On Saturday 16th February Paul Mander led a discussion in the clubhouse on Thermals; their structure, their behavious, and how to use them. It was a great evening and attracted quite a crowd.
Paul’s Thermal Discussion Mick’s Theory
The discussion started with lots of Paul’s thoughts on thermals and there was also lots of opionions from the group. I flew on the Sunday and it seems that the thermals had not paid attention to the theory as they still seem to do their own thing but maybe it’s just my flying???
This was the first of a planned series of discussions do be led by Paul and others so keep you eye on the email for notification on the next meeting. Some of the other planned discussions are;
Thermals; how to master them (introducing Chichester’s Deliberate Error)
Thermal development and behaviour during a typical day
Flying in (sometimes close) company
Getting Low; how to avoid it (AKA The Rhythm Method; Richard?)
It’s a numbers game; working the odds
Getting Low; how to survive it, how to get up. Risk management, controlling stress.
The new clubhouse was opened in style on Saturday 25th November in style with our annual club dinner and awards presentation.
In recognition of the efforts by Damian Hamilton toward the construction of the clubhouse it has been christened “Hamilton House” in his honor. Damian was a driving force in the inception, planning, project management and construction of the clubhouse over a period of several years and he was thanked by our president, Mick Webster, during the dedication. Many others that also but in a large amount of work construction the clubhouse were also thanked including, Ian Boggard, Brian Giersch & Paul Dickson to name a few.
A large part of the funding for the clubhouse has come from Coal & Allied at the Hunter Valley Operations mine and the clubhouse was officially opened by the mine General Manager, Tom Lukeman. Also representing HVO at the dinner were Tom’s partner, Sarah, the Technical Services & Planning Manager, Brendan O’Brien & his partner Kerrie and the Land & Property Manager, Jennifer Anderson.
After the official opening and champagne to celebrate the members & guests moved into the brand new clubhouse where a fantastic meal was served by the caterers, Mottys Far Cuisine. During the dinner the awards were presented for the 2011/2012 flying season which were;
Outstanding Flying Improvement - James Mahoney & Jamie Antonuccio
Best OLC Flight from Warkworth - David Pickles with a flight of 477km at 89.8km/hr
Most OLC km’s from Warkworth - Mick Webster with 8,754km flown
Most Improved Cross Country Pilot - Mark Rowe
HVGC Artist Award - Brian Giersch for his flight trace of a starfish on
Outlanding Award - Andrew Sutton for his landing on the mine haul road at Mt Arthur North
Best Chef Award - Aa Li Webster for continuing to feed the club members and visitors
After the awards & dessert the celebrations continued late on into the night with grand tales being told of past epic flights with booming thermals at every turn and cloud streets to the horizon in every direction. As the evening turned into the next morning the talk turned to the future flights that are going to be flown from Warkworth that would be even more epic than the old ones!
There are lots more photos of the event in the website photo gallery under the album People & Events. Click on the link to open the Clubhouse Opening Album.
The Easter weekend was very well attended by the Vintage group and we did get one 13.5m glider here to fly some silver-C tasks. The best flight of the weekend was Dave’s 260pt/223km effort. However most people elected to go home on Monday.
Tuesday was the best day. David Goldsmith did 120km in the Ka6e and then Jenne took the same glider up for a short flight and did 150km!
Wednesday was declared a rest day.
Thursday was absolutely epic! We started out with the idea to fly to Lake Keepit (300km O/R) but took a look at the Liverpool Range (below) and decided that the higher layer of cloud on top was going to make it difficult. Not to mention the clouds touching the peaks. The south-westerly was blowing up the face of the range, encouraging good thermals along the line of hills for 100km. Dave actually outlanded at the Denman ultralight strip and got a re-light to continue soaring. Then Mick called ops-normal from Wellington! The race was on to go west!
Before takeoff, we had looked at the meteorological predictions for the day and each formed an opinion that the thermals would stop around 4pm. Well, we were partly right and partly wrong. The good thermals stopped at 3:30. This left all of us stranded some 50-80km from home. But there were enough poor thermals to stay airborne. A reasonable headwind was blowing so, to gain 1000ft on the final glide, we needed to thermal up 2000ft as we were drifting away from home so quickly. Mick pushed forward in a show of bravery but ended up too close to the hills to actually utilise any thermals. He landed at Jerry’s Plains/Arrowfield and managed to get permission for two aerotow retrieves from there. This gave the rest of us the confidence to push away from our last stepping-stone and head in for a squeaky final glide to Jerry’s. Some somewhat more useful thermals were found and everyone made it home, nearly two hours after the thermals had ’stopped’. Mick achieved 408km, up to the outlanding and I only did 354km but I had a ‘closed’ triangle so my OLC score was significantly higher than Mick’s.
Friday’s flying was influenced by the experiences of late Thursday, so we all turned for home early - about 1:15pm. The SparrowHawk was best able to use the gusty thermals of the day, so just squeaked in ahead of Mick on OLC points. The photo below is an unusual mine blast, spotted while on the homeward leg from Broke.
Check out the OLC scores for Warkworth takeoff: OLC Flightbook Warkworth (Note that the permanent link on the right-hand side of this Blog only shows HVGC pilots.)
Check out the ranking for HVGC in the worldwide list of clubs. Statistic Club OLC Before Easter, we were 26th in the world. Now we are 25th! That’s a pretty good effort for the 13 pilots who uploaded flights to the OLC. We are beating much larger clubs. [The ranking for Warkworth as a takeoff point is much lower - around 56.]
May 9, 2010 at 10:42 pm
by Morgan · Filed under Events
We had a good turnout for the BBQ organised this weekend by Mark and Mick. Mark cooked some fantastic chicken and Paul’s prawns were absolutely delicious. I believe Mick was responsible for the salad and Aali provided something that had hot chillies and tasted very good. Once the translation service catches up, we’ll find out what it was called.
Scott contributed some bottles of his own wine and some good stories on how to make wine. Even the cheese and crackers was excellent but I arrived too late to get anything more than a taste of them.
Dave wants to know if this is your beer. Ian isn’t so sure.
December 19, 2009 at 9:50 pm
by Morgan · Filed under Events
It seems every year that “official” christmas parties like the office christmas party get organised earlier and earlier to ovoid the rush of christmas. I predict we’ll be having the HVGC christmas party in October next year. But that just leaves nothing to do on the last weekend before christmas. Until Mick decided that he’d like to organise an evening barbeque.
Well! Nearly everybody turned up!
Aa Li and Mick were our chefs for the evening.
There was an enormous amount of food provided by Aa Li. Have a look at the picture below. This is how much food was left over after everyone had had enough!
Some of the younger club members helped with the washing up. The Vice President had to be shown that it was possible for men to survive the detergent without permanent scarring.
February 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm
by Morgan · Filed under Events, News
Matt Hall approached us last week with an unusual request: the Discovery Channel is featuring him in a series and could they film him flying his Giles at Warkworth? Matt had all the paperwork from CASA sorted out but he still needed a venue.
The filming took 2 days with many flights and interviews. They have already filmed the gliding segment of the show in New Zealand, so they didn’t need to shoot any of our gliders. The programme will go to air later this year - probably around October. We can’t show you the photos we took until after it has been shown, so here’s a few photos from Matt’s practice session last year.
December 8, 2008 at 7:26 pm
by Morgan · Filed under Events
In addition to instructing on Gliders, James “Akko” Atkinson has a day-job instructing on F-18 Hornets. He organised a tour for the HVGC club members and their families to see the base and get up close to some of the real military hardware.
We had more than 30 club members and family members turn up for the day. Some unkind observers said that we would never get that many at Warkworth on one day.
Akko was a wonderful host for the day, making sure that everyone was looked after, organising the activities and answering a thousand questions. Not only does he know all of the technical details about the plane, but he also knows which details are classified “secret” so he can’t tell us. Once the questions started getting specific: “In this configuration, in a single seater, how far can you fly?” Then the answers became less precise.
The simulator sessions were probably the most fun. Everyone who wanted a go was able to get a good chance to try out anything they wanted. I buzzed Nobby’s beach at Mach 1. A few glider pilots tried to land the plane (Hint: don’t flare.) Even the wives had a go and enjoyed the simulator sessions. There are two simulators next to each other so that the RAAF can practice cooperative missions and dogfights. Some of the more bloodthirsty pilots tried to shoot down the other simulator. One succeeded - there will be a small Hornet “kill” symbol appearing on the side of a glider soon.
Akko points out some of the details on the jet.
Ian and Hunter inspect the landing gear
David Stuart studies the cockpit, in anticipation?