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Dan Papacek

Dan Papacek

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Flying with a sustainer....

Posted by on in Flying reports

On Saturday I launched around midday - as did many others, including David Kinlan in the 'Lectric Lak'.  The first hour was a struggle, a real struggle. I spent most of that time between 3,500' and circuit height and used the jet engine at least three times to keep aloft. David was in a similar predicament. Finally we met in a thermal near Boney Mountain where we gained sufficient height to make a start to the north. From there we both enjoyed  cross country flights. I managed a very satisfying 310km at 104 kph. This with a beautiful stint near the ranges late in the day. 

Sunday looked promising at the start but soon proved even tougher than the day before. Carl (WA) and Matt(VTS) were the only other starters. Mal was the kind tuggie who got us airborne.  Carl and Matt had planned a task but soon decided this was not the day for it. Correctly so. I headed off after a reasonable climb to 5,000'. The next couple of hours were gruelling. I managed to get a bit beyond DDSC and back and spent most of the flight between circuit height and around 4,500'. There was a serious inversion at around 5,000'. It was not till I was close to Clifton on the way back that I stumbled across a half decent thermal to 6000' giving me glide home. 

I am the first to admit that I would not have had the courage to embark on either flight without the knowledge that the 'flick of a switch' would get me home if required. On Saturday the jet saved me from a relight but once on task it was no longer required. On Sunday, in spite of the tough conditions, I did not use it once. In fact, in all the time that I have been flying the JS now, I have only actually needed to use the sustainer twice to get home. Each time for no more than 5-10 minutes. It amazes me how often there really is another thermal ahead if one has the courage to push on. So often in the past (I realise now) I have 'parked myself' over a paddock in weak lift only to thermal into the ground.

Having the jet has allowed me to explore the skies on days when I would either have left the aircraft in the hangar or stayed local. It has also allowed me the opportunity to go cross country on Sundays when I know I have to be at work early the next morning. I realise it is not everybody's 'cup of tea' but I must say that it has enhanced my gliding experience immeasurably. I feel unbelievably fortunate to be able to fly such a beautiful piece of aeronautical excellence.

By the way, if you weren't there on Saturday evening you missed another splendid feed care of Val and Matt ('with a little help from their friends'). It was another great social occasion for our friendly club...

Saturday afternoon near the ranges in convergence at around 8,000'

A couple of shots of Matt in the Salto as we worked a thermal near the airfield on Sunday


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Fitz had it right

Posted by on in Flying reports

It was pretty much as Fitz predicted. Strong high climbs (above 10,000) with winds.

Friday was a corker. Mal, George and I were the only starters with Mal doing honours in the tug.  What a day. Mal top scored with just under 900k. George started a little later to return with 583k and I had my best ever (by a long margin) at around 830k.  I flew Chinchilla, Goodiwindi Warwick with a smaller triangle on return. Mal had a head start and made Miles his first turn point. George did a heroic out and return to Dulacca (somewhere near the NT border I think).

I flew the tug on Saturday so not privy to the conditions upstairs but understand it was pretty tough. I do know that at one stage I had full deflection on the tug just to stop her from tipping over in a thermal off the end of the strip. Erich and Sid in the M200 out the back bunged off as they were tossed so far out of station, recovery was going to be a challenge.

Sunday was very windy and only the hardy (foolish perhaps) launched. Lucky Phil, George, Fitz and me all took our chances. It was one of those days when you wondered what you were doing flying. However I must admit that as the day wore on I actually cherished the experience and am glad that I decided to launch (after much derision from my colleagues when I had threatened to whimp out). Fitz achieved hero status with a monumental 664km in 20-30 knot, gusty, low vis conditions.

South of Chinchilla en route to Goondiwindi

This was the day folks. Climbs to 11,000' and better......

At shutdown on the LX9000

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Easter at Warwick

Posted by on in Flying reports

It has been a great few days. A generally good turnout and weather that again proved to be better than forecast.

I won't put many words to the blog this time - just a few images to convey the flying experienced.

Convergence near the ranges, good climbs on the side of great cloud development.

Note the 'step' in the cloud development.

Another view from the ranges.

On return from Pilton North via Cecil Plains - an interesting day with long periods of stable air interspersed with occasional good climbs.

See you soon,


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WGC defies the weather yet again....

Posted by on in Flying reports

Another great weekend in spite of very discouraging RASP predictions. In spite of this we enjoyed a great turnout both days.

Some highlights included:

Saturday - (from an aged memory) Sid instructed and also shared towing with Val

Matt went solo under the guidance of Sid.  I was not there to see him land but when I left on Sunday afternoon I could still see the smile on his face.

Others to fly included Peter Foxton, Ray Squire, Bill Wilkinson, Denis Nolan, Carl Jacobs and yours truly.

Ray outlanded in a paddock near Pittsworth. Apparently the keys to his car were in his pocket so he cajoled a local farmer to give him a lift back to base.

Phil now has the dilemma of selecting from two very memorable out landings for the coming AGM.

I had a particularly memorable flight to DDSC and return. It was a day where climbs above 4,500' were hard to find but distance between thermals was short. So I bob, bob, bobbed along having the time of my life.. In case you are wondering - the jet is currently out of service so any missed climb would have meant a paddock landing.

Saturday evening we enjoyed a great BBQ and social evening with the RAA and the astronomy group. Val and Kayleen Williams did a great job with preparation of terrific salads and deserts while Carl and I manned the BBQ.

Thankfully skies were clear for the stargazers.

Sadly Noel could not make it due to a nasty squash injury (dangerous sport that).

Today started clear but soon overdeveloped. I offered to tow so that Phil could get into his glider. This turned out to be a less than generous gesture as poor Phil (not so lucky this time) spent his time sheltering under the wing of the Cirrus waiting for showers to pass. Others to launch included Paul Hogan, Peter Plunkett, David Kinlan, Michelle Dodd (in WA), Carl Jacobs, Stu Lutton, and 'beam me up' Scotty Johnson. Casey Dwyer took a friend for a passenger flight and Matt returned for another solo flight(s) in the PeeWee. David Chinchen also continued his training - this time under the guidance of Ivor. Phil, Ivor and I shared the towing for the day. Good air to the north attracted a few of our more adventurous members but all were back in due course as the weather closed in.

Saturday skies. Low could base but rewarding climbs. This was a real experience for me.

Late Saturday afternoon, soft conditions but just beautiful flying.

A delightful sky to finish a great day's flying.

Sunday overdeveloped and "Un'lucky Phil had to take refuge under David's umbrella and the wing of Oscar Papa.

Mark Agnew is similarly poised waiting for the skies to lighten up. He was present both days but I am not entirely sure that he managed to get a flight.

Lets hope he cracks a ripper next weekend.

Catch you all soon.




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WGC thwarts Met Bureau....

Posted by on in Flying reports

The forecast was for 'doom and gloom' and we expected little.

However, once again we are reminded just how good it can be in spite of predictions to the contrary.

Time is short so I won't go into much detail. Nevertheless several launches and much good gliding was to be had Saturday afternoon.

The highlight was that our Jen Llewellyn went solo. Her smile on the image below shows it all.

Sunday was training flights only. Lucky Phil was our dutiful instructor and yours truly did the towing.

Most flights managed to include some thermal activity and several were of 30+ minutes in duration.

A heavy shower early put a temporary stay on proceedings but detracted little from an otherwise great day.

An indication of the climbs to be had on Saturday. The vario peaked at 5.5 knots at times.

Jen is all smiles after completing a successful first solo - well done!

The PeeWee working hard on Sunday.

Yet another of several great flights for the day.

Catch you there next weekend. Don't worry about checking the weather first - just turn up and wait for it to happen!!






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A Rubbish Day...

Posted by on in Flying reports

When I asked a highly respected member and self-confessed weather guru what the weather would be like on Sunday I received a mono-syllabic 'rubbish'.

Apparently this was due to cyclones near Broome, the phase of the moon and a whole lot of other influences that I didn't quite understand. I very nearly hopped on my motorcycle and headed home.

Some 587km at 115kph later (a PB for me on both counts) I still can't quite manage to wipe the smile off my face.

Overall a great weekend. Lots of activity and great soaring to be had. Saturday saw a great line up on the grid to be followed by a similar effort on Sunday.

Towing was commendably performed by NKN on Saturday and by Dieter on Sunday. Instructors were Clyde and Tony respectively.

We enjoyed the company of several Boonah members this weekend including John Tucker, Stewart Campbell and Brian Gilby.

Noel and Bridget with able assistance from Erich (and I am sure others) organised a great feed on Saturday evening. The local aero club were well represented and it was a top evening.

I am sure I have forgotten important detail here but time is short and other can fill in the gaps I am sure.

Catch you at the field soon - don't listen to any 'rubbish' reports about the weather:-)

A sample of the skies from this weekend.

Looking back on the grid today...

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NKN does it again...

Posted by on in Flying reports

Sunday was a complete turnaround from the day before. Rain overnight and a complete overcast in the morning.  I was on towing duty and Lucky Phil had put his hat in the ring to be our diligent instructor for the day.

Nige had been dropping hints for some time so I said - 'time to take the JS1 for a fly'.

Lucky Phil with Jen and Matthew about to launch in the PeeWee. Note the rather unexciting skies in the background......


My view from the tug.  NKN about to launch - note the rather uninteresting skies in the background.............

Half an hour later I get a call from Nige - the conversation went something like this.

'Uh, Dan I have landed in a paddock.  Despite the fact that it was a totally unsoarable day and we had a heap of rain last night, and...I have never flown this glider before - I did think I might get to the Bunya Mountains and back.  I know you are on towing duty today but considering I have cleverly selected a black soil paddock it would be good if you could get here to pick me up in the next 15 minutes or so as there is a big squall line moving in and we may not get the glider out for a week.'

After some quick-fire negations with both Paul and Val we engineered a solution whereby Paul (who had cleverly elected to fly locally) came back to land, did a quick launch in my stead and jumped in the car and trailer combination with me while Val then dutifully took over the towing for the remainder of the day (why is it that I am always so indebted to Val?).

We scurried to the black soil paddock that Nige had so cleverly selected watching all the time as the weather became increasingly ominous.

As we drove in Brad (who had landed the Bearhawk beside the JS1 to give Nige much needed encouragement) promptly elected to depart again just when we needed him the most.  This was of course because the sky was about to dump on us under the most challenging of circumstances. 

Paul (bless him) Nige (damn him) and I, battled for the next hour to get the glider into the box and get the whole combination out of a very wet black soil paddock with the thinnest of margins.

Somehow these sorts of days are what gliding is all about.  We remember them much more vividly than the 10 Knot 10,000' days somehow.

The good thing about all this is that everything turned out well and Phil does not have to think very hard when he works out the 'most memorable outlining of the year for our next AGM.

Note the totally unstable skies in the background.  This after a couple of heavy showers.  

May I recommend to all that you don't select a black soil paddock during wet conditions............


This but a small sample of the mud that one acquires in such an adventure.  We all gained about 3" in height during the exercise.

Catch you all son - happy and safe soaring,

Cheers, Dan




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When Nige says it's gunna be a 750K day........

Posted by on in Flying reports

Last night Nigel suggested 750K was an easy option - that's when I should have realised it was a good day to stay on the ground.

Ivor very kindly offered to fly the tug so I felt I should take the opportunity to do a serious 750 (just like Nige said).

Everything was very hot and incredibly stable so we waited.... and waited - finally launching at midday.

As Carl was landing for a relight I took a launch and the struggle began.

Following a climb to around 5,000' I headed off and decided to try to complete what was supposed to be the task for the day.  WCK-Leyburn-Tipton-Killarney-WCK.

At 700' over Tipton I started to dump water and had my trigger finger ready to light up the 'noisy coke can'.  I did not have to resort to assistance but it came close many times.

Several bubbles later I finally got a climb and eventually made it home via all turn points.

It was a very rewarding day and uniquely satisfying to complete the task under the most challenging conditions.

Nevertheless - give me a 10,000' day with nice Cu development and 8 knot climbs anytime :-)

For those wondering - I am very pleased with the JS-1 - it is a nice piece of plastic.

The jet frightens the living daylights out of me but it does allow me to venture where I otherwise might not have gone.

Better than 4 knots late in the afternoon. Nice finish to the day....

Killarney - late in the day.  Nige was probably watching TV while I was working hard to get home.....




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You know it going to be a tough day when........

Posted by on in Flying reports

I woke Saturday morning (boxing day) and thought I might go gliding.....

That was my first mistake.

You know it's going to be a tough day when.......

  1. You check out RASP and it looks quite promising
  2. You line up on the grid, look around and realise you are the only glider to launch that day
  3. Bill Wilkinson turns up - says he is going to fly and you find out later that he did not bother getting his glider out of the hangar
  4. You put the undercarriage down three times in the circuit area at Pittsworth
  5. You plan on Kingaroy and return and struggle to make it to PIttsworth
  6. You spend almost 3 hours getting to Pittsworth and back and don't get above 4,500'
  7. The wedge-tailed eagles come over to see if I have a better thermal than they can find
  8. You dump 120 litres of water and there still are no climbs to be had
  9. An ASH 25 arrives on the field and the owners spend the day polishing it rather than flying it

In spite of that - remember the old adage.....

The worst day gliding is still better than the best day working:-)

I will put it down to practice.

Remember all - there is flying to be had this week - we have tow pilots, instructors and improving weather. Be there or be square.

Pittsworth airfield as I made my way down for a near landing (three times)

The 'Three Stooges' get the ASH 25 ready for operations. This is one serious glider and it will be great to see it in the skies around Warwick. Well done fellas.....




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Another 'unflyable' weekend yields good times...

Posted by on in Flying reports

While the prognosis was very poor this was yet another example of a weekend where lots of fun was to be had - in spite of the met man.

We flew both days and amongst it all managed some surprisingly enjoyable flying.

On Saturday evening we held a well attended committee meeting (with all welcome of course) - the minutes will be coming out soon.

Val prepared a delicious BBQ and we ensured the bar was kept busy (just to support of the club of course).

Below are a few pics (as each one of them is apparently worth a thousand words:-)

Brad & Dan share a mutual in the beloved 'PeeWee' - we had an absolute ball and vowed to do it again soon.

Anytime the PeeWee is available I highly recommend you grab a companion and go for a flight - flying together with another gliding soulmate is great fun.

Believe it or not (as Mr. Ripley would have said) this is a true reading as the venerable Tony Scarlett and I scooted straight and level (at 70kts) under some very interesting cloud streets between rain and showers to the north and  generally scrappy conditions to the south. Yes - that is a genuine 8.6 on the Richter scale!

Needless to say - we had an absolute ball.

This was a weekend for rig and de-rig.  Clyde and I pulled apart ZDZ for a Form 2, Ivor re-assmebled WR and Ian and I disassembled Z5 (the JS-1) for him to head south in pursuit of some serious comp flying.

Meanwhile 9KN was clocking up time on the Spitfire.  It is hard to wipe the grin from his face each time he clambers out of the cockpit.

Nige tells me that he enjoys nothing more than burning other people's avgas!


Yours truly did a couple of tows on Sunday, Ivor did the honours on Saturday.  Don't forget to hug your tuggie....

While you are at it - check out the sky in the background.  Did you really believe Mr RASP again?

Things did get rather wild late on Sunday and I had to delay my departure to avoid the storm that was responsible for this....

See you at the gliding field again soon.





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RASP ain't always got it right!

Posted by on in Flying reports

As you may have realised by now the weekend just gone was much better than RASP or XC Skies might have suggested.  I for one had a ball and we enjoyed some great conditions with lots of variety.  I have put together some photos as we all know just how many words a picture might be worth...

This is how things looked on Saturday.  It was cycling rapidly and trending to overdevelopment but nice lift to be had if you could get it!

Just cruising out to Killarney - it was good air all the way with little height loss.  Great stuff near the ranges.

Matt Anglim and I had a ball flying together again.  I need a great aircraft just to try desperately to keep up with him...

Later on - back at base camp - things are definitely trending to over development - that's Massie airfield in the one bright spot in the middle distance.

Meanwhile Brad and Sid took the Bearhawk for a pleasant jaunt.

Sunday morning early Brad takes Matt and me to Gore airstrip for a closer inspection - so close we landed in fact.

Gore is only 30m from fence to fence but Phil Southgate has clearly demonstrated that it is landable (having been in there more than once:-)

See you next weekend and don't let RASP put you off.....


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Weekend Report

Posted by on in President's Blog

The weekend delivered two quite disparate days.  Saturday offered good thermals - somewhat broken and hard to centre. Our cross-country hot-shots - Slutsky (SL), Andres (WR) and MOB all arrived together to make a grab for hotly contested WWCRAP points.  Ivor offered his services as tow pilot while Sid was instructing and offered several members the opportunity to undertake annual check flights.  I was one of those also enjoying the chance to experience some amazing aerobatic manoeuvres in the back seat of the PeeWee with Sid at the controls.  He is a true genius and I suggest any of you who have an interest in this aspect of gliding cajole him into taking you up for a fly.

There were attempts at cross country flights but apart from Nigel's 'close to' 70k, none of the others even bothered to upload their trace onto OLC.  Sadly they picked the wrong day......

I really did not expect much more from Sunday and indeed RASP was decidedly pessimistic that evening as we chomped on our pizza washed down with beer.

However..... 5-6 knot climbs, eventually to 8,000' meant that Sunday was one of those memorable winter gliding opportunities.  I am still buzzing with the thrill of that last thermal after 4pm - 5 knots to 7,000' - not at all bad.  Eventually I decided I really should come home so I could land before it got dark.

Carl managed a great flight in his new glider WUN.  This was his first flight in a single seater and with more than 3 hours in the air and climbs to 7000' he had a smile that was hard to disguise on landing.  John Fairbairn also had a great flight in the club Discus (WA).  John spent 4 hours 30 minutes in the air and has shown that he is clearly back into the sport.  Others enjoying the ideal conditions were Val (KZ), Ivor (WR) and Peter Plunkett (OW). 

Ivor did the post form 2 test flight for Carl before he took his new toy to the air.


Former member Shawn Leigh arrived unexpectedly in his Cessna 150 for a much overdue visit.

Of course those of you who did not make it to the gliding field this weekend will be expected to provide a note from your mum!






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Sid reports in from Friedrichshafen

Posted by on in President's Blog

Dear all,

The following was sent to me by a Smiling Sid in Europe.  He has ordered an SZD 59 Acro and his very glider has been used as part of the display.  I can't wait to see this aircraft when it gets to Oz.

Embedded in this post are a couple of pics.  One of a beaming Sid with his new 'toy'. In the second photo (taken yesterday) - see if you can identify all of the culprits:-)

BTW - you should have been here as it was not such a bad day.  Greg (PII), Denis (OKN), David (WA) and I all managed creditable cross country flights in a very flyable if somewhat challenging day (up to 20kt winds from the west at height).  For a brief few minutes I even experienced 8kts climb to around 7,000' although this was not the norm.  In the end a neat 200km for a very satisfying afternoon.

Val towed while Bill stood in as duty instructor.  Noel and our Antarctic colleague enjoyed an hour or so in the PeeWee.





Last week, I saw my new glider for the first time. It was in a rather public setting, with lots of other people seeing my glider too. In between a bunch of talks I was giving across Europe, I managed to squeeze in a visit to the Aero 2015 Messe in Friedrichshafen. Friedrichshafen is in Southern Germany, on Lake Constance. It is a beautiful area. Spring had just arrived; the northern bank of the lake was in full bloom, vineyards welcoming the sun, birds singing, the air crisp and blue, the slight breeze not quite relieved of the sharp bite of the season past. 


The Aero Messe is a huge event. I had never been there before. The first hall I stumbled into was the one dedicated to gliders, and it was pretty much the one I stayed in for the day. What beautiful, and sometimes limitlessly expensive, toys get built in that part of the world, and with what love and dedication! One of the most fascinating things was the number of gliders that had grown a mustache: a Slovenian-built FES electric engine with a little fold-out propeller on the front of the nose that, rather implausibly, promises to self-launch anything from a LAK17, Discus, Ventus to an HPH304. 


My glider was not thus equipped. I will have to rely on WPS, or any other method in the future. I was indeed quickly drawn to the Allstar stand. The manufacturer had asked me a few weeks before if they could take ‘my’ glider, a just-in-time finished SZD 59 Acro, to the show to put in on display. I had agreed, if anything because it gave me the opportunity to see the ship for myself and talk to the owner and builder of SZD Allstar. 


It was a proud and somewhat otherworldly moment to see one’s acquisition on a stand, the nose elevated, as if impatient, keen and clawing for the sky already. There is none in Australia, so I never had the opportunity to see one up close before. I was pleasantly surprised at the nimble lines, the slim, tender tininess of the glider, and was reminded of George Lee’s remark that in aerodynamics, “if something looks good, it flies good (sic).” I walked straight to it. Andrew Papiorek, the CEO of Allstar, quickly found me, took me all around the glider, and then to lunch. 


After lunch, I joined the builder and Michal Ombach (Papiorek’s right hand) for another even more detailed walk-around of the glider. It was wonderful to get to know my ship that way. Michal Ombach joked that he had sacrificed a neighbor’s Polish sheep to cover the seat: in my experience with flying Australia, there is no better material to sit on. The Poles, whose country is pretty much frozen for half the year, are not as experienced with that kind of heat, but they indulged my request. I asked Michal whether he and his family had eaten the contents of my seat cover. He laughed, not committing to an answer.


The glider had only just got ready for the show. The instrument panel was finished, but little had been hooked up yet. It was a cosmetic job, for the audience. In fact, I was struck at how artisan the whole business of building gliders actually is. All of it handwork, honest manual labour. 42 Acro’s are flying today, so we are not talking the sorts of numbers that you get at an automotive plant. Each one is lovingly built from start to finish by pretty much the same team, under the guidance of one builder. And thus each has its own flying personality. Allstar was very proud of how mine had turned out, a ‘jewel.’ This is good to know. 


The hardest thing to do was to walk away from the glider to catch my flight out to the next talk to give in yet another country. Looking back once more at my ship, I saw other visitors circle it, touch it, stroke it, and something inside me wanted to flare, wanted to run back and shush them away from my glider. Oh well. Who knows what happens to it in the factory, for that matter, I tried to assuage myself.


The glider, as it was, was headed for its trailer in the next few hours, for a return journey to Poland. There its building and instrument hook-up would all be finished. It should be test-flown for the first time any day now. After that, de-registration from the Polish registry, and preparation for shipping to Australia. I hope to get it somewhere in July. 


It takes a bit of steadfastness (or idiocy) to buy a new glider and get it all the way to Australia. If you try to get an overview stable in the head of everything that is involved, particularly the many intermingled bureaucratic machinations, it seems overwhelming, off-putting. I have told myself to take it one step at a time, and simply try to get each step to work. 


Living in a country that boasts year-round flying weather, with awesome horizons, and hangar space waiting to be filled once again, I decided that getting the glider was worth it. What an indulgence. And what a pleasure it should be to fly. I can hardly wait. You should see an Acro with a Dutch flag swooshed along the fuselage in the skies over Warwick soon!





A likely bunch of lads - the good-looking dude, recently back from the 'deep south', is apparently retired and raring to do lots of flying!!

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It was a nice looking paddock - so I decided to park in it....

Posted by on in President's Blog

Saturday looked much more promising than RASP suggested.  Proving once again that you shouldn't stay home because some aberrant modelling software package is having a bad day.

Sid was our dedicated tuggie while good ole' Logie did the instructing thing.  Jan insists that he is really a nice guy but we all know him much better than that.

The single seaters to take to the skies included David K (OKN), Clyde (ZDZ), Bill (KZ), and me (IZW).  It started a little slowly but then began to deliver with some nice climbs to 7,000' or better. David headed north while Clyde and I did the Killarney thing.  Old fox Bill was flying 'under the radar' until he passed me in opposite direction on his way back from Leyburn about 1,000' above (why is he always 1,000' above?).

Bill and I stayed together for a while but parted ways 'somewhere near Salinas Lord' (i'm losing it here - that was supposed to be Pittsworth).  That was my big mistake - I should have stayed behind the 'Silver-tailed devil' a bit longer as he obviously picked a better part of the sky to me.  Somehow from 8,000' to ground level near Freestone road I hardly got another bump.  I got to look rather too closely at several very wet looking paddocks before I plopped into one that was small but firm.

The next bit went something like this:

Me:           'ZDZ this IZW - I am in a paddock about 12km east of the airfield.

Clyde(to the distinct sound of a poorly muffled chortle):      'I'll see if I can get there this afternoon sometime after I have completed my flight, put the glider away, had some lunch, a cup of tea and a little nap'.

Before Clyde and Andrew finally arrived, the entire population of Freestone Road must have visited me for a chat and 'are you sure your'e OK'.  

One of my strongest criticisms of my gliding is that I simply don't outland often enough.  I hope this has done something to correct that trend.

While all this was going on Slutsky was taking a check flight and MOB was busy getting BK back into service.

David K was pretty chuffed when it looked like he had top scored for Qld on the day with 287km.  That was until Alan Barnes posted a whopping 767km out of DDSC in his LS-8 (just to make us all look rather silly).  

Sunday looked even better than the day before.  Sadly I had to pay penance for my sins by sitting it out in the tug.  

Clyde took up a visitor for an AEF and then hopped into ZDZ for two days of gliding extravaganza.  Others in single seaters included Stu L (SL), Scottie (AC), Val (KZ), Denis (OKN) and later in the day it was MOB (BK) and Paul Hogan (PU).  Mal Williams - visitor from Canberra gliding club - went for a run around the delightful skies in the PeeWee with Erich the Red.

Bill did a great job of helping with the launches and then with refuelling and cleaning the tug at the close of play.

Late in the afternoon two of the Boonah chappies arrived with Erich's Duo Discus in readiness for our Easter Regatta.

Don't forget that there will be lots of fun to be had over the entire Easter period.  Ring Erich if you want to find out more.


I did tell you it was a nice paddock.  And look at that delightful sky that I managed to drop out of.....
It takes three to rig an ASW 20.  Notice that number 4 -the biggest, strongest dude - is doing nothing but giving advice.
I was briefly in South Australia the other day.  Naturally a quick visit to a gliding club was in order.
Anybody recognise this call-sign?
I seem to recall doing 300k in this old girl a few years back when she was proudly owned by Rodney Rude.

On closing, I came across this today.  If you look closely you just might recognise the author as our 'internationally famed aviation accident psychologist'.  Well worth a read.




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Nine Knot Nige is Never Never Wrong....

Posted by on in President's Blog

On Friday evening NKN gave us the following prognosis:   'Weather is showing some rather stable air around us or an area of slack pressure. If we reach the estimated temp of 31 degrees we should see 7,000 ft CB. Blue to the west with Cu out to Millmeran. RASP is predicting an early shutdown (3.00pm) which I think will be a weak seabreeze coming in.'

I think the key word in all that was 'slack'.  That is certainly how I felt as I stumbled around a paddock at about 900' AGL somewhere between Pittsworth and Clifton.  It had looked promising but what was going wrong?  Sid was not far away in a similar predicament.  Stu and David K had managed to get airborne earlier and seemed to be doing pretty well but only minutes later we here them turn tail for home as well.  Meanwhile, back at the camp, our weather meister  NKN himself had decided that after visually checking the garden at Killarney and working the weeds back to Warwick he would also call it a day.

Phil had planned to join us but very selflessly became impromptu instructor for the day when our new recruit Karl arrived for the weekend (you probably planned it that way Phil).  Brad kindly did a very commendable job as tow pilot (we can hardly blame him for the poor thermals can we).

Late in the day everyone was starting to be a little concerned that we had not heard from Old Fox Bill.  Brad and I went up in the BearHawk to see if we could contact him. A weak signal came over the radio suggesting he was working hard to get home and would prefer not to be disturbed.  After landing Bill quietly announced that he had completed the task (Warwick, Kogan, Bell & return).  What a hero!

Sunday looked like it was to be the day we had expected the day before.  I did a quick tow to get Paul Hogan current again and then he took over the reins.  Phil was again in the back seat of the PeeWee but today the plan was Pittsworth and back to give Karel a taste of cross country.   Laurie (MO), Young Dan (WA), Val (KZ), Les (OP) and yours truly headed off on task (Laurie's special - Broadwater Lagoon, Killarney and return). After a pretty good climb over Warwick we all headed off only to head inexorably towards the deck.  The next couple of hours or so was a mix of good climbs and desperate struggles.  Val pulled up stumps early due to instrument problems.  Dan A decided against the last leg to Killarney while Laurie was so happy with his 300K under his belt that he hung on for another hour or so at the end of the day to celebrate.  I did not hear a lot from Les but when she call inbound at 20k and 7,000' under a convergence line I thought I could almost see the smile on her dial:-)

See you soon under a nice Cu...


New recruit (Karl), Denis with overseas student, while Phil S and Paul H wait for the photo op to finish so they can get a launch.

At the other end of the rope Les curses yesterday's (South African) tug pilot who apparently can't work out this fancy twirly thing.

Dan A and Laurie all excited (that's about as excited as Laurie ever gets) just before we head off into the unknown

Les helps with the launch before jumping into OP to do her stint around the skies.






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Update 1 March 2015

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Yet another great weekend of gliding and general all round good fun at Warwick Gldiing Club.

Saturday was a tough day following 40mm of rain the night before.  David Kinlan(OKN), Dan Atkinson(WA) and Val(IKZ) tried their best in soft conditions.  Young Dan managed to combine a short cross country flight with an evaluation of the Discus following its recent Form 2 (thanks to all those who contributed to this exercise).  Sid Dekker offered his superb services as tug pilot on the day.

My business partner Marius Collatz turned up and flew with 'yours truly' in the Pee Wee. Later in the day he went up with 'Seriously Sadistic Sid' for some aerobatic manoeuvres. Fortunately he came back all smiles.  If you spot Marius (or any other newbie) at the airstrip make sure you greet them warmly as we want to maintain our reputation as a warm and friendly club.

Meanwhile the irascible Logie did a great job as instructor on the day taking up Jen Llewellyn for a couple of great fights plus an AEF that was a birthday gift for a local Warwick lady.

In the background, in his typical selfless way, our CFI devoted his weekend to helping Bernard Eckey commission a couple of ASK21 motorised gliders for the AAFC.  Bernard was effusive about the help that Erich provided as well as the generous support in general from Warwick Gliding Club.  Anything we can do to foster aviation activity on the Warwick Airfield is a great thing.  Bernard is making a donation to the club (on top of his accommodation charges) as a thanks for our support.

Sunday looked more promising.  Laurie (MO), Andres(WR), Denis(OKN), Scottie(White Ant Express) and I(ZDZ) launched in the single seaters for a cross country stint.  Peter & Lisa Trotter turned up to evaluate Bill & Vals recently acquired LS-8 with Pete taking the ship for a test flight.

Val towed today and as usual did an impeccable job.  

We had a great day - somewhat challenging but rewarding nonetheless. 

A few pics below:

Logie helps Marius strap on securely in readiness for the aerobatics Marius is about to experience at the hand of Seriously Sadistic Sid....

Late on Sunday I am lucky enough to get some taxiing experience  in the motorised ASK21 with Bernard (who doesn't know which way to turn).



Meanwhile it 'Beam me up from Scottie'.........


Just be warned - next weekend 'IT'S GOING ORRFFFF'..........


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After the rain....

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Yes, we did get some rain over the last few days.  Some of our members even decided to 'bugger off' to seemingly greener pastures (shame on you Stu and George - we expect nothing less than 750k flights from each of you now that you are in Narromine).

However, in spite of the damp, things aint looking so bad.  The day started very quietly with just Erich and me getting things prepared and hoping for some starters.  Erich has replaced the radiator in the tractor and tried valiantly to get some slashing done (the grass is naturally quite long).  The tractor however failed to cooperate and after a couple of useful runs up and down the eastern launch point decided to give up the ghost (a working bee is planned early tomorrow to try to rectify this).

On Wednesday afternoon, with the generous help of Kelvin Hutchinson - Erich, NIge and I managed to ring the Duo Discus from Boonah.  This was a surprisingly easy task and thanks heaps to those who helped make it so.

The arrival of the Duo (thanks for coordinating this Erich) is a fabulous opportunity for all our members to upgrade their cross-county skills and to fly serious cross country with a companion (always a great thing).

The deal is that our club members (once approved) are able to fly this magnificent machine if they wish.  Boonah club members are naturally encouraged to come to Warwick to fly it and will get first preference.  This should be an excellent outcome for both clubs.

This arrangement will remain under review and may be withdrawn if we do not utilise it enough.  Have a chat to Erich to get some experience in this piece of 'fantastic plastic'.

I can't say exactly how the next few days will pan out but I can say that if you make the effort to get here you will enjoy yourself.  Today there were smooth 4 knot climbs to 6,500' and glorious soaring to be had.

'Be there or be square...'


Noel & Erich about to take a launch in the Duo Discus (note the 'turbo tag')  They were smiling even more after landing some 2.5 hours later so things must have been pretty good.

Bill took his first flight in their recent acquisition - a smart LS-8.  He has put a lot of work into preparing it and, knowing Bill, it will continue to get attention until it is perfect.

Meanwhile, I took up Noel's 'son in law' Geoff (or at least that is the rumour) and his daughter Christine for a punt around the skies near Warwick.

As always the PeeWee performed flawlessly and was an absolute pleasure.

Late this arvo' Greg Wilson turned up - 'on ya greg'.  Let's get some serious soaring happening real soon.

Make sure you get here pronto.





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Better late than never...

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Better late than never - a report from last weekend....

Saturday was beset by showers.  That did not stop several launches in the PeeWee and a few hardy soldiers who took a solo launch.  I was one of them as IZW (back after a form 2 and a very nice re-finish to the wings) was due for a test flight.  Ole' Bearhawk Brad gave me a bucking and weaving launch to 4,000'.  The rain came bucketing down along with me and the glider.  A very short flight.  There had however been some surprisingly good lift earlier in the day. Phil & Gerry used up much of it in the PeeWee.

Later that afternoon we held a very productive committee meeting.  Don't forget that all are welcome to these events.

Our Christmas Dinner followed with a typically sumptuous meal put together by Val, Les and several of Santa's helpers.  We enjoyed an excellent evening with great food and equally great company.  Afterwards our visitor Bernard Eckey, offered insight into his thoughts on how we can get the most out of our cross country flying.  It was an enjoyable, casual and most informative presentation.

Sunday was better than forecast.  Slutsky, and I tried our best to head north but struggled in weak lift under unpredictable clouds (teasers).  After a gruelling effort towards Clifton and beyond, we limped home, tails between our legs.  Back at base - George was onto his second 'relight' having used the iron thermal twice to remain airborne.  The three of us made our way to the ranges.  After sometime the day suddenly came good.  A nice run to Killarney, Wyreema and then back along the ranges to Killarney again before returning home.  A most enjoyable afternoon with around 260 km under the belt.


 Clyde, Val, Brigid and Noel enjoy fine food and Christmas cheer.


 Phil is thinking of Omarama (or is it of what Santa might bring tonight:-)


 Bernard gives some tips on how to fly in cloud (the sun doesn't shine in Cambridge)


 Noel prepares for launch with a mean looking sky behind.


"Now Gerry, the next landing is going to be SHORT - got it!!"


I fill up the 'old girl' before heading home.  A great new fuel facility for Warwick aerodrome!


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Quick report

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Dear all,

Yes it was a great weekend.  On Saturday I arrived (on my way back from Sth Australia) to find Sid in the tug and Logie in the back seat of the PeeWee.  I took over the tug for a while so that Sid could go gliding then we swapped roles again.  Although I did not launch until almost 2 pm it was top afternoon and I was left lamenting the lack of fellow cross country pilots to fly with.  In a bit over a couple of hours I managed around 185km.

Brad was there putting his homebuilt aircraft together ready for its first flight.  Very impressive Brad.  You should be rightly proud of your efforts.

Sunday was brilliant with a much better turnout.  Val did the honours in the tug and Owen was the instructor for the day. Andres(WR) and MOB(BK) got going quickly and headed north towards DDSC. Nigel(WA) and I(ZDZ) left a little later but the sky looked a treat towards the west and we trekked in the general direction of Millmerran thence Cecil Plains.  Nige was just great leading the way and stopping from time to time to allow me to catch up a few turns as required.  I reckon the days top score should go to him:-).  For the first 50 or 60 km we hardly made a turn.

During the afternoon we could hear Stew Hamey in Oscar Whiskey also enjoying the great conditions.

Nige and I flew together as far as DDSC but then parted ways.  For me the ranges looked good and delivered. at the end it was 100 knots plus to get home without being too high.  The steeting was a treat.  Nige however headed west again and I only met up with him late in the day as we crossed paths between Leyburn and the ranges.

Meanwhile........back at the camp..........Brad was busy assembling the Bearhawk and Denis Nolan was finally getting their new Discus into the air.  From 200KM out we could see him grinning from ear to ear.

A remarkable and unexpected weekend for early August (still technically winter).  You gotta be there to make the most of it!

'Bearhawk Brad' busily fitting the tow hook to the back of the new machine - I want first launch Bradley...

Not sure about the call sign mate :-)

Logie is evangelistic in his role as instructor - 'Hallelujah brother' we shall commit aviation together and 'praise the lord' for what we are about to receive..........

At the end of a great day Denis Nolan put his baby to bed.  What a happy chappie...........




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Weekend update

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Dear all,

Another great weekend at WGC - if you weren't there you missed something.

Saturday morning saw a great turnout for a morning briefing. Erich ran proceedings and those present included yours truly, Clyde, Peter P, Jason Turner, Greg W, Val, Bill, Denis Nolan, David Bull, Angela, Brad Lange, and Noel Tesch. We were also graced with the presence of David Wright (a long time member who is getting back into the sport).  Tony and Brian also turned up for the day in the motor glider from Byron Bay.

A task was set and Greg, David B, Val, Denis and I headed off pretty smartly.  Brad had to re-organise his day since Bill had kindly offered to fly the tug to allow him the opportunity to jump in the Pik. He was a little later getting airborne as a result.

What a top day - beautiful Cu development with climbs of 5-7 knots at times eventually to around 8,500'.  Greg, Dan & David posted on OLC with flights of around 350 km at better than 90kph (personal best for me as far as speed is concerned).

Back at the camp Jason was busy convincing Erich that he was ready to go solo in a single seater while Angela was also building her skills.  David Wright took a check flight in the PeeWee before taking a flight in the Discus.  I think I spotted the glint from the smile on his face as he landed - at the time I was just rounding the first turn point at Jimbour:-)

Noel and Brigid spent the day getting their new hangar all set up and comfortable.  Peter P couldn't hang around unfortunately as he had to head out to Chinchilla for a job he is working on.

That evening a whole bunch of us enjoyed a great impromptu barbecue under the new patio - what a great addition to the club!

Sunday looked promising according to all reports but sadly was not quite up to measure.

Clyde, Greg, David B, David Kinlan and Phil all made reasonable attempts at cross country flights but the set task was never really an option.  Phil S took the Cirrus up for its evaluation flight and Erich and Noel both took flights in the Libelle CJ.

Stew Hamey had designs on a 500k but had to be satisfied with something less this time.  Good on you for trying Stew - maybe again soon.  On landing Scottie (who had come along to crew for Stew) went for a flight in OW and I suspect he found that most pleasurable (one sweet glider).

Val did the launching while Erich instructed.  Adam Sinden continued his training under Erich's expert guidance.

The top news story for the weekend is that Jason Turner went for his first solo circuit in the Discus.  Congratulations Jason.


 Herr Kapitan gives us the drum on the weather and where we are expected to fly for the day - well done sir!


Some of the excited crew ready for serious flying..


David Wright about to jump in the Discus


A sampler of the sky on Saturday - these are the days we live for.


On Sunday Jason gets to go solo in the Discus - he is hooked…...




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