After one more check flight in the two-seater I got the chance to fly a single seater, a Jantar Junior. Nice little plane,with sensitive controls and good handing, not exactly open class performance but it’s better than my Litespeed anyway.
I took it up for a three hour flight around the area, I was told to stay withing gliding range of the airport, so I had to behave and not go too far. I got to take a look at Mt Borah and saw a lone hangglider struggling low on the west launch. The conditions were good, cloudbase at 8000 feet early in the day, and rising to 10k later. I had to go down to pee, as I have not learned all the tricks of the trade yet. In a hangglider it’s relatively easy to “get it out”. I will bring a empty bottle tomorrow :-)
It was quite gray skies at Lake Keepit this morning, which was perfect for doing a few tows to train aborted tows. Apparently I did well as the instructor got out and asked me to fly solo. I did four solo flights, the first two was just a landing circuit, then the weather cleared up a bit and I stayed up for about 1 hour in weak thermals. The electronic variometer with audio stopped working after about 10 minutes, I could look at the mechanical one to stay up, but it’s a lot better to fly with audio. After landing and getting some water I took the last flight and stayed up for about one more hour.
Tomorrow I will fly a single seater Jantar Junior, should be fun!
I finally got to take another sailplane flight today. I drove up from Sydney up to Manilla last night and went to the Lake Keepit club this morning where I got to fly the Puchatek 2 seater, as it will actually spin and I needed to practice spin recovery. That exercise went well, and we boated around in some good thermals for 2 hours and landed before the kangaroos come out in force. Dave Seib also came out and I saw him come gliding underneath us in the LS6, we met up for dinner at the Pub in Manilla.
Tomorrow I have to practice aborted tow, and then I hope to go solo, should be fun!
It’s been really heavy rain in southern Queensland with some massive flooding in some areas. The competition in Dalby have been postponed due to the floodings. Dalby itself was not too bad hit so far, but there is more rain to come in the next few days. The new dates are 18 to 24/3. It’s a long drive from Sydney at around 1000km. Atilla said he used to do the “Queensland run” in one day, but I think I might want to stop in Manilla to maybe do some Sailplaning at Lake Keepit.
Similar conditions to yesterday, but with clouds. We got a direct line task to goal, 120 something km, 5km goal circle. I got off and up easily, and waited around under the clouds for the next start gate. Many pilots took the first start gate, and I was in the position to do so, but having markers out front would be good and I expected to catch up. It seemed like a good day, nice clouds, good lift in the start gate, and not too much wind.
I left with Johnny and a few other pilots, we went on glide and got some good air but it was not enough to stop in. I saw a gaggle in front over the hills where the Boggabri Gap is, and went on a glide under them – That was a mistake as I could not find the lift under the gaggle, and nearly landed there. I struggled to get up there for a long time, and the shit thermal I was working did not get me anywhere near cloudbase. I lost sight of everyone else, including the gaggle I started with, and knew I had lost way too much time there.
It would not have been too bad by itself with that low save, but I had a horrible run for the rest of the flight. I was alone and out of sync with the conditions and could not find anything usable under perfectly good looking clouds. I nearly landed again halfway through the task, I was unzipped and ready to land next to a waterhole when a thermal released off the treeline next to it and got me slowly out of there again. After struggling on in more crap lift for the rest of the task I finally got a good thermal off the big forest next to Narrabri, and got to cloudbase there. This was the first time I was in cloudbase since the start circle, and also the first relatively smooth thermal since the start.
From that cloudbase it was an easy glide to goal, with good air I had 25:1 glide in and came in with around 15 gliders before me. Johnny won the day again, and will be in the lead again, I will probably fall way down the list. Tomorrow is the last day of the comp, looks like a good day on the forecast.
We got a 106 km task, via Baan Ban to a goal west of Narrabri. Blue day with low climbs, windy and difficult, I only got to 1600 meters ASL. I had a low save after gliding out of the start circle, just before the Boggabri Gap. Johnny was 10 meters below me and landed there, I got up somehow, and flew with a small gaggle of pilots towards the TP. Going to the TP was hard because of the wind, and it became a struggle to get there. I got above Conrad and a few others, and went on my own to the TP. We were 6 km downwind and with a 35 km/h headwind it was not an easy task to get there. I found some patches of lift, and that gave me the glide to get there. But I could not get up when I turned around and went downwind again. I saw Conrad getting up over where I landed 10 minutes later, and he got to goal from there.
In hindsight I should have stayed with what was left of our gaggle, but I was way above and needed only one good thermal to get to goal… Scott Barret won the day, I got tenth today. Seems like the day was fully valid, which is strange since the average distance flown was less than the nominal distance. Conrad is now in the lead, I”m in second and John Smith in third.