Recent News. June 11th. 2014
Sunday May 11th was good for some and pleasant for others. Steve Barham and Tim took a tow to 3000ft agl and they were away for 35 minutes. John Tullett and DN got 40m from a 2000ft tow. DN and thermals go rather well together and if there is anything going, that glider is the one to have. Dennis Green was concentrating on circuits. Two with John Tullett and one with Peter Williams. Will Hopkirk in TE was not so lucky as the others and gravity ruled after 15 minutes. The next day was May 25th andwinch day it was. A flight for Steve and Tim in WZ then Steve did the next three launches driving the winch. Tim took Mike Fury for two, plus one which was a rope break. Glyn Jackson had the last one which was going well until the winch gearbox was not working so well and the power was cut, he released the rope and had to be content with that. I'm told that signs of wave were apparent and people were hoping that contact could be made. Soooo, back to the engineers goes the winch. Les Sharp has kindly written the story of June 1st which is a big help as I often have to write blind, so to speak, not having been there on the day and hoping to give credit where credit is due. So here sez Les:
The weather at Stratford was fine and calm when I arrived with plenty of fog obvious to the east. This caused a delay in the arrival of JTA from Mangamingi. WZ was DI'd by Glyn and Dennis Green and towed out. We had a bit of a delay while Jim Finer did his BFR in JTA. On his return I took WZ for a practice run while Tim gave Dennis a briefing. I towed to 1000ft AGL and enjoyed the sled ride back down in the calm air. Next up was Dennis and as cushions had been neglected (yours truly needs arm extenders in the back seat!). Tim took over for that flight. Following that I rode in the back seat while Dennis did the work. Again it was 1000ft tows. Then I did a solo flight, but had Dennis in the back seat so that he could see what it looks like from back there. I took a tow to 1800ft AGL, did a few turns, tried flying over a fire to see if it was causing any instability, but nothing apart from the smell of the smoke. A slightly higher circuit got us onto finals with 600ft to spare and a nice long look at the aiming point as we approached. Peter Williams took a 1500ft tow with me providing ballast and somehow managed the longest flight of the day, 14 minutes, and landed on 16 so that the retrieve was minimal. A brilliant day for students, (and myself) to practice their flying. Where everything that the aircraft did was entirely due to the control inputs. The only time anyone can experience similarly smooth conditions is in weak wave. Unfortunately the lines of what appeared to be rotor, parallel to Ruapehu weren't close enough.
Thanks Les. Wish more could help me the same way. Personally. I've often found that a mid-winter or a flight near the close of day are often delightful with an intrinsic quality all of their own. The evening light softens the countryside aspects and the air has a silky feel to it. Glyn Jackson has announced a working bee for Saturday 14th and a QGP evening for Tuesday 17th on an as yet undecided topic. Bound to be exciting.
A lenticular stack over Ruapehu:
Photo by Allan Belworthy.