Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pilot Certificate For Rohan Ellis

Congratulations to Rohan Ellis who has fulfilled all the requirements to be awarded his Ra-Aus Pilot Certificate.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Guess What I Did On Saturday

I went solo in the IS28 on the winch. This little item is about Michael Hogan's continuing adventures at his other club, Sunraysia Gliding Club at Mildura rather than the Horsham Flying Club.

I went out to the club on Saturday and my instructor Adrian Ginn arrived just after me. I had the usual chat with people, hooked up a few gliders, retrieved a few gliders from further down the field and then it was my turn.

Adrian came back from the winch and hopped in the back and I got in the front of the IS28, Golf Charlie November.

Flight number 1. Everything went OK, good separation (that means takeoff), initial climb and then full climb. Launch to around 1800 feet, time for a bit of a stooge round. No lift to speak off and 8 minutes later we were back on the ground. A bit of a debrief and some Q & A.

Flight number 2. Much the same as the first. Off at around 2000 feet. But this time I completed a stall to see what it was like. Hmmm interesting, where's all the height gone. Again no lift and back on the ground after 7 minutes. All going well. Adrian is happy, he's not yelled at me or anything. Debrief and more Q & A.

Flight number 3. We'd been talking about cable breaks before this flight and low and behold at also 1000 feet the power drops off it's simulated cable break. Over with the nose. The speed bleeds off incredibly quickly. So nose over, build up speed and don't do anything else until you hit 55kts. Plenty of height so it still a normal circuit and back on the ground in about 3 minutes.

I didn't think I would be doing anymore flights today as we were down to the last two launches of the day and someone else needed a flight. But then Adrian says get in. I get in and strap in while he's talking to someone else. He comes over and says he will take the young lad waiting for a flight in the Blanik. He ties up the back seat and says off you go. No time to panic or anything. He just says, it will get off a bit quicker without him and do all the things I've been doing.

Flight number 4. So it's 'take up slack' and then 'all out all out' and away I go. Ground run a bit bumpy, into initial climb, let the speed build, then pull back on the stick and into full climb. There are a few tugs on the wire, some 'oh shit what's that?' thoughts, the old sphincter muscle is a bit twitchy. The climb continues, 500 feet, 750 feet, 1000 feet, 1500 feet, start to ease forward, starting to level off, riding forward over the winch, the cable finally back releases and I'm free. That's the hard part finished, now its the easy stuff. Stooge around at 1800-1900 feet. Wind down to 700feet above ground and join circuit. It's the last flight of the day, so I've been asked to land long. I make my down wind call. Turning on to final with good height, every one on the ground is running around like ants pointing down field. Yeah I know land long. But do the want me to stay on the right? Anyway I barrel along down the strip, finally touching down and taxiing across the field and come to a stop next to the club rooms and hangar. It's over 8 minutes from takeoff to touch down. Not long in the scheme of things, but good enough for me.

I've done it. I've even survived. I completed my first solo in the IS28 and my first solo winch launch. Looks like a few beers are on me.

I feel pretty chipper.
Sorry if you think I'm a bit up myself about going solo on the winch, but I've always been an aerotow boy. So thanks Adrian for your vote of confidence, or were you sick of me and just wanted to get out. Hmm. Also Ian who was driving the winch.

But there's still more to learn and absorb about this winching caper. So until next time...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Member

A the club meeting on Saturday 14th June the application of Robin Young for membership of the club was approved. Welcome to the club Robin. When you meet Robin for the first time please make her welcome and introduce yourself.

Dadswells Weekend Washed Away Almost

The long weekend has come and gone. The first Dadswells Bridge flying weekend was a bit quiet. There were about six gliders from Benalla and our trusty Twin Astir. Peter Kelly and Michael Hogan ferried the twin to Colefield on the Saturday. The omens were not good from the start. During the DI Peter discovered that the front tyre was flat and that the valve extension didn't fit anymore. Much doom and gloom as the resident expert (Mike) stood around watching while PK craw around in the dirt trying to fix things. Gary Albutt was getting inpatient to leave in the Benalla Scout.

Finally a new tube was found, fitted and away the intrepid party went. PK and Mike had a nice trip to the Grampians, but with little wind the ridge wasn't working and they gently floated back to earth at Colefield.

Sunday was no better. The Benalla crew took some launches, but the Twin stayed on the ground. PW and Mike Hogan flew down in the J120 to say hello and check things out. Peter Kelly had developed a cold and drove back to Melbourne. Max Hedt was forecasting rain for Monday and there was some discussion about bring the Twin home. But the Benalla crew was having a nice time, so the Twin and the Scout stayed.

That night it started raining and it didn't stop. Mt William had over 31mm. So, no flying at all Monday and the Scout and the Twin stayed at Colefield until there was a short break in the weather on Thursday 12th when they were brought back to Horsham.

So everyone is now looking forward to the July 12th & 13th when the wind will blow, the ridge will be working and the 'wave' will be going. It won't rain or be calm. It will be great.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Did You Know?

The Pawnee has been gone for just on a year. Mark and Max saw TOJ off into the fog this time last year. Remember the days when a launch in the Twin didn't involve thinking about where to go if the rope broke for over three quarters of the launch. I don't think anyone has heard much about TOJ's new life in Queensland with all that rain. Must have been a bit hard for the old girl after so many years of drought.