The conditions on Saturday were challenging. The day started with next to no wind whilst we got the glider and winch ready. Then, like throwing a switch, the wind went from nothing to 15-20 knots in a matter of seconds and stayed like that until the late afternoon when it died back down to almost nothing again. The wind at 2000’ on the other hand was 35-40 knots ALL day. Even after the ground wind died off in the late afternoon.
Due to the strong winds up high, we were consistently getting 2000’+ launches (indicated) and the best we got in GQC was 2300’ indicated. There was some sort of wave action going on in the area as we would occasionally come across very small areas of lift and certainly late in the day some lenticulars set up down south, but nothing consistent enough for us to work and stay up in.
The day finished with dinner and a few drinks around the bonfire. Very nice.
Thanks to everyone on the field for helping run the operations, retrieving the glider and hooking the glider on etc. It was good to see everyone getting down onto the winch to learn the ropes of winch driving. A BIG thanks to Leigh Stokes for spending most of the day on the winch either driving / supervising / teaching people to drive the winch. Leigh had other plans for the weekend but as we were seriously understaffed in the winch driver department, Leigh came up to make the day happen. Thanks also to Sam Larsen’s dad (Richard) for letting us use his shinny big 4WD Nissan Patrol to tow the winch around all day (now that’s the sort of airfield car we need!)
On a not so good note:
According to the flying list, there were a number of people staying over from Saturday to fly on Sunday. Ben Carter and his Dad (Kym) came up Saturday evening for the dinner and bonfire and then stayed over expecting to be able to fly on Sunday (today), but unfortunately, those people booked in for Saturday and Sunday were only suppose to be booked in for Saturday and NOT Sunday as well. As a result, Ben did not get to fly today.
So, when booking yourself in or if you are booking someone else in, please make sure that you only book in for the day that you / they will be flying. Even if you are staying over night from Saturday to Sunday and leaving in the morning, only book in for Saturday, otherwise there can be people turning up expecting to be able to fly and then not.
Today wasn’t a total loss though. Ben and Kym changed the spark plugs on the winch engine as well as the oil filter and the oil. Then Kym gave the engine and transmission a clean and got rid of a large amount of dirt and grease that was caked on. After that, the three of us walked the cables (and there are nearly 40 joins now between the two cables). The cables are getting very worn and there are a number of spots where the cable is starting to fray and become a potential breakage. Derek Spencer also brought the 6×4 trailer back to Adelaide with a load of scrap metal (mostly old winch wire).