August 23, 2013 at 11:49 am
by David Stuart · Filed under Green Ball
Two years ago at the Australian Junior Nationals ‘Joey glide’, a small group of us started talking about how awesome it would be to fly a primary glider. Unlike the usual “how good would it be to…” talk, the idea slowly grew momentum. Building one was discussed and some effort to find plans was successful, but seemed at least at first a little hard logistically.
Then I get a phone call from the Maddocks brothers (Andy and Nick); “Guess what we just bought!” A Dixon Primary that had lived at Gulgong, built somewhere between 1933 and 1945.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and cutting a long story short, I flew up to Boonah last weekend for its first flight in years with most of the small group of juniors that had started this nonsense. She flew six times that morning, for a total of 6 mins logged and six pilots converted to a Dixon Primary. There should be an article in Gliding Australia, and few videos floating around that I can show next time I’m at the club so I’ll leave it at that. Very good fun!
By the way joey glide is coming up again for anyone interested, and for those who don’t know it is being held at Narromine this year, which is also the site for the Junior Worlds in a couple of years time… If you’re under 25 (Hello you Scholarship Kids!) and think it might be cool to say “I’m flying for Australia” at show and tell some time in the near future, check out —–> http://www.joeyglide.com.au/
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.
January 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm
by Paul · Filed under Green Ball
Who remembers the old winch at HVGC from back in the dark & distant past???
I recently spent a couple of weeks in Tasmania on a family holiday and managed to find an excuse to visit a gliding club while touring the country (pretending to be lost and happening upon a gliding club - I wonder if she suspects??)
While I was at the Soaring Club of Tasmania’s site in Woodbury I found the old HVGC winch languishing in a shed at the back of their hanger. It doesn’t see a lot of use these days as the club mainly aerotows but seeing it did bring back a few memories. Winch launching was a great thrill as a 16 year old and I also learnt to drive at the club using the old Monaro that the club had to retrieve the winch wire. Most of all I learnt to make yourself scarce when there was a wire break and that there was a “bunch of grapes” (wire tangle) that needed sorting out before the wire could be joined and launching recommence.
The Soaring Club of Tasmania are a very friendly bunch and I can recommend visiting them if you are ever in the area.
Actually, we’re currently showing as seventh, having recenly been pushed down by the Chilean glidng club, Munivitacura. (Their airfield is right in Santiago city and they have excellent access to long ridges.)
This is really amazing for HVGC as there have been around a thousand 1000km flights done in southern Africa. They have been doing 20-30 flights longer than this every single day since November! But dedicated logging of flghts by HVGC members has kept the club near the top of the rankings.
We expect that once the northern hemisphere thermal season kicks off around April, that we will be pushed down the rankings. Last year we finished at 214th, with 43,000 points. Since we’ve already logged that many points in the 2013 season, we are on track to improve our ranking.
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.
November 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm
by David Stuart · Filed under Green Ball
Alright Kids! It’s that time of year again…
Joeyglide 2012 is to be hosted at Lake Keepit from the 9 - 16th Dec.
This year will be the 9th Australian Junior (under 25) gliding nationals, and is shaping up to be another good year.
So far there are 19 competitors entered, and 8 coachees flying anything from duckhawks to Diana 2’s if you believe whats on the entry list As usual, Joeyglide is not just a competition, in fact its more like an opportunity to catch up with or meet new junior pilots and further your cross country skills at the best week on the Australian flying calender.
If your not up to flying as a competitor, coaching is tailored to each coachee’s level of experience, and speaking from experience is a great start to flying cross country. Otherwise, come and hang out anyway!
So to any HVGC Juniors (or OFFITH’s*) out there interested in learning more go to http://www.joeyglide.com.au/ or come speak to me at the club. Also, the Australian Junior Gliding Club (AJGC) has a website… google knows the address.
*OFFITH is an AJGC acronym ‘Old Fart In Terry Towelling Hat’ affectionately given to over 25’s.
December 30, 2011 at 11:49 pm
by Morgan · Filed under Green Ball
For most people on the ground, power wires are no big deal. For landscape photographers, they are annoyingly visible in almsot any photograph you want to take. (That’s why Photoshop’s clone tool was invented.) Looking up, the wires are easily seen against the blue sky. The problem for glider pilots is the wires are invisible against the background of foliage and it’s always the wire you don’t see that’s going to kill you.
Take a look at this photo, taken in a semi-rural area near Mendoza, Argentina. You can see lots of wires, right? Can you see the street lamp that’s illuminated during the day? The wires going to the lamp? The wires near the lamp?
December 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm
by Morgan · Filed under Green Ball
Motor on, flying over Bariloche city, heading west. The volcanic ash cloud is clearly visible.
“Just fly over the convergence” says my co-pilot.
I’m about to open my big mouth and say “What convergence?” when I spot the waves on the lake below. The wind is blowing in two different directions on the lake. The little wavelts are all lined up in one direction at the south end of the lake, showing a southerly wind, and the north end of the lake is showing a northerly wind. The waves cross in the middle, making an interference pattern.
So I motor on over to the spot where the two winds are coming together and shut the engine down. Bip-bip-bip goes the vario. We’re climbing. Right over the lake.
Eventually we drift back into the ridge lift, find a thermal marked by volcanic ash, then push out into the wave. You can see on the flight trace the transition to stright-line flying in the wave.