Category Archives: Sailplane

Oz, Lake Keepit

After the plenary I flew down under to Sydney, met up with Attila Bertok and got “the keys” to his sailplane that he keeps at Lake Keepit, where there’s a competition going on this week. I arrived late on Monday night, got the glider rigged on Tuesday morning, and after a couple of check-flights in a two-seater with instructor I was good to go (Emergency procedures and such). I have not flow sailplanes for a year so I felt a bit rusty the first hours, but I got a nice day of local soaring around the airfield and managed to land nicely.

Big rabbits come to have dinner with us
Big rabbits come to have dinner with us

Today I had signed up for a coaching flight with legend G. Dale, we flew in the Grob103 as the Duo Discus was booked for other pilots, but we still did a fairly good speed of 93km/h average in our 250km AAT task. It was very interesting to fly with a very good competition pilot, I still have a lot to  learn about the mechanics of flying the glider efficiently, while we chose almost exactly the same lines to fly in the sky.

In the office at 6K
In the office at 6K
G in the backseat
G in the backseat

Last day at Keepit

We got another good day, set the same task as before around 550km triangle. I am still a little to slow to make the whole task until sunset, but nearly made 500km this time. Have to start gliding at 100kt instead of 80 :-)

Packing up and heading to Sydney to meet my wife and celebrate newyear now.

Nice storm at Mt. Kaputar
Nice storm at Mt. Kaputar
Sunset
Sunset
Nearly 500km, 5:30 hours in the air
Nearly 500km, 5:30 hours in the air
80 km final glide, looks like I'll make it home
80 km final glide, looks like I’ll make it home
On final glide
On final glide
On final glide
On final glide
On final glide
On final glide

Lake Keepit, some flying

It turned out to very windy again in Forbes, so I packed up and drove the 5 hour trip up to Lake Keepit, where I had booked a sailplane for the rest of the week.

Christmas day at Lake Keepit was stormy, so we had a very nice Christmas lunch at the clubhouse, with turkey, ham, and seafood for 12 people. Very nice food and a relaxing day. The storms were quite spectacular at night, and we lost power for a few hours.

Christmas lunch
Christmas lunch at the Lake keepit clubhouse

 

After lunch I noticed this fella skulking around outside, probably looking for a lunch for himself;

Lizard looking for lunch
Lizard looking for lunch

 

The day after was forcasted quite slow and gray, with some storms in the afternoon, so we took the day off flying. Yesterday we got some OK conditions, with cu’s forming from around 11:30 and light winds. I did my checkflights in the Grob in the morning, and took the LS7 out for a flight after lunch.

Conditions improved during the day, with cloudbase increasing from 6′ to 8′ feet and thermals getting better, but it seemed like the day shut down early. I did around 300 km triangle’ish task, but could probably have stretched it a bit more.

Today is forecasted bleak, and looking outside it does not look too promising, we sit just under a through line, and between shading and predicted storms it looks like a day for going to town for coffee and some shopping. Forecast for tomorrow looks better, maybe a 500km day.

 

Under the trough line
Under the trough line
Under the through line
Under the through line

Playtime over Starmoen

Finally some stress free flying! Taking the Duo Discus out of the trailer was interesting, I can appreciate the amount of thought that go into designing a good sailplane trailer.

The day quickly overdeveloped but we got a good day of soaring between towering Cu and showers. All photos by Gunnar Antonsen in the back seat.