Monday, January 4th, 2010

Coaching Performance Week 2009

Saturday 26th December 09
Boxing day – I finish packing the car and a couple of hours drive to Waikerie; arriving around 10:30 it is very quiet. Within a few hours the gang had arrived including many of the performance week participants. If you were in orbit you could look down and we would appear to be ants running everywhere, rigging glider, finding tie downs and setting up accommodation. The pace has increased because we have lots of preparation still to do for the Nationals. A passenger arrives, flown by David and Mike Ridge from Brisbane would like a orientation flight with Craig. I am happy to oblige on the tug end of the rope. John cooks tea and all seems to return to normal – bar conversation and meeting old friends once again.
Sunday 27th December 09
Early start around 7am with both the tug and ASK21 undergoing preparations for first launch. First launch delayed due to flat front tyre on the 21 – having ripped the valve out of the tube as it tends to do if the glider is landed and pushed onto the front wheel when flat. Seven (7) check flights with our Japanese members and they can’t wait to get in the air, pulling all their gliders out later in the day. John Ridge has been doing a lot of work on the tie down area re-fixing cables and new fittings to long lost watering points.
Monday 28th December 09
Performance week has commenced with a large contingent of (30 to 40) pilots all wanting to improve their flying, dust out the cobwebs or gain some valuable practice for the Nationals. After a briefing and morning lecture a short warm up task has been set – Wki Allawoona Renmark Woolpunda Wki (193k). Teams were allocated and lots of lead follow and pair flying occurred, this was the pattern for the rest of the week.
Tuesday 29th December 09
Enjoyed the morning lecture you can gain lots of knowledge from the information that is being shared around. Today’s task will be a 300 – WKI Swanreach Morkalla Woolpunda WKI (302k) It was a blue day but plenty of other glider to keep us company. Best lift was over the border with heights up to 7500ft and most pilots were pleased with their flying. Evening debrief included what was the best part of the flight, what did you learn and what mistakes will you not make again.
Wednesday 30th December 09
At last the day we have been waiting for. Weather predictions can be inaccurate or sometimes just plain wrong. Today the long range weather forecaster got it right. Light winds high temperatures and a possibility of rain showers in the north of the state, that means we could get CU around WKI and we did. A 500k task was set and we were in the air around 12:30. – WKI Meringur Wanbi Burra WKI (518). The first two legs were very good working a height band of between 4 and 8000ft; sometimes higher with a few climbs above 9000ft. Now on track for Burra via The Gums the clouds were dying off. A big gap across the donga on the eastern side of the river above Blanchetown caused some concern. Pushed into the un-landable territory for a while but did not finding any consistent lift and getting down to decision height, turning at Mount Mary and headed East again picking up a good climb over Cadell. I then had my sights set on Renmark but had a great run using only two climbs to reach Renmark. I had plenty of time left in the day so pushed on back into Victoria again for the second time today. Turned Lindsay River and headed home via Renmark aerodrome looking for another climb back to 7500ft. Finding some good climbs to the East of Lake Bonney I had more than enough height for a final glide home. Modified task WKI Meringur Wanbi Mt Mary Lindsay River (565k) in just over 5 hours.
Thursday 31st December 09
Task was WKI Notts Well Wunkar Woolpunda WKI (126.7) tough day, plenty of lift available to around 5 or 6000ft very rough air today and huge amounts of sink everywhere, I think today is one of those pay back days when more air is going down than up. The idea was to keep us close so that we could be home in time for a huge New Years Eve.
Friday & Saturday were Nationals comp prep days for many of the Waikerie members. Congratulations to those performance week and overseas visiting pilots that did fly, as the weather was cool and windy around 27 knots on the Saturday.
Sunday 3rd of January 10
Bernard left for Balaclava in his ASH saying after flying for 10 straight days he needed to take the glider home for a rest and a bit of a clean up. The majority of the Nationals pilots arrived and were preparing their gliders for an afternoon shake down. I was working on the 08 runway (Calthrop weeding) and missed all this fanatic activity, so was surprised when I came up over the hill to see all this activity. On request from John Hudson I then managed to get into the Callair VH-APC and did 12 tows for the comp pilots to test set up of systems in their gliders. Many were full of water and 75kts might be the standard launch speed for the next two weeks.
A word on the unofficial practice day Monday 4th to follow.

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