Thursday, January 8, 2015

day two

Day two cancelled before briefing. It's windy up there and some wavish stuff is forming. Rain will be coming behind it. Chad took a launch to check it out. It looked quite rough from the ground.

my top crew :)

How about a winery for lunch then?

first comp day

So, yesterday was the first competition day with a task around thunderstorms in similar weather conditions as the day before.

top crew enduring the humid heat before launch

I got a freeloader joining me for the ride and he was hilarious! He boarded the glider just when I was closing the canopy to launch and positioned himself comfortably on the dash. He seemed bit suspicious to start with and hasn't moved much for the first hour or so. After that he started wandering around the dash and having a look. I'm not sure how he handled the altitude without oxygen but he clearly enjoyed the cooler air stream from the vent. About three hours into the flight he positioned himself at the edge and observed me carefully before he dared to risk a jump on my shoulder and then back onto the dash. He disembarked the aircraft just after landing when the canopy opened and didn't even say "thank you for the ride". Bit rude my little flying buddy grasshopper :)

he's there, holding tight

I have to say that I had a good day yesterday. I am actively trying to improve my flying addressing one identified issue in every flight. The biggest achievement is that I now know what stops me from speeding up. It's all in my head and I know how to work on that now. I'm not really competing in this competition as I will have to skip a day next week because of a very important, not re-schedulable appointment in Adelaide. We're here to have fun :)

Murray river, Waikerie aerodrome and town

north of Waikerie - hundreds of unlandable kilometers

there were quite a few of these around yesterday

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

XM's first records!

Well, as already mentioned - no more excuses! I've got the best possible glider and extremely professional crew so records need to be set. Today was the official practice day before the nationals but I decided to do it my way :)

It was a tricky day, dodging showers and missing lightning strikes but it worked! I set a 500 km FAI triangle and completed it with 127 km/h. This should give me two polish national records - speed over 500 km triangle and speed over 400 km triangle. It was a very challenging day and I'm kind of buggered tonight.

The thing I am most happy about though are the stats of my flight. I got the time spent thermaling down to 21% and a mean L/D for the flight of 62.8.

here we go ...

before it turned ugly

I didn't really think that the day was extremely hard until I learned that noone had completed the set practice day task. It sounds selfish but it makes me feel even better about my not so impressive average speed achieved. It's still good enough to put my name in two more spots in the record's tables :)

Thank you so much Mandy for agreeing to be my official observer and doing the ugly paperwork and big kiss for you Ziggy for all your hard work in 40 degrees heat.

And last but not least here is the flight:

Monday, January 5, 2015

Official practice day 1

We put the long tips on XM for the very first time yesterday and got through scrutineering. We can fill her all the way up to the top and still be 2 kg under the reference weight of 600 kg. It's quite handy and we don't have to worry about measuring water every morning. Just put the hose in and wait till it overflows.

Because Ziggy will be working hard on the ground for the next two weeks, it was fair to get him airborne today. And what a perfect day for that it is! He's currently up and enjoying himself in the cool air, high above us and underneath picture perfect Cu's. It's also his first flight in 18-m configuration. Enjoy it Zig!

picture taken 30 minutes after he launched ...

I was trying to make myself useful on the grid and then shifting cars to the landing area.

It certainly looks like a great day out there and those who fly the task will definitely hit the 150 km/h mark.