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Justin Fitzgerald

Justin Fitzgerald

Justin Fitzgerald has not set their biography yet

Weekend 01/02 dec

Posted by on in Flying reports

Right, time to stop mowing the dog and walking the lawn, time to go gliding:

Overview: good run of weather, Friday is probably the pick as it’ll have CU but on the downside it’s a bit too blowy to be great. Sat has a nice wind profile, but it doesn’t have the CU. Sun has great high based CU but it’s far too blowy. All days start early. Suggest they’re probably all bigger than 750 days if you have long wings.

Friday: 10:00 CU at 7000’ 14kt SW. 13:00 borderline CU at 10,000’ 17kt SW. 16:00 CU 11,000’ 19kt SW. Conventional triangle staying under the CU. N first.

debrief: odd looking sky and far from classic over Brisbane but some flights of 899 (mal) and 822 (dan). 

Sat: 10:00 blue to 8000’ 13kt SW. 13:00 blue to 10,000’ 12kt WSW. 16:00 blue 10,000, 9kt SW. Suggest conventional triangle day, North first. Winds have increased by around 2kts in this update but positively the day cracks a bit earlier. Skysight has taken it from an 800k day down to a 550k day for 18m. I don’t know why, I’ve just done the maths and I think it’s still a 750+ day. Basically 6kt climbs to around 7/8000’ agl should put most over 100kph and there are nearly 8hrs of soaring...... we will see. Some talk about 1000 declarations from the other QLD clubs, I’d suggest that is over-reach but I hope I’m wrong!

debrief: 09:30 takeoff and that was comfortable. Skysight underset the CU and first leg N was under shallow CU. Pretty much as forecast with 760k. Still dont understand skysight‘s reticence.

Sun: 10:00 blue to 5000’ 22kt NW maybe light cirrus at worst now. 13:00 CU 12,000’ 24kt WNW No cirrus. 16:00 CU 14,000’ 27kt W. latest skysight run now suggests a run up and down wind if it streets under the CU. If it streets it could still be reasonable day, but without streeting 27kts is a royal pain! We will need to look on sat eve or Sun morning but currently not an early start due the wind, first cu form around Warwick at 11:30 ish and the day is useable comfortably from 11:00

debrief: pretty much right. I never saw 14k cloudbase but it was nearly 13,000 in places. Overdeveloped badly around Warwick and not much sun on the ground. Takeoff at 10:30 was comfortable.

All: I’m going to challenge some conventional wisdom here. No doubt this was a good three days but there is more on offer. Friday had around another hour of flying availabl. The days do crack early sometimes, I could have stayed alive at 09:00 on Saturday and the days aren’t dead at 17:00. I’ve seen a few days now where there are still 2-3kt climbs up high at 17:30. On a high day that’s then an 18:15 landing in the dusk. 0900-18:00 means it’s a potential 1000k day. We can do 1000s out of Warwick and we should be doing so. In the words of the long term S&G writer platypus -launch not lunch.

KR Fitz

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Sat/Sun 24/25 Nov

Posted by on in Flying reports

Interesting run of forecasts: both sat and sun are windy........ very windy. Both days have an increase in wind speed and constant direction, I suggest it’ll might wave both days although it’s now less likely. Be interesting to run downwind of Cunningham’s and play in the wave, but with 30-40kts of wind at height getting home will be interesting! NOAA thinks Sunday thermals will peak at 3500m and shows winds at flying heights of around 40kts. Saturday is less windy with 30-35kts at height, blue thermals to 7000.

Debrief: Sat did wave down at Boonah, looks like rotor/thermal climbs into the wave and a couple of wave climbs to 4000m. Wind was indeed blowy with 45kts of headwind at 4000m for us to get home in..... it would have been tricky! Sat looks to have been the windier day in the end. The forecast 3500m for Sunday degraded and was very optimistic, probably nearer 2500m.  The forecast for the week remains very fluid, nothing worth running a mid week operation for i’d suggest. Weds is the highest day at a short lived 3500m, mon 2500m, tue 3200m and thurs 3000m. Tues is the only day without blowy winds, all the other days have between 25-30kts of wind at height. Skysight likes Thurs the best - I’m not sure why, it cracks early (09:30) and lasts til late (18:00) but is blue all day and plagued with a 30kt wind and stippled thermals, not sure it’s upto the 18m 900km that skysight suggests, please prove me wrong Mal!! If it changes markedly i’ll update.

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Sun 4 Nov

Posted by on in Flying reports

sun is the pick on the next 10day run: but it’s spolit by being blue for Warwick and having yet another depressingly windy profile.

crack (to 3000’ blue) is around 10:30 on skysight, again noaa is more optimistic and suggests 10:00. warwick stays blue all day with maybe the chance of a few cu around early afternoon. The main cu all form to the N and then receded further N during the PM. Warwick’s profile is very blue by mid PM. That said climbs around Warwick still get upto around 11,000’ in the blue and noaa suggests you may even see a local 12,000’ climb. Winds are a pain, starting around 16kts and increasing steadily during the day to just over 20kts throughout the flying heights. At 16:00 noaa still shows thermals leaving the ground so suggest it should be a later finish.

suggest going N to play under the CU, north of Oakey. someone will do 500 plus but probably from either of the northern clubs which have a much better forecast. That said 500+ is equally possible out of Warwick and there is 7 hours of useable soaring.

debrief: pretty much as forecast, the cu were further south than expected, stayed around WArwick, and indeed it was blue to the far N where we’d expected the CU to show up! Slow to get going but useable (carefully!) from 10:30, winds as forecast and thermals badly broken by it. The cu were hard to connect and for a long time I didn’t think they were talking to the ground but later climbs upto nearly 12,000. Spoilt by broken thermals and the wind. Of note the ground N of Oakey is very green and the thermals north of there were very soft, suggest we stay away from there til it dries out a bit. Dan and Mal proved the 500k theory, well done!

Outlook: Weds is best bet for the retirees, nothing else on offer, NOAA shows around 2000m max for next WE.

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Sat 27 oct

Posted by on in Flying reports

Sat is worth a look and I’d suggest a 500k plus day. 

Winds are light all day. Start time is an issue, NOAA shows 3000’agl by 10:00 but skysight doesn’t get there til 11:30. I do not know who to trust more yet in QLD. Suffice to say thermals to 10,000’ in the good bits, some CU around Warwick but receding to the hills later. Decent looking convergence/sea breeze forms around 16:00 which should be fun. Last climbs around 18:00.  If it cracks a bit earlier than skysight suggests then it should be a 600k plus day. Suggest a leg to the W to start (and form a small triangle) then run up and down the cu line over the hills..

Debrief: NOAA was more accurate on the crack time, there were ephemeral cu around Warwick at around 3000’ by 10:00. First climb at just before 11:00 went to 6000’ under CU so we can go (much) earlier. Cloud base varied quite a bit early between 6 and 4K, the lower CB was over the hills to the south. There were some big blue gaps going N but once north of Oakey the cu were more reliable and bigger. South of Stanthorpe going S it turned blue and was more difficult to work. Pretty much blue everywhere after 16:00. 450k but there was more on offer if we’d gone earlier and indeed later (still 3kt averages at 16:00). Some good 7kt averages but overall 4.2kt average for the day.

Outlook: 4 nov currently shows as a 3000m day and is a possible. KR Fitz

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Sat 20 Oct wx

Posted by on in Flying reports

Sat is worth a look - I’ll send more detail on Friday pm but suggest a placeholder at this stage:

light to nil wind all day, disappointingly late start but gets going just after 12:00, CU around 12:30 with base getting upto 9000’ to the NW. Late finish with 3kts leaving the ground at half five.  Suggest it’s a 500 plus day. Wet ground may slow it a bit.

update friday evening: Forecast has decayed, both noaa and skysight show significant overdevelopment in the afternoon. This decreases lift by around 2kts and heights by 1000’+. Suggest it’s now a 300 ish day, maybe more if you can stay in the sunshine. Sunday is now a bit more interesting, early start with CU all day, i’d Be excited but a wind of 13kts increasing to 18kts during the morning will take the edge of any distances. If it streets it could be a good day. Suggest sun rather than sat now if you’re after kms.

update sat morning: it’s a very unstable forecast for this close in, but now (again) sat is the better day. Still significant overdevelopment to work around but now less stable on sun. Sun shows a few showers and the same (if not more) overdevelopment. Where are the fabled great early season QLD days?

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Weather stuff

Posted by on in Flying reports

Just a heads up that Saturday (15 Sept) is looking useable for XC. I’m content (if there’s interest) to forecast and predict any decent days during the soaring season.  If we want it then the bias would be toward XC days rather than training. Alternatively I can do it by text to anyone interested if the club doesn’t want it in this format. 

i generally use NOAA for long range runs (out to 10 days). It reports heights in meters and as agl. It takes an atmospheric cut at 11, 13 and 16:00 during the day and is specific to a point (typically the airfield). I’ll use METVUW to forecast showers and obviously skysight when in to a couple of days of the actual day. Ill reference all the forecasts to which data run they are based on (00, 06, 12 and 18:00Z). So Saturday:

NOAA (13th 00Z) shows a late crack with around 700m at 11:00 with 14kt NW flow. By 13:00 it’s marginal CU at 2700m with 16kt NW flow and starting to die but likely still high based CU at 16:00 with 18kt NW’ly.

Skysight (12th 20Z) adds around 2 kts more wind and shows it more W’ly by late PM. It’s going to around 2500’ at 11, a pessimistic 6000’ at 13:00, and finallly under CU at 10,000 by 16:00.

The wind is a pain and the cu form late around Warwick, but are going earlier to the West.  There are still high based cu upwind to the NW at 16:30 on skysight with 2-3 kt climbs still leaving the ground (so last lift at cloud base around 17:00?).  Suggest we should be able to get somewhere around 500k done but it’ll be a later start.

KR Fitz.

UPDATE: NOAA 14th 00Z, skysight 14th 16:00L: NOAA has decreased heights a little with 2600m at 13:00 and 2900m at 17:00. Skysight now shows a later start but positively shows high cu to the NW still at 17:00.  Winds are a pain with 20kts locally, decreasing as we go N.  Suggest it’s a N first leg due the wind and the depth of convection being low to the west. Then a westerly leg to keep under the cu, last leg downwind from the high cu base area to the WNW of Warwick. the later start probably means a 12:00 launch, back around 17:30 if those cu are still usable at 17:00 still means close to 500".... but we’ll see!

DEBRIEF: Pretty much right and indeed a couple of 500k+ OLC flights out of Warwick. Late start tho, with Dan off first and struggling early. Climbs to around 2400M AMSL at 13:00 but not the 2600AGL that NOAA had predicted. Highest I saw was 3500M {11,500} so NOAA was right about the 17:00 heights. Skysight was a bit pessimistic about the CU timing as they were roughly an hour early but they formed first exactly as Skysight predicted.

OUTLOOK: NOAA says Sunday is low with 1500M. Next WE shows as 1800M on Sat and 2200M on Sun with a broad profile so a longer day.

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