Staying aloft a challenge
SETTING off from home with the sky resembling a blue dome meant a warm trip for the majority of the journey to the Gympie Gliding Club, allowing hopes to soar for a great day ahead.
However, Kybong’s sky decided to be different and there was enough cloud cover to keep the ground cool, limiting thermal activity, particularly at launch height.
It was frustrating to watch cloud streets trying to form here and there, but the best of the day were well off to the south as the blue sky gradually reappeared.
Brian Bull opened the day’s flying with 20 minutes in the cirrus and was followed by Alex Nitzsche with a friend of John McLeod, but they only got seven minutes from their flight.
The notable exception occurred when Alex launched in the cirrus as a bit of sun was trying to warm things up and he then got away for 1 hour 9 mins.
Trevor Burke made the most of the circuit – mainly launches to get in some training with Dave Burns, though a later flight with John McLeod that involved some determined thermalling earned them 20 minutes.
My own experience indicated there was significant sink, with the vario moaning sadly for much of the time.
The odd patches of lift were tiny and variable in strength, which made the longer flights all the more noteworthy.
In all, the cirrus did three flights for a total of 1 hour 37 minutes and the K21, in its workhorse role, completed eight flights for a total of 1 hour 49 minutes. Despite the short flights, it was a productive day for most of us and once the warmer weather returns we anticipate some good, long flights for all aircraft.
The only sour note in the flying day was a rope break towards the end of a launch, which involved some delay while we retrieved the drogue and a great length of rope, requiring a couple of splices.
It must be mentioned Sandy Walker encountered a wheel problem when towing the caravan back home at the end of the day so check for any notes about this before venturing out this Saturday.
And finally, a nod to the visiting motor glider in which Kerry got 1 hour 51 minutes.
By this stage of the day, the sun was through but the cloud was not looking too enthusiastic about providing us any lift.