Recent News, October 20th 2013

Recent News
October 20th 2013
A busy day today it was with 19 launches. Tim tried out the PW5 and got 18 minutes.  He and Will Hopkirk got 19 minutes in WZ and Tim took Mario Echelmeyer who hails from Cologne,
Germany, for a15 minute flight.  All other launches were from 3 to 5 minutes.  Glyn and Les had launches in the PW5. Not sure who was the winch driver but probably was Peter Williams and maybe John Tullett and/or Glyn Jackson.  Clinton Steele, Julie Woods, Rodrigo De Arteaga and Sam Tullett were also flying.  A busy day for Tim.  Rather pressing that more instructors get themselves with a rating for winch launches.  Might need a day devoted precisely to that purpose.
There has been a plethora of plain prognostications about the merits (or otherwise) about getting a micro-light towplane and a Eurofox no less, being the answer to a maiden’s prayer.  Whether that answer is the best thing since sliced bread is subject to earnest debate and analysis.  This will be a challenge for the club to address.  The alternative is to have the Pawnee engine overhauled.  Whether the aforesaid maiden had an aeroplane in mind is a moot point. 
So the committee debate has revolved around costs - modernity vs old, operating costs, tow pilot issues, fuel supply, operational ability, clearance heights and so on. 
Whether the above represents a Gordian knot I don’t know, but there is a notice issued of a Special Meeting to consider a resolution to buy a micro-light.  Club flying members are urged to attend.
Though there is Anniversary Weekend coming up, Glyn has issued a non-flying notice due to a combination of weather and no instructor available.
Flying members are reminded that we pay our flying fees on the day.  Some now use internet banking which is a bit variable as to how quickly the money comes through.
The GNZ membership roll is struck at the end of this month and in a day or two, I’m going to resign any unpaid member to avoid being nailed for affiliation fees.  Listening to a tale of woe at the GNZ AGM in Wellington in June, it was quite clear that attention to detail was lacking by that particular club.
                      img088 Correction

The winch that gave sterling if erratic service in the 1960’s.  Built by Ivan Chinnery-Brown and Hec Strampel.  Note the custom-made seat and the guillotine
for chopping the wire if necessary.  Best height achieved was about 3000 feet on the old Bell Block airfield using a strong southerly, paying out wire and kiting the Rhonlerche up.   Clive Sherman, who was the winch driver I think, said they had to stop when the winch began to be dragged along the ground.  Usual heights achieved were 800ft or less.  Later, we were not so distinguished by dropping a wire very close to the NP Airport Control Tower.  Operations were usually held until the current Friendship flight had come and gone.                                     

           ZK-AXL crash

 Our first towplane, an Auster J1b, ZK-AXL “Top Cat” which came to an untimely end on August 19th 1972. Our Olympia single seater was also written off in the same t/o incident and the pilot Geoff Croy badly hurt.  Our current towplane, though u/s is more marketable.  The club aircraft had just been put into the newly completed hangar when, a few days later, it was nearly empty!  
Papa Mike                                                                                   
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