Recent News, May 16th 2012

Recent News
May 16th 2012

This is a catch-up effort, me having been diverted by all sorts of things, including some sailing on the Marlborough Sounds and a stay at Furneaux Lodge  A very tranquil sojourn.

March 26th saw a dual flight of an hour thirty minutes by Tim and Steve, I think it was a check flight that involved some wave and a whole lot of scratching around in desultory lift.  No other flights.

March 31st was more active, a couple of Glyn’s work colleagues each enjoyed up to an hour’s flight with Peter Williams who later in the day gave a compliment-
ary flight to Neville Cleland, one of our early members.  John Tullett once again showed how it is done with an hour & forty-five minutes in his K7.

On April 1st Laurie Jackson, an ex-Sunderland navigator was delighted to have a fifty minute flight with Peter Cook.  No other flights that day.  Another sole flight on April 7th for Lars Bargland with Les Sharp.  Although there were long flights for the Discus and the Libelle the next day (8th) and a trial flight For Bryan Ritchie, the Twin was damaged in a landing accident and will be out for some time.  Meanwhile, we will borrow the K7, kindly made available by John Tullett.

April 15th was a good day for most, the best being a three hour flight for Tim in the Discus and varying times for others.  The Nimbus had an argument with the ground and also has gone to Auckland for repair.  So, for the moment, a bit more room in the hangar.

April 24th saw Andre van der Elst back in the air, as also was Julie Woods.  Peter Cook doing nearly two hours in his Libelle.

May 6th saw the last of the summer wine I guess.  Peter Cook away for two hours in his Libelle, Tim for an hour thirty minutes in his Pik 30 helped by the “iron thermal”!  John Tullett got an hour thirty minutes in his K7.  Another circuit for Julie and there was a trial flight.  All helped, so I’m told, by the power station thermal.

Last weekend was cancelled and then the sun came and the day looked quite OK.

To end this bulletin, there are some words from Tim on take-off protocols and maybe later, circuit procedures.

WZ accident recommendations

With the benefit of hindsight there are things that we can all do in future to avoid this sort oWZ accident happening again.

If the tow pilot parks side on and facing the circuit he can see if any aircraft are in the circuit before he lines up and becomes blind to any aircraft on finals. He can also see the glider and check that the air brakes are closed. Also on our narrow airfield the wing runner is in charge – not the glider pilot. In the situation where there is no wing runner the next best person to check for aircraft on finals is the tow pilot. We will be using a large brightly coloured bat for signals from now on.

The wing runner must have a very good look for any aircraft in the circuit after hooking on and before taking up slack and keep checking. Also we must increase the separation between aircraft in the circuit and launching gliders.

On a narrow airfield such as Stratford where there isn’t room for aircraft to take off and land at the same time the wing runner is the only person who can see approaching aircraft so must be in charge. Once the glider pilot has asked to be hooked on he has handed responsibility to the wing runner and should just sit quietly and wait for the tow to proceed. No further signals are required from the glider pilot. If the tow pilot can’t see the wing runner then there should be a second person on the ground relaying the signals or possibly the  glider pilot could give the take up slack and all out calls on the radio but only after the wing runner has given the signals. If there is a problem after the all-out signal then the best the wing runner can do is shout STOP!! very loudly, bang the glider wing with his hand and put the wing down on the ground.

Turning a glider close to the ground must always be a last resort especially turning out of the wind as the wind gradient tends to lift the upwind high wing even higher and make it very difficult to level the wings.

We should never rely on radio calls to know what aircraft are doing in the circuit. Radios are not reliable, two people can talk at once, some don’t talk at all and some aircraft operate NORDO.

Always remember, any landing aircraft has right of way over an aircraft taking off.

Tim Hardwick-Smith, (CFI Taranaki Gliding Club)
Photo by Bridget on the walk from Furneaux Lodge to Ship Cove.

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