This turned out to be a good day for everybody with Jim Finer and JTA available again and towing gliders and their pilots into areas of good usable lift. Quite a few X-country miles were covered. Five flights in excess of one hour, two more than two hours, one nearly and two flights just over the hour.
Tim took the Discus down past Hawera – I’m told the sky looked better to the south-. Best height for him seems to have been 4500ft or so. Will tried the York Road Quarry area but not much luck there. Did better around Dawson Falls and out past Toko and down to Ngaere. He topped out at about 4600ft.
Melissa Jenkins swapped her LS4 for the PW5 and worked the early part of the day, showing the others what to do. Glyn Jackson completed a 50km triangle. Always a good discipline to fly a set task, rather than just meander. Best height for him of about 4500ft. Peter Cook showed our latest new-member-to-be – Stephen Watson that gliders can and do travel with several long glides. Better than a thousand words I would think. Les Sharp enjoyed a good flight and he, kindly, has written an account of it. Wish others would do that too.
Earlier, our Life Member from way back – John Spence—had a short flight with Les.
Being the first for the day, nothing was really going but John did enjoy the flight. The Twin not so easy to thermal as was the Blanik. Viv Davy back after her recess – attention to artistic endeavours. Much higher class than the mundane farming duties which I had to attend to. Dennis Green & Mitchell Hopkirk both had half hour flights or better.
Now, let’s hear from Les:
The day started with a high overcast blocking any development as well as a thin layer of stratus at about 3000’. As the morning progressed it started to clear.
Dennis Green was first in the queue, but wanted more than a sled ride so John Spence got the first flight in WZ with me in the back seat. I didn’t have to do much at all and John even managed to gain some height in a weak thermal, enough to get 20 minutes total. After several years spent flying radio controlled models, there wasn’t much rust evident.
Next up was Viv Davy for some thermalling and a circuit. Again it came to 20 minutes in conditions that felt more like rotor than thermal.
Following a break while the private owners launched it was Dennis Green’s turn. Dennis did most of the work and managed 37 minutes in some quite good conditions provided one could stay high enough.
Peter Cook took over WZ for a trial flight, but John Tullet kindly offered for me to fly DN. I towed to 3500’ and the likely looking clouds nearby weren’t so good, but I found a thermal when I was down to about 3000’ and ended up under a convergence line at around 4300’ heading west from over the power station to the west of Stratford township having to push the speed up to about 70mph* to stay out of the cloud on the first run. It was about then I looked down to see a Discus, a Ventus and a Twin Astir all below me (didn’t last, but I was above them!). The rain out to the north and east hadn’t moved in to kill the day, but it did end quite quickly around 1700 hours and in the space of about 10 minutes the fleet was back on the ground. I had had an hour of fun flying in the K7.
Thanks John for trusting me to fly DN again and not land somewhere else!
*Didn’t know DN could go that fast. Ed.
Melissa Jenkins took this. The other glider maybe is WZ. The convergence line quite obvious as is the upper level alto-stratus indicating the moisture present. The day gave way to showers later on.
This is what you see as you join another glider's thermal.
Another glider in the thermal. It was a good day.
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