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Erich Wittstock

Erich Wittstock

Erich Wittstock has not set their biography yet

Cross Country 20th November 2016 - Hindsight

Posted by on in Flying reports

Weatherbomb indicated Sunday to be "the" day for the weekend.
Saturday was a mixed bag for flying. However, we had a nice combined BBQ with the Aero Club in the evening.

Pilots that logged their flights on OLC for Sunday:
(as listed on the map)
Noel / Erich - ASH25P BE (red)
Michael O'Brien - Discus A BK (yellow)
Scot Johnson - BG12a - GAC (green)
Laurie Simpkins - Open Cirrus MO (turquoise)
Peter Plunkett - Std Cirrus OW (blue)
Dan Papacek - Discus CS WA (Mr Pink)
Flew, but did not publish:
Clyde Stubbs - SZD55 ZDZ
Bill Wilkinson - LS8 15m IKZ
Brian Gilby - HPH 304

Task: Warwick - Tipton - Wyaga Strip - Warwick 340Km. FAI for the ASH; 30K circles for everyone else.
Parallel to scrub-line was the usable trigger between Tipton and Wyaga Strip. Scrub crossing perpendicular on final.
Airstrips between Warwick - Tipton and Tipton Wyaga Strip as well as freshly harvested paddocks (finally dry and land-able again).
An Ian Fleming thermal type day: shaken - not stirred. Even in the ASH Noel and myself got a few
"triggered by an Earthquake" thermal punches that indicated 12 knots momentarily on the open Richter scale.
Usually, it is nice and smooth in the big bird - not on that day. Everyone else got thrown around as well.
Day topped out around 9000ft. Slight shear @ 7500ft. Wind NE 14-17 Knots.
The overall averaging MCReady got up to over 4.6 knots for the good part of the day on XCSoar - apart from the roughness: what a day!

OLC is good for sharing flights but does not score realistically.
Best performance, when "scored" in SeeYou with task assigned: Laurie Simpkins
Awesome effort from Peter Plunkett - very nicely done!
Same for Dan!
Michael outed and returned on the first leg.
Scott checked out the condition of the Pittsworth airfield. Clyde gave him a hand with that.
Great effort by everyone!

In hindsight, I should have taken a final glide route South of track. CU's on that line.
We pushed "the button of shame" 60K's out, one and a half mistakes high - just in case the whipper snipper wouldn't fire up.
I also kept it running until I could have made it to Warwick with the engine out and not running.
(How did the saying go about 'old' and 'bold' pilots?)

Triangle courses are a nice challenge: different wind directions for each leg and flying into different air masses - great practice.
The airmass from the NNE kept things interesting with fast cycling CU's. North of the Toowomba line clouds were a bit more permanent.
Cirrostratus from the Southwest moved in slow enough and the boundary air created more permanent CU's to the South (the track I should have chosen).
Good conditions to the East of Warwick - just a bummer about the airspace. But it can be task'ed as well.
Let's see what the rest of Summer has in store for us.

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Responsible Wing Walker Ownership

Posted by on in Flying reports

Taken straight from the GFA website:
For many glider pilots wing walkers are a important piece of their glider equipment. A wing walker can be a joy but they are a big responsibility.
If you’re thinking of bringing a new wing walker into your club choose the adoption option and make the gliding club your first port of call.
Choosing the right wing walker for your glider is fun, but takes time, planning and lots of research. You need to consider very carefully both your needs and the needs of the wing walker that comes into your life.
Too often, the club is left with the aftermath of impulse purchases. Last year the gliding club accepted more than 13 wing walkers from the community.
If you do decide you have room for a wing walker in your trailer and can provide it with the care and attention it deserves then consider adopting from another glider pilot, that way you are not only giving a wing walker a second chance but we can match you with the perfect wing walker for your glider. Dollies and wing walkers adopted from other glider pilots are also painted, greased, pumped up and microchipped with the call sign of the glider they belong to.
Please remember that wing walkers are a life-long commitment but given the chance, they will love you for life.

This story will turn into a happy ending eventually!

Poor thing! Bindis in it's paws, sand and grass in it's coat.

Look at that smile! Yes, you are allowed to stay inside over night!

Sorry, no roaming! You can pull that face as much as you like.

Your owner will be back soon! At least you are with your buddies..

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..did I turn the wrong way? Again!

Posted by on in Training
I heard a few post flight conversations lately - that's why I am writing this:

Did this happen to you recently or regularly?
You fly along between thermals and all off a sudden your variometer goes ooorrff.
"Beaut" you think and you start to turn, only to find that you turned into sink. And not just a little bit of sink. No, a whole lot of going doooown - you just lost 150 feet in that turn!

"Sink makes you think" and maybe doubt your ability, but: "You can't be that wrong all the time!"
OK, for starters you should fly by feel and not just by what your variometer tells you. Varios like to tell lies at times - if you let them.

My remedy for "instrument pilots" is to blind off instruments on the panel in the front seat of a two seater, turn the variometer sound down and "make" you listen to the sound of the airspeed and feel the air and sensations of micro g-forces instead of just being an IFR pilot.
The "snaking" S-bend manoeuvre instead of flying a whole turn is also highly advisable to avoid reducing your xcountry speed unnecessarily.

But back to the variometer system:
The total energy compensation might be "out" in your glider. This might be very likely if you find that you did not feel any lift but your variometer is still going ooorrrff on a regular basis. Hint: there is no thermal if your altimeter does not go up after you established thermal speed.

There are certain atmospheric conditions that create a lot of horizontal gusts and lure you into turning when you really shouldn't.
The effects of horizontal gusts on a variometer system with incorrect compensation will be magnified and result in a lot of false readings.

Type "horizontal gusts variometer" into Google and you will find pages and pages of information on the influence of gusts on variometer systems.
Electronic accelerometers and specialised algorithms were implemented in electronic variometers as a result  of research findings.
The research happened about 6-7 years ago in the "Akaflieg" (groups of aerodynamical engineering students from individual German Technical Universities).
This should be the end of phantom lift! Not quite.
New varios such as the LXNav or ClearNav systems are using accelerometers and algorithms for the last 2-3 years to compensate the effects of gusts and reduce the resulting false vario indications. The hardware accelerometers were in the instrument since they were built. New firmware did activate and made use of the accelerometer data more recently.
However, these newer variometer systems still require proper compensation. Just as "older" systems like the Cambridge or Borgelt system or even the mechanical Winter / Sage / Boli variometer.
Newer variometer systems are able to be entirely electronically compensated. In this case the variometer plumbs only into the static and total pressure system - no TE-Probe required. The computer does the rest, end of story - you might think. Not quite!
It is always imperative to have a fault free static and total pressure system. No leaks, kinks, sharp bends, dust, oil, water or insects in the system!
Pressure ports have to be in the correct location as well. The computer will do all the compensation as programmed (adjusted). But remember: garbage in - garbage out! A computer can't rectify problems that are caused by hardware that is not working correctly.
The preferred method of total energy compensation is still by the means of a "TE-Probe" - no matter if the system is old or new.
If your glider has got a "TE-Probe" or is entirely electronically compensated - you can check its function by following the steps below.
Esa-systems also provides info about "probe manipulation". But: filing off or extending, widening or reducing should only be done as a last resort after making sure that the pneumatic plumbing of the glider is fault free!
(Taken from http://www.esa-systems.com/index_en.html - "ze Germans did it again..")
In a nutshell: the variometer should never give a positive reading during a pull up. If it does - check the plumbing system first! Might be as simple as: do you really need six connectors / joiners / T or Y pieces between the port and instrument?
Mr Borgelt did a write up as well - but Esa's is more concise and included a neat diagram! (a picture is worth a thousand words)
For a reliable check, it is necessary to conduct the flights in absolutely calm air (first sufficient light prior to or at sunrise, no wind). Check flights do require some experience, and the instrument readings should be, if feasible, recorded by a video camera. This would help to eliminate interpretations influenced by emotions . Normally esa-systems probes and venturi tubes are perfectly compensated and do not need any readjustment. In exceptional cases of over- or undercompensation, depending on the particular glider, adapting the probe may be necessary. The sketch will help to interpret the variometer readout correctly.

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Warwick Flying Week

Posted by on in Training

Hello Club Members!
We have a gliding week @ Warwick from the 4th to the 11th October 2014.
Come out for the week, a few days or even just a day.
SeeYou then

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Posted by on in Training



a circuit is not just a circuit, 
it’s an opportunity to perfect your skills

WITH EVERY LAUNCH we will perform a landing. And that landing will colour our perception of the entire flight. For should that landing go bad, we will soon forget the climb to cloud-base, the spectacular views, the feats of derring-do, the local sightseeing tour, the 100/200 km triangle, the gentle but progressive wave lift or the off-the-clock thermals. And good landings start, as we all know, with good circuits.... read on!

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9 Knot Nige's Weather tips for cross country from Warwick

Posted by on in Training

Nigel Andrews (23.06.2014 12:56:00):

Hi All,

Just thought I would pass on some trade secrets so as to give you all a fighting chance when I come out and flog the distance record – I hate to see grown men cry – the girls I would expect it. ..read on!

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..you have been warned!

Posted by on in Flying reports

Our competition director told us that this weekend is the last full weekend possible to practice for the Warwick Winter Cub. Take on this opportunity! Once this weekend is over, it's gone forever - it will never be back!

As for RASP and XC-Skies:
remember that these maps are computer generated predictions. Algorithm driven computer models are not able to give us super accurate forecasts (yet): it's garbage in - garbage out.
The data being being given to the computer is nowhere near the actual amount of data that exists in the real world.
Hence: RASP has got flaws in calculating convection in the afternoons when there is a decrease in solar radiation. RASP and XC-Skies always tell us that the days will end earlier than they actually do. It is certain that solar radiation and related temperatures will rise from the morning to the middle of the day. Predictions in the afternoon are more "out" because computer generated models are not being fed the available thermal storage capacity of the surface. Soil type, vegetation and surface humidity levels are not being fed accurately into the equation; RASP does not know about Boonah's spatial data (surrounded by hills etc). Computer calculated decrease in convection in the afternoons is based on decrease of solar radiation, possible blocking by clouds and possible change of air masses. Computers predict short days because the "sun travels lower on the horizon" during Winter and daylight is actually shorter.
Notwithstanding, this should not and will not stop us from doing some nice flights. Old school weather map interpretation and knowledge about surface conditions in addition with XC-SKies and RASP data can give a pretty good estimate on what is going to happen. Our "normal" weather maps have improved from what they were 10 or 15 years ago - back then we had to draw the trough lines ourself..
No matter if you would like to fly the silver or gold c distance, 500k or more - you have to be able to thermal efficiently and know how to avoid sink whilst "vorfliegen" (making xc-distance towards the next thermal or finish, not necessarily on a straight course line, in the least amount of sink).
Increase your ability to find a thermal, decrease the time it takes to find the core, only use the best available climb depending on where you are at in your working height band and make distance without loosing too much height. (..pretty simple - isn't it!?)
Here is another weekend to practice, practice, practice!
And here is another computer model:
check out: http://map.parool.ee/ 
(yes, you do have to select Australia and the intended date and time..)
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some of the worst flying conditions..

Posted by on in Flying reports

The weather conditions on Saturday and Sunday have been the worst that we have encountered for months.

Everyone had to put up with the ordeal of clouds indicating turbulence in the air. Thermals were too easy to pick by just flying towards large cumuli - another bother was the fact that the thermals were too large and did not require to fly at high bank angles. Lift was also defined as being too smooth. The last flight on Saturday (a joyflight) had to be abandoned after only 45 min because it gets dark in the evening. Laurie had to come down after hitting 4 knots whilst flying straight and level. He nearly did not make it back down. Other comments from pilots that flew on Saturday: "I never encountered so little sink between lift.." are another testimony about the shocking conditions.
We only did 24 launches on Saturday.
Reports from pilots flying on Sunday weren't much better: "Every cloud worked.." Last flight on Sunday was also abandoned after less than an hour because the next day wasn't a weekend or public holiday.
The number of launches on Sunday were just short of having to start the second flight sheet.
Clyde and Dan flew declared tasks on Sunday that included turns to the East of Warwick and North to Pitsworth - 150k distances at merely speeds of 82 and 92 km/h. (well done Clyde and Dan!)
Andres flew 120km x-country as well and was not able to outland.
A "Warwick Autumn Mug Weekend"..
Proof of Sunday's condition - just before 16:00
Conditions earlier in the day were much much worse..
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Warwick Endless Summer Comp - the rulz

Posted by on in Flying reports
Warwick Endless Summer Comp - the rulz (.. people already asked!)
Flight notice to be left on the whiteboard in the club house (that's why I cleaned them) so we know where you are heading and keep an eye on you.
Organise your retrieve crew, get the trailer ready and establish procedures before every flight! Let people know what you are doing - don't get stuck between a rock and a hard place.
It's 2K13 - all flight declarations are to be done electronically (no ifs or buts).
Accepted loggers:
- any IGC approved logger (inclusive of the restricted "up to diamond") - this is the best choice, however:
- IGC traces from a Flarm are acceptable for comp usage.
Every glider has a Flarm - the club computer has got the latest version of SeeYou running and a Flarm cable attached.
You will have to take the Flarm out of the glider and connect it to the club computer / your own computer to enter the declaration before the flight.
You do not have to run out and buy another logger that will be obsolete in a few years for our comp purposes.
However, Flarm traces are not acceptable for badges / diamonds - all you would get are glass pearls, sea shells and a handful of sand.
You also need the proper blessing from a Official Observer to be able to claim that badge / diamond.
IGC traces from software loggers such as XC-Soar, SeeYou Mobile and (Apple/Android) SeeYou and traces from GPS devices such as a Garmin are NOT acceptable.
At this stage I will pull the IGC files from OLC for the comp scoring purpose and let SeeYou do the scoring. I can enter lots of different tasks for each day and assign individual tasks - go and be creative!
In case of a badge claim: Please get your official observer to observe the declaration process (or let them do it) before the flight AND get the OO to download your IGC file from your IGC approved logger or at least get them to witness the process after your flight. Let them help you with the badge / diamond claim. You can upload to OLC after the IGC file has been officially extracted.
Non declared flights WILL be scored and the score will get multiplied with 0.5.
Declared flights will be scored and multipled x 2 (here's a carrot!).
Training flights with students WILL be scored as well - and they are all declared by default.
The purpose of the Warwick Endless Summer Comp is to increase knowledge about
- the weather,
- pfroper pflight pfreparation,
- proper claiming procedures,
No panic if you didn't know what to "du" this last weekend.. there is plenty of time to learn.
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Warwick Endless Summer

Posted by on in Flying reports

OK - OLC is good.
But: our own club comp is better!
Since OLC is blurring the real results of a flight I am calling our own club competition:

Warwick Endless Summer 2013

The competition started on the 1st November 2013 and will last until the 28th of February 2014.
Rules are: just as OLC - but you HAVE to declare a task for each flight.
Doesn't matter if it's an out and return, racing, AAT - as long as you declare before you fly.
No more meandering!

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..you want me to read?

Posted by on in Training

Advanced Soaring Made Easy

Theoretical knowledge of soaring flight could be considered absolutely essential if you would like to progress further in gliding. ...read on!

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Yaw String Myth Busted!

Posted by on in Training

For those that haven't heard yet:


It pays to fly "clean" at all times since gliding races are won by those that spend the least amount of time flying in circles.
Might as well do it right and not waste time circling.

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