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President's Blog

Messages from our Dear Leader

Posted by on in President's Blog

There was a great outcome on Sunday last weekend when Carl Jacobs and Paul Hogan both declared and completed a 300 km FAI triangle (Warwick-Millmerran-Dalby-Warwick), to claim gold distance and diamond goal (and silver distance and silver height along the way)! Well done, it is great to see the badge flights being done.

Clyde also completed the same task, and Carl additionally flew to Goondiwindi (almost) and return on Sunday.

Perhaps this might be an inspiration for some more great flights while summer is still with us!

Cheers to all

Ivor

 

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Hi folks

We had a good committee meeting on Saturday night, and a few points arising are:
DATE CLAIMER: Saturday 16 Jan 2016 Club New Year's Party (we reckoned we had left it too late for a Xmas party, and this date will also be a great occasion to open our new hangar! Be there or be square!!!)

EASTER NEXT YEAR probably Friday 25 March (Good Friday) to Sat 2 April: we will host an easter comp/regatta at Warwick. This will be an event with an emphasis on fun and to be kept low key from competitive point of view. With an early easter date next year, we will have our fingers crossed for good weather.

Cheers

Ivor

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Last weekend saw more great flying for the 10 or so single seat gliders and pilots who were flying both days: great to see new member Mal out again with his ASH31, new member Bernie with his Twin Astir undergoing form 2 inspection, solo pilots Carl, Casey and Jason eagerly building experience, and others including Paul, Laurie, Peter, Erich, Dieter, George, Andres, "outer circle" Stu, Scott, and Matt (2 weeks in a row!) all spreading their wings. Dan jagged a very creditable 500 km flight on Saturday too: well done!

Val brought WPS home after a busy week towing at the state comps at Kingaroy, thanks Val!

LS1f GWR owners Andres and yours truly have really pushed the envelope over the last 2 weekends: with 3 outlandings in 4 days of flying (I actually got home once!). This may be a club record, if so, eat your heart out Scott. But there it is, something for the rest of you "comfort zone" pilots to aspire to!

Another good weekend is shaping up, and Erich is planning a mid-week cross country activity in the first week of November....see you there!

 

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Posted by on in President's Blog

After Erich, Dieter and Clyde enjoyed some spectacularly good mid-week flying last week during the cadet camp, there has been further terrific flying over the long weekend. There were 8 or 9 single seaters out flying on both Sunday and Monday when I was there, with blue sky thermals going to 9 or 10 thousand feet.  A new member Mal from Canberra Gliding Club, who has bought a property in the area and will move up from Canberra in the not too distant future, had his ASH 31 out on both days. It was wonderful to see Matt Anglim on the field on Monday, George Brown also flew both days, and Carl made the most of the conditions too. There were some  creditable cross country flights, but thermals could be hard to  find down low. This was amply evidenced by the fact that GWR outlanded on both Sunday (Andres) and Monday (yours truly)! Mine was all of about 3 km from the field, but good to have done my first outlanding in my new third of a glider of course! A big thanks to Stu Lutton who came out on both retrieves! Thanks also to Erich, Dan, Phil, Dieter and Nigel who assisted with towing and instructing over the 3 days.

Val currently has WPS at Kingaroy for the state comps, and we have use of TOJ next Saturday for launching pending her return.

The new hangar is nearing completion, looks a million dollars, and we already have an ASH 31 with a space reserved.

I hope to see as many of you as possible next weekend!

Ivor

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Posted by on in President's Blog

Thanks to all members for the special privilege of serving the club again as club president. A very big thanks to Dan and all members of the outgoing committeee for your efforts in the past few years. Dan has done a fantastic job and is a hard act to follow! The club is at an exciting stage of development with our new hangar to be finished soon. So a big thanks also to all who have been involved in this project, particularly Val and Bill, and I know others have contributed. I believe this will bring in new members and aircraft in a very short time, and we will soon see an even more vibrant, active and enthusiastic club to come.

I am delighted that we still have such sterling members with outstanding abilities as Clyde,  Sydney, Erich, Val, Bill, Phil, Brad and David continuing on as committee members, and I look forward to working with them. Noel Tesch has put up his hand to act a safety promotion officer also, thanks Noel! We have a committee meeting planned for Saturday 14 November, all are welcome!

I will also soon take over the role of Regional Manager Operations (QLD) (previously RTO OPS) for GFA from Tony Scarlett, who has done a great job in this role for the last 5 years. A big "well done", Tony! I hope I have not over-committed myself, time will tell, certainly my retirement time commitments are filling up nicely....but no more lengthy trips away are planned! And Andres no longer has Whisky Romeo as his "sole use" aircraft...so I also thank Eddie, Andres and Ken for the very special opportunity to fly this delightful glider in coming years!!

Laurie Simpkins has also very recently taken on the GFA Regional Manager Airworthiness role, well done Laurie! Laurie is of course immensely capable and experienced in this area, and I look forward to working with him in GQ and GFA. So once again our club is "punching above our weight" by filling both these roles.  

A big thanks also to Erich, Bill, Paul, Dieter, Karl, Casey, and everyone alse who contributed to the form 2 inspection on the PW6 over the last 2 weekends. The PW6 will be back in the air this weekend. The aircraft appears to have suffered undercarriage damage thanks to a very heavy sideways landing impact some time this year. The fact that this was unreported is a concern. Reporting such incidents is an essential part of our commitment to a safety management system, we must honour that commitment.

The BOM are predicting a hot dry-ish "El Nino" summer to come....let's make it a memorable one for the best little gliding club around!

Cheers

Ivor Harris

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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!

Cheers

Dan

 

 

 

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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.

Dan

 

Sid-Dekker-Acro.jpg

 

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!

 

Sidney

 

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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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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.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/flight-4u9525-the-locked-cockpit-rule-has-worked-against-us-20150328-1m9mma.html

 

 

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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...

Dan

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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Posted by on in President's Blog

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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Posted by on in President's Blog

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...'

Dan

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.

Dan

 

 

 

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Posted by on in President's Blog

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.

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

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

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

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 Noel prepares for launch with a mean looking sky behind.

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

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

 

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Posted by on in President's Blog

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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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.

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

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Some of the excited crew ready for serious flying..

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David Wright about to jump in the Discus

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

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

 

 

 

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Just a quick update,

It was certainly breezy today but the sky looked nice to the west.

Clyde and I had heads down and bums up sorting out the radio in ZDZ.  It is now fitted with a nice new Dittel that will allow dual channel receive.

Our new recruit Andrew McCormack (my son-in-law) came out with me and spent the day being generally helpful at the launch area.  Lovable Logie did the instructing while Sid Dekker and Brad Lange shared the towing.  Jason Turner, Adam Sinden and later in the day the inimitable $lutsky took to the skies in the PeeWee.  

Andres (Speedy Gonzales), Stew Hamey one David Kinlan headed off cross country.  Andres managed to get to DDSC and back with a very creditable 277 km.  David around 109 and Stwe has not uploaded his trace thus far but judging by his smile at the end of the day it must have been pretty good.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch - Peter Plunkett took the Discus for a local flight to get back into the feel of it all.

Late in the day I took a launch mainly to test the radio (I could have done this on the ground of course but just not as much fun).  Brad had to get WPS back out of the hangar just for me and for that I owe him several beers it seems.  Brad had flown up with his mate Merv in the Muskrat Beaver Bearhawk.  It certainly is a very smart bit of gear and they are off to Clifton for a fly-in tomorrow.

All in all another great day on the 'Downs' - tomorrow is looking promising :-)

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Sid was doing the towing for the first part of the day - just a short break during his very busy international schedule…..

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Andrew McCormack - a new recruit to WGC - welcome on board Andrew.

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Merv and Brad with the Bearhawk - nice aircraft Merv - must be a pretty good performer if it can carry that big dude standing beside you :-)

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To all of you who woke up Saturday morning, checked RASP and decided not to go gliding - I blow very large RASPberries in your general direction.  Sure - RASP and XC Skies both gave a pessimistic forecast.  However, as is often the case, the day turned out to be much better than we could ever have hoped for.  Phil (Lucky Phil that is) served us all well by taking command of WPS.  Instructing was ably catered for by Owen Morgan while Erich 'the red' enjoyed a more relaxed day.  His glider is still in for repairs (ready sometime in 2018 I understand) and with Owen instructing he mostly cooled his heels and kept a general CFI-type eye on things.  

There were a couple of AEFs and Owen was kept busy with instructing during the day.  Young Sid (from Allora) was there keen to continue with his training and the gregarious Gerry Golder of Gundy was also an enthusiastic starter for the day.

Les (Unlucky Les (she ended up with Phil didn't she?)), yours truly and David Kinlan became airborne around 11:30 and managed some nice lift in spite of the forecast.  It just got better and better.  Les and David headed over to the south west to pick up on a trough line hovering half way to Indglewood.  Finding the scrub a little too daunting (read 'chicken') I headed north and managed to catch up with Andres who had recently arrived with Slutsky. Later again I teamed with Greg.  We all enjoyed some fabulous soaring but the day seemed doomed when the trough came closer to the strip with ominous clouds and solid showers.  Greg decided to head north east to wait it out and I clung to the edge of the trough enjoying some surprisingly good lift.  I even managed to cross under the heavy conditions with weak but useful lift on the way.  

Meanwhile - back at the camp - Stu was busy putting WA back together again (with lots of help of course).  It really is great to have the Discus back at the field after her refinish and looking so smart.

Sunday seemed a bit windy at first but Phil, Greg and I were determined to make something of it.  Old Sid did the towing for us having travelled twice around the world to get to the gliding club for our benefit.  He has been busy addressing hordes of desperate admirers keen to get a piece of him and his recent book:-)

On the ground Les took up some AEFs, Erich instructed and also took WA for her test flight.

For Phil, Greg and me it could not have been much better.  Although the first leg to Millmerran was something of a struggle in the blue we soon noticed an improving sky to the south.  'Towards Inglewood', came the cry from Greg (he actually wanted to try for Goondiwindi but we dissuaded him) and so Phil and I followed suit.  From then on it just got better and better.  At times we were getting 8 knot climbs (and better) eventually to 9,500'.  Greg had to pull up stumps early to get back to Lismore and Phil figured that if he kept Les waiting any longer on the ground he may no be quite so 'lucky'.  That just left lonesome ol' me to enjoy the dying rays of the sun.  I finally landed around 6:15pm and even then after pulling dive brake.  The last hour was spent under the most delightful street that ran parallel to the ranges just east of Warwick for at least 100k.  I think I could have stayed up all night if I had just remembered the PAL frequency for Warwick (so I could turn on the lights:-)

In the end Phil, Greg and I all managed close to 500k on a brilliant day.

Remember - RASP may be interesting but sometimes you just gotta get there to get the good flights…..

Just a few pics below...

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Les demonstrates why she is such a great PR person…..why wouldn't anyone take up gliding if it makes you feel this good :-)

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Saturday afternoon around 3pm.  Surprisingly good flying up till now.  Where's that bloody airstrip?

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Sunday - somewhere to the south of Inglewood.  Just look up at those nice Cus, Dan. Whatever you do don't look down.

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Better than 11 knots instant, 8 on the averager - pretty handy stuff.

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This was taken just before 6pm.  Look at that lovely street. Climbing at three knots while flying straight ahead - fantastic...

See you all soon - and next time don't be a RASPberry :-)

El presidente

 

 

 

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Dear all,

I have struggled to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) over the last couple of weeks.  Here is a quick report on some of the things going on...

The awning over the patio area (henceforth to be known as 'Peter Plunkett's Pavilion') is now close to completion.  Just a little trimming remains.  Peter, Val and Bill did the lion's share of the work with significant help from others at various stages.  If you have not yet seen it - I urge you to pay a visit to the club just to take in this architectural wonder (while you are there you could even try taking a flight in a glider:-).  The 'pavilion' is already offering shade from the western sun and a great environment to share a beer and BBQ after a big flight.  Thanks again to all those who put in such a great effort and especially of course to the above mentioned threesome.

Last Friday evening Clyde and I attended a meeting in Toowoomba to gauge the impact of Wellcamp airport on our operations.  It was good that we were represented, along with DDSC members, as the airport developers seemed to have a very scant idea of what gliding is all about.  My feedback from this meeting is as follows:

  • The airport is going ahead (it is a 100 million dollar project)
  • It will impact on our operations although DDSC seems worse off
  • The meeting was held in good spirit and everyone agrees we all need to work together to ensure safety
  • The Wellcamp representatives have taken our contact details so that we can be kept informed as the airport progresses
  • We have asked for details on the approach plates when available (with possible input into design or layout)
  • It will be important that our members (especially cross country pilots) are well educated on operations in an increasingly busy environment
  • I would like to suggest that as a club we strongly recommend (not mandate at this stage) that all cross country aircraft move towards fitment of radios that can listen on two frequencies simultaneously (or at least carry a good quality hand held to achieve the same outcome)

Saturday was rather gusty but a productive day nonetheless.  I did the towing initially and managed to do several launches in the PeeWee as well as getting Clyde airborne in the SZD.  As he had to get back that afternoon Clyde landed early so that I was able to get airborne (with the kind assistance of Val) to enjoy a quick scoot around the skies with Bill.  We both enjoyed a nice run to Killarney, Clifton and return.  Although the thermals were initially rather rough and hard to centre, conditions improved as the day wore on.  

There were a couple of AEFs including Ashley Burton (who has promised me he will join) and Isaac Martin (only 15 years old) who came down with his parents.  Both Ashley and Isaac come from Toowoomba.  Again I remind all to go out of your way to be warm and welcoming to any newcomers you see on the field.  First impressions are lasting ones.  Tommy from Ireland also enjoyed an AEF that was given him by his girlfriend Libby.  By all accounts he enjoyed it immensely.

'Gerry Golder of Gundy' also turned up as well as the now familiar Jason Turner.  Jason managed to convince crusty old Logie that he was right to go solo and proved this by performing an outstanding display of airmanship in challenging (read gusty) conditions.  Congratulations to Jason for achieving this milestone.  Once he decided he was going to learn to fly gliders Jason has been a regular to the airfield proving that hard work and regular training pay dividends.  On Saturday Ryan Bradeley also went for a check flight before taking the PeeWee solo.  He is but one of many keen to jump in the Discus when it returns.  Although it has taken longer than expected we do anticipate that WGA will be back in its rightful hangar spot by next weekend.  

Sunday was a new day and as so often the case quite different weather-wise.  This was one of those days that we live for and the cunning MOB, Andres and $lutsky all appeared from nowhere in eager anticipation.  The cross country fleet included: MOB (Discus - BK), Val (Discus - OT), Les (Hornet - KJ), Andres (LS1 - WR), Yours truly (SZD - ZDZ).  It was an absolute cracker and we all enjoyed a fabulous punt around the Downs.  Michael, Andres and I all did better than 300 km before landing early (another couple of hundred k left in it when we packed away).  MOB top scored with around 340km at 100kph - well done Michael.

The PeeWee was also put to good use with Jason Turner, $lutsky, and Scottie Johnson taking advantage of the excellent conditions.  Les Milne did the club great service by doing an AEF before getting airborne in the Hornet and Phil provided instructional excellence keeping everyone safe and happy.  The belligerent Brad Lange (who stole a car from his girlfriend (but that is another story)) provided outstanding towing services on the day.

I am bound to have missed something here and if so, I apologise.  Perhaps those with better memories than me (such as Les) can fill in the gaps.

Cheers all and don't forget - just up the range, slightly north east of Warwick.  If you require a map to remind you how to get there - just give me a call and I will oblige:-)

Ryan and Jason assist with the launch.  Logie in the back seat and Ashley from Toowoomba takes an AEF (with a little encouragement he could become a new member:-)

Libby shouted her boyfriend Tommy an AEF.  She did not know that the 'Big Gut' was part of the deal...

The next generation of glider pilot in training… my granddaughter Emily gets the drum on what all those funny dials do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday looked promising and the descent from Mundubbera (from FL110) started to get bumpy through around 4,500' at 9am - this should be good I thought.

Erich 'the red' did the instructing in his truly professional way while Brad started the towing operations.  Later on Val took over this role so that Brad could take some friends up for a flight.  

Jason Turner, by all accounts is progressing well and did lots of circuits and emergency procedures.  In amongst this Noel managed an out landing check at Talgai in preparation for going cross country.  It is noteworthy that Jason was this weekend attended by Kirsty (his better 85%).

It was really great to see David Wright back after a very long time (he and Erich drove up together). Now that he has sold his business we are counting on having him grace us with his presence much more frequently in the future.

We were also very pleased to get a new member in Angela Wayland.  Angela has recently been transferred to Amberley and already has some aviation experience flying RAA.  As always please go out of your way to make new members feel welcome at our club and help them to 'find their feet'.

Cross country flights on Saturday included 'Yours truly' (ZDZ), Lucky Phil (KJ), Michael O'Brien (BK), Bill Wilkinson (OT), George Brown (IIY). David Kinlan and Denis Nolan shared the Astir (WUN) and were variously heard reporting from Pittsworth and near Killarney.  It was a great afternoon's soaring and Phil & I enjoyed flights of around 475km each.

Late in the day Erich and David Wright enjoyed a great flight in the PeeWee to get David back into 'the swing of things'.

 Meanwhile Peter Plunkett was beavering away with finishing touches to our new patio area (henceforth to be known as the 'Peter Plunkett Pavilion' (I'm a poet and didn't know it)...

Sunday, as is often the case was quite a different day.  $lutsky rang early suggesting it was going to be a boomer (at that point I should have become suspicious…)

Dan Atkinson turned up with his dad Jim to get a check flight in the PeeWee and then to take Jim for a flight.  Daniel Lonergan arrived with his parents and managed to jump into the Puchatek.  Ryan Braedley was also present to keep Erich busy.

Phil, Dan and Val shared launching in WPS. (Val was to fly OT but complained bitterly of a mouse smell in the discus (fishy… very fishy).

Dan P (ZDZ), David Bull (XBY) and George Brown (IIY (without the hump)) all headed off towards Dalby (God knows why).  Les tried a couple of launches but (sensibly) decided today was not the day.  We did make it there and back (I whimped out by turning at DDSC). Each of us got low and David in particular (down to 700' near Pittsworth) was especially pleased to get home.

Don't forget next weekend is 'in the words of our illustrious VP' (Lucky Phil) is going orrf!!!

Be there or be square.

Catch you soon.

Dan.

Daniel Lonergan in the Puchatek takes a check flight with Erich before going it alone.

Lucky Phil (KJ) and I share the same thermal somewhere Oakey...

Late in the day I snap Nigel's house at Killarney - Nige is nowhere to be seen - probably having a nap.

Les does her very best to keep up with the latest in Women'g gliding fashion..

Erich (the red), Ryan Braedley and David Wright at the PeeWee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I arrived at the airfield at 7:30 to find Peter, Bill and Val already with posts in hand for the new clubhouse awning.  The four of us made good progress until it was time to start launches.  Sadly there were few starters for the day.  As we did not have a designated instructor Bill generously offered to take up young Sydney (from Allora) for his second flight.  Sydney is now a new member and we need to help him feel welcome to our club.

George Brown and Stew Hamey arrived as the only cross country starters for the day.  We also received a visit from Cameron Davis (and his partner Cindy). Cameron has flown with us before and is keen to get into gliding.  He hopes to transfer closer to Warwick in the near future (from the Gold Coast).

Yours truly did the towing and although there was only 4 launches everyone had a great flight.  Sydney spent almost an hour under Bill's expert guidance and then Cameron also enjoyed a lengthy flight in the PeeWee.  He assures me he will be back.

As I left for Mundubbera around 4:20pm I heard from George at Pittsworth on his way home.  It seems he managed a very creditable 397km at 83kpm.  All of this without a 'Top'...

Meanwhile, back at the camp, Peter and Val were beavering away on works at the clubhouse.

See you all soon,  Dan

Bill takes young Sydney from Allora for only his second flight ever...

Cameron just manages to fit in the front of the Pee Wee.  He enjoys his flight and vows to be back.

Look at that lovely glider - no more the 'hunchback'…(George does almost 400km to prove he does not need the 'iron thermal').

Peter and Val continue with improvements to the clubhouse - this is going to be a great addition.

On the way home, just passing 8,000', under a nice cloud, my vario (VSI) indicated 20 knots of climb for a few seconds.  I just managed to snap this a few moments later.

If you subtract a natural climb rate of 500 FPM that is still a pretty handy thermal….

 

 

 

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I arrived early to find Peter Plunkett already mixing concrete for the footings for the awning on the western side of the clubhouse.  With great help from Bill & Val the day before much progress had already been made.  I started helping as best I could then along came Logie (the old 'bear'), along with David and Denis who promptly helped with bringing out the beams and then pruning nearby shrubs.  All in all, a great team effort.

Brad phoned in and confessed that he had got the roster 'screwed-up'.  Val promptly offered to fly WPS while I quietly suspected he might just have had a better 'offer' for the day:-)

$lutsky and Andres also made their presence known and I knew I had companions for a quick jaunt around the Downs.

Bill should have been with us in OT but generously he helped fix the brake cable on WUN so settled for a late afternoon flight in the Dimona with Val after the work of towing had been completed.

Logie took first launch in the PeeWee with Gerry Golder of Goondi (that has something of a ring to it I reckon).  They must have had a pretty good fight judging from the chatter coming across the airwaves.

Soon after the single seaters got airborne a storm started brewing to the south so Stu, Andres & I scurried off to get away from it.  The next three or so hours was filled with pleasurable gliding that only the Downs can deliver.  5-7 knot climbs to around 7,000' and a great task to Millmerran, Dalby and return.

The three of us just managed to get back before the afternoon closed in with heavy showers and storm activity shutting down the rest of the day.

Back at the clubhouse it was time to help Peter again with the building project.

Meanwhile $lutsky packed up the LS-8 for a visit to the re-finishers.

I have not seen traces from Stu and Andres but I managed a most satisfying 295km at 88 kph.

Tomorrow promises to be another great day - make sure you get here to enjoy it !!!

El Presidente

 

Peter prepares concrete for the footings with willing helpers around..

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This is what I was greeted by just after launch - not time to mess about - just head off and hope for the best...

Sharing the skies with a bunch of 'flocking' ibis (and one wedgie) about 20km short of Dalby.

After the flying it was back to work…Peter is looking for a level to get that post straight..

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How many people does it take to de-rig an LS-8??

I do believe Val was born with a paintbrush in her hand.  Just do a quick touch up of OW while you are there Val….

 

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