Just to let you know, I went flying yesterday (23 Dec 2017) at the ‘Southern Tableland Gliding Club’ near Goulburn, about a 2 hour ride from Sydney. It’s really a farm site which has a history going back to the seventies, when the then owner was a keen aviator.
It is only winching with the runways cut out of the long grass/scrub and a couple of hangers. They are a very small club with few but very able members and are very welcoming. If you remember during the last couple of summers I was visited by an Ozzy guy ‘Ken Caldwell‘, who has been flying and instructing at this site for quite a few years.
The day looked very promising but as always had a sting in the tale! The first ‘sting ‘ was the fact that the whole club turned up to fly, a problem they had not encountered before and as such put pressure on the duty team and reduced the amount of time to be spent in the air!
The second ‘sting’ was of course the weather. We were promised an 11k cloud base, which we could see, but not a chance off the winch! So it proved a lot more difficult than predicted with most early fights lastng only a few minutes due to the very heavy sink around the airfeld.
Finally it was my turn and for me a new aircraft type in my logbook. It was the ‘Bocian’, and Ken very kindly came with me for what turned out an ‘epic save & flight’. The launch was quite uneventful considering there had been several rope breaks earlier (new rope reqd.) and released at 1800’. However, blue conditions made it difficult to find any lift, but there was some serious sink everywhere!
Getting low, I headed down wind where you guessed it, ‘lift’. I opened the airbrakes to continue my circuit and found myself going up and not down!!!!!!!!.
So I put the brakes away and found a nice 10kt+ thermal at 800’ which turned into an 8000’ climb! Fab_u_lous!!!!!! I have attached some pics and hope it’s not too cold at Saltby??
See you all next year, Dave.
Then on 07 Jan 2018 the Club reports: A day which promised much , and drew another large crew, but proved frustrating for some, with some early winch mods by John and Bret and then rigging of 3 gliders and a tow out of 7 gliders to launch. Early fights were generally unable to get high – either off the rope or by thermalling. Not until visitor Dave got away at about 4pm did others manage to stay up. Dave ,Col and Ian all reported over 10,000 feet – a rare treat for pommy Dave.
Several fight declarations had been made but only Col managed to complete his. The ground crew worked hard in up to 36 deg. weather, including replacing the rope and winding up the old one. On a personal note despite drinking what I thought were huge amounts of water I lost 2KG during the day!! Cold beers finished of a hard but fun day- I think I might need a bigger fridge.