Les reports on Saturday’s flying which was like the Curate’s egg and he (Les) and Dennis Green had the best part.
Just some notes on the flights I did on Saturday in WZ.
John Tullett had got there first and had WZ DI’d and ready to be towed out. He was applying some TLC to his own glider, DN when I got there. Dennis Green arrived in time to walk WZ to the threshold of 09 while I applied sunscreen; then I walked DN out.
Ralph Gibson arrived from Hawera with the Tecnam spot on 1300 hours.
Dennis and I launched first in WZ into what looked like a fairly active sky ahead of the convergence that was approaching from the South. We released at 3000’ and turned under the nearest cloud just north-east of the field, with Dennis in control, and soon climbed to 3600’. From there we moved to the convergence line and soon climbed up to the main base at around 3900 to 4000’ heading west, and at one point 80 knots wasn’t enough to stay underneath so the brakes were used for a short stint. About half way from the highway to the park boundary the vario started pointing at the ground below so we backtracked to north of the field where we passed John in DN as he headed north. Dennis explored the area along the convergence and at one point we were overhead Gane’s airstrip east of Toko. Clinton Steele in GN reported that he was also cruising along the convergence line. We headed west and passed under GN who was heading East. When we got to the main highway just north of Midhurst it was looking fairly weak to the west so we went back east to the north of the airfield (I finished my lunch while Dennis worked) and explored slightly to the south of the convergence line, but it didn’t look good and we were down to around 3000’ so we got back in front of the convergence again. By this time the line was moving noticeably north of our normal flying area (checked map for airspace boundary of 2500’ step) and as we hadn’t quite done an hour I suggested that we have a try to get to the park boundary. This time we were crossing SH3 about half way between Midhurst and Tariki from where we tracked out to the North of York Rd quarry. Again the lift got weak and although it looked stronger over the bush, we were down to 3800’ so turned around and started tracking back towards Tariki going steadily down. On the way we passed just north of Norfolk’s Twin which was circling over some ploughed paddocks a bit below us. We ran into some good lift over SH3 just as I was thinking things were getting scratchy height-wise for us to get back. As it was we were able to return at 80 knots and arrived overhead the field at 3000’ and cruised around while Kevin and Berwyn Wisnewski did a straight-in approach on 09. As the wind had gone to the southwest we landed on 27.
Next up I went with Rodrigo De Arteaga. We towed to 4000’ and there was no lift (first to the field got the best of the day) but we managed to get through some slow speed handling, stall with brakes out and a demonstration of an incipient spin, and even with the height loss from the exercises, we still had a 30 minute flight. The second launch was made with the intention of towing to at least 3000’, but a layer of cloud was developing quite quickly at 2000’ so we got off (a pity, because Rodrigo
was doing much better on tow) and went through the joining procedure for 16 for the final landing(s)! (That means they bounced a couple of times. Ed)
WZ’s dolly has had some adjustments to the timber so the glider rolls on more readily than it did previously.
Thanks Les for all of that, it makes my job much easier when people who are at the coalface tell how it is and what really happened.
John Tullett had a great flight in DN, covering a good deal of ground between the bush-line and Lake Ratapiko. Not so much luck for Will Hopkirk who had been agonisingly watching the skies whilst he attended to filial duties at the Stratford Show. Launched into a sky once full of lift but which by then had collapsed.
As Les had mentioned, the Norfolk Twin hurtled in for a landing, having run out of air of the up-going variety. The Wilga was summoned and the pair departed for home soon after its arrival.
As might have been mentioned, Tim & Glyn were competing at the 49th South Island Regionals. Having won the Club Class last year, Tim moved up to the 15 metre class this year. He came sixth and his speed was increasing as the event went on. Glyn was in the club class but left half-way through to head back to the North Island for the Auckland Regionals. And there, our newest member, Melissa Jenkins won the first two days in the club class and third yesterday (27th) seemingly separated from the winner by one paddock! Have LS4, will travel!!
Adding in Peter Cook, competing at Taupo, the club has been not so well represented at NZ competitions since Bob Struthers was flying the club Cirrus at Matamata. And also, worthy of note is the fact that the winning glider in the club class at Omarama was formerly owned by our club. Perhaps we should make an offer for it! Would be a good one to have. Never mind, two Twins at Stratford on Sunday was quite a sight to see....
Glyn has sent us a some photos … one from Omarama.
…..and one from Matamata running a cloud-street near the Kaimai range.
....and another of Glyn's sailplane outside the Matamata Soaring Centre.
And, it looks like Sunday could be glideable, more info to come. I'm not sure when/whether the Tecnam will be available and others getting themselves rated to be microlight towpilots and how quickly more instructors get themselves winch rated. No roster currently available.
I like to glide
On my wings and stare;
I like to ride On the pillowy air;
James K. Baxter
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