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Flying Saturday 13 March 2010

Operations got off to a gradual start as people eventually arrived at the airfield.  The day started with a light WNW breeze, a bit of high level cirrus scattered around and some odd mid level cloud which couldn’t be identified.  As the morning progressed the cirrus moved about and the odd mid level cloud turned into quite pronounced thermal wave which prompted a flurry of activity.  MI and WVA were brought out as was KRO and GZQ.  Meanwhile Redmond found his missing pieces of hangar (lurking inside another hangar no less).

The first problem of the day turned out to be the winch radio.  The handset was literally full of water (it had to be poured out) and was transmitting most of the time, rendering coms from the launch point useless.  A handheld was used on the winch for the rest of the day and the handset dried out over night.

Mark Newton took MI in search of the thermal wave and Rob Parsonage and Anthony Smith took GZQ to see how Rob handled a different two seater.  The thermals were quite good away from the thermal wave, but got very jumbled near the wave which made it difficult to get into.  Sonic the Hedgehog (aka Anne Philcox with blue hair dye and hedgehog ears from ‘shave for a cure’) took WVA, and Derek Spencer worked people through KRO.  GZQ landed and Anthony grabbed Hugh Round for some trigger point and thermal finding work and some basic cross country stuff.  The cloud had over developed and the strong thermals had disappeared, along with the thermal wave, leaving a few weak scraps of lift around which suited their needs well.  They looked at likely ground features, worked trigger points and managed to float around till conditions improved.  They then headed up wind and found a good line of air which took them out to the scouts’ airfield north of Blanchetown.  The run home along the same line saw them cover some 20 km without turning and only using 800 ft.  Nice when it works like that! Meanwhile Brenton Wait had launched in MI which probably turned into flight of the day, with Brenton running out of height and sunlight at about the same time.