Friday, December 28, 2012

back to business

One week to go and we'll be heading for the Multiclass Nationals to Benalla again. Ziggy is flying the 55 in standard class and I will be treating myself with the ASG29E in 15 meter class. We've got one more weekend to get some practice. Gliders and trailers are cleaned, equipped with maps, waypoints and airspace data bases. All ready to go.

before comp cleaning

this fleet covers all possible competition and record classes 

The PW-5 visible on the above picture is also available for any record attempts over the next week. She even comes with the official observer Keith as a package ;-) I'm all ready and on stand-by. We'll see what the weather will do.

way too many choices

they seem to like each other

dolly deigned by Max fits them all!

Life is good here in Horsham and so is flying. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas present

Wow, what a surprise! In the morning of Christmas Eve I received a call from the VSA to inform me that the Victorian Soaring Association has decided to sponsor my participation in the upcoming Women's World Gliding Championships in France. I have never asked for any kind of support so the surprise is even bigger. They all know that I will be representing Poland but still decided to go ahead with the sponsorship. The reason for this support is my engagement in promoting women in gliding and all the other things I voluntarily put my hand up for. Honestly, I have never expected any kind of reward and this call left me speechless. I am very thankful for this support and will make sure that the money is well spent.
In my opinion we shouldn't give up the idea of trying to get the future Women's Worlds to Australia. This would be a one of a kind chance for Australian female pilots to experience such an event and to compete with flying women from all over the world. So this is the next thing we should put our hand up. Unfortunately I can't do it myself but I know well how to prepare a winning bid ...

Thank you!

fleet addition and final renovation works

We are back from Adelaide and brought Mrs. TF to her temporary new home. We will rig her tomorrow and I will start flying weather permitting of course. I've got some additional pressure knowing that Graham will be following the results in Benalla every day. It would be a shame not to do well.

We stayed over night and enjoyed Nigel and Heather's hospitality. They have an unbelievable workshop that they both built themselves. The place has absolutely anything you can only think of.

yes, this is a workshop

every decent shed needs a chandelier 

view from the shed

TF parked for the night

bar area at home

Back in Horsham we started finishing off our aerodrome renovation project. The club rooms together with the bar area are now hard to recognize. It took us a surprisingly significant amount of time to convince some that changes were long overdue and that they are not asked to do anything but say yes to the upgrade. We finally succeeded and were allowed to start working. Ziggy and myself came up with the idea but it all wouldn't have happened without three people: Wayne Jackson, who did with no doubt the most of the work, Max Hedt and Mark Griffin. Even during the process we had to accept some individuals complaining about the way changes were going. It sometimes wasn't pleasant at all but we don't give up once we've started something. There is still some works in progress but we already were able to take out all the furniture that goes back in and give it a decent pressure wash after 40 years of service ;-) (somebody was in hurry and started putting the dirty things back in the room making spots on the new carpet here and there) You would not believe what was hidden on the bottom of chairs and tables: spider webs and ... antique chewing gum.

Ziggy washing the furniture

Looking at the "close to final" results today I just can't stop myself from posting the before and after pictures. OK, three, two, one, here we go:

1. club room before...

and the same club room after:

2. view from the bar before:

and view from the same spot after:

3. The bar before...

and this is how the bar looks now:

Too bad that you can't picture the before and after smell of the room ;-)

Some of the "watchers and beer drinkers" found a big pleasure in complaining about my color, glass hangers etc. choice. I told them back then that I know what I'm doing and take full responsibility for that. If they still don't like the color: "get a brush and paint over it any color you want".

Friday, December 21, 2012


It's Christmas time again. Man, time flies like crazy and this is already my third summer time Christmas. I'm still finding it hard to get used to. We decided to be original this year and this is our Christmas tree!

Merry Christmas to all the lovely people out there!

Santa arrived earlier and Ziggy is already playing with his present: AR.Drone2.0. It's a pretty impressive toy that you control using your iPad or iPhone. It's got a HD camera built in and is really easy to fly.

still in one piece!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Commercial Pilot times three

I did it again yesterday. I passed my commercial pilot flight test and got my third commercial licence on the third continent. Even the examiner asked: "will you ever stop moving?" Well, I think I just did. I've reached my final destination. It was a good flight but bit challenging at times. Just map and clock 500ft AGL over desert doesn't make the nav exercise any easier. I managed though and got this next step out of the way.

We also had Engineers Australia annual meeting and a Christmas function last week. I'm very fresh in the group but was nominated and elected a Deputy Chair for the Wimmera Group of Engineers Australia. I hope it was not just equal opportunities move ;-) Anyway it makes me proud and I will give my best to justify the election.

Speaking of awesome, Susie introduced me to the gym some time ago. Typically people join, go there few times and then lose interest. The other outcome is to get hooked. I think this is what just happened to me. I enjoy the sweat and pain and it gives me to much energy for the whole day. I've been doing this for just about 3 months now and I like it more and more every time. My last weeks discovery is that when you push very hard, the burning pain in your muscles sort of goes away and you start feeling physically sick. I could never understand how that was possible but it is. It's still great fun though:

The weekend is coming and we are getting excited about transferring Mrs. TF from Adelaide to Horsham. She will spend few weeks with us, enjoying Horsham skies and our hospitality. Then I will be privileged to fly her in Benalla. Can't wait!

Friday, December 7, 2012

a bit of noisy flying

I can smell AVGAS here. This is how I spent my day today. It feels good to do some noisy activities from time to time. We don't wanna get rusty, do we? There is more on schedule for tomorrow.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Adelaide Soaring Club and the 29

We explored one more gliding spot on our latest trip: Gawler, South Australia. The airfield is located only 40 km from Adelaide and has therefore some serious airspace restrictions one has really pay close attention to. We met Graham. I will be flying his glider in this seasons 15-meter Australian Nationals in Benalla. So yes, it is slowly time to step up into the serious flying ;-)
We love Adelaide and stayed in town for one night. I am always amazed by the amount of parks and all kinds of beautiful landscaping all around the city. I still find it hard to get used to Christmas in the middle of summer though. It looks to me like something is not quite right. Especially looking at Santa's winter outfit in 40C heat outside.

A cold beer in a street cafe feels just right in this conditions:

Saturday was thunderstormy and and we only managed to rig Graham's glider. He gave me a short briefing and all the Manuals to read in the evening. I'm always excited and a bit nervous when I'm about to fly someone else's glider. I just want to do everything absolutely right not to upset the owner. It wasn't different this time. I told Graham about my concerns and he just said: "You'll be all right. This glider is much easier the the ones we send people for their first solos in".

out of the hangar and ready to go on the flight line


"If I knew then what I know now" I wouldn't be nervous at all. The glider is a pure pleasure to fly and as easy as it can be. In fact, this could easily be the first solo glider. I had a short flight over Gawler because we still had over 500 km to drive back home that night. I enjoyed every single minute of that flight.

the nice landscapes can fool you ... watch the airspace restrictions

 "selfy" with babushka look

there is a big water not far away

after landing

We didn't plan for that but the car GPS sent us back home via a scenic drive through Adelaide Hills. It is a challenge to drive a glider trailer on these winding mountain roads but the views were to die for. It cost us an additional hour of driving but in the end I think it was worth it.

The next visit to Adelaide is planned in exactly 3 weeks. We'll be picking up the glider so that I have some practice time out of Horsham before the Nationals in Benalla. I just can't wait. I already love the 29.