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
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|
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.
The Orange Week in Waikerie is over. Some say the weather turned it into a Lemon Week. I won't comment on the weather. This is something no one can do anything about and we just have to live with and make the best out of it.
Last day was cancelled due to very strong winds and full cloud cover. Not for Jack though. He jumped in his DG400 and decided to make the flight of his life: Waikerie-Bacchus Marsh or to make it sound more serious: Adelaide-Melbourne. And guess what? He made it!
|Great effort Jack!|
He flew 580 kilometers in 4 hours and 20 minutes and came back to Waikerie on Qantas flight next morning to give us all a presentation of his flight. He admitted he has been thinking about doing it for quite a while. After he launched, he actually wanted to come back and land but the wind kept blowing him further and further away. So he was drifting away at very low altitudes and couldn't make it back to Waikerie. Then he noticed that weather looked much better to the south east and decided to try to make contact with the nice Cu's in Victoria. From then on it was a walk in the park, he said. Still we all think it was a great achievement and of course I wasn't serious commenting that in fact he only flew 350 km ant the rest was a free gift from Fujin the Japanese god of wind.
|the trace looks impressive|
Before we packed up Mark changed the faulty trim cable in the 55 and I had a chance to have a closer look at Waikerie club gliders. The beast way to put it is: I had a jaw drop.
|in Mark's workshop|
|Japanese Duo Discus guarded by Fujin - the god of wind|
The club has about 10 (one zero) active glider pilots and a fleet of: ASK21, Discus, LS4, LS7. All of the gliders look like privately owned and the equipment is better than the one you see in most privately owned gliders. They decided few years back to sell the old fleet they had and upgrade to a smaller number but all up to date gliders. Just have a look:
We had a closing dinner that night and headed to Gawler, the base of Adelaide Soaring Club next morning. It is always kind of sad when such a nice event comes to an end. But good news is that we put Orange Week into our permanent event schedule and we'll be back to Waikerie next year.
|last evening in the club house|