Another 1000k for an A/D pilot
Congrats to John McWilliam for his 1000k and Also Andy Smith who completed his 1st on the same day..I've just spoken to Andy about the day and he and others have said it was the best day they had ever flown on..
Andy's flight can be found on 'skylines glider log'
Congratulations John McWilliam
Member John McWilliam gets fed up with the English weather in the winter so heads off to the Gliding Club of Victoria, at Benalla in Australia for the winter.
He had a particularly good flight on Friday. John said "With Bob Nicholls for a 1,000km tour of the outback with full cabin service, sort of 'Meals on Wings'.
Took off at 1055 for a 4,000ft tow. Passed through the inversion at 3,000ft, forecast but mildly disappointing, and set off from Benalla at at 60knots to conserve precious height.
Got some modest thermals at and beyond the Chesneys but to our dismay found a 20 knot headwind pushing us back strongly.
Spotted clouds way higher than us to the east so turned to connect and they took us up enough to get across the Murray.
We were now 1hr-25mins into the flight and had only done 70km, far far below the speed you want to start any 1000km flight but we pressed on.
Once at height and under decent Cu progress improved, though never as fast as we wanted because the headwind increased to 25 knots and the climbs, while OK, were never ballistic.
Proof the climbs were modest came when we met Barry Ferris's DG808 tolerating a weak thermal at Hillston, though we pressed after seeing the number 3 on the vario average dial.
At that point we had Sydney far away abeam to starboard - hard to believe but a look at a big map afterwards show that remarkable fact.
We reached 500k out at 1600hrs with an average speed so far of 118kph. We had hoped the 25 knots headwind would improve that to hurry us home but the wind had now fallen to 3 knots and we turned agreeing that we would if need be happily lob in anywhere with an airfield and hotel!
Cloud streets were short and climbs never guaranteed but our average speed clicked up nicely and after a while the wind increased to boost it to show near 190kph sixty minute speeds.
In fact on that leg we averaged 179kph on the OLC 2 1/2 hours Speed Comp, the fastest of the day in All Australia & Oceana and fourth in the World behind three out of Worcester GC in South Africa running huge long ridges at low level.
As we neared Benalla it seemed possible to do 1100km but the Ovens Valley was all blue sink and we lost so much height we were glad to get back into good air west of the Warbies. There we could have grovelled up to 10,000feet again but that was beneath our dignity, and our ladies had organised meals in the club. Anyway I had by now eaten the last of the food, some grapes I luckily remembered, causing Bob to suggest I should provide a printed menu for him in the food store back there, so having achieved our aim we headed on down for a much needed shower and supper.
What an amazing day at Benalla!!
1st January 2019 Happy New Year
The honours for first flight of the new year went to Robin Birch, test flying the new (to us) K8 - an aircraft older than any of us on airfield. He managed to get it down in one piece and several others tried it out. The rest of us enjoyed aerotowing the K21 behind the newly uprated Euro Fox. Here's hoping for a great soaring year.
Saturday 29th January Part 2
Here is K13 FWB, well the starboard wing anyway, showing Fraser and Gerry attaching fabric to the refurbished wooden structure. We hope to have FWB back in time for soaring in the summer.
Sunday 18th November
We were more hopeful of being able to fly today, but the persistent low stratus made this impossible so we cancelled flying at midday. We used the morning to DI the cables and run through the Winter Refresher presentation.
Sat 29th Jan
11.15 Defeated by low cloud, flying for the day is cancelled.
In reverse order; Sat 22nd was actually a nice flying day. LRT and the K23 came out to play, joined by the “new” Pirat syndicate. Twenty-odd flights done. Thanks to winch and truck volunteers. Good to meet Doug from The Park who dropped in to fly with us. Have a jolly good Christmas Day.
The curse of Red Sunday strikes again.....cloudbase at QFE minus 50' and fine drizzle in the wind.
Flying weather forecast today means .... ?
Met office aviation forecast is showing 310deg / 30-45kts at midday which suggests best to cancel the trial lessons (which I'm in the process of doing) but waiting to see if it calms down for Club flying. We'll get the kit out and DI'd in case we get a weather opportunity but I'm not that optimistic - so if you make the journey, be prepared for some "out-and-returns" to the kettle and maybe an early scrub.
Saturday December 8th the end
Well we managed three flights. All safely back in the hangar now.
Mind you, the sun has just come out again.... I wonder?
Saturday December 8th
Strong winds and forecast rain have not stopped us getting the kit out.
Let's see what happens
Sunday 25th November
A useful training day, especially for Tom Knight of UWE who went solo, seen here being congratulated by his instructor.
Sunday November 18th
Cleanup day for the DG500 trailer
Following its trip to Sutton bank for the Juniors winter series round one a group of UWE students and explorer scouts decided to give the big trailer a jet wash. It wasn't just dirt from the A1 that they had to scrub off! Well done guys.
If anyone else wants to wash their trailer or a club one we have a club jet wash which is available for you to use. If you don't know how to wash a trailer there is a training course available.
Photographs by Jerome Semichon
Sunday 18th November
After their display on Saturday evening, the two motor gliders departed around 0800 for Hus Bos after a runway beat up. With a brisk 16-18 knot easterly forecast, the operation was set up on 09. The first couple of flights were into poor visibility so with the conditions, a limited operation and a good number of UWE students to fly we decided to cancel the trial lessons for the day. It did improve later and some had extended flights but it was cold! We were glad of the hot soup and rolls available in the clubhouse after packing the kit away.
Thanks to everyone that helped.
Saturday 17th November
I was pleased I’d flossed my teeth this morning – on the One Day Course were Dentist Martin and Dental Technician Andrew. They were good sports and didn’t mind a bit being turned upside down on their last flights. Club members Philippa Roberts and Andrew Mugleston were getting married today down the road in Tetbury (I heard Philippa had a puncture going down the aisle, but I'm sure that’s not true). We wish them a long and happy life together – it ain't going to be dull. Luckily the weather gods got the memo and the clouds cleared around 11.00 to give a sunny if somewhat chilly day. We had a good day’s flying off the west end of the cross runway – there was even a bit of lift about. Many thanks to the UWE students and others for washing the DG500 trailer and to Dave Howell , Pete Laws and Stuart Thackray for driving the winch.
Wednesday November 14th
An excellent day's flying yesterday with a stiff breeze in the morning moderating to allow a few pilots a little soaring. The longest flight of the day was John Docherty's 14 minutes in LRT.
We hope to be flying again on Friday, do come along and join the fun.
Sunday 11 November
A small band of enthusiasts and helpers turned up including Tim Brailsford, all the way from Staffordshire. We had a good day with sunshine, mostly blue skies, some thermals, no rain and winds 220 / 20-25kts giving cracking launches for the 2 x Ka 21 and Ka 23 on the line. The head-on sun in the afternoon made landing alongside R/W 21 slightly tricky. Several trial lesson visitors enjoyed their flights and a Bristol University 3rd year aeronautical engineering lady student (“Georgie”), who is Silver C level and currently flying at Nympsfield, dropped in to see our operation. She left duly impressed, and we hope to see more of her.
Tim Brailsford last week gained his helicopter pilot’s licence, which will make his round trip from home in Staffs easier if more expensive (!). But the main good news today was seeing Adam Mayo back in action flying with instructors Darren and Simon, following his serious biking accident in Switzerland in the summer and subsequent hospitalisation for head injuries. He has made such good progress we are all relieved he’s fully on the mend and will be able to take up his role as a valued member of the active student / youth contingent at the Club.
Monday evening the wind increased so much that a trip to airfield was required to re position the Gliders left out overnight.
Tuesday 23rd was as forecast, 25kt winds and gusts of 40kts or more. All except Christoph decided that the rewards did not justify the risk and we would not fly.
Christoph self launched in his DG400, reaching 1000ft in the length of the airfield, looking more like a helicopter than a Glider. He managed a max climb in weak wave to 3000ft, spending as much time going backwards over the ground as he did forward. He made a safe landing a couple of hours later and we all retired for food.
Wednesday had promise, some the locals were up and away early aero towing or self launching into the hills. The rest including us waiting for the cloud to lift off the hill enough to enable us to launch, by 10 am the cloud started to clear and there was a steady stream of winch and Aero tow launches looking for wave.
The conditions were unusual with the outside air temp at 3000ft 8 deg c, and at 6000ft 15 deg c with the wave locally petering out at 7000ft.
All pilots contacted the wave achieving heights of over 6000ft, with notable achievements from Caleb McKinstry who reached 7000ft and Martin Hayward who flew the DG500 GBZ solo reaching over 6000ft on their first solo wave flights.
Picture shows The evening sky as we left the airfield.
Portmoak So Far
All 11 pilots and aircraft arrived safely and by Saturday evening and most got their paperwork signed ready for the week.
Sunday was forecast for rain in the morning, the forecast was correct and the airspace and weather briefing was well attended in the morning. The weather cleared lunch time and all the visiting gliders were rigged and enjoyed an afternoon on the ridge and very fickle weak wave.
Monday was forecast to wave with the winds strengthening in the afternoon, all except one launched in the morning and the wave worked, unfortunately the gaps kept filling in so 8000ft was the most we could get.
Saturday 21st September
What a great day, despite the fog to start and low cloud which gave us a rest at lunchtime, our first 10 UWE students had a great time and were kept busy by the duty team ably assisted by Jonathan Apperley and our new CFI Elliott Apperley. Other club members also helped out with running the launch point and a few of them flew. Chris Ashworth flew the two one-day courses. Thanks to Fran who is expecting another load of "First flights" tomorrow too, and anyone else I have missed!