Recent News. December 21st 2014

No flying at all to report about but we have an excellent account from Tim of a flight down at Omarama in the 50th Regionals there.  As I write this there is cloud right on the deck and his story is a welcome diversion.

Omarama Report:

Arrived at Omarama on the 8th Nov and attended Jerry O’Neil’s X- country course and then the following week flew in the SI regional competition in the 15m/Standard class. Was there for 13 days and flew on 9 of them doing nearly 32 hours– with a long range weather forcast not looking very promising. We did end up with a lot of wave and some days being very rough so I was very pleased that I had rewebbed the seat belts in the Discus. I used our club Mountain High O2 system nearly every day- thanks.

This is the third consecutive November I have been to Omarama so was really nice to catch up with friends new and old and it was also nice to have Will, Glyn, Tiba and Amelia from the ‘naki there and Mel and Viv for the second week.

Flew the competition without a very competitive attitude and was then disappointed when I made some silly mistakes and didn’t do as well as I could have if I had been a bit more on to it.
There was one day however when it all fell into place. Lemmy the weather man, forcast wave all over the place and said it should be easy. So Jerry set a fairly ambitious task – from Omarama south to Alexandra, downwind to Nasby, back past Omarama north to Glentanner, downwind to Mt Hayes just east of Tekapo town and back upwind to Omarama – 385 km to the circle centres.
Waiting on the grid with about 20, 25knot winds and ominous looking clouds it was tempting to give this one a miss but after a rough tow it wasn’t too bad. 80 litres of water in the wings helped (which probably wasn’t enough) but none in the tail for high altitude low temp flying in case it froze.

I was a bit slow getting into the wave so was one of the last to start but luckily with the maximum start height of 8000ft I didn’t need to start till after I was in the wave. Heading south in the lee of the St.Bathens crossing the Omarama saddle I had to pull the brakes to get under the 13500ft airspace in the lee of the Dunstans. (Being very careful about airspace having been heavily penalised for a small transgression earlier in the week). The first part of the Dunstan wave wasn’t well marked and having listened to Roland landing out on the radio, I erred on the upwind side and managed to get to the well-marked wave south of Thomsons track where it was only a matter of burying the nose up to 110kt rough air speed to stay below 13500ft.
Dunstans/roll cloud
Dunstans on the right, roll cloud on the left

Arriving at Alex I couldn’t quite make it over some cloud so had to turn back and dive underneath with the brakes out – risking falling out of the wave but Alex airport looked a safe bet. Came out the other side in a different wave at right angles to the Dunstan wave and got back above the clouds very quickly. Looking at the map this wave must have come of the lee of the Old Woman Range. (No kidding – there is also an Old Man Range).  Got the Alex turnpoint and headed back along the Dunstan wave now with a quartering tail wind so making much better ground speed. Getting to Nasby meant dropping down wind a couple of wave bars but I got as high as possible before going to the Nasby turnpoint which was in sink and frozen rain. Heading north now in a wave that seemed to be lined up with the ridge lift in front of the Hawkden range which was very convenient if not all that logical as it was at a right angles to the Dunstan waves.
Hawkdens/Omarama Saddle
Hawkdens on the right, leading to the Omarama Saddle.
Looking left down the Maniatoto, Dunstans to the right.

Recrossing the Omarama saddle and back into 17500ft airspace I started to feel a bit cold having been in the shade of the much higher Norwest arch. At least today I could still feel my toes after getting local advice and going to the Omarama store and buying a pair of ugboots. By the time I got to Glentanner I had cruise climbed to 16500ft and was back in the sun.
Ben Ohaus/Glentanner
Cruise climbing in the lee of the Ben Ohaus on the way to Glentanner
Final glide back to Omarama
Final glide back to Omarama

Downwind a couple of bars to Mt Hayes before a rough final dive back upwind to Omarama.    Had a lot of height to spare and needed most of it. Did 394 km in 2 hours, 30 minutes, 156.8 km/hour and came 4th for the day. Thanked Jerry for an awesome task – he said he had done that one several times. A milk run for the South Islanders but fairly exciting for a North Islander. Roland was back next morning with some wine from the first harvest of grapes from his new vineyard in Alexandra. I bought some to cheer him up – it was nice too.

Well done Tim!  (Ed.)
Tim Hardwick-Smith & Discus.
And here is the man himself.

Our Eurofox was completed in eary December, had its test flight and is now in a container on its way to NZ.  The container has spent the past few days travelling across Darkest Europe and soon to be on the Maersk Erving due to depart Bremerhaven on December 23rd and arrive in Singapore about 16th January, be transferred to the Laust Maersk and arrive at Tauranga about 5th February and then to Auckland/Ardmore or straight to Stratford.  That last bit yet to be decided.  All very exciting.  It will be rather nice to have good weather come along with it
All completed!
Eurofox no

Eurofox no
Test Flight
Loading into the container
Loading into the container.
On the way
On the way!
Now for something different:  People driving along Taranaki roads at the moment may notice stacks of pink coloured silage bales.  A portion of the wrap cost is donated to breast cancer research.  A worthy cause indeed.
 For breast cancer research
This is the last Recent News for 2014.  To everybody, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Papa Mike
Recent News. December 21st
About our company
Enter a succinct description of your company here
Contact Us
Enter your company contact details here