Recent News, Feb. 18th & 19th 2012

Recent News
February 18th 2012

Saturday, February 18th.

It was a very good day for all who were there. All had good flights and long ones too.  Those that is apart from Brendan Pittwood who had a couple of circuits as his training proceeds to the circuit training phase, and a check flight for Peter Miller.  Then a trial flight for Michelle, a colleague of Peter Cook.  They had a 46m flight.  Last year Grant Jacobs gave Sheree Menzies a surprise Valentine’s Day gift of a trial flight and today the tables were turned and she gave him a flight lasting 87 minutes with Peter Williams.  John Tullett disappeared in his K7 for 110 minutes and got the best height of the day at 7000ft up near the mountain.  Peter Cook was away for 117 minutes in his Libelle; Will Hopkirk got 87 minutes in the PW5 after a relight.  Kevin Koch of neighbouring Norfolk dropped in having run out of enough up-going air, had a chat and disappeared again.  Peter Miller tried out the Discus after far too long a gap and got 86 minutes after a bit of a grovel to the NE of the field.  Steve Barham wheeled out his Nimbus and nailed 117minutes up and around the mountain.  Not to be outdone, Julie Woods and Tim Hardwick-Smith got onto the mountain, had a flight-time of 90 minutes and spent some time ridge soaring the slopes.  Julie did a lot of the flying and came back bubbling with enthusiasm.  John McFadgen also happy having done 13 tows and totally enthused at flying “a lovely aircraft.”  We were delighted to have Rod Smith call in “just for a look”.   Rod in years past did a top job as treasurer and has two of the three diamonds awarded for soaring flights.

Now, I thought that that was the lot for the weekend, but wait, there’s more!

Sunday, February 19th.

Peter Cook got to work and organised some cross country flying for today.  Six pilots turned up and away they went.  Tim took the Discus out past Whangamomona, down to the Patea hydro dam wall, out to the Pouakai trig station and so on, for four hour twenty minute flight.  Will took his son for a flight, did 45 minutes, things went a bit quiet in the back seat so he landed, sent son off to Mum who was nearby, relaunched and took the Twin out to Douglas and back onto the mountain and did two hours, twenty-four minutes.  Glyn Jackson did likewise in the PW5 for just under three hours.  Peter Cook did 3hours 30 minutes having a low scrape near Te Wera.  Steve Barham back again in the Nimbus got out and about, also a bit low near Te Wera (as did Will) and says he did one hour forty-five minutes.   Tim says he was quite entertained by the bleating from frustrated pilots scavenging for lift.  Peter Williams was the last to launch and happily got three hours twenty-two minutes local flying with the area all to himself.  Jim McKay towed them all aloft and should share some of the glory.  Best height was 5500ft near the mountain.

All in all a great weekend and twenty launches for the two days.

I had had, earlier, a couple of enquiries about today and I advised that I didn’t think any flying was happening.  How wrong I was!

Weekend stats: -

                                         Aircraft          Time                     Launches

                                         WZ                 7hrs 15m             (8)
                                         TE                  4hrs 41m             (3)
                                         XC                  5hrs 47m             (2)
                                         KV                 3hrs 43m             (2)
                                         IA                  5hrs 27m             (2)
                                         DN                 1hr  50m              (1)
                                         GH                 3hrs 20m             (1)
                                         RWS              1hr  44m             (13)
                           Patea Dam
                           Looking down the Patea Dam.

                           Patea Dam (2)  Tim H-S
                           A boater’s paradise but no good landing spots.

                           Peter Williams
                     Meanwhile – back at the field, Peter Williams orbits near the power station.

These has to be the best two days flying ever by so many club pilots and the distance covered.  Tim’s straight-line distance was 323 km.  Add the rest in and you have more than a thousand km covered during the weekend.  Vintage stuff.
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