CPV towed its first glider in nearly two years.
See the “Other” photo gallery for more photos of CPV.
Anzac day (Friday) saw a lot of rain fall at Warkworth. Saturday seemed to have dried out enough to launch but it was hard work to stay up and all flights were less than an hour. Sunday promised warmer temperatures and stronger thermals. Just before we launched, the wind came. It was about 15 knots on the ground, getting stronger with height, reaching more than 40 knots at 10,000 feet. Unfortunately the upper-atmosphere instability wasn’t forming any usable wave.
The wind direction was relatively consistent with height, about 320 degrees. This meant that the ridges on the southern side of the valley were working nicely, up to about 5000 feet. After many attempts, we managed to transition into the thermals going above this level but the strong wind made our climb angle equal to our glide angle. (IGC flie available via the OLC.)
CPV has returned to Warkworth, restored to flying condition.
Lawrie and Jeff inspect the empenage…
Warwick isn’t sure if the exhausts are new…
The weather did’t co-operate, with continuous thunderstorms provided…
This weekend’s conditions were rather tricky. Saturday promised more than it delivered. Three pilots (and one passenger, in the Duo) were caught out and outlanded on airstrips. JP had fun touring around the countryside picking them up. We still made them pay for beers at the Jerry’s Plains pub. Al Giles, who usually flies his syndicate Jantar at Lake Keepit, came along to see how HVGC operates and had a couple of flights in the club’s Jantar.
Sunday promised somewhat less brilliant soaring conditions with a cool change predicted. The early part of the day took a lot of scratching in zero knots just to stay airborne. Then later on, while just cruising between the thunderstorms, I took this photo of my vario:
No, it’s not showing 1 knot sink. The needle has wrapped all the way around and is actually indicating a brief gust of 19 knots! The digital average, just below the needle, is showing an average of 11.3 knots.
I was only cruising because I was trying to take a photo of the rainbows forming where the sun was shining on the thunderstorms. Unfortunately I only had my phone with me and I didn’t realise it had been set to its lowest possible quality setting. The best photo I got doesn’t do justice to the rainbow.
It was quite interesting watching the thunderstorms develop over a couple of hours. The lightning bolts were starting near the top of the clouds, not far above my height and then arcing down through the central column of rain; right through the rainbows. I tried to stay a couple of kilometers away from the active centres of the storms. I did see one power plane whiz past very close to the storms - I’m not sure he was looking out the window.
Cloudbase was absolutely all over the place, from ground-level fog forming after the thunderstorms passed, to scud coud, to shelf cloud, to the main cloud base at 9000′. The lift was everywhere too, so long as you didn’t mind long periods of zero. If you look at my flight trace on the OLC, you will see one period of 20 minutes where I did not rise or fall more than 50 feet.