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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

Busy days at Waikerie

We’ve just run the first day of SAGA Performance Week at Waikerie. There over 20 gliders and about 40 glider pilots here. We’re flying every day for the next two weeks.

Several of our Japanese members are here, and after passing their check flights, have been flying the Duo Discus and single seaters.

It was quite busy yesterday with check flights and people flying in, but this was the first official day of Performance Week. Bernard Eckey ran a briefing this morning explaining the week’s program to those who haven’t been here before. Meanwhile, more AEF flights and check flights were happening.

A 2 hour AAT task was set. With help from Tim Laidler and his Cessna, all gliders were launched in short order. It’s still windy today, about 15-20 knots of south-westerly, but warm enough to make useful thermals: people completed tasks and everyone came back with no out-landings. Craig Vinall reports that he found climbs to 6,000 feet under Cu, with it being better to the south. The task was set about right: he averaged 109 kph, and newer pilots were still able to finish the task.

As you might expect, check flights continued into the afternoon.

I’m now returning to the club-house to see what lies are being told, and what Bernard is lining up for tomorrow.

What an outstanding flying day.


John Ridge didn’t mention that he went solo today (again after a long break). Congratulations John. Let us all know what it was like. But wait there is more. Jim Townsend also went solo in a glider. He has many power hours; so really a second solo also.

A red letter day at Waikerie by any standard.

Also we have two new members; Mark Mortimer and Tony Edge. Both are members at ASC but are interested in trying the famous Waikerie conditions. Tony was sent solo fist in the ASk21 and then in the LS4. He said he had achieved more than he had expected. Mark had two flights in the Duo. First with Peter Robinson and then an extended cross country training flight with me. The conditions were very unstable; just fantastic flying conditions.

After a check flight in the ASK21 Graham Francis had an extended flight in the Duo with me (I didn’t have to do a thing!). He then had a flight in the LS4.

In fact the LS4 was kept very busy; first Dave Lawley, then Tony Edge, then Ray Lawley and finally Graham.

Pete Paine did two laps around the Maggea Kingston 100 km triangle; last lap in 1hour 5min. In fact, for the last three weekends there has been a group of us doing an AAT using this task. There have been some good speeds and fairly close racing on these days. Everyone should join in.

I was able to get an hour or so in the ASG29 for a quick race around the 100k triangle. I also spent Friday and Saturday with Mark in the workshop attending to a few minor chores and think I’ve now got the 29 almost sorted. Great weekend for me.

Thanks so much to Peter Robinson (Inst) and Greg Jackson (tows); it was an outstanding day for many people!

You should have been there!  Regards, Craig Vinall

Sunday 8th December 08

I know this was published on the chat list but I thought it would be good to include todays posts for future reference. Jet

Hi All,

Today at Waikerie we did 24 launches, 2 people went solo, 2 conversion’s to the LS4 and 2 first flights in the Duo Discus.

The weather was 25 degrees with strong climbs to 5,500ft and lift everywhere making circuit training a challenge.

Tony Edge and Mark Mortimer who had previously flown at Adelaide Soaring club have joined Waikerie – please introduce yourself and make them feel welcome.

Tony was converted to the LS4 whilst Mark had two flights in the Duo Discus – one of which with Craig for a quick cross country flight to Kingston and return.

Graham Francis had his annual check flight in the ASK21 followed by his first flight in the Duo Discus with Craig. Graham was then converted to the LS4 and enjoyed an hour local flight.

David and Ray Lawley both had flights in the LS4 and Pete Paine did two 100km triangles in the Discus.

Jim Townsend another new member with 3000hrs power experience went solo in the Ask21 after learning that his son’s wife had just had a baby. Jim has intentions to gain his tow plane endorsement and do some towing for us in the near future.

Craig flew the 122km triangle at 120km/hr in his ASG29e.

John Ridge went solo in the ASK21 after some launch emergencies, instrument covered flights and a some other interesting challenges. John’s solo flight was a 2 hour flight.

The last conversion for the day was me to the ASG29e after sitting all day in the back seat of the ASK21 and Duo.

I launched about 5pm being the last launch for the today with a tow to 2300ft after passing up some strong lift at 900ft. I struggled to get away as the Southerly wind picked up breaking up the thermals down low. I went from 1000ft to 1500ft twice in 1 to 2kts and then back down to 700ft ready to join circuit (and humiliation of failing to get away in the ASG29) when I found a 4kt thermal. I put the ASG29 into 45 to 50 degree bank and a bit of top rudder to hold it in and up we went. The ASG29 is beautifully co-ordinated with no tendency of a wing drop banked right over. The thermal got stronger and topped out at 5000ft.

Time to check out the cruise mode – Pushing the stick forward slightly and moving into full negative flap the glider accelerates to 110kts with maybe only 5 degrees change in attitude with a very flat glide. The next step from 110 to 145Kts requires a noticeable change in attitude but there is hardly any noise in the cockpit.

Pulling up from 145kts the glider just keeps climbing and the speed takes ages to wash off easily gaining 500ft. A couple of more just to make sure that I wasn’t dreaming on the first one – no it feels amazing how it just keeps climbing.

Next I get a phone call from Craig as he was driving back to Adelaide to see how I was going and if I had looped it yet, to which I replied of course.

I had done 3 loops pulling around 3G’s with Greg commenting from the ground on how far the wings bend, well it looked even better from the cockpit.

The last test being the final glide and low level finish across the airfield – well let’s just say that it now knows what it feels like to do a real finish!!

Overall an amazing glider – maybe Santa will bring me one for XMAS.

Thanks to Greg Jackson for towing all day.

Cheers Peter Robinson

Everything Aeronautical

Dinner Saturday evening

Dinner Saturday evening

Everything Aeronautical was staged at Waikerie during the weekend 25th and 26th October – unfortunately with a weather forecast which did not excite a lot of people – 39 degrees and strong northerly winds. Fortunately the weather was not as severe as forecast, either in terms of temperature or wind strength.

The Sport Aircraft Club (SAC) of SA annual visit to Waikerie coincided with the weekend – and a number of aircraft owned by SAC members arrived as did a group of aeromodellers, including John Copeland from Waikerie, a group from Mildura and Paul Clift from ASC. Leigh Bunting from the Balaklava Club arrived with his Grunau Baby and Allen Hudson’s AS W20 made its first public appearance with the running of the jet engines. Other visitors included Frank and Julie-Anne Johann, Andrew Wright (thanks for your help Andrew) and Bailey Roberts.

Several visitors took the opportunity to fly in a glider. A small “task” was set for 4 SAC crews to tackle, without altimeters and carrying data loggers. The logger traces were reviewed during dinner. Jean and Marie Hudson provided a 3 course dinner for around 70 people on Saturday evening, during which Phill Hollick conducted the “Aviation Quiz” and Peter Robinson reviewed the flights earlier in the day on the logger traces.

After breakfast on Sunday morning, some SAC pilots took the opportunity for some formation flying and local flights, while some others used the opportunity for a glider flight in the Duo-Discus – including Ted King and Ed Herring. Leigh Bunting flew firstly with Dion Baker in the WGC AS K21 doing aerobatics and inverted flying before flying with Richard Geytenbeck demonstrating rolls.

More photos are in the album

Despite the weather there was a good rollup. It is planned to stage the next “Everything Aeronautical” during the weekend 24 25 October, 2009.

John Hudson