Tag Archives: oz2010

First solo flights

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!

Some pics;

Sailplane flight at Lake Keepit

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!

Some pictures from today;

Dalby competition postponed

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.

Manilla 2010, last day

Out and return’ish task, to Barraba, back via a few turnpoints on the west and south site of Borah, and to goal at the Manilla airfield. Conditions were tricky at lauch, with tailwind and cross, but some launchable periods now and then. The forecast predicted North East so Grant, Niel and I went down to the NE launch, after waiting around a bit on the west side.

Conditions there were good while we set up, but after the first 4-5 pilots had gotten off we got stuck in tailwind for 20 minutes while the first gaggle with Johnny, Dave, Scott  and a few others got up and away. When a thermal cam through we quickly got out, and had a bit of a struggle to get up. Conrad and Niel landed at the bombout, while Grant and I got up with Atilla just above us. (Atilla was freeflying and did the same task as the comp)

Nobody got off any of the other launches while we got up and away, I wish I had taken a photo of the hill with gliders on every launch, and all the windsocks showing tailwind.

I found the thermals to be broken and weak, and this continued the rest of the day for our little gaggle. We almost glided to the deck on the first glide but got up in crap lift under the clouds, and spent a long time getting to the first turnpoint. The clouds did not work for us, and every thermal was a surge and then nothing. It will be interesting to look at out tracklogs and see where the gaggle behind found better lift, and if it was timing or courseline that did not work.

Going back towards the second TP we met the gaggle that started 45 minutes behind us, so it was very clear that we were in the shit and just had lost any chance of a good score that day. Atilla got ahead to the second TP, where we got to cloudbase for the first time, but when Grant and I got there he was low and struggling in the hills. We just kept on getting weak lift never getting high again, but finally got to goal after being passed by another gaggle just before the last TP.

At goal we were just laughing about the day, what a struggle. Dave Sieb did an impressive flight and won the day by a huge margin. Johnny won overall, Conrad second and Scott third. I got fourth place overall in the end. Full results here;


Manilla was a good comp, after two days of rain we got 5 days with some really good flying conditions, Monica and her minions did a good job of running the show, and the pilots seemed happy with the flying. Lars Olav did a great job as our driver, and we had no dramas getting picked up.

I’m heading back to Sydney today, as we finally have a place to live there, and we move in on Monday. The next competition here is in Dalby in Queensland in 3 weeks.

Manilla 2010, Day 6

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.

Manilla Day 5

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.

Results here;