Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Horsham Week February 2009

Horsham Week Expeditions members

Peter Paine, Greg Jackson (Share LS4) Craig Vinall, (ASG29E) and crew Lesley Snell, John Ridge

Friday 6th

Arrived at Horsham around 1400 local time, we had planned to arrive earlier and rig the LS4 and ASG29E however we had a small problem with a trailer wheel in Murray Bridge – The Wimmera Flying Club locals advised it was going to be windy over night so we decided to leave the gliders in the trailers.

Saturday 7th

The wind was so strong from the South East all tugs where put into the Horsham hangers and the day cancelled at briefing.  We returned to the Wimmera Lakes Caravan Park for lunch and were trying to stay cool with temperatures around 46 degrees. The wind had swung around to the South West and smoke and fires were now all around us. John Ridge (CFS volunteer) said ‘right were leaving’. I exited the cabin with a few valuables only to see flames running along the fence line towards us. We stayed in town for the rest of the day drinking iced coffees and had the pleasure of Vicky, Terry Cubley, Sid Nankivell and Lyn Ritchie for dinner at a local restaurant.

Sunday 8th

Forecast was again windy and the day was tasked at briefing but cancelled prior to gridding; due mainly to CFA fire bomber operations.

Monday 9th

Forecast was strong winds. A large layer of cloud extending all the way south to the coast made for some interesting conversation, should we go truant and walk the Grampians. Pilot dedication prevailed and gliders were launched. Craig in the Open/18M class came second, great start for day 1. Peter also had quite a good day in new territory -Horsham Marnoo Brim Horsham 210k.

Tuesday 10th

The Standard class task was 272k Lacelles Rainbow but changed on the grid to Birchip Jepart . When the first 5 gliders launched, struggled and returned to aerodrome the day was canceled. Some local flying later in the day was possible.

Wednesday 11th 

The wind had strengthened or remained strong . A two hour AAT task was set for Standard – Minyip Ellam. It is possible they do not use many AAT tasks at Horsham as a few experienced pilots came home early. Peter managed 140k for an average of around 70kph on handicap. The into wind leg proving to be quite a surprise with streeting almost all the way home.

Thursday 12th

Looked promising with strong southerly winds and a temp of 23 degrees. Standard – Donald, Brim Arapilies. After almost a week Greg can now stop pretending to be a glider pilot. My plan for this flight was drift into the start point high and try and make some distance from the field before taking the first thermal. Across a blue hole the sink was high so stopped for a 3 to 4 metres per second top up and reached the clouds. I planned to deviated on the upwind side of track to Donald and picked up a nice cloud street in and around the turn. Again was determined to stay on the upwind side of track to Brim but ended up chasing some more clouds that took me a little too far off track, however once again picked up a nice street into the second turn. I was determined that I would not go into the down wind turnpoint low. Beating into wind I upped my speed to 85~90kts and headed on track into the blue. Some clouds and a few dust devils enticed me to fly slightly off track however I picked up a little streeting by turning into wind in lift and following a ZSD55 into the final turn, was great to see him pulling up. The last 27k final leg had a cross wind component and I was not confident of a final glide until I had taken a couple of turns on the way home, this messing around always slows you down and take time. I need to avoid this in future. 247k 2hrs 37min average 94kph on handicap 3rd place. Happy with that.

Friday 13th

Luck number;  Peters flying today and the wind has swung around to the East and blanketed the area with smoke, so visibility is not good but we grid on runway 08, start the launch and almost get sports class into the air and the Flying Doctor announces his arrival – now I know from experience this creats havoc. All the gliders and ropes need to be removed from the strip and usually only have enough bodies at these events to fly with a couple of organizers. We are all clear by the time RFDS turns final and then continue launching all other gliders it’s bedlam on the grid. Day turned out ok with climbs to 7000ft. Horsham Hopetoun Netherby Hshm  270k – 3 hours 15 minutes 75kph on handicap.

Saturday 14th   

Last day.  Organisers want to keep us close to Horsham so they set a two hour RUN task Horsham Minyip, Warracknabeal Antwerp and Horsham. Most pilots managed to round Minyip twice – Craig did two laps averaging above 120Kph. Winds had moderated to around 20kts and turned North Easterly with good 10 knot climbs to above 8000ft under very rapid cycling Cu.  The presentation dinner commenced around 8pm with a $12 cook your own BBQ in the hanger .  Entry fee $100 with tows costing $35. Lots of fines were handed out each day to support the juniors, all light hearted and good fun. The pilots gave generously to the local bush fire victims appeal, raising around $1200.00

Horsham week is a pilots run, good fun flying event with the organizing committee volunteers coming from various Victorian clubs. A varied mix of tugs Jabaru Callair Pawnee Citabria Scout managing to launch the 32 gliders in approx 80 minutes using the single rope per glider system (tug drops the rope in a paddock prior to landing)

The weather at the beginning of the week was extreme with Saturday bringing very strong winds that prevented flying. Horsham experienced it’s hottest day on record with a serious bush fire threatening the towns outer areas and burning down the Golf Club. Strong winds prevailed throughout the week however due to the highly unstable conditions some good flying (under Cu) days were achieved . For all of the daily results and information about the week go to.    




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