30th November 2019:

The month turned out to be an active one with the private owners enjoying some good flying and Dennis Green gaining much value from his sojourn at the Matamata X/C Course.

2nd November: saw circuit flights for John Tullett, Clinton Steele and Dennis Green and a couple of Trial Flights given by Les Sharp. But then Les took a 4800ft tow in his ASW20 and he explains what then happened..

My take-off was 1526, towed to 4800’ releasing near the face of Fantham’s Peak, didn’t find the lift I thought might be there so came around the eastern side of the mountain and finally found some rotor just out from the mast at Tahurangi, but varying in position back to abeam the North Egmont visitor centre. Only managed one climb to 6000’ indicated and was averaging about 5500ft in fairly turbulent conditions. I was mostly working the rising face of rotor clouds and hoped to get up high enough to find wave. The hope existed but wasn’t materialising for me. At one time I was out over the Ahukawakawa Swamp but the sink there caused me to head back rapidly. Eventually I had, had enough, and headed out past York Rd quarry and flew through what appeared to be weak wave, but was by then thinking of John Tullett who had kindly remained at the airfield to ensure I got back okay. On the way I tested the maximum landing flap setting with airbrake at around 4000ft (start height) and then utilised it for an approach on 16 from 800ft AGL for a landing at the intersection, stopping half way to the hangar at 1648 (1 hr 22m).

Les Sharp.

That explanation will do just nicely Les.  Keep 'em coming!

November 11th saw just two flights for the Janus where Tim gave flights to daughter Judith and her friend.  

21st November was marginally better with three flights. Tim took Les for a BFR.  Dennis hadnearly an hour in the PW5 and a dual for Les and Will Hopkirk.  Some action on the day.

A trial flight on the 24th November for Julie Langford, a couple for our YouthGlide man Liam Finer.  The Regional Ops Officer David Hirst took Tim Hardwick Smith for a check flight and as well checked out the club operations.  A flight each in the Twin for Dennis and Les wrapped up the day.

The 30th of November was a day to enjoy.  A training flight for Julie Langford with John Tullett.  Welcome Julie and we hope you enjoy your flying with us.   A check flight for Nathan Whittleston with Tim.  Nathan went on to have a two hour flight in the Twin.  Dennis Green enjoyed a one hour forty minute flight and covering 95.5km in the PW5 having come back from the Cross-Country Course at Matamata embued with new-found knowedge and enthusiasm. The private owners were not to be denied either.  Two hours for Glyn Jackson and he covered 180km.  For Peter Cook it was 164km at a speed of 109kph.  His story in a moment.  Clinton Steele took time off from getting his cows in, flew for nearly two hours covering 107km as he did so.  John Tullett launched at an undisclosed time, landing time also undisclosed but covered some eighty-four kms and flew around the mountain as he did so. A grand day making up for the desultory days that preceded.   Now for the howidunnit stories.  First its Dennis and his Matamata trip..........                              

MSC Cross Country Course 2019

There are four on the course, Mathieu, Rob, Lois and myself.

We have instructors, weathermen, co-pilots, we are outnumbered.

We have Marion in the kitchen (Dave on desserts) most ably feeding us and others there for the weekend, eighteen plus at peak. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I came home to lose weight!

Our first day on the Kaimais was two up with instructors to show us the tricks and foibles of close in ridge soaring. Thank you Phil.

Sunday:  we have light thermals and a breeze onto the ridge. So a ridge day with thermals brought to us by the breeze. I have my club PW5, GTE.

 After forty minutes I am down to 2000ft agl on the nursery slopes and not finding much lift. Time to practice an out-landing, (well it is a cross country course). I have plenty of time and plenty of options. So out over the river, make a choice and bleed off height, the poplars confirm wind direction, set up circuit and in I go. Good landing, used half the paddock, er, freshly grazed out. The glider is now two-tone. Nice shade of green though. piece of cake (cow pat). Down and safe for a time of 58 minutes.

I found the farmer, the farm worker got a selfie in the cockpit, all happy. Within a short time trailer and help arrives, we derig and head back to the strip to rerig and wash. I think the wash took longer than the flight.

Monday dawns overcast with the promise of rain. A trip to Tauranga Gliding Club is organised and we all get to fly with Derek for an introduction to radio chatter on busy frequencies and the chance to enjoy a brief flight over Mt Maunganui and back to the strip. We also tried out the VR headset. Not for me though, about two minutes was enough.

Edouard Devenoges came in and gave us a talk through the awards/badge requirements and how to get it right.

Thank you Edouard.

Tuesday:  after talks, a task of 50km is set. Paper work done as per……….

…..The task is a start line south of Waharoa and the goal North of the swamp.

…..The start-line is easy enough off tow but I lose 800ft before I find lift and milk a gentle climb nearly all the way to the golf ball. Mathieu comes in underneath for some much needed height.

So up the ridge with due care for the gaps, head out over the diving board and drop on to Te Aroha.

I max out at 4000ft something and nose out towards the swamp. I bubble along quite nicely, no nasty sink around, pick up a thermal on the edge of the swamp and take it to base. So on to the turn-point, not far away now. Why do the last few kms. take so long? Why do the last few hundred metres take so long? The Oudie plays a happy tune and right over turn-point I pick up another 300ft. Thank you.

I head back towards the quarry, getting climbs along the way, onto the ridge behind Te Aroha maintaining height, onto the mountain, up and over the tower and cruise south and out to land at Waharoa. 2.45hrs, 50km declared task, box ticked.


Wednesday:  a task is set from a start-line at Wardville to Te Poi, Tirohia, Waharoa for 104km.

I take a tow towards the ridge, gain height to get to the start-line and back to the ridge, up to the golf ball, gain needed altitude and on to TP1, Te Poi. I get no lift on the way out but a gentle limb on the way back to the golf ball is nice. Back on the ridge and it is stick forward to make up time as there is a concern with the forecast saying dying thermals as the day progresses. I do tend to be conservative with the PW5 and take climbs when offered rather than race myself to the ground. I get good height on Te Aroha and make a line via the quarry for TP2 and get there with good height and a brief climb as I turn back. From there it is a steady down all the way to Te Aroha and I arrive on the windward side with one eye on the racecourse. I ‘S’ turn in gentle lift with the trees marking my small gains until I have the height to scuttle onto the main ridge and a bit more work has me looking at Waharoa. I punch out through a stiff breeze which has come through for a landing on 022. Flight-time 2:32 hrs.

Home time. De-rig, pack my gear, tea and cake, download track logs, farewells all round and on the road.

We had a really successful longer weekend and I appreciate the effort put in by many. Marion, Dave, Glyn, Tim, Russell, Steve, tow pilots and assorted crew.

Thank you all.


(Note - Ed:  Glyn Jackson took the Club Janus to Matamata and was instructing there)

Now for Peter Cook

              Notes from 30th November.
Here’s a few notes from the ‘converging Sunday’ 30th November and beyond.
Great turn out, just about all who could fly – wood and glass gliders clogging the off-line launch point and scurrying to get away!
I went straight for the convergence line, thermals were scruffy, as was on a short lead due a show event later. Transited between Fantham’s Peak, Burrs' Air Strip and Douglas several times at moderate speed, then VV trailed me. There was a curl over behind the Mt early on so could get to North Egmont Visitor Centre then went looking for a speed challenge, to differ. I cranked my speed to 160kph on a downhill run from the Mountain, eyes wide and monitoring the Flarm.  The Discus shot out the eastern end into the blue, high enough for a circuit joining glide back to the Stratford Air Field.  Average speed was109kph over 164km - all back and forward.

NI Regionals, spent a few days there, a great break from work and to jolly with others, very well fed, got high on a roof inspection but conditions were very stable initially with haze. My only XC day was MMAF, Hikutaia, Maramarua, Karapiro , MMAF in weak conditions, 56kph over 188km. 2nd to Ray Kerr in a Dart 17m. Had to leave for the last 2 boom days – had lunch under open class gliders near Te Kuiti - road works and beach walk varied the trip home. Worth the effort!
Peter Cook

25 Years Back:    A successful isit to Hawera on Labour weekend with 37 flights.  A memorable aero-tow down there for me with Bob Struthers calling out to the Hawera-ians to "Wake up Hawera the TGC is here!" Monday was clamped in and the gliders not back at German until Thursday.  The new OO was John Tullett, obliquely referred to as the Boris Yeltsin of NZ Gliding.  The cartoon of the month was one that depicted the Kamikazi Flying School.  Blessedly non-PC.

50 Years Back: The first 50km for the club when Bob Struthers flew from Matamata to Te Kuiti.  His story follows:

The brightest spot of the contest for me came on the last day of the competition.  The task was Matamata airfield / Te Kuiti Air Field / return.  It was a great thermal day and a climb to 5000ft just after after crossing the startline put me over the Cambridge Hills leaving the airfield and I was well on my way.  Flying safe slowly and hight as I ciuld and in due course Te Awamutu then Otorohanga drifted by.  I arrived overhead Te Kuiti at 3500ft, did a few Chandelles and somewhat reluctantly decided to land at the airfield to qualify for my Silver C Distance.      My retrieve crew - Clive Sherna and Geof Croy had followed me down and arrived a few minutes later.

The next day Geoof Croy tried for his five hours, got 3hrs 30m but did a height gain of over 4000ft.  Clive Sherman was cleared for a C Cat Instructors rating.  It has been a month of achiement showing the Club is gaining in strength and experience. 

And it did too with Bob Struthers leading the way with many big X-Country flights both in NZ and Australia, quite apart from all the physical work and fund raising. 

Dispointingly the website layout has defaulted to what you see now so until expert help is available this is what we've got.

And sorry for the late arrival of this - the concern about the above problem then it all segued into Christmas, family and everything.

Papa Mike.