mount Cook before getting just south of the Dunstan range past Cromwell and back before dinner (4h34m)
But it was Ironman McCaw (John) who was awarded save of the day and broke our stop watch with 7h9m flight! To put that in perspective, I could’ve flown Air NZ to Perth, Papua New Guinea or the Solomon Islands in the same time span. John almost had us worried on his return leg home that evening from down south when he fell into a hole around Maori lakes behind the Winterslow range. Now was not the time to be extending the already full working day with a extra 2.5 hour road retrieve. With his flying buddy for moral support, Derek ran point in his motorised AS33 scouting out viable alternatives while John slowly creepy crawled his way out of the mud, over the hill, across the river, and round the hedge to float back home to a hero’s welcome. Thats a better adventure than any state of the art flight simulator, besides no one ever talks about brave men and their simulators now do they 🙂

Sunday 3rd Mar
Flight instructor – Jenny Wilkinson
Tow pilot – Peter Chadwick
Sundays summary courtesy of Neil Allison:

Sunday was a game of multiple halves of varying weather conditions. The day was choreographed by Terry Delore as Duty Pilot, retrieve car driver and wing runner. He had DI’d PR before most of us got there to peer hopefully at the small blue patches appearing from the 8/8ths cloud at 2000ft AGL.
Derek and Rod kept themselves busy with ground based maintenance.  They were almost as busy as Martin and Nick inspecting FK in the Woolshed (aka Workshop).

Jen and Pete arrived and the weather improved, perhaps not as much as the booming convergence Skysight is alleged to have predicted for DK’s exclusive use.  During the first flight of the day with a broken 4000′ cloud base the radio blared with Angus reporting GQ 17,000′ at Mt Cook.  Someone muttered “show-off” without pressing the transmit button.

Neil Alison completed his BFR with Jenny without emesis: not all his prior BFR’s have been so yodel free.  Derek was talking about practicing flying in weak conditions so took a tow then took off to Lake Tennyson: upon his return he was absolutely fizzing and reported some of the best ridge flying he’s ever had.  Rod had a couple of excellent flights in MQ and Kev flew two passenger flights.
FK’s inspection was completed with a broad confidence that there is life in the airframe yet, albeit after some extended pampering.

Perfect day for a lunchtime BBQ. We even have enough leftover meat in the freezer for another BBQ. 

“I didn’t choose the chug life, the chug life chose me.”- Thomas the Dank Engine

Terry and John Hudson lenticular cloud 10knts at 20,000ft near Mount Cook

Martin and Nick nail bitingly begin their inspection procedures to see how the well this relic was preserved

John disembarks after his extensive voyage under the watchful eye of the council, who are all (Mary Poppins included) dying to finally see how he fits the equivalent of what Alibaba ships in a year, and himself into his tiny glider

Note to all: Neil Allison has done a stellar job at rebuilding and relocating the glider battery charger from the hangar, into Kraak Control below the Spot battery charger.  If you plug a battery in then the yellow light on the lower left of the socket must turn on: if it keeps flashing then the battery is not charging which is the problem that this 12Ah battery has experienced. 


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