The grey skies broke up at little, and we got a task of 77 km direct to goal at Chinchilla airfield. It was a bit more windy than yesterday, and with more overcast conditions it looked like a difficult task.
I got a great tow straight into a nice thermal and got to cloudbase donwind off the airport, where I pushed into the wind to get upwind on course when starting form the startgate. It was gray to the east where the wind came from so it was a balance of staying over somewhat sunny terrain, while not drifting too much off the courseline in the 35 km/h winds. I had an OK run about halfway, but soon found myself under some very overcast conditions and no good clouds ahead. I got down to 500 meters, and were going downwind before I finally found a very weak and broken thermal that took me up to a 15.1:1 glide to goal.
The glide varied around the 15:1 angle all the way in, and I would not have made it if I did not get a small bit of good air just as I came in over the end of the runway, it gave me 50 more meters and enough to get into the 400 meters circle and land.
So a bit better than yesterdays disaster, but I was still slow today. It was a pretty nice flight despite the windy conditions, I hope we get some more sun tomorrow.
Great sunset sky over Dalby. We had an excellent practice day today, booming conditions but a bit windy. I found out I had no batteries in my instrument, it would not turn on at all. But I was already on the dolly, so I flew and practiced flying without vario. It worked out allright, and I stayed up over the airport for about one and a half hour just pushing into the wind and trying to feel the thermals. Cool flight.
Lars went downwind on the Malibu and I picked him up around 30 km down the road.
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.