Topic: Performance Week

Performance Week Update

Wednesday 31 December 2008

Performance week has been a huge success. We have had very good weather; not hot 10,000ft days, but good 5,000 ft cu days with not more than 30 C max with close spaced reliable lift. There have been no days cancelled and all but one or two aircraft have been around each day’s task.

There is certainly a very positive atmosphere; people are learning a lot and having a good time as well. There are more than 50 people hear and over 25 gliders. The event is getting more popular each year.

Today, I had a great coaching flight with Ingo Renner. We flew in the club ASK21. In fact I think it was not only its first extended cross country flight but we also launched the glider by winch; its first winch flight in Australia. By the way, I think this glider will be excellent for cross country training. On the right day, it will be an easy glider for novice cross country pilots to fly and will be the equal of any other two seater for training purposes.

The day was blue with thermals going to 5-6,000 ft. Not only did we get around without any trouble at all, but it seemed so effortless mainly due to Ingo’s amazing thermal centering ability. It was simply a master class for me and will greatly help me. I look forward to trying to pass on some of what he taught me.

It’s New Year’s eve and the party is in full swing. We’ve already had to buy in more red wine! It will be a great evening with a few sore heads in the morning…

The weather forecast looks to be only improving for next week and so I’m looking forward to the State Comps. Hope to see you here.

Happy New Year.

Craig Vinall

Performance / Coaching Week wrap-up

Performance coaching week has wound up with another terrific dinner put on by the Hudsons – what a way to celebrate your birthday Jean. Lots of speeches of appreciation for all those that helped make the week such a great success. Thanks to David Conway for his sterling work and overall involvement in the running of the event. Bernard for his precision program and patience in flying students around in his Ash; usually with a single seat glider in lead and follow. Great to have had Ingo flying every day with various lucky pilots. I am sure they not only enjoyed the experience but gained knowledge that could not be gained in any other way.

Ingo spoke about a better understanding of thermals and the mental picture of the day’s conditions that he formulates in his mind. It’s all about setting goals and having positive attitudes.We look forward to seeing Ingo back again next year.

On one days flying we looked at what we had achieved.

  • Over 25 Cross Country Flights flying in excess of 11,000 kilometres.
  • Many 5-hour flights were achieved and at least 75% of the pilots achieved their goals for the week.
  • 1st Soaring flight for a new solo pilot of over an hour
  • 1st 50k flight
  • 2 x 200k flights
  • 5 x 300k flights
  • 9 x 500k flights
  • 4 x 750k flights
  • 1 x 860k flight with average speed of 137kph
  • 2 Diamond distance
  • 1 Diamond Height


Performance Week

Not a lot has been said about the events of performance week (Bernard prefers coaching the week) so here are a few points of interest.

Saturday the 5th a trough arrived over the ranges to the West this offered the Waikerie pilots an opportunity not to be missed, out to Blanchetown to contact the frontal activity was easy and Morgy, Peter and Craig pushed right in under the black band of cloud stretching north. They then ran at a blistering pace up to Peterborough and then turned due east to head back to Waikerie over the scrub. I managed to contact the lift activity a little North East of Blanchtown and had a good run up to Hallet. Visibility back to Waikerie was limited to 20 kilometres so I ran down to Notts Well and across to Lake Bonney.

Sunday 6th we commenced briefings and was an arrival day for most of the visitors and guests with the usual routine of orientation & check flights, sort out accommodation, rig gliders and meet and greet. I was back in the tug for the day, we gave it away early due to the 25 + knots gusting in the afternoon.

Monday 7th with the cooler winds slightly decreasing a suitable task was set for the day. 2 hour AAT – Notts Well, Alawoona, Woolpunda – We were getting climbs up around 4000 to 4500 if we were lucky. I made a bit of a botch of this day, not going very far into the circles and with a very slow speed.

Tuesday 8th Again the weather is improving and a longer 2.5 hour AAT was set Copeville, Taldra and return to WKI. Slightly better climbs to just over 5000. Down to a thousand feet 12k south but Craig stuck around and managed to drag or push me around approx 220k.

Wednesday 9th After further lectures and briefing we had a leisurely time to prepare gliders, as it was again a 2.5 hour day (expected later start) Alawoona, Notts Well, Morgan. Made a few poor decisions on the second leg, waisted some time with a zigzag to try and take a climb with the ASK 21 but they left before I arrived and I missed the thermal. Also along this leg worked lift way below the average. I was not the only one (listening the radio) finding it a tricky day for locating the centres. Turned 10k short of Morgan due to running out of time. Disappointing because with a little more pushing on and better thermal selection and leaving immediately the lift dropped off I know I could have turned Morgan.

Thursday 10th the day we all had been waiting for – Free tasks were in order so that those wanting 750k flights could have a go. The incredible stats for this day will be printed in a following article. I set a 536k task Loxton, Lake Cullulleraine, Lindsay River, Morgan Burra WKI. Had the best days flying for many years. With 42 degrees on the airfield and a thanks goes out to the flight crews who did a great job getting us airborne the heat remained in the area till after dark – Thermal activity was still going at 20:00.

Friday 11th during briefing the expected trough came through Waikerie with strong cooler gusty southerly winds. No flying today but some good lectures and information sharing being held throughout the day. Off now to the wind up dinner and a glass of wine; cheers.

Early Coaching Week

The SAGA Coaching Week has been running here since Sunday. Bernard Eckey has been organising this: we have about 15 gliders and crews visiting to take part, as well as several Waikerie members. Adelaide Soaring Club has lent a tug, which is very helpful in the middle of the day when everybody wants to launch at the same time. Their DG1000 is here, as are two ASK21 from Balaklava and several other gliders from ASC, Balaklava and AUGC.

This year’s guest coach is Ingo Renner. Several people have had a chance to fly with Ingo, and we’ve all been able to ask him questions. It’s great to talk to someone with so much experience and knowledge, and such a friendly, open manner. Harry Medlicott is also visiting. Bernard and others have also given lectures on a variety of subjects, and there are training and check flights going on for those who need them. There’s a lot of two-seater and lead-and-follow coaching happening.

The soaring conditions weren’t fantastic early in the week: winds were southerly, then light SE: with temperatures in the 30s, thermal heights were around 4000 feet, increasing as the days warmed up to 7000 feet yesterday. People still went out and flew tasks though, which they might not have done if it weren’t Coaching Week.

Today (10 January) the forecast is for 43 degrees, and there are some beautiful high cumulus over Renmark. It will be interesting to see what kind of flights are going on!

Pete S

Coaching Week starts

Around 35 pilots – with a wide range of experience – gathered at Waikerie for “Coaching Week” on Saturday 5th January 2008.

Among the pilots were a number of Coaches, led by Bernard Eckey, with special guest Coach, Ingo Renner. Harry and Wendy Medlicott also arrived with the Ventus. Coaching Week is aimed at developing the cross-country skills of less experienced pilots.

On Sunday morning 6th of January, a number of Briefings, including safety and weather were held before flying operations commenced. Sunday’s weather was not kind enough to allow a task to be set – but that didn’t stop a number of pilots flying.

Our thanks are extended to the Adelaide Soaring Club for providing an additional tug. Unfortunately the Balaklava Club winch broke down enroute to Waikerie and was towed back to Balaklava.

Now Wednesday, the weather has slowly improved. tasks have been set for the “teams” to attempt. There has only been 3 outlandings, although the tasks are being flown at relatively low altitudes.

Thursdays weather is looking promising for a big day.

John Hudson