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WGC update ...

Posted by on in President's Blog
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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.